design

Color Study Thoughts

It’s feels like so long ago since my last post. Ugh!

Anyway — the color study exercise is still fresh in my mind. It actually taught me more than just about how color relates to emotion. It taught me what shades and tones I didn’t really care for. It showed me how the differences within an individual color danced playfully with each other and how sometimes those variations did not play well together at all. Also, how textures read differently depending on the interplay of the shades. The mini monochromatic study was fun yet frustrating and tedious at times but well worth every minute.

The reason I force myself into various art exercises every so often is because little surprise lessons spring up every time.

I will be moving on to making some pieces from the serendipitous fabric I created by scrunching random paint splashes.

WP pic
I Photoshopped this pic as simply an ode to color.
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More About Color

Continuing with the color studies, mini fabric collage art quilts took over my studio once again. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time thinking over the work. I wanted it to be an intuitive exercise. These abstract quilts are all 6″ x 9″ and have a felt backing.

“pieced” – Gray denotes neutrality and self-control. It also symbolizes security and dependability. Taking those things into consideration, I decided to piece this little art quilt. Piecing is normally done in a very controlled way using precise cutting, seams and paper patterns. Although I serendipitously pieced using no pattern nor precise seams or fussy cutting, the geometric nature of the design kind of gives the quilt a feeling of stability. I usually raw edge applique everything so this was a change for me. The photo is hazy due to camera shake but I decided to post it this way because I think it gives the quilt a bleak quality. Gloominess can also have a seat at the gray table depending on how the color is used.

“just breathe”Turquoise is next. I really love this color. Turquoise is all about creative expression and emotion. It radiates feelings of calmness, tranquility and renewal. 

“sunshine in lace” – Yellow ranges from bright and golden to warm and mellow. It can also be downright sallow. The cheery tones can be used as stress relievers. This quilt is made up of several shades of this optimistic color.

“adventures in purple” – I am in love with purple. The spirituality and power that it emits just makes me feel good when I look at it. It has a magical quality that sets it apart from other colors.

“flamboyant vessel” – Orange is wild and playful, friendly and happy. It’s a color that screams confidence, enthusiasm. It can turn a sour mood into a joyful one. The deeper orange shades reflect a desire for activity.

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design

Looking Into Color

The Universe is displayed in color. Vast stretches of vivid spectrums of lightness and darkness. Nature just flows in hues, shades and tints just waiting to be admired. I have always loved color. My boxes of crayola crayons and coloring books used to help soothe my tummy aches when I was little — they gave me immense joy.

While looking at my collection of fabric, I noticed a surprising trend. Beige. With all of my fascination with color I seem to have a thing for beige toned fabric. I think it’s because beige evokes a quiet calmness that I gravitate to. On the other side of that is my adoration for purple which has a magical and mysterious quality. Purple is my favorite color but I don’t wear it much and my fabric choices don’t reflect that. Artists are funny creatures.

All of this color introspection led to me to a decision. I am using up all of my paint and revamping my palettes. I will only buy certain colors and use particular palettes for various themes. My crayons, painsticks, inks, embossing powders and other surface design and marking tools will find their way into my work as they fulfill some sort of creative need.

I randomly plopped, spilled and then scrunched paint on mid-weight printed fabric, drill (a sort of canvassy type fabric) and canvas scraps. It was so much fun. I didn’t want to stop so I kept making more and more pieces. The result was some wildly seredipititous combinations that I will use for various projects.

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Art Branding

I had been on quite a lengthy quest to develop my art brand. What I mean by that is coming up with a signature style so that when the viewer looks at a piece they will know that it is actually my work. Needless to say this is not an easy task especially since my tastes change like the weather. A couple of things that have stayed true with me have been my love of fabric and collage.

Some artists use the same color thread or the same basic materials and color palettes. A running theme regarding subject matter is even part of some artist’s signature style. Me — I like anything and everything so narrowing down elements has been quite the challenge.

Ultimately, I decided to go with mixed-media fabric collage with a spiritual touch; noting particular constants and basic themes. We’ll see how that goes.

unfinished art quilt
unfinished art quilt
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Renewed

It is really important to take some time out for renewal. I have done that and I now feel more equipped to share my artistic goings on. I am happy to be back.

Before I went on hiatus, so to speak, I was working with surface design techniques. My list of ideas were being taken on as a daily project to be made into a series of art quilt journals. The 3-D applique quilt was done but the rest… I am restarting today but instead of doing one technique a day I will be doing a three technique combo still sticking to the alphabetical order thing. For example my next art quilt will be made using applique, batting and block printing. I just received my beautiful wood print block that I ordered from the fantastic textile art website Colouricious. Below is a photo of the block.

