Finishing Touches

This morning I posted an image of a quilt made a few years back on social media.
As I cropped the picture  I saw, for the first time, the error of my composition.


Alamo Gate

I have been consistently posting on social media. Each morning I post an art quilt to my Facebook and Instagram accounts. (You can find these posts by following my hash tag #metaphysicalquilter ). Everyday I share one of my quilts on Facebook groups like Art Quilts or Textile Art. This morning as I was posting “Alamo Gate'', I saw an issue that needed to be resolved.  

This quilt was accepted into very few juried shows. It was one of three quilts I made after a trip to San Antonio. Although rejection from a juror is not a final word on the success of a submission, I enter enough shows to know when something didn’t hit the mark. This is a key factor in my relative success in the world art quilting. Juried shows provide valuable feedback and have helped me improve over time. The jurors had told me that Alamo Gate needed more work.

Claude Monet, the impressionist Master, commented that the “finishing touches on a painting might seem insignificant, but to the painter they are much harder than one would suppose.” 

Claude Monet was absolutely right. My finished projects are much better when I let them sit on my design wall for a period of time. I look, look again, take a picture with my camera and wait until I know. In the case of this quilt, I didn’t make those finishing touches. I rushed onto other projects and the result was an completed, but unfinished art quilt.

One reason I moved onto other work is because landscape is not my area of emphasis. The bulk of my work is figurative. Landscape quilts hold my interest as reminders of favorite places. Some I make to hang in my home like “At Dusk”. This quilt has been rejected in several juried exhibitions probably because of the lack of contrast. It hangs near my front door. I love it.

“Alamo Gate” is a quilt I finished without feeling it was done. It has been hung in storage until now. Today I know why  it didn’t find a place to show off. I can fix the composition’s problem with paint. A little paint over the lantern and it becomes the stone wall.

The problem is the lamp as a center of interest. This composition is visually engaging because of the tree and its wild growth pattern. That’s why I selected  the photograph. The gate is not a visual or thematic focal point. It’s the tree. The tree is amazing. It has lived in that spot for hundreds of years growing with twists and turns. Surviving through the twists and turns of history, this tree thrives in the courtyard of the old mission.

My quilts are stitched painted photographs. As artworks they float between defined categories. This gives me the freedom as a creative to ignore the rules of any discipline. So I am going to paint out the lamp and quilt the stone wall pattern. The back would confuse the quilt police. So what! I am also going to rename the quit “Live Oak”. It has a new life and possibly will find a new place to live.

 Until Next Time.....