Papa’s First Touch

I am starting a new quilt to include in the series Scenes from an Ordinary Life, currently titled Papa’s First Touch.  

Working,original photo

Hard Working Man

I am so excited and pleased that my little quilt “Hard Working Man” was selected by the jury panel to hang/compete in Houston at International Quilt Festival!  This quilt is from my current series titled “Scenes from an Ordinary Life”.   It speaks about an ordinary family; race, religion and politics do not play a part, just the love between a hard-working father and his baby girl.  My Dad worked as a mechanic; I remember vividly his grease stained skin and the smell. Still to this day, I love the smell of a working garage with that lovely grease smell in the air.  This special memory makes me appreciate the moments where he gave me the most precious gift: his time and unconditional love.

Scenes from an Ordinary Life

 

So My Wild Life series is still ongoing, but has slowed.  I love doing animal portraits, but then, I love doing portraits of people too.  One of my issues with working in a series is that I get bored.  Does that mean that I have chosen the wrong subject matter?  I don’t think so, but in order to keep it fresh and exciting, I am working on a second series.  This one titled “Scenes from an Ordinary Life” explores portraiture, but done in a snapshot sort of way, capturing a moment in time.

These are stories that happen in mere moments and ones with which most can identify.

 

Walking Abby
Walking Abby

 

Helping Papa
E and Papa


Hard Working Man

My Wild Life, Raccoon, Part 3 cont…..

Choosing threads!
Choosing threads!

Choosing the threads to use is always fun.  Tomorrow, I will begin the thread painting and will have much progress (I hope) to post next Friday.  This is my initial palette of threads; I reserve the right to change, add, or subtract any of them.  🙂

My Wild Life, Raccoon, Part 3

My hope is to post here every Friday the progress I am making on each wildlife portrait.  This little raccoon is beginning to take shape pretty good.

Raccoon
Raccoon with reflection

This week, I worked on the collage-piecing and spent all of today working on just the water.  This is extremely important as there is a reflection in the water of the nose and muzzle.  Without the reflection, this piece would not be as strong.  Thread painting will start soon, then it will get really exciting around here!

My Wild Life, Raccoon, Part 2

This has been a difficult week in getting this project underway.  I had major problems getting my line drawing enlarged to the size I need (16 x 20).  I wondered why the grizzly bear came out slightly smaller than it should have, and figured it out this time around.  I use PSE 14 for photo

Raccoon Line Drawing
Raccoon Line Drawing

editing.  I could easily scan the drawing into PSE and change the size, but when it printed out tiled, it came up a couple inches short!  Took me many frustrating hours to finally figure a way around this issue.  What I ended up doing was creating a PDF of my line drawing the size of the finished quilt.  I could print this out of Adobe Reader at the correct size.  Geez!!  Why would a photo editing software program NOT print out at the correct size?

 

Now for the good stuff!  The raccoon is just in the beginning stage of the underpainting.  It will take me a few more days to finish this part and transfer to a quilt sandwich so that I can do the thread painting.

Working on the underpainting.
Working on the underpainting.
Working on the underpainting.
Working on the underpainting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None of the fabrics pieces you see on this board are attached by any means other than they cling to the muslin underneath (which has a transfer of the line drawing on it).  So, you know what that means!!  Absolutely no sneezing is allowed in this room!!  🙂

 

My Wild Life, series… Week One: Raccoon

raccoon_water_cropwI need to have at least two new pieces ready soon.  399.1 is number one, this  will be number two.  No time to waste so sticking with my chosen subject matter of wildlife, Mr. Raccoon is next in line.  Dave Allen at Allen Wildlife gave me permission to use his photo of a raccoon lapping up some water in Naples, Florida.  He has some fantastic photos on his website, please go take a look!!  And!  stay tuned to follow along on another little fiber art journey!

My Wild Life, series…. week 4

Grizzly MamaI don’t have much to post about the quilt except that she is finished.  I have trimmed her to 16×20, added a facing and sleeve, signed it, and now just need to cut, clean, and sand a slat to hang her by.  I am very pleased with the final look now that she is trimmed up and I think I will name this one 399.1 because I definitely will be making another rendition.  Thank you for following along on this little journey!

 

My Wild Life Series….. Week Three of the Grizzly Bear Quilt

This whole week was dedicated to getting her eyes done, finishing the ears, and adding a few details.  I am pretty happy with this quilt because it does look like a grizzly bear, but it is NOT 399!  I will need to do this again in order to get a likeness.  I can see right away where I went wrong in the likeness, but as far as it looking like a grizzly portrait (which will work in my series), I am happy with it.  Here are some details of the work this week:

Me and my Mickey Mouse hands!
Me and my Mickey Mouse hands!

First, I removed the eye place holders.  These were placed in the beginning so that I wouldn’t lose my perspective of where the eyes, nose, ears, etc fit with each other in the face. It is very easy to get features lopsided when you are working up close.  I had to step away many times to get a look from afar.  When I started mapping out the eyes, I was surprised at how small a grizzly bear’s eyes are compared to the head and other features.

Eye place-holders removed.
Eye place-holders removed.

Nervously, I began stitching the left eye socket shadows, then the eye, then some blending so that the eye would merge into the fur around the eye.  Here is the completed left eye.  The first eye is always the easiest!  The second eye has to line up with the first one and match in color, etc.

Left eye done!
Left eye done!

The right eye was slightly different in shape since the head was turned to the right a little bit.  Once that was lightly penned in, I began stitching.  Even though I fretted and worried and even shed a tear or two, I managed to get the whole head finished.  I do think I need to go back in to blend a few places…

Face done!
Face done!

My Wild Life, series (update on Grizzly Bear quilt)

Moving along on this lovely piece.  I have mixed emotions on the way this is progressing:

Grizzly progress
Grizzly progress

The face is really looking pretty good.  If you were following this post about constructing this quilt, you know that this is a very famous Grizzly Bear.  I did not know this when I chose this picture.  Richard Spratley generously gave me permission to turn his gorgeous photograph of this mama grizzly into an art quilt.  After I started the quilt, he told me that she is probably the most famous Grizzly on the planet!  She is known as 399.  Well!!  That means that this quilt cannot just look like the specimen of a grizzly bear, but should look like 399.  She is an old matriarch, 20+ years, producing many generations.  I truly hope that I can do her justice.  If not… well, I will make this quilt again!  This week, I will get her eyes painted in with thread.

This is a pic I took just before writing this post:

Grizzly progress
Grizzly progress

Her story is complicated as well as heart-wrenching.  Here are some links to articles about her:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/160511-grizzly-bear-399-spotted-with-cub/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/grizzly-bear-399-cub-snowy-killed-hit-and-run-grand-teton-national-park/