Monday, January 17, 2011

Shadow Dancer: Part IV of Naturescape Gray Scale Series

Shadow Dancer is Part IV of Naturescape Gray Scale Series and measures 41" X 36." This is my first piece to be completed in the New 2011 Year. In 2010, some of my resolutions included working in larger format, increasing scale, delving into texture and bringing things off the surface in order to create a more 3 dimensional effect. I had hoped that this piece would address all of those resolutions. Additionally, I have always found it more difficult to work solely in black and white and so this piece represented quite a challenge for me. I like to construct alot of my own surfaces by building layer upon layer of fibers. Finding myself short of only black, white and gray, I opted to throw in some of nature's rich truffle like colors for the trees. The trees in the background are made from dyed batting and are machine appliqued. Their canopies are thread painted. The larger two trees in the foreground are composed of upholstery fabrics and have been machine needlefelted with bits of wool roving to add texture. The tree to the left in the foreground is created by adding layers of dyed fabrics and fibers including cotton and cheesecloth to assemble a new cloth reminiscent of tree bark. It is also built up with several layers of batting to provide further dimension. Machine wrapped cording was used to represent ridges in the tree bark. The machine quilting reflects the crevices. The wolf is derived from a sketch and is composed of several layers of various fibers including cotton, velvet, silk and upholstery fibers. His eyes are painted with shiny 3 dimensional acrylic paint. The bush on the right is created in the same manner as mentioned in an earlier post on 3 dimensional foliage. Only this time, they were created in black and white. Machine wrapped cording was constructed and set in place as the stems. Leaves were tacked down in a 3D manner as to allow for the canopy to come off the surface. Machine appliqued and quilted with Aurifil thread.This piece is very tactile and serene. It is dedicated to the wolves that are being threatened today. Please visit Defenders of National Wildlife to read more on the subject. In the end, I am happy with my start to the New Year and have resolved myself to continuing more in this vein by delving into texture and creating more 3dimensional pieces in large scale.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Art In Corridor Quilt Exhibit in Austin, TX

 You are cordially invited to The Art In Corridor Quilt Exhibit sponsored by the Austin Area Quilt Guild. The show will feature more than 40 quilts on display January 10th through Friday, March 4th ranging from traditional to folk art and contemporary to fine art. I will have three pieces there including  Autumn Splendor, Moroccan Play and Face of Serenity. Additionally, Group Conversations, a collaboration with Sherry McCauley, Kathy York, Connie Hudson, Barb Forrister, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Frances Holliday Alford, Pearl Gonzalez, Jean Dahlgren and Diane Sandlin will be on display. The Corridor of Art can be found in the lower level walkway connecting Travis County’s recently acquired office building at 700 Lavaca in Austin, Texas to the building’s parking garage. The opening reception will be held on Friday, January 14th from 5pm-8pm and is open to the public. Come meet the artists and peruse through the beautiful exhibit. Many pieces will be offered for sale. Parking is available on the street as well as the parking garage immediately north of the building. Entrance to the garage is on Guadalupe Street. Visitor's parking is located on the second floor. There is a charge for the garage parking and for the street meters. If you park in the garage, take the elevators to the lower level (LL) and the elevator will open straight into the Corridor of Art. If you enter the building via street level, take the escalator down to the lower level. Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

3Dimensional Fiber Art Trees

Happy New Year Everyone!!! Over the holidays, I decided to make another 3Dimensional tree. This time, the tree would have a treehouse! You know how they say ideas begin to percolate in your head and you just can't get them out? Well, I have been tossing this idea around for a few months now and it just won't leave me alone so I decided to satisfy my curiosity. Beginning with a 40" length of heavy duty copper wire coil that I purchased from Home Depot, I scored the outer jacket with a utility knife at both ends of the wire. One end was scored approximately 20" from the end while the other end was scored at about 7" from the opposite end. The middle section was left in tact. After scoring the plastic sheath, I ran the utility knife down from the scored line to the ends of the wire on both sides. The outer plastic sheath from the copper wire coil was and stripped at both ends and removed such that wire was exposed at each end with the sheath remaining in the middle. I then placed the length of the wire through a 13" length of PVC pipe. The longer length of exposed copper wires were separated from one another and bent to mimic the branches of the tree canopy. The remaining 7" of coil on the opposite end was left coiled together. In order to stabilize the piece while I worked, I placed the whole entire PVC and bottom portion of the tree in a tall cannister. I then took 2 pieces of approximately 10" coiled wire that was smaller in diameter and stripped the outer sheath to expose several small copper wires running together. The wires were completely separated and used to attach smaller limbs to the larger branches. A good pair of needle nose pliars is suitable for this job. The limbs and branches were wrapped with tsumugi silk blend of fibers and the ends were coiled in a loop to secure the wrapping. Once all the branches and limbs were wrapped, I began adding the foliage. Here, dyed lace and doilies with were cut into small pieces and floral wire was threaded through the holes in the lace and doilies. The opposite ends were twisted onto the branches to provide a canopy cover. The trunk containing the unsheathed wire and PVC pipe was wrapped with brown lace. The bottom exposed wire was fanned out and the ends of the wire were looped to assimilate the roots of the tree. The roots were also wrapped with brown lace to match the trunk. Dyed antique lace, perhaps from a ladies dress, undergarments or even gloves were hand stitched to the trunk of the tree to provide more texture. This piece stands approximately 31" high and has a 24-26" diameter canopy. I think it's a great place for a treehouse. And now, it's back to the drawing board to see what I can come up with for that treehouse. Maybe it might even be a tree village!