Friday, December 2, 2022

Let's Talk Composition on Off the Wall Friday

 So it's that time of year again...time to buy my new Art Page-A-Day Gallery Calendar.  I've had one sitting on my desk for the last 10 years.  In fact, every day when I sit down to work, the first thing do is change the page so I can see what the "Art-of-the-Day" will be.  Throughout the day, I will glance back at the calendar noticing new things each time.  It's fun.  At the end of the year, I always go through picking out the days I want to save for inspiration.  

This year, however, I thought I would put some to use to talk about types of composition.  There are two things I look at when I first see a painting...#1 What type of composition does it use....#2 Where is the focal point.  Then usually I try to notice how the painter uses value and then hue to achieve both. 

Composition?!?  There are different types of composition?!?  As a matter of fact, there are!  Whether you're an art quilter or a traditional quilter, learning the types of composition will make your life easier when trying to come up with an original piece.

I pulled some days out of the year for some clear examples.

TRIANGLE - Psamanthe, Frederic Leighton, 1879 - (April 29th)

Circular - Autumn in America, Oneida County, New York, Albert Bierstadt (this isn't the best example but I liked this painting because I'm from Oneida County) (Sept 26)

Cross or Cruciform - Fleurs dans un Vase, Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1896 (Sept 9)

Balance Scales - A Winter's Day, Konstantin Ivan Gorbatov, 1934 (Jan 2/3)

Diagonal - The Voyage of Life: Old Age, Thomas Cole, 1842 (Aug 27/28)

See basic shapes lead to basic compositions which leads to great art.  All in a basic calendar for under 20 bucks.  I guess this falls under the category of's the little things.

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, November 25, 2022

Blessings on Off the Wall Friday


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, November 18, 2022

Off The Wall Friday


Steal like an Artist, Austin Kleon

I had a whole blog post planned for today, but as you might have heard Lake Erie and Lake Ontario decided it was time to dump some snow on us.  With the change in barometric pressure, my eustachian tubes have been aching for two days.  All I want to do is lay and watch the snowfall.  Am I the only one with achey ears?!  We got 18" here last night but when they are predicting 5 ft in Buffalo, I think we got lucky!

So hopefully someone else has been more creative this week than me!  I will be hosting next week which is thanksgiving just in case anybody wants to post!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, November 11, 2022

Praise Hands - a Rerun on Off the Wall Friday

 Since I started working full-time back in 2012, Thursday nights have always been my blog night.  This mostly works out well, unless an emergency pops up like today.  So I thought I would steal an idea from my favorite blog, Ask A Manager, and rerun a post that was hidden in the archives.  Since back in 2009 hardly anybody was reading, I thought what the heck!  

Praise Hands for Sacred Threads 2009

"Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God, the Father, for everything." Eph 5:19,20

I have a habit of emailing quilters if their work really strikes me. This is how I got to know a new friend, Lisa Ellis last summer. I loved a lily quilt that she made and posted. Looking over her body of work I could see many similarities with mine. We both like to use Christian themes, women in motion, and organic lines. She suggested that I enter the Sacred Threads Quilt Show. I put it on my list of things to do since I had seen articles on how amazing the show was. That said, life happens and the deadline for the show snuck up on me. So a week before they were due, I started designing. I had 3 or 4 designs drawn out and chose the one that I thought was the strongest. I had gotten inspiration from an online photo - which I blew up and cropped (twice). Then I drew in my own elements adding value with pencil.

I picked a pallet of primary colors (adding a bit of the complementary for accent). I pieced the background using fabrics not only from my stash but also from my scrap bags. Ever since I color-sorted my scraps, they are far more useful. With the background safely done, I created a pattern for the praise ribbons that would rise from the hands. I imagine them to gradate in different values of yellow, orange, and red. Still, I was a little stumped on how to do that until I decided to paper piece them right onto the pattern. I machine rough-edged the praise elements onto the background - which created a nice hard element of line - then added a ton of machine quilting. I don't think I ever added so much free-motion thread work before in a piece.
I sewed every free moment I had that week. It took just over 40 hours to make the quilt but I was really happy with the final result since it was what I had seen in my mind's eye. Lisa is Sacred Threads Web Master and she cleverly had set up an online entry system which is wonderful. I got my entry in with only 4 hours to spare. I was thrilled! The only thing that topped that excitement was when I received the envelope 10 weeks later saying that it was accepted - my first national show.

