Modern Curves

I hereby declare this is drunkards path week. First, I featured the paintings of Luiz Zerbini. Now, I want to show you two small quilts, let’s call them quiltlets, I’ve been working on. They use the modern drunkards path block.

What makes this block modern? As the photo below shows, the larger, traditional orange and yellow blocks have at least a half inch between the outer edge and the pie piece, while in the smaller modern blocks the distance between the pie  and the curved piece is just 1/4 inch. When the modern blocks are sewn together, the pies touch each other. At least that’s the theory.

Inspired by the work of Jenny Haynes, I created a flower pillow and a small quilt using the templates I had copied from the back of Angela Pingel’s “A Quilter’s Mixology.”

The 15.5 inch pillow cover is made up of 3.5 inch blocks and is quilted with my sewing machine’s serpentine stitch.

The 20.5 by 24.5 inch quiltlet reverses the light and dark colors from the pillow cover.

The stem is a strip of old curtain material I plucked from the theater costume shop’s garbage can.

I’m still working up a quilting design for “Flower Power” but have managed to start two new projects, so I’ve shoved all the boring (to me) finishing chores to the bottom of the heap. I have a month and a half until the close of 2018, plenty of time for all the facings/bindings/quilting/hanging sleeves needed.

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Artistic Endeavors – Luiz Zerbini

Sometimes I see a painting that at first I think is a quilt, like the one below.

Tatu Bola by Luiz Zerbini

Recently I’ve been working with Drunkards Path blocks so that’s what immediately came to my mind. But, Tatu Bola is one of the paintings by Brazilian artist Luiz Zerbini that was recently exhibited at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

According to the Stephen Friedman Gallery writeup of his work, “Zerbini uses a rich and luminous palette on a range of different subject matter from landscapes, cityscapes, and domestic scenes to those with a more obscure or even abstract intention. By juxtaposing styles and techniques, organic and geometric patterns, fields of light and shadow, he creates optical effects that beckon for contemplation. He is an artist that constantly multiplies the formal possibilities related to his painting and rejects any potential stagnation of established formula, making it difficult to define any linearity in his production.”

I take that to mean you can’t really pin down his style. But, no matter, here’s some of his work that appealed to me.

I find an intriguing combination of grids and curves in Zerbini’s work, and some of his painterly effects, like the lower right corner of the last work shown above, look like they could be hand dyed fabric.


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The Rest of the Story

About a month ago I featured my adventures in an online class called Abstract-A-Licious, run by Lyric Kinard. The class ended in mid-October, so I want to show you my responses to the last class exercises. We were to take some of our abstractions and develop them further into a design in fabric.

I used my drawings from earlier lessons, though there was no requirement to do so. Lyric encouraged us to “go rogue” if that’s what worked for us.

I began with my Degas dancer abstraction. First, though, I played with my tracing paper drawings just for fun.

 Maybe an idea for a transparency work?

The abstraction I used.

First version, which Lyric said was top heavy.
Second version, flipped and shapes added. From here on, I stopped fusing the shapes and just laid them down.


Third version, color and position of “ball” changed. Both Lyric and I think it still needs work, but I need the perspective of time.

For my final class project I cut a window in a sheet of paper and selected part of a drawing for a paper collage design. I think this design was to be in fabric and more finished than mine is, but I had the colors I wanted in paper only. I hope to make it in fabric, though the translation will be tricky.

Lyric commented, “There is a fantastic flow in this work… lots of organic shapes that lead the eye from one place to another. It’s in a mostly analogous color scheme so the colors aren’t really competing with each other. The point on the yellow really moves your eye up to the orange then swings it back down and around.”

One side benefit I got from the class came from Lyric’s push to articulate why I made my design decisions. Many I thought were intuitive actually were rational. I’ve begun to see that it’s important for an artist to be able to talk another person through her work.

Each online class I’ve taken has had varied student participation and interactions. I think Lyric’s class began with about 15 students. Just two of us completed all the units. I know at least one student was preoccupied with Hurricane Florence, and had very limited internet access. Still, I wonder why so many of the others never posted beyond the introductory unit. Lyric was very supportive in her comments so I hope students didn’t fear criticism. While you can read and benefit from the class materials, you really learn by doing the work.

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Artistic Endeavors – The Chicago Art Institute’s Digital Collection

As if last week’s Library of Congress’s digital holdings weren’t enough, this week I’m featuring the newly organized Chicago Art Institute’s digital collection.  Not only is the collection more accessible, you can enjoy the Institute’s blog as well.

