Friday, August 22, 2014

The Letters Continue - Off the Wall Friday

Well, I got a blocked out piece for the Letters challenge. . . sort of.  I mean, I tried.  I took my sketch and came up with the fabric version and it was . . . . lame.  The first sketch from the concrete letters seemed so powerful.  and big. . . monster big.   My version just seemed flat and too graphic rather than the 3d I wanted.  Elizabeth thought so too. 

The circles in the background are a lot more subtle in person.  That effect I really liked.  I'll have to use that again sometime - it adds just a ghost of interest without being too dramatic.  But the rest I just scrapped!!  I thought it was lame - Elizabeth did too - why finish it?

So I'm spending the rest of the month working out how to draw the letters the way I want to drawn them  - in the right perspective and orientation.

This whole experience reminds me that sometimes you're the windshield . . . . and sometimes you're the bug!

So what have you been up to creatively?

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Word About Letters. . . .Off The Wall Friday

Have you notice this on-going Love/Hate relationship I have with my masterclass with Elizabeth Barton?  I was struck with a bout of a it this week exploring our new topic, Letters.  Now, let me just say that out of all the topics we've explored over the year, this is my favorite. I've been wanting to do a Letters series forever.  I LOVE letters.  Combing my two passions of words and fabric together seems like a match made in heaven right?!

Sighhh. . .well, you'd think so.  But with such a passion for the topic, came a million ideas.  A lot of them were fueled by my pinterest board on typography.  Others were in folders of graphic ads I've collected over the years.  With so many ideas how was one to pick? Should I go graphic, conceptual, or just darn pretty. . . .

Out of desperation,  I chose this photo from my pinterest board as inspiration.  I then did the usual - traced it  - edit it - did value sketches.  They didn't seem quite right, but I am under a deadline so I handed them in. I wrote
Elizabeth that  I eventually wanted to do a series of these using words with a themed meaning.  This was just a starting point for some  monster pieces. 

So she thought that was a great idea.  Why didn't I do it with this piece?  Oh and Why is the light source so uneven throughout your value sketches?  Of course, the answer to that is that. . . .Wellll, I don't know how to draw 3d letters and what do you mean the light source needs to be constant.  I HATE that I know so little about art and it always adds to more work.

Luckily there is literally a video on youtube for  everything. After a long afternoon of work, I managed my own drawings.  Not only did I come up with a theme for the words (I won't spoil it - you'll have to guess it), but I learned how to use photoshop to do my value drawings AND got my printer to work with my laptop.  So I feel all accomplished.

That said, I missed the deadline for Quilts=Arts=Quilts.  Its just as well though, I want to spend a bit more time on The Curves perfecting the stitching.  I'm having a ball working on it but it does take a ton of time!!

So what have been up to creatively?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Off the Wall Friday

Since my studio day was spent shopping for and setting up my new printer (which should help my work - but today . . . .not so much!) - I thought I would play host and just offer this as my contribution to the group.  I got it from Pinterest  - with
which was pinned from tumblr....Thanks PaulZII..

So what have been doing creatively?

Monday, August 4, 2014

I've Got Rhythm - Design Wall Monday

Well, just under the wire I completed my July assignment from Elizabeth Barton's Masterclass.  At the beginning of the month I was relieved to find that Rhythm was the topic of the month.  All Rhythm is a repeating element  in your work - What can be easier?  As I studied it though, I found (like a  lot of things) that it wasn't as easy as it looked.

What I struggled with the most is how to add rhythm without adding boredom.  After much sketching I handed in two that I thought were the strongest.  Elizabeth approved.

With those in hand, I blocked out my piece but somehow got lost along the way.  Notice how this isn't as strong as the sketches.  I started playing with a secondary rhythm in this one and it wasn't successful.  Which of course, Elizabeth pointed out.

I went back to the original sketch and finally got a piece that was much stronger.  I think she said it worked, "Stupendously well" .  Finally success.
Rhthym - fused on muslin fondation - 28" by 28

Although I did learn things about rhythm, I also learned something about construction.  This piece was collaged together using fused fabrics.  I used steam-a-seam light 2 and heat and bond light. I liked the steam a seam better since you could position them on the foundation but the heat and bond held better.  BUT I really hated fusing all together.  The piece ended up flat - stiff and not at all like soft pretty fabric.  I know its faster to fuse but I hated working with all that glue and paper.  It was a huge mess in my studio and as well as on my iron (even though I have an fusing sheet).  But for a quick assignment I'm glad I used it.

I really like this piece with the color palette (which is one of my favorites) and the play on value as well as rhythm.  I think I'm going to quilt it without batting (since its so stiff and flat already) and use it for a mock up for a future much larger piece.

