Friday, August 9, 2019

In the Words of Emily Richardson ...Off the Wall Friday

Edge of an Instant, 16" by 14" Emily Richardson
So if you haven't gotten it in the last two weeks, my Quilting by the Lake was a pivotal in my life.  Its the kind of time where I'll be saying in 20 years, "It all changed after Emily's Class" .  The more distance from the class the more  ideas are constantly jumping in my head.  I had to start a little journal so I wouldn't lose them!

Last week I left off with my little beginner piece.  The second one I wanted to try adapting the way I create and meld it with Emily's organic approach.  I started with a loose sorting of my fabrics (you'd have to see Emily's studio....it looks like color silk exploded all over while she's designing and then
magically its all picked up while she's sewing).  Then I picked a background piece to set the size.  And it was off to the races!!


"I don't get anywhere new if I'm reserved. 
 I only get somewhere if I am ready to take off"
Emily Richardson


Step1:   Just get Stuff Up



At this point I really had no idea where I was going.  I did know that I would set up an underlying value that would help hold it together.

"With everything you put down, something new is created"
   Emily Richardson    


Step 2:  An Idea is Forming


 Well at least I have an idea where it's going now.  There is definitely a lot of trials at this point.  Put a little up and take a little down.  What pleases me...What doesn't.  Is the value letting my eye flow or come to a dead stop.  

"You move one thing and it changes everything.
  Meanwhile its stabilized by the grid underneath"
Emily Richardson

Step 3: Evaluate

So I started the evaluation process that Emily had suggested.  During the first few evenings of classes, I had gone back to my room and review exactly what were the Elements and Principals of Design. Boy, I'm glad I did.  It made the whole process easier.  PLUS  I found out my new little point and shoot had a Black/White mode so I could see an instant value study.  The light path is subtle but its there.

"It's seeing where the composition wants to go. Bringing it to life, so I like it and hopefully other people will too" 
Emily Richardson

Step 4:  Time to Bake

  "So now it hangs on my design wall and I still want to make a few changes to it.  I personally think it needs a bit more dark in there and the dark left hand corner needs some lightening up.  But we'll see.  I remember I was worried it would look too much Emily's work.  I must have been crazy.  It totally doesn't look like her work at all.  I think it just needs a bit more me.


So What Have Been Up to Creatively?


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Friday, August 2, 2019

Class with Emily Richardson - Off the Wall Friday

Basically the Before

Ready to Paint!
So the artist/teacher Emily Richardson finally was rescheduled this year to return to Quilting by the Lake to teacher the class Inspiration Through Reflection: Painting Fabric, Creating Quilts. I believe this was her 5th time at the conference over the last 20 years.  Even though I loved her work, I just wasn't in a place that I thought I could confidently be taught what she did.  BUT this year, I was and I'm so glad I did!!  


At QBL, some years I learn just a bit and play a lot; some years I learn a LOT of stuff and play not at all.  I've had a couple really crappy years where I kept waking up each day and think OMG why did I take this class???  THIS year I really had a creative breakthrough and an amazing lot of fun!!  I would look up at Emily and say at least a couple of times a day, "I'm really  having a good time!!"

My OMG why didn't I take up knitting when I had a chance!
Now going in I really didn't have a clear idea  of what we are going to do.  But I did know that I didn't think she was going to show us how she created and show us how to do it!!  BOY was I wrong.  We had a nice range of 21 ladies in class  - some with a ton of surface design experience, some with a ton of design experience, ladies who had made very few art quilts and even a lady who  really hadn't made a quilt yet.  And Emily taught us all....no matter where we were on our creative journey she found us and dragged us along till we got the hang of it.  The class looked like an art gallery when we were done.



So Here's What We Did:

On the first day of class, I promised Emily I was going to jump on her train and follow her directions.  This really is  not my style.  I mean I love rules....right up to the point that I think their stupid.  But if you just stay in your little box and never step out,  you will never progress.  (maybe I should send that to the leaders of the two major political parties).
Getting the hang of it

hmmmm, Sorry, I digress....

For the first two days we painted mostly silk.  The supply list came with a relatively inexpensive supply kit that contained all sorts of silk types for us to experiment with. Plus I brought all my silk scraps  too.  We stacked the fabric and just started painting.  I would be lying if I said at this point I had a clue of how I was suppose to paint but Emily said just get some paint on the silk so that's what I did (as you can see from the picture).  But with each following painting session, I had more an idea of how it was going to come out and what kind of effects I liked best.  Really, though all the fabric came out usable.  Maybe not amazing usable, but it will do usable.

MUCH Happier With this one
By  Day 3, we put all the paint away, and started to design. Emily gave us instructions on how basically put the fabric up and fill up your piece. THEN you were suppose to move things around by what you liked and what you didn't.  What bothered you...what you didn't,..she gave us a list of things on how to evaluate your piece so you know when it was done and that was a skill I really needed to work on.  But really not many of us started with a clear idea of how it was going to come out and that's how she does it.  At the end THEN she titles it.  Totally different with how I work.

By the end of Day 3, I finished my first trial which Emily thought was almost there.  She walked up and looked at the piece - looked at my silk pile .... grabbed  the right piece and put it in the right place.  PERFECT....so apparently you get better at this with years of practice.  Although that saved me a TON of trials, I still like to do my own work.  I asked if I could do another one that looked more like me and less derivative of Emily's work.  She gave me a look because normally classes start sewing it down but once mine was basted I thought I could do the rest at home. (Most everyone did more than one...some even did three!  She said she never had a class do that!)
Actually this one came out the best....you really don't know you're going until you iron the out!!


