Sunday, September 4, 2011

SNOW/CROCUS


Hi all!
I finally figured out how to add to our blog - I think. My statement follows.

I have always loved the art of collage. It offers endless possibilities because so many techniques and materials can be joined to create a cohesive design. Modern quilting means that I can collage with fabric, batting, and threads as well as a plentiful array of other materials. It means that I can apply my painting, drawing, and photographic skills to my collections of discards and textiles. I have been able to explore new styles of expression using the quilting vocabulary of stitches and layered textiles purely for their design possibilities without having to consider functional qualities of traditional quilts. Through my personal approach to modern quilting I am able to express my love of nature through a very rich tactile language.

It has been my ongoing challenge to find innovative ways to translate both my paintings and photographs to more abstract textile pieces. A special challenge in this project was to create a sense of snow’s softness and reflective qualities. A protective sheet of thin translucent styrofoam in my bag of collected discards was an exciting find. It spoke to me, becoming the perfect batting, diffusing the blues of my hand dyed backing that showed through textured Japanese papers. By combining it with fabric softening dryer sheets I was able to achieve dimension, another favorite quality in this piece. In my paintings such dimension is an illusion on a flat surface. Here it is a relief surface rich with fiber textures.

This first project of creating a snow effect with textiles, stitches, and paint took a few turns along its journey as each step led to several new possibilities. Exploring different ideas simultaneously by working in a series allows me to keep moving forward without backing up to retrace my steps. In one companion piece I used a single layer of thin opaque bamboo batting for a flat surface of snow. When I discovered that it neither came close enough to the desired snow effect, nor showed off the crocus, I explored the alternatives you see here, adding a contrasting flat sky behind the crocus. In yet another piece I dye painted snow for a whole cloth quilt. It was pretty yet too painterly and lacked the visual interest of my textured textiles.

I am pleasantly surprised with this mixed media version of SNOW/CROCUS. It feels modern to me because I have used contemporary techniques and materials in a very personal expression of a landscape, my favorite nature theme. It looks nothing like a painting or like any photograph I could take. Its qualities are unique to the art of quilting.

5 comments:

  1. Nice! Really want to see it in person!

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  2. Just lovely. I would love to see it in person too. I love the textural quality.

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  3. It certainly is a beautiful personal expression!

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  4. I love your spirit of exploration into such diverse media as exotic papers to dryer sheets. Your subject of a crocus in the snow evokes much emotion, too,,,,the promise of nature.

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