Friday, November 21, 2014

To Photo or Not to Photo - Off the Wall Friday

This week my email box has been flooded with  the QuiltArt List's discussion  on the use of photos as a starting point in original art.  Is is copying or is it inspiration?  What makes original art  - original?  What should be accepted into art shows on the national level?  And of course, everyone has an opinion.  Including me.

I, as you know, use photos as inspiration in most of my work.  Is it ever a copy of the photo?  My opinion is no. I thought I would offer the design process of my latest project as the proof of my opinion.

With the Sacred Threads deadline dooming looming -  I started off with photos collected in my pinterest files for inspiration.( They were taken from the Creative Commons with a share/adapt designation).  I loved these images

Cool huh?!  I thought so! Anyways - not being able to sketch - I traced the images into a composition that I liked (this composition was always in my creative mind - I choose the images to suit the composition)
But - I didn't want to work representational or figurative.  I've been trying to flex my abstract muscles plus play with curves.  So being inspired by Sonia Delauney, I came up with this background.  I tried not to overthink it too much!
Then I added the two together. . . blobbing out abstracting the figures so that they should only be the impression of what they really are.
Of course from here comes value sketches and palette choices - But I thought I would think on this sketch for a bit to make sure I really like it.  Let me tell you - even if I do keep this sketch - it will be abstracted even more so that the viewer should only get a hint of what the figures were originally.  Or at least that's the plan.

So needless to say - I'm quite sure that nobody is going to say upon viewing the final piece - OMG - those are cemetery statues aren't they??

No they should say - OMG - Nina- how did you do that?

And that's all I'm going to say on the matter of  using photos for inspiration.

So what have you been up to creatively?

Friday, November 14, 2014

10 Gifts that Quilters Want! Off the Wall Friday

The 11+ inches of snow Erie got today, was the signal that maybe its time to start thinking about the holidays.  Does your significant other ever wonder what to get you?  Do you ever wonder what you really need? Mine does. . . so I thought I would make a list of gifts that any quilt/fiber/textile (or whatever LOL!) artist would like to get.

1.  Prepared for Dyeing (PDF)  Fabric and a gift card to Dharma Trading Co. or Prochem Dye.  Most every quilt artist I know loves to play with dyes but hates to spend the money!   Giving blank fabric is  like giving a million possibilities waiting to happen. (PDF can be found at Testfabrics, Equilter, Joann's online etc)

2.   A Pincushion or  Bobbin Box.  I know mundane right? But I get a lot of compliments on mine  (cute but functional). Also, I  just found these amazing bobbin boxes that are just right (sturdy plastic, holds the bobbins tight)

3. Derwent Inktense Pencils.  These pencils let an artist easily achieve a watercolor painter effect on fabric!  Several color sets are available.

4. DrinkKlip.  Every quilter I knows likes to  have her favorite drink nearby while she's working.  Now she can without spilling it on what she's working on.

5. A Great Creative Book.  Suggestions?  The Creative Habit by T. Tharp, The Artist Way by J. Cameron, Art & Fear by D. Bayles, Bird by Bird by A. Lamott

6. Thread.  A gift certificate to Superior Threads or Red Rock Threads is always welcome since there is always some new thread a quilter needs.

7.  A Magazine Subscription.  FiberArts Now, Quilting Arts and American Quilter would be my favs!

8.   Gelli Printing Plate and Brier.  This is a new product that a fiber artist probably doesn't have but is easy enough to provide plenty of hours of play!

9.  An Online Quilting Class - There are all sorts of formats to choose from - video classes you keep, Quilting Colleges that host a whole selection of classes and teachers, private teachers . (My mother gave me Elizabeth Barton's Masterclass last year and you know how much I enjoyed that!)

10. Time!  A gift box certifying a set block of time just to sew and create - without interruption  - is an amazing gift!  

 Okay!  So what did I leave out??
  What's on your Creative Christmas List????? 

oh and . . . .

