Archive for the ‘design’ Category
For over 13 years this piece has been known privately as “Ode to the Fire Goddess Pele” as a result of my time in Hawaii. It’s official title is Gaia 2: Beginnings. Our biggest problem has been that it was meant to hang on it’s own, but we were unable to figure out a simple – and not intrusive – hanging system. So for the last year, since we have been showing our work in Vermont, we’ve talked about mounting the piece – somehow. Here’s the story of the creation of the original piece.
That led to me deciding to completely redo the piece – ev.er.y.thing. It took two weeks of night time by the television to get all the machine quilting pulled out. In the 13 years since this was finished my machine quilting skills are SO much better. I will say that my original tension was so bad that in many places all I had to do was pull a thread and I had many many inches come right out.
My new plan is to requilt it, change the edging, mount it on a large piece of black fabric, quilt the black fabric, and then add a sleeve. I need to have all this accomplished by May, as I plan to enter it into the “Abstraction” show in Saranac Lake this summer.
Right now I have 12 strips still with serged edges. I found a FABULOUS piece of red and gold fabric in my stash, and (hoping I have enough) I will put the binding on over the serged edges. It looks really good so far.
A close-up of the original weaving with the serged edges.
This piece will also have a new name: Revolution. More on that as I get further along in the quilt.
A lot of smaller work was started, finished, and revised this year – part of the need to create more pieces, and part to experiment with new ideas. We also tried more framing (pretty successful) and mounting on canvas (very successful, and not that all expensive). The biggest issue seemed to be people didn’t know what to do with small wall hangings or table-toppers. By framing them we are leading our customers to see the piece on a wall, looking like artwork. This is also working well for galleries and stores with small spaces.
The “Chocolate Box” piece on the left was done some 18 years ago as part of a challenge on the QuiltArt list to create an 8 x 8 piece with the theme of “brown.” I pulled all kinds of browns from my stash, including some marbled fabrics, and then I zigzagged them together with the idea of creating a “Whitman’s Sampler.” I have always thought it looked very cute. I rediscovered it this summer, adding batting and backing, variegated thread in a more prominent zigzag, put on a binding, and mounted it on fabric. Lots of good feedback on the piece.
Another piece that saw framing was a small piece of marbled poly-satin that a friend (Suzan Drury of Saltwater Systems) added glitter to at least 10 years ago. Loved it, but it didn’t translate into something someone would want to buy – so on a whim I added batting and backing and then quilted it – thus “Pond 3” – a favorite topic. I learned to do sand dollars as part of a tutorial from Lori Kennedy (theinboxjaunt.com), so you will see clam shells, sea urchins, and sand dollars throughout the small piece. It looks quite striking. One thing I learned in the framing process was to move to lighter-colored frames to keep a piece from feeling constrained.
this year saw the debut of a new series – “Leftovers.” The idea for this came about when we would clean the marbling tray after a session. There were wonderful designs of leftover paint as we emptied the carrageenan. We started saving some small pieces to capture to designs – all of which are very organic and “earth strata.” Two pieces made their debut at Phoenix Books in Essex as part of a rotating display of work by the Essex Art League. There are LOTS more to come – all of which need me to stare at a piece for a while to determine how it wants to be stitched. They are all simply framed and look almost like photographs.
Before stitching on From Above:
Ultrasuede marbles wonderfully. Over the past couple of years we have been doing yards of this for Bead My Love to sell at the various bead and gem shows. We get to keep a few pieces for ourselves, and this year I finally attacked quilting one – with some interesting lessons….the fabric feels like suede, but it doesn’t translate to a puffiness when quilting (note to self: use extra batting for the next piece). Also, the various colors didn’t show well, which is why I went with Superior Threads New Brytes yellow – a thicker thread. this is a 12 x 12 piece of ultrasuede. Introducing “Partly Sunny, Chance of Storms.”
One more piece – we also started marbling flowers and leaves from the silk flower sections of the craft stores – another way to use up left-over paint in the marbling tray. Here’s “Autumn,” a collage of some marbled silk leaves. Covered canvas, 8 x 10 inches.
More next time as I continue to review the year. Comments welcome!
