The volcano theme was an opportunity to stretch myself and try some things that have been in the back of my mind. First of all, I had already decided that the next piece, regardless of what the theme was, would be non-representational. I was also wanting to try some work using strong, solid colors, as opposed to my favored prints and to create a very flat, strong design.The colors threw me a bit at first. It is always a little odd to see a palette of colors presented in a block, with each color of equal size. What I always used to teach in my color classes was that the proportion of each color used in a piece is what creates the interest. I had to remind myself of that.
Early in my process, before any real planning was done, I went to Cleveland to tape a TV show and visited the wonderful Cleveland Art Museum, where I saw an exhibit of Native American art and craft. One of the pieces was this Seminole pieced shirt and it immediately struck me as very similar to Kristin's volcanic color scheme. Its strong geometrics and stripes became an inspiration. As I began playing with sketches I began to see concepts that reminded me of geological earth layers and I thought of how molten lava and magma moves beneath the earth and eventually finds its way to the surface as volcanic activity. I also remembered seeing lava formations called "ropey lava" where the molten material had hardened into sinuous strands. This became inspiration for my quilting design.
I had such a good time with this challenge! It pushed me into a direction I have been thinking about for a long while and taught me things about interpreting concrete images into abstract impressions of those images. I also thought it ironic that my last piece, for the blue/white/black challenge was an actual image of one of our local dormant volcanoes, Mt. Hood.
We are twelve quilt artists who embarked on an art challenge together. We're from different places throughout the world and our artistic styles vary, but we share a love of art quilting and a desire to play, experiment, learn, and grow.
For four years (2007-2011), we each made a 12x12 inch quilted art piece on a designated theme or palette. See our Theme Series and our Colorplay series.
For the 2012 Series, we changed things a bit and made rectangular pieces, 20x12 inches with roughly 10 weeks between each challenge. As before, we had a designated theme for each challenge.
We shared our process, progress, and results on this blog. It remains a key record of our rich collaboration.