Speeding Through Space
A few months ago, after I came back from a holiday, a wonderful email from my dear friend Janine was awaiting me. She talked about a new art quilt group called The Endeavourer, hosted by her and Catherine. We are a group of 14, creating quilts that feature a chosen theme. This quarter’s theme was Nature.
I love spending time under the open sky, hiking trails while looking for small hidden surprises. I made quite a few nature-themed paintings last year, and I was looking for another creative angle. I love the natural sciences, specially astronomy. Looking at nature through science-coloured glasses gives me a deeper joy and that is what I wanted to use for inspiration. I began sketching.
I have always had a keen interest in the properties of light. This was my first sketch based on a double-slit experiment by Thomas Young. It demonstrates the dual nature of light. The design was defined by simple shapes and limited colours. That became the style for rest of the sketches.
Then I started going down the rabbit hole. The dual nature of light sparked another sketch from my all-time favourite – Quantum mechanics featuring atomic orbitals. It is a function that calculates the probability of an electron’s position in a region around an atom’s nucleus. I find the orbital shapes to be really pretty.
Even after two drawings, I still continued sketching. An English mathematician named Alan Turing wrote an article on patterns found in nature. That and my love for tigers prompted this design. I was pretty sure this was going to be the one.
Then last week it was raining here. I was so deliriously happy that I cast aside all work and painted Sea Stacks with Star Trails. I love the use of blue on this painting.
The markings from the Turing pattern and the colour blue from the sea stacks gave me my final drawing. As I very hurriedly sketched this comet, I knew that I had my design. I couldn’t believe I had not thought of this earlier.
The rest was easy! I used converging variable-spaced straight line quilting from corner to corner to give it a sense of motion. Once that was done, I started painting on the finished, quilted piece.
Painting on dark fabric required thicker paint. I already had a set of acrylic paints at home. Combining that with fabric medium, I slowly painted the comet on the quilted piece. Nature is ever changing, ever moving, I believe a comet is a perfect representation of that.
I will part with this lunar eclipse photo I took yesterday. Nature inspires me to be creative every day. As I made those different sketches, I got to explore different facets of nature. I thought I’d share a little about my inspiration with you today. I will write more about the making another day.
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