It has been a banner year for art – especially in the making of art. When I stopped to reflect, I realized we created more this year than any other year – some big, many small, and all taught us something! I’m doing several blog posts, since I don’t have pics for a bunch of gifts – awaiting the jpgs in the email….
Yesterday was the presentation of a commission for dear friends of ours. It was supposed to be for their anniversary in September, but just didn’t happen….Once knee surgery was over and I could move around fairly easily, I set to work. The marbled fabric had been done since April, and I had been mulling designs since then. It was time….
I started working with the Chinese symbol for “family,” and after just this first littyle bit, I have even more appreciation for the art quilts of Kathy Nida. This involved tracing the symbol, determining which side would be “up” when ironing onto the front of the fabric, adding WonderUnder, and then making sure it actually worked – especially since I had a limited amount of the fabric choice for the symbol. First success.
Next was creating the pattern for the side panels, loosely based on a table runner by Lonnie Rossi and definitely made my own. Same issues with being sure of right and wrong side, since there would be two panels, and the designs would mirror each other. Much angst – especially on the choice of the background – I had a peach silk that worked with the overall colors, but looked terrible with the small pieces actually on it. The fabrics were extra marbled fat quarters that didn’t make the cut in terms of main color, but they were all complementary.
I put off for the longest time doing the zigzag satin stitch and then discovered that the fabric frayed very easily. A lot of adjustment, sharp pointy scissors, and FrayCheck got me through this section.
I had one panel completed and then started on the second panel. It probably would have been easier doing them both at the same time, but I wanted to be sure the idea could be executed before I was completely committer.
The request was for some apple blossoms quilted into the design – originally to be on the border….but it worked out differently. I Googled images of apple blossoms and determined a free motion pattern, and then began. As long as the petals had ragged edges, the pattern worked.
Lots of flowers over both panels – really liked how subtle the patterns are.
Checking to see if the three panels really do work together….
Time to square off and do the binding – the side panels had a LOT of ironing as they were becoming distorted. Note to self – allow more edging next time around…..
Preparing the canvas for mounting the panels. We have started mounting much of our work on canvas frames covered with a complementary fabric. Much sturdier, easier to hang, and people seem to view them more as “art.”
Thinking it’s going to work…….each side panel is three 8 x 8-inch canvases, mounted together and covered.
A piece I started about 15 years ago and finally finished this summer – will be adding loops to the back to hang on our door for Halloween. I still have plenty more to work on, and slowly,over the winter during knee recovery I plan to work on them – plus lots of new ones.
Speaking of new ones, in organizing Bridge yesterday (some 7000 photos and a lot of saved duplicates, I think I can make sense of some of the new process pictures. This first piece, Chocolate Box, was done YEARS ago, as part of an 8 x 8 challenge from the old QuiltArt list. I think the theme was “brown,” but who knows? Originally I just sewed pieces with a zigzag stitch – and then I realized I needed stabilizer on the back – like I said, a long time ago. This summer I came across it, added backing, re-quilted it in a variegated thread, and added a border. Still love the piece!
This piece was done for us years ago as part of a challenge to use marbled fabric in a traditional pattern. I made a sandwich, added waves to the bottom of each boat, and quilted semi-circles around the sails to represent the sun. If you made this for us, please let me know so I can credit you.
This next was also part of a challenge, and I use it as a sampler for using free motion quilting on a traditional block. One of the sections is plain, the others have a variety of patterns, some following the the pattern, and some walking around. I love how the marbled fabric quilts up.
I like to use my backs to show errors- and then in the blank area I added details about threads and needles.
So I continue with cleaning and organizing, and hubby is busy marbling every fabric we seem to have in the house. He’s having a ball!
Throughout all the stress of medical issues this winter and early spring, I resorted a lot to coloring at night – one BIG take-away from the coloring is that it controls my appetite….no small thing. But I’m learning something almost every piece I do. You can catch up with what I learned so far here.
So here are some pics – and lessons learned.
One of the things I’ve been playing with is amount of white space. You can see in the above that not everything is colored. Pus, I was trying to play around with oranges and color combinations, like mixing colors that are close together. I love the way the turquoise is accented. No point in doing the edges – I was concentrating on the center – which is an interesting move for me – to just let things “be” without having to “finish” everything.
