Saturday, October 08, 2005

Art Quilts Maine

Art Quilts Maine met last weekend. It's a great guild. There were about 30 gals there from all over the state. It was a potluck lunch. Yum... you know that broccoli, raisin and bacon salad that always shows up at potlucks? It sure is good -- in a very strange sort of way.

We always do a workshop in the morning, then lunch, then a business meeting (yawn) then show and tell.

Last week we did self-portraits ala Yvonne Porcella in the Summer 2005 issue of Quilting Arts. (I know you've seen it.)

Look at our great results. Everyone seemed to have big fun.

I especially love the portraits that Kate did of her kids. She doubted that she would be able to really capture their spirits. But she totally did!

I also planned to do a portrait of my kids. Though I intended to copy a picture trying to do it somewhat realistically. Here's the portrait I worked from.

Aren't they just the cutest little monkeys ever?!

And here's what I came up with after a couple of hours at the guild meeting and then a bit more fine tuning.

I am very pleased with it. I love the monochromatic color scheme, I think she lines and shapes are mostly quite nice and I think it even looks like Claire and Benjamin without additional features. But I wanted to do their faces in the same style -- fusing tiny shapes.

I had Thursday morning all to myself and barracaded myself in my studio to work (which is actually play!).

Unfortunately, this is what I came up with.

A three year old drag queen. Luckily I did not fuse these atrocities to Benjamin's face. At that point I set the whole quilt aside and began working on a sketch pad cover which was a huge success. I'll tell you more about that later.

So, what should I do? Just quilt the facial features? Hand quilt? Free motion quilt? Paint or drawn in the details? With Pigma Pens? Give up?


Val said...

OK so what IS this brocolli, raisin and bacon salad that is so good? Enquiring minds want/need to know!

Deb R said...

I've found when doing facial features in fabric, I have better luck if I only do the really major shapes with applique and add the shading and fine details with a combination of thread work and drawing or painting. Maybe that would work better for you too? You could always practice on scraps.

I love that weird salad. I never make it though...only eat it at group things!

Gerrie said...

I love that salad. I use craisins and chopped dried apricots and sometimes dried cherries. Does your version have cheddar cheese?

It is very hard to do realistic aplliqued faces. I'm not sure what I would do at this point. I think it needs more than the bland faces. I would keep experimenting with cutting shapes until it seems right!! Easy for me to say.

Anonymous said...

In a workshop with Susan Carlson I made several portraits of my daughter. If you enlarge the original photo on a copier (200%) and set the contrast so you can see defined darks, then trace the edges of these shapes with pen or pencil then use this "pattern" to cut the same shapes out of fabric--light to dark--it's really amazing how realistic the applique will be. There are only a few shapes necessary to create the face. When my daughter (an adult) saw the results of my work she was so upset-"-all those people saw this picture of me?" I said yes and they especially liked the one with the squiggly pink skin condition.

Sonji Hunt said...

I burst out laughing when I read "three year old drag queen". It was just too funny and on point.

I haven't had the desire to do a realistic rendition in fabric, but if it's the same theory as in drawing realistically, then you need to look for large shapes in shadow and highlight. Why not try doing the Matisse Fauvism thing? Then you can use brilliant colors that embody the personalities of your fabulouso monkeys.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you finish this portrait of your kids the way it is?
It really is wonderful just the way it is.
And then do another one trying for more realistic - if you want to.
In years to come you are going to appreciate this one more and more.

jpsam said...

I love what you done in the portrait! Ruth McDowell did a wonderful portrait quilt of Doreen Speckman and she used fabric that implied facial features--it's terrific!