Thursday, August 1, 2013

Owl, a mini quilt (but not a cute one)

Owl

Owl is not cute.

She is a little 12" square mini quilt for this quarter's theme - owl - in my Four in Art group. I used a thread and fabric painting technique. I was inspired by the Orbit quilt by Jennifer Sampou in the We Love Color book.

Owl

I am very uncomfortable with Owl. She is far more of an art quilt and I don't see myself as an art quilt maker. But here she is.

Owl

I was going to toss her out - Owl feels threatening, she has the qualities of a powerful hunter, not a cute little owl. I was not sure that anyone would like her at all. I am still not sure how I feel exactly about this piece.

Owl

You can see I am easing you into her. I took her to lunch and Marianne said she liked her. She encouraged me to keep her and show her off. Since I value Marianne's opinion on art a great deal, I did not make a safer replacement. I have only Owl to show you.

Owl

I now understand just a little bit about how artists might feel as they share their work, wondering if people will really dislike it. Wondering if you even like it. Wondering if you need a vacation, perhaps.

Owl

The theme was hard for me. I had hoped to go through the projects each quarter in this group primarily improv piecing mini quilts that evoke the theme but are more abstract modern quilts, not particularly art quilts. But then I made Owl.

Owl

It was the eyes of the pictures of owls I saw when I googled owl images that I wanted to make, the eyes under that hunter's scowling brow. I used Oakshotts and Essex linen and a bunch of thread.


The rest of my  Four in Art group will have quilts to show off today too. You can see them by clicking their names: Elizabeth at OP Quilts, Rachel at The Life of Riley, and Betty on flickr.

In case you are worried, I am off on mostly vacation tomorrow and will soon be at the beach. Probably a very good thing.

Best,

Leanne

46 comments:

Anna said...

I love it! It looks amazing!

Patchwork and Play said...

I love the depth those owl's eyes have- very mesmerising!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Honestly that is a little terrifying but the close ups show your beautiful work and I like an angsty owl! Now we know how a mouse feels! Enjoy the beach :)

Charlotte said...

I love it, personally. The layers of thread and fabric are really effective. Beautiful (and only a little scary)

Judith said...

I like her a lot and mostly that she is not a cute one. The layers of fabric and thread make it stand out. I don't want to meet her at night though.....

Lynz said...

Well I think it's fabulous! Powerful, a bit intimidating but still beautiful - you couldn't get more owlish! It's also how I like my art - better to have a negative response than a "meh" one, dontchathink? I would happily own this - just putting that out there in case you really can't live with her! *g* Definitely a she-owl, btw, she's got that mummy stare!

Have a lovely holiday!!

Nilya said...

I think I love it. It is very Special and I really understood what you meant. Gorgeous work!

Quilter in the Gap said...

I love Owl!!!! I mean truly love it. You know I am a bit partial to owls but I really do love it!! It is modern, simple, demands attention and just what I would want for a wall hanging!!! Love it!!!

heart of charnwood said...

It doesn't have to be soft and whimiscal to be fantastic, and this really is, i love it!

Henry's Shed said...

Wow! Not cute I agree, but still beautiful! Well done! x

Betty said...

Leanne, I absolutely love your owl!! My goal was just to do the eyes and beak, but it wouldn't come together for me - you nailed it, however!

Erin @ Missy Mac Creations said...

WOW. I've been back a few times and every time I like it more and more. I think it's one of those pieces that makes you think about it and question it. It's a great feeling when art has that effect, I think. Great interpretation.

Shevvy said...

She is scary I agree. But also quite extraordinary. I can imagine she feels like she is watching you all the time when you are in the same room with her.

AmandaK@whatthebobbin said...

Mighty owl, hear her roar. Love it.

Nicky said...

Agree with Lucy! Now I feel like a mouse looking into those mesmerising eyes!

Rebecca Lynne said...

Oooh Leanne what are you trying to say with those eyes! They are gorgeous those, I totally love the color and the method you used...but definitely not something I'd hang up in my daughter's room (her theme is owls). Go enjoy the beach!

Sheryl said...

That quilt is just stunning. It's always a little scary going so far out of your comfort zone. I've always had a thing for owls, and I do find that owl expressions tend to be a little bit angry and overwhelming in art and your quilt fits right in. But it's absolutely gorgeous.

Debbie said...

