This is part of series of blog posts about the creation of Seachange: Whale Tracks that has been selected for the Studio Art Quilt Associates* global exhibition Season After Season (on tour 2019-2022).
This week the Laundry King and I celebrated the anniversary of our sea change – our move from the city to Copacabana full time. For fourteen years, apart from when we have been travelling, we have awoken to some variation of this view over Allagai Bay:Sometimes it is calm; sometimes it is wild; always it is magical. Like the view from my childhood home, it is a scene imprinted into my very soul and I carry it with me wherever I go. It represents a season of contentment and creativity in my life as I have developed my studio practice.
Surprisingly, I have not incorporated this view into many artworks so far. The ocean was inspiration for Dreamlines #5 (see the series of blog posts The Evolution of Allagai Waves from 2013)
Allagai Bay was also inspiration for a few of the textile sketches from my Weekly Art Project Copa Abstractions collection:
I had already resolved to build on these small studies and celebrate Allagai Bay in some larger seascapes when a global exhibition opportunity offered by Studio Art Quilts Associates* (SAQA) came to my attention. For this exhibition, there are no restrictions regarding the publication of artwork prior to submitting an entry. Indeed, SAQA expressly encourages members to blog about their work in progress. So here goes.
Call for Entries: Season After Season: 31 May
SAQA is calling for entries for the Season after Season exhibition that will premiere at the Texas Quilt Museum La Grange, Texas in January 2019 and tour through to 2022. The works must be 72-78 x 30-32 inches (HxW) and address the theme:
Our lives are measured in seasons. Not just the familiar quarterly divisions of a year: spring, summer, fall and winter, but with each new day we move among a variety of seasons. Seasons are temporary markers of the passing of time, helping us transition naturally through the changes of our lives. Transitions in our personal lives can be seen through the seasons represented by age, health, attitude, status, hopes, dreams, or priorities. Other less personal seasonal changes are reflected in the world around us: weather, daylight, rainfall, temperature, climate, holidays, harvest, migration, sports, or hunting. Some seasons have no set time of arrival; others are regular as the ticking of a clock. Some seasons we await with excitement or anticipation; others we fear or wish to slow their inevitable arrival. Artists are encouraged to explore and illustrate the seasons of their lives or the changes reflected in the seasons of the world in which they live.
My policy is only to enter into themed exhibitions if the theme fits the body of work that I have committed to creating. This call satisfies my self-imposed rule. My entry will explore the patterns and rhythms of coastal living including the parade of migrating humpbacks that cross the horizon in winter and spring.
The call is also consistent with my desire to work BIG. The size dimensions for Season after Season are similar to those for Seasonal Palette my favourite SAQA exhibition to date. I appreciate the power that comes from large works and value the opportunity to submit my work for consideration.
Finally, the prospectus states that “each accepted work which explores the artist’s journey from initial thoughts and concept to final artwork“. There is no prescribed format for the journal but these blog posts will be helpful in documenting the process.
Part 1: Initial design and fabric selection
My first step was to convert the dimension into metric:
- Height: 72-78 inches = 182-198cm
- Width: 30-31 inches = 76-81 cm
This tall format is challenging to depict a seascape and position the horizon will be critical to the composition. An iPad sketch will help guide me:
My design wall is 72inches high so I will be working to the lower end of the range. I also marked the width on my design wall so that I could easily visualise the space to be filled.
I already have a pile of blue fabrics left over from Allagai Waves:
Colour/hue is one thing, value is another. My goal was to give prominence to a turquoise band of “whale tracks” in a low-contrast blend of blues and blue-greens. I spent hours at the design wall auditioning different combinations that would yield gentle patterning rather than extreme dark-light-dark stripiness.
Follow My Process:
I invite you to follow me as I proceed with the construction and stitching stages:
- Part 1: Design and Fabric Selection
- Part 2: Construction and Assembly
- Part 3: Stitching and Finishing
Studio Art Quilt Associates offers many exhibition, network and mentoring opportunities for its members. If you’ve been thinking about joining SAQA, add the discount code “WKS” to the application form (and add my name Brenda Gael Smith in the referral field) and you will receive a 10% discount on the membership fee.