Here are some of the prints of digital designs going into my current work in progress.
I am digitally layering in subtle background grid images from paper collages with the water ripples and grasses imagery.
I am doing a lot of paper collage study work with prints on Epson matte paper which means I can see how the various prints look when cut into pieces and rearranged with each other.
collage study 1
Stay tuned to see the quilts appear.
I’m taking an online Improvisational Collage class from Kara Kramer. Here are some of the 3 minute collages done on 4 x 6 cards. They have different parameters set: all angles, or all organic shapes, monochromatic, etc.
I’m looking for ways to be freer with my digital fabric collage/quilt compositions, so I’m using photos and digital alterations in these as well. I really like the torn paper edges, but they are not possible with fabric–unless I photograph them?
We’ll see where it goes.
I am again proud to have my work appear with 36 other wonderful quilt artists at the Interpretations: Conversations show at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego, California. The show runs from October 21 through January 7, 2018.
This quilt is part of my Diagonal Thoughts Series in which I am exploring the shibori-like stripes made from water ripple photos. I am treating them like surface designed fabrics which I cut in strips and rearrange in various ways.
Carnival 59″ x 29″ 2016
Here is my Artist Statement:
The “natural stripes” created by the digital intensifying of photos of ripple lines in the water has been used to create fluid meandering shapes and juxtapositions. The created imagery suggests the wateriness of the original source even while creating another imagery reminiscent of the excitement of summertime, carnival and circus tents, and sudden summer downpours causing changes in human plans.
Some detail images:
Carnival Under Construction On the Design Wall
The last image shows 4 of the prints I used before I started cutting and the strips of paper I used to envision the diagonal stripes.
Image Prints Before Cutting on the Diagonal
Purple Rain 59″ x 29″
Purple Rain, one of my newest quilts, is being exhibited at 75: New Art Quilts at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder, Colorado. Judith Trager is the featured artist with 40 of her art colleagues in a display of all new work.
Here is a detail view:
And here are some in progress shots:
You can see one of the silk prints from which the diagonal stripes were cut, as well as how I began arranging them on the design wall. They have the fusing and paper on them to help keep them stiff and keep them from fraying excessively.
The name does not really come from the song, but is more a reference to water and wetness as well as the dominant hue. I use the water photos for their stripe variety as well as their water image content. The watery quality of the original photos of water reflections from piers comes through even with the colors drastically changed to this exciting and dynamic color scheme.
I have done several pieces in this series, playing with diagonally cut strips making chevrons and diamonds and repeated stripings…… And playing with color placement…….The result is an abstract formal composition, yet adding in some randomness of placement and keeping away from absolute symmetry. I really like straying away from the symmetry that keeps trying to reappear.
Have been playing around with digital designs and searching for my next quilt idea to carry out in actual fabric. Many considerations feed into this decision:
What will look dramatic as an overall image? What would be unusual and not done before?
What size and format?
Are the prints able to be printed so they are not pixelated at a large size? Whole cloth appearance or lots of small fused applique pieces?
What other techniques will I use?….do I have an itch to try? Do I want to add paint or exposed batting?
How will I stitch it to enhance the concept?
What concept and image speaks to me right now? What color scheme will I love?
What is a next step? What will stretch me a bit?
Should I continue an already started series?….or begin a new one?
Should I revive and materialize an older design? ……like these two that have been waiting in the wings to be used.
Looks like watered silk
Repeated reflections of people and their clothing in a river
Or should I go with some newer design ideas like this one:
Russian River Reeds
or this one:
Os some newly worked on but older ideas?
Lots of things to consider before I make the final selection.
Earth Wind Water featuring recent work by me opens April 18 and runs through July 2, 2017 at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego.
The above pictured, Shifting Winds, is part of my current exploration involving the use of cut strips of silk prints as digital surface design. By layering these strips of imagery in ways different from the original digital painting I can create a new landscape impression. Rather than relying on the digitally altered photograph for the composition, I use a collage technique to enjoy a more spontaneous approach to art making and quilt design. It allows for repetitions and serendipitous happenings and sometimes unplanned juxtapositions. Although cut up and rearranged, the qualities of the original do come through to convey wateriness, waves, or sand ripples.
Detail of Shifting Winds
Stitching Shifting Winds
Written on the Waves
Written on the Waves and Written in the Sand are smaller versions using this collage technique with my digital surface designed fabrics. Cut narrower and narrower I am inspired by the textures and lines that appear in the photos of reflected water images, as well as the line drawing quality of images of tree branches and corrugated tin roofs. A landscape-like composition emerged in each of these spontaneous compositions.
