Visit: Day 7

March 7, 2012 in Featured by Amy

Day 7 — A Tuesday and a birthday.

I need to pull photos off of my camera to reflect the day, though I am not sure I took many, and I feel I sewed very few seams. It ended up being a busy day, full of regular work and yet laced with sprinklings of this and that related to birthdays. Mid-day we took a short trip to a favorite bakery for a coffee and pastries, and then later we headed out for a birthday dinner.

But in the middle of the afternoon, there was a lull in which we started putting in place the framework for a ‘next piece,’ pieces that will be ‘challenge pieces.’ After looking at a book about a quilter who was doing stunning applique patchwork in the late 1900s, we agreed to work on a pictorial piece. That idea sat for a few days as we contemplated a still life or photo that would interest each of us. Today, we agreed to backtrack a bit and approach the project individually rather than as a collaboration. Instead of working together on a single fabric-based canvas, we decided to each work alone but with an image of the same thing.

That decision made, we had to have a subject.

We decided to explore the possibilities of a bowl of fruit and vegetables that was sitting in the kitchen. It was a haphazard mixture, the bowl becoming a catch-all for stray produce this week. I had noticed it last night in passing and was struck by the tumble of petite key-limes. Last night, there were four bananas, bought to supplement two aging ones destined to be made into a coconut banana bread with lime glaze this week. In the hours between then and this afternoon, two had been eaten. The balance of the bowl had changed.

After moving the bowl to a stool positioned in front of the window in the afternoon light, we spent forever futzing over the bowl, adding, moving, rearranging, trying to find the same haphazard balance that had seemed to grab me last night. We brought in a few other pieces scrounged from various hideaways in the refrigerator (which currently has not a single inch of extra space and seems to be holding far more than its share of lettuces, spinach, and chard). I worked with the tomatoes, the grapefruit, the lemons, the orange, the bananas, and the key-limes… I stepped back thinking potentially I had everything positioned.

Opal wanted to see if another bowl would work better. So, everything came back out. After a few minutes, the original bowl was back in place, and the arranging began again.

And then photos. We each took some, and as I positioned the scene in the lens, I wondered what angle on this still life I want to work with. When I am drawing, especially when I work on my chairs pieces, I like a very specific angle — which has made it a challenge when I have asked others to try and get photographs for me of quilts on chairs. I know the angle I want, the entree into the scene, but it’s hard to have someone else get the same view. I was thinking of the perspective as I snapped fruit photos. What balance do I want to show? What angle on the stool? Above or below or straight on?

While we shot the scene, reveling in the afternoon light on the fruit, the breeze moving the curtain (and causing me to wait for it to fall in many instances, trying to catch it in the photo), we talked about whether or not we have to do the same photo. In reality, we agreed we might not choose the same one.

So, a bunch of photos. And tonight, we scrolled through them… there are many. Many of them can be tossed. But many of them are interesting. Many of them have potential, both for drawings and for this fabric project. But which one… which composition… which angle… and why.

I find myself unsure which I want to use.

I’ll post other photos from today later, but of the few (smaller) fruit photos above, which speaks to you most strongly and why?