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.
Piers, 2016 SAQA AuctionDonation by Charlotte Ziebarth
The 2016 SAQA fundraising auction starts September 16. My mini quilt, entitled Piers, can be seen here at the SAQA website. Instructions for how the auction works can be found there as well as all the other quilts.
This piece came fro one of my ocean photo prints plus some digital coloration. It was inspired by the many pier remains that can be seen along the coasts of California. The colors are so reminiscent of sunsets on the ocean.
Start your collection!
Wow! Look at this. The invitation and other publicity for this year’s New Legacies: Contemporary Art Quilts features a detail shot of my quilt, Shifting Sands. Unfortunately I can’t make it to the opening, but will be sure to get up there shortly after as it is always an inspiring show. See the quilt in the Recent Work gallery.
Invitation to New Legacies Reception
Photo by Ken Sanville, Louisville, CO.
Here is one of the original digital colorations I printed for the silks I used to make Shifting Sands. I love seeing the different ways I can use these natural lines captured by the camera and colored by me and Photoshop.
One of the Original Digital Prints for Shifting Sands
Stay tuned for more!
I am so pleased that one of my quilts was chosen for display in the Mongolian capitol of Ulaanbaatar by US Ambassador Jennifer Galt. Urban Reflections: Lake Merritt #2 will be on display for about 2 years in the Ambassador’s offices.
Ambassador Galt chose several pieces from Colorado fiber artists. The entire show can be seen here as well as other Embassy Exhibits. This is a wonderful program and I am pleased to be part of it.
Urban Reflections #2, Lake Merritt 31″X44″ by Charlotte Ziebarth
I have recently finished a 10 week online course with Jane Davies called 100 Drawings on Cheap Drawing Paper. I have learned so much and painted soooo much. Some of these lessons or actual paintings will probably eventually make its way into my art quilt work. There are so many possibilities, from painting on cloth or over photo or digital images to scanning and printing my paper paintings onto cloth. In the meantime here are some examples from the class.