Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yellow Ladder

In the two months since our last reveal, I didn't spend much time thinking about the upcoming theme. I was busy with the excitement and stress of moving from Texas to Maryland. I knew I would have time to focus on my lorikeet quilt after the kids went back to school on August 24.

It felt refreshing to set aside creative commitments and wait for the looming deadline. When I began to generate ideas for this round, several thoughts ran through my head. Inexplicably, I thought of the ladder sculpture at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It just popped into my head and said "use me."

Funny. I've only been to the Modern once. The ladder wasn't even my favorite piece. I didn't know the artist or the title. But the image was so strong. Why? I'm still wondering. But, I embraced it and cut out a yellow ladder.
I debated keeping the composition very spare versus adding mixed media elements that I love: hand stitching, sheer layers, hand writing, etc. I decided in order to incorporate the full collection of colors from the lorikeet theme, I would need to add more elements. Plus, that's the kind of fiber art I like to create... layers and variety and dissimilar elements that complement each other. The ladder was just the kernel of inspiration.

The sheer section is some kind of non-woven polyester fiber. (Similar to what you'd find covering the base of your mattress box springs.) I wanted to explore using a heating tool to burn through the fiber to reveal the fabric underneath. I really like the effect. I'll explore this in the future with other fibers.

In the inspirational sculpture, the ladder is floating off the ground. In my piece I wanted to refer to the feeling of floating with the gap between the bottom of the ladder and the blue felt piece at the base of the composition. Sometimes you have to take a big leap before beginning an assent. Or get someone to help you up.

(I did learn more about the ladder piece in Fort Worth. You can read about it here.)

9 comments:

Gerrie said...

As I said on your blog, I love, love that yellow ladder.

Diane said...

It is no surprise that the ladder popped in to your mind, at a time when you were moving and consumed with taking your family to a new place -- climbing upward, shall we say?! I really like how this has a peace and serenity to it, but with a sense of gentle movement, too. You have a beautiful way of balancing disparate elements to create serenity in your work. I'm especially impressed knowing the upheaval around you as you moved across the country!

Terri Stegmiller said...

I was wondering about that floating ladder, and then I read your last paragraph. I really like all the elements you add to your quilts and this is no exception. I think the text you added with the heat tool is wonderful.

Kristin L said...

Diane has said everything I wanted to. This expresses change, construction, and movement (luckily upward) and all in a positive, somewhat structured, light. If I had to guess, I'd say your move has been a good one. Or maybe we can just replace the idioms "rose colored glasses" and "put on a happy face" with "get all lorikeet colored!"

Karen said...

What a great abstract Deborah and the thought process behind it is so interesting. The yellow ladder really rocks, and I love the writing.

Terry said...

Yes, Diane said it for me too. I will also add that the graphic quality of that ladder shape and the expressiveness of the line strike me as simply, elegantly perfect!

Brenda said...

The yellow ladder is such an evocative image. I look forward to seeing this piece - one day!

Nikki said...

I love how you added the very Deborah element of handwriting with the heat tool. The ladder is just perfect for this momment in you life (as long as that doesn't mean it is an uphill battle). I'm amazed at what you could do in the middle of "moving house" and getting the kids situated in a new place.

kirsty said...

Uh oh! I can see Gerrie and I have another squabble over who wants this one more. I LOVE it. Every little thing about it. Beautiful and totally, completely my cuppa tea.