Sunday, February 24, 2019

Travel, Art and a DrEAMi!

This week I traveled to Montreal by train to see some great art, eat wonderful food and spend some quality time with my daughter.

Kent Monkman
Shame and Prejudice
A Story of Resilience

On Thursday, we saw Kent Monkman's exhibit, Shame and Prejudice - A Story of Resilience, at the McCord Museum. Kent Monkman is an amazing First Nation artist and storyteller. His work is funny, sad, colourful, provocative and socially relevant. I went through the exhibit twice - first by myself and then with my daughter, who answered my questions. It was great to be able to discuss this exhibit with her. If you're interested, check out Kent Monkman and the exhibit in the Related links below.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Wire Mobile by
Alexander Calder
The next day we spent several hours at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I've been there before to see special exhibits, but this was the first time that I took the time to go through the rest of the museum. 

The special exhibit was on Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor. Alexander Calder was an American artist who had a degree in mechanical engineering. He went to Paris during the 1920's and hung out with all of the artists, writers and musicians of the time. 
Calder metal mobile with a blue wooden background
A fun and colourful fish mobile
made of wire and glass by Calder



















Silkscreen printed fabric by Alexander Calder (1949)

He was very versatile and worked with all kinds of materials, especially metal. He is well know for his circus pieces as well as the creator of mobiles

Calder even made jewelry and designed fabric. This is one of two silkscreen printed fabrics that he designed in 1949. The motif reflects his mobiles as well as the shapes that he used in his work. 

Isn't that fabric wonderful? It looks like a retro pattern from the 60s! His work may not seem like a big deal today, but he was a man ahead of his time.







Ultramarine Blue by Ron Martin

Ultramarine Blue at the
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
There was some very cool art but the piece that intrigued me the most was Ultramarine Blue by Ron Martin. Ron Martin in a Canadian artist living in Toronto. This piece, acrylic on canvas, was created in 1971. He explored working with one colour for ten years, from 1971 to 1981.  It started with Ultramarine blue and bright red and then he spent many years working with black.

Although I'm not often attracted to monochromatic pieces, I just love the variations of the blue as well as the mouvement. It makes me feel happy and free. As usual with art that I like, I started wondering if I could use textile to create the same kind of effects.
Ultramarine Blue by Ron Martin
My Blue Painting

I started by trying to create these lines of mouvement  with thread. I used darker thread to make lines and swirls for the background. I created many parallel lines to get the impression of brush strokes.  
Creating the background mouvement using dark blue thread
I added lines of lighter thread but it became obvious that using parallel lines of thread just isn't the same since the brush strokes are full of paint, not empty. So now what?
Adding  lighter blue thread
I went to my stash and made wider brush strokes using bits of tulle and gauze. Again, I started with the darker background and then added the lighter fabric. I think that it's starting to look more like brush strokes. Unfortunately this is as far as I can go since I only had a little bit of light blue tulle. 
My Blue Painting so far
What I learned
  • I love looking at art, but it's becoming clear to me that I'm always looking at it through my own textile lens. 
  • For example, I liked the Alexander Calder exhibit but all I wanted to do was add bits of streaming fibres on those lovely mobiles. 
  • It was great learning more about Ron Martin - turns out my daughter knew who he was! It's funny but as I looked at some of his work, there is definitely a textile vibe there, even if he works with paint.
  • My Blue Painting is my DrEAMi! project this month - as in DRop Everything And Make It!, the linky party hosted by Sandra at mmm! Quilts. I've missed the last couple of link-ups, so I'm glad that I'm on time for this one :-)
  • This week, between the Funky Square Flower Mola and My Blue Painting, I have two more WIPs to finish! I think that UFOs and WIPs are much easier to make than finishes 😊
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking up to DrEAMi!, with Sandra at mmm! Quilts and Free Motion Mavericks with Muv.  Don't forget to check the out as well as these other fun link-ups. Monday Making, Design Wall MondayMoving it Forward, What I Made Monday, Wandering Camera, Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Midweek Makers, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday, Friday Foto Fun, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? 



18 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! Your museum visits looked enjoyable, and I understand looking at everything through a textile lens. I'm doing that more and more. The blue painting is interesting. My first thought to making a textile version was to begin with piecing a watercolor quilt in blues, then add the texture. I really like the direction your interpretation took you! So cool. I agree that UFOs are far more fun to make than finish!

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    1. Hi Wendy, thanks! I really liked making this piece and am happy to say that it is finished. I'll probably post it in a week or so.

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  2. I just posted my February mini and it is a study on blue, kinda/sorta, and here is your DrEAMi! all blue. Love what you've done so far, and yes! Ron Martin's blue piece is so very cool. I had not heard of him until now. I do like the Alexander Calder fabric - I can see a modern quilt there. Never heard of him either, shame on me. I have never been to the Montreal Fine Arts museum, so I'll definitely keep it in mind for next time; have been several times to Montreal, love that city. :-) Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Hi Sandra, I love your mini - yes, I guess blue was in the air last month!
      I had not heard of Ron Martin or Alexander Calder either. It's always great to learn :-) My blue piece is finished and looks so much better in person. I will post it later.

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  3. I love using museum visits for inspiration--thanks for taking us along on your trip! That fish mobile really captures my interest.

    Thanks for linking up to What I Made Monday!

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    1. Hi Becca, I also love that fish mobile - so colourful and obviously ahead of its time. Museums always inspire me, although not usually this literally!

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  4. That sounds like a very interesting museum trip. I love the way your blue is coming on :)

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    1. Thanks Janine. I finally finished it. I really love it and I'll have to figure out a way to make the photos look as good as the piece! That's not always easy.

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  5. I learned a bit about Calder's mobiles in my college FPA class. My teacher was a huge Calder fan. Ron Martin's art is new to me. What I loved about it most is the way if inspired your art. I loved your inspiration to use tulle.

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    1. Thanks! It was great learning and seeing Calder's work. I'm happy that I saw Ron Martin's piece. My interpretation is done and will be posted soon. I'm happy that I used tulle, and even some sheer ribbon that added dimension to it.

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  6. I have never thought about quilting directly from art - but it is an art form itself! How neat!!

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    1. Hi Amber, if you're interested at looking at art quilts made from
      "real" art, check out Art with Fabric Blog Hop. There isn't going to be on this spring, but there are three years worth on the internet.

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  7. I think we met through the Art with Fabric blog hops, so it's lovely to see you still interpreting art into textiles. Thanks for sharing your inspiration at the Chameleon's party.

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    1. Thanks Dione, it's going to be hard not having the Art with Fabric blog hop this year so I'm hoping to make a few on my own. It's still my favourite type of quilting!

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  8. I love the museum highlights and how you did your art quilting interpretation of one of the pieces. How neat!

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    1. Thanks Sherry. I can't seem to help myself. When I look at art in a museum, all I can think about is how I can interpret it with fabric :-)

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  9. Hello Andrée,

    The free-style blue quilting projects look such great fun! It is so liberating when you just let a project take you in a direction you don't necessarily expect it to go.

    Love, Muv

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    1. Hi Muv, thanks! I got it finished a few days ago. I really love it and am looking forward to exhibiting it in our Fibre Fling next month!

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