Posts tagged Lincoln
Working From Photographs0
This morning, I was spending a few minutes on Facebook, and Dorte Jensen, who was accepted in SAQA as a JAM member at the same time I was, posted a picture of a piece she made of Lincoln to the Art Quilts page. Given the recent discussion of the use of historical photographs in your artwork, I couldn’t help but think that comparing her picture of Lincoln to mine makes my argument all too clear — that the use of a photograph as inspiration does not mean that the artist is merely copying the photograph. Obviously, there is immense skill in drafting a pattern from any photograph and rendering it in your own style.
Although the inspirational photograph for her piece is slightly different than the one I used, it is obvious that our styles are completely different.
This is Dorte’s piece.
And this is mine.
If our pieces were merely copies, they would look almost identical. Clearly they do not. They each have their own spirit and life and attributes that make each one special.
Dorte has also recently made a piece of Ben Franklin that is marvelous. I hope you enjoy her website.
As portraitists, it is inevitable that we will turn to historical photographs if we want our work to be marketable. The skill with which they are rendered are no less than if we were to use one of our own photographs. As long as the copyright is clear, they are a wonderful source of inspiration.
Houston Festival part 31
To continue from my last post, at this point in my adventure, preview night is getting ready to start.
TWEET: Preview night starts in 15 minutes.
5 hours of marathon-ing for me. I had high hopes. I knew that I only had 5 hours to see all of the quilts and then see the vendors with what little strength I would have left. After walking around the convention center yesterday, I had convinced myself that tennis shoes, however practical they may be, were going to be my shoes of choice. I admit to vanity — after seeing a certain someone looking incredibly fashionable in leather pants and low heels — I just couldn’t do it. I came to regret that later. This is the view of the vendor area from a portal on the 2nd floor before the show opened.
TWEET: Line to get to escalator to go downstairs to exhibit hall. Waiting for it to open. Quilters are such polite and friendly people. This was probably most apparent in the line of people waiting to go down the escalator to get in the show.
I took a lot of pictures of quilts at the show. Immediately as I started taking pictures, I could see myself being a hypocrite. For years, I’ve been concerned with people taking pictures of my work at shows and not giving attribution — or giving attribution but then putting their copyright image on the picture of my piece (which then gets pinned somewhere & causes confusion about copyright ownership) — or not putting the right permissions on something posted in FLICKR that allows anyone to print mouse pads with my images. I really need to just take a breath. I will show some pieces, I will give attribution, I will give links if possible, and if someone is uncomfortable with that, I will gladly delete the piece. First of all, I had another piece in the show — The White Raven.
There were many other birds in the show. I have to say that there were so many well done birds in the show, I may be done with birds. To say that the work was fantastic doesn’t quite cover it. This is Barb Forrister‘s Sunrise Serenade. I had to take this piece at a strange angle so there is some camera distortion — but the colors and the threadwork on this piece are inspiring. Barb really knows how to bring a peacock alive.
This is Ricky & Lucy by Nancy Sterett Martin and Karen Sistek. It’s painted silk. It is fabulous.
TWEET: My piece Firecracker next to Barbara Beasley’s Best Friend. I love hers. #quiltfestival
Remember my new friend Karen Ponischil?
This is her wonderful piece Princess Daphne that won an honorable mention in the Art-Miniature category. LOTS of thread painting to get that wonderfully furry effect.
I don’t want to forget to show you Christine Alexiou‘s piece Seven Deadly Sins one last time — so you can truly see that there were multiple pages in her fabric book.
I had a great opportunity to spend some time speaking with Thelma Bearden. Her piece, Very Berries, won 2nd place in Art-Abstract, Small. She is also a painter and has a wonderful grasp of how to make color work for her. I don’t think that my camera does this piece justice.
At the very end of the exhibit hall was the Healing Threads in Medicine exhibit, a group of quilts curated by the same people that curated Sacred Threads. I had two pieces in the Herndon, VA Sacred Threads exhibit but was unable to attend. They have since also traveled to the Sacred Threads-Omaha exhibit. It was wonderful to meet Lisa Ellis and Vicki Pignatelli and thank them for the wonderful opportunity to be included.
