Monday, February 8, 2010

More roadside inspiration!

I'm waiting for my latest quilt to come out of the dryer {note from the future: by the time I finished this post, it was dry. There's a picture at the end of this post} which is kind of like waiting for a kiln to cool so you can see how the glazes came out. This anticipation is one of the gifts of art. Another gift of art is how my vision literally changes when I'm working on a representational piece...for example, when I was starting this quilt, I obsessed about the tops of the trees that edge the fields, as they pop up above the rest of the treeline...and I started seeing those shapes all over the place, for the very first time, in a different and wonderful way. It's a subtle, but very real and sustainable, rush.

The Field:
Passing this field on my daily commute, I began to notice the way the furrows undulate and describe the shape of the land, creating a beautifully balanced pattern. Here's a quick sketch I did on the roadside (with cold fingers and my hazard lights blinking.) I took photos for reference too, but the photos don't capture it the way I see it...kind of like a cubist painting with the perspective flattened out.

In this photo, there is a lot more (and in some ways a lot less) information than in the sketch. But the photos are very useful while designing and creating a quilt. Below is the sketch I did in studio to prepare for making the quilt. I used the location sketch for the spatial energy, and filled in details with the photos.

Here are some shots of the process as I layed out the fabric and began the sewing and cutting.

You can see the laptop in the background, with the photo on screen, which I refer to while sewing and cutting...I like the irony of using high-tech "shortcuts" to create such a touchy-feely surface!

And here's the more-or less finished piece!

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