Sometimes inspiration for a painting comes from hearing a word or idea. I have been mulling over the "idea" of a quilting painting, but was unsure where to go with it. Recently, Molly Halstead, Tamarack Gallery manager, announced a theme for an upcoming gallery exhibit, titled "Warmth". I began to think of all the different meanings of the word: a warm smile, warm food, sunshine, and finally settled on the quilting painting.
In developing the concept, I used my notebook to write down what I wanted to express with the painting. For instance, the quilt itself can be warm, and certainly feels wonderful on a cool Autumn evening, or in the Summer when it comes fresh from the clothesline to wrap a chilly swimmer. Of course, the real warmth from a quilt comes from the hands that create these wonderful covers, and I settled on my final idea.
"The Quilter" will be similar to "The Student" in style, with the soft wrinkles of the fabric repeated in her skin. I am using a reference for the thread in the background from J. Anderson, titled "Big Sisters" from the Southern Watercolor Society, and loosely interpreting Mary Whyte's "Lovers" when creating the skin and quilting wrinkles.
I use tracing paper the size of my WC sheet to do the preliminary sketching (and erasing!). Right now, I think her nose is a little big, so I will try several versions before transferring to my WC sheet.
I'll keep you posted on my progress! :)
I think it is important to share our process with others, just as we gain from watching other artists work.