Sunday, January 29, 2006

Friday's Art on Sunday

Remember my husband wanted me to make some art by Friday? Well, I got the full sheet of watercolor paper stretched on the kitchen island and I applied two coats of gesso to the surface. Not both at one time. There was considerable drying time. Like overnight. Then there was the pencil sketch on Friday. Finally, on Saturday morning (for me-afternoon for regular people) I started applying acrylic paints. This is not an original design or idea. Years ago my husband and I saw a painting in the lobby of a McDonald's restaurant. We knew the owner and asked about the painting. The owner hated it. I offered to buy it. He didn't know how much it had cost. I asked if I could take a picture. He said yes. I lost the picture. Now 13 years later I find the picture and make a reasonable facimile. The picture and my painting look like fraternal twins. Not identical but there is a family resemblance. Mine has a water feature to the lower right and a neighborhood in the upper right and cars. The original doesn't. The colors are the same. The McDonald's in our town is in a neighborhood near ( sort of) to the coast and water. I like it. Not the McDonald's--the painting.

Today is Chinese New Year and I have paperwhites in bloom. (Good Luck) Last night the smell got to be too much for me. I tried spraying the flowers with Febreze but they still smelled so I got the plastic bag the watercolor paper came in and covered the flowers and vase. Now they smell but very faintly. As soon as New Year's Day is over, they go out on the sunporch. Or I can cut all the flower heads off and enjoy the green leaves.

I made this in a class I taught at our local quilt chapter. Everyone brought a magazine picture, catalog picture, postcard, calendar or whatever. Some image they really liked. They also brought a small piece of batting (9 by 12 inches--not big) and a scrap of fabric in the background color of their picture. I also asked them to bring glue in stick or bottle and a bag of scraps they had or stuff from the fabric wastebasket and scissors.

When we began the exercise they put the background fabric down on the batting. Then I asked them to stop. I then took their batting and image and gave it to someone else. The new person had 5 minutes to work on adding to the background with the scraps they had brought. They glued the bits down on the background. After 5 minutes (could be longer but check on the interest level of those working), I moved the batting and image to another person. Sort of a "Round Robin". After a suitable number of moves (ie interest level of participants) return the piece to the original owner. Listen to gasps of pleasure or displeasure. Then let them tinker with it or not. I usually had multiple colors of tulle available for "auditioning". Once the fabric assemblage was covered with tulle they could take it home and machine quilt over the top.

Now what was interesting to me. I did this once at an Art Quilt meeting and the results and the participation was AWFUL. I was perplexed to say the least. I did it with my local chapter--strictly traditional quilters-- and the results were SPECTACULAR! So good, that we put a collection of 20 pieces in the annual Maine quilt show and they were very well received by viewers. One participant had made a piece in the "Art" group and used the same image when we did this workshop with the "traditional" group. Side by side, the one the traditional quilters worked on was more vibrant, inventive and gorgeous. We decided the "art" people were trying too hard. Anyway, the traditional group asked for a repeat workshop and made more pieces. They really enjoyed the process--it was so foreign to them. You can do this all by yourself--I make my quilts this way only I use my own line drawings as a starting point.


Deborah said...

love the painting. such great colors and those wonky houses!

Deb R said...

Love the MickyD-inspired painting! It's so vibrant and FUN!