May 20, 2010

A fabric stone collage

Time to catch up, now that teaching and the art class I was taking are both finished for the year. The collage of cut up images of stones that I did for the art class (last post) led to the fabric collage above, made from cutting up "stonescapes" I did a while ago, appliquéing hand-painted fabric onto linen. (You can see one such piece at the top of this post.) The collage is about 8" x 10." I think this is possibly a good direction to go in, accomplishing more abstraction for stone imagery. I'd like to try more pieces like this, possibly piecing them together into something much larger. But I can't go further on this until I paint some more fabric, one of the things on my list for the summer. I also realize that instead of being limited to the one or two appropriate colors of linen that I can readily find commercially, I can dye the linen myself. So that's on the list too, as well as dyeing cotton yardage in a number of colors to have available for a couple of other projects. But first I'm finishing up a simple patchwork quilt that I started as a side treat while grading papers last month, and I'm basting up a small quilt for a hand-quilting project, as I don't have anything right now for those moments when I just want to sit and hand-quilt.

The most daunting summer project is to finish up "Shelter." This will go back up on the design wall before long.

Here are some of the blocks for the patchwork quilt (pattern by HD Designs, "4-Patch Stacked Posies"):

All made from this fabric:

May 6, 2010

New direction - stone collage

Having put aside "Shelter" for a while, I sorted through other projects that have been in the closet, looking for those that would be good to work on in the context of the art class that I am currently taking ("Drawing in the Expanded Field"). One of the assignment options in the class was to take a found image (like a photograph) and change the size and manipulate it into something new. For this piece (12x18), I photocopied photos of stones, enlarged them, and then cut them up into angular pieces, but with each piece having some kind of curved line on it; then I glued the pieces onto gray paper. I like it. I can also see doing something similar with fabric. In fact, this collage method--and even the shape of the cut pieces--is very similar to the colored panel on the left side of the "Loss" quilt. But my teacher is encouraging me to keep experimenting with paper before moving to fabric--to facilitate rapid testing of a lot of options.

I have been wanting to continue my work with images of stones, but to somehow get to a more abstract level. This is one direction that will take me there.

May 2, 2010

Shelter basted up

The pressure was on to get the four tiers of "Shelter" put together in time for the talk I gave on Friday, "Study to Studio: Meaning and Motivation in Scholarship and Art." Here they are, roughly basted and pinned together, and the 4 edges also just basted under. (This is the top only.) Things that still need thinking about:
  • the exact curves of the big joins--this is the easiest thing to fix up;
  • the grey fabric worked into the black--this may need to go, also not hard to fix;
  • the bottom right corner--big design flaw. Why did I make the black tier span both bottom and right edges? I think I did it to lessen reference to a kind of rainbow. But I did the final drawing in pencil only, on white paper. I didn't do a small final maquette with fabrics based on that drawing. Sigh. This will be more difficult to fix. I could do a quick fix by folding in the right side about 8 inches:
But this results in a vertical composition, not what I had in mind, and the shape of the black tier is too uniform. I think I will probably have to re-work the tiers to get to a composition where the black tier ends only on the bottom. I'm going to put this aside until June, when I'm getting together with my Design Camp friends in Chicago for a day of talking about our work in progress. I know I will get helpful feedback then. And putting it away for a while will help me see things more clearly myself.

A new foray: here are beginning sketches and some paper trials for another project, combining some old ideas I've had "in storage" with new ideas and methods from the drawing class I'm taking.

Next I'll do some trials with various sizes/colors/techniques, moving into fabric.