Archive for the ‘finishing’ Category

2011 SAQA Auction Quilt

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

This 12″ square textile, just completed but as yet untitled,  is my offering for this year’s SAQA Benefit Auction  At this link you can see some of the early submissions to this year’s auction list, and find full details of how you can particpate and acquire a fine small art quilt for your textile or quilt collection  (I suggest mine of course! )

The Auction will run online from September 12th to October 2nd.

This piece fits in with the Timetracks series, and yet I think I may have another title in mind, but am thinking it over.  No rush.

Two New Collectors

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

It’s always a joy when someone wishes to exchange their hard earned money for some of my art. Since I enjoy creating and making textile and fibre art I don’t think of it as ‘work’, even though it is, and as ‘work’ is occasionally frought with difficulty or stress even, between concept and completion.  Today I am hoping that my two newest collectors will have many years of enjoyment with my works in their collections.

This week I was pleased to see my 12″ square in the online 2010 SAQA Benefit Auction was purchased by a collector in the USA, Francie Gross.  I am embarrassed to say I forgot to photograph it before sending it off, but it is in the style of Timetracks 11

  a portion of which is shown here.

It is still up on the auction pages, 2b, at the SAQA online auction which enters its third week this week with the works shown on pages 3a and 3b – just click the link on the page above the pics andyou will go to each in turn.  Perhaps you’ll make a bid for some of the interesting pieces still to come under the hammer in the next few days.

A few weeks ago I sold two works to an international collector, a personal friend, who chose “Timetracks 16” and also this one:

 

It’s not shown in my website, partly because I haven’t ever decided just which category it belongs in, or exactly what name to settle on it.  For a long time it went as ‘Untitled’ which I always think is an artist’s cop out. 

Yet it is an important work, because it took me into the “Desert Tracks” works that followed and will probably be added to over time. It is a work focused on those aspects of the traditional ancestors of modern art quilts that appeal to me and appear repeatedly in my own work – blocks/units, repetition, and hand quilted surface patterning.  The finished edges are applied with a gold metallic fabric, double layered and cut on the cross, left ufinished – also from a time when I was beginning to consider less conventional bound edgings on my work, and burned edges appeared soon after making this one.  It has always looked good in local exhibitions here, and I know it will be well placed in  its new home.

It just occurred to me that someone with some clout in the art world should declare a day each year to be designated “International Art Collectors’ Day”.  I still have the very first painting I bought, nearly 55 years ago with 8s 6d of the 12s pocket money I was given to spend at the annual school fete.  It is a postcard-size watercolour of a landmark mountain range in northern Tasmania where I grew up, and I remember choosing it from a whole table of perhaps 50 or so little watercolured landscapes, probably done by the art teachers at the school, and certainly framed by one of the parents’ framing business – handy use for the their framing offcuts, probably!  It’s still in the original frame – I think I will do it the honour of having it framed in a more modern frame next time I’m back in Aus – I have always loved it.  In addition my parents had several watercolours painted by a cousin of my father’s, John Nixon Gee.  Dad took me along to JN’s house one morning when I was maybe 6, and I remember watching him paint a little while I was there.

A Studio visit with Margaret Whyte, Montevideo Textile Artist

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

p3190010Recently I visited a prominent Uruguayan artist, Margaret Whyte, well known for her large scale fabric and stitch conceptual installation works,  featuring extensive use of recycled and salvaged materials, particularly textile-like materials.  Just by chance I met her a few weeks ago at a gallery in the Museo des Artes Visuales,where her work was then on show.  See picture right, photographed with permission of the artist, showing part of the exhibiton ” Belleza Compulsiva”    It was the second show of hers I had seen in several years, and to my delight she seemed very interested in our meeting.   I love meeting other artists and talking directly about what we each do.   She works in a studio located in the Fundacion de Arte Contemporaneo, www.facmvd.org  in the old city area of Montevideo, in a quite small room surrounded by other artists in other rooms on the several floors of an aged apartment block.   Some were working when I visited, all doing a wide variety of very contemporary 2-d and 3-d art with  a preponderance of painting.  In addition to Margaret’s work which had interested me for some time, I was especially taken with the paintings of Fernando Lopez Lage – check the above URL – go to the list of artists and scroll to his name.  His colourful paintings comprise bands and stripes/strips of colour,  wonderful combinations, quite reminiscent of some contemporary quilters’ works, and the Australian abstract landscape artist, Jules Sher. (one of my favs)  Very large portaits are painted by Maria Carla Rossi, who was  not around, but a striking work in progress was waiting for her return.  I was however puzzled by the art of Cecilia Romero, who presents objects she picks up on the streeet, such as a cupboard door handle or a piece of cutlery or jewellery, encased in frames where they nestle into backgrounds of padded fabric looking as if they are in presentation cases, and I wonder does framing them in some way confer preciousness, value ….I didn’t come to clear terms with that.  There was another young female artist  painting  an image of a clutch purse as if seen through cyclone mesh – from the pics around her work area she has a message about women being victims of the fashion industry. I liked her work, and will try to find out her name although she did not seem to be listed on the fac website. 

