Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Quilt Artist

The Fantasy

The morning sun streams through the east facing windows of the Artist's palatial bedroom.  As the sun strikes her smooth brow she awakens and stretches her well-toned body under her pristine 10,000 thread count, hand-made sheets.  

Her lover has left a beautiful tray of assorted pastries and Blue Mountain coffee on the hand carved side table.  The table, made from reclaimed wood gathered from a centuries old farm house in France, sits in the sunlight shaded by lace curtains woven from recycled silk by cloistered nuns in Rome.

All is right with the world as the Artist sits to break her fast and glances at the dozen art magazines from all over the world that makes up her morning reading.

Suddenly she tenses as she reads about Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine's latest challenge.  The challenge is to take a half yard of fabric, transform it by your preferred method and send eight nine inch squares of it to the magazine Arts for a fabric swap/exchange.

"Yes" she declares aloud, startling her pack of rescued, pure bred, dogs and cats from their  postprandial slumber, "This is just the thing for me."

She dresses in a white smock, made from an Irish Linen table cloth that her great-great-great grandmother hemstitched, and rushes to her secluded studio back in the woods of her mountainside retreat.

Using her portfolio of Japanese wood block prints as inspiration, she selects a piece of fabric sent to her by the Sultan last year and, as her assistant prepares it for dying, the Artist gathers her dyes from Bali, silk screens from Tibet, inks from Ireland and brushes from her badger farm in Montana.

She is now ready to create her masterpiece.

Skipping the next seven days of creative chaos, including three crying jags, 75 yards of fabric sent to the recyclers and the demise of one great dying table from the weight of her frustration, the Artist produces this:

The Reality

The Artist awakes to the yapping of three small dogs wanting to get outside to chase the squirrels.  While eating her Cherrios over the kitchen sink, she sees that Cloth, Paper, Scissors Arts has another challenge.

"Yes" she declares aloud, startling her pack of snarling mutts competing for her leftover milk, "This is just the thing for me." 

Using her 1949 tourist guide to Japanese wood block prints as inspiration, she gathers her materials consisting of fabric from the sale table at WalMart, leftover dyes from a friend's class three years ago, silk screens from a door prize package and inks from a calligraphy class when she was in high school.

After eight hours of washing, drying, ironing, wetting, dying, ironing, stenciling, ironing and ruining the top of the plastic table she uses for dying outdoors, she produces this:

  I would love to resemble the fantasy but, alas, my life is the reality.

Have a good week!  


Anonymous said...

When are you going to write your book Alice? This is terrific--at the very least, you need to send it into Quilting Arts magazine for publishing!
Mary Haper

arlee said...

Thanks for this--don't know which part i enjoyed more! :)

ODG said...

"brushes from her badger farm in Montana" Never knew you had it in you... wonderful!