Sunday, April 3, 2011

The one from downunder

As the Australian person in this challenge, I thought I would post something very Australian.  But first a bit  about me.
Like a few of the others, I am not a lifelong quilter.  I drew from an early age, as did all of my family.  It was expected, just like writing and reading, however the belief in my family also was that art is not a reponsible profession, and I suppose back in the 60s and 70s, it really wasn't.
So, I became a biochemist instead and until my forties, I did little real art or craft although I was always drawn to making things.  When I met my partner and moved out into the bush, we were kindred spirits and both loved creating.  He is a master craftsman and does woodwork and turning.  I joined the art group.  Through the art group I saw quilts at our shared shows, but I didn't really decide it was for me until I met QUILTING FABRICS.  Yummmy.
I did do traditional quilts for a short while, but there always something different waiting to be done.  I loved all the different techniques and textures and wanted to try them all.  Machine quilting was something I really loved and it led to thread painting, which led to the quilt I am going to show you.
When our town was destroyed by fire in feb 2009, both tony and I decided that our lives and our crafts were more important than any other thing and this changed our lives - in a good way, I think.
Since then I have been working on broadening my technique base and intend to do city and guilds machine embroidery in a few years when I feel I have enough mastery of technique.
So this is my quilt.  It is quite large being about 50x40 inches and it hangs on the wall in my studio.  It is all raw egdge applique with a lot of thread painting.  It took me a year to complete, with many breaks.
Albert Namatjira was the first Aboriginal artist of note in Australia and even though he died a few years before I was born, his work was important to me in that it was about the true essence of Australia.  This is my rendition of  "Ghost gum - Mount Sonder" which hangs in the national gallery.  I feel a bit afraid putting this up, because, sometimes I can't believe that I made it and now I will have to at least match it in the challenge!
I am in awe of the range of work we have all been putting up and can't wait for the experimenting to start.


  1. Stunning Vicki! and I didn't realize it was so large! I am glad you and Tony could find such solace in your art and move in a new direction!

  2. oh, Vicki, this is stunning- and it really is evocative of what I think of as the Australian landscape. You certainly seem to be well on your way to developing a style that you are comfortable with, and that conveys your vision.
    And, how fortunate that you are able to pursue your art full time! It sounds like you really did take a difficult, negative event and turn it into a positive change in your life.

  3. Wow, fabulous Vicki! I just did a search for some of Albert Namatjira's paintings of Mount Sonder and found some Australian stamps with his paintings. You've certainly created an incredible view/version of this mountain scene!

  4. Beautiful Vicki! What a true work of art this is. I don't think you should be nervous at all. I think we will all do our very best in whatever challenge comes our way and hopefully we will all grow with each challenge and learn from each other. Besides I don't think you will be able to top the beauty of the quilt above in its category you will just achieve the best in another category. I simply cannot wait until we start our challenges and we get underway. We are all so very different in our art. I think we could not have come up with a better group of tallant then what we have right now. It is so very nice to meet you.

  5. Oh Vicki your thread painting is, how does one say it...."to die for". to me the piece truly reflects what I think of when I think of Australia. I can see your love for country in this piece.

  6. Wow Vicki, your quilt is stunning! It feels so real that I want to take a walk in your painting! I hope you will share more about your lovely Australia!
    Thanks for getting to know your a bit better!

  7. This is gorgeous Vicki! I am in awe! As the others have said, it fits my impression of parts of Australia tp perfection. The depth and detail are amazing.