Thursday, February 18, 2010

Going through the thinking process...

Have been thinking of the MUSIC theme.
My first step was to go through all the online dictionaries for their interpretations.
One I like :
  1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
This is very visual for me...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Barb Gardner's interpretation of WALLS

This is Barb's Wall piece, she is out of town until Feb. 13th & will add more details when she is back.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Walls by Karen Loprete

"Built wall of Stone
Planted Wall of trees
Floating wall of (extra terestrials?)
All are walls. All have had a different way of getting here..but they seem to be getting along just fine.
Just a dream?"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Congratulations to all! Its wonderful to see how many different works came out of one theme, to all of those who are managing with health problems I wish a fast recovery.

Walled City

It's been a crazy two months, with medical matters, a huge amount of travel, volunteer work, galleries, shows, you name it. The travels always give me the chance to look at buildings and I finally chose to make another city with my favorite kind of bright cheerful walls, where exploring the stairways and arches and windows seems very inviting. Some fabric, metallic paint, a little thread and another of my series of walled cities is born.
I do promise to try something new for next time. and since I get to pick the topic, let's do: music. We'll make them in a vertical orientation this time. I'm not going to narrow this down, but every piece is going to be inspired by, and make the viewer think of, some sort of music, broadly conceived, could be the music of the mind, music of the soul, happy thoughts that are music to your ears, or inspired by a piece of your favorite opera, rock song, , group, band, symphony, you name it.
The first group of pieces show the great talent out there- let's roll!
See you in two months

Graffiti Wall

I live in a shoreline town in Connecticut. There are many homes along the beach behind either walls or fences. Many homes have sea walls as well, which can only be seen when walking on the beach. All the walls and fences are a variation of white. Only when children find charcoal on the beach and draw on the walls is there any decoration or color of any kind on these walls. I painted these fabrics about four months ago came across them while looking for fabric for the wall piece and thought what would all those white walls in this small town look like with graffiti? I combined different aspects of the walls and fences, added some beach roses and rocks on the wall (to keep people off) and created graffiti.

The Dog Ate My Homework

I hate to start off my experience here with an excuse, but I'm going to be turning my assignment in late. Though it's probably more than you'd like to hear, today is the first day I'm able to bend my head down to look at my sewing machine; I re-injured a herniated disc in my neck last week. As a result, I've been unable to work on my piece. I'll be quick to finish it up and will post it up as soon as possible. In the interim, here's a piece I made a few months ago that fits our theme; it's 16" x 21" and is called "Billboard Shreds". It was inspired by the temporary walls erected around construction sites and slathered by advertisements. Stay tuned for "I Don't Wanna Hear It", the piece that I'll post soon.

My apologies to you all.


"Walls" - 16" x 20"

I chose to use the idea of walls as barriers between people, rather than literal walls. Words are one of the causes of those barriers.

Methods used: Transfer of words using Transfer Artist Paper, fusible raw edge applique was used for the people and the walls, commercial and hand painted fabrics were used, red acrylic paint was applied with stamps, rayon and polyester thread was used to quilt the areas with words, the people were left without quilting. Many lessons were learned.

Thanks for the challenge Bea. I really enjoyed it and took the opportunity to explore a couple of new things.

Breaking Down Barriers...

When I first read about our first challenge is “WALLS”….The first thoughts came as the barriers I struggled with all my life:

Can’t do this or that, Don’t do this or that, no encouragement, to name a few……

The past couple of years, I have started focusing on the POSITIVE things in my life:
being ALIVE,
juried into shows & exhibits,
making ART nearly everyday
"Breaking Down Barriers" is the result of my thoughts of a stone wall, that had eroded in spots, revealing parts of the some of negative words, but the main focus is the POSITIVE words that are revealing themselves from the stones.
I used a tea-dyed muslin as the base for writing the words on, laid a grey painted tyvek envelope on top, then added a layer of painted grey interfacing (could be a Lutradur but the bolt was a clearance item at WalMart with a tag Unknown Content) and once pinned I took it to my sewing machine to free motion the layers of stones. I then took a heat gun to the front, the tyvek melted alittle too much to my liking but I worked with it. I coated the words with a clear varnish and hand stitched the words in place randomly. I also used a brown paint stik to rub on the stitching between the stones. I had started stitching moss or weeds between the stones but, took them out - didn’t like it.
CLOSE- UP shows my word for 2010: ACTION.