TWEET: Me with Lisa Ellis & Vicki Pignatelli.
At this point, I stopped and went back to my piece. Can you believe I only took this one shot of it with its blue ribbon? I didn’t even think about getting someone to take a pic of it with me and the ribbon.
Then I went to dinner with my new friends at the other end of the exhibit hall. When we were done, I wandered through the vendor area. It was completely overwhelming. There was stuff everywhere. I should have bought things — but I didn’t. I bought one Pashmina scarf. All of the fabric was either a novelty or brights so nothing really interested me — but I think also that exhaustion was starting to overtake me. I really wanted to find the Superior Threads booth because I love their thread — and I did manage to find them — but by that point, I was done. I was completely exhausted. I had almost an hour left before preview night closed down, and I just couldn’t do anymore. I did love this booth — it was full of the most amazing dolls. These are the dragons.
TWEET: Amazing doll patterns!
On the way out, I took one last look at the section where Lincoln was. I thought about getting a good group shot of the White Raven — but I just couldn’t make myself go backwards. TWEET: I’m exhausted — can’t do any more. Crawling back to my room.
Thank goodness the convention center is attached to the hotel. It was so easy to get back to my room. This is what the convention center looked like from my room.
And this is some of the skyline of Houston that night.
I had a fabulous time — but I was ready to go home. This shot was taken very early the next morning outside the front of the Hilton while I waited on my shuttle. TWEET: Houston — I’ve had a blast — but I’m heading back home to my girls.
One of the items in my winner’s envelope was a long list of awards sponsors to whom I was asked to send thank you notes. I have to admit that my first reaction was one of trepidation, but upon further reflection, I realized the wonderful extended opportunity it offered. I went home and ordered postcards from Moo.com with Lincoln on the front. I am currently addressing them in preparation of sending them to all of the wonderful sponsors.
TWEET: I’ve ordered from MOO! Jealous? Get 10% off: http://www.moo.com/share/mctdkn via @overheardatmoo
— It is now a week since I wrote this post. Unfortunately, server problems kept me from posting it.
I will have one last post on Houston — with the remaining pieces that I fell in love with.
Houston Festival part 20
After the Winner’s Circle, you can be certain that I hardly slept. I went to the hotel bar (perfect spot for a party of one), had some soup, and then went back to my room to try to sleep.
TWEET: Victoria Findlay Wolfe took this just before I walked on stage last night. #quiltfestival
I wish I had a pic of me on the stage. There was a photographer there but I have no idea who he was working for. Anyway, I’m very grateful to Victoria for taking this.
The next day I had a leisurely morning and basically waited for lunch time.
I was so pleased that my new friend Karen sent me a message asking if I wanted to join her for lunch. We met at the door and sat at a table with several of the winners from Japan. They didn’t speak very good English but they were incredibly kind and friendly.
TWEET: Takido Fusako on the left game me a hand sewn flower that is beautiful!
The woman on the left, Takido Fusako (her piece Crest of Tulip won a Judge’s Choice award), gave me a hand sewn pin (which looked awesome on my black jacket). The woman on the right, Sachiko Chiba, gave me an autographed print of her beautiful quilt My Hope that won 3rd place in Hand Quilting.
TWEET: Flower that Takido Fusako gave me. #quiltfestival
On the stage, all of the top winners ate lunch and then spoke about their piece. The first speaker was Best of Show winner Melissa Sobotka.
TWEET: Melissa Sobotka winner of best of show Chihuly’s Gondola. It’s truly stunning.
TWEET: Melissa — “pay attention to the judge or blow them off” — love it!
She had shown this quilt at another venue and one of the judges told her that there was a problem with the binding. Melissa’s point is that you either take their opinion or don’t worry about it. She did ultimately choose to take off the binding and re-apply another one before sending it off to Houston for judging.
TWEET: Vicki Anderson owes 18 sewing machines! Her speech on Getting Published.
TWEET: #judimadsen mentioned in her speech – on how to make a beautifully quilted quilt.
I’m Facebook friends with Judi and I follow her beautiful machine quilting so I was excited that Vicki showed her work and gave it its proper praise.
