Friday, November 27, 2015

Off The Wall Friday

Due to the holiday , plus we're in the middle of rush at work I'll just be
hosting today . I did get a lot of French knots done this week. I'm finding this project really enjoyable. I definitely will be blogging more about this in the future. Just know that I'm very thankful to all of you who have kept me on the creative path all year. Blessings to you and your family

So what have you been up to creatively lately?

Friday, November 20, 2015

The French Knot - Off the Wall Friday

Did I tell you that Pinterest is the motherload of all great ideas?  Well it is. . . .truly.  Earlier this year, I ran across this great pin of a textile art piece called, 10,000 French Knots by Jeana Eve Klein.  Wow!  I mean, Wow!  Now that's that's a great idea to take one solitary little knot and combine them into a explosion of color and texture.  Adding in the mark of the hand and one great title and you have a hit on your hands!!

I pinned the image of the piece but did not forget it.  While working on my latest piece which is basically a study of fragmented pieces of value and color  combined to create a whole, it brought back to mind how that one little french knot brought together made a really big statement.  I wanted to play with that!  I mean why let Jeana have all the fun?

Now you might not know, but my day job is placing clothing orders for ladies who still shop in catalogs. I love it!   My mouth is busy 40 hours a week but my hands not so much.  I thought, Gee. . . .I could slip in a french knot here and there.  Plus I do have all that embroidery floss left over from when I never  was seen without my needle and cross stitch bars.  Well, this week, its become and obsession.  I did all the work on this project at work including the initial sketch and starting the stitching.

Who knew that making french knots could be so rewarding?  If you don't  how to make one  there is a great tutorial on WikiHow.  Now, Jeana's piece is 18" by 16" but you know how I am  - More is More  - so I'm planning mine to be  70" by 70".  Yeah, I know what you're thinking, OMG, Nina has lost her mind - but did I mention that I spent 40 hours a week talking with free hands??  And I am the woman who did a 4200 english paper piecing quilt by hand, so I know it can be done.  Well at least in a year or two or 5!!
Day 3

So anyways - I'll keep you apprised of the project as it progresses.  Since this year is officially dedicated to Steal like an Artist, Jeana has promised me an interview so I can share with you how she came up with such a fabulous idea and what is her creative process.

So what have been up to creatively?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Retreat!!! Off the Wall Friday

Don't you love it when you have a good idea?  Yeah. . . me too!!!   

My latest idea came to me while I was brainstorming on how to shove myself out of a creative slump.  Well, creative slump is really a misnomer.  It was actually a productivity slump.  sighhhh, yes, its true . . . I got lazy and I had the hardest time jump starting myself  back to my productive self!  

My idea?  I rented my friend's studio for a long weekend and gave myself a mini sewing retreat!  I schlepped all my stuff over there and sewed 10 hours a day.  Now I know what you're thinking . . . doesn't she have her own studio?

 Well yes, but it does come complete with all the familiar distractions.  At Sandy's studio, it only had distractions designed for her; for me, there was only pure sewing.

And boy did I sew.  I wanted to get the next idea in series started.  Now the series is on curves, but after I designed this one, I think I'm going to have to rename the series since this one is very linear.  But still you can see its part of the series.  I started the retreat with designing it - thinking that I would make big pieces and gradate the colors.  What I ended up doing was playing with color and value again since - well - I love playing with color and value.

You wouldn't know it from me getting only a quarter done - but there is a ton of piecing in this.  I really like where its going.

So What have been up to creatively?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Original Art or Not?? Off the Wall Friday

My inspiration 
First of all, so sorry to worry everyone with not have an OTWF post for  two weeks.  I know its the first time I've missed in three years. The first week there were technical issues and we lost our internet.  The second I had gotten some bad news and we lost a close family friend to cancer.  But thank you for understanding.   From the amount of emails I got, I felt very loved and I will endeavor to not miss another week.  Funny,  how you can talk yourself right into the idea that "Who cares" and "It won't be missed"!

Color Inspiration
So anyways, through the grace of God and routine of life, I'm back on track  With that  I'm starting a new project.  I'm finally getting back to the idea using on of the photos of I  manipulated using Lunapic.    I have it all printed out, pattern made AND a palette chosen from .   I once again went to my pinterst boards of Color Inspiration in picking out the colors I wanted to work in.  I guess my love affair with red and teal is not  over!!

This all brings up an interest topic that right now is raging on the QuiltArt  maillist ....What is original art.  Now, a lot of us, work from photos.  Since I publish my process, you all know that for the last 5 years,  I normally use a copyright free image, manipulated it beyond recognition and use that as my base pattern.  (If you didn't know that  - just follow along with my new piece).  Now I would say my work is original art even thought it was born in someone else's photo because even I'm hard pressed to see the original photo in my finished piece.

