Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bonsai Tree of Life


Wikipedia explains bonsai, in part, to be for "The purposes of ... contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower)."

I don't claim to be a bonsai expert -- far from it -- but elements of bonsai seem to fit in well with my initial response to the color palette of "spa," a relaxing place for renewal and/or health.



In keeping with my self-imposed challenge to base my Colorplay pieces on traditional quilt blocks or patterns, this one was inspired by the Tree of Life, or Tree of Paradise block. The quilting is meant to look a bit like the raked gravel in a zen garden. The background fabric may be more chinese than japanese, but I did buy it from a japanese lady at an ugly fabric fund raising auction, so that's got to account for something! It took several iterations to get the right arrangement and scale of the half square triangles looking like a miniature tree, but I guess that was "the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity" for which bonsai is intended.

12 comments:

Gerrie said...

When I clicked on the blog and this popped up, I smiled. Very whimsical and full of movement even though you have used the constraints of a traditional piecing. I just love the brown background - it adds so much interest to what could have been very static.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Love your results with this one Kristin. That background fabric is perfect!

Karen said...

I know you struggled with this Kristin but I think you've worked it out very well. The way you keep incorporating traditional blocks into your work is very refreshing.

kirsty said...

Love the trunk ! I would never have thought of doing that - so very like a bonsai trunk. And i agree - the background fabric is perfect.

Diane said...

As always, I like the way you've incorporated traditional elements to create something very nontraditional. The colors are so soothing and your use of values creates a beautiful glow. And you used the print of that background fabric really well.

jeannemarklin said...

I made a piece with similar colors, titled Grief, and found photographing it difficult. The more muted tones van be challenging. Did the saying about Bonsai also relate to making the piece? That great, gnarled trunk looks like it would be difficult to attach.

Lisa Flowers Ross said...

Once again, so interesting to see what everyone did. You can see my play-along piece on my blog http://lisasartmusings.blogspot.com/

Nikki said...

The results are very peaceful. I particulary like your raked gravel hand quilting. I hope "pleasant" describes your experience creating it.

Terry said...

Well, that brown fabric is incredible--hard to believe it was in an ugly fabric sale! I love the little almost off-balance balancing act the triangles do--very bonsai-ish and the blue and green you chose are wonderfully crisp and clean. The feeling is spa.

Françoise said...

Love the way that tree seems to be dancing on the brown background. Very graceful.

Françoise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicki said...

The little addition of the twist in the trunk just gives it that japanese air