Monday, November 19, 2012

Why Work In Series

Sonlight - Crosses 1
As I started moving my craft of quilting from the occasional original art quilt to squaring crossing over to the darkside (groannnnn), I found that I've had to play catch up on a lot of my art knowledge.  It seems that my fancy, expensive education did not include studies in art beyond what I learned in middle school.  So that said, over the last 10 years, I embarked on a self guided course on  - "How to be an Artist".

Elizabeth Barton
Now granted, I am taking the "Art for Dummies" course, but I  can safely say that I am starting to pick up a few things.  For instance, did you know that there are some advatages to working in series??  In the beginning I honestly could not understand why anybody would want to do so.  I mean, with all the interesting subjects out there, why in the world would anybody want to just study one over and over and over again.  During the class Working in Series with Elizabeth Barton, she clued us into some truths on the subject.  She writes on her blog that, "it can lead to a significant improvement in your work:

by getting better at an idea or technique through practice
by being more focused, thinking things through
by exploring an idea in depth
by not putting too many ideas into one piece
by making starting a piece easier by setting a few parameters
by developing a consistent body of work
by trying new things but with a constant theme "
  (quoted by Elizabeth from her copyrighted blog)

So that said I have endeavored to give this whole series thing a shot.  And the Crosses prove that there is merit in the idea - go figure!  With three pieces now designed you can see how each one has progressed and explored the one simple idea - A Cross and taken  that simple shape and idea so much farther.

Crosses 2 - not quilted yet
With my latest piece, Crosses 3 (a working title), I've learned something really big.  I am in no way, shape, or form done with this subject.  I have totally loved going back into this palette - which I didn't mean to do but my client liked.  I love making the blocks more complex - I love mixing the values more and making the transitions more fluid from light to medium to dark.   I love  - well - working with the Cross.

Anyways - as anybody who knows me will tell you  - my big rule in life is:
 Do What Makes You Happy

So I definitely can see where this Cross Series will be in my future and I'm do apologize if you start getting sick of them.  'Cause obviously, I haven't.
Crosses 3 - Still needs pieced

I would highly suggest any quilter who is interested in pushing their art life further to study working in series with Elizabeth Barton (who is an amazing teacher and artist).  She occasionally  offers it in person, but you can also take it affordably on line at Quilt University. (Next class scheduled is March 8th)  Also watch for her new design book due out this spring!

See more great design walls on Judy's Patchwork - Design Wall Monday!


Deborah OHare said...

Such good advice. I keep meaning to work in a series but usually get distracted by another idea.
I love these pieces

Kit Lang said...

I've got a couple of series on the go! Yes, I do get distracted (like Deborah) but I love the opportunities working in a series gives you to just GET BETTER, which is my main goal as an artist. :)

Sylvia said...

I don't think I will ever get bored looking at this series. It is very calming to me and I smile every time it shows up on your blog. Good post this am, just what I needed to move forward with my art. Thanks.

AnnieO said...

Fascinating series, and good perspective from an expert teacher! Glad you are thoroughly enjoying delving into art education and color and form play. I took art classes in college and they taught me a lot about color and design--and doing what I like!

Cathy Tomm said...

Just love how this has come along.

Vera Holmgren said...

This was very interesting to read!

Quilt or Dye said...

You have put together 3 of my favorites things--you cross series, why it is important to work in a series, and Elizabeth Barton!

beth said...

I'm working on a cross piece right now as well. Love the colors you're using!

Janet said...

I can totally see the progress from one quilt to the next and your # 3 piece is awesome - some real artistry going on there!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nina Marie, I am so glad I found your blog again...I found it in the quilt festival at amy's creative side firstly, through someone talking of your off the wall friday:) I like your crosses and Elisabeth Barton is fast becoming a favourite quilter. funny I was just looking at her quilts on flickr, then I found your blog again and you talking all about her...wish I could take a class with her too. Dianna