This prompt made me think of Halloween masks.
I used to love to dress up in costumes. I remember a few of my favorite homemade costumes from when I was small. My sister and I, a year apart, once dressed as Siamese twins. We each wore half of our mom’s sweater and skirt. And one year, I got to play Pochahontas in a dress with lots of cut fringes. We had magic wands, plastic high heels, and ‘mink’ stoles. I remember masks (and costumes) being hot and sweaty.
At first, when brainstorming about the design of this quilt, I tried to think of some deep message I could aim to deliver. I thought about it for two weeks, and came up empty. Then I decided to just have FUN and play a bit. I was happy to read an article about Annie Albers recommending just that – emphasizing the value of experimentation and fiddling about with shapes, having no end result or deep purpose in mind. I knew I wanted a black background and bright colors. I pulled out some multicolor shirts and skirts, and one heavily embroidered vest.
I began by thinking about birds. Maybe because they were chirping nearby. I made some feather shapes, which reminded me of the leaves on our croton plants. Soon, I was thinking about bugs – probably because we are being inundated by ‘lovebugs’ here in Florida.
Once I had the features roughly delineated, my niece shared a photo of her two year old, who had posed for a portrait photographer, but refused to smile.
Her mom joked that she instead chose to stare into the soul of the photographer. I was surprised to realize that her expression looked a LOT like my mask.
So, I was heavily influenced by my surroundings in this work. Thanks, Beth, for the title.
Prompt 11 Masks
Into your Soul 40 x 30”
Hand applique, machine quilted