Monday, March 31, 2008

All Together Now



I had a lot of difficulty settling on a concept for "community," but I knew I wanted to make it abstract. I tend to head in a literal interpretation most comfortably, and I want to push myself away from that familiar place.

This is called "All Together Now." To me, this illustrates various aspects of community (many of which have come up in our discussions as we've explored this theme). Unity. Difference. Messiness. Similarity. Cohesion. Jumble. Irregular. Fitting in and not fitting in. Circularity. Interlocking and overlapping and disconnected components.

You can see that my imagery includes different, irregular rectangle shapes, filled with different numbers and colors of different shapes (which sort of came to represent families to me.) The grid started looking kind of like a neighborhood to me, too.

To be honest, I struggled with trying to turn those shapes into something with a focal point, as opposed to just an expanse of pattern. The circles in the background were my effort to unify the rectangles, and I continued the colored circles with stitching so they'd show up a bit more. The circles made me think of the inter-connectedness of some aspects of community living.

I also made the edges of this very irregular. The quilt itself is an irregular shape -- I've just placed it on a red background to show up the shape, but the red background is not part of the quilt. It's SORT of 12x12 inches! But communities have messy, nonlinear edges (literally and figuratively).

Technique wise, I used my trusty tjanting tool (thank you, Gerry Chase!) and drew the rectangles with brown acrylic paint. I colored the other colors by painting with Tsukineko inks. The base fabric is a white PDF cotton.

To be honest, I'm not sure how successful this is. It's pleasing to me, but sort of jumbly. It's got a crazy, confusing, maybe overly busy aspect to it (to my eye) and maybe that suits the theme of community, too. All in all, exploring this concept and pushing myself to work in an abstract way was a good stretch for me.

Here's a detail shot:



Thanks, Kristin, for such an intriguing theme!

13 comments:

Karen said...

I love it! your message is very clear here and similar to what I was striving for.

Kristin L said...

I think the circles do a great job of holding all the bits together. I can see that you really stretched yourself here and I think it was totally worthwhile -- for all of us.

Natalya said...

I think you're channelling Mondrian...

Carol said...

I love the story behind this piece, it all makes sense and it realy comes over in the whole. It is clever and wel balanced and very impressive, well done you!

StegArt said...

Oh this is a fun piece Diane. Not only because of the bright colors and fun design, but the funky shape around your edge. I am intrigued with your thought process and how your quilt came to be.

Françoise said...

I'm surprised! I was expecting something more "tidy", after you showed us the keyboard hint. But I like it. It's fun. And Kristin is right, the circles behind the shapes bring a lot to the design.

Gerrie said...

I spilled raspberry tea on my desk and my keyboard looks a little like this!! I almost did a tjanting piece, but ran out of time to finesse it. I still want to try my idea. This is lost of fun.

Nikki said...

I don't think you can have community without the craziness! Just within each family (or at least mine!) there is enough craziness to make one think they can never think straight or focus. Your quilt is exactly where I feel like my life has been the last month. I'm not sure if I could spend a lot of time looking at it at this point in my life because with the chaos of four kids I am already overwhelmed. But I think in the future, I think I could really enjoy it as a reminder of what a good craziness it is right now. I hope I am coming across right, because I really like the quilt!

Brenda said...

Your motifs remind me of dominoes. They can be ordered according to rules or they can collapse into a kind of chaos.

Deborah said...

I love it. I also struggle with knowing when to put a true focal point in a piece of work. I think this is totally successful just as it is. You're really good with the painting tool. I love to blobs at the end of the lines. So many similar themes are coming through in the quilts -- both in concept and in design. Very interesting.

twolimeleaves said...

Love the irregular shape; it reflects the way real communities grow up and out in haphazard directions, but all still linked together. And, like Brenda, I immediately thought of dominoes. You have balanced this very nicely and the circles are a good anchor.

Terry said...

Like Brenda, I was reminded of dominoes and game pieces. Life's a crazy game!

MRose said...

I can't decide if your piece reminds me more of a deck of playing cards or mah=jong tiles. However, it makes me smile. Love what you did.

Marilyn