I am starting another whole cloth painted quilt for an exhibit and am panicking a little because I don’t have a lot of time left to make it and I have to use a specific fabric which I only have enough to do this once. Normally I never show any work in progress, I always feel kind of afraid I won’t be able to pull it off, but I figured I would share my
anxiety I mean progress with you this time.
I have a book I bought years ago on medieval hunting scenes. I love the colors and flat 2 dimensional style of the paintings, very reminiscent of tapestries done in that period.
I also love the depiction of deer in those woodland scenes with flowers carpeting the flat green ground like wall paper and skies that have a patterned all over stylized design.
I really wanted to paint something similar, but I didn’t want to just recreate a pretty painting, I wanted the imagery to tell a different story, something quirky and different, unexpected.
Looking at these paintings got me thinking about so many different things; like the way this painting style uniquely captures a period in history and the stylized graphic quality of the painting is not quite realistic. Then I thought about the various ways deer have been depicted over time and how different styles become popular and then unfashionable.
What would happen when images from two different time periods were brought face to face in a vintage scene? The juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary styles seemed intriguing.
I began imagining a majestic deer in a medieval painted scene walking across a flowered hillside and coming upon a kitschy little deer figurine, like the ones that were so popular in the 1960’s, and imagined its shock, seeing such a distorted little figure with giant blue eyes cheerfully looking up at it.
Of course I am starting bigger than I really should given my time frame, it is 57″ x 43″ right now, but it will shrink down more with quilting, but I want it to have a decent impact and if it is too small, I don’t think it will look as good.
I am painting a piece of Ivory Kona solid fabric, I think the ivory color will help give the painting a warm muted color palette reminiscent of the medieval paintings and I plan on leaving the ivory fabric exposed in areas of the sky with some scroll like filigree painted in beige or gold or maybe both.
I painted the ground and base of the treetops using a lot of textile medium mixed in with the paint so that it would have more of a transparent gradation of color. All the medium in the paint makes it more likely to show brushstrokes and unevenness in the color but hopefully a lot of that will be camouflaged by the plants and leaves painted on top. Today I start painting the leaves on the trees and hopefully tackle one of the deer.