Sunday, February 19, 2012

“I See the Moon” begun

I have just started work on a new piece that I am calling “I See the Moon.” You can see the beginning of the painting – the black branches on white fabric – above. When I was a child, my parents used to sing me a bedtime song that went:

I see the moon, the moon sees me
Shining down through the big oak tree
Please let the moon that shines on me
Shine on the ones that I love

This was a ritual I repeated with my own children. When I sang it to them, I hoped that they would feel as safe and secure as I did as a child, when my parents sang it to me as they tucked the covers up under my chin. 

I had the idea for this quilt in my mind’s eye for some time. A few days ago, while waiting in the car pickup line a my daughter’s school, I shot a photo of a wonderful post oak silhouetted against a beautiful winter sky through the windshield of my car:

I love the branches of post oak trees; they are wonderfully curvy and they look so alive, almost electrified. I took a slice of the photo and superimposed a moon shape on top to start getting a feel for my composition, which is going to be 24" wide by 60" long.

After I traced the branches, I blew up my traced drawing and printed it out in tiles (sections) and taped them together to make the pattern. I placed PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton on top, and now I am painting the branches from my drawing. 

My plan is to paint the branches first, and then to use shades of blue for the background, from a medium-light blue at the bottom to a very dark blue at the top. I think I will use a metallic white pearl paint on the moon, with a little detail for the craters and shadows on it. I want it to be very simple, clean and graphic.