Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Grande Grand


Here's my small piece, about 14 by 10 inches. When I first saw the Grand Canyon I walked into a visitor's center and for the first time in my life I applied the word awesome to my experience and it was the correct use of that word! Both visually and spiritually, the view took my breath away and kept me enthralled for the duration of my time visiting the area. I have tried to capture that image in this piece. I painted on decorator fabric, a textured off white piece, with acrylic paints and a putty knife. My goal was to created layers of color against the blue sky. Light areas on the piece are the background fabric unpainted showing through. I free motioned quilted in a loose pattern for the sky and in a more rigid layered pattern for the canyon rock formations. I satin stitched the edge so as not to cause any sense of hemming in of the great expanse. It is inspiring to me, and maybe will be to you. I can still remember the site and how I felt that day. Thanks for any comments.

10 comments:

Janice Paine-Dawes said...

chris, I like that you used an unconventional tool like a palette knife on this. You have created some nice depth to your piece and the use of varigated thread in your quilting is a nice touch.

fastfriday said...

Chris, I felt the same way when I saw the Grand Canyon, which I remember well even to this day and it has been over 50 years since I was there (I was 10) Your quilt has captured the layers and the colors of the canyon view. Course you were supposed to use unexpected colors :), but since your piece is so abstract I can see where you felt you needed to stay with the colors of the canyon. It is hard for me to offer any suggestions, I tend toward the more concrete in my work and style, so I personally would like more of a focal point, but in this case I am not sure it would work. Maybe a bit more of that dark brown could be added to the bottom right, I feel right now that the balance is toward the left that is where my eyes keep moving when I am looking at the piece. Regardless very nicely done.

Kathy Walker

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

I really like what you have done. the strata that you have achieved with the very dark and light colors reminds me of the Grand Canyon. Abstract, yet depicts the area very well. I say great job with this challenge.

Ann In Walnut, CA said...

Wonderful attempt at portraying the Grand Canyon. I love your use of color and also appreciate the way you used your emotions to make this piece work. The white-ish lines through the center help the eye to travel side-to-side and add visual movement.
Ann In Walnut, CA

fastfriday said...

thanks everybody. I'm not much of a 'painter' yet I wanted to try it and not just use fabric strips as I normally would have done. Chris

Joni said...

Chris, I really like your grande canyon piece. It is interesting to me that if you look at your piece for a while, it looks like your canyon is at the edge of a lake with a reflection on the water, the dark section in the middle of the piece being the shore line. Excellent job painting on fabric!

Cherie in Del Mar said...

Oh, I see what Joni means...It would be a good reflection piece! However..it is a wonderful grand canyon ! In the summer when it's really hot it shimmers, sort of slightly out of focus. Nice abstract.
Cherie

Carole said...

Chris, I have come back to your piece several times. wanting to comment... I am just fascinated with the way this works... it has to be the combination of the foundation fabric below the paint. The palette knife technique and your quilting, in my mind... gives this a 'mirage' effect. In one sense it looks close, then when I click on the photo it looks further away. Very interesting, mesmerising [sp?]... well done.

fastfriday said...

Carole, I think I see what you mean. It has sort of a blurry fuzzy appearance almost like an apparition or something. This quilt has given me far more to think about based on the comments I received than I ever imagined. Thanks to Cheri and Joni for mentioning the reflection I too did not see, but certainly do now!

Betty Warner said...

I really can't add anything to the comments others have made. This is a fascinating piece that I have enjoyed viewing. The Grand Canyon defies description in words and a single work of art could not capture it.

Wonderful piece, great job!