Sunday, August 26, 2012

Something that intrigues me....

 While biking alongside a river a few weeks ago, I noticed that lots of tiny swifts were darting back and forth over the water.  There were so many and it was fascinating to see them weave back and forth, dodging each other while staying on the same flight path over the running stream.  It seemed to me that, if you could draw a line of their flight paths, it would mimic the same flowing lines as the water and that's an idea that I've been mulling over ever since in my mind.

My main concern in creating a quilt with this subject was how to make sure that the swifts (or would I make them swallows with their great silhouettes?) would stand out against a busy background of water and foliage?  I finally came up with an answer that I liked while hiking a few days ago and have been playing around with the sketches that you see here.  (Very rough sketches, I might add with lots of notes to myself so I don't forget any details.)

What if I make the background muted tones?  Not pastels, but a lot of monochromatic grays, browns and black and white fabrics?  Then the birds could be done in a strong value and color that would easily contrast and stand out.  I don't want to do detailed birds (I am piecing, after all), but a large quantity of birds that could be broken down into three or four pieces, easy shapes to sew on a small scale.

So you can see here that I've been playing with the basic bird shapes.  One or two I like, others look like bats or UFO's.  The piece definately needs to be a horizontal shape, given the flowing lines of the water and the birds in flight that I want to use. Maybe I'll take some sections of the background and do a little detail in some pockets of color.  But I'm excited about this idea and think it has a lot of possibilities.  Time to start sorting through my fabric stash now that I have a vague idea of the color palette that I want.....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Where to Begin?

After working for so long towards putting my Arboreal Musings exhibition together, I find myself at a loss for inspiration for the next project. 

I have an idea or two I've been mulling around, but nothing that "clicks" yet.  When I'm stumped like this, there are several things I try to do, the first of which is looking through my fabric stash at any forgetten gems that might spark something.  I was lucky enough to have a friend give me all the commercially printed fabric from her stash and had a great time going through two huge bins of fabulous and interesting prints.  Unfortunately, though, nothing spoke to me at this time but I see huge future potential in the pile (pictured here) that's currently on my studio floor.

Another trick I try is looking through art books, any medium or artist that grabs my interest as long as there are lots of beautiful images to gaze at.  Sometimes getting out and hiking, taking a walk or a drive through a beautiful, scenic area will help.  My last resort is to make myself sit down with pen and paper, turn everything off, eliminate every distraction and start doodling every idea that crosses my mind.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Opening Night

 Opening night of my first solo museum exhibition was a dream come true for me.  The Longmont Museum did a wonderful job of lighting all my pieces and doing all of the signage.  And there was a lot of signage to do.  You may wonder about the title "Arboreal Musings".....well, the "musings" were different quotations involving trees that I've been collecting for years and that I felt did a perfect job speaking for my pieces.

One of my favorites, and the "title" quote, is pictured here.  Aside from Krishnamurti, there are quotations by Lincoln, Churchill, Mu Dan, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Yeats and Seneca.  And I was often asked, which came first, the quote or the quilt?  The quilt, of course!  Now to figure out my next project and where to go from here.....    

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Arboreal Musings

I spent time this week helping to hang my upcoming exhibition, Arboreal Musings, at the Longmont Museum.  While I haven't seen the all of the signage up yet or the final lighting, I am already thrilled with the way my work looks in their beautiful gallery.  The opening reception is on Friday, August 3 from 7-9:00pm and the exhibition will run until September 23.  I will also have a presentation and gallery walk on Thursday, August 16 from 7-8:30pm for those interested.  If you're in the area, please stop by!