11 Jun

Needs Illumination

This is probably old news, but I belong to a group of twelve artists who periodically challenge each other to create 12-inch square quilted artworks on a theme. We hope to inspire and encourage each other and hopefully grow in the process. This time around the challenge is “Illumination.”

I already blogged on the other site about one idea, but I mentioned that I had another.

I (almost) always ask myself what my message has to do with quilts. I mean, if I wanted to paint portraits or landscapes, I’d probably do that on paper or stretched canvas. If I’m going to use the quilt as an artistic medium, then I want to incorporate “quilty” elements or themes and do it for a reason. So, what about illumination can I relate to quilts?

Reading under the blankets at night!!

So here’s a drawing I made from about three photos of my son. (I then messed around with it in photoshop to simplify some of the details.) I have in mind applique in the graphic style of Michael Schwab. Here’s the kicker though: I’m thinking of making a small quilt (in a Sunshine and Shadows pattern, get it?) and putting it over the top of this, attached just at the top so that you lift the quilt to see the boy reading underneath the covers.

I’m a bit worried that this is too gimmicky, so I’m throwing it out to the general public. I don’t promise I’ll take anyone’s advice, but I’ll definitely listen to input.

14 thoughts on “Needs Illumination

  1. I like the idea, but…I think it would be a shame to cover the illumination scene with the top layer. How about attaching the top layer at the top and then bunching it up near the top so it appears like it’s pushed up over his head?

  2. I think it’s a great idea but agree with Terri that it would be a shame to cover the illumination scene. I love the idea of using sheers for the top layer.

  3. That drawing is great! Hmm, perhaps instead of over the quilt could you do the applique in layers of sheers so that you really get the shadowy effect? Then the foundation under all of those sheers could be the Sunshine and Shadows pattern in opaques. I’m not sure how well that would work. It’ll be interesting to see what you end up doing. 🙂

  4. I like Terris idea very much – why not create the look as if someone just lifted the blanket to take a sneak peak?
    it wouldn’t be nice to cover your applique completely… (just my 2 cents!)

  5. Put it on the back?! I love this idea. I have seen quilts at show where you need to lift something to see what is underneath and it is fun, but I think sometimes viewers are intimidated or just miss the sign that says “Look under here!” Go for it.

  6. Yes it is gimmicky, a device adopted to attract attention.
    But if it is not a useless ornament,
    and helps to tell your illumination story,
    which I think it will, go for it.

  7. I love Terri’s idea — and no, I don’t think it’s gimmicky, I think it’s wonderful, and having spent my fair share of nights reading under the covers — it speaks to me.

  8. I love this whole discussion here. This is going to be an interesting project. It sure looks challenging to a beginner like me, but I have no doubt that you are woman for this quilt! The drawing is wonderful and I look forward to see what you will do with it.

  9. I was an avid undercover reader when I was young – I think the idea is great! Bunching the blanket to show the picture beneath sounds like the most logical approach to me. As much as I like transparency in patchwork, I don’t think the translucent quilt goes with the general idea. As always, I look forward to seeing what you and the others make of the theme!

  10. Here goes….how about incorporating the sunshine and shadows into the background…that dark background behind the boy (atop the boy)…using dark, dark colors that translate night (colors are not true in the dark, you know)…perhaps even adding perspective of distance, i.e., not squares but instead lines that indicate perspective. I can’t explain it. Just a thought. I like your interpretation of the theme.

  11. Since I was a 4th grade science/art teacher for 20 years…..I like the idea you spoke about. Kind of a peek-a-boo concept, a surprise, is you will, for the viewer.

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