A Morning Walk

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
Friedrich Nietzsche

This week’s focus has been my art quilt, Morning Walk, which I sketched out in Elizabeth Barton’s class, Inspired to Design. I wrote about the sketch a few weeks ago in a post and received some great encouragement. The photo that inspired the sketch was taken in Crete a few years ago – a local woman walking along the street. As is traditional in smaller villages on the island, the older women all dress in black. It brings back memories of my childhood growing up in a Sicilian neighborhood in New York where black was worn by all the old grandmothers.

I knew that a totally black figure would be a bit challenging to convey and so I made it my first effort. I didn’t want to follow my more typical process of beginning with a background and then building upon it. After all, what if I couldn’t finally capture the sense of a woman walking and was left with a blank background? I really shouldn’t have worried. The woman came together fairly quickly.


The rest of my week has involved play on a background for her. It is still in draft stages – simply blocks of fabric on my design wall with the start of a tree. Here is a cropped photo of its current state as I audition background elements and positioning of my lady and tree. I suspect she will wind up closer to that tree than in this version.


You may remember, in my sketch, she is walking along a fenced off area.


I really liked that fence and visualized quilting it in with fine lines at the end of the quilting. As I have been playing with a background, one friend wondered if including the fence would be a distraction to the flow of the work. Hmmm? Good time to raise the question. I wonder too. I have asked Elizabeth for an opinion as our class is still going and am awaiting her feedback. I wonder if anyone else has an opinion?

It is convenient that I can continue working on the quilt and make a decision on the fence towards the end. There are plenty of other decisions to be made first as this is definitely a work in progress!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday so you can check out what others are doing as well.

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  1. I love the little ole lady on her morning walk. You have drawn me into the piece and make me want to talk and visit with her. Great job. Keep going.

  2. The woman is wonderful! So well done! I love her shadow! If the fence is done with fine lines and/or possibly a softer color I think it might be fine. You’ve got a great start!

  3. Beautiful start to this work, Judy… reflections on walking are wonderful.

  4. Your walking woman is really great, Judy — and the shadows are wonderful…though I am wondering if you plan to capture the shadows cast by the tree’s leaves as well as its trunk. I don’t think a fence would distract; rather, as Dawn says, it could be done subtly. If you don’t put in a fence you’d at least need more foliage (as in your sketch). An alternative might be a rock wall…?

  5. I love the character of the woman. I think the fence might work. To audition it, you could take a photo of the artwork, put it into an app like photoshop elements, sketchpad, or artstudio. Then add a layer and draw the fence on that new layer. After that you can change the color of your fence, the transparency of the fence to see what different types of threads would look like. If you need help with that, you can phone me and I can talk you through it. I do it all the time to audition lines and shapes before I add them to my quilts. I do it with the app artstudio on my iPad most of the time. Several friends tell me to switch to the app sketchpad because it is much better. I just haven’t looked at that yet.

  6. So glad you are continuing with the woman. I really like this a lot. Am kind of torn about the fence. I thought it would be too much when I looked at the Stonehenge fabric background. But can also see it with fine lines. I think you will know when it comes time.

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