Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Tribute To My Father

 On February 21, my dearly beloved dad passed away at the wonderful age of 88.  Even so, his passing was quite unexpected; we called him our Energizer Bunny -- he always seemed to bounce back from each new malady that befell him as he grew older.  He was very much like the late Will Rogers: He never met a man he didn't like, and everyone who knew him adored him.
We went through the requisite emptying of his apartment at the senior living facility where he spent his last few years, and we brought home many of his things, including several boxes of facial tissue he had stashed away (he was always afraid he'd run out).  I became intrigued by a rendering of irises on one of the boxes; because they're such tall flowers, they were drawn winding their way around three sides of the container.  So I tried my hand at depicting them the way I thought they should look, using watercolor paints and black and white pens, and this picture poured forth.  
I'd like to think that love guided me through the process; I know that love was the inspiration.
We're going to miss you, Dad.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Wind Beneath My Wings"

Alisa Burke’s fabulous Sketchbook Delight class has inspired me to try designing my latest quilt with the help of watercolors.  My usual modus operandi involves scanning a pencil sketch of my design into the computer and then auditioning different color palettes using Photoshop Elements.  This time, I drew the design on heavy paper and used Sakura Koi watercolors and a paintbrush – risky business for me, since I was pretty much committed to my color choices each time the brush hit the paper.
The theme for this art quilt came from our two latest challenges in ARTAA, my fiber art group: “Bugs” and “Kites.”  In a never-ending effort to complete my projects before the deadlines, I decided to combine the two themes into one.
I had already chosen the background fabric, so I did my best to mimic its color gradation with the paints.  White and gold marking pens added the elements that I planned to incorporate with thread.
The cartoon of the design was copied onto acetate, and my trusty overhead projector was used to enlarge the acetate drawing to its full size on newsprint. 
Here’s the quilt in progress; I always grow more excited at this stage, because I love the task of choosing the fabric that will do my bidding. I also know that the machine embroidery portion of the show is coming soon, and I’ll share more photos as I travel through that phase.  As always, thank you all for joining in the creative journey with me.


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