Sunday, June 20, 2010

View of Vernazza

This is the completed "View of Vernazza".  (40" w x 30" h)  This was over a year in the making due to stops and starts, distractions and uncertainties.  I like the blockiness and simplicity of it.  Glad it is finally finished.  If you recall from a long ago post this was made in 7 vertical strips that were then sewn together after everything was pieced or fused.  I started out piecing it but ended up with a lot of fusing because I was getting bored with all the piecing.  Machine quilting was done after all the 7 strips were connected.  Fabrics include:  hand dyed, silks, cottons, unknown and recycled fabrics.  From the photo (courtesy of Mike and Carleen Baum's honeymoon photo), I made a full size cartoon out of lightweight fusible interfacing with the drawing done on the fusible side of the interfacing.  This was my master pattern that I then cut into the 7 strips and constructed one strip at a time.  I also did a copy of this pattern onto clear vinyl to be used as an overlay as needed to make sure things were lining up.  When all was said and done I didn't stick that close to the pattern, changes were made along the way to simplify the composition and make it easier to construct. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Composition changes

Which composition do you like better?  The top photo is how this piece looks right now.  This abstract was totally pieced and quilted.  After putting it back on the design wall I decided I didn't like the two strips (yellow and red) in the lower left corner that looked like they were coming out of the pale green bottle shape on the left.  By fusing a black scrap over the strips (second photo) it breaks up the awkward distracting bold strips that were coming out of the bottle.  In fact I think I will use a bigger scrap to make the strips into small squares.  I also prefer the more complex black shape that the change creates.  I may do something about that large yellow section near the center top, its asking for something but I'm not quite sure what yet. 

Even though I thought this piece was finished I can go back and make some major or minor changes by fusing on new fabric and then I will quilt over that area.  This is one of five pieces I did over another long home retreat weekend. 

With my solo show coming up in July I'm starting to panic and think I won't have enough artwork.  At last count I should have at least 25 pieces. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Matisse Exhibit at Chicago Art Institute

'Bathers by a River' Henri Matisse 102" x 154"
(this is one of his largest paintings, its huge, that's 8.5 feet high by 13 feet wide)  After seeing this painting in person I was very much in awe, maybe it was the size, colors or the way it was segmented.  I'm not sure. The figures are very statuesque and strong.  The cool colors are calming. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 the SAQA WI-IL Regional group met at the Chicago Art Institute to view the Matisse Exhibit.  To see a pic of the SAQA group members that attended the exhibit go to
  Described by the Chicago Art Institute
"the works Matisse produced between late 1913 and 1917 are among his most demanding, experimental, and enigmatic. While these works have typically been seen as unrelated responses to the influences of Cubism and World War I, this exhibition illustrates the deep connections between them and their critical role in an ambitious, cohesive project of developing what Matisse called “the methods of modern construction”—a process in which the act of creation itself was the main focus."
Henri Matisse started out his adult life as a lawyer but while recovering from appendicitis his mother brought him art supplies and he was hooked. He went back to art school (to his father's great disappointment) and became a painter, printer, sculptor. Later in his life when he was unable to stand at an easel he cut colored paper and arranged them. In 1953 a year before his death he created "The Snail" (below)

While at the Chicago Art Institute we viewed many amazing paintings, some of my favorites were Georgia O'Keefe's.  I'll post the ones I saw another day. 

If you get the chance to visit the Art Institute don't pass up the chance, I could spend a week or two there easily.