What have you been up to Creatively? 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Orphism - The Voice of Light - Off the Wall Friday

Sonia Delaunay, Market at Minho,1915
So I wasn't kidding a couple of weeks ago, when I said I was scattered!  My house was scattered, my work was scattered, my life - in general - scattered.  Seeing it in print, made me realized that I was craving to bring chaos into order.  And that's exactly what I've been doing - de-cluttering the house, facing pieces from this year, finishing up the edges on the The Curves.  As things get done, its rewarding to see a plan come together.

F. Kupka  Amorpha: Fugue in Two Colors II
That said, its given me time to - to borrow a favorite term from Elizabeth Barton - cogitate!  I mean nothing like sewing 5 - count them - 5 bobbins worth of edges to have time to think.  Working on The Curves, has reminded me how much I've fallen in love with the piece.  I mean curves, color and value - what's not to love?  So I thought I would start planning my piece for Sacred Threads in that direction.

In research for the piece, I stumbled upon an art movement called Orphism.  Orphism developed  during the early 20th century from cubism and narrowed its vision on pure abstraction with bright colors.  It is perceived to be  fundamental in the transit from Cubism to Abstraction.  Now if you've never heard of Orphism - I bet you'd recognize it when you saw it.  Artists like Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Leger, Francis Ficaba and Franz Kupka all figured greatly in the movement.

Robert Delauney,  Homeage to Bleriot
I'm sure you can see why I'm drawn to the movement  and how I can see how its going to inspire me onto my next piece.  When I look at these pieces I see joy, movement, spontaneity - all things that work nicely into the idea of my spirituality.

Sonia Delaunay, Electric Prisms

So What have you been up to creatively??

Friday, October 31, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop - Off the Wall Friday

Better Late than Never - I submit my post on the - "Around the World Blog Hop".  I apologize to Gurli Gregersen that I'm late AND I couldn't find a blogger who wanted to be my next stop (read fail!) - but its not a bad idea to share where I am at this point in my creative journey.

So what am I working on?

OMG - the better question is what aren't I working on?

I'm finishing up my year long master class with Elizabeth Barton which has left me exhausted happily filled with so many ideas and new concepts that my head wants to burst.

I want to continue my exploration of the abstract - especially this whole curve idea.  I love, love, love working big, playing with color and value.   I can easily  see that's where my work is going over the next few months.

Sacred Threads is coming up and I need to get my piece done for that since spiritual communication is near and dear to this God's Girl's heart!

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

Well if you'd had asked me a few months ago I would say - it doesn't.  I didn't think I was doing anything special.  Little did I know that a large part  of textile artists had move to collaging and fusing their work.  I like to piece and applique with little or no fusing.  I like to plan before I do a piece and pretty much never work intuitively.

Why do I create?

Why doesn't everyone? I just thought it was a part of life  - like eating. (except with fewer calories and better gadgets)   I can't imagine how people get through life without creating something.  Maybe those are the mean people.

How does my creative process work?

  • Get idea  - from anywhere and everywhere
  • Plan, plan, plan some more 
  • Realize those plans suck  - throw them out
  • Plan all over again
  • Pick a palette, block out idea
  • Realize it sucks, whine on blog about it
  • Rip apart - add to scrap pile
  • Put on big girl panties and make it work
Hmmmm - maybe I should write a book about the process - LOL!!

 side note - Tessa reminds me that they don't sell big girl panties at Walmart - you need to dig deep and find them for yourself!

So sorry that my blog hop doesn't hop somewhere - but if any blogger on OTWF  who wants to continue the hop - please let me know and I'll post a link here!  Email me!

So what have you been up to creatively?

Friday, October 24, 2014

!!ScaTTereD!! Off the Wall Friday

The Orange Princess
Am I the only one that feels scattered?

 I can't seem to settle into anything and when I walk into my studio there are a bunch of projects all half done.  Now I know that most quilters and artists, tend work this way, but I don't.  I'm a Start - to - Finish type of chick.  I like the routine of it - the security of it - the predictableness of it.  But lately my studio has been anything but predictable.  Between family projects, lost sewing machine pieces (that are found just when the new one arrives - of course!) and unfinished pieces  - the chaos is getting to me.

