Hello, I am so jazzed to finally get a chance to blog about “That’s Amore.” This piece was created for the upcoming Dinner @ 8 Artists exhibit, Affinity that was curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison.
The show is sponsored by Havel Sewing and will premiere at the International Quilt Market (Oct 24-26) and Festival (Oct 28-Nov 1) in Houston, Texas. The exhibit is comprised of 40 artists who will each contribute a 40X40 quilt. How cool is that?!!! That’s Amore began as a white piece of muslin and took about four weeks to complete. I first sketched the bird and blew it up to size in order to transfer it to the white muslin. Usually, I begin by painting the bird first but this time around, I opted to do the background ahead of time in a gray color.
I then proceeded to paint the bird using some new paintbrushes that I had purchased on my last trip to Houston. I have to say that these new brushes are so cool! I learned so much when creating this piece. When the bird was completed, I decided that I no longer liked the gray background and so I began adding foliage to add interest and to try and cover the background. Still, I did not want to detract from the parrot.
I then began quilting the bird and proceeded to quilt the foliage as well. Next, I got this hair brained idea that I should try and change the background color from gray to a muted green and so in the middle of quilting, I took out my paints and began sponge painting the background. Crazy, I know but it seems to somehow have worked.
That’s Amore was inspired by a true story of love in the Arenal Mountains of Costa Rica. Years ago, a woman from Brazil came to Costa Rica with her husband bearing a pair of fully grown blue and yellow macaw parrots, one male and one female. She allowed the parrots to roam freely around the area and one day, a tourist threw a rock at the male and killed him. Estephania, the female, was not there to witness the tragic event and the male was buried. Macaws mate for life and Estephania to this day continues to fly around the Arenal Volcano mountains in search for her lost mate, all the while hoping to reunite with her lover.
Because she is the only blue macaw in the wild as the rest of the parrots that are native to the region are scarlet macaws, the likelihood that she will find another mate is very low. And such is the woeful tale of That’s Amore, sad, but true.
Because I did not have a photo of a blue macaw, I opted to use a photo that I took of some macaws at the Dallas Zoo while I was there earlier this spring. Soon I will be going to the Arenal Volcano mountains where I hope to get a glimpse of Estephania who still resides in the forest.
In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed this story and this post. I would like to thank you for stopping by invite you to check back next week when I post about my next piece, Parrotise.