Bring on 2021!

Art Blog by Holly

Happy New Year to you. The emotional ride of 2020 has left us all looking forward to 2021.

Looking back on 2020, I wanted to share some of the positive aspects of 2020. As an emerging artist of 5 years, I also would like to share my textile art process and the some of the progress I made this year.

First, I became the President of Reno Open Studios. We are a volunteer collection of local Reno artists involved in all sorts of media. While many of the art venues in Reno were cancelled this year, my team and I worked hard to put on a wonderful Holiday Art show at The Summit Mall of Reno. Patrons and artists alike were so pleased to have a show to buy local art and visit with each other.

Second, with all the time at home, I took advantage of my love of fabric and thread and created many unique textile art pieces.

My process starts with an inspirational photo of either an animal or a landscape. Many times both the animal and the landscapes are combined.

In this case, I got permission from photographer, Roy Herron to do this frazzled little bird photo.

  I like to draw the piece out typically on white fabric that is backed with heavy fusible interfacing for stability while stitching.

In this case I got somewhat anxious to just do the bird so I rough sketched the bird on the fabric and applied various pieces of fabrics in a collage appealing to me and what I wanted to showcase as the bird’s personality.

I wanted to show that the bird was going through a rain storm. So I choose fabric that looked like rain. In this case, a piece of wild looking dotted batik fabric.

I always start by stitching the eyes on my subjects first and work out using free motion embroidery. Free Motion Embroidery is a process where the feed dogs of the sewing machine are dropped which allows the fabric to move freely while stitching.

The photo is kept by my side and I stitch looking back and forth from the photo to my stitching at my sewing machine. I also like to use my iPad to expand the photo to see the details up close.

The next step is to put the bird art on a “quilt sandwich” of a piece of background fabric and quilt batting. Then the whole piece is quilted and the binding (dark blue border) is sewn on, and hand stitched to the back, then my initials are free motion stitched generally to the lower right of the piece. The bird quilt is mounted on a wooden cradle board and hanging wire and label are attached to the back.

I titled this piece “Bring on 2021” because to me it symbolizes the horrible year of 2020 and what all of us went through. I wanted to tell the world that we made it through. We are all a little bit frazzled like this bird, but we weathered the storm and we can take on 2021 too!

I loved this bird art so much I entered it into the National juried, Small Works, Big Talent Show at the Las Laguna Art Gallery. It was accepted. The show runs from January 7th – 30th. If you are interested in purchasing this piece, go to this link.

As always feel free to drop me a line or make a comment about my work. Feedback is always welcome. As well, if you are in the market for a new piece of art contact me about a commission or inquire about any of my pieces on my website.

Warmest Blessings for 2021,

Holly Gardner

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