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Monday, 28 February 2011

Summer 2 & Prairie Fire 2 too!

Monday.  I love Monday morning.  It's so darn relaxing.  Sunday is the busiest day ever always around here.  This morning I'm going to check out framing options with my boy.  My small pieces look so sweet and precious under glass.  Plus it protects the piece from dust and damage.  Shadow boxes are the best, however the ones from dollarama just won't do any more.  It must be why artists take 50% up front for commissions.  That way they can afford to get the piece framed.

I was reading Ann Brauer's recent post on making the same piece more than once - good or bad?   She will.  I will.  I am.  I think I learn a lot each time.  Each one ends up a bit more evolved than the last.  It refines your techniques.  And though I expected repeating a design to be boring, it isn't.  I'm making Summer again and it's a completely different experience.  Work in progress:


This is Summer 2, and is the scene while driving to North Battleford along the North Saskatchewan river valley.  The non-embellished green is the 'other side' and the blue is the Table Mountain range.  The It's 5x7 and awaiting stitched birds in the sky.  Maybe a pair?  Maybe a flock in a V?  We'll see.  The sky is painted cloth.  I am not stitching it.


The funny thing is that, to me, this piece could be done.  Two people have seen my unfinished work and commented that there needs to be something for the eye to look at.  I know that in theory.  But for me, there is LOTS to look at.  Just look at all that sky!!  ; )  Really, what more do you need!?  : )  I look at this and my shoulders go down.  I can breathe.

Is this my mom's fault?  It must run in our blood.  Do you know I share her birthday?  She visited me once in Calgary after my water broke with my first pregnancy.  She was in a state of panic with the Rockies right there beside the city.  She didn't last, and escaped on the next Greyhound back to the prairies.  She missed the birth of my first child because the landscape made her claustrophobic!  Isn't that funny?

And so, why can't this piece be done as is?  I think it's beautiful.  (but I will add the birds...)

After piecing the top for the Spring Sunrise, I decided to give this a try.  This photo was taken in December of 2009.  It's the Winter Solstice Sunrise.

those are my children's fingerprints all over the screen!  ;P

It was an incredible morning where we had thought we wouldn't be able to see the sun come up.  Those dark clouds just about the horizon were thick as a brick wall.  I was about to drive home when all of a sudden up it came!  It was gorgeous.  I made this postcard from it last year (teeny - 4x6").


This Saturday, I put it back up on my computer screen and worked away at the cutting table with the batiks I do not love.  And I put this together!


It's a perfect rendition so far, but seriously - who on earth would hang this one in their home?  It looks so unreal.  Someone will love it.  I will put the photo's road & telephone poles along the horizon because I feel it's such a prairie signature.  It's a little shocking to the eye.  Very strong.  It definitely needs to be in the right room with the right decor.


Okay, back to those french knots in the bright and sunny canola field!  See you tomorrow for Tips on Tuesday, featuring my friend Bee.  Don't miss it.  And for all the locals, Guild Meet is tonight!  Please bring things for the garage sale at 6:30.  Email me if you need extra tables.  : )

~Monika

14 comments:

fabriquefantastique said...

Monika...i always enjoy your blog and enthusiasm.

Scrappy quilter said...

You do the most beautiful work. I love it.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Spoken like a true prairie girl !! HaHa!
I feel the same way, those mountains and trees just get in the way of the view!
I love you fabric landscapes, they are just amazing! Great work.

Anonymous said...

Funny, we just got back from a family trip to Banff. I was going to ask you if you have ever done mountains? Would you do mountains?? (Do you hear another commission calling?)
-Jesica

Margaret said...

1. Is your friend Bee also my friend Bee (http://beesfiberart.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-sketchbook.html)?

