Monday, May 15, 2017

Portrait of a Poodle a la Modigliani


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!

 My piece is inspired by Modigliani. At the Nat'l Gallery of Art in Washington DC, I took a photo of his "woman with red hair"
Image result for modigliani artwork 
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


After deciding fabrics,

...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.

Image result for creativity takes courage tote bag
from pictureframes.com
 I see it in my mind's eye first, then let a piece evolve as I make it. One decision leads to the next, the most important one is to keep going. 

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.
There comes a moment when embellishments are considered. I thought about these elements and liked them, they go with it, but like putting on one too many jewelry pieces they were distracting
In the end they seemed like too much so the only extras were the bugle beads.
I quite love all the STAT quilts and now must have nearly 18. There are other 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!

linking to
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays    

25 comments:

  1. I love all these STAT posts that you do! This one might be my favorite :D What goes better with art than poodles? Do you hang all of them in a place where they can be like a gallery? These are cool!

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  2. Love them all but my favorite is still "Poodle at Daybreak"...your little pieces are really masterpieces...hugs, Julierose

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  3. I love Modigliani and I love your piece! Wonderful interpretation!

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  4. Adding the poodle is just so cute and whimsical!

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  5. I love this! the focus is on the painting and it does draw your eye first to the painting but then to the real treasure which is of course the poodle. I love all your little details - well done!

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  6. This is so cool! You've really captured that head tilt in your adorable poodle. I love the idea of narrowing down what drew you to a piece of art to just a couple elements and then using those as your inspiration. I'm on Friday for the Art with Fabric Blog Hop-just barely finished my piece to send to Alida last week, and now I need to get the post written!

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  7. The end result is charming and fun! I love it!

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  8. A little catch-up...I'm delighted to read you have a new poodle--Milo Baby. So adorable and I can imagine the energy he is bundled up with. Love the art-with-dog pieces!

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  9. I am in awe. I appreciate all the detail at how you arrived at such a beautiful piece. Thank you.

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  10. I love how you created this, the poodle is really wonderful especially with the stitching effects you gave it, just brings it alive. The portrait is also a lovely way to bring in the inspiration for this project, reading your creative process was fun and I really enjoyed the process you took.

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  11. You never disappoint. This piece is simply sensational, and so is your careful explanation of each of your choices along the way. What a great post! What an awesome piece! I love it.

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  12. I am always so impressed by the way you interpret these pieces: the inspiration is really easy to see, but you add so many well balanced elements to make the finish masterpiece totally yours! I admire your thought process and how you are intentional in every single element that you add (or don't add). Thanks for participating in the hop and for creating and inspiring masterpiece!!

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  13. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your process. I learn from other artists who explain the choices they make and why.

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  14. that is such a fun interpretation - love it! Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers

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  15. Amazing work LeeAnna! All this with Milo around!? Well done!

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  16. Thanks for sharing so many details about the construction of this STAT. Reading how you printed and quilted Woman with Red Hair was educational. I especially love that your poodle is light grey. He shows up so much better against these backgrounds than a black poodle. My hardest struggle is between reality and best choice - just like you made here.
    Also interesting to read and see what you left out and why. Thanks.

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  17. I love this! Great ideas and I like the idea to be inspired by painter!

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  18. Your STAT quilts would make a wonderful coffee table book and art student book, I have learnt so much from you about art over the last few years Thank YOU. Hugs Glenda

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  19. I'm playing catch up today. What a great "Art" quilt. Love how you combine so many different elements!

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  20. I'm playing catch up today. What a great "Art" quilt. Love how you combine so many different elements!

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  21. Hi LeeAnna, what a great piece. I love that you put so much thought into the art work and incorporate different techniques.

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