Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Positive Hand Gestures

Based on one of my favorite books, The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

 Designed in Make the Cut software, thread sketched portraits, Tsukineko ink, free motion quilted on Moire fabric.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Five Smooth Stones

 I am not sure how I am quilting this, or even if I am, I may stretch it onto a frame the way it is or use some other method to attach it to a canvas or board. Also not sure if I want to add words. I am liking the simplicity of it the way it is.
The color is off, the background is supposed to be stark white, but I can never get a good shot in here at night no matter how I try.
As soon as I read the challenge for this month, I knew I wanted to do this. I have read this book many many times and it never fails to touch me. I chose to reproduce a painting done by Sara Kent, one of the character's in the book. Everytime I think of this book the description of this painting is always one of the first things to come to my mind. I added the stones to represent the title. they will be sewn on using tulle to hold them..

Not sure if we were supposed to include this, but I thought a description of the books would be nice so others could go look for them and read them if they wished.
(following blurb from Amazon, link to site included)
Five Smooth Stones was written by Ann Fairbairn, and
first published in 1966.
It is the story of David Champlin, a black man born into poverty in Depression-era New Orleans who achieves great success and then sacrifices everything to lead his people in the difficult, day-by-day struggle of the civil rights movement. Sara Kent is the beloved and vital white girl who loved David from the moment she first saw him, but they struggled over David's belief that a marriage for them would not be right in the violent world he had to confront. Likening the struggle of black Americans to the “five smooth stones” the biblical David carried against Goliath in lieu of arms, this novel’s range encompasses decades and continents—but that range is insignificant compared with the intimate picture of its hero’s irresistible warmth and inner conflicts. , this epic has become one of the most loved American bestsellers.

I enjoyed this, even as simple as mine is. Thank you Sharon for hosting a challenge that I feel  has rekindled the spark I used to have for creating with fabric!  Sorry I was so long winded! LOL

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Challenge #83: A new Cover for your Favorite Book

Host: Sharon Robinson

Due: August 3, 2013

Theme:  The title or subject of your favorite book

Style: This can be a representational quilt that illustrates a person, place or thing from the book,  or an abstraction that captures the emotions and essence of the book.  It can be fiction or non-fictional, serious or humorous.  Imagine the latest edition on bookstore shelves, with your art on the cover!  Your piece can start out the size of a book, or you could do a large piece and assume it would be reduced in scale for the cover art.

Technique:  Any technique you choose

Design Element: Line – Optional.  If this topic seems too wide open to you, try also incorporating the design exercise of using the element of “line” to portray your subject or theme.  There are as many ways to use “line” as there are works of art:

Some ideas that came to mind for me are:  A portrait of Jane Eyre or the girls from Little Women, a landscape of the windswept mores of England…   You could use humor or a pun: A Catcher in a loaf of Rye Bread?

Non-fiction: One of my current favorite books is about Climate Change – so I could do a quilt depicting the melting ice in the Arctic.  I’m also reading about Joseph Albers and his color studies, so I might do a quilt based on his ideas:

If you don’t really have a favorite book, or are stuck on how to interpret it, just go to Amazon Books and browse the cover art shown, but don’t just copy it – look at how the illustrator chose to interpret  the book.  For example here are many different ideas on “To Kill a Mockingbird”

You could select a favorite book from your childhood, or one you read to your grandchildren:  Again, don’t copy the illustrations, but be inspired by them.  You could do a piece inspired by the style of some of the great childrens’ book illustrators. or

Abstract art lends itself to book covers easily. It can even make “Ductal Carcinoma in Situ” look interesting!  J

A couple more links to book cover ideas:
And some art story quilts, showing how other quilt artists have told stories with their work.  But remember if your piece will be on the cover of a book, keep it simple and eye-catching!

Don’t get stuck on which book to use, or how to interpret it “correctly.”  This is really just a prompt to get you brainstorming and inspired!   Most of all, have FUN!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Indian Maiden

It has been some time since I did a fabric piece.  But I still remember how...must be like riding a bicycle.  Anyway, my inspiration for this challenge was 'Indian Maiden at Stockade' by Charles Marion Russell painted in 1892 (first image image). 

I've used more of a simplistic cubist method of abstraction of the figure.  The different altogether in that I liked the look of the block figure against this pattern.  In addition, I've tried to give it some foreground/ground using organzas at the bottom.

