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Wild Geese - A Wood Quilt Series

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

In the aftermath of the holiday crafting storm I had several work areas that needed attention. My "Wild Geese" series started as a way to use up bits of wood left over from creating the Winter Animal Trees I sold over the holidays. Scrappy projects are a fun way to use up bits of leftovers and help cull a stash.

I started with the Flying Geese pattern of a large triangle flanked by two smaller triangles. From there the geese went wild. That was very much on purpose - I was feeling pulled in so many directions with four retail locations, managing the kids, the house, etc. On top of that trying to make our own bits of holiday cheer and traditions. In fact, my first working title for the piece was "Too Many Directions".

As with all my wood quilts, I take shapes and build them in Illustrator, each piece is precisely shaped and placed so that it can be sent to my laser for cutting. This one sat in electronic form for about a week as I pondered how I wanted to color it - knowing colors means I can then pick the appropriate type of wood to cut. Sometimes taking it off the computer and playing with it in another medium works, so that's exactly what I did. I printed several blank copies and got the kids involved. We colored with crayons, markers and colored pencils, each picking colors that spoke to them. The next day I was working at Black Barrel and pulled it up on my computer again - this time seeing it in a new light. I added colors to each of the triangles in non-traditional pathways, following wherever my eye took me. The result was a wild cocophany of color and movement. It spoke to me on a visceral level and I knew what I wanted it to be.

Seeing it in its entirety I had a whole new reaction to it - one that reminded me of my daughters and the way they experience the world through the lens of ADHD and ASD. What we consider traditional pathways or normal connections, isn't what they experience. Thoughts form connections in ways that are both unexpected and beautiful, taking us all on a wild ride. Later when I realized that this would be one in a series, I named it Wild Good ND - the ND standing for neurodiversity.

Once it was finished I posted a tiny snippet of it on Instagram. A viewer responded that she was interested in seeing more - loving the brown, yellow and turquoise combination she saw. What she was seeing was in fact a snippet of black, bright green and turquoise in questionable night lighting and goodness knows what kind of color resolution on her screen. However her inquiry inspired a second version, this time in blues and yellow tones, mixed with wood.

This is the result of that conversation. I love the interplay for various tones of blues and yellows, neat and orderly (at least compared to ND). The two are so different that its hard to believe they are layed out in exactly the same manner.

I was so enamored with this color combination that I kept the left over bits of paint and am working a couple of canvas in abstract painting, which I will show you when they are done.

I did not start out intending to create a series, but the scrap pile lends itself to such projects and I am enjoying seeing all the variations such simple shapes can have. So you can be sure that I will be creating more what is now become my Wild Goose series. These works are 24" by 24" before I add the 1/4" wood frames.

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