Monday, November 1, 2010

Garden Gate

In working on these color themes, I find I go one of two ways: I can make a small art quilt that is simply about diving deep into the colors, or I can make an art quilt that is about some kind of idea or image and use the colors as the vehicle for the idea.

I suppose, my Yellow Ladder quilt is the only one for our ColorPlay series that is more about the image than the colors, but that's still the initial decision I have to make at the beginning of my process.
Garden Gate

This quilt is about the colors -- and the variety of fabrics. I would never stumble upon this color palette if I were just thumbing through my fabrics in preparation for a new piece. And yet, I am stunned by how much I like it. And by how many fabrics I had to choose from. And by how often it jumps out at me in nature and other day-to-day visuals (now that I am more aware).

I began with a piece of muslin that I rust dyed with a group of fiber artists in Texas. I must have used some kind of rusty grate that created that diamond pattern. Then I pulled from the fabrics I pre-selected and leaned on my shrine-style composition. I wish I could have fit in more of the fabrics. I had lots of interesting options, but I always try to achieve a bit a simplicity and spareness to allow for additional interest with embroidery and embellishments. (Maybe I'll have to make a larger version that would accommodate more fabrics.)

I wish I would have made some different choices up at the very top. I think those two plain teal fabrics at the top are dull and clunky. Maybe some stitching or embellishments would have helped, but I ran out of steam at the end and felt I needed to finish and move on. (Do you know this feeling?)

I've been exploring creating sheer overlay silhouettes with tulle. I chose crocuses for this piece. I really like the contrast of the linear composition with the organic flower shape. My little Y-shaped flowers trail across to emphasis the idea of a garden or a field.


An old rusty key seems so predictable. Maybe too cliche, but I think it works. I also like the contrast of the grittiness with the fancy, metallic fabrics.

I had a tough time coming up with a title, but the key and the lines in the rust-dyed fabric make me think of old gates or fences and the plant images are somewhat like what you might find in a garden. I also like the idea of the different blocks of fabric as plots for growing different things. Maybe fruits and flowers, maybe ideas and inspiration.

7 comments:

Karen said...

Deborah, I love all the frayed edges, it goes along with the rust idea perfectly. It reminds me of an old cemetary.

Gerrie said...

Your hand stitching always makes me happy. I love how it follows a curve or dances across a piece of fabric, tieing the piece together. You have used a lot of fabrics with the theme colors and in a very effective way. I think the top acts as a place for the eyes to rest and then move back down. Kind of like the sky.

Diane said...

This made me smile when it came up, Deborah. I like how it is distinctly yours, with so many of your theme elements, but with new things too. The sheer overlay adds a wonderful contrast in scale and a sense of depth. And as always, the way you add stitching to tie pieces together is very inspiring. I love this a lot. (I sort of see what you mean about that solid sky at the top, but it does read sky. I wonder if the slightest bit of texture added -- via very light stamping or something like that) would eliminate that? But it doesn't distract from the strength of this at all.

Terry said...

I really love what is happening in this piece, Deborah. So many of the elements and motifs are familiar from your other work, but the colors and the rusting and the fraying edges give this one an aged and mysterious feel. I can almost imagine this as an ancient textile, recovered from a tomb, rich with symbolism and story. This may be my favorite of your pieces so far, and I love them all!

Terri Stegmiller said...

I love your shrine style pieces and this is no exception. There always seems to be the perfect amount of interest going on to keep my eye looking around and the sheer flowers add so much to this.

Kristin L said...

I think this all came together beautifully -- the rusty gate, the key, the flowers -- I see it all. I think you could easily add "rusty" to your list of go-to color combos like green and purple. It doesn't look like you struggled at all.

kirsty said...

The crocuses are so effective - clever :)
I seem to be saying this to everyone this time, but the fly stitches are terrific. They give some perspective.