Saturday, September 5, 2015

50 Shades of Brown

With summer upon me and some weeks off from teaching, I had many a project in mind.  However, I also had some trips planned for which I wanted to have some projects to keep me busy on the plane or at the beach.  And so, I looked through my stash for inspiration and decided that the one piece of brown silk that I had purchased at a quilter's estate sale would be my starting point.  I only had a little left because I had used it several times before.  The remains were somewhat random in size and not large in quantity.  This created an opportunity to stretch my creativity and use what I had on hand to make a small series.  I wanted a small project that was portable and called for some hand stitching.  I decided that if I made all of the pieces using a similar color palette I could hang them together and create the illusion of a larger work.  And so my ideas took shape.

I made nine little pieces that were 6 X 6 inches each.  I limited my color palette so I could concentrate on collage and stitch.  It was an easy breezy summer series.

Here they are:

Each piece includes some commercial cottons, cotton batiks, scraps from my stash of silks, upholstery or other random fabrics that met the color palette.  Finally each piece had to include a piece of the brown silk that was my inspiration and a piece of vintage doily from my increasing stash.

Then, since I already had the fabrics selected and lined up on my cutting table, I made a 10" X 10" collage of fabric.  I think of them as one chief and 9 little Indians.  Each of them was mounted on a canvas that I painted with several coats of brown paints and then covered with some Lumiere gold.  A couple of coats of UV protective sealer from Golden acrylics and voila.  To finish the back I took some vintage sheet music and painted it with gesso and then gave it a couple of washes of Titan Buff.  It made the paper a bit stiffer and made a good backing.

Here is the 10 X 10:

On September 12th I will have my first artist reception where I am hanging my work with a group of artists that form an Artists' Cooperative locally.  I am very excited to be joining this group and show my work publicly in such a nice setting.  I feel that this decision has changed my focus and will help my push my creative process and I build new pieces to show each month.

For now, this is my large piece, made of many small pieces - which is the essence of quilting itself for me.  Thanks for stopping by the blog.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  Have a fantastic day!