Again with the reds, oranges, purples, but I decided to add an unexpected color – my fiber work tends to lack strong focal points – so I added the blue – makes the piece. I also rotated the scan because the “bottom” was too heavy when on the “top.”
Here’s where I figured I really need to spend some time with colored pencils, especially when I can do shading – which I love doing with regular pencil. And again the oranges and reds.
I left white space with this, and I discontinued finishing the design – it was getting too busy. Here’s where I kept hearing Tim Gunn’s voice to “edit.” The yellow in here really glows.
This was playing around with oranges and blues – a combination I am starting to like a lot. Lots of white space, and I used the designs on the edges to play with color combinations. The lower right looked too much like a super-hero costume for me……
Christmas colors – meh. These were better than some I tried. The colors – for me – need to be true, but I am happier with mottled shades of reds and greens.
Interesting as I was working with what colors glowed – the yellows, but especially the purples in the center. I also discovered differences in black – flat and shiny, which I should know because of all the black fabrics out there. Overall a fun design, but it bugs me that the books consistently cut off complete designs.
Blues, reds, greens and white space. I am finding not everything needs to be colored. I find this quite pleasing.
Nice and lacy – I like incorporating some of the zentangle motifs when I feel there is too much white space.
The original dominant color here was going to be the pink-purple, but yellow won out. Interesting to me how that happens.
Really need to spend some time with colored pencils, but I SO like the intense color of markers. Like I said before, surprising for me, since they are so unforgiving.
I definitely can see some of the effects of the coloring in the most recent fiber work – more on that to follow.
So I have unearthed a bunch of UFOs in going through one of the containers in the studio. One is up on Facebook, free to a good home for the cost of postage. A couple of them, I need suggestions for what I can do for the quilting. Plus, if you recognize that you made the item, please let me know so I can credit you – it’s been a long time since they were sent to us.
Here’s the first.
This was done for us as a way to use marbled fabric in a traditional block. Now I need suggestions on the quilting. I want to use it as a sampler in my fmq classes. I was thinking of outlining the blue marbling for the waves and then doing something with partial circles around the sunrise/sunset….Ideas?
Here’s number two.
This is reverse applique, and I can treat it as a Hawaiian block with outlining, but I’m wondering if there is something else. All suggestions welcome!!
This is my blog post for the “carnival” theme for Art Quilts Around the World.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this piece. I made the fabric the beginning of January, and so it sat until two weeks ago. I had an idea of what I wanted to do – free motion along the design. Here’s the initial fabric.
In the past when I have quilted through the design on the marbled fabric, I always have been really pleased with the results. This time not so much. I evidently have learned a huge amount about focal points and movement within a piece. I did two quilting motifs; the first one was a basic outline to enhance the flow of the marbled pattern.
I liked this, bit I realized it needed more definition. It seemed boring. So I tried increasing the quilting around the nonpareil portion of the pattern.
Once that was completed, I was even more dissatisfied, so I tried a bit of a free motion “feather” along side each part of the pattern. DID. NOT. LIKE. IT.
So it sat for a week while I pondered, talked it over with hubby, and tried to think it through. I guess that’s why it’s called a challenge, which I definitely need to push me further. So I decided I would need to cut it up…………..which I’ve never done before…………………….
It automatically started looking a lot more interesting. I finished the pattern pieces and liked the finished result.
I then had to think about how it was going to go together. I had all these separate pieces and had to think how to best connect them and make it an element of the overall design. At this point it seems kind of like a stained glass window, so I auditioned thin fabric strips for the leading. I figured I could use fusible on the back of the strips. Not a single color worked. Every strip looked like it had just been stuck there and wasn’t an integrated part of the design.
I have always liked the effect of satin stitch, so I tried a bit on a piece of left-over quilting. Dark green Superior Brites gave it just what I needed. Fitting the pieces together was a bit of a challenge, but…..all those years of watching This Old House made me realize I could scribe the pieces to get the circle measurement for the center. I outlined all the sating stitch and border with some Superior Razzle Dazzle, trying out some bobbin work for the first time. It definitely sparkles in the sun.
