Friday, July 01, 2005


Diane and Melody have stirred up a new discussion as a result of Diane's recently posted "blue teapot." Yeah! I love it when Melody rants and gets everyone fired up and thinking about what it really means to make art.

I'll start by saying that when I first saw the teapot, I thought it was a painting. Then I asked my 6 year old daughter what she thought of it. She didn't like. "Kind of plain and not very colorful." I also asked her how she thought the artist made it. She said, "paints." I think it's a delightful piece of work. How big is it, Diane? If it's smallish, I'd love to have in hanging in a sneakly little spot in the kitchen. I agree with Diane that it's an interesting juxtaposition to be surprised by the medium.

Speaking of being surprised by the medium, have you seen these wooden quilts? I just can't help but ask, why? why? why? Sometimes I'm delighted to be surprised by the medium and sometimes I'm totally turned off -- even if I'm impressed by the workmanship.

As far as pictoral quilts, I like the idea. I have a fantasty of having enormous stunning professional portraits of my kids hanging over the mantle. But, the cost of a professional portrait sitting and reproductions are way out of our budget. So, then I think... I could make some myself. And maybe someday I will. I would certainly put my own spin on it. There would be no question it would be made from fabric. I think Lori Lupe Pelish's work is quite inspiring. I wonder if she uses Photoshop. I also really like Ellen Linder's still lifes in fabric. I think there is a common "battle" in art quilting between using hand dyed fabric vs. commerical fabric. I like both, but I could never give up delicious commercial dots and stripes!

Oh and speaking of Photoshop, I'm too impatient. All those tools and layers and filters and effects. Arg.

Also in Diane's post is the unwritten question of What is a Quilt? I used to think this was a tiresome discussion. I was ok with "three layers stitched together" and no other rules. But, as I've been perusing the new Quilt National book, I've changed my mind. I'm not so sure bakery bread sack closures make a quilt. It is ART for sure and I think all those juried into the show are deserving, but...

(By the way, I'd love a page by page discussion of the Quilt National Book. That could be muy interestante.)

As far as teachers pushing us outside of what we might have expected to do, Hooray! That's what teachers' are supposed to do. We're all grownups. We can tell them to shove off if we wish. Politely, of course.

I took a class from Melody in May. Part of the concept of the class was to make small composotions with the idea that they could become really excellent large works. I told her I wasn't interested in making big quilts. I'd like to sell some stuff I think smaller is more marketable. Plus I don't have the time, space, energy, discipline or patience to work large. But everytime I look at the small composition that she said was the best and think about making it bigger, my pulse races a bit and I consider sending her an email to ask if I might buy a couple more pieces of her special edition silks so I could make it bigger.

Blah blah blah. I've gone on too long here. And I'm not even sure if I made any worthwhile points. We're off to the Farmer's Market. I'll keep thinking about all this.


Diane Perin said...

Good thoughts, Deborah...and I have to say, I LOVE those wooden quilts. I love the surprise of discovering that they're not what you think. I'd buy one in a heartbeat if I had the $$ floating around.

My teapot is small. And I know what you mean about shying away from big pieces...and yet I do see that they have a huge impact. I'd love to see your fused piece really large! And in silk! Woo hoo! Could you try dyeing your own?

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's the differences that make the world interesting.

Re: the QN book....I was very disappointed...the color was horrid. The work was so much more vibrant. Re: the bread bags *quilt*- I got a kick out of it. It was, IMNSHO, art. And, by the strictist definition it IS a quilt. Personally, I liked it better than some of the other work I saw in the show. There were some beautiful pieces, some worth discussing, and some that I have no clue how they made it into what is supposed to be the most prestigious quilt show in the US. I have seen works by other quilters that were much more deserving.

Again....just my NSHO.


Melody Johnson said...

The two artists that you mentioned are my two faves when it comes to pictorial quilts. They really push the medium.
Don't forget, I was crabby when I wrote my post to Diane. I feel better now.

Debra said...

I have a friend who went to QN and was quite disappointed this year. She kept on pointing at the pieces and asking: what is innovative about that??

Personally I loved most of the pieces in the book, and would have liked to see them in person.