River's Bend

11 Feb 2010
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Here is a piece that keeps getting put at the bottom of the pile, and for good reason!  Lots of raw edges, some paint stick shadows, fractured al a Sandra Meech.    In fact, I think that this may be the root of the problem:  too many techniques.  I'm even willing to take out the stitching/quilting and start over again!

 

It started out innocently enough.  A bead of ocean jaspar inspired this piece and it was my intent to add that bead along with lots of beading eventually.   The design itself is based on a study I did in a Laura Cater-Woods workshop years ago.   For some unknown reason, I used decorative stitching on some of the raw edges, and I don't like it at all, but don't really want to try to take it out as it is really dense!  (But I would if that is the best thing to do)  The mountain fabrics seem to be too "in your face".  I know better: dark fabrics are going to appear closer than light fabrics, for goodness sake!  Why in the world would I place them just the opposite?   Now the river doesn't  "bend" around to the left, it just stops!

 

My plan to place a tree outside of the perimeter of the quilt and coming in from the right side is being thwarted by shadow leaves that I for some reason brought in from the upper left! 

 

Yikes.  Oh tell me, dear Pokey, can this quilt be saved or should I just keep it as a reminder of how far I have come?


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Comments

pmal wrote
on 18 Feb 2010 1:02 PM

Hi Peggy

 

This is a very interesting piece, I was drawn to it first among all the thumbnails, your choice of colours is wonderful.  I agree with you though, there is just too much happening, and depth factor is reversed as you say.  If this were mine I would consider using black L cards that artists use to isolate a piece of work (you hold them together so it makes a frame which you can enlarge or reduce instantly) and consider making one or maybe two journal quilts from it.  I have a piece I worked on for ages and ultimately felt was not working, one day the L frames were sitting nearby and I held them up on the piece and all of a sudden it captured the essence of what I was attempting to do!  Sometimes we just go too far and get a little lost, that is the glory of practice, you make mistakes you learn from! 

 If you want to stay with this format I would try removing the line of brown on the left of centre and it's accompanying horizontal line, and also remove or over paint the brown rock on the left as it is too different and doesn't tie in with the rest of the rocks, either that or slightly darken the rest of the rocks so it blends better.  The top of the quilt is fabulous whereas the bottom looks less strong,  darkening the large white rock in the lower foreground might help to bring it all together.  The raised thing (stick?) on the lower left looks like it doesn't belong as does the grey pebbly pattern running out the front.

Hope I haven't been too harsh,  I really do love what you have done with this quilt and just thought if you had some comments it might help you get it finished and I would love to see the finished piece. Try getting a scan of it and painting in some darks etc and see what you think before painting on the quilt.

Pam

pandabolt wrote
on 18 Feb 2010 1:24 PM

Pam, thank you for your comments.  I love the idea of cutting it up!  I play with those black masks all the time, and I can see some possibilities there.  I can see that left side being a composition on its own.  No matter what I am doing, I always seem to have difficulty with foregrounds.  Watercolors present the same problem to me.  If I just crop off that foreground I might like this a lot better.

 

The "stick" is actually some fragments of fabric that I braided together to see if I liked the idea of using something similar as a tree trunk.    Most of the units that you commented on are only temporarily pinned in place or could easily be removed.

 

That line of brown actually is an inserted piece that was inspired by some of Sandra Meech's work where she plays with fracturing a scene.  Great idea.  Just might be too much for this one.  The horizontal line actually goes off the piece behind that rock/tree mess, and the composition looks better when you can see that. 

 

You were not harsh at all.  Sometimes we are just too close to our own work, and honestly, this one has been at the bottom of the heap for so long, that I have totally progressed on from it experimenting more and more with unconventional medi treatments, so I'm not overly attached to it.

 

At any rate, it is on its way to Stow, MA even as we speak.  I am excited to hear what other ideas folks come up with.  I am totally open to any and all "out there" comments.  It would be fun to actually finish this and not have it contributing to my guilt!

Thanks, Pam.  Those are great ideas, and I will definitely keep them in mind....especially that cropping suggestion.

on 18 Feb 2010 1:29 PM

What did you end up doing with this piece? I love the colors and am curious how you finished it (if you did)!

Beth

on 19 Feb 2010 9:35 AM

congrats on having it selected.  Will be interesting to see what they say.  Hope it makes it on the air.

Pam, what an excellent critique.  You weren't mean at all, but very constructive.  I'd love to have you critique some of my work if I ever get any loaded.