And – best part – the piece now had a story to it. I have always imagined that Mardi Gras was one long assault on color, looking out a hotel window at all the revelers. I thought of my Cousin Barbara Jean, who as a first responder was taking care of others during Katrina and had to start over herself. Two of my cyber friends, Victoria and Anne, have very fond memories of New Orleans, and I thought of them as I finished this off. From these three folks, I hope I have some idea of the carnival aspect of Mardi Gras. Cousin Barb, this is for you.
Thoughts of NOLA – for Cousin Barb, Victoria, and Anne
I have so enjoyed doing these posts each week. I get so inspired by color and design from the over 450 artists on the TAFA list…..and I’ve only been through 20 artists! And now, Rachel, our list mom and guiding light, has taken photos from us and set up a TAFA gift store on Zazzle. Gorgeous stuff!! More items going up all the time.
And now some more artists…..
“The mission of Zeni Design Studios is to create simple designs using luxurious and sometimes unexpected combinations of textiles that my customer will enjoy for many years to come. As a result, all of my designs have the customer in mind throughout the design and fabrication process. Environmental Commitment – In an ongoing desire to respect the environment, when available, organic, up-cycled, environmentally friendly and socially responsible materials are used. ” Zeni Design Studios
“The Yeiser Art Center, founded 1957, is a non-profit visual arts gallery located in the historic Market House in downtown Paducah, Kentucky. Exhibitions and events organized by the Yeiser are designed to serve citizens of and visitors to our region and feature quality works by established and emerging artists. Our permanent collection, exhibited periodically, is at the core of our educational mission to provide a variety of visual arts experiences to students of all ages.” Yeiser Art Center This is a must-visit for our trip east next summer!
“I’ve been tatting over 30 years, and designing and selling tatted jewelry since 2004. Magazine articles featuring my tatted jewelry have appeared in Bead&Button (April 2012) and Belle Armoire Jewelry (Winter 2009). I am the author of the book Tatted Jewelry published 2011 by Annie’s Attic, as well as 2 self-published books: Up and Tat ‘Em (2010) and Boutique Tatting (2008). I teach an online Shuttle Tatting course at http://www.craftsy.com/shuttletatting and hope to help many people learn to tat. ” Yarn Player
“Inese Liepina graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1980. Inese relished her years at SAIC and attempted to learn techniques in as many disciplines as possible. Majors were in fiber/fabrics and ceramic sculpture. Inese has explored glass blowing since 1991 while working as a fashion, textile, and interior designer. In the late 70’s SAIC emphasized originality along with an mentality of “breaking the rules” in art. This influence follows Inese in all her work, and she studied glassblowing technique only to learn how the rules can be broken to fit her ideas. ” Wrapture by Inese
“Like so many others, I was brave and comfortable with my creativity when I was younger, but misplaced that understanding as I became an adult. A diagnosis of cancer re-ignited my passion through a wonderful program called Art as Medicine, offered by the Cross Cancer Institute to patients, health care professionals, and their supporting friends and family. I once was a professional musician, and have re-discovered my love of singing through the vocal music program, but also my love of creating things with my hands. I am very involved now in building a cancer wellness and support facility called Wellspring Edmonton that will supplement our overburdened cancer care system, and where I hope to help others touched by cancer to express their feelings through arts-based programs. ” Wooly Boulevard
Enjoy! More next week……
Back again! I do love reading Letters of Note, and this is a gem from Mae West to the RAF, during WWII.
From the TED Blog comes this interesting explanation of how we get plugged in to the internet worldwide. Pictures show what it means to lay cable across oceans.
This next bothers me tremendously. From Scheiss Weekly, Mamacita talks about education in words and thoughts that I really love. Here’s her take on textbook publishers who have sanitized Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Did you know that Prentice-Hall got actual permission from Anne herself to change her diary entries?
These are some amazing nature photos! Not all have attributions, but I love what the author of the page says – nothing better than nature porn….
I am finding some amazing nature shots and video through StumbleUpon. This one is A.MA.ZING. The Aurora…. I’m just including the link because it automatically plays the sound….