As this blog post notes, the Institute recognizes that our digital experience has changed since the 2012 redesign.

“…we’ve released thousands of images in the public domain on the new website in an open-access format (52,438 to be exact, and growing regularly). Made available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, these images can be downloaded for free on the artwork pages.”

The level of detail available for the resources is greater, and a recommendations engine has been added.

The Executive Creative Director of Experience Design has more to say about the redesign’s wonders, but let’s get to the goodies. Just under the search box are several topics that make for intriguing browsing. There’s essentials, which are the museum’s greatest hits like American Gothic; mythology, armor, woodblock print, modernism, furniture, and many others. Sadly, textiles and fabric aren’t given their own billing.

A check under animals reveals several different kinds of art – paintings, sculpture, stained glass, furniture, etc. Sometimes the animal is central to the piece and sometimes more peripheral, like this drawing of a young lady with a parrot.

Then, there’s this magnificent feathered tunic from Peru, circa AD1500.

To continue with the eclectic entries under the animal theme, ancient Greeks could drink from a donkey’s head that apparently couldn’t be set down without spilling.



I have no idea what to make of this enigmatic watercolor by Rene Magritte called Homesickness. Does the figure have dark wings? Is that a tame lion?

It’s interesting to slice a museum’s deep collection across a subject rather than a format. I found it led to unexpected discoveries.

A word of warning, despite all the press about the redesign, I didn’t find the site especially easy to use. It’s great if you want to link an object to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.; but to see the details of individual objects it seems you need to disable popup blockers.

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My 28 Year Old UFO

I can now say this UFO is a FO, since I just finished tucking in the yarn ends of my ancient crocheted afghan. It’s no accident the afghan is the same age as my son. In my naive ignorance I thought I could crochet an afghan while my infant slept or cooed at me. Guess what didn’t happen?

My version is smaller than the pattern called for, and lacks fringe, but I was going for the finish so details were dropped.

The pattern was ordered from the newspaper, back in the days when such patterns were offered in the classified section.

As the gods are my witness, I’ll never crochet anything big again.

The crocheting was simple, except for the yarn overs which had tension issues. It’s a good thing I used acrylic yarn as I had to wash the finished product to get the accumulated dust off it.

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Artistic Endeavors – Free to Use and Reuse

Bless the Library of Congress for making so much good stuff available. To quote from its website,

This page features items from the Library’s digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The Library believes that this content is either in the public domain, has no known copyright, or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use. Each set of content is based on a theme and is first featured on the Library’s home page.

These sets are just a small sample of the Library’s digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The digital collections comprise millions of items including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints and photos, maps, musical scores, films, sound recordings and more. Whenever possible, each collection has its own rights statement which should be consulted for guidance on use. Learn more about copyright and the Library’s collections.

I can’t add to that description, but will share some of the delights that appealed to me as I browsed the collections.

Japanese woodblock prints

Doesn’t it look like they’re wearing quilts?

Posters

Looks like inspiration for a modern quilt.


I never thought of costumes as Pennsylvania’s prime attraction.

People

Montana cowboys – the original Marlboro man?

Billie Holiday
Geo. Miles with an impressive ‘stache.
J. E. Hanger. I’d love to know why he wanted to show his prosthesis.

Covers and Miscellaneous

What a great font.

Love the art nouveau styling.

I think that lady better be careful of her foot. The axe wielder looks none too competent.

Word of warning, you can spend many hours poking around the Library’s offerings. And what’s shown on the Free to Use and Reuse Sets is a small fraction of what’s available. The digital collections contain thousands of items, some more esoteric than others.

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Icing On The Cake

Last Friday night my husband and I attended the opening reception for a landscape art show called Against The Sky because my “Sunset On Main” was juried into the show. I was glad my piece overcame the attitude that a quilt can’t be art, though my piece was indeed the only fiber art in the show.

After I checked out all the other work in the show and had some lively conversations about my work, the show awards were announced by the show’s juror. He began with the honorable mentions, which I thought maybe I had a shot at. No joy there. Then third and second place works were announced and I thought it was enough to get into the show.

My jaw hit the floor when the juror awarded first place to “Sunset On Main.”  There was some talk about how a craft can become art, but I was too stupified to take in all the speech.

Here are the few photos I took at the show. The crowd didn’t seem to be taking pictures, so I snuck in just a bit of smart phone photography.

As you can see, there was lots of photography in the show; I’d say about half of the 69 works.

And what do I get as first place winner? – a certificate and a little sticker by my work. It’s a start.

Linking to Off The Wall Friday.

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Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects, Exhibits