Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Abstract Flamingo

"Abstract Flamingo"
This is one of the small abstracts done from silk scraps.
I started with uneven raveling strips of silk, free hand cut curves and pieced together. These were put on a piece of peltex, and some green silk placed on top to look like seaweed.
Quilted the whole thing with metallic threads to suit the sheen of the silk.
(sulky halogram lime green, and gold YLI threads)

Here are some detail shots proving no piece is too small to embellish.

To me, as a painter, these are mixed media art work suitable for a shadow box frame. The benefit of being made from fiber is they can also be placed on a tabletop easel, or pinned to a cubical wall.

There is a blending of the craft of making quilts and bead work, with the art of drawing, painting  in these.

 Look at that little lizard climbing up the seaweed !

1.continuation of seaweed line with the line of metallic threads
2. repetition of curved line in piecing, in applique, in quilting, and in beaded seaweed on the right.

My Flamingo was created in thread with feather quilting. I first stitched a straight line curve of a neck and body, then feathered off that even using feathers to create the legs. I returned after finishing the quilting to place seed beads along the body and neck in coral, and line green on the legs.
Of course there is a hibiscus quilted in with rayon thread.

Binding is copper tissue lame'

I teach you how to do this easily despite fragility of fraying fabric, in my binding 12 ways workshop.
All done on machine as well.

3.Shading inside the feathers was done with a grayish-purple prismapencil.
4. Beads hand applied thru top and batting, to repeat curved lines.
5. Applique done without fusible to allow for organic fraying, which adds to texture and color. The pink applique strip frays green, as the warp thread is green in this pink dupioni silk. 

 I am a representational artist... I like to interpret what I see and feel. Abstraction is not easy for me so I am doing a lot of it these days. I marry it with my mental images though, so that I can enjoy doing it.

I believe abstractions teach us a lot about art.
They are kind of a Rorschach Test. How do you put yourself into an abstract? What do you see in them?

The fact that each person will see something different in abstracts is important. That leads to involvement. Participation instead of being told what to see. In the beginning,  I saw a flamingo in the pink abstract lines you saw in my second photo so that became my focus.

That's because I love flamingos... but from a distance a viewer can't really see my quilting and beading on this piece. They will make up their own minds until they look closely.

My husband saw this design wall one evening...
With three "doorway" works, the forest and flamingo. I thought he would love Blue Grotto, but he said his favorite was the pink one.
One never knows...

I am often inspired by a flamingo and have finished at least 25 flamingo quilts in my career. I should share some of those quilts here one day.
 I did a flamingo series on journal quilts sent to Houston Quilt Festival one year, and show those in my lectures. From large to small I love the colors and lines of this bird.

This post is a fanciful story about two flamingos:    flamingo-love-story

enjoy a flamingo? this video is hilarious....  confused confab 


  1. How lovely. I love that you're inspired by flamingos.

    In my house, I used to own a mirror in a frame with small windows around the edge with a similar style of silk quilting. It was one of my favorite items.

    I was sorry to let it go. But I probably would have been sorrier if it had smashed into smithereens in rough seas. :)

  2. Yes, your flamingo piece is my favourite although it is hard to choose!
    Love the orange with the bright pinks and the touch of green, silk always has this wonderful sheen which adds richness.

  3. I really love the beads on this. And of course the colors speak to me immediately.

  4. oohh! Got you thinking 'bout flamingos, I did!

  5. We are flamingo twinsies !!!!! Love the quilt!

  6. I love it... and it reminded me of my fabulous pink flamingo I had only for one night... I hope the one who snitched it feels shame now :o)

  7. Absolutely beautiful! The colors are stunning!

  8. Hi LeeAnna!
    Just in time for Summer! Still a few months to go, but still!
    Amazing what you can creat with sscraps!
    Great work !

  9. Hi LeeAnna!
    Just in time for Summer! Still a few months to go, but still!
    Amazing what you can creat with sscraps!
    Great work !

  10. Your abstracts tell a story, because that is what you see, like your flamingo love story. The power of abstracts seems to be the fact that each viewer can see their own story in them. I recently saw a group of Rothko works on Pinterest and they seem to evoke moods. Maybe that was what he was trying to do with them. I feel sorry for people who cannot find a story out of their own imagination in these abstracts.

  11. Beautiful! I like that you are trying out these slightly more abstract pieces - so interesting so see how your mind works, and always good to look at.

  12. Very beautiful!! I love how you interpret your surroundings with paint. Do you stretch the silk while you paint?


  13. just gorgeous! The pink and orange together are striking (one of my favorite color combinations)! Your quilting, as always, Perfection!

  14. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational. I have your flamingo fabrics and will it send to you.

  15. I really, really love this. Thank you for sharing this work and how it came to be. The shimmer of the silk and the quilting is just perfect! :)

  16. The piece is enchanting, and the seaweed is totally great! I love the copper binding, too!

  17. Hello LeeAnna,
    I love the intense detail you put into small pieces like this. The beading really adds an extra dimension.
    What a laugh, your husband falling for the pink one. My husband is not one for bright colours, but loved a really colourful pair of tablemats I made recently. That was a real surprise.
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
    Love, Muv