This Week’s Work

Tuesday is fast approaching and I’m trying to get the last demonstration pieces sorted out for the art/landscape class.

Taking the idea of the “Portrait” piece – assembled from a range of cutouts of skin-tone printed fabrics, I decided to see what I can create based on this “At The Beach” photo:

At The Beach

One of the “secrets” of successful textile art (whether primarily appliqué or thread  painting or a combination of both) is simplicity. The point isn’t to reproduce the detail of the photo but to abstract/simplify it enough that you have a clear background and a subject. In this case, I’m removing dad and the other people and the land on the opposite side of the lake. I just want the nude child and his tentative steps toward to the water:

At The Beach II

So far, I’ve laid down layers of beach sand, set up the water’s edge, and covered the top of the background with fabric for the water. I’m place holding the child with a paper cutout on which I’ve marked the colour blocks – I think I can create him with bits of five fabrics representing the gradations of colour on his body.

The next step is to do a LOT of thread painting to bring out the texture of the sand and to represent the wind on the water. Then I’ll work on putting the child together – I’ve already added fusible web to the back of my flesh-toned fabrics so once I have set up the template pieces, I’ll cut them out and fuse them together.

Finished dimensions of “At The Beach” will be 12″ x 9″ with a hidden binding and no borders/framing.

Another sample I wanted to create was a “modern art” piece of the kind Melody Johnson does:

Banana Boulevard

Her pieces are often small (12″ x 12″), constructed from geometric shapes cut from either solids or hand painted fabric – pieced and appliquéd, usually with a hidden binding.

I just wanted to illustrate the technique – since I don’t use much in the way of solids I decided to dig out whatever prints/batiks I had in my “strips” box. This is what I came up with:

Dots

I still have to quilt the piece – I’m thinking I’ll quilt this starting with stitching in the ditch, then add more straight lines of stitching to fill the space; I’ll see once I’ve done the stitching along the seam lines.

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