Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Trip To Lowell

Well there it is, the post card announcement of the art quilt show "The Sea." I went up to Lowell yesterday to see it. As the regional meeting for SAQA was held there, I raced out of the house quickly to get there by 10am. It's about and hour and 45 minutes away. The racing part is responsible for me forgetting to bring my camera as the battery was charging in the kitchen. What a day to forget the camera! Not only was there the one show but others all over the city and the trunk show for SAQA was in attendance at the meeting.

I was very impressed with the quality of the work hanging at the Brush. When you walked in there were two gallery walls, left and right with quilts greeting you. The one to the right had two quilts by Betty Busby which were phenomenal. Betty's quilt is the one chosen for the post card above. I just couldn't pull my eyes off them. With her two was a quilt called Loggerhead by Gay Young Ousley. Gay's quilt was rich in texture, a tortoise swimming in the sea. These three quilts made such a commanding presence as you walked in. There were so many wonderful quilts, that I wished I had brought the camera. As I was wandering from quilt to quilt it began eating at me that I had wanted to try to enter this show with "Mermaids." But there was no way I could get it done in time for the deadline. It would have looked wonderful there amongst the other sea inspired quilts. I left with a renewed urgency to get it moving faster and with more attention to detail.

I did bring it with me for show and tell at the regional meeting. I wanted to see if it was interesting at all to the other quilters. After all it is just a wave. I got some well needed feedback, especially from Linda Dunn, who told me she was wowed by the wave alone and was concerned about the addition of the mermaids. I instantly got it. Most artist renditions of mermaids are a bit tacky, dripping with shells and seaweed hair. I am steering clear of this type of rendition in creating what is in my mind for this illustration. While thinking about it on the way home, I honed the image I had of them even more coming up with the final title of this piece in my head, "Beneath the Deep." I see the mermaids as what they are in folklore, specter-like sirens, other-worldly in existence but alluring to men. Their tails are fish-like and their bodies voluptuous but not human. They're more to be feared than anything like a great white shark would instill fear in a swimmer. As forcefully beautiful as the wave is, the sirens will be equally as ominous. This is the story I am telling with this quilt.
On the way out of the Brush I looked at some local artist's wares outside in booths. I bought some wonderful hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns to use on the mermaid quilt. They will be couched over the wave to create swirls of movement. I'm really exited about the embellishments that I have set aside to make the water come to life with movement.

Back to reality at home, I hung a stained glass piece I found at the Brush in my studio window to distract me from the disturbances of what is happening in our neighbor's yard.

This has now become my view. The flowers just visible to the right of the window are the left portion of the Butterfly Garden. The only thing I can see as a positive is that the garden will get more sun. Soon we will be planting cypress all along the edge of what once was the woods to try to regain some of our privacy.

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