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 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. 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 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 was super fun to soak it in all week!

I love this picture!
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Lynda said...

What an interesting workshop! I had never heard of her and love the idea of layering painted silks. I sure do have a box full of them! Thanks for the inspiration this morning. Looking forward to seeing your finished piece.

christine said...

I haven’t been to QBL for a few years but it was always the highlight of those summers. I’m glad to hear Emily is an inspiring teacher.

Sherrie Spangler said...

I've admired her work for ages and would love to take a workshop from her. So, how does she finally sew everything together? And does she use batting or is it just layers of silk? It's hard to tell from pictures of her work how she does it. It looks like she maybe does a blanket stitch to connect some layers?

Nina Marie said...

Hi Sherrie - she does not use batting. She ends up with three layers of the silk and backing. She does use a modified hand blanket stitch to stitch them all down. Yes, I've been wondering for years too!