Friday, July 01, 2005
Diane has started an interesting discussion about pictorial quilts over on her blog. I actually prefer the term "representational" since, by the definitions I use, pictorial quilts are representational, but not all representational quilts are pictorial. But whatever, semantics aside, if you haven't read Diane's post and the subsequent comments yet I encourage you to do so. Good stuff! Here's my take on representational art in general and representational** quilts in particular, FWIW. (**From here on rpl=representational, because I'm already getting tired of typing that word! HA!) I love rpl artwork, both viewing it and creating it, but for me the point of rpl work, whether painting or fiber, isn't to make the artwork look as much like the "real thing" as possible. Hundreds of years ago, before there was photography, I could see the point of that, but these days I think the camera does it better. So trying to make a painting or a quilt that looks EXACTLY like the object it's depicting is, IMO, a student project. There's nothing wrong with that. We have to have student projects to learn new skills. It's a helpful exercise in mastering the medium because it can force you to really SEE what you're looking at and figure out how to depict that in a way that fools the eye. Those are useful tools for an artist. But when it comes time to move past student work and on to creating our own artwork from the heart and mind, I want to see Reality With A Twist in rpl work. If there are a half-dozen artists creating a portrait of the same person, then I think every one of those portraits should look different, even if they're all recognizable as the model, because we all are hopefully filtering our vision through our own experiences and incorporating our own personal symbolism. Since Deborah asked to see a photo of my sister, Sandy, I'll kill two stones with one bird (hardee-har! Sorry, couldn't resist...that's a Keetonism) and give you an idea of what I mean. Below is the photo most of you have already seen of my last quilt "Sisters - Shared Soles". Directly below that is the snapshot I used as a reference for the pose and faces. I think you'll see that while the quilt image is recognizably my sister and me, I wasn't attempting to replicate the photo. I was using it a jumping-off point and from there I tweaked colors and lines and expressions, and popped it out of "reality" and into DebWorld where I used it to say something about my relationship with my sister --- about our shared obsession and our often uncannily-similar thought processes and attitudes. The photograph makes me smile. The quilt makes me smile, but not for the same reason. Others may "get" that or they may not, but that's ok, since as Gabrielle says, I make my art for myself. If others enjoy it too, that's wonderful. I'm egotistical enough to love positive feedback. But even if every other person who looks at it says "huh?", it was still worth making for what it says to me. And to Sandy. I knew she'd Get It. :-) And the Shopping Results Are... I listened to the helpful advice of my fellow bloggers and rewarded myself with some shoes yesterday. Two pairs, which means one shoe for each bruise. Instead of posting two pics, I just put a shoe from each pair on and took a pic. Here they are: I'm such a SparkleSlut. :-) It was lovely spending the afternoon with Sandy and the Indian food and frap were both yummmmmmy. Oh, and in case anyone wonders, Sandy bought a pair of pink pants, a GORGEOUS multi-colored filmy-floaty skirt, and yes, a pair of shoes. It was a Good Day. Oh, and before I close.... Happy Canada Day! to our northern neighbors. You guys go ahead and start the party and we here in the US will join you in a few days, eh?