Friday, February 12, 2016

Fabric = Art - Off the Wall Friday

Chop Suey, Edward Hopper, the inspiration
You know before I started to quilt, I really didn't know anything about art.  Somehow in my background  of mathematics and physics, the study of art history fell through the cracks.  Then came along, quilting which meant playing with color, value, and design.  To do that, though, I had to learn about the art principals.  And to do that. . . I had to learn from the greats. So I started studying art, just like every artist before me.

Now that said, I have on occasion picked a piece of great art and let it inspire me to my own piece.  Last summer I used Edward Hopper's Chop Suey to create a totally new abstract collage (which still isn't quilted btw - sighhhhh). And three summers ago, I used the work of Paul Klee to come up with a new piece for my Praise Ladies series.

Chopped Hopper, the finished design
So when my new blogging friend, Alida, from Tweety Loves Quilting, invited me to join her art inspired blog hop challenge, I jumped at the chance.  The rules were simple enough - pick one piece of established art (in any media) and let it inspire a new textile piece of your vary own.  Ohhh and have it done to for the blog hop in May.

I've decided to let the impressionists/post impressionists art exhibit, Monet to Matisse, Painting the Modern Garden   to inspire me.  After seeing it at the Cleveland Art Museum, I was profoundly moved by the painters' use of color and value.  I've been putting together a pinterest board of the over 100 paintings in the exhibit so I can have a list for further study.  This is the perfect opportunity to set that study into action!!!

I promise to show you bits and pieces of my process as this progresses over the next couple of months with a big reveal in May.

Also, there is still time to join the blog hop and take up the challenge of art inspired work - just contact me or Alida!

So What have been up to Creatively?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Breaking the Rules - Off the Wall Friday

The Japanese Bridge, 1895 Claude Monet (First in the series)

Are you a Rebel???   Do you like nothing more  than to break the rules??    Its been said that Great Artists break the rules.   So does that mean that to make great art you need to break the rules??  No!

Monet, The Japanese Bridge, 1900, 9th in the series
As I've been re-working The Curves,  I thought the finish product would have been much better if I had had used conventional piecing.  Instead I decided to use rough edge applique  on an over 5 ft piece without any kind of fusing material.  When the finished product looked too ROUGH, now I'm stuck with adding a lot more stitching!  I thought I could break the rules, but in this case I shouldn't have!!  WAIT!! What???  Don't great artists break the rules???

Welllllllll they do, but really they follow some rules about breaking the rules.  (And you all think -  "Of course they do!")

1.  Know the rules you are breaking . . . well. . .really well.  If you look at all the great rebel artists in history you'll see that they went through all the same traditional training that the rest of their peers did.  Picasso studied under his father (a professor of art) from an early age and  later at the age of 13 was  admitted into the school of Fine Arts where his father taught.  Knowing the rule plus knowing what  you don't like about the rule will help you break it that much better!

2.  If you're going to break the rule  - Really Break the Rule.    If you only break the rules a little it will come off looking like you just know the traditional way of creating. You need to scream that you're a rebel before people will take notice.  Going all in, your viewer will have no doubt that you are a rule breaker and taking a risk!

Monet, Japanese Bridge 4, 1918, 20th in the Series
3.  Explain Your Art. Write a good artistic statement that helps connect your viewer to the piece.  After all you've just thrown out all the traditional rules that your viewer is used to.  Now take the time to give them a way to connect with what they already know.  After reading many, many gobblely gook artist statements, I would highly suggest that you don't use this platform to break the rules.  If you want to communicate to your viewers about your piece put it in a way that they will understand.  (Artists that use too much Art-Speak in their statements come off sounding pretentious  and annoying to rest of us!)

4.  Be Consistent!!  If you're going to come up with new rules then follow them consistently.  Take time to explore why  your  way is actually a good way to make art.  All the great rule breakers did!!  Monet grew a whole garden just that he could paint it over and over and over giving birth to the whole Impressionist movement.  I've included some of his Japanese bridge series so you can see how his rule breaking progressed!
Monet, The Japanese Bridge, 1926 , Last in the Series (28th)

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Inspiration for Off the Wall Friday



Enough Said.

(All images were taken from Microsoft Desktops

So What Have You been up to creatively?

Friday, January 22, 2016

To Do List - Off the Wall Friday

Okay, so I got serious about managing my time this week - which, by the way, is very helpful if not very interesting to blog.  When I started to set up a calendar of what projects I wanted to work on, I realized that it really it wasn't at my own whim.  I do have date deadlines due to the shows I want to enter.

(So more for my benefit than yours)

2016 Juried Shows
  • Erie Art Museum Spring Show - March 26, 2016
  • Quilts=Art=Quilts - August 15, 2016
  • Sacred Threads - October 1, 2016

I think three is a real doable number don't you?  So with that in mind, I set aside the two projects I was working on and started putting the finishing touches on my Spring Show entries.   After looking at both of them, they really did need some touching up!!  It would be nice to actually have something done well before the deadline for a change!!

Also, I made up a new printable To-Do List because the ones I had were too boring!!  Feel free to steal copy it and resize it if you like!

Oh and surprise of the day. . . . I opened up my emails to find this - It looked vaguely familiar and then it dawned me that it was my QBL class from last summer!!  So if you're ever looking for me in class - I'm the one in the back sitting on the floor !!

