I have a lot of respect for the authors and illustrators of children’s books. Some can absolutely make my heart soar. When I volunteer in first grade, I can see the joyful response of children to books that are put together with imagination and insight. Simple images and simple stories require a lot of care to create well.
I feel a part of that process as I am bringing along one of the projects in my studio. It features a dull brown village beneath a dull brown sky. Above the browns, the sky blends to a beautiful blue. There will be something magical in the sky. I want this piece to speak to adults and to elicit an emotional connection. But I am using a child-like vocabulary.
Last week I had only put together the pieces of the brown village. (The fabric was the result of some wonderful fabric-printing sessions with a palate limited to brown and black.)
This week I have been working on completing the sky, and on putting the two parts together. I have created the watercolor-looking sky with monotype prints on sheer fabric, layered in an organic way. There’s lots of stitching. It holds the fabric in place, ties the color sections together, and creates a sense of motion.
I like the ambiguous way the color works in the composition. It does not imply a specific time of day or night. But there is clearly a contrast between the dull brown associated with the village and the bright blue above. That’s what I hoped for.
After I attached the village section to the backing of the whole piece, I felt they needed a little more visual integration. Time for spatter! I confess to loving to spatter paint. It almost always adds just s bit of nuance that I like.
Here’s the quilt-in-progress on sawhorses outdoors ready for spatter.
My favorite spattering tool is a round cleaning brush. It delivers a lot of dots quickly to a large area. With practice, I have learned to pretty accurately determine if I will get great big blob spatters or a fine all-over mist. (But sometimes there are unanticipated surprises.)
Next for this work is the creation of the characters that will inhabit the setting and the magical event. Because I am creating this work for a specific call-to-artists, I think I’ll keep that under my hat for a while.
So… here’s some other magic that I enjoyed this morning. Just a little unrelated life joy – I can’t resist. They are so beautiful. It’s blackberry season!
The berries in our garden are just bursting off the vines. Each morning we hurry out to harvest what’s ripened — before the birds get them. The not-yet-ripe ones are an exquisite array of reds.
These have ripened indoors on the windowsill. I predict they do not survive the day without coming into contact with ice cream
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