Monday, July 25, 2016

Oh, What the Heck!

Our 15 x 15 Group has its next "reveal" at the end of this month.  The theme? "Architecture -- with a Stencil".

As you know, Gentle Readers, I've had little or no time to devote to the topic since it was announced at the end of May.  Just a wee distraction... which came to a close a couple of days ago, and from which I'm still winding down.

(Digression: Is it me, or my age (early sixties)?  I seem to find it harder and harder to disentangle emotionally from either 'highs' or 'lows' -- especially involving family and close friends, recalling sweet memories and making new ones.  I need to snap out of this so I can get some work done!)

This afternoon I thought I'd tackle the vision I had for this project, and see if I could actually finish it in a condensed period of time.   I've had something rolling around in my mind for some months now, and this theme seemed an ideal way to capture it.

My inspiration is this Taize worship piece that I've performed countless times with the trio in which I sing at church:.

The Kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Come now, and open in us the gates of Your Kingdom.* 
*Ateliers et Presses de Taize, France 

I had this picture in my mind of gates opening onto a celestial Kingdom...and when I remembered these photos I'd taken on my visit to Stratford, Ontario in May, I had the model for my gates -- from which I thought I could make a stencil.

Ha!  It wasn't as easy as all that.

Sure, I traced the shapes I wanted, got 'em on to printer paper, enlarged 'em...and then tried to actually create a stencil.

You'd think I'd never done it before!  But I have --  or so I kept reminding myself as I wasted piece after piece of the laminate off-cuts my daughter gives me (recycling from her workplace).

I have a wee problem with perception, you see...some of which is attributed to my wonky eyesight.  I tend to transpose images...and I have trouble differentiating depth (as in trying to parallel park a car) and positive/negative space.

I knew what I wanted to be the "empty" space on the stencil -- the space in which I wanted to either paint or apply resist while I painted the background...or both -- but I couldn't for the life of me cut it out without destroying the materials and ending up with gaps.

I went online for help and I confess, it was hard to find.  There were plenty of videos and articles on how to make stencils and what tools to use to make it easy...but precious little on exactly what to cut and what to leave intact.  I finally found this one from artist Amy Pearce...and the light went on.  As a result, I managed to cobble together a passable stencil, tape it down to my work surface, put the fabric over it and apply blue glue gel resist where I wanted it to go.  (I ended up making the stencil out of paper, and for this technique; i.e., with glue, based on Enid Gjelten Weischelbaum's article, "Drawing with Glue" in the August/September 2015 issue of Quilting Arts magazine, you place your fabric on top of your traceable design):

As I was laying down the glue, I thought to myself, "Oh, what the heck if it doesn't get done in time; this is fun!"

It has to dry 24 hours (which is fine -- I work at The Shop tomorrow)...and on Wednesday, if I'm able (I have 3 appointments), I'll play with the background colours...and Friday...might be able to stitch...

Blessedly, the 15 x 15 Group have forgiven me if I miss this particular challenge...but I'd like to try to get there on time.  Our "reveals" are always so much fun, and I want to be a part of this one too.

Wish me luck -- or say a prayer -- or both (whichever appeals to you)!  See you later...


Judy Warner said...

Go for it, Margaret! It sounds like a great way to capture the image that you want. And, I am sure the group will appreciate your efforts.
BTW, I often find myself challenged at moving on from events......I have learned to be patient with have been working so hard, don't forget to find some time to breathe and just appreciate all you have done in the past few months!

Sha said...

Go girl GO ! Never say never and just surprise yourself with what happens - that is sort of fun too. Enjoy

Anonymous said...

Wonderful inspiration. I'm looking forward to seeing how this piece progresses.

elle said...

praying you'll be blessed with luck!