Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saratoga Spring Fountain - Nellie

 Saratoga Spring Fountain
13"x 17"

fabric, wool roving, yarns,
tulle netting, oil stick pastels

The fountain itself is about the only thing that appealed to me when I looked at Judith's photo mounted on my design board this month ... so I cropped in close to feature it.

But first, a background was needed.  I chose to feature the brick foundation under the fountain.  I found a photo in Flickr of bricks laid out in a herringbone pattern.  I printed it out on paper and assigned  a number to each brick, then cut them apart to use as patterns.  The grout part is a whole piece of cloth torn slightly larger to extend beyond the outside bricks.
The bricks were held in place on the grout fabric with a temporary spray adhesive.  For the background surrounding the pavers, I chose a batik that reflected colors and elements of the surrounding courtyard.  A piece of violet colored tulle netting was laid over the background and then quilted.

I played with the fountain by cutting out shapes on brown craft paper and coloring in with pastels.  The fountain part was good, but the basin was too small.

 I redrew the basin and used the paper pieces as patterns for cutting the fabric.  I can't believe a photo wasn't taken before details and texture were added with wool roving.  Here it is (before the quilting) next to a photo of the fountain.
A layer of yellow-orange tulle trapped all the pieces of fabric, roving, and variety of yarns and thread to create the running water.   The excess tulle beyond the edge of the fountain was trimmed away after the machine quilting was done.

Final details and shading to define edges and highlights on the fountain were added with oil stick pastels.

I'm not satisfied with how the front edge of the fountain looks with the quilting.  That part may get reworked sometime in the future IF this piece is ever displayed anywhere other than my studio.


  1. I love how you used the brick foundation in this piece. I thought about the brick but could not come up with a way to use it and you did! The colors are earthy and definitely give the sense of age that the photo did. Wonderful painting as well. Nice job for a difficult subject matter.

  2. I also like the brick background. Like Barbara, I wanted to use that pattern but couldn't work it in. You met the challenge of this photo well, particularly in the colors of the fountain.

  3. always enjoy seeing how you came to the final piece. The herringbone brick work placement sets off the fountain well. Nice work!

  4. The herringbone really sets off this piece--thanks for sharing how you did it...I had a heck of a time figuring out how to do that and have new respect for bricklayers! The big border is smashing as well. Nice texture. Well done!

  5. I like the colors that you chose to bring out. It makes the whole piece more vibrant plus the joining together in a close way of several different images give a lot of added interest.

  6. Thank all of you for your complements. A good thing that has come from participating in this challenge is finding workable solutions to situations that most likely would not have occurred otherwise. In particular, figuring out a way to portray that brick pattern without going crazy.

  7. I'm also a big fan of the herringbone brickwork and love how you brought it up as a background for the fountain. I especially like how you tackled the water. (Another)wonderful piece!

  8. I think you very successfully captured the patina of the fountain and the supporting pattern of the herringbone brickwork. I think this is an excellent example of how taking various elements and rearranging them in the final composition makes the piece cohesive.

  9. Oh, this piece really takes me back to the great memories I have of the fountain!

  10. You always come up with something amazing. I thought about using the brick pattern in my quilting, but when you're doing it the night before, not happening! You really got the texture and colors of the fountain- another success with your unmistakable stamp on it.


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