Thursday, February 27, 2014

Challenge #90, February 28, 2014

Hostess: Cheryl Casker
Title: Hurry, Spring!
Theme: Interpret the gift of life (Spring) that rises from the death (Winter) that came before it
Technique: Impressionism incorporating broken color theory that depicts the subtle play of light and shadow
Due date:  March 8, 2014

Having set a historical record for the most snow in one month in January in the state of Michigan (as well as others), we are more than just a bit winter-weary and anxiously look forward to the exquisite flora and fauna that Spring gifts us with each year. 

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
            ~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
            ~L.H. Bailey
Color As Light
Impressionism was a new style of painting that emerged in France at the end of the 19th century. The Impressionist artists were interested in trying to capture the changing effects of light on the landscape by using a more exact analysis of tone and color. Their ideas were inspired by Eugene Chevreul's scientific research into color theory.

The Impressionist artists abandoned the old idea that the shadow of an object was made up from the color of the object with some brown or black added. Instead, they enlivened their canvases with the new idea that the shadow of any color could be mixed from pure hues and broken up with its opposite color.  For example, the shadow on a yellow surface could have some strokes of lilac painted into it to increase its vitality.
As the Impressionists had to work quickly to capture the fleeting effects of light, they had to sacrifice some of the traditional qualities of outline and detail.

Broken Color

Role of Colour in Impressionism

Characteristics of American Impressionism


Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926)
 “When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives you own naïve impression of the scene before you.”

Snow at Argenteuil, 1875

The Water Lilies (series), 1899-1920

Garten at Giverney, 1902

Garden Path at Giverny, 1902

Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903)
The Garden of the Tuileries on a Spring Morning, 1899

Gelée Blanche (Hoarfrost), 1873:

Snow Effect at Eragny, 1894:,-1894.html

L'Hermitage, 1868  (scroll down to #7):

Rye Fields at Pontoise, 1868 (3rd painting down):
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French 1841–1919 )
No shadow is black. It always has a color. Nature knows only colors … white and black are not colors.”

Boating on the Seine, 1879

Two Sisters, 1881

And one final note – have fun with this!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blue Rose

Blue Rose Center

When the 'Coming Up Roses' exhibit was announced, I choose to create this blue rose.  I decided I needed to post before the next challenge comes out in two days.

I wanted to create something dimensional.  This is my first try after seeing the wonderful dimensional flower quilts by Barb Forrister at Houston last fall.  I also attended her demo and got to meet her.  What a thrill.  She makes it look easy.  However, I found I ripped out a LOT.  If I had more of the blue satin, I would have just cut more.  Having a limited amount of fabric really pushed my creativity.  

I have been experimenting with different ways to finish out the quilt.  I have already thrown out three tries.  Because of my fabric limit, I try ideas out using other fabrics.  However, for me, the blue satin is the only fabric from my stash that works. Perseverance is the name of this game.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blue Initials

This little quilt was from a guild challenge to use
our initials. I like blue. It's nice to make a quilt just for fun.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Cityscape: A Study in Blue

51" x 61" 
Commercial cotton, silk and polyester fabrics and threads

This piece has been on my drawing board since last fall: the pattern was drafted, the blue fabric palette had been auditioned, and the quilting design was determined.  All that was lacking was the time and motivation to begin.  Thanks to this timely challenge, I have not only started the piece, but finished it too (albeit a week late in the posting).

I have toyed with the idea of a series of cityscapes since last summer, and have drawn inspiration from many quilts and quilt artists on the Internet, our own Fast Friday contributor Meena Schaldenbrand's "I Love Detroit", and the many incredible art quilts created by Ludmila Aristovta  

This imaginary cityscape serves as a practice piece to sort out a few techniques for my future cityscapes including selection of appropriate fabrics for building surfaces, the quilting of water, working with reflections in water,  and getting proportions right for a realistic look.  While admittedly, this work is not even in the same class as one of Ludmila Aristovta's works of art, I certainly aspire to her level of artistry and look forward to creating more cityscapes that reflect many of the great cities that we all know and love.  This is my first step in the process and I thank you for allowing me to share it with you.

Your comments, suggestions and critiques are welcomed.

Warmest regards,

Cheryl Casker

Sunday, February 02, 2014


Sorry for the bad picture but I have a new program and can't seem to make it work for cropping.  I saw a picture of this small comedy/tragedy block and fell in love with it .  I knew it would look good in blue and white so here it is.  It always makes me happy to see these masks.

Pat Havey

Sea and Sky

16½" x 13¼"

A while ago I had gathered some black and white fabrics, and I always have plenty of blues, so I got a good start on this piece, until I found that the sparkly organza overlay somehow got cut at the bottom, and I had to piece another scrap on top and hand-sew it in.

I found the larger pattern of the black and white fabric to be too stark as it was, so I mixed some blue and black ink into water and dyed them, with a bit more blue applied to the edges.

The only added color would be the bit of silver in the sky with their "reflections" of the sparkles in the water.

Thanks, Ann, for a great challenge.  Comments welcome, as always!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Ori-Nui Shibori

When this challenge was announced, I immediately thought of all of the wonderful Shibori fabric I have created over the past couple of years.  While I've used many colours, a fair bit of it was done in blues.  Looking through the various fabrics, I found this table centre that I started working on a couple of years ago.  This was during a time that my arthritis was making itself known.  When I saw this, I had to accept the reality that it is unlikely that I will ever start any other hand stitched project. I am no longer capable, but --I could finish this!  A sort of "last Hurrah".

While I can't really call this "art", I did create the  dyeing design on the fabric, and then used that as a basis for the stitching design. I used a fairly coarse running stitch, using Coton a Broder--somewhat reminiscent of Sashiko.  My days of 20+ stitches to  the inch are long gone. :(

I feel a great sense of accomplishment with this, and welcome any comments.
Pat Findlay
aka fndlmous

Blue Moose

I am working in a class taught by Pamela Allen.  One of our assignments was to do a monochromatic piece.  I chose blue, my favorite color. I call it Blue Moose. It was made from bits of fabric left from other projects the center mountain was a pieced triangle lft over from an indigo roman strip quilt I made a few years back.  It is raw edge applique, the applique and the quilting done by hand with embroidery floss.Rosemary Hopkins