Thursday, April 3, 2014

“Pink Dogwood,” in progress

I have been working on a new piece of a pink dogwood blossom based on one of my “Beauty on my Morning Walk” photos that I try to take every day and post on Facebook. Here’s how the piece looks tonight, after I darkened the background at the bottom, and added suggestions of more branches and blooms in the sky. 

Earlier today, it looked like this:

I actually stitched a tiny bit on this piece (in the pink on the blossom) in a segment I just shot for “Quilting Arts TV” last week. But I wasn’t happy with it, and thought I needed to darken up the background, and add a few darker values to the structure at the center of the bloom. I showed it to my friend and fellow fiber artist Lyric Kinard, and she confirmed my suspicions.

I also was concerned that I had simplified the background too much. I often try to clean up the background somewhat, and leave out things that seem distracting (in this case, the house, stepping stones, and driveway). But I think I did too much cleaning. It looked unnatural, so I went back in and added suggestions of the branches and the blossoms in the background.

I am liking the way that the darker background makes the flower pop forward more. The blooms in the background are perhaps too purple (part of the problem is that I painted them on top of the blue sky, so they went more purple than pink).

And here is the photo on which the piece is based:

I am going to let it gestate, and think about whether it looks right now, or not. It is hard at this stage to determine how much the thread sketching will change the piece for the better. I do a lot of threadwork, and sometimes it substantially changes the look or mood of the piece. 

“Up and Away!” at the Texas Quilt Museum

My piece Up and Away! is part of a new exhibition – An Invitational Flutter of Butterfly Art Quilts – at the Texas Quilt Museum. It opens today, and runs through June 29. This exhibition features 17 quilts selected by the museum curator, Dr. Sandra Sider. A juried exhibition – Butterflies and Their Beautiful Kin – which will show at the same time, contains 38 works. 

The Texas Quilt Museum, which opened in November 2011, is a little gem of a museum housed in two historic 1890s buildings in La Grange, in central Texas. Its goal is to “recognize and celebrate the art and beauty of quilts, the creativity of their makers, and the continuing contributions of quilt making to history and culture.” Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes, founded International Quilt Association with their mothers, are co-founders of this museum. I am so honored to have a quilt there!

My piece features a three-dimensional butterfly soaring in a meadow. The butterfly is made of fabric and thread; the background was wholecloth painted.

“Butterflies symbolize rebirth and metamorphosis. This exhibit shows how modern artists are reworking quiltmaking, contributing new techniques, processes, and concepts to the historical continuum of quilts,” says Sider.