 And whose to blame for this chaos - me!

 I haven't been saying No enough.  I never had a problem saying No before - but lately I must think I'm wonder woman because I can't get it all done.  So today I decided to say No.  Ohh and start finishing up some of these projects!

I backed out of Sandy's great open studio and decided only to finish up the one little leaf quilt which I actually like.  I just have to face it at work tomorrow.

I also blew off my Master's class assignment - because let's face it - its a  HOT MESS.  I handed it in knowing it was a hot mess and needed to be scrapped and started from the beginning  - but just didn't have the heart to do it this week.

What I did do - was work on the Curves  - which by the way - I've been wanting to do for a month now.  I finished up the quilting.  I also took out quilting due to puckering and requilted ( I swear that is a job that required the patience of a saint - swear being the key word there!)  Now all I have to do is go over the main edges with more stitching and I'm done.  I entered it into Amy's Blogger's Quilt Show.

Now if I want to - I'll re-do my masterclass assignment next week - but maybe I won't.  and that's okay.  You know I originally cut this out of a magazine (its the new Pantene ad campaign) for my teen daughter but I think I need to put it up in my studio too!

So What have you been up to creatively?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Curves - The Blogger's Quilt Festival

The Curves
56" by 46"
Machine pieced, rough edge applique
Hand dyed fabrics by the artist
Rayon and Polyester thread 
Machine quilted on a home machine

This piece was conceived under pressure at this summer's Master Quilt class at QSDS in Columbus, Ohio with Sue Benner.  I went to the class wondering what I was going to make and one week later came home with this half done.   
Now I bet you are wondering how did I do that?  Well, it wasn't all that hard - honest!  I have a
nice collection of inspirational photos on pinterest.  I took an architectural photo from there - traced it and edited it changing curves to the way I wanted them - taking out lines and adding others.  Then I had that blown up into a pattern at Staples.  (I usually use an overhead projector but that was at home!)

I chose a palette also using my pinterest boards for inspiration.   Did improvisational piecing and cut out the shapes.   I then fit all the shapes together on a batting/backing sandwich.  I sewed them down with invisible thread.  Then quilted it.  Ta-Da!

I thought I was done - but No - sighhhhhh - Although its suppose to be rough edge applique - its a bit too rough edge for my tastes - so now I'm going back and putting some nice thread work along the edges of the big pieces.  And then it will be done.  I hope.  

But I thought it was done enough to show at least in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival in the Art Quilt Category.  

Are you an inspiring art quilter too?  Feel free to join my weekly  Off the Wall Blog Link up  - with any creative blog post!  Its open Friday - Monday!

The Beauties Revisited - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Now I've been participating in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival for five years now and I realized that I've mostly shown my traditional work - not the "artsy" stuff that has dominated my time lately. So this time around, I thought I would enter this in the original design category.

The Beauties, 2012,  33" by 46"

Anyways, I thought I would share a favorite art quilt of mine.  It was originally made for  an invitational art show at a local gallery.  The theme of the art show was seasons.  Living on Lake Erie, we sure get all four seasons and it was fun to create two pieces that reflected them.  The Beauties was my idea of a perfect day at the beach.

I remember when making it, I complained a lot since art quilts never come easy to me. By the time it was done, I totally hated it and thought OMG why did I bother?  Still, it was chosen to represent the
art show in promotional advertisements and got a ton of press, so obviously somebody liked it.  It took me putting the beauties away for a year before I could see their true appeal.  Now they hang on my wall ever summer.

And when Fall comes I hate to put them away.

The particulars for those that are into that kind of thing is that is that its made with commercial fabric, hand dyed and painted fabric by the artist.  Rough edged appliqued and  thread painted with wool, cotton, rayon and polyester thread. Its an original designed inspired by a wood block print. Here is the whole arduous journey.

I would also like to invite all you would be art quilters to share your journey on my weekly blog link up - Off the Wall Friday.  Its a drop in easy going group and all are welcome.