Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tackling the Green Giant!

For years I have been making quilts with no more than a quick sketch for reference.  I have always had a more complete picture in my mind, but would only rough out the basics to use as a reference when I pieced the quilt.  But since David Hornung's Design and Composition class, I've been working rather differently.

I'm trying now to start my studio day with a quick collage.  Sometimes in black and white, sometimes using painted paper.  If you've taken one of David's classes, you know that he advocates the use of painted paper rather than construction paper.  With thin painted paper you can create a range of tints and tones from a few primary colors (red, yellow, blue), black, white and burnt umber.  It gives you many more choices. And I do like choices, whether I'm working with fabric or paper.

I found that initially I was cutting curves, circles, spirals and other hard to piece shapes.  They made dynamic compositions, but they were not anything I would reproduce in fabric.  I like to piece, but am not terribly fond of doing appliqué.  But the more collages I make, the more I seem to be using shapes that are angular and "pieceable."  I've made several that I think would make good quilts, including the one below.
I decided to keep the two color palette, though of course I can't seem to use just two fabrics.  So I pulled a range of yellow-greens and blacks and dark grays and got to work.  I started with the lower left hand section:
I pieced it more or less in columns.  Here I've worked my way to the top and then to the right:
This is a view of my design wall from the my sewing machine.  And you can see that the right hand column is in progress.
And then it was finished.  At least the top was finished.  And much squarer than it looks in this photo:
I loaded it onto my old Gammill Classic and quilted it in dark gray thread.
And here is the finished piece.
Galligantus, 48"w x 58"h
I've been referring to this quilt as the "green giant," but that is not what I ended up naming it. While I was piecing it I was reading The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley.  If you like mysteries, I strongly recommend the Flavia de Luce series by Bradley.  I love them.  The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag is about a puppeteer who visits the village to perform "Jack and the Beanstalk."  He calls his huge green giant puppet Galligantus.  It seems an appropriate name for this quilt.

So I finished quilting Galligantus on Sunday and once again faced an empty design wall.  I have three calls for entry that I intend (need?) to make pieces for.  But did I start working on any of them?  

No, of course not.  I decided to make a smaller version of Galligantus in teals.  
And I'm having a blast.  Though I feel slightly guilty about the other quilts I have to make.  Oh well.

I love the idea of using collages as the basis for quilts.  I've already picked the collage I want to use next.  We'll see if I have the discipline to wait until I've made those pesky "call for entry" quilts......

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Confessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Friday, July 21, 2017

JOY! is at Sacred Threads!

I am very excited that my quilt, JOY!, is being displayed as part of the "Live Your Brightest Life" exhibit honoring Yvonne Porcella at Sacred Threads.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer Art Camp

I spent the last week at Susie Monday's Art Camp at the Camp at Capilla Peak.   It was my second time at Susie's Summer Camp, and it was amazing!

This year the camp featured instructors Junanne Peck, a printmaker, and Dale Jenssen, a metalworker.  Each day featured printmaking sessions and metalworking sessions.  I spent the week bouncing back and forth between the two disciplines.  I enjoyed working outside of my usual media very much.
Junanne Peck showed us printmaking techniques, including
monotype, collograph,  drypoint, woodblock 
Dale Jenssen demonstrated metalworking and guided us through several small projects.
The Camp at Capilla Peak is situated halfway up a mountain southeast of Albuquerque.  It is a truly beautiful, magical place.  
View from the road up to the peak
View from the top of Capilla Peak, 9301 feet above sea level
The camp is at about 7,000 feet.  It is rustic but very comfortable. The moon was full and the view of it over the Ponderosa pines was breathtaking.  This was taken right outside of my cabin.  I could see the moon from my bed each night as I went to sleep.
I have never printed with a printing press before.  These are two monotypes on paper.  I spent most of the week printing monotypes on fabric.  The fabric pieces will show up in my work soon -- stay tuned!
Monotype prints on paper. 
I made a copper box of which I am inordinately proud.  It looks great with a votive candle in it.
The main barn is large, airy and beautifully lit.  A great workspace!
Susie had also arranged for us to go into the town of Mountainair to take a mosaic workshop with Tomas Wolff.  I've never done a mosaic before, and it was so much fun.  Here is a detail of my piece in progress.....
And once all of the glass and tile pieces were glued to the hardy board with quickcrete...
We left the pieces to dry at the Mountainair Art Center.  They ended up way too heavy to pack into our luggage to fly home.  Luckily, one of our camp mates from Arlington had driven and offered to bring Rhonda's and my pieces home.  They are not grouted yet.
On Tuesday, right before we left, we helped Judy grout her piece.  Judy (along with her husband, Rick) owns the Camp at Capilla Peak and had brought her mosaic back to camp with her.  It looked wonderful grouted -- I can't wait to get mine back and to grout it.
Judy hard at work
We only saw one bear this year.  He was sitting in the road as we drove down from Capilla Peak and scampered away as we drove up.  But the bird life was super abundant. Three types of hummingbirds, western bluebirds, several types of jays, several types of woodpeckers, nuthatches, flickers, hawks...we spent every evening on the porch watching the birds fly by.  The feisty little hummingbirds were constantly fighting over the feeders.  
Our last morning we met for brunch and to share the art we had made during the week.
It was a fabulous week spent in the company of some fabulous artists.  I am so glad I went!

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