Saturday, June 22, 2013

Inspiration Fieldtrip to Wildlife Refuge

I am involved with a group called "Tarts" (short for textile arts) that meets once a month to share about fiber art.  One month we have a fieldtrip somewhere and the next month we bring something we have made inspired by that fieldtrip.  There are about 10 or 12 people in my group and we have a great time.  Last month, May, we had a fieldtrip to Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge which is practically right in my neighborhood.  We walked a trail and took pictures and then went to the Visitor Center.  This month we had our meeting and some of us shared pieces we had made.  I put mine together the afternoon before the meeting so it was fairly simple but I was happy with how it turned out.  I think everyone who had a piece made it the weekend before the meeting so I wasn't the only one!  

I had wanted to print some of my images onto fabric to include in my piece, but the computer/printer would not cooperate.  Of course if I had started working on it earlier in the month maybe I would have been able to do that, but with so little time I decided to go with what I did.  The piece is 8" x 14" (not including the hanger) and the little silver turtle beads are a mere 5/8" from nose to tail.  They are out of proportion with the reeds, but I couldn't resist using them on the piece because they are so adorable.  I don't usually worry too much about proportion or making things look perfect in my work anyways---artistic license you know!

Here are some pictures that I took at the refuge on that beautiful day in May.  The hen turkey had a number of tiny chicks that are all around her in the grass but you can't even see them in my photographs they are so small and camouflaged!  The small art quilt I made was inspired by the picture with the log which did not have turtles on it that morning, but I know they hang out there quite regularly!

Here are some pictures of the piece I made, inspired by the photo above and previous visits to the refuge (which is very near my home).  I always drive slowly past the ponds hoping for a glimpse through the reeds of the turtles perched on the logs on the pond edge before they slip into the water at the sound of my vehicle approaching.

The rocks, reeds and water are felt, and the sky is Osnaburg that has been colored with fabric pastel crayons.  The rocks are stuffed.  A wonderful nubby yarn was couched around the piece for a rustic edge finish.  Actually I used the blue twine that the hanger is on to go around the piece first for a little bit of stability and then couched the yarn to that.

I find much inspiration for my work in the nature that surrounds me here in western Montana.  Thank goodness for digital cameras that allow me to snap unlimited photos for future reference and use in creating something from fiber that reflects the beauty in the varied landscapes.  My work is mostly abstract and non-representational, but color, form, and texture are quite borrowed from nature.  I often use recognizable motifs in my work such as leaves, trees, and other flora.

Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...