Preparing for a New Exhibit

Preparing for a New Exhibit

Exciting news! I will have an exhibit in the Portage & District Arts Centre Gallery, in Portage la Prairie, MB next year, from April 4 – May 14, 2016.

The exhibit will be called “Past Lives“, and it will feature my portraits created from vintage black and white photographs.

To celebrate, I am planning on featuring my progress here in my blog, as I work on various portraits for the show.

The first one is four little boys on a sled.

Original photograph of four kids on a sleigh.

Original photograph of four kids on a sleigh.

I loved the four children piled on to the sleigh. They looked like they were having a lot of fun.

Note: In my research on this unusual design of this sleigh, I found out that this is considered a bobsled. The definition is a sled, or sleigh, with the front runners moving independently of the rear ones.  I found some pictures of log pulling sleighs with similar runners. The idea is if the front runners move separately from the back, the sleigh will go around corners easily.

 

Enlarged photo and line drawing of 4 chidlren on bob sled

Enlarged photo and line drawing of 4 children on a bobsled

Having recently learned how to select part of a photo, through a Photoshop Elements class at Pixeladies  I removed the kids from their background – a rather boring part of a house and changed the direction they were heading. I plan on creating an outdoor setting for them.

I then enlarged the photo to the size that I wanted. I traced the main elements on to a plastic overlay this time. Usually, I use tracing paper but thought that I would give this method a try.

It didn’t work that well for me, although I know of many artists who use plastic all the time. First, I found the plastic much heavier to lift, and second, that somehow some of the fabric pieces ended up stuck to the plastic when I raised it to add another piece. Very irritating! I think that I will probably go back to using tracing paper.

Anyone else with a preference for or any hints for using plastic as an overlay?

Once I got started on the kids, I really enjoyed putting the pieces together. I had discovered some cotton fabrics at a local quilt store, Quilt as Desired, that looked like various woven or linen fabrics, and came in 3 or 4 values of the same colour. A real bonus when doing portraits!

Here are two of the guys with all the fabrics in place:

Picture showing part of the enlaged photo of four small boys on a sleigh and the line tracing.

Picture showing tracing overlay on plastic and two children completed in fabric

A lot of the fun of doing these vintage portraits is researching the elements in the photos. All the kids had those old fashioned rubber boots with the metal closures and big loose mitts. It was fun finding different fabrics for the mitts and socks. Did you know that in the 1930s McCall’s patterns had patterns for these snowsuits complete with the helmet-like caps?

Now on to finishing these four guys before I go to Quilt Canada on June 2! I have two quilts, Stepping Out and The Bather, in the Juried show and am soooo excited about seeing them hanging in the show.

Keep posted for future developments in the work involved in getting ready for a solo show. To easily follow my blog, subscribe to my Studio Updates (the box on the lower left).

 

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