Here’s a great time-waster – and lots of design possibilities. First design when you go to the page….
Weave Silk – an integrative, magical silk artwork. Another time waster that is absolutely fascinating.
From Designer Daily comes “20 Awesome Examples of Street Art.”
From Alternative Reel – a great list of Top Ten categories for movies…..interesting browsing! Just a few of the categories…..
And finally...Rainbow Origami Street Art. Just cool.
I have just discovered the joys of StumbleUpon….check it out and sign up. Lots of amazing stuff! Till next week – send me links to really cool stuff on line!
Part of Lesson 2 is to look at designs in terms of basic elements of art. I chose Jacob Lawrence, as I have always been drawn to his paintings, both for story and simplicity. I saw a retrospective of his work at the Museum of Art in Houston the year I went to Quilt Market. All of his WWII paintings were grouped together, so you really got the narrative of that work.
I am very much a novice at doing this kind of critique – I always feel hampered by the lack of any formal art training, but I am curious to know why something appeals to me. So here goes. These paintings are a selection from a blog post on The Ragged Cloth Cafe, by Jane Davila.
Such a simple task and so lovely in composition. The vertical lines of the figures unify the painting, as do the irons. The lines of the irons are different, indicating the various stages of pressing. You can see the tension in each woman as she goes about her task, possibly as a result of the angles of the irons and the bent/angled heads in concentration. Balance and proportion: the irons seem very large, but they may be because I am looking at them from a modern perspective. I’ve never had to use heavy irons, and perhaps they were that big. The women dominate the painting, but I like that. This is “women’s work,” and that domination shows that. There is a lot of repetition in the postures, as well as in the background. I can almost get a “sweatshop” feel, and I get an image of the women from the movie The Help working and talking together. Perhaps the repetition helps to show community. Economy: again a simple task and a simple composition, but the focus is on the main idea. I can see the blue of the upper right pulling the eye to two of the ironed pieces; same for the orange and red in the upper left. The women themselves are dressed similarly, perhaps to indicate the uniform of the job. The more I look at this the more I see the strength and movement in the women, in their arms, the irons, their heads.
Now this next painting is one that doesn’t particularly appeal to me.
I find the colors very jarring, not at all harmonious. So many diagonals that my eye doesn’t want to rest at all. Again, a simple task at the barber shop, but there doesn’t seem to be the rhythm to the task as in the above painting. Unity/harmony: seems to be only in the main idea, that of a busy barbershop. Skin color is a unifying element. The faces seem to be the last thing you notice, just a few lighter lines. Interesting, in that may be a comment on the invisibility of the black community or the black man. Please note I am making that comment strictly from a white historical perspective. In terms of variety/tension, there certainly is a lot going on in this painting, indicating to me a very busy barber shop, and yet, now that I’ve noticed it, one man is smoking – that little bit of white draws your eye to the center of the painting. Balance/proportion: the piece seems very heavy on the bottom, big heavy dark triangles. The shampoo capes (for lack of a better term) are too many colors for my taste, and I think that’s what throws everything off for me.
Interesting exercise. I like having a selection of terms to work with, and I found I saw more in the painting the more I looked at it. But nothing beats seeing the work in person! What else can you add to the analyses? Comments welcome!
I’ve fallen a bit behind in my class through Quilt University, but I got myself somewhat back on track these past two nights, and I am learning some fascinating things through these exercises. First, I would never have attempted going beyond a basic picture or design like this on my own. It’s a case of “I don’t know what I don’t know.” These exercises are really stretching me, and what’s coming out is definitely intriguing.
So here are the three basic pictures/sketches I have been working with and what has happened with them.
For this week I needed to take a basic design element and create a pattern with it on a grid. I chose a triangle for a sail, with a longer rectangle for a type of mast. As I was adding the pattern to the grid, I decided to flip the pattern, make some of different sizes, and make some small ones for depth in the distance.
It may not seem like much, but it was quite the departure from how I work, and I can definitely see possibilities with this sketch. From this point, we took a basic shape (again the triangle) and just worked on creating triangles. At one point I decided to fill in one of the triangles with a favorite zentangle, Paradox. It looked so cool, I decided to see what the sail pattern would look like. Again, definite possibilities.
