Saturday, May 26, 2012

Breaking News









I'm sorry to say that computer gremlins have reeked havoc on some of the images on my blog and I have not been able to correct the problem.  In this case, the process shots are missing, but I was able to restore the image of the finished piece, and some close ups of the stitching which are at the end of the post.

No, I don't have anything particularly exciting to report other than I've finished a piece I've been working on rather extensively over the last few weeks.  'Breaking News' is the title of my newest mixed media piece.  It started with a cup of tea...

Last summer Doeteke, a friend of mine, was saving tea bags to use in her art and as I was drinking a cup of tea a couple of months ago I remembered this fact and started to save my own tea bags.  Then,  in April, Heather presented our GOE group with a challenge that involved using newspaper and the wheels started turning.
Sorry this image has gone missing and I can't
restore it...computer gremlins reeking havoc!
My first idea was to create a collage using wine labels and an article in the newspaper that talked about Copula's vineyards in California.  I decided to get my colour palette from the tea bags: mostly browns with some reds (from the herbal fruit teas).  I started with a piece of muslin, some acrylic paints mixed with gesso (thanks to something Leah, another friend and member of GOE, had said about a piece she was experimenting with) and my old driver's license, which I used to apply the paint.
Sorry this image has gone missing and I can't 
restore it...computer gremlins reeking havoc!
My next step was to use some matte medium to collage the wine labels (searched on-line and printed 'cause I just don't drink enough. LOL) and newspaper pieces (torn from the article mentioned above).  I then layered on some random pieces of hand-dyed cheese cloth to give it more texture.  So far it was going nowhere and I was feeling discouraged.

Sorry this image has gone missing and I can't 
restore it...computer gremlins reeking havoc!

I pulled out more paint, this time adding various metallics in coppers and golds as well as the original colours I had started with.  I also collaged some of the tea bags on at this point to try to get more of a subtle effect with the wine labels.  The tea bags are great for this because they have some opacity to them.  I was beginning to see hope at this point.  Ironically however, the more paint I added the less of the underlying collage I could see.

I have also been experimenting with rust dying lately and thought that some of the rust dyed fabric would work well on this piece.

Sorry this image has gone missing and I can't 
restore it...computer gremlins reeking havoc!
I cut several random circular pieces (freehand so they wouldn't be perfect), and I started laying them on top of the painted piece, auditioning their placement.  I settled on a gentle curved path that rose up from centre left and then curved down toward the bottom right corner.  The piece was looking too monochromatic at this point so I added some bits of a sheer black fabric to break it up a little.





I then grabbed a paint brush and some white paint to give it some pops of accent colour.  I started by painted the three circles near the centre left and then I created another random pathway, using straight lines and adding a few square shapes.  I also did some stamping using an old potato masher.  As I was adding the white I was sort of wishing I hadn't because it was just too glaringly bright.  

Seeing as the paint had for the most part obscured the newspaper and wine labels, I wanted to bring in some more newsprint (Remember the GOE challenge!) so I started tearing narrow strips and collaged them overtop of my white painted lines.    It was perfect to knock back the starkness while still keeping some accent.  A few more teabags were collaged over the potato masher stamps to knock them back a bit too.  By the way, at this point, the vineyard article was long gone and I was using newspaper from the front page of the paper.  That's when the name of the piece came to me.  Breaking news.  I was literally breaking (or tearing) news stories, and I was seeing words about killings, blood, etc.  That and the random areas of red paint, the footprints (or are they finger prints?) created by the potato masher stampings, and I began noticing 'evidence' appearing as if at a crime scene.

The next step was to layer it with batting and a backing and take it to the sewing machine for literally hours of intensive thread sketching/quilting.  I used a coppery red colour thread to highlight some of what I now saw as blood stains, as well as doing the pebbling effect on the rust dyed circles for some added texture.  A gold thread was used to bring out some of the areas that had been painted with the metallic paints, and the rest was stitched with a subtle taupe colour to create texture while at the same time pushing those areas back a bit.

Here are a few close up photos showing the stitching.  Click on them to enlarge, if desired.





And finally, here again is the finished piece, trimmed and ready for hanging.  I photographed it on a black background so that you can more easily see the shape of the finished piece.







20 comments:

  1. Ii am speechless.

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  2. i love the texture, especially that potato masher pattern! this is a rich piece with a lot to absorb. Well done!

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    1. Thanks so much Bonnie. I had such fun working on this piece. And yes, the potato masher patter is pretty neat. I look at simple objects with a very different eye!

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  3. Very interesting finish piece! OH how I relate to the story as we have an acre vineyard. Dark purple grape skins do not give a wonderful dye to fabric. I keep saving labels and have a newspaper article with my picture saved for a future piece. I can see a process that also makes a different turn. One of the members of my fabric art quilt group did an awesome rust dyed fabric picture which has faded badly over the years. My husband and son drink most of the wine at our house. I make wonderful low sugar jelly and cheese cloth turns ugly brown after a few weeks.

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    1. Thanks Ruthanne. I bet that 'ugly' brown cheese cloth could be wonderful in a piece of art. Have you every used any of it?

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  4. I found a wonderful bargain for 20 yards of cheesecloth and have dyed many yards and use it in underwater scenes and on art dolls. No have not used it yet, it you are probably right~so maybe you have pushed me into trying.

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    1. Go for it! Have fun and experiment. What's the worst that can happen?

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  5. I love this piece - even more so after seeing the process. The stitching is so wonderful - the texture of the whole piece is amazing. My mom always had me making papier mache as a child - so I love fabric/paper messing around. I will have to try this when I have some "mess around" time. Beautiful artwork!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Gina. It certainly was a fun piece to work on. I will definitely do more of this kind of work in the future.

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    1. Thanks Marika. It was an interesting challenge to work on.

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  7. I love your quilt. It is alive! Thank you for sharing.
    I will be stopping by occasionally to see what else you are up too.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I'm glad you like it. I'll look forward to your future visits!

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  8. Wow, thank you for sharing your process in creating such a work of art. Great.

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    1. Thanks! And thank you for visiting today.

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  10. What a striking quilt, reminds me of the redrocks of Moab, Utah.
    Great job.

    Come see my entry #46 Batik Tulips
    applique, hand quilt, wall hanging

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    1. Thanks Sandra. Interesting comment. I'm toying with doing a piece about minerals and I thought this had a rock like quality too. Glad to know you saw that in it.

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Linda

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