Monday, July 30, 2012

Quilting by the Lake, Paul Klee & The Ladies Revisited

 Rosalie Dace's The Thinking Eye - There I am wayyyyy up front
With trying to be more creatively productive, I'm back to blogging.  Its been a good month with me finishing up my lily quilt entry and attending this year's Quilting by the Lake.  I took a class from Rosalie Dace who not only does amazing art quilts but is also a very popular teacher.  For me, she's the type of teacher who gives me plenty of space to create and that's what I definitely needed this year.
Caught in the Act !

I took a class called "The Thinking Eye".  It was a study of Paul Klee's work and OMG what a lifetime of work that man had!  I had no idea that he had done over 9,000 pieces.  Our first job was to look over his several series and decide what spoke to us the most (the ones I liked best can be seen here).  Then use those to launch ourselves into our own piece. What a creatively exhilarating exercise!!  We literally were working on our pieces from Monday morning right through Friday and it was so much fun that it was keeping me up nights. 
On Monday, looking over Klee's work, I was most attracted to his use of simple shapes set into a complex form and his masterful use of value.  I mean - we all know that value is light, medium and dark but to use that simple knowledge to convey the emotion you want for a  piece is a totally different matter.   So I thought I would explore that and revisit a subject that I've been meaning to get back to  - my praise ladies.

I had done the first of my series - Women in Motion  - five years ago when I made my the Praise Ladies.  I really loved that piece since it was based on the ladies at church who would get up every week and dance in praise.  Still - every time I would try to get back to that subject - it fell flat.  So you can imagine how thankful I was to have this time a success.  

Still Praisin'  27" by 45"
So I started with picking a limited palette of periwinkle, fushia and an accent of gold.  I spent the first two days piecing the background, cutting the blocks into rectangles.  After working on the placement using the light ones to give the piece a focal point, I sewed them up.  Then I patterned out the ladies which I had sketched up quickly  - I wish I had taken more time to make the curves more pleasing but I got a bit excited.  The hardest part of the piece was picking out the colors of the ladies.  So many people asked me, "What are you going to do with the Ladies?"  Now that would normally be a very valid question but when you don't have a valid answer and you're not getting much sleep - well it can work your last nerve (grin).  Finally with a bit of help from the color wheel, I picked  avocado,  gold and purple.  After that decision made - the ladies worked up easily.

By the end of the week, I got the ladies down on muslin.  All that's left is to add some sheers and to resolve the issue of the hands.  I still want to go back and redo some of the curves - but we'll see.  I just found this whole project really fulfilling since not only have I finally got back to a subject that I've been meaning to do but I also got to use all my own hand dyed fabrics.   Very cool.  Now I just have to finish it up since I want to enter it in this year's Sacred Thread show in the spring.

Check out other great Design Walls - at Judy Patchworks Times



11 comments:

scraphappy said...

Beautiful work. The background is so intricate yet does not distract from the ladies. Glad you got to use some of your own fabric.

Krista said...

This is beautiful. Coincidentally, your colours are a perfect match for this month's colour challenge over on Judy's blog - although it sounds like you were not working with that base.

Quilter Kathy said...

I loved reading this blogpost and read it through twice! What a wonderful experience to take a class like this. Your piece is amazing....your use of light is fascinating.

Kris said...

Isn't wonderful to have to opportunity to recharge your creative batteries? Sounds like you are really focused and excited. Your work is really beautiful. It will be fun to see the end result.

Vicki said...

Sounds like you had a great time and your quilt is a beautiful result of that inspiration! Nice job!

Cindy said...

Wonderful! I love the curved piecing of the ladies, you did a great job. What a great project to work on. Also love the first one you did...had to go peek at it. :)

Melinda said...

Amazing - you must have had a wonderful time.

Rhonda said...

WOW! Beautiful, I began to sway with the dancers.

Tamera said...

Looks like it must have been a wonderful class.

Kate said...

Wow! Beautifully done. Love the your color choices.

JenEve said...

Hiya! You're making miss QBL, girl! This looks amazing and of course you can't beat a Rosalie class :) I haven't done a thing with fabric lately but I'm tossing around ideas - I miss my machine. I've been painting a lot and learning a bunch - my paintings aren't great but they say you have to paint 100 bad ones before something fabulous appears - never heard that about quilting - hard to imagine doing 100 bad quilts ;) I love the first black and white cross shot you posted - THAT needs to be a wall quilt - it's a very stong composition. And I'm loving your ladies - keep up the good work!! xoxo JE