Friday, October 08, 2010

Pick of the Litter: Quiltscapes by Rebecca Barker

Many of you who read my blog regularly know that I'm slowly purging my books. But no matter how much I do purge, there will always be books with which I refuse to part. This is what "Pick of the Litter" is all about. Once in a while, I get a wild hair to share a book with you that is a favorite of mine, and one which will never be swapped, donated, sold or gifted.

One genre of books that is a particular favorite of mine is Art Books. I love art, and I have favorite artists that span the centuries. I decided that I would share one of my favorite art books with all of you, but then came the dilemma of deciding which one to share.

Then the light bulb went off over my head. (Don't you just love it when that happens?) I've already mentioned that many of us who are voracious readers also seem to be fond of yarn and stitching of some sort. My preferred stitches are in the world of needlepoint. Many of you knit or crochet, and then there are those of you who quilt. All needle arts are exactly that: Art, but I have to admit a particular fondness for quilting, and that was the deciding factor on which art book I would share with you.

Quiltscapes by Rebecca Barker is absolutely marvelous, and now that I know that a Volume II has been published, I'll be wanting to buy it, too. Each painting is named after a quilt and is a blend of both the quilt pattern and a realistic depiction of the pattern, which you can see on the book cover itself. (The painting on the cover is called Corn and Beans-- right out of my childhood in central Illinois.)

It would be impossible for me to choose one favorite from this book. There are so many examples of Barker's art that catch my eye, draw me right in, and set me to daydreaming.

How can I choose when there are marvelous works of art like "Fish" that shows two children in a small boat fishing on water that reflects the clouds in the sky as well as the quilt pattern?

Or "Streak of Lightning" that shows a lightning bolt guaranteed to bring you straight out of bed in the middle of the night?

Rebecca Barker has a splendid eye for detail, but it's what her art does for my imagination that really makes me smile. I can quite literally lose a couple of hours by taking this book off the shelf and slowly turning its pages.

I even remember how I discovered the artist. I'd chosen a Christmas gift for a friend who is a quilter: address labels showing a stack of various colors and patterns of fabric. (Murphy thinks of fabric the same way I do about books.) When I received the labels and was getting them ready to mail to her, I noticed the artist's name at the bottom of the art on the label. When I googled Rebecca Barker, I was off and running. She also has her own website where you can see many more examples of her art, as well as buy calendars and notecards. I hope you indulge yourself, or if you have a quilter on your gift list....

People who can spark my imagination the way Rebecca Barker does should be encouraged as much as possible. That's why she's my Pick of the Litter today!


  1. The paintings you highlighted are gorgeous. This book would be a fantastic Christmas gift for my mother in law.

  2. Must get this book for my sister-in-law, the super quilter. It looks beautiful.

  3. I love Art Quilts, so thanks for the post. I do do a bit of quilting myself but of the ordinary sporadic variety.

  4. Kathy-- Hopefully this means that you're going to indulge MIL??

    Barbara-- It is beautiful!

    Sue-- I wish I had the patience for quilting full stop!

  5. Some day..I really hope to do a quilt...full stop. I have done many aspects of it...but not full size.
    Great post and a beautiful book.
    Have a great week.

  6. Those wonderful pictures *almost* make me think I should try patchwork again. But only almost - I know I am too impatient to be creative without my computer :D

    I came to give you an award, by the way. Or a challenge, rather, and I really hope you´ll pick up the glove this time (unless you have received this one recently without my noticing it).

  7. Toni-- Thanks for stopping by!

    Dorte-- This is the first time someone's given me the honor. (Thank you.) Perhaps when my brain's working properly I'll be able to think of some words. :)


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