Friday, May 1, 2015

Prom Week at Off the Wall Friday

This is the dress right out of the package!
Did you know. . . . that you can go on Ebay, pick out a prom dress and have it custom made for under $150??  Yep, I found this out when faced with the dilemma of finding a prom dress to fit the petite measurements and quirky style of my 17 year old.

All we had to do was pick a dress, send them her measurements and pick one of the 60 colors offered and in less than 30 days it arrived at our door step in Pennsylvania.  Oh, did I mention that the Ebay seller was in China?  And that the dress was amazingly well made??  I'm still a bit in awe.  I'm not sure if I'm more surprised that you can have a dressed customed made for that price or that it actually showed up just as promised!

I did have to make a few adjustments  today though.  It seems that we didn't realize the dress had a long train which isn't quite the thing when you're 4' 10".  Between alterations and dental surgery, no creative time :( for Momma.  Still there is always next week!

So I'll let you all carry "Off the Wall Friday" this week!

What have been up to Creatively?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Watchin' the Paint Dry - Off the Wall Friday

So, I have a confession.  Now that spring rush is done at work, I took a couple of days off to catch up a bit around the house and spend some major time in my studio.  Instead, I slept 5 hours on the couch. *Blush*

The good news is that I did get a couple of hours in the studio, painting my organza.  For the last month, I've been reading books and blogs on how other artists have treated their organza.  And you know what I found?  That they basically winged it.  So that was
what I was going to do.

Basically, all I did was play with paint, water, and the silk.  I sprayed it down with water and painted it orange with textile paint (remember I suppose to be working on my lily project - I'm partial to day lilies).  I mixed yellow in.  I used it as a base and made a monoprint with another piece.  I made another adding more paint -
less water.  It just went on and on until I ran out of time.
And space.

Which brings up another problem of this whole painting fabric thing.  Spring on Lake Erie is not a pretty thing most days.  We still have a lot of gray, cold, wet, weather.  Oh, and snow.  (Yes it
snowed today).  So, where to hang all of these to dry.  I mean if I wait for it be a warm sunny day to paint, I might never do any.

With a little bit of surfing, I found some really good ideas.  They have  indoor clothes lines that are temporary - they open and retract.  Very cool!  They have them in this model that does several or the single ones.  Now what I worry about keeping it inside is where does it go?  My studio isn't that big and who wants drying paint around their house?!

So my other idea is that my Victorian house came with a big wrap around Victorian porch.  What if . . . I. . .  my husband hung hooks up on the porch, then when I get on the painting mood simply strung line on the hooks.  It could stay a while and then taken down when the paint was put away.  Plus with the  porch  - it offers coverage from the rain, its right off  my studio,  and if these are a few drips it won't matter.  Now, I just gotta get Paul to do it for me. . . . grin.

I still have a couple more days off so I'm sure that I've gotten my nap in, I should get more done on this project!

So What have been up to creatively?

Friday, April 17, 2015

The ARTful Quilt - Off the Wall Friday

The Dining Room - Bonnard
This week I got final confirmation on this year's Quilting by the Lake class - The ARTful Quilt taught by Judi Blaydon.  This will be my first class with Judi although for literally years, I've walked by her classroom peaking in and thought - OMG I need to take a class with her.  The room hummed with creativity with color everywhere.  Finally this year I have my chance!

The class sounds just up my alley too!  We are to pick one painting, one of the four she suggested or one of our own and from that derive our own abstract quilt.  We'll do studies using parts of the painting abstracting them in a variety of ways.  From there, we'll pick a favored composition and let the painting's colors be the inspiration for the palette. The quilts will be constructed in the collage method using both fusing and piecing.   I guarantee you - mine will be more piecing than fusing, grin.

Me taking Rosalie Dace Class on Paul Klee
Judi's chose four impressionist paintings for the base inspiration - Bonnard – The Dining Room in the Country, Matisse – The Window, Monet – Women in the Garden, and Vuillard – The Flower Dress.  Still, she was very clear that you can pick your own painting with the composition and colors that spoke to you.  Not to mention, the class homework asked us to study up on the painter before we arrived.  What a perfect excuse to spend some times perusing my favorite art books!

If you never been to an art quilt class at Quilting by the Lake, I highly recommend it.  It offers 5, 3 and 2 day classes for two weeks the last week of July.  Its held in Syracuse, NY on the campus of a lovely community college.  You stay in college suites (4-5 people to a suite) with single and double room options.  All suites come with a full kitchen for breakfast while lunch and dinner are served in the dining hall. 

This will be my 14th year at QBL and it really is my favorite place to vacation.  While I'm there I can eat, breath and live art quilting for 5 days straight without the rest of the world honing in.  I'm around 250 ladies who understand exactly what I do and why I do it.  No matter how my class goes (some have been better than others), I always come back creatively rejuvenated and ready to take on the next leg of my artist journey. 

So if you think Judi's class sound as much fun as I do, there are still spots open.  For that matter, its not to late to join in on Quilting by the Lake this year.  If you have any questions about the conference please just leave them in the comments section and I'll answer there so that everyone can read.

sighhhhhh. . . . . . now just to pick a painting. . . . . . .

