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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Aullwood: Jean Brueggenjohann and Gale Whitney

Jean Brueggenjohann, "Enchanted Evening," 33" x 33" $1,200.
Tonight, I need a little brightness, so I'm going to share the work of two artists whose entries for Aullwood this year used a bright palette, and sort of simplified renditions of the natural world.

At left is Jean Bruggenjohann's "Enchanted Evening."  Jean is also a repeat Aullwood Artist and I reviewed her previous work here.

Detail, "Enchanted Evening."

The colors Jean used in this piece are ones she likes to work with, but the style of this is quite different from her otherwork.  Jean has a background in graphic art (she's a graphic designer) and is a professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia.   You can see her other pieces on her website.

Jean writes this about her piece:

"I recently started making quilts that are landscapes and images of things and situations.  I have also been using round flower images as an abstract foil to the more realistic backgrounds.  In this quilt I wanted to use small squares that would make up a larger landscape.  I layered the four squares with different backgrounds made mostly of tulle which referenced a window to another world. Under lights, the tulle sparkles and adds another dimension.  The four squares are attached to the tulle background with Velcro.

Isn't the detail on this piece wonderful? Such richness in the prints she choose.  Another interesting thing on this piece is how she constructed it.  The sheer background has lines of quilting which continue through (by line only) into the body of the quilt.  The different flowers, etc. subtly stand out from the background.  I have been using a similar concept, that is, quilting the background heavily, and then applying the less quilted piece on top, or vice versa depending on what I am doing.  This helps reduce issues from the uneven quilting as well as giving the piece greater dimension.

You can see here how the background, a sparkle organza, is there, with the heavier quilting thread in the border, following the line into the body of the work which visually connects even though it is two separate pieces.

I love the whimsy in this piece...and it must truly be enchanted as I don't think that hummingbirds don't usually go out at night as they have very poor night vision. Hummingbird moths, however DO feed at night.

Gale Whitney, of Bellevue, Washington has three pieces showing two different styles of working.

Gale Whitney, Left: "Wildflower #7, Tiger Lily", 39" x 22" $500; at right, "Wildflower #3, Sunflower. " 39" x 22" $500.

These two pieces are rather simple examples of her work, although the detail is only seen up close.  You can see some of the hand stitching in the little nubbies she made on the stems of the leaves, and the stitching on the leaf veins themselves.  The background is simply quilted with wavy lines to give a little subtle movement to the piece.  

Gale employs a lot of different techniques and surface design elements in her work.  The tigerlily was inspired by the native tiger lilies which bloom in the Cascade Mountains, and sunflowers she said she wanted to communicate their cheerfulness.  These two pieces are made from her own hand-dyed fabric.  But compare these two works with her "Swallowtail."

Gale Whitney, "Swallowtail," 24" x 27", $650.00

You can see the wax resist elements in her surface design on these hand-dyed pieces.  I love the fabric she made for the border.  Whereas the other two pieces are fairly staid, the repetition of all the circular motifs make this piece fairly vibrate.

Gale hand appliqued and hand quilted her pieces.

You can see more of her pieces and read about her on her website.

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