Thursday, May 27, 2010

Flower Power Revisited

I have been working all week on my flower garden project.  In an earlier post I described how I used inks to doodle a flower garden.   My 'garden' has become the basis of a piece I call "Flower Power Revisited".  I cut up my garden to make a VW beetle car and some sixties flowers.   Thinking about the whole 'Peace, Love, Freedom, Happiness"  theme I used Shiva paintstiks and made stencils of flowers, peace signs and words.   I had lots of thoughts and questions as I worked.   Where are we at with this today?   Is it all behind us now?  It all seemed so simple back then.  Could the world do with some peace, love and happiness right now?   That is the question in this piece.   It's been fused and painted and now I need to stitch and quilt.  Here are some preliminary photos.   The colours are not totally accurate probably because of light on dark.  Next time I'll focus more carefully.    I'll post the final results once it is completed.

We have been experiencing a heat wave this week in Ontario.  Nothing sums it up like these photos of my masked friend caught sleeping in my tree again on Tuesday.  I often wonder how this poor critter manages not to fall out of the tree - it's about 40 feet up in the air.  BTW, yesterday the temperature was 40 degrees celsius (that's 102 f).  Too hot for this part of the world especially in the month of May.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

African Fabric and Doodling with Inks

I recently attended the Common Threads quilt show in Ottawa and saw some lovely quilts.   I also purchased this great Ghanian and Tanzanian fabric from KallistiQuilts.  Years ago, I began a piece featuring three 'traditionally-built' African women dancing joyfully.   But I never finished it because it had several structural problems - due to bad planning.   At the time I used solids for their clothing.  I'd like to start over using this fabric and see where it takes me.

Secondly, I started doodling with Tsukeniko Inks when I was at my friend's place for a quilting day.  It became a garden which I finished at home.  I have some ideas for using this fabric in a piece which I am keeping under wraps for now.   A clue - the original shape of my garden looked like a volkswagen beetle and my friend called it 'flower power'.   We'll see if anything comes of this.
And last but not least, here is a photo of a little fellow who slept all day in my Elm tree last week.   Probably waiting for dark to raid trash cans.  I'm afraid that since we've started the green bin program there are slim pickings for this masked marauders.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Grid Composition - Take Two

This time I started with a photo of trees in my favourite forest - the Greenbelt.  Around it I stitched rectangles of fabric representing grass, trees and brush, and a pathway.    I painted several larger trees on lutrador with Tsukeniko inks, caran d'ache crayons and fabrico markers, cut them out and fused them on.  I used shiva paintstiks for the sunlight.   Then I mounted this inside the back of a stretched canvas and glued fabric over the edges.   Four fabric squares in the corners completed the piece.  I've never done anything like this before and it was a fun project.    The grid shows up in the background and the central photo but I wouldn't call it a true grid composition.   It was fun to do - not a lot of stitching involved.

A Tree is Life

A  few posts ago, I described the process of creating this tree as part of a challenge to design a piece using a grid composition.   When I came to the step where I needed to cut the piece into rectangles and re-assemble it, I just couldn't do it.  I loved the tree the way it was.   The theme was supposed to be 'What is a Tree' and I would use a combination of parts of this tree and fabric photos all placed inside the back of a stretched canvas for the completed piece.    Well, forget all that.    Here is my completed piece.  I call it "A Tree is Life".    Please note, there is no grid composition.

 There is probably something very deep and philosophical about this whole exercise.   But it just makes me laugh at myself and think that the artist is not always in control of the art.   We don't always end up where we planned (just like life?).   Instinct sometimes takes over from intent.   Or we get sidetracked.   In this case maybe my original plan was just not workable!  Here the fabric and colour (and the original photo) took me in a different direction.    I thought you might like to see the photo that was the inspiration for this artwork.   It was taken in Quebec in the Eastern Townships on a hiking trip.

In my next post, I will show you my second try at using a grid composition (sort of).  It also has a tree theme - none of  which are cut into pieces - well, not exactly......