Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Songbird

Songbird is inspired from a photo taken in Casper, Wyoming. Canaries known for their songbird capabilities are some of the most beautiful and delicate birds known to man. Ever hear the phrase, canary in a coal mine? It refers to these gentle creatures that were used by early coal miners to determine whether or not carbon monoxide or methane had leaked into a mine. When the miners would carry the canary into the mine, if any of these gases were present, the poor creature would die and therefore alert the men that poisonous gases were indeed present, thereby saving many lives. These gentle birds make some of the most beautiful sounds and exemplify such grace. To commemorate their valiant sacrifice, I have created Songbird which measures 24X18 and is a whole cloth painted piece. I wanted to employ natural fibers to echo an organic feel and consequently chose a bamboo/cotton blend for the background. Acrylic paints were used to freehand paint the image. People often ask what type of paints, I use. Really, I have been known to use any and everything available to me. If I am using an acrylic paint not made specifically for fabric, I will add a fabric medium. There are so many paints on the market, today. I love the Setacolor and Golden paints but I am also pretty happy with the Deco Art SoSoft. All three are wonderful at maintaining the "hand of the fabric" so to speak. Acrylic paints not formulated for textiles often make the fabric stiff even with a fabric medium. The Jacquard paints are also fun to use, especially when you want to impart a metallic essence to a piece. Here, I have used Setacolor, Golden, DecoArt SoSoft and acrylic paints with fabric medium. To continue with the organic feel, I incorporated bamboo batting and a cotton backing. This piece is heavily quilted with Superior SuperBright Fluorescent Trilobal polyester thread, Highlights and Living Colors threadline by Hollis Chatellain. Edges are finished with a facing. This is the third yellow bird in my wildlife series following Tranquility and Sir William. Each is individually unique and capture moments in time. This piece commemorates the canaries that have helped save so many coal miners' lives. Songbird, For you, there will be no crying. For you, the sun will be shining like never before.

4 comments:

Mike B. said...

Very nice! I really like it.

Barb Forrister said...

Thank you! I really enjoyed working on this piece. It came together so quickly. Love it when that happens!

Diana Ramirez said...

I love this piece. Your painting is perfect! I hope I get to see it in person. I hope I get to see you "in person" soon, too!xoxo

Barb Forrister said...

Thanks, Dee. You're a sweetheart. Can't wait to see you too! We should meet for lunch sometime soon!