Steve Winwood's LP "Arc of a Diver" was released in 1980, one year after I'd married and moved to Atlanta. The music is mesmerizing and soul restoring. I have two vinyl copies and notice the blues are different with each printing. The CD is an even richer blue.
As much as I've been transported by the multi-instrumental genius of Mr. Winwood, I felt moved by this Matisse inspired cover design by Tony Wright. Mr. Wright has created many LP covers, among other art, and his Traffic's "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" cover is known as one of the best designed LPs ever.
I immediately wanted to interpret his Diver in fabric.
|Arc of a Diver by Tony Wright, 1980|
I've done many interpretations of water in fabric but none have I enjoyed as much or contemplated as long as this one. The color movement and dance of the swimmer finally worked. I finished it in a few months, 38 years after the LP landed in my studio.
|Arc of a Diver quilt for Matt 23.5" x 27"|
Being an Aquarian holds truth to me. I have a spiritual need to see and be near water. I don't make a quilt without finding a place for watercolors.
I wrote Tony Wright to thank him for the inspiration and "come clean" about using a blown up copy of his diver. He was most gracious in reply, even thrilling me with compliments and the thought that the water quilt doesn't even need the Diver!?!?!
Mr. Wright gave me permission to use the design on another, larger format with the Diver below. I gave this quilt to Coach Pedro Orendez, founder of of Water World Swim, whose SanFrancisco bay swim we've enjoyed for many years. Matt swims from Alcatraz to shore with hundreds of "Centurions" and I get to watch.
|Coach Pedro's Arc of a Diver, 60" X 72"|
I don't often like a quilt as much finished as I do the process of creating it. This Arc of a Diver was a part of nearly forty years of my quilting. I think he will show up again someday.
It's time to move to other waters and for now it's the Nantahala River below. This one, for a friend, is the first thing I've finished in 2019.
I used Kaffe Fassett's "Malachite" green to create the flow of this river. Nantahala is a Cherokee word meaning "Land of the Noonday Sun" since the steep river canyon and forest shades this NC river through most of the day. The softer green, blue and yellow scrappy log cabins represent the river bank with sun shining through the trees. This uses 6.5 X 8.5 rectangles to throw splashes of color across the quilt. I see it now and the River could use more dark green. Always rethinking...
|Nantahala River 60" x 72"|
It's been a joy to work with all this water.
Thanks again to Tony Wright.
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”