Thursday, October 25, 2007

Making lemonade

I had a bit of a rough morning. Yes, it even happens to quilters!

After wandering around my space for the morning unable to concentrate on anything for others, I figured I better just take a day and do something for I got going on a design for a quilt, one that I've had pressing at the forefront of my mind for several months now.

I'm hoping to do it in a similar technique to the cherub quilt (Bacchanalia), but wanted to do it bigger. After lunch I closed the door on my studio downstairs, cleaned off the dining table upstairs, spread out my vellum and got to work.

The piece I'm working on is based on a little (1 1/2" X 2") drawing on page 97 of a book called 2,600 Typographic Ornaments and Designs published by Dover, edited by Maggie Kate. Most of the designs fall into the broad category of the Art Nouveau movement - a movement that's rather close to my heart. Both DH and I are big fans of the kind of work that emerged during William Morris' Arts and Crafts movement in the 1870's, and hold many of the principles embodied there dear.

The piece got big, fast. The vellum I'm working on measures 36" wide by 47" long. Originally I worked on the table, but soon found that I'm just not long enough to work on the top of the drawing with it down... so I took the cherub quilt off the wall and taped up my vellum! MUCH easier.
The photo at left was taken standing on the table. My Oldest was home today with a stuffy head, and he had set up his drawing space at the other end of the table. Gotta love the reaction of a 10 year old when his mother STANDS on the TABLE to take a think I'd ever let him stand on the table? I'm such a hypocrite.

The photo at right is taken for comparison sake, so that one can see the actual size of the original drawing with my sketch. Of course the translation from something so small to something so large means many, many differences in the final work...I changed many elements quite substantially.

In the small picture it looks as though she has cherry or plum blossoms behind her (impossible to tell for sure, the flowers just loose, cloudy shapes), and the flowers she is unleashing, sprinkling from the cornucopia are roses. I've opted to make them ALL roses, for continuity's sake. I'm sure there will be botanical-minded viewers that will find the rose on the tree-like branches to be anachronistic, but so be it.

Sadly, as she is done only in pencil at this stage, she is hard to photograph. I've sized the photos so that you can click on them for a large version, if you like, and hopefully that will give you a better idea of what it looks like. Or not.

I'm not sure what to call her yet, but I'm sure that will emerge as the piece progresses. So far, she's just 'the blossom lady' and she feels like a tribute to spring, to renewal and regrowth.

Here's to a day making lemonade out of lemons.

All the best,

1 comment:

Vicki W said...

Absolutely beautiful drawing!