Last May I told you about a project on which I was working that I call “Sticks.” It evolved from a workshop I took in March from Nancy Crow titled “Lines, Curves, Shapes, Figure Ground.” I reported on two quilt-tops, and since then I have completed three more. So, here’s catching you up on “Sticks”:
Sticks #3 was influenced by a possible title, “Stick Around.” I had planned on putting a circle in the middle of the piece. Then some patterning in the background led me to making two circular cuts. It worked, but I can’t find a real purpose in the cuts.
For Sticks #4, I decided to leave the color of the sticks in the same fabrics and vary the values of the background pieces. I felt this was more successful but still needs some refinement.
Sticks #5 was influenced by a small Xerox copy of a painting in the Portland Art Museum that was given to me by my friend Toni. I was getting bored working with the same design and thought a new one might give me – and the piece – more energy. I cut the entire background into shapes – also new – and pinned them on my design wall. They hung there for about two months while “life” got in the way.
About three weeks ago I got back to the project. Originally I pinned up the sticks in shades of neutrals, but it wasn’t right. My love of color made me switch, and I think it worked. It, like the others, is a “sketch.” I plan on designing more “Sticks” and experimenting and refining as I work.
Prior to Christmas I made seven pieced, leather pillows. The leather came from samples given to me by my friend, Mary Z. It was a project filled with learning, frustration and finally success. I won’t go into the details, but I’m happy to share with you if you’re interested in sewing on leather.
I currently have quilts hanging in two branches of the Vancouver Regional Library. “Africa Goes Crazy,” from 1994 is at the Battle Ground Library as part of an exhibit by the Battle Ground Art Association. “InCircle” is hanging in the entry to the Three Creeks Library. I urge you to consider libraries as possible venues for your work. They may not sell, but it’s better than having them rolled up in your studio.
I also have two large quilts featured in “New Works,” the January exhibition at Art on the Boulevard in Vancouver, WA. “Canyon Dancers” (53”w x 66”h) is inspired by a visit to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. Water drips down the canyon walls forming, with a little imagination, tall figures that resemble Indian dancers. “Black Mesa Landscape” (45”w x 51”h) is inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s 1930 oil painting, “Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie’s II.” Both are machine pieced and quilted from my hand-dyed fabrics.
Coming up – trips to Hawaii and to Australia to visit family – and I’m sure both will inspire future work.