Friday, September 08, 2006

Inspired by Melody Johnson

This art quilt which I have named Portals, was inspired by Melody Johnson . It began with a sketch that she showed on one of her blogs.

While I am inspired by Melody, I am also still an artist-in-training, so I decided to use a traditional nine-block pattern as a base.

Using mostly commercial fabric and some paper, I created the blocks and the bottom wavy section. A theme that I find emerging in my art is related to houses, doorways and villages. As I was adding pieces to this piece, I had a sort of condo/village in mind. I found myself cutting out circles, which at first I thought of a windows. Then I added smaller rectangular pieces to represent doors.

I quilted the piece with machine stitching, deciding (again inspired by Melody) to leave some areas plain. I used rayon threads which shimmer in the light.

I don't think you can see this, but I added threads from the project under blue paper which came with some flowers my husband brought me. I like the idea of saving threads and somehow incorporating them into the piece. Even if hidden, the threads are there to become part of the story.

The red lattice is the rubber material used in placemats. I had used this for mono printing on another project and it seemed to want to be on this piece. I covered it with gel medium and hand stitched it on.

The other paper on this was handpainted rice paper. I like incorporating my artist papers into fabric art pieces -- marrying my love of fabric and paper. I stitched it on just as I did the fabric and it seems just fine.

I felt it important to have the wavy bottom to add movement to the piece.

I wonder if there's enough embellishment. I tend to favor simplicity, but I also love heavily embellished pieces. For now, however, I'm calling the piece finished.

Thanks to Melody for sharing her ideas about how she starts a piece with a sketch. I had her sketch as a very general idea of what I wanted to do, but it became my piece as it grew. I find that when I start with a sketch, it acts as a guide ... but the process of construction/creativity takes over and the final product rarely looks like the sketch. And that's the fun of creating art!

1 comment:

Mrs. Mel said...

Wow that is really kool and it inspires me to get off the computer and into the studio. Thanks so much for showing me your results. This is just how I work too, with that skeleton sketch, and then I feel confident in my approach to the layout.