Oh I like it alot! I understand your feelings of trepidation, but still - it's a great piece. Good for you for stretching and let it be what it is. And I love how you eased us in! ;-) Thanks. haha

SIMPLESEW said...

Very interesting..

carla said...

Hi!!! I love it!!!! Very realistic!!!

OPQuilt said...

Your quilts are always intriguing, always in your perfectly improv style, even when you think they are not. Owl captures that glare that hooked me in as well, the glare looking for food, the glaring eyes that say beware or watch out or you are my next meal. After doing my research for this, I will never again think of owls as cute or cuddly creatures, but more a force to be reckoned with. And you capture that perfectly in your piece.

Wonderful!

Elizabeth E.

Rachel said...

Leanne, I think it is wonderful. I'm so glad you did something that you feel stretched with. When I was looking at pictures, it was always the eyes that stood out to me and I think you captured that very well. In fact, you wouldn't even have to say this was an owl, everyone would know.
Enjoy your vacation!

MariQuilts said...

It's even more amazing in real life......I knew you would get a fabulous response on this piece, Leanne. I'm so glad you didn't go the safer route and replace this powerful piece.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Her eyes are mesmerising...such a feeling of strength and raw nature to this piece.

P.S. My grandma used to collect owl ornaments and this reminds me of one she had - it was brass with bright red eyes and whenever Grandma left the room one of us would turn it to face the wall because we were all convinced it was staring at us and deciding which one to peck first...

Sarah said...

Whoa that is some stare! Scarily brilliant! You did this art quilt so well. Do you know that she looks more like a confused duck upside down?

grapes and hearts said...

OWL those eyes!
Splendid, Leanne!!!
Love your art quilt and I am impressed by your skills!
Great work!

Flying Blind... said...

I actually like the back - does that help!?
It is as good as any 'art' quilt I have seen; they are not my thing, but I can appreciate the work (blah blah). You could hang it on the front door at halloween, and keep all the candy to yourself xxx

Strawberry Patch said...

Powerful and perfect stitching!

Blue.Ridge.Girl said...

Wow...this is amazing! It really is art and I can totally understand how you would feel like you are "putting yourself out there", but, if this is what you can do then I say risk it!!

diane said...

it does look a little scary but I must say I loke the orange and all the stitching

Katy Cameron said...

Well she does look a teensy bit pissed off, but I do like her :o)

Adrianne said...

Wow, this is stunning Leanne! I think your discomfort putting Owl out there probably reflects the fact that you poured a little bit of soul into her (and the fact that it's tough to step outside the norm of quilts being "pretty"). I think this is a great piece and you should be really proud!

Bonnie Miller said...

Well FYI I think it is wonderful. Owls are cute in story books, but in reality they have a job to do...and those eyes will miss nothing! Well done!

Heidi Staples said...

Why be cute when you can be awesome?! You are always so fearless in your quilting, Leanne. It's something that I really admire about you!

Svetlana said...

wow, this is one amazing owl, Leanne.

Anonymous said...

I am loving the owl Leanne particularly the eyes and the variation of colours!!! Thanks for sharing Marie (mlismore@optusnet.com.au)

Camilla said...

This is great! I love it. It's important to be on the edge of our comfort zones a bit I think!

Jessica Hadden said...

Oh, I love owl-your techniques and finished product, beautiful!

Marla said...

Owl is scary but the technique is very cool. I like the back of Owl - it makes me feel less like I am being hunted. I think art is meant to evoke an emotion. Being freaked out by Owl is a good sign you are doing it right :)

Kat said...

Owl is awesome!
If you get too uncomfortable with it I'd gladly grant it asylum. ;-)

Kat said...

Owl is awesome!
If you get too uncomfortable with it I'd gladly grant it asylum. ;-)

Isisjem said...

You're owl is great! It's got that menacing piercing look that birds of prey so often have. Enjoy your vacation.

Sarah said...

I think it's very striking and captures the essence of an owls eyes. The fact you can do that with fabric, needle and thread is amazing!

Elisabeth said...

I love Owl! Her eyes are stunning and really capture the owl's look. I especially love that she is not cutesy but a proper hunter. I really hope you will learn to like her.

tusen said...

I love those eyes. It's a really striking quilt, although I have to say it does make me just a bit uneasy.

Poppyprint said...

I think it's a fabulous study of owl eyes, Leanne. I really like the way you used the fabrics and thread painting around the actual eyes and the intensity is riveting!