Friday, September 26, 2008

Tyger Tyger

While working between larger more serious works, and while avoiding the larger work from anxiety, fear of not getting it right, etc, I sometimes manage to make something else. This piece is based on a tiger face I designed intending to create a handbag, but which morphed into a quilt square instead. The background is pieced of the various batiks I had sitting in the stash, while each tiger face takes advantage of the lovely array of Dutch wax batiks I have collected over the years from Becky at St Theresa's Textile Trove

On the back, which I have no photo of, I used some yardage of Detroit Tiger licensed fabric that I had bought at WalMart. I remember going to see the Tigers play once with my mom, Grandaddy and Uncle Sam. I don't remember if they won, but I do remember the ice cream I was able to get (we were constantly on diets when I was little). I'm sure the nearsighted thing also played into the not remembering the game. I do remember the game I went to in 1984 with my friends Beth and Wes, the crowds chanting "Louuuuuuuu" which sounded so much like "boooo". That year was great, though I made a faux pas when talking to Marty one day, not realizing that the Tigers and Orioles were battling it out that year "How about them Tigers"? Fortunately despite that and the fact that I woke him one morning with lovingly prepared peanut butter cookies, he still stuck around and we are together to this day.

Well, I digress. The stripes that divide the rows of tigers reminds me of the stitching on a baseball, and they were inspired by a stripe along the selvedge of one of the batiks (I also need to add that at the south side of Detroit off of I-75, there used to be a oil tank that was round and had the Tigers logo painted on it, for some reason I also thought of that while working on this piece). I quilted the piece with blazing neon orange Madeira thread, adding even more fun to it. It may not be a "serious" piece, but I sure had fun and it makes me smile when I look at it.
I think we all need something like that in our lives, something that is just for us. What do you have in your life that you do "just for you"?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Water Towers, A Lifelong Passion

Write what you know, a lot of advice goes when it comes to writing. Paint what you know. Whatever your medium of creativity, the advice is to depict what you know. Even when you may think the subject matter is too trivial or "silly", if that is where your passion lies, then your heart will come through in the work.

I have loved water towers since I was a little girl riding in the back seat of my mom's '63 Chevy convertible. I would lie in the back seat and look up at the one that was on 12 Mile Road by the GM Tech Center, imagining it to be a giant spaceship or other such otherworldly vehicle. I still can remember the red and white checked tower that stood in Bowling Green Ohio, even though I could tell you nothing else about Bowling Green from that trip (I think there was also a giant cow statue involved somewhere).

I was nearsighted and it wasn't discovered until I was 10 years old, and I think the water towers made such an impression on me because they were something on the landscape that I could readily identify. That and the 3 part taillight of the Ford Mustang (living in the Detroit area, knowing your automobiles was a very important part of life, even for a 3 year old little girl). So it makes sense that I am having such fun depicting them in my current work.

Red & White #4, 2006 25" x 34" Cottons, silks, patchwork, beads and sequins.

This piece is based on a huge oval water tower that sits on the grounds of Andrews Air Force Base. It is right next to the road, and driving under it is indeed like driving under a monster spaceship. I chose to focus on part of the tower for this piece, giving it an abstract appearance.

Gaffney, SC 2007 38" x 29" Cottons, silks, patchwork and applique.

This is from a photo I took of the real peach shaped water tower in Gaffney South Carolina. I just love how realistic this tower is in its depiction of a giant peach. I have worked with this image in paint and colored pencil as well as fabric.

Route 33, Summer Morning, 2007 47"h x 44" w Cottons, silks, netting, patchwork and applique.

These towers sit on my commute into the city of Athens. I have seen them in all lighting and weather conditions and they continue to fascinate me. When I first moved here, the local high schoolers would climb the tower to write graffiti, but that practice was stopped many years ago. Now the towers remain their many variations of white through all the seasons.

Marilyn, 2008 62"h x 76"w Cottons, applique, patchwork, sequins and beads.

I took one of the two tower images and blew it up, recreating it in vivid rainbow hues. This piece was a monster to work on and I loved (almost) every minute of it (there were times when wrestling it under the machine head on my Pfaff got to be a bit much, but I perservered). I loved working on the sequins, being surrounded by color and light. I think quilting is one of the only mediums where you can literally be surrounded by color as you work on a piece.

Night Moves, 2008 32"h x 31" w Patchwork, applique, cottons and twill hand dyed by the artist.

The towers at night, or as I imagine a night could look like. This is the most recent piece, and several others are in the works. I am still having a lot of fun. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blogging on Martha Stewart s Show

For some reason apostrophe s aren t working today. We don t get Martha s show on either of the affiliates I can watch any more, but Crafty Chica posted a link to her blog today, with a great article on blogging Good stuff, and definitely a lesson to take to heart. More regular postings here to come!