Friday, October 19, 2012

The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi by Barb Forrister
This month has been crazy, busy but in a good way! Lots of wonderful shows going on in the area, new and upcoming workshops that I will be teaching and getting ready for the big International Quilt Festival in Houston. Still, I have managed to log in long hours in the studio working on art. One piece in particular, The Gift of the Magi was created for the Copper Shade Tree Gallery Art in Fiber 2013 show. The show was juried by Karey Bresenhan of Quilts, Inc. Wow, what an honor to be included! I am so tickled! Inspired from

a photograph, this bird pranced around and posed in all his glory for a good 20-30 minutes while I photographed him from all angles.  When I got home, I had a few hundred photos of him which I eventually narrowed down to one. I sketched and drew the photo and then blew it up such that it could be transferred to fabric. This piece measures 30.75" X 38.5." It is the third piece in my peacock series and I have decided to incorporate some metallic and mica paints to reflect the irridescence that is often seen in peacock feathers. The Gift of the Magi was created with acrylic paints including Setacolor opaque and transparent paints, Stewart Gill, Jacquard, DecoArt SoSoft, Sparkling Mica and Pigment Watercolor paints by US Art Lest and Twinkling Waters Shimmering Watercolor by LuminArt. I have also used watersoluble wax pastel crayons by Caron d' Ache and water soluble oil pastels by Portfolio. The Portfolio Series offered very bright, vivid colors however they were difficult to heat set. Next time, I will stick to the Caron d'Ache as they are easier to work with and their color stays put! This piece took 3 weeks to paint as each color had to be mixed and blended such that it presented an accurate and cohesive showing. Here the key was to blend the feathers in with the background as it changed from dark to light colors. With so many feathers, this is difficult to accomplish!
This piece was stitched with trilobal polyester threads from Superior in almost a hundred different thread colors such that the stitching can be seen but it still does not detract from the painting. Edges are finished with a facing. I am hoping to mount this piece on a painted deep navy canvas. I will have to build it myself, as this is not a standard size and I could not bring myself to cut it down for the sole purpose of fitting on a standard size canvas. Some things are just worth creating special frames for! I really enjoyed creating The Gift of the Magi and hope that it will find a good home. My daughters are lamenting the fact that they cannot keep it but with so many photos to choose from, I can always make more. To see more pictures, and the photo from which The Gift of the Magi was inspired, please visit 


Peter@QuilttemplatesM said...

Such a beautiful creation! The work sounds laborious and intricate, I admire your talent and skill

Barb Forrister said...

Thank you, Peter. I love painting but I have to admit the feathers did drive me a little crazy this time. In the photograph, the feathers form a grid like pattern with no distict lines from one plume to another. It was a great exercise in letting go and just creating pattern. Thanks so much for your kind words!

Judy Ferguson said...

As a painter and fiber artist, I am amazed and dazzled by your talent. Such an inspiration.

Barb Forrister said...

Ah thanks, Judy. You are a sweetheart!