Archive for October, 2017

The January/February 2005 issue of Quilts With Style put a quilt called “Polar Nights” on its cover. I liked the blocky polar bears.

Late Saturday night, I made a quick freehand sketch of the bears and colored it with markers. I was rushing, and the proportions came out all wrong. What are those creatures??

Still, the next morning, when the light in my room was very dim, the white bears glowed, and I was motivated to keep working with them.

I went to the page where the tiny segments of the bear pattern appeared and traced the pieces as if they were sewn together. I colored the tracing with two different shades of blue marker and put a little gesso on the bear’s body for texture [I guess the scan flattens it out.] I drew in some quilting lines. Then I pasted the colored tracing onto an index card for stability.

This bear was immediately likable. I began to see that he was an imperiled contemporary bear, living with diminishing sea ice. I drew him again freehand, using the bear above for my model and capturing just the outline.

This particular cheap box-store marker gives a chunky, faintly blurry line that I really like. (If it were waterproof I’d use it more.) There’s an echo of Keith Haring in the line.

These arctic explorations have been very instructive.


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A mail art friend sent twenty of us copies of a glowing red collage she made of radish seed packets. She gave no instructions, so I decided that she probably wanted us to embellish it and pass it on. Just the kind of thing I love to do.

The original had no title. I call my version “You Can’t Have Too Many Radishes or Amaryllis or Ethnic Beads.”

All kinds of mark-making plus more collage.

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