Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Brushmen of the Bush

Last month the Waverley Art Quilters were studying the Brushmen of the Bush. I had never heard of them before but they were suggested by one of our members a couple of years ago.

The Brushmen of the Bush were a group of established Australian artists who decided to stage some exhibitions together to raise money for charity between 1973 and 1989. Their simple idea was very successful and when the Women's Weekly magazine did an article about them, the journalist named Lorraine Hickman gave them the name of Brushmen of the Bush. They liked it so much that they asked her permission to use it.

The artists were Eric Minchin, Jack Absalom, Hugh Schulz, John Pickup and Pro Hart. They all painted scenes of outback Australia and in particular Broken Hill. In fact Broken Hill is a thriving art community because of  their success. They raised more than one and a half million dollars for charity.

I decided to do a big gum tree and set it on a red foreground to resemble the red dirt of outback Australia. I quilted their names into the sky but it is probably too hard to see in the photo.

Tribute to Brushmen of the Bush

I liked the tree but I felt that it didn't really stretch me at all because I have done trees like that before. Why not try another one?

This time I used a painting by Jack Absalom as my inspiration and I wanted to try a few new techniques.

I had been buying various organza fabrics and now was the time to try them. I placed a piece of cream fabric down that was the size of the finished quilt. Over the top I started cutting out pieces of organza to resemble a sky. For the ground I placed a yellow/orange cotton fabric and then started layering pieces of wool and hand dyed scrim that I had in my stash.

I didn't want to use any fusible web and I wasn't sure about the organza fraying so I placed a pale yellow organza over the entire sky and I held the wool and scrim in place with some jabs of my felting needles.

Next I free motion thread- painted a tree and some smaller trees and undergrowth. I used some wool for the leaves

Then I added some batting and a backing and quilted it. I quilted the sky quite closely in horizontal rows because I had seen it done that way in a couple of books. It's quite effective but would be pretty boring to do on a big quilt.

Tribute to Jack Absalom©2013 Linda Steele
I am moderately happy with the result but I am very happy that I had a chance to try out some new things. I am quite pleased that I managed to not use any fusible web. Not that I have anything against it really, it was just a challenge that I set myself.

That is the beauty of being in this group. I learn about different artists and techniques and I get to experiment with different materials in a small quilt that doesn't take very much time.

This month we are experimenting with screen printing and stencils.

Bye for now,


jude's page said...

looks like fun, well done

Gina E. said...

They are both beautiful, but the second one is quite unique. I admire the challenge you set yourself for no use of fusible webb in the project. I rely on it far too much - easy way out!

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Jude and Gina,
Whenever I start to do my quilts for Art Quilters, I always end up with more ideas of things that I can try. I can understand why people make series of quilts on certain topics.