Saturday, March 26, 2016


I am getting used to rejection. Entering calls for entry creates thick skin. Even if you have some successes the ones that don't end up getting picked up for shows can definitely have an impact on the way you view your work, like it or not.

Empress of the Pines was completed last summer and entered into the Visions Interpretations call for entry but was not accepted. So with different jurors I entered it again along with Queen Bee Says No to GMO's into Visions Breakout. Neither was accepted. Visions is a tough nut to crack but as it has been my one steady goal to have a piece accepted into a Visions biennial exhibit throughout my learning process since 1995 I am not stopping here.

As I go forward to my next work in this series, Lady Feather, I am looking to the things I think were successful and the things I think may have failed in both of these works in a critical way. To the right is my cougar. I see him as the greater success of this piece. His colors are well integrated; his eyes are the strong focal point and they do not disappoint. Colors are balanced and the yellow makes him pop.

Another thing that I think worked was my treatment of the tree bark. Using so many colors within the bark really gave it life especially when looking at it closely.

But on the whole there are some issues I might have changed now that I have lived with her for a bit. While I worked very hard at creating her skin fabric, I think I forgot that like the cougar she needed two things, contrast and a strong focal point in her face - her eyes. I will work on facial features with Lady Feather much more intensely, perhaps using thread painting or my markers to help define and enrich her gaze especially since it will be limited and defined by the owl mask. 

Looking also at Queen Bee who I consider to be a more successful piece in terms of the flow of composition and the blending of colors, I can see issues now that I did not see before. The violet piece which composes her neck shadow is too harsh a contrast. It needed more value changes leading up to the darkness far right. Instead of two value grades in this area, it would have been better with four or five. The shadow did not continue to her shoulder either which is a real faux pas.

Going forward I have chosen a grouping of fabrics designated as the flesh tones for Lady Feather. There is a great range from almost white to deep dark burgundy. I need to focus on developing a gradual progression of value through using smaller layers of color in any given area.

As for those quilts already completed, well, they are what they are. My art will change and grow as my skill increases and hopefully newer pieces will be more impervious to criticism, even from myself. Taking what I have learned from the Empress and the Queen, I will continue drawing these characters over and over again and working them in fabric. I will also keep entering calls like Visions.

The drawing for Lady Feather is finally completed and blown up to full size. I have searched out her fabrics comprising a color palette all her own from amongst my stash and I have purchased some to accent the ones I have. In typical fashion for me, I am still looking for the right background fabric. I seem to be forever working on creating the perfect background fabrics. More on how Feather comes to life in future posts. 

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