Saturday, April 23, 2016

Catching Up

What's in a name? Still pondering. . .
My art group met early last week, my turn to host. So besides the usual scramble to get something to the feedback point, there was some major house cleaning going on - another bonus to belonging to the group! I only have my own things to show as I didn't think about photos for the blog. The most interesting part of the discussions though was noting how we perceive perspectives differently. My piece shown above is one example.

Beads are difficult to photograph. Look closely for five clear yellow ones.

I'm looking for the perfect word that describes what I see in this piece of distorted tyvek attached by beads to a colorful piece of hand-dyed fabric. It strikes me as floating, suspended, between clouds in a fiery sky. I'm looking up and watching it float away from me, up up like a kite let go. But at least one member looked startled at that description. She saw it as being viewed from overhead as if from a plane, looking down through an opening in the clouds. And she can't get past that when she first saw this squiggly piece of tyvek, it reminded her of a frog's leg. Yeah, I can see that!

I'd spent some time with a thesaurus and rattled off some of the words I'd come up with, asking if anything else came to mind, a single word for this tiny 3-1/2 x 5" piece (The photo was photo-shopped for the ArtWalk application as I was waiting on frames to arrive. It is actually double matted as I was experimenting with here to bring its framed size to 11" x 14".) I'd narrowed it down to two and was pleased that the group was leaning towards these as well. What do you think - "Gossamer" or "Flux" or something else?

Our new member also had something that we could not agree on as to what it portrayed. She'd experimented with painting on a small piece of cotton and didn't know where to go from there. It had an impressionistic feel to it - think Monet and waterlilies. But the way it was turned felt upside down to me. Where the others saw flowers floating in a swampy area, blue skies above, I wanted to flip it so that blue was a lake and the red "flowers" were more blooming trees overhead - cherry blossoms perhaps. In the minority, my idea lost out but we did figure out a way she could turn that muddled pond into a water feature leading the eye into the scene.

Eisenberg Fountain: Retreat - Sheila Mahanke Barnes ©2016 11 x 14

This is the second piece I submitted with my ArtWalk application, anxious to show the group how it had turned out as we'd spent a lot of time auditioning black and other colored fabrics for the background. This might look familiar if you've been following me for awhile. It is the sample I made to test out a new construction technique for the rather large Eisenberg Fountain: The Healing Power of Water. It seemed a shame to file it away as it came out rather well so I thought to do what I've done before with smaller pieces: "mount" it onto fabric fused to Decor Bond for stability and put it in a frame. The green frame is one of several I bought as possibilities for "Energy" but the eventual choice of mat eliminated it from the running. This photo shows the green of the frame more intense than in real life and it's difficult to see the subtle teal greens in the black mount, but trust me, when I set that green frame next to the sample, it brought out the green tints in the sample fabrics bringing it a bit more alive. The background black with its subtleties does the same. No other black or grey or white or yellow did what that particular piece of hand-dyed fabric did. Hard to believe until you experience it but proves without a doubt how important it is to find just the right colors to enhance your work.

It's chaos in the studio once more!

And this is what I was hustling to get to a critique-able point and is creating the current chaos in the studio. I've been invited by one of my close quilting friends from my days in Wisconsin to participate in a slice quilt. We are using a photo taken by her husband of an old barn. There are four of us working independently on our slices of the photo and a fifth woman who will quilt them all for us. I've never done one of these and haven't done this kind of quilting for a long time. I've spent many hours just deciding how to approach it technically before finally diving into my stash. At the point of showing it at the meeting, I was struggling with finding a suitable roof fabric and how to liven up a bit what felt like an overall heaviness to my section, not very confident at all that I'd produce a "cool" slice that would work well with the others. The gals did their best to shore me up, pointing out the strong points and suggesting solutions for my iffy parts. Work progresses and I'm pleased to say I feel much better about it now that I am hitting on touches to make it distinctively mine. Stay tuned!

And don't forget to leave a comment on Post 1600 if you'd like a chance to win one of my padfolios. It's been both interesting and encouraging to hear what you like about my blog. You have through Monday so keep those comments coming! 


The Inside Stori said...

To me your piece could be named “Floating”……as the tyvek looks suspended over a very vibrant sunset.

Love seeing all the other pieces you’ve been tackling…great idea to use the sample as you did!

Chris said...

It looks like a tear or rip in the fabric of space or a rip in space-time to me. :)