Sunday, April 29, 2012

More Green Man

Are you getting tired of seeing photos of the same darn quilt?  This is turning into quite a project.  My friend Kedra recently made an interesting observation that reflects similar observations by my sweet husband and my brother Bob.  She said that my whimsical quilts (like the Farkleberry group) are amusement for me - fun to do.  But my portrait quilts are more serious projects that take a lot more work of an entirely different intensity - more Art than craft.  I agree.
And right now I am struggling with the Green Man - but starting to make progress.  Why are noses so darn HARD to do?  Is it because they stick out of your face?  I don't know - but I do know that they are always the most difficult part of the face in my portrait quilts.
Here is the latest photo of my progress.  Work is still needed on the gold part of the chin and around the nose - and I think that the mouth needs to stand out more.  As always I find value in taking a photo and sitting back to look at it......    barbara

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Neck for Green Man

Green Man is now fused to the black fabric and ready to paint.  He also has a neck so his head will not float away.  I am sure he is relieved - although it is hard to tell from the expression on his face.

One thing that pleases me greatly at this point is that changing the chin fabric to a lighter color emphasizes the difference between the chin and the neck.  Aren't I clever?  Actually just lucky....

Next step - start to paint.  Next question - where to start to paint?  A lot of the areas are pretty scary to paint (like the eyes) - so I think I will start with the creases in his forehead.  No - you can't see them YET - but they will add a lot once they are there.  Then maybe the mouth....      barbara

Green Man with Lighter Chin

So what did I do first thing this morning?  I replaced Green Man's chin with a lighter fabric.  Not that there was much to choose from - almost the entire yard of fabric is in this face!  So here he is with his new chin - much better.

The difference is especially obvious when you see the comparison in black and white.  I need to remember to use my camera more often when I quilt - it is like having a separate pair of eyes with different glasses.  Here are the black and white pictures of the chin before and after I changed the fabric.

My next question, before I fuse the fabric:  does he need a neck?  I have a neck, you have a neck, does Green Man need a neck?  It would probably keep his head from floating away....


Friday, April 20, 2012

Green Man Quilt Initial Stages of Design

Another portrait quilt.  So here is the story...
My Red Man Quilt was at the SAQA show in Little Rock and the quilters had the opportunity to have their quilts critiqued by this wonderful artist (whose name I forget but will add to this blog once I look it up).  One of her comments about the quilt was that I should make it larger so that it would be more of  a "presence".  I agree with the comment and decided to try it with this quilt.
The Red Man face was 18 inches tall - so initially I made this drawing 1/2 again as large or 27 inches tall.  Math logic is NOT one of my best skills.  When I printed out  the face at 27 inches it was ENORMOUS.  More than I wanted to try.  So I adjusted the size to 23 inches tall.
This is a picture of the initial drawing with the values indicated.

The next step is to select the fabric.  This entire portrait is from one single yard of beautiful hand dyed fabric that my good friend Jan made. 
Each small piece of the puzzle that makes the face is selected using a process designed by Esterita Austin (thanks for the great class Teri!).  Complicated to explain but if you stay organized it is do-able.
This photo shows all of the pieces pinned to the paper pattern.  The next step will fuse the pieces to a piece of black fabric.

This is the really scary part of the process for me.  You can tell that this is a face but none of the real detail is there yet.  That is all added with paint.  I am going to try to use transparent Set-A-Color paint this time instead of opaque.  I am curious to see how it works.

When I looked at the photo above, the dark green section at the bottom of the chin looked a bit too dark to me.  I am learning that if you are needing to check the values in a piece of art, it is helpful to take a black and white photo and then look at it on the computer.
So I did just that.  And I do think the piece on the chin is too dark.  I will try a more medium tone tomorrow and see if it works better.
Watch for a photo!        barbara

Tea Bag Quilt Panel

I have a stack of tea bags of various types that I collected some time ago.  I did make one really lovely little quilt with tea bags that had little drawings on them.  But I hadn't done much with them lately.
Then I saw something on one of the emails that I get from various magazines - how to make a little panel of quilted squares.  So I made one - and enjoyed the process.
It involves stenciling a design with acrylic paint on a tea bag, then outlining the design with white paint, then attaching and quilting the tea bag to muslin and attaching it to a layered square of colored fabric and felt.
The three little squares are then attached together and dyed scrim is attached between them, stitched, and beaded.  Little beads are attached to the bottom.
                                               Here is a detail photo....

I enjoyed the process but I think I will get some better stencils with small designs.  This was the smallest stencil design that I have on hand.  I would also like to try some more abstract designs and possibly a nine square design.  But it was fun!  barbara