To me it's always fun to try to get inside the thinking of artists--what inspires them, what processes they use to plan, design, compose, and create their work. Along those lines, I've been taking more pictures of work in progress so that I can share those with my students and on my blog. So I thought I'd share a few today.
As I've written in the past, I am the fortunate recipient of a large collection of beautiful wood cigar boxes:
I think that part of what I love about them is the way they remind me of being a kid and keeping treasures (special shells, rocks, feathers...) in little boxes as a way of protecting them, keeping them, and designating at least to myself that they are treasured. So when I was given these lovely cigar boxes I decided to start creating grown-up treasure boxes of my own--boxes that would contain intricately stitched original art pieces that have dense jewel/treasure-like qualities.
I'm calling the series "Fragments" because each is made only of materials I already have in my studio. In a sense they are all fragments of me as an artist and the materials I love and keep in my studio. One of the first pieces in my Fragments series is Cross-Pollination, which I actually created week-by-week along with a group of students in one of my workshops. I took a few photos along the way:
The background fabric is a hand-dye by Cherie St. Cyr (I have 24 panels from a larger piece, all of which will eventually be used in this series.) The print is a brown, red, and pink paisley by Jinny Beyer. (I used this same fabric in "Recapitualata (Echo Flower)" and "Strange Happenings at Bolz Conservatory.") I love the lines on it, and I knew the piece would be entirely beaded and that the fabric colors would drop back if visible at all, so I felt free to completely change the palette. Six identical pie-shaped wedges were cut with a template and rotary cutter and then fused to Peltex interfacing. You can see where I've followed some of the print lines and ignored others.
I had a general plan for the palette and feel of the piece from a narrative stand point. Then I designed and modified along the way. Once the central medallion was completely beaded I hand appliqued it to the background panel and added a few beads to cover over the raw edges of the fabric and Peltex and to make the whole piece more unified.
My final steps were to bead the outer edges of the rectangular panel, paint the interior and edges of the cigar box with acrylic paints in a color blended to harmonize with the panel, and then building up a layer of acid-free foam core inside the box to support the artwork.
I have five pieces completed in this series (this one can also be seen in the Aug./Sept. issue of Quilting Arts magazine and another can be seen in the ad for this year's QSDS workshops :). I have three more in progress and am taking some along-the-way pictures of those as well. So I'll post more images once those pieces are complete.