Curves Inspiration
With this year's  International Quilt  Association winners announced in Houston this week, comes the controversy.  Now its not unusual for winners to include quilts that are exact copies of masterpiece art works.  After all IQA is NOT an art  show.  It celebrates and rewards the amazing workmanship of the winning quilts.  (Amazing workmanship is an understatement).  What the rules don't require is that the pieces be truly  - from start to finish - original.  So its okay to copy any copyright free or permission given image.

Final Piece - Could you recognize it from the photo?
What I found unusual was that in the Art - Painted Surface catagory first and third place were won by Hollis Chatelain a world famous quilter.  Her work is normally based on dreams and her own  original photographs.  She readily touts this on her webpage and in interviews.   Also, its what she teaches in class.  But this year's winners were based directly on photographs taken by someone else (who weren't given attribution).  The photographer decided the composition and captured the moment.  Now Hollis didn't break any rules, but is her work now  her own original art?  Is it derivative because you could easily pick out the images it came from?  All interesting questions since one of the pieces - Girls are Strong  - is still up for sale for $28,000.  (I love the image  of this one is based on and its hung in my cubicle at work).

There are many opinions on this one - so I'll let you decide what's right for you.  Obviously Hollis has.

(I put the links to the referenced photos in the comments section)

So what have you been up to creatively?   

Friday, October 16, 2015

Something Wicked on Off the Wall Friday

I don't know  if you've noticed but I'm easily distracted.  Very Easily!  And of course, that's the case this week.  You see, we're having a Halloween decoration contest  at work between our different teams.  I love my team so I of course think we should win.  So all week as I was placing
phone orders for fall clothes, my creative mind was spinning on different ideas.  To tell you the truth, I came up with a TON of ideas!!

Finally, I decided to turn our area of cubicles into a grave yard. . . . complete with funny tombstones and all!

So today, I took black tulle and wrapped white Christmas lights in it.  That should add a bit of spark.  Luckily, I have a ton of black burnt out fabric around here waiting for other projects that can be borrowed for this one!   I manage to pick out a few silhouettes  that can be blown up for the walls.   Thank God for almost extinct overhead projector!!  Plus, I printed out tombstones for all 20 team members cubes!  Whewwww!!

Tomorrow, I'll get my team to help me put it up.  I still might pick out another silhouette . . . if I have time. . . . if I have enough black paper left!

It all has to be done by Sunday.

So its not fabric but it is creative!!  And with that I'll leave you with this epitaph. . .

My Husband John Barnes
Who died January 3, 1803
His comely young widow, aged 23, has many
qualifications of a good wife, and yearns to be comforted

So What have you been up to Creatively?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Off the Wall Friday

All I can say this week is . . . .I thought  my studio day would go one way. . . .  and it went a total other.  Since I scrapped that project - I'll just host this week!!
So What Have You Been Up To Creatively?

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Art Forger - A Review - Off the Wall Friday

If you're like me, you're always looking for a new book to read.  For me, when I read, I want to have something with a little bit of substance (ie. doesn't turn my mind to mush) but doesn't cross the line into "OMG this is giving me a headache" territory.  Not to mention, I like a book where its about a subject I actually care about.    With that, The Art Forger by BA Sharpiro seemed to fit the bill.

Now I don't have an art history background nor do I paint,  but OMG this book interested me.  There was plenty to learn from this novel.  Shapiro gave us a history lesson  on Edgar Degas, the famous art heist of the Gardner Museum in Boston and on Isabella Gardner herself.  She also spent time describing the time consuming process of traditional oil painting dry on dry (which I had no idea about!)  She even went into how paintings are authenticated.  

All very interesting.  I found none of that giving me a headache.

After the Bath, Edgar Degas, 1898
But what I really found interesting is how the novel depicts this love/hate relationship an artist has with the need to be accepted by the public.  So many times, while reading, I thought OMG Claire is so insecure and weak.  I would NEVER be that weak.  But would I?  When creating art its such a personal thing and you're doing it to communicate the ideas inside you.  If the viewer is not receiving those messages, than why create?  Also, being an artist is a lifelong journey which may or may not bring you fortune and fame.  Or it might but you might be dead by then.  Does that reflect on how good an artist you really are?

After the Bath reworked 1890-1990
To answer my above question though, I don't think I would have ever made a lot of the decisions that Claire made - even when I was 30 and not looking at 50. But I can easily identify the angst you feel about putting your art out there and wanting it to be well received.  Also  it was a nice reminder, on how fickle the so-called "experts" really art in the art world.  Laughable so.

The mystery of the book was a nice vehicle to keep the novel moving but what I found totally engaging was the journey of Claire the artist.  So many times I could feel myself crying for her, routing for her, cringing for her.  At one time, I thought, OMG this girl needs a mother who will tell her some truths in life and art.  Even by the end of the novel I still thought  - wow - Claire has got a lot to learn.

So if you feel like a good art oriented read, pick up Shapiro's Art Forger. This is one that I can totally see me reading again!

So what have been up to creatively?