Thursday, February 06, 2020

The Clothesline progresses and Confidence

(Above:  Confidence, 12" x 12". Digital image on fabric with hand and machine stitching, beading, and trapunto/stuffing.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

This art residency with the Springfield Art Association is going very, very well.  Since my last post, I finished the third mini art quilt.  I thought long and hard about a title because I've already created larger works of anonymous African-Americans called Persistence, Resilience, and Commitment. I can see all of these characteristics in the strong look upon this woman's face.  As I stitched, I began to see a self-assured woman who certainly could look a person (or a camera) in the eye.  To me, this is an air of confidence.

 (Above:  The back side of Confidence after the trapunto work was completed.)

The figure is slightly elevated from the surrounding background because I added extra felt behind her.  This is a "stuffing" technique called trapunto.

(Above:  Confidence, detail.)

It's hard to capture the metallic gold thread in the halo area ... but the beads sure look good!  Now that I have finished three, 12" x 12" mini art quilts, I will have to decide which get donated to the annual SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) charity auction ... which gets to be in the sale accompanying Art Quilt Elements ... and what to do with the third one.  Any suggestions as to which piece goes where are welcome!

 (Above:  Confidence, reverse.)

Most amazing for me is the fact that I found a piece of West African mud cloth for the reverse.  Honestly, I have no memory of purchasing this unique piece ... no memory of it coming from a successful auction bid ... and absolutely no idea how it managed to get into a tub of vintage fabrics ... but there it was.  Perfect.  I do remember getting the ultra suede sample from an interior designer friend, but why it was in the tub is also anyone's guess!  Coincidence?  Maybe.  I'm more inclined to believe in the power of serendipity or, as Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way calls it, synchronicity.
 (Above:  Glass demonstration at Springfield Art Association.)

As valuable as this "gift of time" really is, I'm not spending every waking hour working.  Recently I attended an excellent glass demonstration.  For over two hours the team worked on a single piece of sculpture.  I had assumed they'd show a vase or an ornament, but this was an incredible way to see the talent and time needed to make ART.

 (Above:  A collection of over one hundred fabric yoyo pieces.)

Of course, most of the time, I am really working.  The Clothesline is progressing nicely.  In fact, it's ahead of schedule.  I decided to add a bunch of fabric yoyo pieces to some of the pillowcases.

I've also added more doilies, handkerchiefs, and fingertip towels.

These are images of some of the remaining twenty-eight pillowcases from my original stash of sixty.  They were all legally salvaged in 2011 from the former South Carolina State Mental Hospital.

I also added yoyos to some of the pillowcases hung on the porch ...

... which was hanging for over a week ...

 ... until the wind whipped up and it snowed!  The photo above shows the back staircase.  Amazingly, the floor of the porch also has this much snow on it.

Thankfully, I was prepared!

 (Above:  The stack of sixty pillowcases ... neatly ironed and placed on the chaise lounge in the living room.)

I also took down the pillowcases from the porch area, ironed them, and stacked them on the chaise lounge in the living room.  As much as I want to broadcast the benefits and beauty of line drying, it is rather silly to have laundry hanging in a snow storm!

I've made several new friends here in Springfield. On Tuesday, we went on a short trip to Peace and Applique Quilt Shop in nearby Rochester.  I resisted the fabric, of course.  My preference is "found fabric" but I couldn't pass up a couple balls of beautiful, variegated #5 perle cotton!
(Above:  The Springfield and Central Illinois African-American Museum.)

I've also visited the Springfield and Central Illinois African-American Museum. Trips like this are another reason to travel ... because the story of slavery is told so differently when from the perspective of the area.  There was a section on Obama ... which is also unique because he's a local hero.  I am really enjoying my time, my work, and the inspirations that are coming from this experience.


O'Quilts said...

Interesting post. I love "Confidence"

Catherine - Mixed Media Artist said...

just plain awesome - the whole shebang including your snow covered steps and porch. From someone who lives in a part of the Southern Hemisphere where snow is a mystery!

Susan Lenz said...

Thank for the positive feedback! To Catherine ... I, too, live in an area where snow is a rarity. South Carolina is hot and humid. On the very, very few occasions that it snows, our city government shuts the place down. We all go home and wait for it to melt. It generally melts inside of a few hours! The snow in Illinois, however, will be here for quite a while!

Jamala said...

Hi, I just popped over to view your site.. I acquired two of your pieces from the Auntie Karen's foundation Legends concert. Love the pieces..

Susan Lenz said...

Thanks Jamala for leaving a comment but especially for providing a permanent home for two of my artworks!