Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nearly finished

I have almost finished the Anne Frank piece—sewing on the binding. I am showing only a couple of details because I am not sure I am supposed to be publishing this piece until I know if it is accepted for the show, but I just have to tell you that Kristin's idea for texture was just what I needed.

I ended up using only one of the linens. Here you can see that I stained it (coffee) and added some shadowing where I overlaid the foreground pieces. The pattern is strong, but I don't think it overpowers.
I needed one more small element to balance the background. When I was printing the house and the diary and star of David, I also printed some strands of barbed wire, with a thought of using those. Then I rejected the barbed wire, which seemed very harsh. But after I added the lace piece, two small strands of the barbed wire seemed the right counterpoint and provided the visual balance I needed.
This is a dark piece. It is somber. But it is a somber subject. Because it is so dark, I purposely chose a warm palette, so that it hopefully, will be about life and not about death. Hope, not hopelessness. This is probably the most serious quilt I have ever made. Every decision has been difficult. I never wanted it to verge into sentimentality or become morbid or exploitative. I hope it hasn't. There is something unsettling about the whole thing.


  1. Anonymous12:49 AM

    Your details look wonderful. I am excited to see the finished piece and I can't imagine it not getting into the show. Anne Frank certainly made her mark, and your quilt appears to have done her justice. I'm glad that my suggestion helped -- and I think it is perfect that you have a "history" with the linens as well.

  2. I think you have done a wonderful job. I think that if this quilt wasn't unsettling it would not be a success. THe fabric in the background worked out really well and I think the barbed wire is just the right touch. Well done!

  3. This is just stunning. I have enjoyed every detail of the progress and I am so eager to see the full piece.

  4. Anonymous8:52 AM

    I'm sure the whole process is unsettling; Joyce is right--it should be.

    I was quite unsettled when, in my 20's, I was invited into the home of a lovely wedding shower hostess, to see a tatooed number on her inner forearm as she opened her door to welcome me. It was like an electric jolt (I literally lost my breath) that I've never forgotten, and hope I never will.

    I hope your piece does the very same thing to those how view it. This story--and all the others related to it--must NEVER be forgotten or become less than "unsettling." It's admirable that you are trying to avoid sentimentalizing your subject--it's hard to tell the story and avoid exploitation of subject and/or viewer, but it looks as if you're doing it. Wonderful work. I look forward to seeing it in total.

  5. Anonymous9:17 AM

    I can't wait to see this. It looks like a winner to me. I think it was me who suggested Anne Frank and I'm so glad I did!!

  6. Very nice. Your work is beatiful.

  7. you really have acheived what you set out to, it is striking without being morbid, and really lovely despite the dark subject.

  8. It's quite haunting, yet terribly beautiful. Wonderful.

  9. Anonymous2:47 PM

    When I saw your in progress photo a few days ago, I thought you were showing a reference photo and didn't realize you were showing your own painted piece. My comment to that entry must have seemed strange.

    You have truly done justice to Anne. A wonderful piece.

  10. Terry, this is going to be a stunning piece -- I mean, it already IS.

    As someone who was raised Jewish and who lost family members in the Holocaust, I appreciate your sensitivity to the subject matter.

    Have you been to the Anne Frank House/Museum in Amsterdam? It's an overwhelmingly touching experience for anyone who's read the book.

  11. Even this fraction of your piece is stunning, conveying a whole set of emotions in and of itself.

    I'm anxious to see ALL of it!

    There was a piece on NPR last evening about an artist who survived the halocaust by painting watercolors. She's having to fight a museum because they won't give them back, willing to allow them any reproductions, etc. My heart breaks for her. True art owns you, every part of you, you just can't let it go.

  12. this is stunning! I too cant wait to see it in total. What a moving piece you have created.

  13. I can't wait to see this in its entirety!