Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Summer's End

For me, this restful palette evokes the last days of summer - a time of blue skies, longer shadows and warm breezes. No doubt I am extremely suggestible as this challenge period and reveal date coincides with the official end of the Australian summer (1 March) and the view from my studio window incorporates hues of brown, sage and blue.
For my first piece (you knew there would be more than one, right?!), I concentrated on the shape and lines of the Norfolk pines that are typical of the Australian coast..
And so I present to you Copacabana Sentinels, a local landmark that is very useful for getting your bearings when you lose your contact lenses in the surf as happened to me recently.  (Fortunately, they were disposables!)
As simple and naive as the trees may appear, the piecing was surprsingly time consuming and the engineering quite challenging.  I fully intended to make another, more abstract version but I ran out of time.  Besides, for some unknown reason, I got sidetracked with the idea of monoprinting using my 12 1/2in square ruler as the plate as suggested by Sally Westcott when I met her last year.  Here are the prints with added painting and before quilting:
I swear I didn't have any particular images in mind in creating these designs but look what I just found in my photo archives from a walk around Cochrone Lagoon when my brother was visiting last week.  Well, when you live in such a beautiful place, I guess you can't help being influenced by your environment...
 
So this is my second piece:
I know which piece I am inclined to put forward as my official contribution to the BrownSageBlue challenge but I'm interested to hear your comments.

PS: There's also a very quick Summer Harvest study that you can see on my blog.

14 comments:

Françoise said...

I would pick the first one, just because it is more you. But the second one really makes me smile while I'm preparing my Brown Sage Blue post. :-)

Deborah Boschert said...

They are both just lovely! I love the precise piecing and quilting in the sentinels. It's also such a specific rendering of the palette! It can be challenging to create such a spare composition with only two strong elements. Usually an odd number is more pleasing, but I can tell you made careful choices to make this design work. Great job! The monoprint has lot of energy and I love the texture and watery background painting.

As I was writing about my piece, I realized the colors remind me of winter turning into spring. A rather wonderful and ironic similarity to your thoughts.

Gerrie said...

I like them both, but really love the first one. It is so beautifully constructed. The blues are really connecting with me.

Connie Rose said...

The first one is spectacular!

Karen said...

The first one is more like your traditional work, I guessed it was you right away. The stitching is wonderful and I just love those trees. The second one is not what I'm used to seeing from you, but it is equally wonderful, very relaxing, I like the little bit of brown in it. I hope you continue to work more this way.

Kristin L said...

The sentinels are beautifully crafted, and obviously meaningful to you, but I find them a bit static. Though the grasses are also a centered composition, I really enjoy the energy they contain and can almost hear the breezes rustle through them. I like the loose, drawn border too, which is in keeping with the painterly background and momoprint!

Terri Stegmiller said...

Thanks for the chuckle about losing your contacts. Both of your quilts are lovely and so different. I would pick the first one as yours any day, but not the second. It's hard to choose one over the other.

JB said...

I vote for the grasses. The colors of your pallet seem to match what I think of as the challenge colors somehow and I like the casual, loose nature of the quilt.

LizzyMcD said...

I love your grasses, you can see the movement of each leaf as it russles in the breeze. Some quilts just take you to another place, this is one. Thankyou. LizzyT

Diane said...

Brenda, I too really like and respond to both pieces. It's interesting to me how the Sentinel piece has a very static sense to it -- which suits the subject matter beautifully, of course -- while what I like about the grasses is the sense of crazy movement and wildness. I'm very impressed by the wonderful lines and technical precision of those Sentinel trees. I wonder the larger tree, off to the left as it is, would look terrific by itself?

kirsty said...

I vote for Sentinels! Like them both but Sentinels has such wonderful stitching. I love the many directions of the quilting. And, of course, the image of you groping your way along the beach toward the two blurry green shapes!

Maureen said...

I applaud your precision in the composition of Sentinels, but the curves of Nature, and the "movement" evoked by the curving, rustling grasses appeals to my inner self.Plus, I must add, precision is not something I do easily.

Terry said...

I love the energy and the beautiful subtle color of the grasses, which would have been my pick of the two.

I love your sentinel trees--the form is so wonderfully abstracted and rythmic! As a composition it feels lacking to me. Static, as others said. I would love to have seen the third, much smaller tree added--perhaps in a slightly different shade of green. Groupings of three are generally more appealing than two.

Vicki said...

I like both your pieces, but I feel that the sentinels have both composition and a deeper meaning for you. Besides, they remind me of family picnics there many years ago