Saturday, April 2, 2016

one fine day...take two

OK. I confess I have been so busy playing with my designs and techniques that I have rarely written a blog post for what seems like months. It feels like I have just rediscovered quilting although actually I am just working with concepts and colors that I already know and using them to make my quilts even more detailed.

First I had to become comfortable with the techniques and the effects I could achieve. There is after all a learning curve with anything new. Fabrics work differently. I can create circles.

abstractions on the night--quilt--40x40 inches--ann brauer 2016

And flames.

green flames--12x40"--quilt--ann brauer 2016

I can even almost paint with the fabric. Don't you love the reflections of the sun on the water in my quilt "ocean sunrise?" Yes, it was hard to do. Trust me.

ocean sunrise--40x58"--quilt--ann brauer
But now I must use these methods and create a coherent body of work. I have a solo show in July at the Shire City Sanctuary in Pittsfield, MA. Sure I could use the quilts I have already and I may well use "ocean sunrise". Indeed they are wonderful and lovely--each in their own right. But opportunities for solo shows don't just come along. I want to make the most of it and create a body of work that sings together. Maybe using "ocean sunrise" but I need more than just this one quilt. What else can I do? Quilts with a purpose and a connection.  Quilts where the sum is greater than the individual works.  Quilts that are more than showing I can create complex techniques and then master them. This should be fun.

But where to begin? The space is small but lovely with brick walls stretching up to the ceiling and great sight lines. I think of the image of this space frequently as I ponder what to make. I need a theme. A concept. Although I have been contemplating this show for some time, now I must buckle down and start working. More colors, more variations on the theme. But not so varied it seems disjointed. And of course I don't want to just repeat myself. Again--this should be fun.

Then as I am working on my web site I realize I should look at quilts that I have made in the past. This could be a great jumping off point. I had a purpose and reason for making the quilts when I created them. I can sort of preview the concept of a quilt before I begin sewing and then see where it takes me. And there are colors that I dream about but haven't worked with recently. This would be fun.

So I start. "One fine day" just jumps out at me. Well maybe not the grey at the bottom but I love the teal and gold.  I can figure out the bottom later. It should look great against the red brick, right?

one fine day--quilt--ann brauer--32x48"

So I start--not to duplicate this quilt but to try to capture a bit of its essence in a new piece, while including what I have learned from my new techniques. This could be fun.

one fine day--two--quilt--ann brauer

I will try to keep my loyal readers posted as I prepare for this show. We'll see if I can blog more frequently about working in a series. No, this will not be a series of blogs about technique. That is not my current interest. But I want to explore creating a group for the show. So we'll see.   At least that is my intention for now. Wish me luck.

And of course I welcome comments about getting ready for a solo show. Or working in series. And if you happen to be in Shelburne Falls, do drop by and see my progress. What will this quilt look like when I finish it?