Written in the Sand
Sometimes the compositions of the original photograph inspire me to make a “whole cloth quilt” such as Reflecting #34, In this quilt the stitching is the drawing on top of the photo of the sun on the water, emphasizing or adding to the lines in the cropped and digitally colored photo.
stitching detail of Reflecting #34
All quilts use my digital art which is derived from my photographs, printed on prepared silk charmeuse, cut and fused, and stitched with rayon and cotton threads. All quilts are sprayed with UV filtered acrylic spray varnish for added protection.
Smoke And Ashes
Smoke and Ashes , part of my Ruins series, will soon appear at the International Quilt Study Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska where it will appear until July 30, 2017. This exhibition is called Layered Voices and will travel after its run in Lincoln.
More about this series was discussed in this blog post.
I’m spending time making studies of possible quilts for the next series. I think it is still going to be water themed. I have so many interesting water textures, reflections, and water line arrangements I would like to use, and they go well together, sometimes contrasting and sometimes more in harmony. I am exploring rhythms and line qualities as well as secondary more subtle imagery that appears when you deconstruct the photo-related design. I have played with new color enhancements on the computer already so there are lots to choose from in my design folders.
I start by collecting all the new water images (and a few other images that might go with them) and also the color-changed and otherwise manipulated or combined interpretations that I think might work well together. Out of this collection folder I print multiple copies on Epson matte presentation paper (multiple sizes also). That way the colors are nice and vibrant and very similar to what I can print on the Fabrisign prepared silk that I buy from Jacquard. Then I start cutting strips or shapes to juxtapose for my design studies. Sometimes I use one as background, sometimes the paper quilt is composed only of strips or shapes.
I lay the strips together as I might fuse or sew them…and I photograph them. When I have one I want to keep I glue or use double sided tape to afix it to a notebook page. Generally they are about 8″ x 10 or 12″ I am currently using a 11 x 14 hard bound sketchbook. I like having them all in one place where I can consult previous collages, and I can easily take them with me to show others.
I also use the photos of some of these as modules in a multi paneled quilt design, so I can get an idea of other designs that are possible, or what repetitions look like. This is easy to do in Photoshop and gives a good idea of an overall effect. From these studies I develop an idea of where I want to start with the series.
I rarely follow any of the studies exactly. I use them as idea generators and outlines rather than exact maquettes. My choices with the fabric are informed by the study work I did with the paper. I feel like this time spent on studies is extremely valuable…I don’t have to make every one, only the ones I am really drawn to after I make them. I can try out things that might not work and have only wasted a little paper and ink.
I have more information about the image interactions before I enlarge them for fabric printing and cutting. There is plenty of room for chance encounters, both in this paper play process and also in the actual fabric cutting and manipulation. The actual fabric construction is also where I add detail–usually small pieces that would have been too small to put in the paper studies. All in all it is a valuable part of my creative process.
Once again I am playing with combining photos I’ve taken recently with some of the painting and sketchbook drawings I’ve done. I don’t know whether or how I will use them, but they are fun to experiment with. There are of course lots of combinations with blending modes and different repetitions of layers. For these I am letting the colors of the painting determine the final colors, for the most part.
Leaves and foam on the creek surface
Photo of closeup of painting
Photo on top(difference blend) and bottom layer; painting in middle (screen blend)
Same photo on top, difference blend; painting middle photo, divide blend; photo repeat on bottom
Then a simple collage of three small repeats of the beautiful shape of a milkweed pod with no color changes but with the blending mode used for subtlety in the collage blend. (Hard light gave this result.)
Painting with Milkweed pods
Then another blend of sketchbook drawing with the fall grasses (before yesterday’s snow1).
Foothills dry grasses
Drawing as top layer; photo as bottom layer; difference blending mode
Really have no immediate plans to use these, but I like the effects and textures. Just have to wait and see where my quilt designs go.
I am honored to once again have a piece in Quilt Visions at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego. I am even more excited to see that it has been given an award by the jurors…The Friends of Fiber Arts International Award as the quilt which most reflects the universality of artistic expression. Wow! Love that!
I’ve had a sneak preview of the show and it is fabulous…lots of excellent work by many of my favorite artists working in fiber. What a pleasure to see my work amidst them.
One of the original photos used in Liquid Sunset and Liquid Moonlight
Those photographed pond ripples have been a productive route for me.