Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Senegalese Artist Spotlight: Manel Ndoye

Manel Ndoye allowed the DWG Art Committee a visit days before moving his tiny studio from Ouest Fiore, Dakar Senegal to his family home in Thies, Senegal.
large painting with the postcard grid
He shared with us that when he attended the university Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Dakar, he was required to select a primary theme for his work and he quickly chose the women from his ethnic group, the Lebou, and their traditional dance.  His painting continues to explore those themes. Manel told us a little about the background of the dances.  Fishing and farming are traditional occupations of this coastal tribe and the dances of the women are based on exaggerated motions of casting and bringing in nets, movements of the pirogues and farming.  The women wear matching boubou (dresses) with a section pinned up.  The custom of wearing matching boubous arose with the custom of polygamy.  The idea is that each wife should have the same dress so they are not jealous of one another.  The women wear 3-4 pagnes (skirts) to preserve modesty while they are dancing.  Because they are imitating men’s work they wear the men's style of shoe. Manel takes artistic license with the dresses, changing the colors to suit his paintings.  The dances are done in lines of four to ten women, often more than one line dancing together.
Some of his paintings are made with postcards adhered to the canvas in a grid and then painted over.  His use of the postcard is symbolic; as postcards are used send messages the dance also conveys tradition and culture.  The postcards also break up the space of the painting, imitating the way looking through a fishing net changes how one sees what lies beyond.
Some of his paintings are based on photos but most are drawn and painted from memory and observation.
Recently, Manel has been working on collaborative efforts, such as his work with Barkinado Bocoum for the Collaboractions show and his painting with another artist as in this Figuro Abstro performance on Youtube.  This is new development as he generally tries not to be influenced by the work of other artists.

Manel will be exhibiting in France in February and March outside of Lyon with Alioune Diagne.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Great Barrier Reef Designs

The theme for this week's Spoonflower design contest is Great Barrier Reef in honor of Australia Day.  Above is my entry, a very textural illustration of the sea teaming with poisonous and dangerous animals found in Australian waters.  Included in my design are lionfish, box jellyfish, blue ringed octopus, stone fish, cone shell, and sting ray. Please consider voting
This week's theme inspired several additional designs based on tropical fish, shells and sea urchins.  These designs will soon be available for sale at my Spoonflower shop.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pretty Princess Pink

My daughter picked out a yard of Robert Kaufman fabric 'Girl Friends' while we were in the United States last summer.  It seemed the obvious choice as you may know if you have been reading the blog for a while or if you have met my daughter. 
With this fabric in mind I picked up a couple of other coordinating fabrics from Spoonflower; peacock pattern dots pink smaller scale by katarina and Dragon Girl Towers by Zesti.  The peacock pattern I used in the bodice and the Dragon Girl pattern is shown on the pockets.  Stocked with these fabrics I was ready to try my next foray into boutique sewing for my daughter.
This dress is adapted the free infant pattern Pretty Party dress from the Pretty Prudent blog. I used the pattern pieces for the bodice and resized them for my daughter.  I also added fullness to the skirt.  Since we live in a hot climate, I left off the sleeves. 
In other news, the Floral Cheater Quilt Fabrics are for sale and the coordinating fabrics will be available soon.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Spring Floral Hex Cheater Quilt

Floral Hex Cheater Quilt Mock-up Flat, queen size
Floral Hex Cheater Quilt Square, fq

Floral Hex Cheater Quilt Center, 1 yard
With the New Year I am back to participating in Spoonflower's Fabric Design Contests.  This week's entry is for a spring floral themed cheater quilt square.  A cheater quilt is a printed fabric that looks like a pieced quilt.  It allows a quilter to skip the piecing and quilt the layers.  Floral Hex Cheater Quilt Square is my submission to this week's contest.  It uses the limited color palette Spoonflower has selected for the entries and fits a fat quarter of fabric.  Please consider voting for my entry here.  If you do vote, deciding who to vote for will be particularly hard in this contest.  There are so many excellent entries.
Horizontal Floral Hex Cheater Quilt Chevrons
Vertical Floral Hex Cheater Quilt Chevrons
 I decided that along with designing the quilt square, I would also design other coordinating components to create a easy quilt.  The top right photo shows a mock up using my elements. On the bottom, is a sample mock-up as it might look on a bed. The Floral Hex Cheater Quilt Center is a one yard design.  The Chevron designs are basic repeating patterns.  All designs can be used on their own.  If you are interested in creating this quilt, please visit my Spoonflower shop.  The fabrics will be available for sale soon.

Floral Hex Cheater Quilt Mock-up