Friday, August 1, 2014

Koi Collages




I make no secret of my admiration of Susan Carlson's work. Her collages are so impressive! I used her construction ideas in The Elephants quilt.
This small quilt is also a glued collage in the style of her work. Measuring 16x20, it is small, but I was trying out the koi to see if I would like to make it larger. I used that same idea with the Light at the End of the Tunnel, making a small version to see if I would be successful before committing to a large quilt.
This is the first piece I worked on in my new studio in our new home. I found an outline for a koi that I wanted to make. Using glue and small scraps, I put this together. I did the fish first, then started laying in the background pieces. I kept a linear, horizontal look, implying water, but I thought it was flat and not lively. I hit on adding the circles and they give a bright bubbly look that I am very happy about. I struggled a first while quilting, because I tried to go around the circles on the edge and I kept messing it up until I decided that just freely making spirals and quit fussing about them, they turned out pretty well.
So then, I began to think about what else I could do to make the koi again, but with something different, not just larger. Some time ago, a friend sent me a pic of an artist's work on a fantasy portrait of a woman with butterflies forming part of her face and neck. Of course, I was intrigued and began to think of all those butterfly prints I had been collecting for years. The two ideas came together in the collage of another koi, "Swimming the Butterfly".
This one is made using only butterflies and a few grasses for his backfin. I enjoyed the process and didn't start gluing until it was too late, so this one is covered with black tulle and hand basted, then quilted.
I hope you like them!

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