Thursday, May 29, 2014

Palm Canyon Colors

This series of blog posts describes the process I used to make the commissioned Palm Canyon art quilt shown below.  Today’s post describes how I decided what colors to use in this piece.  Prior steps are shown in my previous posts.

Color Plan and Palette

Once I have the sketch finished, the next step is to figure out my color plan. I usually take a line diagram of my sketch and make about 5 or 6 black and white copies of it. Then I pull out my watercolor paints and start applying color to the copies, experimenting until I get something I like. I paint directly on the copier paper. This is just a plan to figure out what colors I want to use. It’s not intended to be a watercolor painting.  This plan guides my fabric selections and makes all the next steps go faster. I keep it on hand through-out the top construction process.This is the color plan I came up with for this piece.  

It's interesting to see the finished color versus the plan. Nevertheless, this was my guide for fabric choices throughout the process.

The next step is to start pulling fabrics that correspond with the colors and values shown. Sometimes I will have a color that is close to what I am after but not quite right. I have found that adding a layer of tulle or organza can tone up or down a fabric and get me the value I am after.

This is the palette of fabrics I pulled for this quilt. Fortunately I had most of these in my stash. I did have to buy some new fabrics, but that’s ok. I suffered through the difficulty of fabric shopping.J

Next post is my construction method. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Palm Canyon Design

The Palm Canyon landscape art quilt shown on my previous post was commissioned by a woman very familiar with the location. She rides her horse into this canyon and finds a wonderful sense of peace and solitude. There are specific features in this area that she wanted in the art quilt, such as the waterfall, palm trees, hillsides, rock formations, etc. She is also a geologist and wanted a cross-section of the the subsurface to be depicted. In particular she wanted some of the rock folding and faults to be included.

She sent me a link to a college geology Professors website that was very helpful. I went back to school a bit to figure that aspect of this quilt out. Having previously worked in the environmental field was also very helpful! This is a photo of a road cut in the area that shows the folding and bending of the soil layers that has occurred. I can see great design lines in this photo!

I have been to the Palm Canyon area and had an idea of what the area  looks like, but I did some Internet research to get some reference photos for the design.  These are some photos of the Palm and Indian Canyon areas that I found on the Internet that helped me figure out how to depict the important features for this quilt.

This is a photo showing my messy design process. I go through several sketches when I do a design, refining again and again until I come up with my final plan.

And this is the final design. It includes the oasis, waterfall, palms, trail, rolling hills, jutting rocks and other features that this area is known for. The subsurface also shows folding of the rocks and soil layers that has occurred over the eons of time, and some faults. The drawing got the "okey dokey" from the client, so now its on to the color plan. That will be the subject of my next post.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Palm Canyon Landscape

A few months ago I completed a landscape quilt that had a town, farm and other human developments on the land, and it had a cross-section that showed the subsurface below the land. This fiber art piece was called "Transects in Time", and it was made for someone who works for the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) of California. This is a state agency charged with protecting the waters of the State of California. A photo of the art quilt was put in the State RWQCB newsletter. I was contacted by another person who works for the RWQCB and commissioned to make a landscape quilt also showing a cross-section of the subsurface. This is the finished quilt.

Palm Canyon 

 The area depicted is the Palm/Indian Canyon near Palm Desert. I will be giving doing some more posts showing the making of this piece in the next few weeks. I was happy with is and so is the owner. :-)