November 1, 2009

Today's Features: The Fledgling and Tulip Poplar

It's a two-fer today, the first of November, as I continue to highlight work that will be at my show at the Isadore Gallery, opening later this week. First up is "The Fledgling", my celebration of being in the right place at the right time with a camera handy. Every year we have robins nesting on a high beam underneath our deck, and it's entertaining to watch them grow. This bird had just fledged-left the nest-and made its first short flight to the adjacent locust tree. Once perched there, it was temporarily unable to go any further, and by sidling up slow and easy I was able to get some great photographs.


I messed with this image digitally a bit, then printed it onto a tightly woven pima cotton. The green background is a heliographic print made with leaves from the same locust tree. Visually, it serves as the vast unknown that the fledgling is preparing to launch into. The other borders, evocative of earth and sky, represent its parameters in the natural world.

"The Fledgling" was shown widely in quilt shows, including the touring exhibit of Sacred Threads.

Next up in the spotlight is "Tulip Poplar". I love these trees, with their tall, upright structure, distinctive leaf shape, and especially the flowers, which do resemble tulips a bit. I once lived where I could look down on a tulip poplar from a second story window, an ideal vantage point for appreciating the flowers.
The top two leaf images are leaf prints on silk, and the bottom ones are cyanotypes on silk. There's a lot going on here--different textures in the supporting fabrics (silk, corduroy, wool and hand painted cotton), a variety of stitching patterns, couched threads, and beadwork with seed beads and semi-precious stones. It all brings a sense of energy and movement to the work, as if the leaves were swirling in the wind on a fall day not unlike today.

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