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Friday, July 31, 2009

Masks, to fabric, painted on, stitched on, just on

Round Robins can be fun or a disaster to work on. I was lucky. I had the pattern you see below to work with and it was an opportunity to add a few appliqued faces to it. The final quilt is not mine, boo hoo, but the lucky person that has it is doing a wonderful job of finishing it. I hid the center in this photo to keep the secret going of whose is whom's, LOL. After the four faces were completed I did quite a bit of zig zag work attaching almost each edge of the faces but keeping texture in mind chose a few places to leave unattached. The faces went on all four sides of a center made up by the first person. I had the third round. The fourth round was wonderfully creative and once the piece is completed and permission is given by the owner I will post it.

I am really struck by the masks I come across. And have found over the years they pop up in my work as sketches, doodles, paintings, or are cut from fabric and appliqued to a quilt top or are sometimes painted on anything on hand like this one painted on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of old left over felt. It will probably end up in a quilt...they all do at some point.

But keeping in mind how I envision my work I can find a face in almost any grouping of objects.
Invariable I will see images in the clouds, a formation of leaves in a tree, on the bark, in a pile of fabric or even in the fold of curtains.
I like trying to quickly sketch these faces. I have learned that the inside of an envelope works much better than a napkin, especially since I tend to grab a napkin to clean up a spill and it isn't until the ink is making it's way to the surface that I realize I have begun the destruction of a truly inspired piece. Ok now I am laughing at myself.

Most often I admit to seeing them in books, magazines, postcards, calendars, and one the walls of many of the quilters I know. Here are a few pictures of masks I have created in paint, applique, and of course the orange haired lady on the creme background in an earlier blog.

These are small croppings fabric paintings. This one has been finished and has made it into a number of exhibits. Again my daughters were pregnant and my daddy had passed, the blue lady is me and I am not sure if I am screaming my head off or about to twist myself around in and impossible manner or just falling apart or back together. So much happening in a short period. The animal and chair showed up on the fabric in a few crinkles in the folds...some of my daddy's favorite symbols. It was then that I knew it would be alright. Not right, not ok, not good or bad, not here or there, but I was going to be able to breathe again.
The one below has been arguing with me or rather I with it trying to decide whether to leave it as a painting or to incorporate it into a quilt.

When my friends see it they almost always
ask me to make a mask by forming it around
some type of stiffner or block of wood.
The jury is still out and the painting is still going
on. Or rather, I go back to it often. It is just about ready for the thread painting through out the face and on the yard of fabric to the right of the face. I have added at least 5 more hours to the work since this picture was taken.
It is interesting to say at this point that I do not end the piece. The piece seems to finish its self. I try to either add more stitching or more paint or more fabric, but the piece just...sighs, then I do and I stop.

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