Out of Left Field

Mid-2021 I wrote down a rough list of possible projects: Sail – Greece, turquoise circles, unknown family, and pink prints. I finished the first two and began the third, which left the enigmatic pink prints. At some point during lockdown I played with coloring fabric and color catcher scraps with high flow quinacridone magenta acrylic paint. (Warning, it has the fluidity of milk and moves just as fast when spilled.) Some I stenciled with Payne’s grey paint. On others I printed birds from a thermofax screen. They joined my pile of experiments.

Rather than come to grips with the puzzle of how to combine photos and fabric for my unknown family pieces, I decided it was time to play with pink. I really wanted to use the birds, which were printed on synthetic satin. Up on the design wall went my bits. I decided to add warm browns for trees as the stencil was of tree branches.

From the base of pink and trees I added more scraps and came up with this. It seemed I had lots of tree trunks in my future.

I realized that fusing was the way to go for the number of trees I had in mind, so I sewed together a base with chunks joined by gentle curves. I also added more tree branch stenciling to the sky and combined two large scraps in the upper left.

To add variety I added three house shapes and a large sun. I can’t claim credit for that idea as I saw a treed landscape painting that was given focus by a large orb, and thought the same could work for me. I was still trying to fit those birds in.

Finally I had to face the reality that the birds weren’t suited to the piece as it developed, so they are back on the shelf.

I’ve added a few lighter branches, but this is pretty much as it is.

Quilting has begun, and the pink prints have become “If You Go Into the Woods Today.”

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.

11 Comments

Filed under Art quilts, In Process

11 responses to “Out of Left Field

  1. Borrowing the glowing orb idea is brilliant. It gives the piece focus. It feels like coming home. I want to live there.

  2. frances temchin

    I enjoyed seeing your process on this work. At several stages I thought it looked pretty good so I was very interested in your continuing development of your idea. Bravo

    • Thanks. I have been working to push my ideas as far as I think I can. Sometimes, I go over the edge, but it’s my intent to see how close I can get without falling. And sometimes I decide to go in a different direction part way through a piece’s development. It’s like painting over an area of a painting even though you’ve spent an hour on it, and trying for something else.

  3. I love the depth you achieved with the layers, element size, and the contrast. And it is really great to see (and read) the process progress in your photos. Thanks for sharing.

    • Indeed no one could take this as purely representational, as the scale of the elements is way off. Now that I think on it, fairy tales were in the back of my mind. See my response to Gwen for more.

  4. I like it! If I were looking at it at an exhibition, it would catch my attention because normally the pink and yellow are associated with cheerfulness and welcome, but to me, the houses look like they’ve been abandoned, and the thorny shapes of the trees look a little menacing. So at that point I would look at the title, and that can be taken as a warning. That all joins together to give me a sense of ambiguity, and I would stand there, wondering what the artist was thinking and expressing.
    I think it goes well with your other pieces of the stairway, the graffitied building, and the skyline, even though this looks more rural than those. I hope you get to exhibit them all together sometime!

    • Thanks for the care of your analysis. I think my vision here was influenced by a dim memory of the Disney Sleeping Beauty film with brambles growing over the castle. The title is from the first line of the song, The Teddy Bears’ Picnic. My version is more menacing, or possibly a reflection of lack of pruning. I think I like themes that have a hint of unease because I want to make the viewer spend time figuring out their version of the story.

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