See more great design walls on Design Wall Monday at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Looking for a Good Book - Off the Wall Friday

Finally, I'm at the quilting stage with The Curves.  I love machine quilting  -  it means the end is in sight with a project.  Still, no matter how much I like quilting (hand or machine), by the time I get to this point in a project, I'm pretty much sick of it.  Also, I've decided I totally hate it.  Oh and why did I even bother spending all that time making such rubbish.

Needless to say, I get so close to a project that I've lost perspective.

So the only thing that keeps me going to the finish line is a good book.  I have a habit of listening to my favorite music when I'm creating and a good book when I'm quilting.  Lately, though, I'm having trouble finding a good book.  Is it me or has pop literature been dumbed down in the last 10 years??  Years ago, it seemed I never had trouble finding good fiction that although might not have been the most academic mind boggling works, at least had a little meat to them.  Now a days, it seems like everything has been written on a 5th grade reading level with plots to match.  Sighhhhh

I did sign up for a library card at the Free Library of Philadelphia when I found out that any PA resident could get a card for free.  Not only am I amazed at the huge electronic collection of resources that this library owns but that I can access it free with just library card and wifi.  Very Cool.

But now with this new resource, I'm at a loss at what to pick.  Because of that, I went back to my all
time favorite author, Laurie R. King and her Mary Russel series.  Right now I'm re listening to The Game.  Just in case you never heard of this series, its the story of Mary Russel who meets Sherlock Holmes when she's 15 and he's in his early 50's.   As he is in semi-retirement, he takes on Mary as him apprentice who later partners with him and eventually marries.  I love the series not only because it cleverly adds a whole new dimension to my favorite detective but also because King always is throwing in something  that I didn't already know.  I not only find myself googling word meanings, but also historical events and places.  

Anyways - that's my recommendation for a book (or series - it starts the the Beekeeper's Apprentice) that although fiction won't turn your mind into mush.

And since I'm only got 10 hours so far into the quilting and have least 20 more to go. . . . .

What's your Recommendation?

Oh and of course. . . .

What have you been up to creatively?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole - Off the Wall Friday

I'm Grumpy.  How often does that happen??. . NEVER.  Needless to say  - I'm Grumpy.  The week hasn't gone my way - and now that its Thursday - its getting on my last nerve.

First of all - I had a wake up call this week from Elizabeth that I - like Alice - had taken a trip down a rabbit hole.  And she was right - as usual.  I handed in one sketch of what I wanted my homework piece to look like and ended up blocking out a whole other one.  Now that wouldn't be such a bad thing - if it was stronger - but it wasn't  - sighhhhh.  I mention this because lots of times when a piece goes wrong its because we strayed too far from the original sketch and values.

This is NOT the sketch

Then I spent today going to a doctor's appointment which was cancelled . . . after I made the 45 minute trip there.  The rest of the day was spent basting my curves piece which is my least favorite part of the whole process.  Of course, the sandwich is a bit off - so it will have to be done again. Ohhh and yeah - the piece is too big for my work table - so I'm doing it on the floor.

So I'm grumpy.  But I won't wallow too long - I promise!  I'm going to remind myself that all my best pieces were the most work.  That eventually the doctor will get his act together  and get my appointment right.  And the only thing I have to do to fix my homework is follow my sketch - grin - go figure!

So hopefully your week is going better!

What have you been up to Creatively?

Friday, July 18, 2014

July's Rhythm - Off the Wall Friday

After 10 hours in the studio today, I had to call "Uncle".  I really wanted to finish blocking out my July assignment on Rhythm but when all the fabrics start looking a like - ya know its time to quit! 

I gotta say I've thoroughly enjoyed this month's assignment.  First not only am I a music girl at heart but Elizabeth was kind enough to allow me to use one of my favorite songs to base my work on.  I picked the theme song from  the TV show, Justified - Long Hard Times To Come by Gangstagrass.  I love this song because it mixes the hip hop rap over a traditional bluegrass back beat.  Also, its not a secret that I have a huge crush on the main character, Raylan Givens.  With this assignment I get to mix three loves into one!


So playing the song over, and over, and over - managed to come up with two main sketches with value drawings.  With decent critiques on both - I chose the one that I thought spoke the most about the song - I wanted to express how the song was one rhythm laid over the other.

My next step was to play with my black, brown and white paper making value layouts.  I tried a ton and came up with a few possibilities.  I picked one but I'm still not totally sold on it.  The nice thing about this design is that I can still change it around on my design board if I want to because ya know how it is. . . ."Make visual decisions visually".

Even with all that planning, I was actually surprised to see my idea come to light on this piece.  It looks even better than I imagine.  Of course, that last 6 blocks will pull it all together - plus I think I'll be adding more accent pieces, but  you get the gist. Yes - I glued fused them. GASP!   With trying to get The Curves done too - its just faster this way.
 Its going to be fun playing with different quilting ideas.

Its 36" by 36" so its a good size as a model for a bigger piece.

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?