Archive for February, 2009

Lesson 4 – Free Choice

Lesson 4 draftUsing the principles we’ve learned, we could do anything we wanted. I wanted to try a more minimalist approach and geometric solids as subject matter – this is my second draft. The first one was “rearranged”. I’ve chosen this particular palette because of a challenge for a small group I belong to: use shades of grey and one additional color. So, what do you think? Comments welcome.

Lesson 3 – fold, spindle, mutilate

lesson 3The main challenge of lesson three was to use 3D elements: to pleat, roll, braid, gather, drape – all the sorts of things that are unique to working with fabric.

I struggled a bit with this one. I made some cool medallions that I really liked and some textured fabrics, but I just couldn’t make them work. I was trying to do geometric shapes and for some reason I had selected a bunch of values of orange, a real departure for me. I was bored and frustrated with the way it all was not coming together. So I bagged the idea of geometric shapes, cut up my textured fabric to make dirt and a table. The medallions turned into fiddle heads and I chose a lighter valued background so they would show up better. I had done some green pieces for something else and liked what they brought to the project color wise. So I cut out a green pot and added some dimension. Now all I need are ants.

Everything is just pinned on here. I hope to get some things sewn down at some point but I’m behind for lesson 4. I’ll set this aside for now.

“Three Pears”

I’ve finished the fruit still life. It is all hand stitched with large stitches to create texture as well as hold the layers together. Some of the stitching is in contrasting colors of embroidery floss; some was matched to the fabric so it would disappear.

Three Pears

Still life

Along with spoon carving, I’ve been taking an on-line art quilt class on still life. The teacher is Pamela Allen, an award winning and very creative artist who lives in Canada. What I especially like is that she is well trained in fine art and was a painter for 20 years before she discovered fabric. b&w still lifeShe brings a wealth of fine art knowledge and principles to the class as well as lots of wonderful encouragement.

The first week, our assignment was to work in black and white prints to make a still life. Pamela critiqued our first attempts and made suggestions. We reworked areas that needed it and brought it back to the table for more critique. Here is my work in progress. I’ve started stitching but not until after this photo was taken. I’ve set it aside for now to work on week 2.

stripes still lifeThis week we were to choose grayed colors that were stripes or strong linear designs and use the stripes to give contour to our still life. I’m just about ready to do some stitching on this one too before I have to set it aside for week 3.

We’ve also been doing some critiquing of several fine art pieces, interpreting leaves from paintings as well as other small exercises in using patterned fabric to interpret fruit or flowers or whatever. This has been a stretching class so far and I’m looking forward to the next two weeks. It’s a great way to pass the wintry days.

Spoons

dscn0098I haven’t posted in a while but I’ve been busy. I took a three week spoon carving class and here is a picture of everyone’s work after the third week’s class. My three include the the half finished one with the braided handle and the two to the left of it. None of my spoons is actually finished. They need sanding and finishing.

If you’ve ever done this, you know it takes a toll on your thumbs and hands. And of course, sharp tools make it so much more enjoyable. It was truly fun to do and I’m still working on the braided handle and heart top. The teachers were a couple from Maple Wing Gallery in Bellows Falls, VT, Erin and Hillaire. They brought wood and tools to share and lots of encouragement. And you can see that there were some pretty creative folks in the class.


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