Friday, March 18, 2011

Juried Into Museum Exhibition: Illuminating the Darkness

Illuminating the Darkness, 32" x 42"
My fiber art piece was juried into the Redwood Art Association's 53rd  Spring Juried Exhibition at the Morris Graves Museum of Art this week. There were 68 pieces in all media selected out of the 130 that were submitted. The juror was Lisa Archambeau who is a gallery consultant for the Caldwell Snyder Gallery that operates in San Francisco and St. Helena, and President of the Alliance for Contemporary Art, a non-profit arts organization. She has almost 20 years of museum and gallery experience including 10 years in New York City with institutions such as The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art and The Pace Gallery NYC. The RAA board of directors always does a wonderful job of hiring jurors for their exhibitions.

For those of you who are interested I have included a tutorial on the process. I  thoroughly enjoy working myself into a corner and then engaging my creative problem solving skills to extricate myself from the mess that I often find myself immersed in. Perhaps you will find something of use in the information that I have provided .
This was the beginning. It is a piece of hand dyed ultra sateen dyed with Procion MX dyes.

I wanted to overpaint the piece to develop a focal point, so I made an overlay with a piece of plastic and a Sharpie to define the areas a little more clearly.

This is the piece after painting with Setacolor. I wanted to create more depth than in the original by adding more value to the existing color. The lighter light hues, darker darks, and some brown thrown in as a medium helped me to accomplish this. 
I used Kerlix dyed with Setacolor, pictured on the right, to add more texture and dimension to the piece. I then laid it over the fabric and began pulling the threads until enough of the fabric underneath was exposed. Kerlix is the stuff that they wrap around plaster casts on broken limbs. It's like cheesecloth, but it is more open. I held it in place with painter's tape while I hand couched it.

This was one of my most difficult problem areas that I didn't know what to do with. It ended up being my favorite part. Those pins are 3/4" to give you an idea of the scale.

Machine Quilting:  I wanted to share some of my most valuable tips on machine quilting with you. I photograph my piece, load it into Photoshop, and print it in gray scale on regular paper. I then draw directly on the printout to audition all of my ideas for quilting. If your pen or pencil marks are hard to see, print a lighter copy of the image to work on.
This is especially helpful for large scale pieces. As I am a longarm quilter I often do this with my customer's large landscape or or art quilts so that I have a map of where I am going.