Monday, June 26, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Matisse

I absolutely adore Henri Matisse. I especially adore his paper collages. Every piece seems so simple. Deceptively simple. Most champion his use of color, which is certainly stunning. But I love his lines -- the curvature of his paper cuts, sketches and brush strokes. In fact, if forced to pick just one Matisse piece, this would be my favorite because I'm entranced by the bold black strokes that form her body.

Reclining Nude with Blue Eyes


Matisse is pure inspiration. So it's with no small tangle of nerves that I present my homage to his Blue Hair - a quilted wall hanging.



Back (for those who like quilting lines):


Signature detail (meant to mimic Matisse's):


If you noticed a departure from the original, you are correct.

The biggest change was to the woman's body. I drew her curvier and larger (read: more realistic). In addition, Matisse's Blue Hair has always bothered me because I couldn't figure out where her arms are. So I interviewed my local experts. Wifey thought both were thrown behind her. Mom thought both arms were above her head and she was wearing a scarf (nude+scarf? ... Mom... I don't want to know). I thought the right arm was behind her and the left was above her head. So I took the liberty of altering the piece to match my vision of this woman's ecstatic leap.

This little quilt was supposed to be a 50th birthday gift for a very dear friend. Two years ago. I had planned to replicate Blue Hair exactly, but I never started it. However, with birthday #52 coming up this week, I decided to get to work. Once I started tracing the print, I realized that her arm placement and body shape bothered me. And I believe this was the obstacle to starting this project long ago. But I took the liberty of 'fixing' it for a modern feminist audience, and now I'm happy.

Also - I'm hooked. Wouldn't this make a nice Kaffe-Fassett-esk quilt?
Large Composition with Masks

Happy Monday.

21 comments:

Emily said...

Freakin awesome!!!!!!! I love the changes, I love the quilting lines, aren't you so happy you figured out what was blocking you and did it!!!!!?

Shelina said...

I like the clean simple lines and the fact that you were brave enough to make it your way.

Shelina said...

hey stupid question. In the right hand column of your blog, you write about quilts you are working on, but they are all at 100%. Does this mean you have no UFOs?

Becca said...

Wow, I'm very impressed. An elegant homage.

Thorny said...

Wow, that's awesome. And the project idea-thinger (sorry, is late, have no words now - all used up)... that would be just amazing if you decide to go for it. Like, drool-worthy, I'm thinking.

pippi said...

really beautiful!
i love it.
you are so inspiring!

The Whole Self said...

you quiltie rocks the house! i love the way that it came out. what a great gift.

nice seeing you even for a little bit this past weekend. meow!

The Purloined Letter said...

Fantastic!

Please come down to the top-floor Matisse gallery in the National Gallery East in DC and surreptitiously hang it on the wall so I and others around here can visit it often in its home setting.

Anonymous said...

The picture in the quilt (and in the real Matisse) really is a rabbit.

Son of Purloined, 7yo

Cheryl said...

Incredible! The changes you made to the body shape are fantasic, I just love it!

Beth S. said...

That is SO COOL.

wenders said...

Wonderful, wonderful work. :)

Rhonda said...

I love the quilt! And the curvier body is much more natural. Yes. BTW, I have a Prof. that has that bottom print in his office. It does say, quilt me!

myargylesocks said...

Oh. My. God. That is insanely amazing. Kudos.

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

I absolutely LOVE how you can take something and interpret them into quilts!
=:8

CarryFairie said...

Holy Crow is that one amazing Quilt!!! You are truly talented...

And, again, I thank you for sharing with us all...

Laura said...

It's beautiful and I love the changes.

It's so hard to pick, but I'd have to say my two favorite Matisse images are:
Christmas Eve and Woman with amphora and pomegranates

Suzanne said...

Oh honey, it's fantastic! You really captured the energy of the painting. Congratulations!

The Purloined Letter said...

Sorry to comment yet again on this post.

I've been thinking about your quilt all week. One of my definitions of "brilliant" is something that you have never thought of before but when you hear the first time sounds so obvious that you assume you've known it all your life. You have DEFINTELY tapped into that! How could EVERYBODY not be knitting this perfect quilts? I mean, Matisse must have been playing around with the idea of quilts when he came up with his stuff, right? Just too cool, TFM. Good job.

amandamonkey said...

I came here via your comments on Dogged Ashley's site - I LOVE this quilt. Really marvelous job, and I hope the giftee loves it.

Francesca said...

I love the Matisse quilt.
What would you recommend to someone who wants to take up quilting? I like Italian trapunto style more than crazy patchwork, which is one of the reasons I like your quilt. Any pointers for the clueless?