Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Celebration Quilt for Robin

Friendship is the substance that feeds the soul.  My life friend asked me to create a Celebration Art Quilt for her daughter's 50th birthday.  I very seldom take on commission work but was thrilled to move forward with this project.  Carol, my friend, likes the type of work I do and allows me cart blanch in design decisions, a perfect combination of circumstance for any artist.  

The challenge was to create a piece that reflected her daughter's life and the people important to her.  Robin has a beautiful daughter who she has raised on her own. Both are avid animal lovers.  So photos of herself in childhood and adulthood along with family members including her beloved canines were included in the piece.  I used canvas as the background fabric, transferred photos using gel media, stenciled and painted accents, then machine stitched to finish.  The hand dyed boarder was hand stitched to frame the piece with accenting colors and textures.

Happy Birthday Robin!

Celebration Quilt for Robin
Beloved ~ Detail

Friday, January 30, 2015

Favorite Places Class with Valerie Goodwin

The Road to California is a quilter's conference and showcase.  My friend and fellow artist made the annual trek to the show in Southern California.  We found venders worth visiting and took one of the classes offered on site.  The two day fiber art class was taught by Valerie Goodwin who is a professor of architecture and a well know quilter.  Valerie's guided critiques of each student's work provided useful design insights.

During our two days together, we learned ways to create real and imaginary map art.  The techniques focused on layering fabrics, sheers, and then applying paint, pen and stitching.  My goal in recent works has been to create layers with fabric in some of the same ways I able to create layers on canvas with paint.  Valerie's class provided clear instruction as well as a plethora of ways to accomplish this goal.

Layers add depth in color, values and texture to a piece.   In this small piece layers of fabrics were flipped stitched onto a background of cotton crinoline.  Raw edges were hand stitched to the background. This technique alone adds to the variety of textures in the piece. Then acrylic paint mixed with fiber media (GAC 900) was applied.  Sheer silk organza was fused softening some of the original piecing lines.  Buildings, trees, road surfaces, and hand stitched accents completed the work. During the process, I worked on both sides of the piece.  The foundation lines and hand stitching proved to be interesting designs on each side of the map. 

For more information about these processes look at Valerie Goodman's book, Art Quilt Maps.  It is well written, illustrated with samples and completed pieces.  Step by step instructions are provided through out the publication.

South Lake - size: 9 by 6 inches

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Making of Enso: From sketch to completion

The design challenge was to use geometric shapes arranged in a pleasing visual array.  The first outline went through several revisions.  The final sketch was printed and color palettes were explored through pencils and water color paint.  Once a final color palette was selected, minor design changes were made. The quilt was constructed using machine applique.  Once pieced, the quilt top was photographed. Optional quilting designs were sketched then selected.  Deciding the final stitching design is the most challenging part of the quilt completion.  The motivating goal is to create movement through the quilt while emphasizing focal points.

1st Version
2nd Version
Selected Version

Pieced Quilt using Final Design
Quilted ~ 44 by 34 inches

The inter 1/4 inch gold boarder was selected to match and repeat the thread quilting color.  The inner boarder stops the eye.  The outer boarder of dark blue mirrors the inner blue fabric while framing the entire quilt.

Enso ~ Detail 1
Enso ~ Detail 2

My best advice is to quilt to the quilt ... all quilting when done best enhances the quilt's design.

So there you have it, a few thoughts about the making of an art quilt.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

CSN Juried Student Show ~ Best of Show Painting

  Wow what a wonderful surprise to receive Best of Show in the painting category for "The Darkest Hour" at the Community College of Southern Nevada Annual Juried Student Show.  My family along with good friends joined me in the Opening Reception.  What a wonderful life!

  While paint is a new medium for me, working with oils is rewarding. The play of color and texture created with oil paint encourages exploration and experimentation.  Taking classes continues to provide new challenges and the experience of successes and failures filters into my textile work.

  An other reward is the recognition of my art in a small yet very meaningful community of fellow artists.  Many thanks to the art professors at CSN who inspire and encourage all our efforts.

  Click on photos to see a larger images. 

CSN Opening Reception
The Darkest Hour