Day 4/5 was spent doing a much bigger piece more in my own compositional style and it went  together  much easier.  By Friday at 2:00 pm, it was all basted and ready for our last evaluations.  I'm leaving that piece for another post but I really love it!!

My first piece ...not super big 14" by 20"

Two weeks later, I still haven't made it back into my studio to figure how how to finish sewing them.  But I will  this weekend.


Now we're cooking....ooops Painting!


So to sum it up....If you ever get a chance to take a class with Emily ... DO IT!!  She has a unique teaching style which is totally her.  She's a lovely lady.  Quiet on the outside but really has a nice dry sense of humor underneath. She's VERY generous with her process.  She's one of the few teacher/artist that doesn't do this to be in the limelight.  In fact, I'm thinking that is the last place she wants to be.  I think she creates to share the beauty of her work with the world.  And yessssss...it was super fun to soak it in all week!

I love this picture!
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Friday, July 26, 2019

A Week at Quilting by the Lake - Off the Wall Friday

So last week was my 17th year at the quilt conference, Quilting by the Lake.  I love going back every year because it seems so familiar and yet there is always something new.  This year was no
Suffrage Quilt, Votes for Women, Ellen Blalock
exception.  In fact, I'm not sure if its because I'm finally truly over my blue period or because I'm in an up swing of creativity but there seemed to be inspiration EVERYWHERE.  I took a ton of pictures and I thought I would share a few.  This year I kept them to the gorgeous campus (which is finally over the major construction its been under the last few years) and the quilt show.  But besides these, there were some great lectures that were fascinating, an amazing show and tell and a super fun mini-mall.

So every morning I got up around 5:15 am and headed to the Family Y which is on campus and open to QBL participants.



  One morning it looked like this

 Another morning it looked like this

When you're in Syracuse you never quite know what the weather will bring!!
The campus was filled with gorgeous wild flowers  - everywhere!

The architecture is pretty amazing since its a two year community college!




But what was the best was this year quilt show!

Martin Luther King, Susan Robinson


Cabin on a Lake, Cheryl Kosarek
Label Quilt, Carol Boyer
Close Up of Label quilt

Gatekeeper 2, Lily Moebes

Close up of Gatekeeper 2 by Lily Moebes

There are many, many more pictures of the week - it was just one big visual explosion I swear!
Next week, I'll do a post on my amazing week with Emily Richardson.  I want to think a bit more on the class yet.  I still haven't caught my breathe from it all - it was quite the whirl-wind!

So What Have Been Up to Creatively?
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Friday, July 19, 2019

How to Evaluate Your Work on Off the Wall Friday

So if I tell you that I'm having a great week in Emily Richardson's class Inspiration through Reflection:  Painting Fabric, Creating Quilts would you be jealous??  I was a bit uncertain exactly what we were going to learn going into the class.  I mean she couldn't possibly be teaching us how
she makes her amazing pieces of art, right?!?  Yep!  That is exactly what she is doing.  For years, I've wondered how she did it and now I get to take a stab at it myself.  So fun!!

Anyways, that brings me to the topic of the day. When you're creating a piece, how do you know
when enough is enough  - that you are finished anddddd if its any good?  This is a question, I've been asking myself so I thought you'd want to know too!

Here are some things to ask!

  • Does it have a clear focal point and is that focal point reinforced?
  • Does your eye move easily through the piece without being stalled in any one space?
  • Have you added anything that really isn't necessary to the composition?
  • Are there a nice range of values in the piece?
  • Is there proper depth to the piece?
  • Is there enough variation in shape and form?
  • Are you exploring all the possibilities of your fabric?
  • Is there quiet spaces to rest the eye?
  • Do the color choices reflect the mood you are trying to invoke?
Basically you can take your list of list of Elements of Design (line, shape, direction, size, texture color and value) and check them all over.  THEN take the Principals of the Design (contrast, harmony, pattern, proportion, repetition, variety, movement, unity)

Wow!!  Is that all?!?!   Yeah it does seem like a lot right?  Plus, I'm sure there is more, but really trust your eye to help you.  When you look at your piece is there a spot that you just don't think its working and you don't like.  Now look more closely at the spot and think why?  This will give you a beginning point on how to fix it!

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Off the Wall Friday


You might have noticed that I stopped working on art the last few weeks.  The reason is that I started a personal project on the homefront and have gotten totally involved.  At one time I would have felt guilty.  But recently, I found out it was in my personality to get all fired up and one minded on a project and pretty much forget about everything else.  I'm not worried.  I'll get this latest obsession well on its way and return to my first love - quilting. 

Speaking of that....I leave for Quilting by the Lake this weekend.  Can't wait!!  I'm taking a class with Emily Richardson who I've always wanted to study under.  Its going to be a thoughtful, introspective class where we paint and then use the pieces we paint in a small project.  Ought to be interesting!

Thanks for hanging in there with me  - its much appreciated!

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Off the Wall Friday










Too Be Continued



I took the long weekend off to catch up on my creative self so I thought I would also write a proper blog post too.  But don't want to hold up Off the Wall Friday!!

So What Have Been Up to Creatively? 
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Friday, June 28, 2019

Off the Wall Friday


Its been a terribly stressful time at work these last couple of weeks (which is NOT usual so I'm not used to it) I'm so mentally tired that I couldn't write a thing if I tried. So I think I'll just go to bed early and host this week! Thanks again for all the well wishes on my blogiversary!  See I'm so tired I'm making up words - grin!!

Hope you all had a more creative week.


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