I think there’s huge potential here.
Now here’s the second picture and sketch, a tree from Spanish Landing Park in San Diego.
I worked with three different weights of pencils, and I really like this, plus as I work more with it, it is giving me some ideas for the driftwood piece. From here I sliced the piece in to strips and then wove them back into a new design. Very interesting activity.
I didn’t really care for this one, as I felt there was too much negative space.
This seemed better, and while I know I am supposed to concentrate just on creating designs, I find myself thinking about moving into fabric, and I have a hard time imagining how this would happen with this design.
Here;s the sketch and the picture for the third one.
With this one I could definitely see the idea of reflecting water.
There is a lot more to this lesson, and I think tomorrow I am going to look at more of the photos I shot in San Diego and evaluate them according to the principles of art. Then maybe I will feel like I have a better idea of the terminology and can try some new sketches.
I have been ruminating on finishing this first lesson in my Quilt University class, especially since I am now a week behind due to our vacation in San Diego. But it was not wasted time, even though I never opened the sketch book. The exercises I had done at the beginning caused me to start looking at my surroundings in terms of line and shape, focal points, unusual camera angles, and textures. I ended up with a lot of unusual shots, just to remind myself of what caught my eye.
Last night I sat down with my selected pictures, tracing paper, and my sketchbook to see just what I could come up with. First, here’s the original picture, from sitting in Spanish Landing Park and admiring all the boats, and masts, and straight lines….and triangles……
I cropped the picture and then used tracing paper to get basic outlines. I am not comfortable sketching freehand with this activity – it kind of intimidated me at first.
What I liked about this was that I could definitely see the trapezoids, triangles, and straight lines. From here I tried a grid to repeat some design elements.
Not happy with this – not at all pleasing to me. Probably because the exercise itself is so new. So worried – like always in the past – about what this was going to look like. Then I went to my triangles and straight lines:
From here I went to the photo of what hubby and I called “our tree” at Spanish Landing Park, since we sat next to it for three days. Here’s the original:
I ended up turning this on its side for the outline – something I NEVER do with a picture…..and I liked it!
I already could see some possibilities in this, and at this point I was kind of amazed at how my thinking was changing. In the past I had always looked at trying to work with the whole composition, instead of just pieces of it.
Here’s the close-up, and as I was trying to add some texture, it occurred to me that all the lines were pretty much ovals…..the beginning of inspiration and a real change in my thinking, which led to this…..
I LOVE this! The linear part of me was going to do all the ovals equidistant apart, but I had trouble with that in the second line and I realized the wonkiness of the “in and out” of the line gave me even more texture. Then when I changed pencil hardness I was really hooked……which led to “Oh, my, I need more thread and yarns….” I think I’m on to something. Plus, this was so freeing. This process really works, and I can see working this activity much more.
So then I went to another photo:
This was taken in Balboa Park, the reflecting pools near the Botanical Gardens. LOVE these lily pads, especially the variegated leaves. Here’s the outline.
And here’s the close-up:
I really like the shape of the lily pad, so I decided to use not-quite-regular circles. I ended up with this, and again, really happy with it. I already know what stitches I would use….and again, I need more thread…..
I have a couple of additional photos I want to do this exercise with, and I can see myself using it a lot. I had ideas come out that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Definite progress.
I worked with another photo last night, and I didn’t have nearly the success with adjustments and filters as I did with the first photo. Now I need to think through why that is so. Here’s the new photo – driftwood from Vashon Island in Puget Sound.
Well, crap….seems like I did it again in saving…or not saving. I need to remember to save everything as a psd file first to preserve the layers, and then save each piece individually. Okay, bottom line, nothing really spoke to me with the different adjustments, so I need to think through why that is so.
Is it because this is a fairly abstract image to begin with, mostly line and color? Perhaps that is why I am so fascinated with tree bark to begin with. The lines, shadows, differing colors to create the texture. And this picture, knowing it is driftwood, also reeks of a hidden history after being tossed in the water and then left high and dry. But how would I create some of that mystery?