Fantasea Walls

Fantasea Walls

My husband has asked me numerous times these last few months of heartbreak with my mother's "condition" to stop hitting my head against the wall and find peace. I have never been so sad nor creatively blocked in my life.
So I imagined a beautiful and colorful fantasy wall and getting past it to some of the things that have always made me happy... The stone/rock wall reminds me of our visits to the beaches of California where we now have 2 sons in college. And the overall optimism I see in the quilt reminds me of our third son's ability to always make me feel great!

Materials used: Commercial and Batik fabrics, cotton and rayon threads, cotton batting, embellishments and Alchemy textile paint.

Machine embroidered and machine quilted.

I was pleased with a new facing method but not with the overall composition.


I have already been writing about the theme and what it means for me ... and the problems I had in the last two months on focusing on my work. But voilĂ  - here is my first piece: MARKS. Below you can see a detail shot and the source of inspiration: one of the old stone houses in my village.

Construction: digital photos (not manipulated) printed on cotton plus one commercial fabric. Free motion quilted and hand embroidered.

This piece might be the starting point for a series of WALLS quilts.

March of the Sunflowers (Theme: Wall)

I drive by this wonderful field of sunflowers each time I venture up to Longmont, Colorado. The flowers sometimes stand 10-12 feet tall! And the field is HUGE!

It always freaks me out a bit that you can see the sunflower heads turning to follow the sun. It's like they are alive! They remind me of a regiment of troops tramping across the countryside. Always standing tall at attention following the movement of General Sun.

Try standing in the middle of a field of sunflowers that is 12 feet tall. It's beautiful, but a bit claustrophobic. You can't see anything around except a sheer wall of green with large yellow heads glaring down at you from above.

The theme for this round of work was 'Wall'. I chose to interpret this theme as all the many different ways that we can feel "walled in". It could be with bricks and mortar, but often we feel walled in by even the most beautiful things around us - like sunflowers.

Construction Methods: digital photo cropped and manipulated in Photoshop Elements. Printed on heavyweight cotton with archival inks. After free motion quilting, bead were added to create more texture within the center of the sunflowers. Textile paint was added to provide more highlights and lowlights to the piece.

This piece can be seen on my website gallery at

Story Wall

Story Wall, 16" by 20," art quilt by Susie Monday

This wall-themed small quilt is quite obviously inspired by the paintings found in rock shelters in South Texas and other parts of the desert Southwest. The images were my own petroglyph experiments and adaptations of rock art photos I found in various books. None of them is a literal copy of an actual rock painting, since I wanted to avoid copyright and cultural appropriation issues -- though in this case, I think these artists are our common ancestors, even those of us with primarily European heritage.

I used fabrics that I first rusted and then screen printed, then used a photo transfer technique that I have recently experimented with for teaching purposes. First, you take an image, copy it using an ink jet printer onto wet media polyester film. While the ink is still wet on the film, turn the image face down on your fabric, which could be pre-moistened with a thin wash of fabric medium or gel medium, or even just dampened with water. Brayer or rub the image to transfer it onto the cloth. The image will also transfer on dry fabric, which then can be painted with medium or water --  each technique leads to a slightly different but quite painterly effect. This technique seemed quite suited for the theme, since the results are kind of rough and integrated into the surface texture of the fabrics.

I pieced and fused the little art quilt using other fabrics in the earthy palette, all small "samples" that I've made in different teaching situations. Then added a layer of batting and a backing.

I added a good deal of hand stitching with a variety of threads and thin yarns. Then, I added one more layer of printing with a thermofax screen, and finished if off with machine free-motion stitching that emphasized the different shapes.

The biggest challenge for me with this quilt was narrowing down how to interpret the theme, and making some global decisions about how I will "answer" each of the challenges for this project. While I welcome the idea of creating from different impulses, I still want the work to teach me something and to also still speak with my voice in a particular way, holding a sense of series through the media chosen, the techniques used and the approach to each different theme. I decided that each of my challenge quilts would make use of a photographic image in some way, would have a frame created by a border, and would use a transfer technique in an interesting fashion. I also want to keep a narrative perspective, rather than a completely abstract approach (dispite the name of this challenge group!).