Tuesday…In the Studio

At the first of the week I wrote about a new beginning for the new week…part of the plan was to begin new artwork in the studio. And on Monday I did! This photo of the bottom side of a flower that I photographed  in a garden a few weeks ago has intrigued me–the vibrant yellow, red, and green colors, as well as its line and shape.

Summer Flower, © 2011 Joni Beach
Summer Flower, © 2011 Joni Beach

In a college art class I experimented with Photoshop, editing a photo and making a resulting sketch from it, but I have not taken the time to do the same in making an art quilt. I have decided this is a perfect technique for a wall hanging using this photo as inspiration.

Since I do not have Photoshop on my computer, I tried its more simple Paint feature. After downloading the photo, the brush was used to outline the main lines in black.

Image Outlined

Dotted lines were used to remind me of shadows, variations, and underlying petals.

Yellow Flower Outlined

Image Printout

Image Printout



This image was then printed out onto several sheets of paper as large as I could get it using this software…                                                                                                                             

  Hopefully, I will be able to get a bigger image with the poster setting on my printer. While this is not a new technique, it is not one I have used with my equipment. As with any creative process and new art project, experimenting and improvising is necessary–of course this is also the fun part!

Laying out the sheets of paper, trimming, and taping them together will give me a pattern from which to copy pieces, cut out fabrics,  and construct the wall hanging. That will be phase 2 of this project!

Image Layout

But for now, I think it is time to go sit in the hammock and brainstorm some more…                                                                                                                                                             🙂                                                    

**What is your new beginning this week?

(I’d love for you to Leave a Comment below!)**

Trees, Symbols for Life

Over the years, I have planted many trees…each time we have moved it seems there is always some tree or plant needed in the new yard! Of course this includes fruit trees…

Fruit Tree
Fruit Tree

a red maple…

Red Maple
Red Maple

a new cherry tree…

…all are necessary.

In hot, sunny, arid West Texas where we once lived, trees are highly valued for their shade and beauty. Many times homeowners even have them insured.  When we eventually moved back to the East I vowed I would never again complain about raking leaves…and I haven’t.

For most people trees improve our lives and are symbolic in some way. While they provide shade, oxygen, color and beauty, a home for birds and other animals, hold our memories, they also signify meanings of permanence. For example, their roots and branches are metaphors about family ties—their stability and the prior generations. Perhaps this symbolism is one reason that after a storm it is a disturbing sight to see huge trees have been destroyed with even large root systems pulled out of the earth and blown over…

In the town of Blacksburg, there was an old, historical tree on the lawn in the center of town. The tree had overseen the town activities on the lawn for 100+ yrs.  When it had ended its life cycle and the tree was too weak to leave on the hill overhanging a busy street, VT professors took 100s of cuttings from it and cloned 2 trees from the old one before it was cut down… Read about this story at: http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/trejbal/wb/284350. See story at:    http://www2.wsls.com/news/2010/jul/27/blacksburg_virginia_tech_history_  comes_down-ar-359635/ .

Not long ago, there was a story on television about a Survivor Tree planted at Ground Zero in New York City. An eight foot sapling was found amid the rubble of the World Trade Centerand was taken to the Park Departments nursery. They revived and nurtured it until it was replanted in the memorial garden as a sign of life and hope for the future after an unthinkable tragedy on, what is now known as, 9/11. Today this tree has grown to be 35 feet tall and stands as a reminder of resilience to all the people who visit this landmark.  This story can be seen at:  http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story? section=news/local/new_york&id=7857410

Throughout time artist have also sketched,  painted, and even used trees as design inspiration for pottery.

"Branche d'amandier en fleur" by Vincent van Gogh By vG Public domain via Wikipedia

More currently, textile artist Barbara Walter uses tree images in wall hangings. See at http://www.saqa.com/about.php?ID=1842…Also, Micheal Mahan uses tree motifs on his pottery at his studio,  From the Ground Up.

So I guess I will continue to plant trees and rake leaves…perhaps that shows I still have a sense of hope and optimism about life!

*I’d love to hear your “tree” stories! * Feel free to leave a comment…

Image Credit: “Branche d’amandier en fleur” by Vincent van Gogh By vG [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday…”In the Studio…”

12" Art Quilt In Process...
In the Studio...

In the library this week, I found the video, The Art of Quilting, a PBS Home Video (2007). Today as I viewed it, I was inspired, encouraged, and delighted by the images and commentary about contemporary American art quilts and the artists that create them. The video has 3 different segments with a focus on the quilts and artists involved with–1) Quilt National, a biannual exhibit, 2) Chicago School of Fusing, a group of artists using the technique of fusing in construction, and 3) Art Quilts Philadelphia, a biennial event featuring art quilts.

For anyone working in the textiles arts or anyone interested in the design process used by these artists, I recommend this DVD.  You may want to visit the websites of several of the artists with art featured on The Art of Quilting video …a few I have visited include:            Melody Johnson,                                                                                                                                                 Bob Adams,                                                                                                                                                      Therese May,                                                                                                                                                         Pam RuBert,                                                                                                                                                      Tafi Brown,                                                                                                                                                      Lisa Call,                                                                                                                                                           Dinah Sargeant,                                                                                                                                                       Joy Saville,                                                                                                                                                     Kathyanne White,                                                                                                                                                        Anne Lullie.

For artists who work with fabrics and thread, the visual elements of color and texture, along with the feel, or hand, of the fabrics are all part of the inspiration and motivation to work in this medium…I believe the traditional, symbolic, and emotional connection with fabric through-out the history of civilizations is the draw for many viewers of this art.

♥ Who are your favorite textile artists?