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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two Pears in an Auction

Got my SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) auction piece finished and in the mail today.  It must arrive in Santa Fe by June 1 so I paid 5 cents extra to get it there a day sooner.  (Funny how postage rates work sometimes, isn't it?)  This piece is similar to one I made for my Small Pleasures series a couple of years ago.  Reason being, I had started this at the time and decided the angle of the table curve was too steep.  Everything looked like it was sliding off the table.  I was going for an Impressionist look but not one that made me seasick.  In order to correct the angle of the table, I would have to un-fuse the top of the vase, several of the leaves and the large flower on the right side.  It all seemed like too much work at the time so I set it aside and started over.

The unfinished piece sat around in my studio for quite a while.  When the call went out for donations to the SAQA auction , I decided now was the time to rescue the poor thing.  I changed the angle of the table curve so it isn't so dramatic.  I finished the stitching of all the raw-edge applique elements.  The background is pieced and machine quilted.  On the "wallpaper" I used stripes of decorative stitches.  I have all these fancy options on my machine so I feel compelled to occasionally use them on something.  The auction starts on the SAQA web site in September.  I'll post links when it happens.

Here is a close-up of some of the stitching.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life Gets Busy

Often, try as I might, life chores and expectations get in the way of making art.  Every other artist I know struggles with this same thing.  In order to produce art, one has to move from all those left-brained activities over to calmness of the right brain.  It can't just be turned off and on.  I am currently working on a new piece, but it is coming along slowly, due to all those life chores.  I will post some pictures of it in progress but until then I decided it might be nice to post pictures of old work once in a while.  I have many pieces that were produced long before I started this blog. 

So, here's an oldie but, IMHO, a goodie.  This was sold several years ago and I still miss it.  It was one of my favorites.  It was made for an international challenge where we were each supposed to use a piece of money as our inspiration.  I chose the Canadian "Loonie".  I did not go for absolute realism.  I had a great stash of black and white fabrics that I thought would produce a whimsical looking bird.  After all, the loon has pretty dandy looking plumage.

This close up view shows how I pleated the houndstooth print before placing it on the back of the bird.  It was a fun piece to do.  It raveled to Japan and New Zealand, as well as several place here in the US.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

This is Emily, my husband's grand niece.  This portrait was essentially finished at the end of the year, however, I found myself coming back to it over and over.  There seem to always be endless lines and shadows to come back in and tweak just a little bit more.  I finally told myself, "Enough! It's finished."   It will never be perfect and that's not the goal, anyway.  I need to frame it up and give it to her.

The next challenge was getting a good copy of the drawing.  I guess I knew this but I found out for sure, pencil does not photocopy well. I tried scanning it. That was worse.  I was finally able to take a fairly decent photo by trying multiple settings on my camera.  It was still a little dark so I resorted to Photoshop.  This is probably as good as it can be other than being the original.  I have done so little in the way of drawing that I'm struggling with giving away a successful one.  Still, Emily will love to have it so away it will go.