Friday, December 19, 2014

A Color Story - Off the Wall Friday

Ahhhhh - our Christmas Rush is over and I have some time to create.  Well, just a little time, since it still is Christmas. . . not to mention all the things I let slide the last three weeks.  Yet, it wasn't a bad idea letting my next project "cook" a bit.  I've been thinking of values and colors - so I pulled out my color pencil collection.

As an aside - for a "Non-Drawer" - I have a pretty big collection of color pencils. I mean doesn't everyone need 5 different sets to the tune of 200+ pencils?  And what set do I like the best and its my go-to set - yep - you guessed it - my Crayola Pencils.  Not only were they the least expensive  ($6) but they color smooth, sharpen nicely and the 50 pencil set has a nice range of colors.  Just perfect for utility coloring of the design process.

So last month I came up with my sketch for Sacred Threads.  Since you should always make visual decisions visually - I've been coloring up some mock ups.

UGH!!  Can you say edit??  Too many colors - but I do like the way the yellow moves through it.  Also not enough value changes.

Again to many colors  - the yellow creates a nice focal point - the lighter cross makes it stand out more.  Do I want the cross to be the highlight of the piece or the abstracted people?  hmmmm

I started to limit the palette a bit - I like the cross in the neutral and the nice dark background - but it all seems a bit too much blue and dark.  I wanted this to be a happy piece - needs more happy colors.


This is getting closer - I like the idea of putting the cross in the same color family as background - using three bits of yellow to create movement and focal points.  The color palette is working nicely too. I'm getting closer.

After 4 - I called uncle.  I mean my hand was starting to cramp up!  But I still want to try some more trials since I made a lot of copies of the sketch.  The thing about this process is it makes me decide what do I actually want to say and how do I want to say it.  Color and Value play a huge part in that. 

I've learned the better you plan out a project, the easier it will go in the end.  Besides there are worse things to do than color in front of the Christmas tree.

I will be running Off the Wall Friday the next two weekends - even with the holidays for anybody who wants to link up. Right now my studio looks like Wrapping Central but I do expect to get some time back in there soon!

No matter what your beliefs -
Let me just wish you Blessings of the Season.  

So what have you been up to creatively


Friday, December 12, 2014

Off the Wall Friday

As my work marathon comes to an end, I realized why balance in my life is so important.  I love my my job, but even I am after 112 hrs, 672 phone calls and many, many, "Thank you for shopping with us and have a Merry Christmas" am tired of taking orders!  So I promise, this is my last No-blog blog and I'll be creating next week, like regular!

So let me just ask. . .

What have you been up to creatively?

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Creative Moment - Off the Wall Friday

Sigh. . . I miss my studio.  A lot.

What I would do for a creative moment.  I don't need a week or a day . . . just a moment.  Last week, my time was consumed with the holiday.  This week, its our Christmas rush at work.  I miss my studio and it misses me!

Closing up our year long Masterclass with Elizabeth Barton, she asked us to look back over the year and decide what we still needed to work on.  With the all the ideas and challenges she threw at us - there is a ton of things to finish up, to explore, to build on.  Still what strikes me most is that I need to learn how to focus solely on my work when I'm creating.  I'm always multitasking when I'm working in my studio.  I can't seem to let myself take a creative moment and just forget about what lies on the other side of my studio door. 


So this week - I'm going to take a creative moment - no matter how busy life gets.



So what have been up to creatively?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for being Creative - Off the Wall Friday




Because this week has been dominated getting ready  for our Thanksgiving trip to my parents' cabin . . . I thought I would just offer up some creative quotes to encourage and inspire.




 More than once I've read creative quotes to revitalize my spirit and bring me back to why I create.


So this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful to God for making me creative.  Ohhhh and ....Coconut Cream pie.



So what have you be up to creatively?

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??