Portrait of a Poodle a la Modigliani (c)LAPaylor 2017
This is another in my STAT series, all 12" square, all based on work of a well known artist, all focusing on texture, most with a poodle. I was inspired to make this one as a part of Alida's Art with Fabric challenge.
When you leave here, please visit the others as they show their work all week!
and that day I focused on cropping each painting, choosing an element I liked best. You are usually allowed to photograph paintings owned by the National Gallery of Art so it allows for learning as well as enjoyment.
I took a close up of the gesture I liked, the face tilt and hand, and sought to interpret that in fabric.
Then I sized it according to my design vision, and printed it onto Printed Treasures pre-treated fabric. I used pinking shears to cut that printed image down to the size to suit my composition on a 12" piece. All of my STAT quilts are sized 12" square and on peltex.
I chose hand dyed fabrics in blue/tan/ocher.
I drew a poodle, originally facing the other way (see below) onto a yellow index card, then used that as my pattern for the poodle.
|It will be used in the future I'm sure|
Deciding later to have him facing the woman, with the same head angle
I needed to copy the drawing (done on an index card of yellow) mirror image, and use that as my pattern.
It gave me the long necked silhouette, and a black pencil shaded him enough to give me the face ears and legs. Thread painting with 40 wt black cotton thread helped make it like a drawing in fabric.
Drawing with thread.
I loved the mood of that swirly black-on-gray fabric, it reminded me of 1920's wall paper. The gray repeated color in the original painting background, and the poodle.
Modigliani created depth of color for his backgrounds but his compositions were very simple. I tried to capture the sense of that in my piece. He always has long necks, wistful expressions, and deep eyes.
He surrounded his subjects with nearly white shading around the edge of figures so I went in at the end with white pencil and colored around the poodle.
It's always a challenge to abstract an idea, to convey a mood or sense of moment without being totally literal. It gives the viewer a chance to engage with the piece, filling in their blanks, making sense of the elements.
The pinked edge of the photo repeats the line of pinked edge of the poodle
...I then started creating the pieced checkerboard from the hand-dyes. I had another choice for them in mind at first but after the little half inch blocks were done I decided to make a "screen" as a lot of salons in Paris had painted screens in that era. The color of the screen repeats the red tone in her hair.
|Look at the orange seed beads along the floor|
All my STAT quilts focus on texture, and the texture here is the pinked free edges of the appliques, the un-quilted panel screen, the complete rug, lined and turned, barely sewn down, the slight fraying on the poodle like hair, visual texture repeat of swirls on wall paper and in the poodle.
Repetition of strong horizontal lines, vertical lines, curve of faces, colors placed to balance the piece were all decisions I had to make. Some fabrics are pieced, some appliqued, some pieced then appliqued.
Making something original takes thought. It requires a lot of decision making and in the middle of the process one doesn't know if they are making the best choice or not. That's just part of the process of making, not a lack of ability. Each of us is capable of making art of some kind, it takes courage and vision.
It's a challenge to balance details on small work with simplicity. I did the thread sketching on the poodle before putting on the backing, but there is even quilting throughout, just minimal quilting. The floor has uneven quilted planks. It has facing as I didn't want to introduce another element.
STAT posts if you're interested.
Thank you for visiting and remember to see what other artists have created at the link HERE
thank you to Alida for encouraging us and hosting the party!
Free motion by the River Tuesdays