But back to my visit with Margaret.  She keeps another studio space where she stores most of her fabrics and threads.   In this room at the fac  was a big work table with a mezzanine storage area above her head height – of course, older buildings have very high ceilings.  Margaret herself has done a lot of  abstract painting but is currently working in fabric.  Her sculptural works are large panels of colour, texture and shape,  worked directly onto artist canvases, or  richly ornamented 3-d  large figures.  She uses a lot of paint on the canvas and then adds manipulated fabrics and other materials, perhaps more paint and large hand stitches and coils and drapes of wrapped stuffed tubes – the whole having a rather rich voluptuousness, a medieval costume quality, and yet sudden details disturb, such as fish hooks appearing from somewhere in the manipulated fabric…. 

I meant to ask more questions about the rationale behind Margaret’s work, but we also got talking about my work, too.  I took  ‘Maelstrom’ and Timetracks, 8, to show her what I actually do since she only knew my work from the website.   She commented my work was ‘neat’ and was pleased she referred to it as ‘art’  .  Even the tracks  works such as Timetracks 8 she thought is neat, too, and I was a little taken back at that, even with all the raw burnt edges and hanging threads.  Interesting.  Should I  be concerned about this?  Probably not.  Everything is relative, and her work is definitely not ‘neat’ – it is exhuberant,  almost wild, by some measures  ‘raw’.    We had  a conversation too about mixing with and working among other artists.  I have mixed views on this, it could be interesting and exciting, on the other hand loaded with potential distractions,  and I know, or think UI know,  that I do best when working on my own.   That conversation caused me to look at the various feedback structures I have access to, and consider their importance to me.  It also set me thinking yet again about the ‘quilt industry’ and its relationship with the realities of the C21.  On that note I am especially looking forward to the SAQA conference where someone will be speaking on this very aspect – where to from now kind of thing.  Contemporary craft and art will change to reflect to some extent the pressures the world is under, I am certain.  This was a thought provoking visit.

Facing irregular shaped quilts

Friday, June 15th, 2007

I have made quite a few irregular shaped pieces in the years since around 1992-3, many of which can be found in the gallery pages of my website, www.alisonschwabe.com
In the past couple of days, on the Quiltart list there have been questions about doing this, and various answers given, and since I sent the original questioner this jpg, I thought I should post my version for anyone else who is interested in trying irregular shapes but intimidated by the finishing.
There are lots of ways any shape can be finished, and even look ‘unfinished’ if that goes with the integrity of the work, but irregular shapes can be tricky if you are looking for a really neat ‘properly finished’ edge, as many who are currently entering pieces in the experimental areas of quilt shows are feeling they need to achieve. (the Quilt Police loom large here) If the outline of the quilt is not too convoluted a binding will probably work OK. But if you have lots of pointy bits this one really works well. Granted a bagged back is popular, and probably perfect for small things, but I have noticed that bag-backed large quilts are often just that – ‘baggy’. This method always works for me, and despite the several diagrams is not at all difficult; if you can face an armhole or neckline of a garment, you can do this easily. Note point #8 – faced pointy bits do tend to curl a little allowing the facing to roll forward and be seen from the front, even other less shaped areas will tend to do this too. Even if you use some of the same fabric as used on the front, this looks sloppy and incompetent. So use the instructions in point #7 around the whole, and #8 where you get to a tricky point shape. Then complete by sewing the edge of the facing down.
I teach workshops taking this all further, including how to get some seriously non-straight shaping along the top edge. Some steps need to be taken in the pre-quilting construction stages to ensure these hang easily and conventionally, also that they fold for transportation, if these things are an issue with your work. To me it sometimes feels disappointing to see exciting shapes along the sides and bottom of a quilt hanging from a straight edge along the top. I think that if that person had known how, he/she might have chosen to make the top shaped, too. .. or maybe not, of course.

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

This pic shows some of the same fabrics in different positions on the quilt, since the colours vary som much from the top to the bottom it is as important for it to be compatible up top as doqwn on the lower part.

It is possible, and in at least one quilt,”Western Desert” 1991, I did actually bind it in such a way that the binding that changes colour according to which part of the quilt it is binding (in the case of Western Desert it was every 4″) but this is not appropriate in this case – the client requested a binding. and I am interpreting this as some kind of linear definition which would not be as pronounced with one that changes colours as it goes around the edge…. so that possibility is dismissed.

In this pic, the spotty one along the lower edge shows strongly positive, it is emerging as a favourite. Although the purple on the right is a match to a sliver in the quilt, I think it is just too predictable, a little boring, but very safe. Interestingly the hot tomato pink I had previously dismissed out of hand ( how could I have so much left over? etc ) is still in there, IMHO.

And the fine strip along the top right edge is looking OK, but when compared with the spot with varigated background, I don’t think ‘does enough’ . Posted by Picasa

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