Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Work "Spirit of the Kiva"

I'm working on three different projects at the moment. The working name for this one is "Spirit of the Kiva". The photograph has been manipulated in Photo Shop Elements blending two photos.

Months ago I used this photograph which I took on vacation, of a beautiful little girl, and made this fabric portrait. I loved the haunting look in her eyes. This whole trip had been very spiritual for me.

Months before we had been in New Mexico visiting many of the American Indian Pueblos. We were taken to this Kiva which is a spiritual meeting place for American Indians. The feeling of these places and people were very special to me and I wanted to portray this in "Spirit of the Kiva".

I chose to blend the portrait that I made in fabric of the little girl with the photograph of the Kiva. The child is representing the spirit as it fills the Kiva.

It is printed on cotton sateen fabric and is 36" x 40". I have done some research on American Indian symbols and have drafted a pattern for a boarder of pieced Kiva Steps. I am also going to stencil petroglyphs on the interior boarder.

Still have lots to go but am fairly well satisfied with this piece so far. I have found that cotton sateen reflects light and is difficult to photograph. Any comments on the piece would be appreciated.


  1. This is very unique. I love the experiment. Photography of fabrics with a shine is always a real problem. I try to stay away from them for that reason.

  2. I love this. It speaks to my soul. You have captured the "spirit" feel indeed. I will be interested if you work out a way to photograph it so those who might be "judging" it can get its true feel. Wish I knew the answer.

  3. Google lost my comment. ERRRR. Looking forward to seeing this very tender piece quilted.

  4. This is a very moving piece Marilyn. It is unique in that you blended the photo with one of your finished pieces. I really like the peaceful, ethereal feeling of the piece which I think happens in part because of the colors which you chose. Very nice!

  5. I love the haunting feeling that the Kiva brings to this piece. Have you tried photographing in natural indirect lighting (no flash)? It would be great to figure out a way to capture the essence of this for a show submission.

  6. Your piece is lovely Marilyn.

    I would suggest taking it outside on a cloudy day and try photographing it that way. No shadows, now direct sun and you should be successful.

    Or if you know someone with a diffuser for the flash it might help. Can you angle your flash and bounce it off to lessen the impact?

    Can't wait to see it all finished.

  7. Marilyn, this is indeed awesome... very moving..
    Thank you for inviting us to look.
    Please let us know when it is finished.

  8. That's going to be really special!

  9. Thank you for sharing... the spiritual nature of the piece really comes through, regardless of the photo quality. In a workshop yesterday Janet Fogg showed us a quilt that used a similar technique for the face...