Welcome to my stop on Alida's Art with Fabric blog hop!!!
I was delighted when Alida asked me to participate but also completely clueless as to what art masterpiece to try to re-create in fabric. Little did I know that the piece I choose is considered to be of higher value to the art world than the Mona Lisa. I must have a good eye for art ... that I was totally unaware I had... "Unlike the Mona Lisa, which disappoints when you confront it and the crowds gathered around the salle in the Louvre that holds it, "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt surpasses expectations" writes, journalist Adrian Brijbassi. At nearly 6 foot square and gilded in lots of gold leaf, it is easy to see how it's grand scale and beauty draw admirers to it's exhibit at The Belvedere Museum in Vienna, Austria. It's use of gold leaf depicted in a work of art featuring the earthly pleasures and sensuality were considered blasphemous and profane at the time it was created in 1907-1908, as gold should have been only used in religious depictions according to society at the time. Scandalous indeed. Gustav Klimt never married and is said to have possibly fathered 14 children, so I am guessing he wasn't too overly concerned with what others thought of him.
Gustav Klimt "The Kiss" [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"The Kiss" may be a self-portrait of the artist himself but the woman is thought to be a few different women he knew. Some believe it is Emilie Floge, a long-time partner and fashion designer Klimt had a long relationship with, others believe it may be Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a sugar industrialist (and Klimt's lover) who he had painted another picture of earlier in the same year, still others think it is 'Red Hilda' a model Klimt had employed for some of his other paintings. 'The Kiss' was bought by the Belvedere Museum for 25,000 crowns (equal to about $240,000 today) before the piece was even done. But how could Klimt refuse to sell it when previously the highest amount paid for a piece of art in Austria was a mere 500 crowns. In 2006, Klimt's less renowned, Adele Bloch Bauer 1 sold for $135 million, which at the time, was "the highest sum ever paid for a painting" noted the New York Times at the time of it's sale.
While Klimt is noted for the saying---All Art is Erotic---I was immediately drawn to the Art Nouveau quality of this piece along with all it's wonderful geometric shapes not it's eroticism. While not the most erotic piece of art I've seen I will admit all those triangles, rectangles and circles really got this quilter's heart all a flutter!!! They were just begging to be the subject of a quilted piece. I also made an immediate connection between this piece and Kaffe Fassett fabrics I adore and that was where I started this journey...shopping for just the right stuff. I also, love grunge fabrics, and for me all those brush stokes in the sky were just perfect for the grunge line of fabrics.
And below is my finished art piece rendition. I cut it down to a nice rectangular shape as I prefer that shape on my walls. My piece finished at 33 x 42 inches.
I started by drawing the piece out onto a couple of 18x24 inches of newsprint taped together with the help of a projector. I originally thought I would just fmq those swirls into the piece but instead free motion quilted the swirls into the background and put some matchstick quilting in area above her dress. I really didn't want quilted swirls distracting from the gorgeous Kaffe fabrics.
Then I just began tracing each individual section onto another piece of paper and started paper piecing it, working my way across from left to right, with each of those smaller sections then joining together to make a piece of the puzzle come to life. Below is a picture a little way over half way there.
I think if it were possible to count the pieces of fabric that I used in the making of this I would be in shock.
At this point, I took a week of vacation to try to finish this up. I have never been a fan of raw edge applique but as this was going to be an art quilt --- that would hang on the wall --- it didn't bother me as much to use some steam-a-seam product since the added stiffness was going to be on the wall not to be cuddled under. I ironed the pieces together on a white sheet of fabric that I put over my light box so I could get them all put in just the right places. What I loved about this process was how quickly the piece really started to look fantastic!!!
I didn't take a picture of this part of the process but the picture here shows what I am talking about with the flange process. You just need to pull out the freezer paper and flip it over and iron it back into shape and applique it into place.
After getting the background into place, I then free motion stitched around their hands and her feet and then added facial features. I have dabbled with sketch sewing before and although it still makes me nervous, I for one love what it adds to the artwork of the quilted piece. I just use a very fine black thread by Madeira and go around the area to outline a couple times, sometimes three trips around gives me the look I want. I then used some Intense Ink pencils and some Staedtler Watercolor crayons to add some color to their facial features, even adding a little shading on her feet and arms.
While the flying geese in the green are paper pieced, I found it easier to just raw edge applique the triangles over the feet and in her dress.
I said yes to Alida's request to join this blog hop because 1. It was an honor to be asked and I appreciate her as a blogging friend and 2. I like pushing myself beyond what I think I am capable of from time to time.
Although making deadlines is not my favorite thing to do...the benefit to me so outweighed the inconvenience of time involved. Not only did I end up with an outstanding piece of art, I gained much needed practice at applique, sketch sewing and it was my first time using my art ink pencils, too!!! But best of all....I used my new Grace frame and stitch regulator for the first time since buying them last September. I get bogged down sometimes by my own insecurities of not knowing what I am doing that I just don't try. This frame and the stitch regulator cost me a pretty penny and it's just been sitting there. I can't tell you how many times I had to watch You Tube videos just to figure out how to get the quilt on the frame and all the stress involved getting to get the tension set correctly on the Juki. You can see in the left corner on the take up arm all the thread problems I had at the start, luckily I got them worked out and the system worked well and I think for a first time using this frame and regulator that I am tickled with the outcome.
Thank you so much Alida for giving me the opportunity to push myself past even what I thought my limits were and realizing I can do anything I set my mind to!!! After conquering my fear of the quilting process it was time for adding the binding and embroidering some flowers in my lady's hair.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing my art rendition of Klimt's Kiss and are inspired to give creating your own masterpiece a try soon.
Please be sure to check out what all the others participants have been creating with this art with fabric assignment. I am sure you will be as blown away by their talent,skills and ingenuity as I have been. Here is the list of fellow participants, please hop along with us and see what other masterpieces have been created in the process and how they did it.
Monday, May 9th, 2016
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
- Alida Tweety Loves Quilting
- Yanicka Finding myself as an artist
- Heather Heather's Blog
- Sarah Georgia Girl Quilts
Thursday, May 12th, 2016
Friday, May 13th, 2016
- Carol Quilted Fabric Art
- Jennifer The Inquiring Quilter
- Nina-Marie Creations...Quilts,Art...Whatever
- Joan Moosestash Quilting