Friday, July 27, 2012
Dreaming of Fashion
http://www.quiltingdaily.com/blogs/quiltingarts/default.aspx It is from their “What If?” challenge, where they asked readers to think of a moment that changed their life, or what they might have done differently, or how a chance meeting might have changed their life, and translate the idea into a 12” x 12” art quilt. At first I thought about making a piece about moving from the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains (where I grew up) to New York City when I was 21 and doing a piece illustrating a car with luggage piled high on top and a cityscape in the distance. Then I thought about that moment in time a little more, and felt kind of angry that I didn’t go after my art dream until I was 21. My parents constantly gave me the message about not going into art as a career, saying I’d never find a job, I’d starve and that I should go into a practical field, like teaching or nursing. And my guidance counselor, when I suggested a state college that had an art program, said “oh, you don’t want to go there! They have a big drug problem!” So, I compromised—majoring in elementary education and minoring in art at another state school. By the time I finished student teaching, I knew elementary education was not for me. A college housemate mentioned FIT to me, and I discovered that they had a special one-year program for people who already had college degrees. It was affordable, AND it had a 97% job placement rate at the time. So, I eventually followed my heart and found an art career in textile design. My "What If?" artists statement said: What if…my parents had encouraged me to be an artist, instead of saying, “No! What kind of job can you get with an art degree?” What if they had known that there were schools where you could study for a career in creative design fields they had never heard of? What if my guidance counselor had told me about schools like RISD, Parsons or Pratt? Would I have become a fashion designer? Architect? Interior designer? Toy designer? Doll designer? Would my life have been different? Dreaming of Fashion shows me as a kid standing in the ocean. I loved to swim and spent every summer day at the local pool—not the ocean, but the ocean image seemed more magical than a chlorinated pool. The oversized, peculiar hat is a reference to kids playing dress-up; My sister taught me how to use the sewing machine when I was 11, and I made my own clothes through high school and college, so the floating dress form and scissors show my dream of fashion design. The attachment of the hands with brads is a tribute to my love of making art-paperdolls. I stamped the OM symbol on the hat and in the water because I am often anxious and panicky, and try to calm myself with breathing and visualization. I started the piece in Photoshop, and printed it out on cotton, then over-painted it. Originally I used my face from a photo at 10 years old—back when my fashion love started—but it was too murky, so I printed my college graduation photo on cotton, cut it out, and hand-stitched it over the messy 10 year old face. For the dress, I used fabrics that I designed myself as part of Studio Art Quilters Association’s Visioning Project, http://www.saqa.com/ led by Lisa Chipentine, which I printed at Spoonflower. http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome The dress is a homage to late 1960s-early 1970s fashions that I might have made back when I learned to sew. The vintage images of a crazy hat and dress form were used with permission from The Graphics Fairy, a wonderful online resource for all kinds of unique images.http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/ I used 100% cotton, hand and machine quilting, along with acrylic paint, watersoluble oil pastels, chalk, felt, paper and decorative brads.