What have been up to creatively?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Just a Little Imagination - Off the Wall Friday

Creations by Nina-Marie SayreWith Spring, comes allergies and boy did I get hard with an attack this year.  Of course, it would hit when at work we're in the middle of spring rush and I'm working 6 days.  So all I did was sleep and work and work and sleep.  Not a lot of time to create but there was a lot of time think.

Its amazing what a little imagination can do. All week,  I've tried several ideas concerning my next lily piece out in my head.  Too bad they haven't invented a way to digitize a mental idea - well at least not yet.  The Imagination is a marvelous thing.  With a little bit of focus and practice you can create without lifting a finger.  What I took to doing this week was coming up with a clear composition in my mind and then just making a very rough sketch just to remind me of the idea.  Little by little I whittled out the dogs and had a second look at the keepers.  Finally today I settled on one.

My blog heading is a picture of one my favorite art quilts, Ecclesiastes 11:7 (aka the birdhouses) .   That was suppose to be a lily quilt but the birdhouses took over.  What if - yeah I know it was truly a What if moment - What if I did another version of the quilt where the lilies got a chance to shine?  While my work day was a blur of fashion flurry, I started working out a nice simple composition  that wouldn't drive me nuts.  Its funny how my mouth and fingers were doing one thing but my imagination was creating something totally different.

My first day off is Sunday - finally - so I'll start painting up the organza silk then and work out a proper sketch.  I can't wait!

So What have been up to creatively?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Abstracted Lilies - Off the Wall Friday

Here on Lake Erie, April means Spring.  I think.  We still have piles of snow scattered here and there and only a few brave crocuses have shown their heads, but yes its Spring.  With that, I start thinking lilies. A local gallery holds an annual  Lily Art Festival which features a great mixed media juried show.  I love entering since one of the few shows my husband and I enter together.  Plus its great to see how different artists interpret my favorite flower!

So I started my annual lily inspiration hunt. I have folders of flower photos (say that three times fast!) so I thought I'd share a few.  Feel free to steal.  grin.  Normally, I would choose one and let it inspire me into making a  representational piece.

But this year, I'm in an abstract mood  and want to play with silk so  I thought I would take it into a different direction.  But where to start??

lilies by Nina-Marie Sayre
The Original Photo
The Impressionistic effect

The easiest place is my Photoshop Elements program.  The program contains "Filters" that you can easily apply to your photos to create different desired effects.  And let me tell you, you can literally spend hours playing with the different effects. With the click of a mouse you can distort your photo into literally something that is barely recognizable. You are only limited by your patience on how much you want to play with it. 

Watered Window Effect

These are only a few of my favorites.  I doubt if I'd do a literal interpretation of any of these but they definitely give me some ideas on how to abstract out a lily.

Alien Glow
Don't even ask me how all of this is going to figure in with the composition, but a girl has to start somewhere right?!?

So What have you been up to creatively?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Keys to Good Composition - Off the Wall Friday

As I finish up the my many - many hours of quilting, I started thinking about the composition of my next piece.  I'm planning on using my annual lily piece as an excuse to experiment with silk.  Still, I can't just experiment.  I have to have a plan - a composition that I'm working toward.  I've learned from past attempts, that the words intuitive and spontaneous are adjectives that will never be used in describing my creative style.  Well, at least not in the near future. So I'm in search of a good composition.  Hmmmmmm, but how does one go about that???


all of which can be rearranged, edited, added to,or ignored all together 

Nina-Marie Sayre
Rule of Thirds - Focal Point
1. Decide what you want to say in your piece - pick the main theme and mood

2. Draw your borders and pick a focal spot. Don't pick the dead middle.  Using the rule of thirds, you can split the piece into thirds, horizontally and vertically and place the focal point on one of the intersections.

Nina-Marie Sayre
Balance the Elements

3. Draw your main shapes (figurative or abstracted) but make sure they are varied in shape, scale and the space between them are all different.  Also, an odd number of elements is always more pleasing to the human eye than an even - so think 3 - 5 - 7

4. Create balance in the piece - the elements should be scatter throughout the piece with the main focus balanced by lesser elements

5. Lead the eye into the work using diagonals and curves that engage the edge of the piece - Use the power of line effectively!

Nina-Marie Sayre

6. A sense of depth is created by overlapping your pieces and using scale to create the right sense of perspective

7. Avoid symmetry  - make sure there is enough "differentness" to create tension

8. Edit out clutter - highlighting the essential - give quiet space in the piece

Nina-Marie Sayre
Edit! Edit! Edit!
Now remember composition isn't just about the initial sketch.  Value will have a huge part in the piece too.   You can use value to highlight the focal spot - to create depth  - to establish movement through out piece.  Color (hue) plays it part too in creating mood, movement and tension within a piece.

I just want to add that I wrote this post to help me as much as it is to help you!  Its much easier to critique a sketch if you have a list of what to look for in front of you.  Not to mention taking an hour out of the week looking at well composed photos!!

So What Have you been up to creatively?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Off the Wall Friday

My mind is a mass of ideas this week - too many ideas in fact.  I need to calm them so that I can focus on getting the quilting done on the Curves2.

  So with that in mind, I decided to not blog out anything new - just play host this week.   
As is my custom - I'll leave you with my favorite Art quotes of the  moment!

What have been up to creatively?