Monday, May 21, 2012

Primavera: Creating Fiber Art with Paint and Thread

Primavera was inspired from a photo I took at Mayfield Park in North Austin, Texas. It measures 18 3/4" X 24 1/2." It is the second in my new found series and is a whole cloth painted piece. The background is a bamboo/cotton blend which I thought was an appropriate choice of fabric. I began by sketching the image from a photo and once I was happy with the final sketch, I transferred it onto fabric. Then, the fun began. I love painting and for this piece, I chose to incorporate metallic paints to make the bird more vivid and convey some of the iridescent qualities which peacocks possess. I used an array of acrylic fabric paints ranging from DecoArt So Soft,  
Jacquard Lumiere Paints, Stewart Gill True Color and Colourise, Golden Fluid Acrylics, Setacolor Opaque and Translucent paints, Sparkling Mica and Pigment Watercolor paints by US Art Lest and Twinkling Waters Shimmering Watercolor by LuminArt. I love them all but the waterbased cakes of mica paints and shimmering waters were quite fun and so easy to use! I really like the luminosity that they portray and I found that I could mix them to increase my color palette. How fun is that?!!! This piece was challenging to create as feathers while quite lovely can be very tedious to paint! 
Where you see what appears as black areas are really much darker versions of blue and green. I am finding that while black is very powerful on its own, when mixed with other colors, it seems to pull colors from one point to the next. I really like the concept of drawing colors from one place to another such that the eye has a chance to move around and the brain somehow processes it as a blending or unifying of the entire piece. This concept was also applied by incorporating colors from the sky into the landscape and even part of the bird's wing to impart reflective qualities. I have found that using thread in this same manner seems to work well but that is an art that I am still learning. Too much, and you drown things out. Still, I am having a fantastic time learning about the tug and pull of color as it applies to both paint and thread. It is a lesson that I feel will keep me occupied for quite some time. To infinity and beyond!     

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dinner At Eight Artists "Rituals" Exhibit

Sunrise Serenade
Sunrise Serenade was created for the Dinner @ Eight Artists juried invitational exhibit, Rituals, curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison. This piece was inspired by a photo taken at the Haifa Educational Zoo in Israel. While there, I stayed at a hotel located across from a park. Deep within the park was a zoo hidden from view. The first morning, I awoke to a rooster crowing, his voice accompanied by an unidentifiable, “caw caw” sound. Later, I came across this very unlikely pair. They were the best of friends and their contrasting colors were quite exquisite next to one another. Each morning, I would hear them practicing their daily ritual of greeting the new day with their delightful sunrise serenade. Thinking of them, brought a smile to my face and I just knew that I had to create this piece.
The base is comprised of a bamboo/cotton blend that has been painted with acrylic textile paints and machine quilted with trilobal polyester thread. The batting is an Eco Friendly Quilters Dream Green Batting which has been recycled from green plastic bottles. I absolutely love the idea of taking trash from landfills and giving back to the community, an aesthetically pleasing piece of art. Dinner @ Eight Artists, "Rituals" exhibit will begin its debut at the 2012 International Quilt Festival Travelling show in Long Beach, California and continue on to Houston, Texas. It is sponsored by Moore’s Sewing Center and Havel’s Sewing .
Since March when I finished creating this piece, I have stumbled upon a local park here in Austin that is home to dozens of peacocks. There was one male that was particularly flashy and actively displaying his courtship dances for the females. Not having captured the tail feathers in Sunrise Serenade, I was inspired to create this piece. It's current working title is Primavera though it is subject to change. It is funny how one piece can lead to another. Primavera is currently under the machine and will be finished later this week but I still have one more piece in mind. Can you guess? I am now pondering how to capture a front view of a peacock with it's feathers spread out. And I am thinking of doing it in a 3 dimensional manner. You know what they say, little ideas can percolate and turn into grander creations. I also have a hankering to create a piece with a pair of matching roosters from a photo I took earlier this year. who knows, I may end up with two series born from one piece. And that is the beauty of being an artist, deciding which one will be next and how it will be accomplished. For now, I am off to finish the second piece and see where it takes me. Wishing you a happy and creative day!