Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Portrait Quilts

 This year, I had decided that I wanted to get better at making portraits. The trouble is that it is hard to make portraits when you are also doing other quilts for various shows.

In our Art Quilters group, we are continuing to work in a series. Our recent topic was Grace Crowley, an Australian abstract artist who was born in 1890 and died in 1979 ages 89.

I did my first quilt inspired by one of her paintings from 1951.

When I was in Adelaide earlier this year, I spent a couple of hours at their Art Gallery. I was thrilled to come face to face with a Grace Crowley painting.

Abstract by Grace Crowley 1953

When it came to making the second quilt in the series, I decided to include a portrait of Grace Crowley. That way I could fulfill the brief of working in a series and practice my portraits as well. I used four values to make the portrait and I used the painting that I saw at the gallery as my inspiration.

Grace Crowley 2

I was going to use a transparency method to make a portrait for my third quilt, but I somehow forgot my intention and made another fabric portrait! I did use a collage method though. It was a much more time consuming method to make a portrait but I was happy with the outcome.

Grace Crowley 3

It was only when I had finished quilting the third one that I realised that I didn't use a light enough value for her face; it came out too dark. Oh well, I just keep learning and trying!

Here is a photo of all three quilts together.

Grace Crowley Series 

Last year, I had done a portrait class with Phyllis Cullen on-line and she is having a travelling portrait exhibition in the USA with the Mancuso group. She invited us to submit one of our portraits to be considered for inclusion. 

I remembered a photo that I had taken of my grandson Jack last year. We were just coming out of a four-month lockdown and the playgrounds were being opened up. We still couldn't meet at our houses but we could catch up at a playground. It was such a happy day and the children were just as thrilled as the adults to be out and about.

I dropped everything and spent all my time making the quilt, the deadline was approaching and the pressure was on. I was absolutely delighted when my quilt was accepted for the exhibition.


I posted it the day that I finished, I just hope that it gets there in time, the post is so erratic at the moment.

I was happy with it; my family weren't that impressed though. I suppose a quilt can never look as good as a real photo. Probably a good reason to try a more artistic approach than realism. My daughter thought he looked like a scary doll from a horror movie, oh dear!

Anyway, I am not discouraged and want to make more and improve.

Bye for now,



nestki said...

I guess everything is relative. I don’t think could make a portrait as accurate and joyful as your “Jack” portrait in a million years. It’s always hardest to please family, or yourself!

jude's page said...

Sorry that your family didn't like your work, I think it looks fantastic!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

You're much braver than I! I would never even think of attempting a portrait (altho' I suppose I should never say never!). Re the concern over the darker value in the second Crowley portrait, could you lighten it with white pencil crayon and then seal it??
And...I love Jack -I certainly don't see any scary doll to it. Congrats on the exhibition acceptance (evidently they didn't see any scary doll either!).

Linda Steele said...

Thanks for your vote of confidence Nestki, luckily they haven't discouraged me!

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Jude, I am happy with it, it's always harder to please family.

Linda Steele said...

Thank you Magpie Mumblings, I think I will keep the portrait as it is as a reminder for me. I don't want to learn the lesson twice! It does happen to me sometimes!