Posts Tagged ‘keeping a record’

Considering Series Again

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

In response to yet another question on working in a series, on which I have written before,  I wrote a  few comments on the Quiltart list this week, including:  “I think it is important to write about each work. I don’t mean how you made it – those technical details aren’t the important part of a series. I mean writing your thoughts, ideas, inspirations, concerns, fears maybe – anything about your work, put onto paper, or into a digital visual or artist’s diary of some kind.  This writing, in whatever form, is not for publication but for yourself; the act of thinking about why you are doing what you are doing is part of the series process.  And when a meaningful artist statement is required, you have already done the groundwork! I’ve occasionally had what I felt at the time were one-offs, and yet with some, hindsight, there are really only two that don’t fit in one of my series.  But, even as I wrote that sentence, it occurred to me that those two almost forgotten works, made almost 20 years apart, have something strong in common… perhaps I need to think about that and write something about what links these two very different looking works…”


Life’s Rich Tapestry 2,  1990,  160cm x 160cm

I can’t find anything I’ve written about this old quilt, although if you have a Visions 1992 catalogue handy you’ll find something in that –  that artist statement would refer to the role of chance, in how our lives weave through highs and lows, as nothing stays the same for ever – we exercise skill navigating the swings and roundabouts, but there’s always temptation, the quirky hand of fate, the wheel of fortune, and so on – all these things are alluded to in the images on the quilt, which itself is a patchwork background of brights and darks signifying highs and lows.  In many ways this  contains the germ of the much later and still current ‘Ebb and Flow’ series.

 

Arbol de la Vida,  2008,  approx 150cm x 100cm

This morning I went back through my blog posts (aka something like ‘artists diary’) and read here what I’d forgotten about this second quilt I called Arbol de la Vida.  It was a exhibited in some exhibition I was invited to take part in – I just don’t remember – and I didn’t write much about it at the time, perhaps I didn’t think it was important enough, I’m not sure.  But I can tell you that in the preceding few months or weeks I had seen a fabulous exhibition of the ceramics of very important Uruguayan artist  Jose Gurvich  some of whose works can be seen today in a dedicated museum in the old city on Plaza Matriz. I love his work which is literally everywhere here.  Note the Life theme, and the pictographic symbols on the leaves – I was definitely on that same hand of fate/role of chance track 18 years later.

This morning I watched an interesting profile of Egyptian jewellery designer Azza Fahmy whose beautiful dramatic modern jewellery references her nationality and cultural history – she commented that while designing her Pharaonic collection over 10 years she was constantly combing through museums and archeological sites all around Egypt re-familiarising herself with all elements of ancient Egyptian decorative design that she was using as inspiration.  It can take much time and thought to build a series!

I think it’s time to have a palm reading.

Discovering A Long Forgotten Work

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

This morning by chance I found a photo of a long forgotten quilt from 2006-2008:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also in the file I found a photo of half of it mounted in a frame – so clearly I had chopped it down and sold or given the pieces away, which I don’t remember just now; but whatever happened to those, I might have been a bit hasty in chopping it down 🙂 as I now really like it …  It’s from an era in which I applied a lot of leather pieces to quilts, the best known of which, Timetracks 1″, middle lower row, was in Quilt National 07.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many feature holes punched through leather units as part of the design, but these myriads of little holes are out of the question now given the arthritis in my hands.  The detail uppper left is Timetracks 3, one of several I made using leather for this repeat unit I have so often used. In my mind it’s a bare-bones diagram of erosion at work, one that has become important to me as the umbrella metaphor for passage of time change in all of Life itself. Interestingly there were also work-in-progress pics with my untitled discovery, so I include these partly as a belated documentation effort, but also to remind you of how my embroidery informs much of what I do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love stitch constructions on detached warps – aka needleweaving, and in 2007 blogged about these two pieces, Behind the Scenes 1 & 2,  from 1987.

 

