Thursday, August 23, 2018

Ready for My Closeup!

I'm in the midst of finishing some fabric books to enter in a couple of upcoming exhibitions. I took the last stitches in one that I've titled "Tide Charts" and since its so very long, traditional art photography just wasn't going to work.
So I drove down to the far end of South Pender Island and got set up for what I'm calling "glamour shots", basically photographing in unique situation which I hope will showcase my books to their best advantage......I have a lot to learn! With all the wildfires here in the province, its been so smoky and overcast, not nice to be outside at the beach it was like a fog, I was barely able to see more than a couple hundred yards in any direction. But being overcast meant there were fewer shadows to contend with.

"Tide Charts" was placed on rocks, on the shoreline, on logs and more. No one picture was totally outstanding but I think a couple of them captured what I envisioned.

Not a good idea to photograph straight on!

Not enough contrast on the log....

Not bad, but fighting with the big rocks....

Best one, I like that the flow is mirrored in the seaweed.

Totally lost - shipwreck! 

I also took some of my other books and was pleased with those photos....its an entirely different approach than taking pictures on my design wall....sitting on the ground looking up at them, making certain the grass, bugs, and leaves are out of the way or not! At least my subjects were still and not jumping about or flying off!

Good value contrast

I managed to get some of the water behind!


All in all, it was good fun, and I learned a lot - plus I'm so happy to live where I can go out and do things like this. The air quality is supposed to improve and I pray that the fire crews will ahve rain soon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How Do You Handle Design Challenges?

Imagine being given a photo of Italian art to use as design would you handle it?  Would you use the imagery as it is - a realistic portrayal? Would you take pieces or elements of the photo and go from there? How about colours....or size? So many choices, so many decisions!
A few months back I was invited to create a piece of textile art based on "The Annunciation" by Fra a group of artists we were each given a different art work to use as a "jumping off point" for our own work. I'm not sure what images the others were given but since the exhibition is at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver, I imagine the art was all Italian.....haha!

Have you ever taken part in something similar? How did you approach this? What ideas and decisions were you faced with? Sometimes it's easier to work within parameters than being given free rein. I began by turning the art into a rough portrait format and thinking how I could place the figures, I also loved the multicoloured wings of Gabriel.

After some reflection I realized that I really had never used figures or people in my work and I didn't want to start doing so......amidst all the design work I wanted to explore how this piece might be come a beginning for a new series. I had taken masses of photos during my recent walk on the Camino de Santiago and had some great interior shots of the cathedrals I had visited:

So then I started to focus on the building part of the artwork - the figures appear to be in a "cloister" which is generally "a covered walk in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral, typically with a wall on one side and a colonnade open to a quadrangle on the other". It was beginning to make sense for me...look up to the soaring arches of the space above>

I wasn't sure about the columns, so those were eliminated. I was working at simplifying the design to some very basic shapes.

I'm  looking now with the idea of construction - how am I going to put it all together? As my career began as a traditional quilter, I'm familiar with a wide variety of piecing methods so I decided a "stack, slash, shuffle" method was the best choice. the widths of the sections would be the same but I could work with different lengths and thereby achieve a variety of rectangles and get some visual interest going....

The fabric had been chosen a while back, luscious hand dyed vintage linen with wonderful drape to it - a little on the heavy side but I knew the texture and thread count would be perfect.

Construction began and went smoothly - put together in less than a day.

I had pulled out a dozen or more threads for the quilting but in the end only used four - I thought some metallic would be good but changed my mind. 
And so "In the Cloister" heads off for the exhibition shortly and the shapes, imagery and design will be considered for the future, perhaps this winter would be a good time to begin!

In the Cloister

I hope you'll join me at the Exhibition Opening - September 12th at 7pm. at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver.