Monday, May 21, 2018

Morning has broken - Art with Fabric Spring 2018

Welcome to Art with Fabric, Spring 2018 edition!

Morning has broken

What if surrealists created happy, colourful art? That's the premise of my art piece today.
Morning has broken
Alida, our amazing host and organiser, chose the theme of 1+1=3. I did some research and while I'm intrigued by surrealism, I find the lack of colour rather depressing. There is enough harshness in the world without my contributing to it. However, when I found a painting featuring an egg as the sunrise, my imagination went into overdrive. I love the concept of the egg as sun and harbinger of life. So, I took the egg concept and ran with it.

Vladimir Kush - Sunrise by the Ocean, 2000


Vladimir Kush was born and grew up in Russia where he attended art school. He now lives in Hawaii and owns 4 art galleries. Many of his work are based on mythology and symbolism. While some of his pieces have vivid colours, I find that as a surrealist, there is usually something evocative and sometimes disturbing in his work.

When I first saw Sunrise by the Ocean on the internet, it was attributed to Salavador Dali and called L'Aurora, 1948. It was my daughter, who is studying art history, who researched the piece and found that it was actually a work by Vladimir Kush. Apparently misattribution on the internet is quite rampant.

Creating a background

The first step was to find fabric for the background. Both larger pieces are hand dyed fabric. I bought the sky fabric but the bottom fabric comes from last summer's experiment with hand dying. The egg shell is from a commercial fabric with a very light paisley pattern. It was perfect for free motion quilting (FMQ). I didn't cut the ragged edges of the eggshell until later, when I was sure that it was what I wanted.

I experimented with three different suns. The first was a bright yellow fabric but was too small. Then, somewhere on the internet, I saw an amazing looking moon that had been pieced. My first pieced attempt was too symmetrical but the next one made it into the piece.

Creating the background
You can see a little bit of pink fabric peaking behind the sky. I didn't want to use interfacing so I used some thin cotton fabric to make it a little sturdier, since I knew that I would be attaching a lot of fabric to the background.

Auditioning the foreground

I cut out many flowers, leaves, trees, animals etc. (can you spot some of Tula Pink's amazing fabric?) but wasn't sure how I wanted these together. On my new design boards, I auditioned three different "looks".

I can't exactly say why I chose the foreground that I did, except that it was somehow lighter and more vibrant (Foreground #2).
Foreground #1

Foreground #2

Foreground #3
After examining the photos of the three foregrounds, I chose to go with the lighter one and then played with the placement, using fabrics from all three to come up with this almost final version.
The almost final foreground
I sewed the fabric to the background, using a lot of thread sketching to highlight some of the fabrics and colours.

Details: the sun and water
Shimmering sun and water

Now it was time to make the sun and water shimmer. I knew that this would be the highlight of the piece and that made me quite nervous. I took out my box of shinny transparent fabrics (gauze, tulle, silk, etc) and started playing with colours. It's not a very big box and my variety is rather limited but I really wanted to make it work without going to get more fabric.

I have a very light silk scarf that I bought in China that has the most amazing colours. The scarf is too delicate to wear but is perfect for using in art. I did a lot of fussy cutting to get the yellow/pink/orange for the sun. The fraying added the perfect look around the sun.

For the reflection of the sun in the water, I already had a yellow hand-dyed fabric to work with. Using some gauze and more silk, I managed to get the colours that I wanted. Over all that went a sparkling tulle that just makes the water sparkle and shimmer.

Putting it all together

I always find it hard to decide when to stop thread sketching and when to add the batting to quilt. I actually sandwiched this piece before I started playing with the sun and the water.

Details: the sun and eggshells
For the eggshells, I FMQ the design on the fabric before sandwiching the piece. Only the outline of the eggshells are quilted, making them really pop out.

After the sun and water were finished, it was time to start quilting the foreground and finally the sky. I played around with the quilting of the flowers, sometimes quilting the actual flowers, while at other times quilting around the flowers to make them pop. There were many lessons to be learned 😊

I decided to use a facing to finish the quilt. I like how it finishes it and at the same time it will let me finish working on the quilt while making it look good on this post. I still have a little bit of quilting left to do on the background.
Morning has broken, Art with Fabric, Spring 2018
What I learned
  • This was the first time that I've taken the time to create various parts of the quilt to audition it, like the sun and the different foregrounds. It really didn't take that long, and was so worth it in the end. I feel like this project was much more deliberately constructed than my other work. 
  • I've never quite fallen in love with one of my pieces as I have with this one. Last week I was higher than a kite....on art!
  • However, after that euphoria, it was a hard drop! I think most of it was due to having worked so much on this. I was exhausted. I actually did almost nothing except read two books. It was also difficult to go back to actually finish the piece, but once I started, everything was fine. 
  • As I mentioned, I learned some interesting lessons while doing all of this FMQ. It's probably because I was bored that I started experimenting with two fabrics that are similar - they both have smaller flowers with lots of leaves, and I had already thread sketched the leaves. For one of the fabrics, I quilted the flowers and some of the leaves, while for the other, I quilted the white space between the flowers and the leaves. I must admit that I would not usually have thought to FMQ in the white background but it was very effective.
  • I had a really hard time deciding what to do with the sky. Finally I just FMQ some lines and added a few clouds. It was hard to keep it simple after having quilted so much in the foreground. I think that keeping it simple was probably a good idea. (I have to finish quilting a few of the lines to the edge since the piece ended up being bigger than I originally thought!)
  • I still want to do a little bit of quilting of the background fabric that shows around the foreground. I did some of it, and it does look better when it's flattened and lets the flowers in the foreground pop.
  • I also considered adding some seed beads, but I really don't want to distract from the shimmering water and sun - so I think I'll skip the beading. I'll just have to find another project to bead :-)
Project Details

Morning has broken
14" x 20"
Material: hand-dyed fabrics, commercial fabrics, tulle, silk, gauze.
Techniques: applique, free motion quilting, improv piecing








Related Links
Here are the links to all of the other participants of this Art with Fabric Blog Hop. I will update the titles and their links as the week progresses.

Monday, May 21, 2018
Janeen: Art with Fabric Bog Hop
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Shannon: New Quilt: Twining, Art with Fabric Blog Hop

Julie: Art with Fabric Blog Hop

Art with Fabric blog hop - Spring 2018 - DAY 4
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Alida: Art with Fabric blog hop - Spring 2018 - Poison Apple

Linking parties


Please note that although you may have subscribed to my blog, I do not collect or share any of your information, including when I host link-up parties. If you are a subscriber, you can unsubscribe at any time. Blogger and Google may use cookies and collect analytic information from these blogs. 

34 comments:

  1. I like your idea of surrealism with all the negativity removed! :) I'm glad you have fallen in love with your piece, it deserves to be admired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Dione. It was great working with those lovely fabrics and making something pretty!

      Delete
  2. I love the art you used for inspiration and your project is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Velda. It was great to get back into making art quilts and discovering Vladimir Kush.

      Delete
  3. Your art quilt is beautiful!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a neat quilt, and fun to read your thought process as you worked through it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wendy. I find that I learn so much by taking the time to review my process and decisions.

      Delete
  5. I agree with Wendy. It is always interesting to me when the maker takes me through her thought process as the project develops. I love that and it is helpful as well. Great job on this - it is lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bernie, I really enjoy that also since it's a great way to learn from each other.

      Delete
  6. Great interpretation of the artwork. I was unfamiliar with it and learned a lot reading your post. Your quilt came out lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I had a blast making it and learned a lot.

      Delete
  7. What does using facing to finish the quilt mean? I'm one of the co-participants in the hop (tvonzalez at gmail dot com).

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is beautiful. I love all the colour that you added to the sun/egg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa. Colour is probably my favourite part of any quilt or art :-)

      Delete
  9. It came out great! I really like surrealist paintings. They are so bizarre. You licked a good one .

    I must not have gotten the memo about a 1+1=3 theme. I’m not sure what it means but looking forward to seeing what people do with the theme.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol. You may not have gotten the message about 1+1=3 but Jackson Pollack would certainly fit into that. The theme can mean anything, including platters of paint on fabric or canvas :-)

      Delete
  10. I like the making something literal out of a figurative phrase. Daylight breaking now has new meaning. And I like what you did to brighten the original.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Claire. I actually picked the name Morning has broken based on the song by Cat Stevens. I think that it goes well with it!

      Delete
  11. Absolutely amazing interpretation of the theme! Thank you for sharing so many details of the creation process... it is fascinating to follow you through this journey and you shared so many interesting lessons!!! Thanks for being part of this blog hop and for inspiring!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Alida for hosting this great event once again. I always look forward to participating!

      Delete
  12. A really lovely project, definitely worth all the work. I think you did an amazing job for a first time effort at creating a landscape. Lord knows, they are not easy to do. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great concept, and wonderful idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heather. It was a lot of fun to work on.

      Delete
  14. This is a beautiful take on the original piece, and definitely a piece of art. This is inspiring me to try and branch out more. I don't think outside of the box far enough I generally just take off the lid and peek over the edge. I joined a blogging group call the "Endeavourers" to try and remedy this, but still have not stretched much. You have helped me for this quarter's entry in Aug I think. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! This is my 5th Art with Fabric and each time I am getting a little bit out of the box :-) My first piece was essentially a copy in fabric of a art piece that I own. Since then, it's been just a little bit more out there. I am so glad for the opportunity to make this art - it really helps to be a part of a group, or blog hop. All the best!

      Delete
  15. Sujet bien maitrisé bravo beau quilt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci beaucoup Marianne. J'ai eu beaucoup de plaisir a le crééer :-)

      Delete
    2. Et bravo la langue française avec le triple "e"!


      Delete
  16. Good Morning Andrée,

    This is so gloriously nuts! Is it a landscape or breakfast? Your bright and cheerful interpretation of the theme is wonderful.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks. Your quilt is project of the week!

    Love Muv

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Muv, I had such a wonderful time making this. I would love to make another in the same style (maybe without breakfast, but maybe I shouldn't dismiss that too quickly!) Thanks so much for all of your encouragement :-)

      Delete

I would love to hear from you - and since I have now fixed my settings, you should be able to leave a comment.