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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

All Over the Map (but then again, it's March!)

Here is my Work-in-Progress post.  Now, there may be no handstitching in this piece, but bear with me.  If you have been following me on Facebook, you may have heard me whine about how I can't paint/don't paint...  I really crave to make something large scale.  I wish I was a painter sometimes, but I much prefer fibre.  I have been really drawn to a particular style of painting where you can see large brush strokes of blended colours.  It's a bit impressionistic, though I often see this style in landscapes.  I've been intrigued at the notion of enlarging my little prairie postcards, using those compositions as seeds for larger wall pieces.  I am not an art quilter.  I think I've made 2 art quilts.  I tossed aside the batting a long, long time ago and with a passion for handwork and detail, I took on the label of 'embroiderer'.  After 2 months of non-stop hand work, my blogger friend Holly McLean (Through My Window) suggested the very same idea to do my postcard-style fabric art on a larger scale.  With that, I cleared a table and began something big.  I thought about collaging like I do with my postcards, but with more little pieces that might emulate a painter's brush strokes.

Here i go!

I do not like to fill in existing pictures or templates.  With this landscape, it's pretty straight forward, and so I begin with a big blank slate.  It's about 20" x 40".  There is my monitor in view, with an image of grazing bison I took in 2013 on my way back from teaching out of town.  THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL.  It was Spring.  With spring so very close on the calendar, I was very drawn to recreating this.

I snipped and I snipped.  I tried to pull out colours that I could see, hidden within the photo.  I am telling you I honestly did see orange and purple.  : )  I have bags and bags of hand dyes and batiks.  I typically use them for classes and 4x6 fibre art, but this time I thought they would make great paint palettes!

20 x 40 inch 'puzzle painting'

It was fun!  I have no idea how to stitch it.  I certainly enjoyed the process.  I spent all weekend placing diamond shaped pieces.  It was like sitting at a big table, working on a puzzle at the cabin.  That's exactly what it felt like!  I was relaxing while assembling a giant puzzle.  I was totally focused.  "Hmmmm... where does this piece go?  Ah!  There."  "Hmmmm... where does this piece go?  Ah!  There."  Over, and over again.  It's cool because that is how I taught the children to do fabric landscapes, like a game of matching or I Spy with bits of cloth.  Stepping back to check on the big-picture progress was so rewarding.

* * * Don't mind my ADHD, but after 2 days of saturating myself with creating, I realized: OMG I have Gardenscape Art Show & Sale to produce for!  And I have to prepare for classes and a lecture for a Spring Weekend Retreat 4 hours away.  Isn't it tax season too?  Needless to say, this whole new project is now set aside to the back burner.  It's not that I shouldn't have started it.  I certainly needed to get that out of my system.  However, there are so many things coming up fast and I need to prepare for those.

Every year on this blog, I have had a post titled, 'March: in like a lion, out like a lion.'  It's a good thing the longer hours of sunlight also bring on a big surge of energy and productivity.

Late last night, after my whole family had gone to bed, I couldn't sleep.  Maybe it's that big bright moon.  My head and heart were swimming with ideas, still in creation mode.  I knew I wasn't able to let it go, so I headed back to the studio around midnight.  I thought I may as well since I had all my 'paints' out.  With some left over pieces, I assembled a 12x12 inch top for an art quilt.  I'm so glad I did!  I love this!  It's simple, but it's enough.  It's such a good memory of a beautiful moment.

work in progress

After all that, I had a good night's sleep.  I'm ready for you, March.  : )

linking to WIP Wednesday @ TN&TN


HollyM said...

Monika, I'm reading your post and when I saw my name, I thought oh, oh, what if you we're going to say that my suggestion led to disaster.
It sounds like it was a fun process. I know how it feels when you're in the zone and can't sleep because of it.
The larger piece and it's process which can often happen gave you the spark for your bison piece. It's lovely.
The bigger piece is going to be beautiful too.

SuperMomNoCape said...

Your art piece turned out great. I love the single bison in the middle of the scene.

elle said...

This is such a fun piece that you have done. Luv this way of working!

Lin said...

Great work Monika. xx

Threadpainter said...


Fabulous Monika ... way to go !
Waiting with bated breathe till you can get back to the first one :)

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