Hello, things are heating up in the studio. The last few weeks I have been working on my entry for Quilt Con, the first international Modern Quilt Show and conference to be presented by the Modern Quilt Guild here in Austin in February 2013. Before I could really get started, I had to familiarize myself with what constituted a modern quilt versus a contemporary quilt, so to speak. Herein lies the answer to a whole new wave of quilters that are emerging with a style of their own. Armed with a pallette consisting largely of solid colored fabrics including gray, these artists are creating classic design elements with bold graphics in mind. Some embrace a minimalist approach while others focus on negative space. Quilts may be pieced or appliqued. They may in fact involve the manipulation of traditional block patterns to accomodate a more modern feel.
In contrast, comtemporary quilt artists tend to embrace traditional design by using contemporary fabrics and color choices. A contemporary pallete is quite different as it employs tone on tone fabrics vs the solid colored Kona cotton pallette that is reminiscent of modern quilters. Contemporary quilt artists also work with a larger array of prints to convey texture. That being said, I found my modern pallette sorely lacking as I tend to stay away from solid colors. As a representational art quilter, blending is a huge part of my work. Even my solid colors are tone on tone or marbelized to allow for easier transition from one fabric to another. So off to my local quilt shop, I went. Time Travel is my response to the new modern quilt movement. This piece measures 19" X 24" and was inspired from a personal challenge to work in a different style than I am normally accustomed to. I have learned alot from this exercise. First, I found that working with this pallete is harder than you might think! Secondly, the representational artist in me still managed to escape as I found myself thinking of this design as a portal of doorways, each with a new horizon, each representing the past, present and future with connections along the way. Crazy, I know! Sometimes, I find that no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to shake the desire of seeing something realistic in an otherwise abstract piece. I have observed this phenomenon in other artists as well. It’s always funny to see what is most predominant in our work. Lastly, I found this was a great exercise in learning to let go and challenging myself to stretch and grow in new directions. And that is always a good thing! I hope you enjoyed this post and I encourage you to visit some of the artists from Off the Wall Friday hosted by Nina Marie at http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/ . Thanks for stopping by!