Thursday, January 28, 2010
What's In the Background?--Kay
The photo basis for this portrait was taken a couple of years ago in the village outside Paris where Van Gogh spent the last days of his life. There was no one in the little park when we were there, so I did the dumb-tourist thing and had my husband photograph me beside Van Gogh's statue.
I chose the photo simply because it turned out well and it's fun to remember the day; then I tried to think of how to make the portrait show something about me.
For the background, I scanned paintings by some of my favorite artists into Photoshop and filled them with a solid neutral fill. I added pages from a favorite novel, because I was a book person before I became an "artist". I wanted the images to be only partially visible. After quilting, they appear only in certain lights, which is a bit less than I intended, but maybe that's appropriate.
For the face, I used the stamp filter in Photoshop to manipulate the image, printed the result on freezer paper, cut it out and fused it. (I've put more about how I did this on my blog.) The crazy pieced border represents the quilter part of me, and the hand quilting is based (very loosely) on the hand quilting designs used by the Japanese quilters I admire so much.
But all that's just words. In the end, probably subconsciously the color and design did come to reflect me: it's orderly, quiet and tasteful, (but not dull, I hope), a bit too cerebral. But there I am in the middle, laughing.
The title comes from my husband's comment: "It's you! What's that stuff in the background?" That seems to fit, I think.