Saturday, March 27, 2010

âmes perdues des rêves brisés --- Kim


âmes perdues des rêves brisés  
(18.5 x 18.5 inches)

Cotton hand-dyed and commercial fabric
oil paintstik
Machine pieced, hand and machine quilted
(attached to 20-inch square artist canvas)







Design notes


To begin with, I loved the photograph that Kay challenged us with this month but I also found the doll heads just a little "creepy." Every time I looked at the photo I fought that feeling and tried to push beyond it. My efforts led me to consider making a quilt featuring a boudoir doll. These dolls were popular in the 1920-30's and were made to sit on ladies beds. French designer Paul Poiret was credited with starting the boudoir doll fad. I still like that idea but I just wasn't enthusiastic enough about that idea to move ahead and I found myself wondering about the artist who made those doll heads. I went back to the blue legs and the sour mash whiskey that I saw in the photo and imagined a starving artist struggling with how to make a living as an artist - his worries and dreams. I made some quick sketches and decided on one of the "blue" ones.

I was drawn to two of the doll heads and tired to make stamp but couldn't get the detail that I wanted. I made a stencil instead and used it on the blue fabric with a white iridescent paintstik.

When I shared this piece with my daughter she said it reminded her of the masks used in commedia dell'arte - kind of creepy. A few days later a friend saw it and said that while she liked it, it was a little too creepy for her taste. I do believe I succeeded in capturing that creepy feeling that I had.  Le projet fut un succès!

(Note: "âmes perdues des rêves brisés"  translates as "lost souls of broken dreams")

10 comments:

  1. I don't find your piece to be creepy but certainly haunting. The stencilled faces in the background remind me of distant ancestors & the doll heads look pretty deathlike to me too as though they are about to breathe their last breath and join the recently departed. The blue legs look a bit eery atop the body. This is a very powerful piece--somber and thought-provoking, Kim, and very well done!

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  2. WOW! and what a perfect title to convey your interpretation. I don't find it to be creepy. I see it as more of a theatrical-like drama relating a tragic story.

    You've used that marvelous deep rich blue and the bright complementary yellow-orange from the photo wonderfully well.

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  3. I think melancholy is a good word for it also. And maybe just a little creepy. Terrific job, Kim.

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  4. Kim, I didn't understand at first that you've stenciled the heads all over the fabric. This piece really repays study; VERY impressive.

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  5. Excellent choices to interpret this photo. Love the stenciled faces in the background it adds so much to the message your are conveying.
    Great job.

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  6. I always appreciate the way you (all) research the subject photo and build your images from the history. What a beautiful way to interpret the photo, and I don't find it creepy at all. I love the stencils, and the quilting line too. Fantastique! Merveilleux!!

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  7. Totally impressive work Kim! I really the repeat of the stencils in the background. And the title!! Really great work here!!!

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  8. Great results. It looks very "theatrical" if that makes sense. Love looking at your thinking process too.

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  9. It does resemble theater masks and haunting is a better description than creepy. Love the color choices as well. I so enjoy seeing your journal of the progress too.

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Thanks for stopping by and commenting!