Monday, February 18, 2008

New Work

This piece has been completed for a few weeks. I'm not sure why I haven't posted it yet. I think I just needed to soak it in. So, I guess it's soaked.
It's called Construction: Concrete and Stone. It's 50 x 40." (Gigantic! The biggest work I've done in a long long time other than the long skinny piece which was only big in one direction, so it still felt small in a way.)

You saw some in-progress and detail shots of this piece last month. Here is a finished detail.

The piece came together quickly. I knew what I wanted to do and I kept working until it was done. It came together in about three weeks, I think. I don't work in the studio "full time," so three weeks would be a long time for some artists, but I work in between lots of other responsibilities. (In fact, we had a bunch of house guests during the making of Construction.)

I came across a wonderful quote in D Magazine in a profile about a local painter. Jacques Lamy said, "I believe in speed. If you know where to go, you should not have hesitation." A brilliant statement. Putting it into action: not so easy.

Part of the reason Construction came together quickly is that I used a composition from an earlier work.
This is Branch Out #1. It's just 11 x 10." I created it in a workshop with Melody Johnson in 2005. The concept of the workshop was creating small, medium and large elements and then putting them together in various compositions. You can see the rest of the Branch Out series here. Melody also suggested that if a piece was particularly successful in a small size, it should be made larger. I scoffed. "I like to work small." Ahem. Three years later, the concept came rushing back to me as a genius solution.

I took out the tree icons and just used the very basic, rectangular shapes and the idea of layering to create the new piece.

Here are some random wide shots so you can really see the difference in size in these two pieces. Here's my terribly ghetto photo set up for Construction.
And here is Branch Out #1 hanging in my studio. (The tiny one on the top in the center.) You recognize Sonji's icons on the bottom?

I have sent off my images and paperwork for Tactile Architecture 2008. I don't enter to many shows, so it feels like an accomplishment to complete the work, feel confident in its execution and send it off into the world.

Construction was inspired by the experience of having our homes built here in Texas and in Maine. The cobblestone section in the middle is all Maine. In fact, the purply fabric under the stones was a Christmas gift from my Maine friend, Sarah. The other sections make me think of piles of 2 by 4s, wide slabs of concrete and contractors wearing jeans and listening to Spanish radio stations. I had to put that all into words for my artist's statement. For this show, it seems they jury heavily on both the work and the statement. It really has to be about "architecture." Of course, jurors have their own vision and I'm not sure my work will inspire them. That's fine.
I've got to sew sleeves on several quilts in the next couple of weeks. This quilt will get a sleeve and go right up on the wall in my studio. I hope you'll come visit.


Vicki W said...

It's a really nice piece Deborah! It was nice to have the background on the composition of the piece too.

Mrs. Mel said...

Wow! I am IMPRESSED. And you made it so YOU too. Very very impacting, which is what happens when you use strong bigger shapes as you did here. I must follow suit. We just did another furniture rearrangement day, and now I have a big open wall that is quite empty. This must be fixed.

Fran├žoise said...

It's a beautiful piece! And I enjoyed reading all you had to say about it.

Helens Art Studio said...

I'll have to ditto what Francoise said.... and add I love the soft colors

Rebecca said...

Deborah, this piece is fantastic! The elements all came together so well and with a wonderful story behind it, too. Thanks for sharing,

Pam said...

it's great Deborah! Pam P

momma helen said...

How EXCITING! Such a big piece, and all still you.

Thanks for sharing your little-piece to big-piece work. I have no design sense, and it was great for me to see how the elements of the first piece became the elements of the second piece.

You've inspired me to stop reading blogs and get back to working on my first big piece.
Here I go!

Diane said...

Your new piece is wonderful! Love the structure, love the colors, love the feeling it all evokes. And it's big! I'll bet it makes great impact in person, but it sure looks good in the photo!

Gerrie said...

Oh, you are right our construction pieces would look great hanging together. I love those stones!!

Karoda said...

Deborah, this is a nice did you apply the stones? and is this the beginning of you working in larger sizes?

kathy said...

big is right! I didn't realize you were standing on a chair until I looked more closely! The colors are so nice and give the 'construction scene' a beauty you wouldn't see in real life. I REALLY wish I could see it up against that great brick that somewhere in your new house?

Sarah Jayne said...

What a great quilt. I think you've done a terrific job. Thanks sharing it with us all.

Sarah Ann Smith said...

Way Cool... and yes, that IS large for you! Isn't it interesting how comments and techniques like Melody's take a few years to work their way into and then back out of your sub-consciousness ... they've taken root and sprouted I guess!

And how cool that is my fabric!!!!! FUN!

Hugs, Sarah

Anonymous said...

The new larger quilt is stunning. I really think the combination of the Stone strip and the colored fabrics work beautifully in tension with each other

Kristin L said...

I'm a bit late to the party, but I want to say kudos too. My fingers are crossed that Tactile Architecture likes it as much as we all do!