After the luncheon, there were a couple — just a couple — of vendor tables outside. I loved these fabric cakes. It reminded me of the felted teacup I made a few years ago.
TWEET: Too cute!
TWEET: I bought this year’ spin & they gave me freebies for 2004, 2007, & 2012. The one on the top left is this year’s pin.
It was strange walking back to my room, seeing quilters that are famous quilters.
TWEET: I feel like such a stalker. I know their names, I follow them on FB but I can’t bring myself to introduce myself.
I went back to my room and took pics of the Convention Center from there. It is such a large building, I couldn’t even get half of it in a frame.
With time to spare before Preview Night at 5pm, I spent some time in the gym. This is the view from the west tower of the Hilton.
TWEET: Technology is so cool. Delta emailed me a check-in, they txt’d a link to my boarding pass, & I saved it in Passbook for tomorrow.
This is my first time to be completely dependent on my smart phone to check in. I’ll never print another boarding pass.
I had planned on putting everything in one post from this one day in Houston — but this post is growing by the minute. I think I’m going to split the rest of it into another post. So look for a part 3 in a couple of days.
Houston Festival part 12
TWEET: While I’m in Houston, I’m sending my tweets to my personal FB & my FB Page. I apologize for double tweets but want everyone to see the pics!
This is how I started my exciting 48 hour adventure to the Houston Quilt Festival. I wanted to share it with as many as my friends as possible. I was so excited and nervous about going, I accomplished practically nothing in the last couple of weeks leading up to the show other than packing my suitcase.
I went alone. I haven’t traveled alone since I was much younger and I looked at it as a grand adventure.
TWEET: Checked into Hilton Americas — isn’t the Chihuly glass chandelier amazing?
It’s impossible to mistake a Chihuly. There are two of them like this at Hilton Americas. I was lucky to find a room in the Hilton — it’s connected by a walkway to the Convention Center — something greatly appreciated by me when it poured rain on Wednesday and Thursday.
TWEET: Walked down bad streets to find this amazing place — District 7 Grill.
But this Tuesday, the skies were clear. I checked into the Hilton. I was starving — it was so late — but I was determined to be more original than eating in the hotel. I turned on my iPhone & looked for a restaurant nearby with at least a 90% approval rating. The closest one was District 7 Grill. I crossed the street to the convention center and made a left — which unhappily took me in the wrong direction. I ended up walking completely around the convention center — which is huge and covers probably 4 or more city blocks. I had to be careful about the streets I walked down and stick to ones with cars on them. I eventually found this haven of wonderful food. I had someone tell me it was in China Town. It was certainly a place that the locals go.
TWEET: Did I mention — no calorie counting on this trip?
I know it’s cliche’ to have a picture of my plate — but I couldn’t help it. It was 2:30 my time & I hadn’t eaten since 6am. This is a grilled veggie pizza on naan bread with feta cheese & pecans. I ate the entire thing. No regrets.
TWEET: An hour until I get ready. Decided I can’t eat dinner before I go — too nervous. Next tweet — Winners Circle.
I ate so late though that I wasn’t hungry later. Mix that with the excitement of getting ready for the Winners Circle — and the most I could get down was a banana. At least I was able to find some fruit downstairs in the lobby.
TWEET: The infamous Paula Nadelstern carpet.
Many quilters know the story of Paula Nadelstern, a quilter famous for her kaleidoscopes, showing up one year, looking down, and seeing her designs on the rug leading from the hotel to the convention center in the walkway. She successfully sued them for copyright infringement.
TWEET: I’ve seen Charlotte Warr Andersen & Jamie Fingal in the halls — rock stars in the quilt world.
I kept passing people that I know — but I don’t know. It was very surreal. Although non-quilters won’t necessarily know these people, I’ve seen their work & followed them for years — some of them I’ve even spoken with on Facebook. And yet I couldn’t bring myself to say something to them. I suppose a part of me thinks that famous people should be allowed their privacy.
TWEET: I’m here!
I finally found the correct ballroom. There are signs every 100 feet for a ballroom down the length of the convention center — none of them marked anything other than “ballroom”.
This is Karey Bresenhan speaking at the beginning. She is the the nexus of the entire International Market and Festival. She is the founder and without her, none of us would be there.
