Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thinking Small

There's a new cat in the studio and she is my muse. Her name is, of all things, Super Mario. Yes it is a her, and I had nothing to do with naming her. She is visiting for a bit while my son's girlfriend is detoxing from her allergy to cat dander.  As you can see Miss Mario likes to sit atop pieces from my stash as I work on my table. Thankfully she has not discovered my armoire full of fabric. I do not like finding lots of fur on my fabrics. She is a very sweet cat and since she has moved in I have had a huge resurgence of creativity.

While still working a few hours a day on my large quilts, I have added mini pieces into the mix. I am hoping that these small pieces will be marketable for me so I can start making some money at this. I have no outside job lined up and don't know if I will. Still in a bit of limbo that way. So while I am home, I am using my time to work, work, work in the studio. My minis are  based on a 6" x 8" format. So far all that I have drawn are vertical but I will flip to horizontal if I think a design warrants it. The ones that are in the works are like artist proofs for a larger quilt. I am using them to try out fabric choices, thread choices, quilting designs and even a general feel of color to suggest a mood. In doing so I have already discovered some changes I wish to make on the larger quilt, in this case my "Mermaids" quilt which still needs some work on the actual mermaids.

Above, I changed up the colors of the wave and the sky to create a different mood from the larger quilt. I like the combination of colors and may move to create another ocean piece with these fabrics as major pieces. Even though working small can be a real strain on my eyes, I am finding that I can pop them out in a day or two. The more I do the faster I get.

These two are completely pieced and awaiting a few chalk pencils to draw up their quilting lines. I need to make a trip to the fabric store which is not something I want to really do because it always results in my spending money I don't have on stash. I'll probably get about 8 or 10 of these done and waiting for quilting and then do them all in a day.

I worked on mermaid hair today. The mini above was about half pieced as I took this shot. I finished piecing it this afternoon and am about half done with my stitching lines. This one has really helped me see the strongest choices for colors and patterns in creating the hair. As we all know mermaids are sirens, visually appealing to men, they are beautiful enough to tempt but they have a harpie side to them. It's not easy finding that fine line between the two. 

And so this leads to my thoughts on where I am heading in terms of my style. I can't deny that there is a strong storyteller in me. It is the place I go to most often when I conjure up a drawing. I can create landscapes and florals well but they lack the strength of my conviction. When I want to get inspired not only do I go to my art books and pictures of other works of art but I have been using pinterest a lot to find inspiration in colors, textures, patterns and yes artwork too. I find myself relating to artists who illustrate, which I know sometimes is wonderful and sometimes presents a challenge to find artistic integrity. I do not wish to fall into the later group of artists so I am working very hard to remember that stories are best when they are told WELL.

I am also a bit frustrated working with large size quilts. Part of me feels that they need to be large to give me lots of space to create that "wow" factor that I always try to create. Lets face it mermaids and dragons command space. But they take so much time to finish. Ugh. I just have to push through the few I have on deck and get them done. My muse kitty has helped me work some new drawings too. One of them is almost done. My daughter is sitting for me tomorrow so I can finish it off. It is an extension of a couple of older ideas and an older quilt, "Without." So far I see two pieces coming up here, one is the Queen of all bees and she is the one that is almost done. The other is the tomato goddess, which I had dreamed up a long time ago. She is coming a bit slower than the bee queen but I expect that one to be done soon too. Both of these will be done up in a mid range size no bigger that 4 feet in one of the directions. This should make them easier to finish up.

In the next few days I will have a few more minis finished up to show and my preliminary drawing for "Queen Bee." So I'm off to get some sleep and hopefully dream about my tomato goddess.

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