Reading this I think - Wow! - where does the time go!!  Obviously, I hadn't created my writing style yet but you get the gist.  

So What Have You Been UP to Creatively?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, November 4, 2022

All About Line (Part 2) on Off the Wall Friday

 So last week,  Michelle commented, "It’s funny, I’m aware of having different feelings about a piece, but I hadn’t really put together why."

  I thought WOW!  she gets it.  That is precisely why I do blog posts like this.  Improvisationally piecing is getting more and more popular.  It can grow organically, but it doesn't necessarily have to.  You can go into it with a loose plan in mind like a simple line drawing and a tone you want to set and then go from there.  I remember the day I finally realized that abstract design wasn't about just putting together random elements to get something pretty.  It's about expressing your vision in a way that is not figurative of things in real life.  

Anyways, last week I started this exploration of line with horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and arc.  

Curves are fun!  Smaller curves or waves are calming while big ones will be way more dynamic.  Curves can move the eye throughout a piece and give it motion.  I personally think Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry is queen of the curve.  Her quilts are all about movement, movement, movement!  You'll see curves repeated throughout my work too since they're so versatile!

Interaction #1, Caryl Bryer Fallert

Curves II, Nina-Marie Sayre

Line Weight plays a big part in the design too.  Thin short lines will evoke speed or delicacy while heavy fat lines will ground a piece and maintains order.  Valerie Goodwin's work is a perfect example of this.

Quilt Drawing #9, Daphne Taylor

Repetition of line is one that as quilters are very familiar with. Of course its all about rhythm.  We see it through traditional quilts as well as the modern quilt movement.  Season Evans has this down to a science!

Sophie Guinard

Row + Row Quilt, Season Evans

See?  There is more to line than just a mark between two points.  Remember, its all about what you're trying to convey!

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, October 28, 2022

All about Line (Part I) on Off the Wall Friday

 When I first started quilting, it was all about the basics.  How to get a consistent scant 1/4" seam.  How to get your points to match.  How to get the right tension etc, etc.  As I moved on to designing my own work (and it didn't take long), I realized that the design elements were what was really important.  And I didn't know all....funny how they don't include them in a BS in Engineering.  So little by little, I've been studying them.  This week is line.

Oh good!  I know what a line is ... it's a mark that connects two points.  (And you thought your 2nd-grade geometry was wasted!)  But it's so much more than that!!  A line can express meaning, evoke an emotional response, symbolize thoughts, and create organization and division.  It can create an underlying value that will hold the rest of your piece together.  That's a lot that is merely a mark between two dots!

I know you're saying really, Nina?  YES!  Let me show you what I mean...

Horizontal lines have a calming effect and create stability in a piece....think of a horizon line in a sunset, like the ones Anne Brauer uses extensively in her work.  Truely she's a master of the horizontal line.

Sunset Over Hills, Ann Brauer

The Definition of Red, Anne Brauer

Vertical lines being the opposite of horizontal lines are dynamic and suggest upward motion.  They are perfect to use for division.  A perfect good example, is Patty Hawkins and her love of Birch trees.  I love how the main focus is vertical line but there is still the little horizontal lines that add tension

Colorado Gold, Patty Hawkins

Now my personal favorite, diagonal lines.  Diagonal lines are much more dynamic than vertical because they will move across the whole piece taking the viewer's eye with them.  Both of these examples use diagonals come from two directions.  I chose black and white studies because look how dynamic they both are even without the use of hue....its all line and value.

Figure Ground Study #2, Sandra Palmer Ciolino

Cropped, Nina-Marie Sayre

Arcs are interesting because their meaning changes with the way you position them!  Placing them horizontally with the high point at the top is expected and calming.  Placing them horizontally with the low point at the bottom is seen as a vessel to hold things.  Both seem grounded but placing them on their side makes the line feel unstable. 

WIP, Nina-Marie Sayre (yes I still haven't gotten back to this one LOL)
Vertigo, Gail Parker
(Thanks Elsie!)

This is getting long so I'll continue next week...but I hope it gets you thinking.  It's so easy to think of color, value and pattern when we're designing our quilts but line is just as important!

So What Are Have You Been Up to Creatively?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, October 21, 2022

Off the Wall Friday

 Doing Family Stuff today so I'll just host!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter