Those of us here in the United States have probably used the #2 pencil for most of our lives. It's the ubiquitous yellow wooden pencil with soft dark lead that we were given in school. Most of us carried them in our backpacks and pencil boxes, and we bought a new supply every September. It's the pencil we were required to use for standardized "fill in the box" test forms, and they were required when I took the bar exam. I have such strong associations triggered by this simple object -- most of them good -- so this piece celebrates the #2 pencil.
(By the way, is it the same in other countries? Is the yellow pencil the same, called by another name? Do you have an equivalent writing instrument that you associate with school?)
The background piece is hand-dyed fabric -- the first of the summer season! The scribbled squares were "art parts" I had from an old project, drawn with acrylic paint and a tjanting tool and then washed with acrylic paint. The purple just happened to match the background fabric rather perfectly, and they are fused onto the background. I had fun drawing and painting the pencil shapes on white fabric -- they are fused as well. I quilted it and faced it with a simple facing.
I didn't have an immediate purple/yellow idea, I must confess, and a lot of time passed while I contemplated the possibilities for this challenge. Finally, I started thinking about yellow things, and purple things, without dwelling on purple and yellow together. Once I thought about the #2 pencil, I knew I had my concept. Re-discovering those scribbled squares in a basket made me very happy!
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.