Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits, Fabric Postcard, (4"x6")
Original Art by Asher Brown Durand, 1796-1886
Fannie Narte

I changed my mind. I've decided to create postcards using the traditional definition of aerial perspective instead of my "artistic perspective" of the challenge for my exchange group in Surface Design.

This postcard is a cropped view of Asher Brown Durand's Kindred Spirit. It was printed onto fabric using my inkjet printer. I free-motion machine embroidered the trees in the foreground, which further emphasizes the aerial perspective of this painting. I placed a multi-colored thread in shades of brown, tan, gold and black in the bobbin, and loosened the bobbin's tension. I used brown and tan threads in the top for the tree trunks, and two shades of green for the leaves, and tightened the top tension.

Kindred Spirits, by Asher Brown Durand, 1849
Collection of the Walton Family Foundation

"Kindred Spirits is a masterpiece American landscape painting which depicts American artist Thomas Cole and American poet William Cullen Bryant engulfed by the wilderness of the Catskill Mountains of New York. In appreciation of Bryant's eulogy of Cole, who died an untimely death from pneumonia in 1848, New York dry-goods merchant and art collector Jonathan Sturges commissioned Durand to capture the friendship of the painter and poet. Kindred Spirits embodies the intimate connection of Durand, Bryant, and Cole." (National Gallery of Art.)


Kindred Spirits is a great example of aerial or atmospheric perspective, which is a visual element for giving an illusion of depth without the use of lines. "The illusion of depth is created by changing color, value and detail." (Preble, 54.)

"In visual experience of the real world, as the distance increases between the viewer and faraway objects such as mountains, the increased quantity of air, moisture, and dust causes the distant objects to appear increasingly bluer and less distinct. Color intensity is diminished, and contrast between light and dark is reduced.

"Asher Brown Durand used atmospheric perspective in his painting Kindred Spirits to provide a sense of the vast distances in the North American wilderness. The illusion of infinite space is balanced by dramatically illuminated foreground details, by the figures of the men, and by Durand's lively portrayal of trees, rocks, and waterfalls." (Preble.)


"Aerial landscape art is a painting or other visual art which depicts or evokes the appearance of a landscape as seen from above, usually from a considerable distance, as it might be viewed from an aircraft." (Wikipedia.)

I think photography would fall under the category of "other visual art."


This section is an update from my original post. Copyright infringement is a serious subject, and I felt I needed to add this information here. I am not an attorney, and this information is not meant to give legal advice.

This painting, Kindred Spirits, is in the public domain, which means that this image is "available to use for any purpose." In the United States, the copyright term of original works of art is life of the artist plus 70 years." Copyright laws and expiration dates vary in different countries. Check your local copyright laws for copyright terms.

Although images in the public domain can be used for any purpose, proper attribution should be given to the original artist. Giving proper attribution when referring to another artist's work, whether or not copyright has expired, is a good rule to follow.

Here are a few of the many available copyright links:

Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts

U.S. Copyright Office

Wikipedia, Public Domain


National Gallery of Art

Preble, Duane and Sarah. "Visual Elements." In Artforms. Revised by Patrick Frank. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2004. 54.

Wikipedia, Aerial Landscape Art

Wikipedia, Public Domain

Enjoy the view from different perspectives.


Chrisss said...

Great blog...will visit again.

Fannie said...

Welcome, Chrisss! Thanks for your visit.

morningDove said...

Its wonderful what you did with this aerial postcard. I love all the historical info. thank you for sharing. Did you grow frustrated trying the bobbin work or were you able to adjust and get it straight right away? I bought an extra bobbin case for my old machine and never tried it.

Fannie said...

Hi, Dove. I like your photo!

No, the bobbin work wasn't frustrating at all. It was good play. It took me two tries to get the texture I wanted from the bobbin thread. Just kept the screw driver close by to change the tension as I have only one bobbin case. Try it and let me know what you think.

Sherry said...

I see Dove beat me to the question. So with bobbin work, you actually stitched from the back side? Haven't tried this yet, but have seen demonstrated. I'll send you an extra bobbin case. Smiles!!

Fannie said...

Hi, Sherry! With this postcard, I stitched from the front allowing the bobbin's thread to come to the surface and blend with the top thread.

Using special threads--such as certain metallic threads--I flip my piece upside down and stitch from the back or underside. The thread in the bobbin goes through less stress than if it were on the top spool.

I hope this answers your question. If not, I'll try again.

Joanna van said...

Fannie, I love your thread work. I'd love to see some detailed pictures of the up close. Beautiful!

Fannie said...

Oh, my, Joanna. It's like asking me to show you a picture of myself without makeup. ;-D

This was my first try. When I complete the other three, I'll post a close-up of my best.

Fannie said...

For information only:

Note: I added an update to this post regarding "copyright expiration."

Diana Evans said...

Hi Fannie...

this postcard is amazing....I am blown away by your work and the creativity ...

through my art I have really opened up my own eyes to see things from all sorts of perspectives...I am really enjoying the view from here...

Great post!


Cindy said...

This is beautiful and what a fun idea. I love this's so full of energy, love, and passion.

Fannie said...

Thanks, Diana and Cindy!

Jacq said...

Love what you did on your postcard. Thanks for all the information on copyrights I think it is something that we all need to keep in mind.

Fannie said...

Hi, Jacq. I appreciate receiving your feedback regarding copyrights. It's nice to know that what I'm writing is actually being read. ;-D

I like your journal in Sue's class. Did you piece the outside? Is it paper or fabric?