navbar

26 February 2010

“Sentinel”

 Sentinel_blog

Sentinel came together pretty quickly.  I didn’t spend a lot of time picking the colors; this blue/green batik was lying next to the hot pink and I just really liked the combination.  The only time spent on colors was finding a lighter pink for the frog’s belly. 

I decided not to distract from the combo by adding another color for the tree branch.  Instead, I used quilt stitching to create the branch’s dimension (see detail).  Sentinel_blogDetail

 

I did keep Sentinel’s eye his natural color, unlike the rest of the composition.  It just seemed unnecessary to mess with it. 

Next up? …with only 2 days left before the Funky Monkey show, I guess the next Frog Portrait may be the last of this batch.   Stay tuned for the closer.  :-)

 

25 February 2010

“Empress”

Themel_EmpressBLOG

"Empress" is finished - this chubby little frog looked so bored and pampered the name came easily. I decided to go with a regal color to match her name & personality.

In fact I was SO industrious today that I almost finished the 3rd portrait (or 6th in the series overall). "Sentinel" might just become my new favorite.  I'll admit, I'm having much more fun with the latest ones. And I do love those weird frog toes, can’t help it.

I'm finding that even though I am not as fond of the first 3 in this series, they seem to look better within the whole group. As I add more, I'll decide who will "make the cut" for my solo show. But they might be okay all together, some looking out and others off to the side. We'll see how it all shakes out March 1st.

Too bad for my family - they barely see me except at meal times - and I think my husband is wondering what the heck this obsession with frogs is all about. Well, these manic days won't last much longer. Thursday 2/25 I'm setting up the Fiber Revolution show at NVCC and then Monday 3/1 is the Funky Monkey solo show. After that, I may go back to normal business hours.  Maybe….

23 February 2010

Ah HA! More frog toes, that’s the ticket

HypnoBLOGI’ve been asking myself why my recent series of frog mini-quilts was not working.  Then I realized that the reason I didn’t like the results is because the process was flawed.  I wasn’t being true to myself, to my own artistic approach.  I had to admit to myself that I was just using them as convenient shapes, filling them in with vibrant colors.  But that’s a lazy shortcut.   After all, why revisit a series if not to make them better?  Something new should be revealed. 

I decided I need to approach these as I would any larger scale composition.  That meant finding something about the subject that I find beautiful and intriguing.  What is that thing here?… 

Then it came to me.  Those freaky little frog toes!  It’s their toes, along with a frog’s big buggy eyes that I love about them.  My first 3 attempts were not highlighting those features at all.  In some cases, their little feet were completely cropped out.  They seemed more like scientific illustrations only with weird colors.  I should have been treating them as intimate portraits, using the quilting stitches to enhance the image rather than just fill in space.  HypnoBLOGdetail

That was why I had trouble naming them before!  They had no personality.  At this revelation, I gained a new energy and purpose.  This little guy is reaching out with a webbed-fingered foot (or hand?) and looking right out from the frame.  When it was finished, I had the feeling he was casting some kind of spell, which led me to the title “Hypnotist”. 

I have nearly completed the next one too (stay tuned for “Empress”).

21 February 2010

Frog 3 Complete

FROG3_blog It’s the last Sunday of the Challenge, so I’m happy to say I met my goal.  However, now that these 3 are complete, I’m re-thinking if I want to put them in NVCC.  One reason is that I’m not 100% convinced these are working as a group.   There’s not much of a story behind them at this point; I had thought the colors would give them some kind of “life” but I’m not feelin’ it.  Maybe it’s the larger format – the little 5x7s seemed to be more interesting, or maybe I just have color fatigue or something. 

I’d rather continue with this series on my own, to see if something emerges as more frogs come together.  If I can get to that point, I’ll exhibit all of them in my solo show at Funky Monkey.  I have in mind at least one more with the frog facing out, toward the viewer, which might be a good addition to this group & keep the compositions interesting.

I do have 3 alternates in mind for NVCC which are ready to go (Leaf Series 1, 2, 3).  In any case, the Funky Monkey show begins March 1, so that doesn't allow much time to get the series in working order.  Back to the STUDIO!

15 February 2010

Frog 2 Complete

FROG2blog It’s hard to see the quilting thread in a photo, but I used a bright orange to stitch leaves in the background and also for the red part of the frog’s body.  The other part is a darker copper color thread.

FROG2Detail_blog

07 February 2010

Frog 1 Complete

progress2blog

I just finished the quilting and binding on this little guy.  This series is going to be a lot of fun.  I chose a bright green for the quilting thread in the background (see detail lower right).  Adding some green to the eye brings the background & frog more in synch and completes that tertiary color scheme (purple, orange, green).  Anyway, I like it.

005

06 February 2010

February’s Quilt-per-Week Challenge: First Update

You may have noticed by the lack of posts that I’ve been in creative slacker-mode for a few months.  In order to kick start my production in the studio, I’ve given myself a new challenge.  (Seems I need to be under a strict deadline in order to stay motivated).  This February, I commit to creating one small art quilt every week.  By small, I mean 12”x12”, ready to frame.  It coincides nicely with the NVCC exhibition “Think Outside the Blocks” opening February 25th.  I should have 3 brand new finished quilts to debut at NVCC.

FROG1blogTomorrow marks the deadline for Quilt #1, so this week’s installment is FROG SERIES II: Purple/Orange.  If you are not completely dazzled by the name, it’s just a working title.  Suggestions for names are welcome.

I’ll be finishing the quilting and edges today and starting on the next one tomorrow.

I had worked in a series of frogs last year - a total of 6 small 5x7 framed quilts - but they have all been sold now.   I realized that those frogs were really fun to make as well as look at.  It seemed like a perfect place to start the challenge.  They are free and colorful with an energy of their own, which I’m hoping to draw from.

For this version of “Frogs”, I'm still going to limit the color pallet but plan to add more detail & quilting and explore a more accurate sense of the frog's markings. When I say accurate, I mean the spots and shapes, not the colors. In fact I'm going to make a conscious effort NOT to represent these frogs' natural color.

Stay tuned for next week’s amphibious portrait.