I have created a new series of quilts: "Earth in Three Bands: R,G,B" The first in the series is The Painted Desert. My goal this year is to enter this series of quilts in some competition shows. I really am not in it to win...I want to get my name out there as a true artist. This is my first artist statement which will go with each "call for entry" that I decide to enter it in.
This quilt is an artistic depiction of The Painted Desert, a vast, erosion-prone land composed of multicolored mudstones and clay, taken from the viewpoint of the 2009 Landsat 5 remote sensed image. The desert spans from the Grand Canyon to the Petrified Forest and ends abruptly at the Sitgreaves National Forest, displayed at the bottom of the quilt by green and dark black fabric. Included in the image are the beautiful fields of ancient volcanic cones, called the Hopi Buttes, seen near the top of the quilt as scattered dark circles. The center of the piece is grounded by the winding Little Colorado River.
I discovered these amazing satellite images while in a Remote Sensing class I took as I was pursing my degree in GIS (Geographical Information Systems). The vivid colors and their outstanding variations are what first drew me to these representations. A naturalist and environmentalist at heart, I greatly appreciate the advantages remote sensing offers our society to help us combat our contemporary environmental issues, especially in the wake of global climate change. Remote sensing provides a means for creating solutions to fighting forest fires, planning for and monitoring of natural disasters, and developing a comprehensive geographical plan for the sustainability of our natural resources.
Remote sensing, in its strictest sense, is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact; hence "remote." The use of aerial sensor technologies is a highly effective, and inadvertently beautiful, way to detect and classify the surface of the Earth (on land and oceans) by means of electromagnetic radiation. During active remote sensing, signals are emitted either from an aircraft or satellite and then recorded to capture amazing images of our stunning landscapes, such as the one crafted in this quilt.
Techniques that were used on this quilt were fusible applique shapes that were cut from fabric which in my depiction somewhat matched the original image. These were the base of the project. Thread painting was used to provide stitching detail for the rivers and contours of the desert. Acrylic paints were hand-painted on to add a flourish of topological detail in all areas. Lastly, it was then thread painted and stitched again for final detail on a longarm quilting machine using a free-motion quilting style.
Credit for the remote sensed image that was the inspiration for this art quilt goes to National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA.gov) and Earth Resources Observation and Science (eros.usgs.gov).