Thursday, July 21, 2005

(Barbara's) Progress Report

I've been working in my own idiosyncratic way on my quilt. My preferred approach is to begin with a handful of elements that I like, and then to make decisions on the rest as I go along. For example, when I started "La Ofrenda" I knew I wanted a pieced background, and I wanted to use elements of the dresser-top altar, including real linens. I also wanted to include a cactus, echoing Weston's maguey photograph. I put my cactus in the center of my piece and made it 3-D. The stuffing was tedious, and I'm not sure it looks sufficiently unlike those dancing cactuses from a few years ago, so I'm thinking about that.


When I got through these elements, I had to think about what I wanted to add next. I chose to add a vase of flowers, and I cut my vase from a wonderful Nancy Crow fabric that looks like rattlesnake skin. The virgin of Guadalupe reflects the mixing of both European and Mesoamerican cultures. The snake is a symbol of life in Mesoamerica, and a goddess with a skirt made of serpents, Coatlicue, is one of the native sources for the image of Guadalupe.


I'm thinking about the position of each element I've included so far, and about what I want to include next. I went to the hardware store and bought a piece of flashing, thinking I'd cut out some picture frames for family photos. I also bought a cheap mirror. I'm going to have to decide what flowers will go in the vase.

6 comments:

Rian said...

Barbara, this is great! Thanks for sharing your progress and your thoughts about your creative process. You are a very talented artist.

Closing my eyes, I am remembering West Side Story... Maria had a little altar in her room above the garment shop. I'm seeing a simple faux stained-glass window behind it, or perhaps a fabric drape to camouflage the plain wall behind. I think if I were going to have a Madonna altar it would definitely have two votive candles.

Two Madonna Gals said...

Hi Rian, thanks for your feedback. I've been thinking about votives also--just haven't figured out how I would do them. I've also thought about perfume bottles. I have my grandmother's bottle of Evening in Paris on my dresser--it has a very distinctive blue bottle. Barbara

Teri said...

For votives, how about some clear vinyl for the glass.. I don't know if you could find red vinyl.. I'll have to think about it. Maybe for the flame, a small piece of gold lame' or a small diamond shaped mirror.
I love your piece. I actually asked a friend for one Madonna from her yardage. I might do it along with you.. just need to find the time...

Debra Spincic said...

Barbara--It's starting to take some shape! I like the plants and flowers idea--how about some silk flowers out of the top of the vase?

I am working one more day on my piece. Thankfully my mom brought a sweater she is knitting and likes to sit in my studio with me. This piece has definitely grown! I'll post pictures tonight. My goal is to get it in the mail by Wed morning. I'll probably have to take out a loan to pay the postage.

jenclair said...

Love the visual texture in this: each item has its own appropriate (almost touchable) appearance. And the table cloth - such a homey accent - "grandmotherly love and comfort."

Debra Spincic said...

Barbara, I have been meaning to say that I bet the Dollar Store has some clear red vinyl--maybe even as packaging for something. I'll keep my eyes open for you.