A pentimento (plural pentimenti) is an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his or her mind as to the composition during the process of painting. The word is Italian for repentance, from the verb pentirsi, meaning to repent. (Wikipedia)

I have no idea how common it is for quilters to rework their quilts, but I decided to redo one abstract landscape mixed media piece I made in 2016. It’s made partly with fabric and partly with painted tissue paper coated with gel medium. There’s no batting; it’s quilted onto rayon/wool felt.

“Golden” was the last piece I made as part of my master class with Elizabeth Barton. Her comments were:  “Love the sense of light in this one too…but be careful dividing the picture plane in two….perhaps consider adding another section on the left?  it feels like it “drops off” a bit there.  I usually suggest cropping but this time I think a little more would be a better solution – and we’d have more!  the colors of the abstracted landscape are really beautiful…and  the textures..
actually when you get a little added on the left, you might consider cropping the top v.v. slightly….just so you get as much depth in the middle as possible.”

I began by attempting to create a new section for the left side, but found nothing that worked after about a week of frustration. Then, I thought I’d make the left side smaller by cutting off a chunk and adding it to the right side. I also added a strip of tissue paper fabric to give a crisp vertical line, and cut off about 3 inches from the top.

To finish it off I created a binding on three sides using Sue Bleiweiss’ almost no sew technique.

The results? I like it better than the original, but I wish I hadn’t cut off so much from the top. Oh well, too late now. That piece has become part of what I created from my unsuccessful attempts to make a new left side. It’s not quite done, but close I think.



Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

13 responses to “Pentimento

  1. Ha! I have a few that need to be re-worked. It was nice seeing your process!

  2. Rosemaryflower

    Very modern and energetic. I immediately saw woods and landscape.
    Reminds me of a park in Germany where I used to romp around.

  3. Barbara

    Cutting a chunk off the top took it from stormy to calm, almost pastoral. I like the word pentimento. One of my early quilts turned out too “blaring,” so much so it hurt my eyes to look at it, forgive the mixed metaphor, but cutting it up and adding other fabrics made it much more energetic and dynamic. The original one was truly a regret. Your original just seemed in need of the editing you gave it. 2 questions: did you indeed “regret” the original? And, even without the teacher’s remarks, did you sense it needed “something?”

    • Glad you think the redo improved matters. To answer your questions, I knew the original wasn’t quite there, but I would have left it be without the teacher’s comments that gave me a direction to go. I miss the input I got in the master class as it pushed me to go further, beyond the first version that satisfied me. Definitely some basic laziness on my part.

  4. I thought I liked the original just fine . . . until I saw the re-do–it really is more successful! And you were brave, to just start cutting.

    • I did try out several options before I actually cut, blocking off sections with strips of white fabric. Ultimately, the worst that could have happened would have been more bits for the parts department.

  5. I think this piece is awesome! As always I appreciate reading the teacher comments, your response to them and your conclusion. The fabrics are intriguing and I love the colors. It sounds like it was a good learning experience.

    • This piece was a stretch for me with the materials I used. Paper just doesn’t respond well to steaming, and gel medium doesn’t interact well with irons. The lesson I learned is that nothing is too precious to cut up and redo.

  6. Jane

    Loving the color play, Joanna! A thought: I tilted my head to the left and saw a multi-part landscape of fields and woods. Looking forward to seeing this in person.

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