2. About the sky: we had our family in Calgary, but I was brought up in SW Quebec and summered in a cottage on a bay on the St. Lawrence -- 'the Lake', we called it. When my daughter visited Nova Scotia last summer, she said she couldn't see the sky for the trees. When my husband died in '06, I became homesick for trees and rolling hills and 'the Lake' but knew I couldn't go back to Quebec to live, with my family here now. I chose instead to move to Central Alberta where I have the trees, the lake(s) -- and I still have the Big Sky! I think I won all 'round. :-)

3. About repeating work: I have trouble getting past 2 pieces that are roughly the same in colour, technique, pattern...I find I have to change something...and I do. Makes my 'series' pieces less obviously such but...to each her own, I guess.

Blessings!

Becky said...

Beautiful! All of it! I'm afraid I'm like you in some ways, but very different in others. I grew up in the deep south... flat, flat flat, but tons of trees. When I first saw the mountains, I was awe-struck. I lived in them for 15-ish years (Oregon), but when I moved to Michigan I missed them so incredibly that it was shocking. Now that we're back in Oregon, I never want to leave the mountains again. I love batiks too! And I'd totally make something more than once, especially if you can sell it and make some money!

Anonymous said...

Tara said...

I'm a prairie girl, too. Just living inside the city I miss seeing the horizon every day. It takes my breath away when I get out of town.

The mountains didn't bother me much when I was in Calgary, they were way over there. But my first trip to Canmore was pretty funny. I spent the weekend thinking that is was going to rain any minute. Why, you ask? There was always this huge something looming behind me. On the prairie, the only thing that looms like that is a thunder cloud. Thus, I spent the weekend thinking it was going to rain.

I love your batik sunrise. Abstract but such wonderful strong colours. I would paint a room to match that if Jeffrey would let me.

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Oh how I adore your work. You seriously make me want to break out a photo and give this a try. I wonder if I could create my dog in fiber. Hmmm. As for making pieces again, I can do it, but I know what you mean about wanting something fresh too. And yes, I would be ok to consider that Summer 2 done. Birds will be nice, but it won't be the focal point.

Can't wait for a peak at all those french knots, bet it adds so much texture. Happy sewing!!

Grandma Coco said...

I think there's a huge difference between working with the same subject more than once and reproducing the same piece more than once. Many artists like to work in series, where you approach the same subject from all sorts of different angles. There's a lot to be learned by doing that.

If I were asked to replicate a drawing for someone because the original had been sold, I'd feel I was cheating the buyer of the original. That person has a right to think his is unique.

Clearly, your Winter Solstice Sunrise with the batik strip sky isn't a replica of the postcard. It's the 2nd in a series. That's what I think, anyway. I also think it's beautiful! I hope you'll show it with its telephone poles when it's done.

Colleen said...

I've driven that stretch of road, and know what you mean. The sky, the ribbon of river - it's gorgeous!

My DH has the same uncomfortableness with mountains as your mom - although we live in Calgary, so I guess he's not quite so bad. But we drove through the mountains to Penticton every summer for years, and he would never stop at Three Valley Gap - he was always scared one of the mountains would crash down on him!

I love your work!

Kat said...

What talent you have!

Wendy said...

Your post reminds me of a little story I read in Reader's Digest many years ago.
A BC native asked a visiting prairie farmer what he thought of the mountains and the farmer replied...They're ok but they sure spoil the view!

Bernie said...

I’m like your mom when I am in the mountains!! I can tolerate Calgary and in fact lived there for 4 years but always wanted a mountain view so I could actually see somewhere. I lived in North Vancouver for 1 ½ years and absolutely hated it. Only time I was happy was when we were sailing on a friends boat out on the ocean. I am a big time prairie girl!! Love the wide open spaces and I probably wouldn’t have put anything in that picture!

Ann Brauer said...

I love that story about your mother. I remember the first year I was in Boston. The Charles River froze solid that year. Although they gave us lots of warnings of danger--I would walk to the middle of the river because that was where I could see the sky. Love your prairies and thanks for the mention.

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