I’d been working on this improvisational photoquilt off and on for a while. In fine quilting tradition, it combines scraps from previous hotrod, griege, and eigengrau photoquilts in a pattern that I made up as I went along. The result looks a little like a bar graph and a little like a flower patch.
Sometimes I find decision making — how many pieces? light or dark? longer or shorter? move up or down? — to be an almost overwhelming obstacle, but it feels good to push through it.
After completing Eigengrau Study #1, I wanted to continue working with these prints. Here, I have used many of the same prints as well as some darker blacks and a handful of gold sparkles. Some of the darkest pieces include dark rays of light — almost reverse shadows — and other faint shapes. Overall, the effect is similar to I Don’t Remember Anymore, which includes photos that are mostly, but not completely, flat areas of colors. This is a quality of photographic prints that I plan to continue to explore.
I should also note that my friend Matt taught me this fold pattern on a recent visit. He folded a piece of paper into a fan, turned it several degrees and folded it again, then spent a few minutes pushing and pulling it into this pattern. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. My photoquilts fold on their seams very easily, so this fold wasn’t too difficult. In person, the piece has an almost organic quality as it expands and contracts, which is hard to fully appreciate in photographs.
This is the companion piece to Eigengrau Study #1. Instead of using photos of black walls, this one uses photos of white walls. Well, off-white. I never know what to call this color. Beige? Ecru? Taupe? Only after a friend suggested a portmanteau combining gray and biege did I find a name for this piece.
The different angles and reflections of the light bring out steely grays, rosy pinks, and bronzy browns that, sadly, are nowhere on the wall I photographed. The effect is a bit like a series of silver rivets or what you see when looking through a cheese grater.
Eigengrau is the color you see when there is no light. It’s not quite black (hexadec: #16161d). These photos were taken of a black wall in my house, but clearly my camera didn’t process them as black, exactly. Thinking about how I use photos in my work and how the lens in my camera is similar to, but different from, the lenses in my eyes, led me to thinking about this color. Making something “black” black is a bit of a fool’s errand, so Drunkard’s Path seemed a reasonable pattern for these photos. I’m looking forward to trying some others as well.
Magenta and gold ripples in the water made of sky. The meandering path of the drunkard’s path forms, inverts, and dissolves. I’ve enjoyed exploring the combination of painted metal and sky, which began with Driving to Where the Water Meets the Sky, and more will likely follow.
It’s amazing what happens when you apply one simple restriction to your color palette. This photoquilt looks very colorful, but one color is missing. Can you tell which one isn’t there? The result has a surprisingly fruity and tropical quality that I associate with some of Paul Gaugin’s paintings of Tahiti. The pattern is a log cabin, but instead of using straight strips to build out each block, improvisationally chopped strips each have a slight angle which lends movement to the piece. All of this combines into a work that feels happier and more fun than a traditional log cabin quilt (which I have also made.) And, if you haven’t figured it out yet, green is the color that is not included. Sure, there’s teal, but no really “green” greens here.
Quilting is one of the most artful forms of recycling, which may be why I’m a bit obsessed with finding a home for every piece of every photo. This photoquilt is comprised of pieces I cut from a previous improv study. Each square is imprecisely divided in half leading to variations in the thickness of each line and the angle of each step.
The color palette is bright and fun and less reserved than my previous piece. The colors mostly contrast the blue sky background, but some blend in almost completely. These 5s (and Ss, Es, and 3s) are an interesting motif to play with and I really like the variety I got even within this small sample. They each began as a (loosely) rectangular strip of color which I took two square bites out of. The location of the bites determined what letter or number the rectangles became. I mostly went for fives, but didn’t fight any variations I created, intentionally or otherwise.
This small photoquilt features warm colors on sky. The colorful blocks vary from light to dark across their length while the blue sky is almost flat, creating an interesting contrast. All of the colors pop against the blue, but the red, in particular, almost vibrates.