Thursday, May 26, 2016

Material Construction -- new solo show!

July, August and September 2016
Fort Worth Community Arts Center

I am very excited to announce that I will be the featured artist at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center for the third quarter of 2017.  My show, Material Construction, will be hanging at the FWCAC during the months of July, August and September.

I'll have details about the reception soon!  Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

New Work

I finished quilting 3 new pieces today.  All were pieced in February as part of the studioQ monthly masterpiece inspiration challenge.

The piece chosen that month was Abstraction by Piet Mondrian.  Simple and elegant.
Piet Mondrian, "Abstraction," Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
Mondrian was well known for his use of white, black and primary colors.  So I decided to stick with that palette. And I decided to use my favorite unit, the tuning fork, to make the first piece.

As I mentioned in my Art With Fabric Blog Hop post, although I still use the tuning fork units, the shape of the tuning fork is no longer easy to pick out in the piece.  They have become very indistinct and blendy, which I am finding a lot of fun to work with.  So, here is my first piece, "T with Mondrian (Tuning Fork #30)."  Thanks, Nikki Mahaffey, for the name suggestion!
T with Mondrian, 22" x 28"
T with Mondrian, detail
I had so much fun with the first one, I decided to make a small (12" x 12") piece to donate to the SAQA Benefit Auction.  This is "RePiet (Tuning Fork #33)".  This quilt will be auctioned in September to fund the Studio Art Quilt Associates exhibition and publication programs.  Click on the link above for more information.
RePiet, 12" x 12"
For the last Mondrian inspired piece, I decided to try something else.  So I did some improvisational cutting, slicing and sewing.  It was great fun!  And the result is the following piece, "Climbing"

Climbing, 17" x 32"
Climbing, detail
On a totally unrelated note, we are having an amazing showing from our orchid plants this year.  I don't know what I'm doing right, but eight of the plants are in bloom right now.  That's exactly 50%.  Amazing.  Here is a picture of two of them:
 I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall FridayFriday Fabric FrenzyConfessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Channeling my Inner Matisse (the Art with Fabric Blog Hop)

A few months ago, Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting asked me to participate in a blog hop.  Not your typical blog hop, but one with an interesting twist.  Each participant was to choose a "conventional" art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture) of any era, and to create a fiber piece inspired by the chosen piece.  How cool is that?  Of course I said yes.
It was a very well timed request for several reasons.  First, studioQ is in the middle of a monthly challenge based on this very idea.  Each month a member selects a "masterpiece" and we all reinterpret it in fabric.  It's been a fun exercise.  And second, my new "thing" is creating intricately pieced quilts based on photographs, using my favorite tuning fork unit as the building block, and taking them from realism to abstraction.  They end up being blurred, distorted pieces, with the inspiration only obvious if you look at the original photo.  I'm really enjoying these pieces.  You can read more about the studioQ challenges and the two (so far) photo-based tuning fork quilts on this blog.

For my blog hop piece, I wanted to combine the two processes.  I decided to take a painting and transform it into an abstract piece using tuning fork units.  I had done several landscapes this way, but this was my first effort at using the tuning fork to recreate a portrait.

So I needed to chose an inspiration piece.  I had assembled a lot of "candidates," but nothing really stood out in my mind. And then, about a month ago I visited the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.  In the first gallery there were a number of paintings and murals by Henri Matisse.  I walked into the gallery and, well, I had my socks knocked off.  Not literally of course, but mentally.  I loved the assertive colors and the graphic simplicity of the piece. I'd found my inspiration piece!
Le Rifains Assis (The Seated Riffian) by Henri Matisse
I loved the bold, clear palette, so I decided to stick with it.  I pulled fabrics, many of them my own hand-dyes, and started to make tuning fork units.  For those of you new to my work, this is the basic building block of many of my quilts.  I used to build each tuning fork unit using only two fabrics, a background and a foreground.  Recently, I've kept the format of the tuning fork, but each unit can contain up to 7 different fabrics.  And some may only contain one or two or three fabrics.  It depends on its ultimate position in the picture.
The tuning fork unit in two fabrics
So I started making tuning fork units to represent the head of the man in the painting.  And for the first green stripe on the wall behind him:
I then added the blue rectangle to the man's right (that's his right, our left), started adding dark green for his clothing, and started making red tuning forks for the floor.
Here we are at day three.  I've pretty much roughed out the picture, and am making more units to fill it out.  The darn thing always shrinks a lot when sewn together.  The blue rectangle, for example, became way too small, so I had to add another row (both vertically and horizontally) of blue tuning forks.
And then I started sewing it together.  For this piece, I sewed a great deal of it together in vertical rows.  The exception was the blue rectangle section and the stool.  I wanted straight horizontal lines between the blue and yellow, the yellow and red and the brown and red.  So I sewed those in rectangles rather than strips, giving me a sharp line between the sections.
Here it is nearly together:
And finally, here is the finished piece.
Man on Stool, Blue Field (Tuning Fork #32) by Heather Pregger, 30" x 35"
There are several things I would have done differently (for example, the stool is too narrow -- it looks like a tree trunk), but I think in general this was a good exercise.  I like the overall effect.  And I haven't quilted it yet, so I can go back and add more of the golden brown.  Or I may learn to live with the tree, and retitle it "Tree, Blue Field."

Check out these other artists participating in the blog hop!

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 2016

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