Samuel Palmer (27 January 1805 – 24 May 1881) was a British landscape painter, etcher and printmaker. He was also a prolific writer, a key figure in Romanticism in Britain and produced visionary pastoral paintings. I had a look at some of his work for inspiration in the commission that I’m working on.
Visionary art is art that transcends the physical world and portrays a wider vision of awareness including spiritual or mystical themes, or is based in such experiences.
The American Visionary Art Museum defines Visionary art as “….art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.”
According to Alex Gray, the visionary realm is the space we visit during dreams and altered or heightened states of consciousness.
“The visionary artist’s mission is to make the soul perceptible. Our scientific, materialist culture trains us to develop the eyes of outer perception. Visionary art encourages the development of our inner sight. To find the visionary realm, we use the intuitive inner eye: The eye of contemplation; the eye of the soul. All the inspiring ideas we have as artists originate here.
The visionary realm embraces the entire spectrum of imaginal spaces from heaven to hell, from the infinitude of forms to formless voids. The psychologist James Hillman calls it the imaginal realm. Poet William Blake called it the divine imagination. The aborigines call it the dreamtime; and Sufis call it alam al-mithal. To Plato, this was the realm of the ideal archetypes. The Tibetans call it the sambhogakaya the dimension of inner richness. Theosophists refer to the astral, mental, and nirvanic planes of consciousness. Carl Jung knew this realm as the collective symbolic unconscious.”
So, it would seem that the visionary artist promotes imagination over observation. Heck, I do that all the time. For my commission I drew from a florilegium of Devon images that I’ve been collecting over the past several years. Places where I’ve lived, rambled or simply passed by, but have taken them to dwell deep inside.
I’d made my cartoon a couple weeks ago,
and pieced in the fabric using freezer paper & turned applique or Bondaweb & satin stitch.
Today I finished the quilting.
I found a great online resource for free motion quilting designs at The Free Motion Quilting Project. Sometimes I just need some ideas to get me kickstarted. Leah has dozens of designs and nearly all of them have a 2-3 minute video embedded which gives a helpful, brief tutorial to stitching the design. For example, here’s Spiral Petals – I used this on my lower left field. A very handy resource indeed!
The final task to complete the piece will be attaching a wire for hanging. Since this quilt is a commission, I’m not worrying about the obligatory hanging sleeve. I’m having it professionally photographed tomorrow and delivering it to my patron this weekend. I will post about the back of the quilt which is very special, in a couple of days.