TWEET: Ran into my friend Denny Webster & her friend Marilyn Wall! I took pic with my camera so I’ll blog those later in the week.
I was standing by myself in line waiting to go in to the ballroom when I spotted my friend Denny Webster! She used to live here in Atlanta but moved a few months ago to North Carolina. She was there with Marilyn Wall who I was delighted to meet.
TWEET: I’m in my red Vera Wang — I’m overdressed.
I did feel overdressed — although later I was glad that I had chosen it. There was a full range of dress code — from jeans to full kimonos.
TWEET: I’m really close to Sharon Schamber — too strange!
She was sitting in the front row. I’ve followed her work for years. I follow her techniques for my bindings. I have my pressing board built like hers. Thank goodness for YouTube — I’ve never met her in person though. She’s petite like me.
TWEET: Bonnie McCaffrey is videoing at the front & Luana Rubin is sitting next to her.
Again, two people who I find interesting and follow. Bonnie was videoing the ceremony from the 2nd row and Luana was seated next to her.
TWEET: My heart just stopped! Did you hear it? 1st place in Art-People.
That was a moment to remember. They called 3rd place — so I thought — oh good! 2nd place! And then they called 2nd place — and I knew. I whispered “I think my heart just stopped.” I certainly stopped breathing.
I wish I had a picture of me on stage. I managed to get this picture from Victoria Findlay Wolfe.
TWEET: Fairfield Mastery Contemporary Artistry to Noriko Nozawa — gorgeous!
I took this pic the next day but it came out better than the ones I took the previous night. I found this quilt (Photographer Darling) worth studying. The background is quilted with a grid of black thread on white (mostly) — the postcards are black thread-work on white — and the image of the photographer is cross stitch! I did wonder how she managed to keep this piece flat — given the change in thread layers across the piece, it had to be challenging.
TWEET: Babylock master award for innovative artistry — Jane Sassaman!
This is also a pic from the next day (Illinois Album). It has a black border that is difficult to see because of the black hanging background. The design is phenomenal, but what struck me as surprising is that the white background is not a typical cotton fabric — it’s an embroidered white, probably not cotton. She also used a lot of embroidery stitches from her machine. These are not details that affect the overall design but they are interesting details for close inspection.
TWEET: Superior Award for Thread Artistry — Masanobu Miyama! (He’s a man!)
The majority of quilters are women so I’m always struck by a man that’s a quilter. He was the only man in the top winners. This piece (Wind) is very small. He painted the fabric with Tsukineko dyes, fused all the pieces down, and then heavily thread painted it. His wife was there and also had a piece in the show. They were from Japan. (30% or so of the winners were from Japan.)
TWEET: Pfaff Award for machine artistry — Shirley Gisi!
I didn’t get a great picture of this — but you can see it on the IQA Winners page here. It’s an abstract piece that effectively uses gradation fabrics to create 3D effects. Very clever.
TWEET: eQuilter award for WOB — Christine Alexiou — love this one!
This piece is called Septum Peccata Mortalia (Seven Deadly Sins). It opens like a book and has several pages.
That night, I was sitting next to Karen Ponischil (who won an Honorable Mention) and Christine on the other side. We shared our joy of the evening together and ended up meeting the next day to spend time together. My experience in Houston wouldn’t have been the same without them.
TWEET: Founder’s Award – Karen Seivert & a 2nd one to Margo Hardie!
I was confused here. Karen Seivert won a Founder’s Honorable Mention. Then Margo Hardie and Janet Stone both won Founder’s Awards.
TWEET: Another one to Janet Stone!
TWEET: Best Of Show — $10,000 award — wait for it ………
TWEET: Best of Show — Melissa Sobotka — stunning!!!
I don’t know that she could have found a better dress to stand beside her piece.
TWEET: Will get a better pic soon!
This, of course, is my better pic. It looks like a painting — or a photograph. It is raw edge with commercially bought batiks. I was stunned that raw edge has gained such acceptance. I hazard to guess that this is the 1st raw edge that has won Best of Show in Houston. And when I saw raw edge — I mean that there is no appliqué stitch — only tight quilting. I saw this on many pieces at Houston — raw edge but tight quilting or thread painting. It’s making me wonder if I should continue to spend so many hours covering my edges with appliqué stitches.
