Sunday, June 12, 2011

Green House Mantra

I am so happy to share this piece with you!

Green House Mantra
triptych: 12x12", 36x26", 12x12"

(Click any of these images for a larger view.) I created this triptych as part of the Frayed Edges show at the Camden Public Library this summer. The Frayed Edges is my small art quilt group (and wonderful friends) that began when I lived in Maine. The theme of our show is "Letters." As a special part of the exhibit, we decided to create triptychs on the theme. Each of the triptychs will include a 12x12" quilt on the sides and a 36" wide central piece. The central pieces can be any height. Mine is 26" tall. There are just four of us in this exhibit. I can't wait to see all the triptychs hanging together.

Yes! I am going to Maine for the opening of the show!

When I began this quilt, I knew I wanted to further explore the landscape/house/shrine motifs I've been working on lately. I am loving strong bands of horizontal fabrics as the background and I thought it would be interesting to carry those bands across the three pieces.

Here is the center piece.
A close up of the house collage including a sheer envelope and just the suggestion of a letter inside.
The collage of fabrics and shapes leading up to the house might represent a porch or doorstep. There could be packages waiting or a message whispered through the windows.
Here is the left side piece. It was a challenge to get everything lined up and make sure that the side pieces would hang on the center line of the triptych, but still match up with the central composition. (Did that make sense? Anyway... lots of measuring.)

To further explore the theme, I thought about letters, words, stories, voices and ideas in books. Tiny books are nestled in the leaves of the tall plants on the side pieces of the triptych. It’s as if the leaves are unfurling a message of growth.


To create these "pages," I fused bits of text from pages of magazines to a very thin off white fabric. You can see the letters through the fabric, but the overlay obscures them enough to make them blend with the leaf shape. Each leaf has a stack of three pages that I stitched down the middle.

I've used many of my favorite images, motifs and techniques in this piece. The sloppy paint stamped circles, the hand stitched wildflowers, the tall stalky plants, the variety of fabrics and unexpected materials, handwriting as a graphic element and the machine stitched arched embracing the whole composition. I love repeating these elements in my work and I love the meditative process of creating them. It's like a mantra.

After finishing the final details and taking the photographs, I actually hung Green House Mantra in our entryway.

13 comments:

Rachel Parris said...

I love this. Thank you so much for sharing details

Gerrie said...

I like this. It looks great hanging in your entryway. I love how the two smaller quilts really extend the landscape.

Judy Coates Perez said...

Very nice Deborah!

Terri Stegmiller said...

This trio is super!!!

mathea said...

I really like this. You have certainly developed a style of your own, so I could have told right away that this was your work if seen outside your blog. That doesn't mean that it is predictable though, not at all! I love all the different details:that some of the circles are made of stitches, that some of them are painted, but continue in the sky as stitches, and those leaf books - love the idea! It looks realy good hanging in your entryway too, telling everybody who visits that an artist lives here :-)

Connie said...

It is lovely. I love that you are expanding your work but it is still YOU. The horizonal line really adds to the pieces working as a whole.

Brenda said...

Great triptych! I especially like the book leaves.

Kristin L said...

It looks great! I love those book plants!! This piece came together so well and all three pieces work so nicely together. I'm sure the Frayed edges show will be super. Best of all, you'll be creating a wonderful space with your friends.

Diane said...

What a stunning piece, Deborah! I want to look at this more and more -- your details are delightful (those stitches finishing the circles! and of course the impact of the whole thing is wonderful. It looks great in your entry and I'm sure it'll be a hit in Maine.

MomSusan said...

Hi Deborah, your father directed me to your website - I'm also clergy in WNY - and I love textiles. I really enjoy your explanations and sense of humor throughout. Love the "pages" in the flowers, how brilliant is that!

Vicki W said...

Very cool!

Natalya Aikens said...

lovely! and I am especially fold of the 3D leaves...

Anonymous said...

I find myself coming back to your piece green house mantra again and again. It is thought provoking thanks for sharing
Marsha in Va Beach and who knows where Crofton Md is :)