So What have you been up to creatively?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Artist Time Management Tips - Off the Wall Friday

Nina-Marie Sayre

Word of the Year?  PRODUCTIVITY

I was looking back at 2015 and I didn't get much done.  I had a lot of good intentions and a lot of  good ideas and actually a lot of time but some how they didn't manage to combine enough for me to get enough done.  Well, at least, not in my mind's eye.  So something needs to give.

So I thought that in the quest for better productivity, I would try to manage my time better. These tips are as much for me as for you!!

Time Management Tips 

  • Create a Calendar - Not only set studio days and times but also what projects you are going to work on that day.  Make sure all tools and supplies are ready when you walk into the studio for the days work by prepping the day before.
  • Schedule Studio time during your Peak Creative Time.  Are you an early bird like me?  Then get into the studio at 7 am instead of starting laundry and straightening the kitchen
  • Set Work Intervals with scheduled breaks - ie - work an hour - take a 10 min break - working in intervals will help you work for a longer period of time in the end
  • Create a To-Do List - Check it off - You'll feel accomplished!
  • Don't Multi-Task - Don't check email, don't load laundry, don't check on dinner in the oven - all these things are just pulling you away from your creative flow
  • Say NO - Don't let your everyday life hone in on your creative life and don't apologize for it
  • Identify Procrastinating Time Wasters - Let's face it - we all have them.  Identifing the time wasters will help us to conquer them.
  • Set Small Goals and reward yourself when you reach them 
  • Set Date Deadlines - open ended projects tend to go unended
  • Make Yourself Accountable to Someone Else -  use an artist partner or use Off the Wall Friday to report your progress
  • Leave Your Next Step ready for your next studio day
I saw this and I thought - OMG - someone has been watching me!!!

So what have you been up to Creatively?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Quilt Kits! Really??? Off the Wall Friday

Did you get anything good for Christmas??  I did!!!  I asked my mother for a nice quilt kit to work on this year.  Quilt Kit???  Yeah - you read that right.  A Kit. . . . it comes with the directions and all the fabric and you make someone else design.

Now I know what you're  thinking . . . what all my friends here asked me - why a kit??  Don't you usually do your own work??? Well yes. . . . BUT. . .  I thought doing a kit would be a good idea.

Why Do A Quilt Kit


* It helps develop piecing skills you don't usually use
* It gives your creative mind a break but keeps you sewing
*It gives you a glimpse into another designer's work process
*It makes you work out of your comfort zone
*It gives you inspiration for your own work

Now, finding a quilt kit to fit all those requirements was easier said than done.  Actually, I've been looking for one for the last years but hadn't found one to fit the bill.  Finally, I did on Craftsy! I picked the Brilliant Beauties of Joy Quilt by Jacqueline de Jonge because not only is it gorgeous but it also used a lot of the sewing skills I wanted to perfect.  I know its old school thinking but I still believe that an artist should try to perfect construction techniques.  In this pattern, de Jonge uses paper piecing and curve piecing both of which I still could use some practice in.  Plus, I like how she uses the gradations of fabric to add movement to the design.  

All that said, I was excited to get started.  I opened the box . . .  O - M - G!!  The fabric is gorgeous but pattern is 32 pages long!  The description said that it was expert level and  they weren't kidding.  Still - that's what I wanted was a challenge so I guess that's what I got!  Just glad I have 25 years of quilting and an engineering degree to help me along!!

I'm not sure how fast I'm going to work on this project - I think just  do it when the mood strikes me but still I'm sure it will be fun!

So What have been up to creatively?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Musings on the Cleveland Art Museum - Off the Wall Friday

Monet to Matisse Exhibit
Guess what I did yesterday?  

I took my daughter, Tessa and her two best friends to the Cleveland Art
Atrium connecting the old building with the new
Museum to celebrate her 18th birthday.  Now Tessa had been there before but her friends (both soon to be art majors in college) had not, so I knew they were in for a treat!!

The museum has recently finished a multi-million dollar renovation and its stunning!! Not only is there more exhibit space, new gift shop and restaurant but there is gorgeous atrium.   Now if you didn't know, the museum  is completely free to the public (as set forth by its founding endowment) and it has about 600,000 visitors a year!   Its collection is over 45,000 pieces with works from all the greats represented.

This fall it brought a special exhibit,  Monet to Matisse, Painting the Modern Garden to the museum.  Cleveland is the only US venue and it brings together 107 paintings from artists 1860's to 1940's including Monet, Renoir, Klee, etc etc.  The show is ending January 5th with 129,000 people viewing it!!  Its completely sold out at this point but guess who scored tickets for Saturday night?!  Can't wait to  go back to see it!!
Statues in the Glass Room

Still the rest of the collection kept us busy most of the afternoon and was a literal feast for the eyes.  Not to mention, we followed with a late lunch at my favorite Asian restaurant, Siam Cafe.  You'd have to see the menu - a literal book.  It features Thai, Vietnamese,  Chinese  specialities.  The girls played it safe with a heaping dishes of Pad Thai, but I had a seafood curry that featured eggplant mussels, shrimp and octopus!  It was heaven!
Degas and Morisot

I think I wore out the girls since they slept all the way home.
(See nothing has changed much in 18 years)  I think I had as much fun watching the wonder and joy in their eyes as they saw the work for the first time.   They all agreed that this will not be the last visit to the museum.

All in All  - spending Tessa's 18th birthday taking in beauty, art and culture was one of my better ideas.
Tessa and Tiffany!

So what have been up to creatively?