Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lorikeet in Flight

Wow, those lorikeet colors are intense. And while they look fantastic on the bird, they were way out of my comfort zone. That's good though. That's one of the things this challenge group is all about. So, I set out to wrap my head around bright green, orange and a purply blue. Although I knew I didn't have to stick with a bird theme, I did anyway. The only other thing the colors said to me was "tropical flowers," and that's been done to death.


"Lorikeet in Flight (detail)"

What did speak to me was the riot of color in motion when a flock of lorikeets take flight. Since I've been trying to keep my colorplay quilts simple and inspired by traditional quilts, I thought about feathers in quilting. I thought about big stitches in bright colors. I made a whole cloth quilt (not hard at 12" x 12") with machine stitched, rather traditional, feathers on a green and black cross woven silk. Ideally, the silk would have been brighter, but I couldn't find one with the right combination of greens. When Brenda posted her photo of a bird in flight and I saw that the underside of it's feathers were black, then I knew that a black and green fabric could be the perfect foil for the bright hand stitching to come.


"Little Bird Dreams of Flight (detail)"

I liked the feather quilting, but the piece just didn't feel like "me." It was too quilt show and not enough art. So, back to the drawing board I went. This time I focused on birds, not feathers. How could I have missed all that inspiration? Flying Geese! Turkey Tracks! Goose and Goslings! Crows Foot! Nest and Fledgeling! Dove in a Window! Circling Swallow! So what did all these bird blocks have in common? Triangles. A few sketches later I decided to make a simple pieced "bird" with lots of background on which to make big bright stitches conveying motion. That felt more graphic than my previous quilt which looked like a free motion quilting class exercise.


"Little Bird Dreams of Flight"

As long as I had all my fun threads out for my pieced bird, I finished up the traditional feathers too. Guess what?! The one that feels more me, and more like abstract art -- the one with the traditional quilted feathers!


"Lorikeet in Flight"

I stretched this one around a 12" x 12" canvas frame and I love the final product! I can totally see it with a Saarinen pedestal table and shag rug. ;-)

14 comments:

Gerrie said...

I like the final choice, too. The other seemed to static for a bird in flight. I like the subtlety of this - since I went for the opposite of subtlety -LOL!

sidulrike said...

I do like the feathered one more as well because it has the light anti-gravitational force a flock of lorikeets has when lifting off of a tree all at once :-)

Diane said...

These are both wonderful and I'm so struck by how the lines of colored thread really do give the impression of a flurry of feathers as a bird flies by. That's a wonderful abstraction that seems very original to me.

I like both of them very much. The traditional quilty feathers are just lovely, but there is something about the traditional block juxtaposed with the free flurry of lines that just speaks to me. What's especially interesting to me is how, on the "dreams of flight" one, the static block and lines make the colored stitched lines seem so full of motion. In the stitched feather one, there is a sense of flow and motion in the stitched background (so the background is not as static as the first one) and it makes the stitched lines seem somehow more stable. Like an outstretched wing, maybe, not not a wing in flight. That's just my take but I think they're both truly beautiful.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Both of these are wonderful....love those stitched feathers. The long, colorful stitches have a free and fun feel.

Karen said...

Kristin, I think these are both so interesting and the way you captured the birds with the thread is something I never would have thought of and really effective. There is so much movement, and as with Terry's quilts, I would have trouble choosing my favorite.

Karoda said...

Both of these are gorgeous and well designed and elegant!

Terry said...

Wonderful idea Kristin! It works beautifully in both pieces, but I really love the sublety of the stitched "feather" design behind your impressionistic feathers. This is so you--it has both aesthetic and intellectual appeal and a bit of a play on tradition. Love it!

Deborah Boschert said...

Lovely. Great job. I love both, but I agree, the traditional feathers are more modern. (?) You've done an excellent job with the quilting in the background to make the feathers stand out. I think it's so gutsy to take such long stitches with the colored threads and ribbon. I also liked the wrapped end on Lorikeet in Flight.

I recognized it as YOURS!

JB said...

The feeling of flight and motion is undeniable and lovely, but I really am taken with the contemporary/ traditional mood of "Little Bird Dreams of Flight". An unexpected, unique approach combining the abstract and the concrete.

Brenda said...

I wondered whether we would end up with any flying geese or other bird block designs. (I know the thought crossed my mind and I might yet incorporate triangle shapes in my Dreamlines series.)

These are both striking pieces. Pressed to state a preference, I'd also go with Lorikeet in Flight.

Françoise said...

I think I like the first one better, but really I like them both. The idea is very original. Great job.

dls said...

WOW - I really enjoyed seeing your "Lorikeet in Flight" art piece. It is lovely .... the bright colors against the neutral background are wonderful - what a nice piece. Thanks for sharing.

Nikki said...

I love your approach. I'm drawn to the first, but I think some of it might be the photography -- the colors are just a touch stronger. (I'm assuming you used the same threads)

Beautiful!

kirsty said...

Having seen lorikeets in flight many times, you have really captured them. It amazes me that you have made a bird with straight lines of stitching! I like both quilts, but my preference is for the second one, too.