So farewell, then, Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor Quilt, detail
Elizabeth Taylor Quilt, detail

 

I was very sad to hear that Elizabeth Taylor had died.  I love the big Hollywood films I used to watch on Sunday afternoons with my mum and a bar of chocolate (I can’t quite imagine having that amount of leisure time now!), and Elizabeth Taylor was in a lot of them.  I will still put Cleopatra on from time to time, particularly if I am ill.  Stupid, excessive glamour, and sexy without writhing about.  So, to me she epitomises a glamour that really has gone.  One of my very favourite images of her is not particularly well known, but is daft glamorous:

 

The ridiculous glamour of Elizabeth Taylor
The ridiculous glamour of Elizabeth Taylor

 

I love me a kaftan, and no-one wore them quite like she did.  And she could knock spots of Lady Gaga in the headgear stakes, as a quick look on the internet will reveal.

By a bizarre coincidence, I was getting my quilts out to get ready to give a talk, which I will also blog about, and I decided to take her along, which I don’t usually do.  I made three quilts based on a creativity technique where you ask a famous person for their advice in your head.  The idea is that it reaches bits of your imagination that you usually switch off.  So, my question to Elizabeth Taylor was about getting noticed.  And she was a great person to ask, because La Taylor was never out of the limelight.  So, I took black and white photos and transferred them to calico and then built a quilt round the image and then wrote my answer from them in overhead projector pen directly on the quilt.  In the Taylor example, I used the technique of completing a picture by extending its lines, which is familiar to lots of people who have done design work for City and Guilds, so

 

Elizabeth Taylor quilt
Elizabeth Taylor quilt

 

I am interested to see this piece which I did several years ago, because it is one of the first pieces that I painted, which is a technique that I am increasingly drawn to.  The background is washed with thin acrylic, but the dress is quite thickly painted.  Then the bodice was beaded:

 

Elizabeth Taylor Quilt, bodice detail
Elizabeth Taylor Quilt, bodice detail

 

You might like to know that in the end her advice was about not relying on men, but trusting your dogs, and only your dogs.  She was a great animal lover.

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