Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Looking at your Favorite quilts...What makes you Happy

I loved the discussion (as times heated! great!) last week about how to be happy.....strangely enough I was reading yesterday, in a book about something completely different, that one of the best ways to be happy is to be learning something new.
Despite that!!  I though it would be interesting to look back over some of the  quilts I've made and decide which ones I was happiest about...and why.

I've made quite a few quilts in my time - between two and three hundred - and I thought it would be very interesting to look back at them and see which ones I would select as my favorites.  It might also help direct me....and tell me something about myself!

"Where Bong Trees Grow" was always my daughter Clare's favorite:

Where Bong Trees Grow
 It was one of a series of ten pieces I made that were all 60" square - a good size.  Agnes Martin chose this size for her paintings because she felt that it was "life size" - you could really feel you were IN the work.  I liked this quilt because of the atmosphere  - the sense of the magical castle (I was definitely adding Sleeping Beauty to Edward Lear here!) on top of the hill.

As a would-be minimalist though, I would say one of my favorites is Farne Islands:

Farne Islands

I wanted to capture the many different moods of sea...or ocean as you say here in the the distance with the odd sparkle, roiling around when you're close up, or splashing over the rocks - plus doing all the surface design for this was so much fun!!  Loads of different techniques.

A New Day

A New Day was a favorite too because I love the sense of silence and expectancy that you get very early in the morning...the sky is streaked with a million colors that float into each other.  There's the glow of the first sunlight angling onto the houses where all are peacefully asleep - but you the first one to be up and about can appreciate the quiet softness of the early morning.

Everything you can Imagine is Real

 I like this one because it's so rich in its color...without being garish, and there's a mystery about these emerging (or are they disappearing?) figures...I love mystery in a work.

City of Mists
 always loved this piece...I had challenged myself to use only grey.  I dyed every single kind of grey I could think of: brownish, pinkish, bluish, greenish etc - you just add two complementary colors together then tip the relationship first one way...and then the other.
I have a whole lesson about dyeing neutrals in my Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers class, by the way - it's with

Black and White, No Grey

I just adore black and looks so good to me I could just eat it!!!  Always fancied a black and white living room!!    This quilt also has two things that are really important to me: movement and mystery.  Great combination!

 Incidentally, as I look back at these, some of my favorite quilts, nearly all have been repeatedly rejected from the Big Shows.  They get into All media art shows with no bother, and I don't enter the smaller quilt shows (it's just too expensive to enter very many with both the entry fee and all the shipping costs) I don't know what that tells me about the direction the art quilt world is going..I must be on a very different path!  

It's a really useful exercise to pick out your favorites and figure out just WHY they are your faves....
sure wish I could ask some of those Big Names which ones they love the best!  And if any of Them are reading this (!) plus any of you (of course) please send me picture of the quilt you made that you feel is the pinnacle of your oeuvre so far.....tell me why you love it...72 ppi and about 6-8" wide will work...and I'll upload whatever I can to the next blog!  Send the image and the statement to:  - the AT being @ of course.  Thank you!!!

And, if you have been, thank you for reading....all comments very much appreciated!  


Chris said...

I am fascinated and thrilled Elizabeth, that the first two quilts you show are among my favourites in your work - the first I chose to review when doing a City and Guilds course, and the Farne Islands is simply my alltime favourite - perhaps because I live on that island south of mainland Australia! This quilt captures so much about the colour, moods, movement and changeability of life on the edge of an island. Love it!

Lisa said...

They are all wonderful but I have a weakness for black and white quits as well thanks for sharing!