TWEET: I stood by my quilt for an hour — wow!! Everyone was so nice!!
I’m so glad that my new friend Karen insisted on taking my pic as I didn’t get one with me later the next day when Lincoln had it’s blue ribbon next to it.
And the money shot. This is also Karen — I don’t know what I would have done without her.
TWEET: I took a bunch of pics that I’ll post on my blog when I get home.
And so I’ve incorporated them here — both my tweeted pictures and the ones on my phone.
And finally — I couldn’t ignore the coolest shoes in the room. These were Philappa Naylor’s boots. She won first place for Scarlett’s Crimson in the Wearable Art category. She does beautiful quilts usually around a medallion so I was surprised to see her in the Wearable Art category — but I understand that it can be thrilling to step outside your comfort zone. Even better to do it and succeed at such a high level.
I had a blast. Although I didn’t get to stay very long, it was incredibly fun.
Part 2 will come tomorrow and I’ll show pics from my second day in Houston.
2013 Georgia Artists Reception0
Last Friday was the Georgia Artists reception at the Abernathy Arts Center in Sandy Springs. I was excited to go. This is my 3rd year to be included in this exhibit and it’s always a great way to meet other Atlanta artists.
So this year, I prepared myself. I designed business cards & had them rush printed. I even went so far as to buy a new dress — something I never do. I came prepared as the professional artist.
I’m still glad that I did that — I should always do that — but this year was different. The artists didn’t mingle. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet one other artist other than the one that I already knew — and I pushed my card on her so I could at least have given one away. In retrospect, we didn’t have name tags like we have in previous years. Maybe that made the difference. Also, there was only one artist in the show that had been included previously. I wonder what damage the economy has inflicted on its community of artists.
Lincoln was beautifully hung. I always love to see my work hanging in a professional gallery.
This is me with my Lincoln.
And this is SPLAT! created by Leisa Rich. I’ve known her for a few years although we have mostly conversed on Facebook. I was blown away by this piece. It looks more like sculpture than fiber given the way it undulates from the wall. It’s mostly stitching on a vinyl material but there are holes filled with what I think is fine silk.
And here is Leisa with an Honorable Mention! Well deserved. Probably my favorite piece in the show.
I have been blessed with several exhibition opportunities lately that I wanted to share.
Bukonyan Elder was chosen as one of two pieces to represent my Fiber Art Fusion group in our sister organization Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance show Fiber ARTlanta. The opening reception will be May 3rd at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta 6:30 – 8:30pm. The show will run through May 27th.
Lincoln has been juried into the Georgia Artist exhibit opening at the Abernathy Arts Center in Sandy Springs, GA also on May 3rd 6:30 – 8:30pm. The show will run through June 14.
Both The Bowl Judgments & Beach Guardians have been juried into Sacred Threads 2013. Show dates are July 10 – 28 at Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, VA. The artists reception is July 13 1 – 4 pm.
I spent a long time quilting this piece. I took about a week to quilt his figure — but then I needed to do something for the background. I found that incorporating two different ideas gave me something workable without being overwhelming.
Like many people quilting on a domestic machine — I found some angles to be very challenging. My first design was a parallel flowing line which wasn’t too hard — but then I added swirls in the open spaces. These had to be done all in the same direction — so the left hand side of the quilt became a bear to manage. I found that rolling up the right hand side and holding it with rubber bands at the top and bottom gave me something to hold on to.
From this angle, you can see the background quilting better. I am so glad I took the time to add this texture to the piece. I think it adds to the feeling of age in it — and it’s a nice contrast to the contour lines on the face.
I think I’m slowing getting better at quilting. Although I’m not a huge proponent of the quilt police guidelines that the stitch length has to be perfectly consistent — and I do not have the luxury of a stitch regulator on my machine — over time, that is what is happening. I did not mark my design and chose instead to keep the framework of wavy lines organic — but even those became more uniform the more time I spent making them.
After a week of background quilting, I finally completed Lincoln. When I sat down to write my artist’s statement, I found it entirely too political, so I decided to merely include some of Lincoln’s quotes instead.
