Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quilting Arts Magazine Article In The Spotlight Barb Forrister

Wow, I am so excited to be included in the April/May 2011 edition of Quilting Arts Magazine. This is my first magazine article publication and best of all, it is in my favorite magazine! I think perhaps the first time is most special of all. Being so new to this, I can say that the folks down at Interweave were wonderful to work with. Pokey does a fabulous job and how she manages to juggle so many things at once is a mystery to me! The photography was done by their "in house" photographer. I think they did a beautiful job of staying true to color and capturing the essence of both the blue jays and raccoons. While my work was in Stow, Massachusettes being photographed, I received news that Generation Y: Song of Hope had been accepted into the International Quilt Festival Celebrate Spring Show. With only a couple of weeks to get it to Houston, I emailed Lindsey Murray to see how we could accomplish this. She was fantastic and within just a few days, my pieces arrived carefully packaged at my front door with plenty of time to ship to Houston. Later, a few weeks before the article was set to be published, Ellen Seeburger, assistant editor at Quilting Arts emailed me a copy of the article to make sure that everything was correct. As I mentioned earlier, their kindness and attention to detail is amazing and I feel blessed to have my work included in this distinguished publication. Coincidentally, this magazine will be in the stands at the same time that Generation Y: Song of Hope is showing at the International Quilt Festival Celebrate Spring show in Cincinnati, Ohio. How cool is that?! Wow, this is a memory I will never forget! Thanks Quilting Arts! 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Giving Tree: Unifying Color and Design

The Giving Tree (Full View)
The Giving Tree or perhaps more appropriately named Friendship Tree measures 37 X17 and was inspired from a week long workshop I took with Hollis Chatellain. We each did 33 compositions in 2.5 days. This is my 34th composition which I began in class. For this piece, I chose to work in a mosaic abstract style. Knowing my propensity to work in verical format, I was urged to stretch myself and opt for a horizontal format instead. It has been said that I

The Giving Tree (Detail View)
love details and so this piece focusses on simplicity. Although slightly less comfortable than what I am used to, it was good way to break habits and start fresh. This lesson on unifying color and design began as a way of communicating a theme that I feel strongly about. Nature is a very big part of my work and what better way to share it then to create my very own Tree of Life. It is named The Giving Tree because aside from the background, it was made from pieces of cloth from each of the students. I really enjoyed the idea of recycling and also bringing home a little part of each of these women that I have over the years grown to love and respect. This is the San Antonio Master Class and we are currently in our sixth year of studies. Our group encompasses artists from all around the United States including Wisconsin, Montana, Hawaii, Colorado and many more.  Most importantly, we have all suffered, er  I mean struggled together, rejoiced in each other's accomplishments and always have supported one another. I am blessed to be a part of this group of dynamic artists. This post is dedicated to the Festival of the Trees. Please visit http://spiritwhispas.blogspot.com/2011/05/festival-of-trees-59.html .

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nature's Aquarian Keyhole

Nature's Aquarian Keyhole (Detail View)

Nature's Aquarian Keyhole (Full View)

This waterscape with an underwater cave scene is a piece I have been wanting to do for a couple of years but up until now, I had not felt I could convey the texture in a satisfactory manner. In place of the more traditional colors, I have chosen to work in an analogous color scheme using blue, blue violet, violet and red violet. How to portray the rocky jagged feeling of stalactites and stalagmites has truly been a challenge! After more than a year of thoughts percolating through my mind, I have finally arrived at a very textured and tactile piece. Beginning with a hand dyed raw silk background, the ceiling and floor of the cave were collaged with dyed cotton, silk and acrylic felt to reinforce the main colors of the composition working from dark to light colors.The stalactites and stalagmites were texturized and "painted" with wool roving and dyed cheesecloth to illustrate the calcite formations. The larger freestanding stalagmites seen below are formed from heat distressed interfacing, a technique I learned in a workshop taught by Laura Beehler ( http://www.laurabeehler.com/) . Here, the idea is more subtle in comparison with heat distressed tyvek or lutradur but still offers a slightly upraised textural feel reminiscent of rock formations. Also shown are heat distressed, painted lutradur. Machine appliqued and quilted, the bottom section shows stalagmites in the midground with water depicted in and around the surrounding area. Here, I have used bright fluorescent Highlights trilobal polyester thread made by Superior Thread. The divers seen in the foreground were inked on a silk/cotton blend to provide sheen that is normally seen on spandex like diving suits. The edges of the quilt were completed with a facing.
This piece measures 36.5" X 48.5" and speaks of the many caves found in the Bahamas and Mayan areas. Often referred to as wondrous castles, these caves represent uncharted territories. Approximately 20% of known underwater caves have actually been recorded and scientifically documented. They provide a keyhole to learning about anoxic, oxygen free environments that date back tens of thousands of years ago. Primarily inhabited by crustaceans, scientists have also found numerous microbial populations, jellies and other fish that are mostly translucent and very small in size. To date, over 300 species have been confirmed. Considered to be the last frontier, these caves are very dangerous to explore and many lives have been claimed yet the allure of discovering new life remains. This piece has been very challenging but in the end, I am happy with the tactile and visual appearance. Still, sometimes, after working on a project like this for so long, I can't help asking myself, "What was I thinking?" LOL