Susan Brubaker Knapp here. I have been remiss in posting here, so I thought I’d bring you up to date on my new work. This is my latest piece, “Le Poisson Bleu-Vert” (“The Blue-Green Fish,” 31" x 18") The fins, scales and letters are made from Lutradur®. Lutradur® is a spun-bonded polyester. It takes paint and inks very well, and has the key advantage of not fraying. So when you cut it, you get nice clean edges. It is also somewhat transparent, which can be nice for adding depth.
If you want to try out Lutradur®, you can get a pack that contains some lightweight (70 grams) and some heavyweight (100 grams) from C&T Publishing.
I painted some sheets of it with ProChemical & Dye’s Profab transparent and pearlescent acrylic textile paints in shades of blue and green, and cut the scales out by hand, in arcs. Then I machine stitched them down, starting at the tail and working my way toward the front of the fish. The stitching on each row is hidden by the row that covers it.
The free-motion stitching in the background was so much fun. I did it without marking, and stitched shapes suggesting coral at the bottom, and then filled in around it with a tight, small meander in shades of yellow, green and blue. Above, I stitched wavy lines filled with bubbles, suggestive of water currents.
I painted the fish’s body before I stitched the scales on. (Aside from the scales and words, this piece is one piece of white fabric – Robert Kaufman Pimatex PFD – that I’ve painted.) After the fish was mostly done, I thought the composition could use something else, and decided on type. I’ve always love the French word for fish, “poisson,” and decided it would be fun to describe the fish in French. I cut the letters from the Lutradur®, too, then simply stitched them down.
Several months ago, I was contacted by Matt Reese and Stevii Graves, who were organizing an invitational exhibition called “My Personal App” that would debut at Road to California later this month.
Here is my piece for the exhibition: "Look, See" (36" x 36"). It is based on a closeup photo of my eye in bright sunshine, and is wholecloth painted and quilted. Quilters invited to participate in this exhibition were asked to create a 36" square quilt that looks like an app icon, representing their personal app. This piece is wholecloth painted and then quilted, and is based on a photo of my eye. I believe it is the mind, heart, and eye of the photographer, and not the camera, that makes a good shot. It is learning to see – not just look at – things.
This piece, “Sunny,” (10.5" x 10.5") is my donation to Virginia Spiegel’s “THE 100” fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It is based on my sketch of a sunfish, then wholecloth painted and quilted. One hundred artists have donated a lovely piece of art to this cause, and the first 100 people to donate $100 to the American Cancer Society through Virginia on Feb. 4, 2015 will be randomly assigned one of those artworks. Check out the details on Virginia’s website.