Mixed Media Monday’s challenge comes from Fannie this week. Her challenge: Hearts and Wings.

Gulp! I used hearts in my Romance piece last week.

Fortunately, Diane defined the challenge as Hearts and/or Wings. (Whew!) Consequently, I decided to focus on wings (a sparrow’s wings, to be precise.) An artist I truly admire, Sharon McCartney, wrote an article for the September/October 2008 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Her article focused on her work with fabric/paper shrines to nature. (Ms. McCartney, I can’t find you on the Web and can’t offer a live link right now, which I truly regret, but I love your work!)

To create this fabric collage, I started with a royalty-free photo of a house sparrow. I took it into PhotoShop, removed the backround, enhanced the colors a bit, and used the watercolor filter to soften the image and provide a more painterly feel to the image. (I am not a painter, though I do want to learn.) I printed the image onto transfer paper (like you use for iron-ons for T-shirts.) I used transfer paper designed for light color fabrics, because the colors of the fabric bleed through and become a part of the image.

I ironed the image onto a piece of fabric I had painted with brown and ocher paints, added borders of cool fabric that has a design that mixes text and drawings, and then fused it to another commercial fabric that had a batik look. After that, I added more novelty fabric designed to look like pages from a dictionary. Then I added some lace that I had dyed to match my painted fabric, and a couple random blocks of the fabric I had cut away. (That was a happy accident. I had tossed the pieces, and saw them laying on the quilt. They were PERFECT and were added to the collage.)

Many of McCartney’s shrines include secondary collaged pieces, so I created a small piece to hang below the main piece. But it needed something more ….

I suddenly remembered a couple pairs of angel wings that I had picked up at a bead shop. I had never known how to use them, so they sat, patiently waiting for me to come up with something. I added one to the top of the main piece and the other to the smaller dropped collage. I used eyelets, buttons and cord to connect the pieces, and there you have Winging It.

Winging It

Winging It