Oct 24, 2013

Calder inspired wall hanging

There's this list of great works of art from famous artists that keeps rattling around in my head... certain paintings, tapestries, tiles, mosaics, whatever... things I've seen in person that have just stuck with me over the years.

The list clogs my brain with ideas... and one day... I will reinterpret the list into art quilts.

Today, I can check one of those images off my list!

I've just finished an Alexander Calder inspired art quilt and I'm so happy with the way it turned out.

The husband and I photographed it today in front of the Calder sculpture near the entrance to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Calder's sculpture is called 'The Crab' and its a Houston icon for sure... and to me, the spindly, sprawling red legs of his sculpture fit so well with the swirls in this wall hanging.

(that's me crouching down behind the quilt)



I find Calder's art so inspiring. The bright colors and simple imagery are both instantly recognizable and memorable. There's just something happy about them all. Calder made a whole series of textiles in the 1960-70's... and as I shared in my last post, quilt historian Barbara Brackman posted information about his textiles on her blog a year ago. Barbara blogs regularly about quilts and the history of textiles... pretty interesting stuff.
http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2012/01/alexander-calder.html

When I step back and look at this, I can truly appreciate all the talent that Calder brought to this design. A great artist can take what seems so simple, some might say ordinary, and make it extraordinary--- and they do this with the perfect mix of balance, color, motion and emotion!

Years ago, I watched an accomplished artist paint a floral still life in water color, and after about 30 minutes she had an amazing work of art. When I told her I couldn't believe she could do that in just 30 minutes, she said: "yes, 30 years and 30 minutes."  Well said, for sure, and those words have stuck with me for years.

I don't know how long it took Calder to make his great textiles, but nonetheless... it's fun to take really good design like this - especially one that has stood the test of time - and bring it to life in my own way.


The background is black Kona cotton, and the designs swirls are appliqued on with fabrics from my collection.  I was so thrilled to find Aurifil thread to machine quilt this that matched the fabrics exactly!  That way I can see the intricate quilting stitches, but they blend in perfectly! I used Aurifil black (lots of it!), plus 4644, 2260, 2132 and 2311. 

I intend to put this wall hanging on my Etsy site as well... even though it will be hard to part with.

But I gotta make room for the next one... both in my house and in my head. 

One checked off the list. Lots more to add. The possibilities are endless  ...   I'm thinking of doing a Matisse next!

I live for comments! Please take a moment to fill in the box and comment. Thanks.

I am linking up with the blogger's quilt festival by Amy's Creative Side. Check out all the many blogs from her site.  Look for my entry in the Quilt Photography and Wall Hanging categories!
http://amyscreativeside.com/bloggers-quilt-festival/


AmysCreativeSide

I am also linking up to Nina Marie's art quilt link up. So many cool art quilts there.
http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/

34 comments:

  1. WOW...wow...wow! This is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Love the photos

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    1. Vicki: Thanks for your "wow's" - really appreciate you taking time to comment.

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  2. I love your quilt, and the link on the Calder textiles was fascinating. Thank you for sharing it. I would love to see you Matisse inspired piece. I need to add you to my blog roll so I can see your future work.

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    1. Candace: You are awesome. Thanks for comments and for reading blog. I'm loving the quilting and blogging life for sure. And I am going to get to Matisse one day soon! Thanks :)

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    1. Hi there. Thanks so much for your kind words - appreciate it!

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  4. How cool to be able to get a picture of the quilt with the inspiration piece, Great job.

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    1. Thanks Linda! I love living in the city... so much inspiration.

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  5. Fabulous piece and an especially inspired location for capturing its inspiration! Thanks for the comment on my blog too!
    Susan

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  6. Great inspiration, love the swirl of colour

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  7. Great photograph ... love that you were able to take it in front of one of the inspiration pieces for it. Fantastic colors, especially the red!

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    1. Thanks Tami. Yep, this is one of the perks of living in the city. Thanks!

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  8. Very cool - and great photo setting!

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  9. Amazing quilt! Love the colours!

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    1. Sonia: Thanks so much for your comments. Appreciate you taking time.

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  10. This is really lovely! So bold and graphic. I'm always drawn to that style but whenever I try to design something abstract and graphic I'm less than successful. I love that your inspiration is clear, but your piece isn't in any way a copy. Such wonderful art.

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    1. Shannon: Thanks for your encouragement. Definitely a LOT of inspiration came from Calder... but it was great fun to piece and quilt!

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  11. Wonderful when pieces of art inspire us, right?
    Great idea to take a picture with the inspiration too!
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

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    1. Esther: Yes... great art is endless source of inspiration. Many thanks for your comments.

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  12. Wow! What an amazing quilt! Good luck to you at the festival! :)

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  13. Cool quilt, and great pictures!

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  14. This is such a cool quilt! Calder would be impressed!

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  15. Love this quilt and photography location.

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    1. Thanks sarcastic quilter. I love your profile name!

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  16. This is so incredible!! I am so excited to see what your next creation is. :)

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    1. Hi Sabrina. Thanks for your kind words! Always working on one thing or another... appreciate the encouragement very much!

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  17. This is a beautiful quilt! You did a wonderful job of interpreting his work into a quilt.

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    1. Thanks Renee. I appreciate your comments and encouraging words!

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