What initially prompted me to take a picture of this? Probably all the smooth curved lines and the knot.
Looks like all kinds of interesting lichen within all those folds. The colors are so subtle, but at the same time I see a nice interplay of line and shadow.
I look at that knot and see a captured sea spirit. The more I look at this one, the more I am intrigued by it. The curves are so soft amidst all that hardness.
Now that I look at a couple of additional questions, I am stumped. Main idea? I like the thought of a captured sea spirit. Areas worth keeping? I can see leaving out everything else from these two crops. Other elements to add? No clue. But as I ponder, the first thought that comes to mind is to carry the lichen out into a border, and maybe the overall piece doesn’t need to be square or rectangular, maybe more oval so that the spirit seems encased and surrounded but is really still there. Don’t know if that is making sense….
How and where can more pizazz be added? Again, no clue. But…perhaps a lot of thread painting would be needed for surface texture.
I can see this going to sketches as the next step and seeing what develops from there. Comments?
…that could also read “something OF value,” but I want to focus in on the issue of value and color in design….something I know I am really weak on. I’m choosing a couple of pics that I really like for design composition and playing around with Photoshop filters to see what they tell me about the composition. This is different from how I usually approach working with Photoshop….play around until I get something that says Wow. This time I’m looking at the elements of the picture and trying to see how they change and why I like – or don’t like – the design.
Here’s my first photo, taken in Jericho, Vermont two summers ago, at the Old Mill, which houses much of the history of hubby’s family.
I love everything about this picture: the greens, the mill red, the flowing water, the fact that I’ve got it composed in thirds. And you can’t see that right behind me is very busy Route 15. So what did I learn from this exercise?
Primarily I am much more aware of the basic lines in the composition. The lines don’t change, but the focal point does, depending on the filter or effect I used. There is one example that I would consider making up in cloth, as I find it intriguing, and I’ve never tried anything like that. The others are just interesting to analyze. Here goes:
I love black and white. After three weeks in Seattle this spring, I developed a whole new appreciation for shades of gray (no, not the book……). I want to take this photo and play around with a few sections of rock to see what I might be able to sketch.
This is the “sponge” filter, and it’s one I really like. Shadows and subtle colors really come out in this filter. Once again I am amazed at all the shades of green there are. There’s more shading in the mill, as opposed to the original, but the movement of the water is lost.
This is the “find edges” filter. Interesting to see where basic pieces of fabric would be. I think I can also see the dark, medium, and light of the photo.
Accented edges filter. More of a pattern to follow if I wanted to recreate this. I did a small cropping that I could see in a 12 x 12 piece. I’m liking the shadows.
This is the “patchwork” filter, and I could see making this up as a larger wall quilt. The filter allows you to make the squares larger or smaller, but I am really curious to see how this would work up in piecing. I need to print this out larger and use my little red rectangle and look at the values closer.
Well, I have managed to lose my original with all the filters listed on it, so c***. What I like about this above photo is the additional shading that is present in the rocks, and in the red portion of the mill. Lots more texture, and I could see using some colored pencils to enhance the fabric pieces.
I believe this is a watercolor filter, and I like it. I can see looking for specific fabrics for this piece, rather than trying to do lots of little pieces togather. I could see just cutting pattern pieces and fusing them into place. I like the softness.
Palette knife, I think. I like the general clumps of color, and as I reflect on this, I could see making this into a small abstract. The image is still recognizable, and I like how you can see an actual pattern to follow in putting this together.
This is mosaic tiles, and I like the effect better than the patchwork photo above. I’d have to spend some time thinking about how to get the “grout” effect…..maybe a mottled gray color with texture in it as the background piece, and then the tiles cult at somewhat irregular edges so the grout shows through. I cropped a piece to see….
This is an inversion adjustment, and I like these because I always see something different when the colors are completely different. The yellow accents the shape of the edge of the mill in a way you don’t notice in the original photo. The rushing water doesn’t show up at all.
Forgot the adjustment, but the amount of purple really accents the amount of green in the original photo. And I like the way the shapes of the rocks are accented.
This is a red/yellow gradient, and I like playing around with gradients. Very other-worldly, but I don’t see taking this piece any further.
