But I Digress – Quilting a Photo

Desert Sunset – Quilt Art by Joan Jennings.

Buckeye, Arizona.

There are so many things I like about our winter home, the best of which are the “sunset in the desert” photo opportunities and, most importantly, the friendships made with others we’ve met since spending time here. Over the years we’ve met most of our friends through the hiking club we originally joined in 2012. Our friends are a mixture of both full-time Arizona residents and snowbirds like ourselves.

That brings me to this week’s digression, a photo quilt. The opening image is a canvas artwork created by one of our snowbird friends, Joan Jennings. Joan spends her summers near Hope and Merritt, British Columbia, Canada. Besides being an avid hiker and runner, Joan has another hobby, quilting. One of the aspects of this hobby is known as quilt art, a form that combines traditional quilting with new techniques to create artistic objects. In Joan’s case, the quilt is “built” on a canvas backing and the multimedia artwork is framed in a traditional canvas rectangular wooden form. Many pieces of fabric are overlay-ed on the canvas and decorative stitching is applied to give some extra definition to the layer being formed.

At the conclusion of a recent hike, Joan brought this example of her work over to my car and gave it to me. The desert sunset image it depicts was inspired by a photo I posted to Facebook in March 2015 of a Buckeye Sunset. That image is reproduced below for comparison. It was captured with my Nikon D7000, processed in Lightroom and Nik HDR2, if I recall correctly.

Original Desert Sunset photo captured March 2015.

When Joan asked for permission to create her interpretation of my photo, I was flattered and of course was happy to oblige. When I first saw the finished work, I was impressed with how it reflected the form and color of the original image. I never expected that she would give me the finished artwork. It is now hanging in a prominent place in our kitchen here in Arizona, though I might consider taking it back to Fargo with us to hang as a reminder of those dramatic Sonoran Desert sunsets when we are spending our summer in Fargo.

Joan Jennings and her interpretation of Desert Sunset.

My thanks to Joan for sharing her skills and time in creating the quilt art. It will forever remind us of our time spent in Buckeye and the friendships we made here. The time to head north again is upon us. This post is being written in mid-March, but published as scheduled on April 23, 2019. I don’t have our departure date scheduled yet, though likely as it publishes on schedule, we are either already back in Fargo, or on our way.

John Steiner


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