It feels good to finish before the holidays. I already have ideas for my next piece.
Me and Abe3
I am guilty of ignoring my blog. I took many pictures as I made his shirt, tie, coat, and finally his hair — but the progressions are not that interesting. The white doesn’t photograph well and the black — well I was overcome with black. Lincoln has a dour personage and although I didn’t intend this to be a dark piece, by nature of his hair and his clothing, there are a LOT of black prints in this piece.
This is how he looks on my black design wall. Not bad — but I thought he would look really good on a deep navy — something that would be lighter than his hair but still strong enough to evoke images of the Union flag. I even considered adding flag details in the background but decided that it would only distract from his piercing stare.
Clearly, I was wrong. It is hard to tell in the artificial lighting of most fabric stores how a value is really going to work. This one is much too dark. Sadly, I had been to a couple of local quilt stores, and this is the only one I felt had promise.
I found this sky fabric in my stash. It has a cool feel about it, almost as if Lincoln is standing on the battleground — but the white in the clouds is too distracting — another reason I finally declared that he needed a plainer background.
And then I found this green batik. It has a feeling of age to it. It has some texture in the print, but not much. It is exactly the right value. I wouldn’t have thought this would work — but there is some smoky blue in it that pulls out the color in his eyes — a faded gray that hopefully reflects weariness.
Today I’m pondering how to quilt him. I’ve been drawing on my picture of him. The lines of his face are so distinctive and different from what I’ve done before that I had to pull some new tricks out of my bag. The line under the left cheek for example had to be highlighted. The chin also sits in an awkward fashion and makes the joining of the cheek to the chin different from how I’ve approached it before.
Choosing Faces With Character1
At some point, as a portrait artist, you begin to want to do something different. Most faces aren’t as distinctive as you would think and the thought of working on a face with a lot of character becomes appealing.
Couple that with the recent election and my need to study American history, and I came up with the idea of working on a piece portraying Abraham Lincoln — our 16th President.
This is the very beginning — the first two values that show a rough outline of his face and ear.
Adding the third value makes his face almost immediately begin to come to life. (I was obviously starting this late in the day when the natural light in my studio was failing.)
The fourth value begins to show us the deep wrinkles that Lincoln had in his later years.
The fifth value is very subtle but shows some distinction from the fourth one.
It is at about this time that I realized, given the size of my pressing sheet that I’m using (sometimes I’ll fuse directly to muslin but this time decided to use the Teflon sheet), I am going to have to wait to finish the darker values in his ear and neck. (My sheet is 18″x18″ — I have my eye on one that is 27″x30″.) Otherwise, I would be fusing fabrics onto my ironing board — and that would just make a mess.
This is the sixth value. I am really pushing the envelope having this many values but I think it will work in the end.
This is the seventh value with the gray blue of the irises added.
And the eighth value is black. It adds that finishing touch of contrast. It highlights his eyes, his nose, his mouth, and his chin. I have also added the spark of white in his eyes.
This shows him with a completed ear. (You might not be able to see it here, but I’ve moved the pressing sheet over so that it is directly under the ear.)
There is actually a piece of black from his hair that will flow into the darkest part of his ear. I decided to add it all as one piece — so you’ll see that final detail after his hair is attached.
And then I started on his neck. (Again, I moved the pressing sheet down into the neck area.) I thought about only showing it completed, but I think it is equally interesting to see its creation in layers. This is the first value (which is actually the 2nd value in his face.)
The second value gives a little more definition.
The third value shows us his Adam’s apple.
The fourth value accentuates that.
The fifth value begins to give us shadow.
The sixth value completes the shadow.
And the black again gives the contrast, showing the outline of his jaw and the separation of his neck from the face.
The previous pictures were all taken while the piece was lying flat on my ironing board so there is some perspective distortion. This is the completed face on my design wall.
I may change his eyes to make them darker — but all in all, I think he is looking fairly good.
My daughter asked me the other day if I was going to put his stovepipe top hat on him. Although his hat is iconic, I can’t say that that had occurred to me — so I may put off working on his hair while I consider the design of the overall piece. As usual, I have not decided what to do in the background yet either.