The Creative Journey

For me, the creative life is a journey…and I learn and see so many interesting things along the way!

Some artists are able to plan ahead; I love their work and their process, but that doesn’t seem to be the way I work. I am a fly-by-the-seat-0f-your-pants serendipity kind of gal. Too much planning and I would probably be bored. A case in point…since a larger, new art quilt I had done didn’t fit the size requirements for an upcoming arts council exhibit, I decided to start a new piece of art. I was on a deadline, so I decided to keep it simple. I pieced and quilted it, using simple hand dyed fabrics and one black and white screen printed fabric.  I didn’t quilt it all over, but left areas that were not quilted which “poufed” a bit.

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At some point after the work was done, I decided I wasn’t happy with it. It was too one-dimensional; it needed more depth.  I painted a diluted layer of black paint over it…but was still dissatisfied.

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At this point, the adventure was still good, but getting a bit scary.  I decided to “whitewash” it a bit with gesso.  I like to use white artists’ gesso to tone down colors.  The whitewashing effect is great for a background.  In this case I was just going to (gulp) add the gesso sparingly. I rolled it on with a roller in a hit and miss style.  My intention was not to completely cover the quilt, but to add highlights.

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Hmmm…the gesso was interesting…I liked how it hit and accentuated the unquilted spaces.  After considering it for awhile, I decided it still looked unfinished.  I didn’t like all that white.  This was a good time for panic..what could I do to change it?  It had way too much white and it was too late to start another piece.  This one would have to do, but it needed something…

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I have been using paintstiks for a couple of years. Shiva oil paintstiks are oil paints in solid form.  The paint doesn’t spread like a liquid paint does; it stays where you put it.  This solid characteristic of oil paintstiks is good for hitting the raised areas of  quilting.  I decided to go with these, adding color to both the red and blue-green areas of the quilt.  Now I’m pleased with it.  I do feel this was a lesson that nothing is unredeemable and maybe one needs to just keep going and searching until the answer comes.

Picture 027

Weathered Places 32″ x 30″

Comments

  1. Posted April 21, 2009 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Katharine, I thoroughly enjoyed watching your process…….and the end result is great!

  2. CYNTHIA
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I loved the layering and the fact that you kept adding demention until you felt it was finished.

  3. Phyllis
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed seeing your step by step process and your techniques for highlighting. Beautiful work.

  4. Posted April 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Katherine, your bravery inspires me!

  5. Posted April 21, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I really like seeing the progression of design elements. Create and respond. Making art is a process!

  6. Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Hey thanks everyone for coming by and commenting. I do like the process and sharing what I did with you. Now go and try something new!

  7. Posted May 7, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Katherine,

    I really enjoyed seeing the progression of this piece. I have an “unredeemable” piece that I, too, have been considering painting over with white. Your experience encourages me to give it a try.

    One thing that I think really helped make your piece a success if your wonderful quilting. That created interesting textures for catching the gesso.

    Your final result is awesome! Ellen Lindner

  8. Posted July 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Ellen, for leaving a comment. I am so glad you enjoyed the process and final results.

Please leave a comment

One response

12 12 2010
Lynda

Love this! I’ve been wanting to buy those paint stiks!

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