I saw some quilts a while back that were based on Joen Wolfrom’s color tool. People chose a color and then worked solely in the range of that color. Results were pretty dramatic. This is a color filter in a deep blue. I think I would print this out and take it fabric shopping and see just how well I could pick out various blues and other shades that have a blue cast to them.
That’s my first study, and I definitely need to do more of these. I feel like I have a better understanding of the composition of the original picture. Next up, my wrought iron photo….
Well, this has been a week of learning experiences, including running the machine needle through the tip of my finger. I’m somewhat frazzled deciding on a project, since I don’t have any looming deadlines. I do, however, have a list of projects that need doing, so I picked one from that list and then added another.
First, from the UFO list. Several years ago (going on three?) I took a class with a friend on a Judy Niemeyer pattern, Stepping Stones. You can see the pattern here. Originally it was going to be a king-sized bed quilt, but I was still teaching, so that got put on hold. When I reorganized the studio (twice), the blocks made it into the UFO pile, and when I made my list in May of projects, I listed these. But….I listed them as a potential table runner, figuring that way they would be done, and I could actually use the table runner, as we have a new dining room set (new to us – we’re babysitting it for a friend). I would also have enough for 6 placemats, too.
Well, there were loads of problems. Could I find the black fabric I was using for connector strips (three searches)? Could I do all the matching, since it had been about 3 years? How would I quilt it? What would I use for backing? I got the four completed blocks into one runner, and then I spent the next three hours taking out all the paper….note to self: you still need to vacuum. The blue I thought to use for backing was a stretchy polyester that wasn’t long enough, so plan B was leftover dark blue from another quilt back. Then I had to buy batting.
Finally everything is together and ready for quilting…..and I had no idea what to do for the quilting. Didn’t seem like feathers would work. Didn’t want to do a stitch-in-the-ditch. Tried some outlining, but I didn’t like it. Then I thought about the overall loopy pattern from the May challenge, but ended up picking all that out. I realized I would need to go with monopoly thread, so the stitching wasn’t obvious. And I was playing around with tension, including two more ripping sessions.
I tried doing some partial circles on each block, so it would look like rippled water. And then I discovered the settings on my machine were set for the decorative stitch I used in the black borders. Seems like I still had the setting on one of the decorative stitches, and I was trying to free motion and there was a lot of drag. I also discovered that I could use a variation of a zigzag stitch and still have the feed dogs up. Turns out I liked the ripple effect, and that’s what I went with for the rest of the runner. Here’s a pic:
Here’s the finished table runner, which is absolutely perfect on the table. It will work with any of the leaves when we put them in.
Then I was feeling somewhat at loose ends. I had been watching The Quilt Show and following the color lessons from Michelle Jackson. I decided to do the first color study, and again I learned a huge amount. The first lesson was really interesting, especially since I have a lot of trouble choosing and working with color. This was to take a monochromatic color and determine dark, medium, and light. I chose greens, because I have a lot in the stash. I discovered that when I’m choosing, I really need to analyze tones and hues. I also need to be sure there is definite contrast. The first study I did was the one where you had a light, medium, and dark, with not a huge amount of contrast. I did not have enough contrast within those three colors.
I also was working with fusing for like the second time ever, and my pattern pieces were not always meeting up. I spent a lot of time trying to make this piece look like something – going back to linear me and not being able to just work without it having to be “something.”
I finally got all the pieces ironed down, and I felt I was moderately successful. Mostly because I learned a great deal about choosing the colors. I was still trying to figure out what to do with the piece. Yes, it’s just an exercise, but the linear part of me needs it to be “something.” Ideally I want to be able to work with light, medium, and dark marbled fabric, but I can see I have a long way to go.
Again, I couldn’t figure out what to do with quilting it. I tried out one decorative stitch and didn’t like it. I reverted back to the satin stitch I was doing two table runners ago. All of a sudden I began to like the piece more. It began to look more “painterly,” and pretty abstract in a pleasing way. I ended up binding in, and the piece would work as a nice little runner or table mat for a vase. It’s going up in my Etsy store.
Who knows where I’m headed next? There are 6 placemats to finish…..