Sources of Inspiration

So what inspires an artist?  It can be such a different experience each time.  For me, it is really hard to categorize.

A couple of years ago I attended a jazz piano concert at Hatch Hall, a recital hall in Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.  The concert was part of the Rochester International Jazz Festival.  I noticed the stage lights reflecting off the inside of the piano as I let the music carry me along its journey.  Luckily, my friend, Timothy J. Fuss, is one of the official photographers and was assigned to that concert.  Here is a part of one of the pictures he took.

Photo by Timothy J Fuss
Photo by Timothy J Fuss

How could I resist playing with the colors and the light?  Especially when the music was so good.

Photoshop is great!

This was really the first time I manipulated a picture with the effects available in Photoshop.  I played around with several effects and found that I liked the polar effect.  However, the pianist’s play list was in the way.  I actually figured out cloning (?).  I think that is what I did;  essentially painting over the area with the paper with the pins pictured adjacent.

The resulting picture:

In the Spotlight photo
In the Spotlight photo

Of course, being a fiber artist, the photo is not the end result.  I needed it printed on fabric so I could make a quilt.

Enter Red Dog Enterprises owned by my friend Julie Brandon.  She can print a photo on most any fabric a quilter can love.  I chose cotton sateen.  The finish came out wonderfully.  The colors are rich and have the sheen from the fabric to reinforce them.

I then started with thread and beads.  I used 30 wt Sulky Rayon thread (which I understand they are discontinuing; not happy about that), and Maderia’s FS and Supertwist.  I am so pleased with the results.

In the Spotlight 2015  Original photo by Timothy J. Fuss
In the Spotlight 2015 Original photo by Timothy J. Fuss

The intensity of the colors is enhanced by the stitching and the beading.  The movement of the curves seem to vibrate more.

To continue with the sheen of the fabric and thread, I decided to use a cotton/silk blend for the black piping and rust binding.  I am still considering mounting it in a frame.

So far, this piece has been shown in the Rocky Mountain Creative Quilters exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival earlier this  month.  I hope it will make it into other shows as well.  I also have another view printed taken from a different cropping of the photo.  More piano keys are visible.  I still have all of my threads in a small basket ready to go.

So, in answer to my earlier question, sometimes inspiration comes from sound, from images, from friends/fellow artists, and they all carried me through the creative process.  Thank you Tim and Julie for your part in this project.  I hope you like the results as much as I do.

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Sources of Inspiration”

  1. Great post, Mary Louise! Isn’t it amazing how digital technology is now permitting us to stretch the boundaries of traditions in such a remarkable way.

    I tend not to be inspired by imagery. Rather, I get some notion into my head about what might happen if I modify a cutting or sewing technique. I pull together a few fabrics and let them speak to me. Yesterday I worked on a new smallish (for me) piece for which I had incorporated a stripe. I did not have a lot of fabric because the stripe was part of a blouse I found in the street markets here, so I’m having to use it wisely.

    You have inspired me, now, to write a blog post about what I’m working on. Thanks, and look for my post on http://denadalecrain.com later today or tomorrow!

    Dena

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