Deconstructed Circles

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Someone commenting on my latest work said last week wrote “deconstructed circles are popular now”, and she’s right, they are appearing in more art quilts, though I’ve been using them on and off for some time.  For someone who loves grids and works freehand the way I do, the deconstructed circle has great appeal as a design unit, as these two works in progress show: early stages in the construction of Maelstrom (2006)  left, and Anna’s Quilt (2008) right respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What new work? you might be wondering.  True, it’s been a long time since I blogged, chiefly because I wasn’t creating (not even sewing hexagons) during a long illness late last year and the subsequent recovery period.  But recently I’ve found mental+physical energy coinciding, and have begun exploring ideas that have been on my mind a while.  I’ve keenly followed the the rise of  the Modern Quilt Movement with light clear colours plus greys and white that are so appealing to many that they are even beginning to populate traditional designs.  MQM’s website calls this overlap ‘modern traditionalism’, I just noticed.  A favourite Uruguayan artist, Mario Giacoya uses wonderful greens and yellows with small amounts of other light bright colours in his many rural landscapes.  A primary influence in my work is still landscape shapes, and earthy Australian colours, but I’m finding I’m wanting more ‘light’ and ‘bright’ in my work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I’ve used the unit before, and am always happy with lines that don’t connect, I drew a diagram this time to emphasise that I’m thinking of some units having many lines of fabric in them, others few, one or possibly none, and I’m still mulling over that and will continue as the work proceeds.  This sample has more in common with Maelstrom above as the arcs are segments of colour.  My sample shows a complex set of them.  These were a bit tedious to make, but I’ve been thinking about this too and will rationalise and synthesise what I learned in this sample making stage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When sample making I normally just go as far as I need to learn something.  But this one I finished and bound because I plan to hand it on as a gift, hence this documentation.  I still have to think about

  • hand v machine quilting ?
  • any role for glitter here ?
  • what about dots?
  • And what a shame I only bought about 20cm of this wonderful striped fabric …

Tetrahedrons, Continued…

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

This one is almost ready to sew up and I  thought I’d document a couple of steps with pics –

inside a tetrahedron blog

1) Showing the back/inside of the structure, where knots anchor the thread as it goes to the front.

black stitching blog

2)  Three of the triangles sewn together to provide the one working surface.

black and white ready to sew up blog

3)  When the stitching is finished, the final side seam is closed and the base sewn on.

I have done several now, and am enjoying making them.  In the next group I will do surface design before covering the template pieces, to see how that goes – probably some combination of paint and stitch – ideas for which are coming far faster than my ability to make them!  I may have some thinner batting somewhere and may replace batting with a couple of layers of cotton fabric – I learn something or tweak a detail on each one, but this is probably the last how-to on them, though  I have no idea where this 3D quilted textile art will go from here.

 

 

Take #2 – What Was I Thinking ?

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

In looking through some old pics today I found this photo of an art quilt I made for a commission, in Denver CO, towards the end of 1993.  My husband and I were preparing to leave the USA to return to Australia, getting the house ready to put on the market, and managing children with different needs in different parts of the world. Altogether there was a lot going on in my life as is usual for me.   I always have time for a commission, though, and love the challenge, but I’m not often asked.

An interior designer asked me to meet her in a house and discuss ideas for a quilted textile art work commission. The owner wanted a sunset theme work for the living room, where the wall on which it was to be hung included a large 3″ deep alcove with curved top.  We had a discussion about whether to make (a) a rectangular shaped piece the length of the alcove from the point where the curved shape starts, to the foot of the shape; or (b)  to make a piece shaped to fit into the curved shape of the alcove.  I submitted both ways, but with everything going on in both of our lives, at least one of us got crossed wires about the final decision; and the look of astonishment on her face when I unfurled the work saying “Are ready for this?” is something I’ll never forget.  When I looked back at the paper work, on the whole the agreement/contract was vague in places and if I were to read it today it would be glaringly obvious, I’m sure.  I offered to make another, rectangular,quilt, but Cindy’s client wouldn’t hear of it and paid up.  I don’t know who stuffed up, but it didn’t matter once the client said he was happy anyway.  I hope he still is – I never knew his name.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Apart from the title – an inspiring and optimistic ‘Sunset 1’ , there is no info in my computer, but I’m sure I have paper work on it back in Australia.  From memory it is/was about 36″ x 42″.  I don’t have a detail shot of it – and have no recollection of what hanging apparatus I supplied – it was a long time ago!  I see nothing around it to suggest the alcove, so the photo must have been taken against a plain wall – probably in our own home.  To me now it is rather gauche, and I can see a lot wrong with the sky background to the wandering strips that by then had become part of my signature, but at the time I thought it was a pretty good fit with the rest of my work.

 

 

Marshland Sunset copy blog

Years later, I did another sunset piece on commission, “Marshland Sunset” 2007, documented in a series of posts on this blog entitled “Anatomy of a Commission” between March 11th and 27th, 2007.  At that time, I was blogging on Blogger and having troubles.  When I began blogging on my present website in 2008, the older posts were imported, but some irritating things happened in the crossover , so I’m sorry if you find things a little odd on your browser, as I did just now when checking out those posts.   The finished piece is 2′ x 3′.  Several fabrics were supplied by the owner and incorporated.  My technical abilities with strips had changed – I like to think improved.  The piece was machine quilted with gold thread.  I hope it is still happily housed in Florida, USA.

Marshland Sunset 2007, blog

 

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