All comments welcome!  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Sentinels

The Sentinels was inspired by the painting (above) by George Caitlin. Caitlin painted mostly scenes of Indian life as well as many Indian portraits. I first saw his work in the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC where there is a large permanent installation  of many of the portraits. I liked the lines and shapes in this particular painting; the embellishments are the decorative stitches around the spheres, in the striped fabric, and on both sides of the blue area. My quilt is approximately 24" x 18".
Ann In Fallbrook, CA

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Bison on the Plains

Charles Russell has many paintings depicting bison/buffalo on the western plains.In most cases they are running or stampeding with lots of action.

I tried to think abstractly, and failed yet again (my mind just doesn't work that way).  I copied several abstract pictures from the net and took only those to my studio for ideas.  I went through my scraps of hand-dyed fabrics, finding the three here.  The grass one is colored with crayons by rubbing, which I thought would work for abstract.  But then I found the scrap with the three bison and thread-painted them to give them some color.  And of course it became too realistic to be abstract.  In Russell fashion, I added clouds of dust by using wool roving and hand needle-felting it in place.  A tiny scrap of gold became the lightening that caused the stampede.
Thank you for this fun Fast Friday project.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Outlaw

I have only a passing interest in Wild West Art, but it is easy to see that Frederic Remington's Bronze "The Outlaw" is the favorite of many. My piece is fused fabric using ideas taken from Pablo Picasso.  I was out the door to go fishing in Idaho - grabbed a bag of scraps, my sketchbook, etc (no sewing machine) and my computer.  After a quick stop at Walmart, I was ready. But by the time I got to Jimmy Smith Lake, I had no internet access.  So, I had to improvise a bit on the cowboy because I couldn't remember what he looked like!  It was a challenge - would have liked a wider array of fabrics.  I used tulle to create shadows on my whole cloth background, but when I tried to fuse the pieces down, I couldn't use a hot enough iron or the tulle would melt. At one point I resorted to glue.
My embellishments include hemp for the reins, and small beads to attach all the limbs paper-doll style.  This was a fun challenge, but I see I have a long way to go. I am humbled by the talent in this group, but even it we don't like the challenge, we learn from it.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Fur Traders Descending the Missouri

Hi all - thanks for letting me join the group. I've created my first challenge piece; it's nowhere as amazing as the other recent posts, but I tried new things and learned from it. First, I decided to interpret 'Old West' a little differently. After all, at one point the Ohio territories were the old west. The artist I picked is George Caleb Bingham and the painting, from 1845, is found here. It's worth looking at a variety of versions, because the coloring is subtle, and there's a wide range of colors and values on-line.
This is the fastest quilt I've made - about 2 days / 6 hours. New to me were the machine I stitched the layers together on, a 1955 Singer 401. It's also the first time I've worked with Misty Fuse, and first time trying large free-motion circles. I'm not happy with the fabric I chose for the grey clouds on the right - the value is too dark. I am very happy with the reflections in the water, and with the circles I stitched after I decided I had to mark the top and then sew. So I'm glad I finally committed to making a quilt! - Lisa in Pennsylvania, aka DippyDyes

"Wild" West

Even though he did many paintings of western scenes, when I think of Remington, I think of his bronze sculptures, so I chose “The Outlaw” for inspiration. By use of color, line, and shape, I improvised my own form of “abstraction” in an attempt to capture the energy, drama, and movement of the original work -- just not in a representational way. The overall shape references the sculpture, but the colors and surface design techniques are in keeping with my own artistic point of view.

If nothing else, since I finished it yesterday on July 4th, it has an explosive, fireworks feel fitting to the day, hopefully not unsimilar to the explosion of power represented in Remington’s “The Outlaw.”

The piece is 13.5” x 17”. Feedback is welcomed!

Robert Hartley

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Wild West Landscape

At first, I wasn't sure what I would do with this challenge. Then I found this painting in the first website listed. I loved the purples and browns, and the lovely sky above the mountains. I found several purple and brown African batiks in my stash, along with other batiks and hand-dyed fabrics. 

My abstract interpretation of the painting is a faux-bargello landscape, and I did some embellishing with some of my favorite matte beads, in purple, bronze, green and brown. (The beads don't show up very well in the photo. )

My quilting echoes the shape of the mountains; the finished piece is about 20" wide, and 21" tall. 

In spite of the fact that the "Wild West" paintings are not among my favorites, I enjoyed this challenge.

Marilyn Foulke
Louisville, KY