Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Heat

Summer has hit us in the Northeast with a vengeance. As I type it is dark out, about 8:30 pm and the thermometer reads 83 degrees still. I am sitting in a pile of sweat. During the day when it is sunny, my studio, which is not air conditioned, is about 90. This is a heat wave and I'm not liking it! I can't seem to get motivated to sit in a hot window and stitch. But my creativity has had it's moments. 

In my last post you saw my three pieces which I entered into a local SAQA show in Lowell, MA called "Three Cohesive Pieces." They were accepted and will hang there from August 8 - 10. Woo Hoo! This summer, four out of four pieces that I entered will be showing. It is a great start and gives me a solid base for a beginning resume and also gives me encouragement to keep going.   

So keep going I must. I mentioned a fourth piece that I had started for the show in Lowell but decided that it would not work with the other two. It is called "Monumental" and I'd like to show my work on it so far. If you have ever needed a light box but not had one, I discovered a window can work just as well. This is my beginning of my drawing the bricks in this piece with my fabric markers.

In this shot you can see more of the drawing showing through the fabric and what I have already drawn.

Later in the day when the sun is not quite so strong, you can see more of what is drawn on top than what is on the paper below.

In this shot, I have completed the drawing and added in the fabric for the shadows. I love this fabric, which is one I found in Newton at a small shop where we had our last regional SAQA meeting. It is a dark brown/black with miniscule dots all over it in bright colors. It is a great fabric for bringing color into dark areas in a subtle way.

I got all my drawing done on the right side of the building and all the shadows fused. Next I moved on to try out other fabrics for the left side, which is shaded. I had trouble seeing value. A friend suggested using black and white to see it, so I copied swatches of my fabric choices in groups of threes on the B&W setting of my copier, so I could see the value better. In doing so I was able to make the right choice of fabric.

Super Mario is still helping me in the studio. Here she has chosen my winning option by sitting down next to it. I joke. In reality sometimes I can't believe that I just don't have quite the right fabric with the right value, color and print for what I need. I have so much fabric! I guess it is never enough. Anyone else have that problem?

This is as far as I got before the heatwave set in. The fabric to the left of the shadow still needs to be drawn. To the far left is my choice for the border which will be similar to the three completed pieces in my Santa Fe group. From this point on, pretty much all I have left to do is stitch, in which I will follow the lines of the brick. I may continue to do a piece or two to follow this body of work later in the year, but once "Monumental" is done I will begin going in a different direction.

And you might be asking, "in which direction will she head?" I have begun rounding up fabrics for "Queen Bee." With the crisis going on presently of a million bees dropping dead from chemicals on GMO seeded farms, I feel a need to get into my piece devoted to the love of bees. I have enlarged the queen to about 48" square. You can see the edge of my work table which is 60" wide. She fills the table.

I have done some redrawing and fine tuning to get her the way I want her and I am about ready to start. Her skin will be a peachy golden blend of a hand dye. Her dress will have another hand dye mixing yellow, aqua and orange. The background will be punctuated with black batiks which sport bright colors popping through. The lilies will be blending yellow-orange, orange and pink with turquoise leaves. And there will be scads more bees than the ones I have drawn. I have a cache of small gold-tone bee buttons that I have been saving for ages and they will land on this quilt. One good thing is that I can see her in my mind. I can't wait to get started. I can't wait to see her done! Mother Nature please give me cooler weather or let me win the lotto so I can install air conditioning in the studio.

Tomorrow I will post about what I do to feed the creative when it is so hot that I can't be in the studio. I can hint that it involves the company 'Spoonflower' which offers the service of printing fabrics, papers and decals. We'll chat tomorrow!

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