WOOD STAMP

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Shame On Me

August 22nd has come and gone. It has been almost two weeks since my plan to make art daily using my surface design/artful techniques list was excitedly put into effect. Then… procrastination and consternation took over. I have only my little 3D applique sample to show for all of my gung ho, full steam ahead, art adventure intentions. I made a couple of other things but they are just not good enough to share.

During one of my lengthy procrastination sessions I decided to turn the project into a series of mini art quilt journals. I love making art quilts and the hope is that by narrowing my options, the decision making process will be less harrowing. Decisiveness is not one of strengths but I’m working on it.

The mini quilt in the photo was made with cotton commercial fabric, warm n’ natural batting, freeform free-motion stitching and a little bit of hand stitching. My 3D applique is a heart pillow which I stuffed with bamboo stuffing, embellished with a button and attached to the quilt with some hand stitching. I call it “do more.”

Q 3dapplique

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Choosin’ Is Hard

In the elusive pursuit of having the discipline to make art daily and because of my recurrent indecision about how to begin a project, I have decided to adhere to a list of surface design ideas which I compiled one day while procrastinating. The intention is to incorporate each individual technique or element on the list into a project everyday sticking to the alphabetical order. Here is the list if anyone would like to play along:

3-D applique

applique

batting

block printing

burning (safely using a heating tool)

clay

collagraphy

devore

drawing with pen/ink

embellishments

fabric manipulation

fabric paper

foiling

gel medium

gel printing

gold leafing

hand stitching/embroidery

jewels

markers

masking

mica

monoprinting

natural dyeing

over dyeing

painting

painting fusible web

paint mediums

paintstiks

paper

printing/painting using found objects

resin

resists

rubbings

sequins

shisha mirrors

stamping

stenciling

stones

sun printing

thread painting

tie dye

transfer (digital)

trapunto

trim

This should be a fun and challenging exercise. Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah. That discipline thing. I’ll start tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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Collage

Collage is the assemblage of different forms creating a new whole.”

Collage has such an enchanting and vast history so I will only nibble at very limited edges in this post.

It started out as paper art in the Orient, way, way back in the day–the 12th century. Paper was held as sacred. Poems were embellished with flowers and other motifs from nature. Decorated text. Although it has evolved immensely, and is now a practice used by artists all over the world, it has held on to it’s roots. Collagists still decorate text and anything else that comes to mind. Not until the twentieth century was it considered a valid fine art method. Artists bringing painting, sculpture and assemblage to the collage party weren’t taken seriously at first but persistence has it’s rewards. The freedom of expression and spontaneity that collage offers revolutionized the way folks looks at art. Artists began collecting and using all kinds of stuff in their pieces. The limitlessness was tempting and many creatives gave in. There were of course many artists who were opposed to the abandonment of conformity but many were thrilled by it and their art displays a special passion. If I had lived back then I would have been one of the giddy ones. Anything can be used in a collage and that thought brings me sheer joy.

Fabric is my primary medium of choice. Occasionally adding found objects, paper, paint and anything else the piece calls for takes me on interesting adventures. One of the reasons for starting this blog is so that I will hopefully be forced into art discipline. Either I make stuff or my blog withers away. Blog withering is not acceptable. Experimentation and getting away from comfort zones leads to learning, growing and ultimately meeting goals. I intend to do much experimenting.

redyellowpurple

design

Finding A Way To Create

It’s kind of funny that I call this blog an art journal. I have been resisting actually creating from my journals. Drawing is not one of my talents but I have noticed that actually drawing more often seems to be aiding in that. In any case I have come up with a way to create samples displaying the elements and principles of design and at the same time using my slowly developing journaling skills.

I wrote the elements and principles on index cards, cut them out, put all of the words from each category in separate bags and randomly chose pairings. I chose an element first then a principle. For example, I chose line out of bag number one (elements). Then I chose movement from bag two (principles). I put those two together and will now make a sample textile adhering to both line and movement simutaneously. I had three principles left at the end of this exercise: proportion, balance and rhythm so I put the elements back in the bag and chose three, etc., etc. I quickly sketched some ideas in my journal that I will use to make the pieces. I didn’t want to get bogged down worrying about trying to draw perfectly so I had all of the sketches done in less than half an hour.

Here are the prompt combos:

line & movement

shape & variety

form & pattern

space & repetition & proportion

texture & unity & balance

color & emphasis & rhythm

And here are the pieces:
I like wonky. I guess it shows in the following misshapen felt samples.

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Elements and Principles

By knowing and absorbing the elements and principles of design you attain a valuable intuitive resource. As with the layouts, experimentation is the best way to gain familiarity with these pesky but important precepts.

Elements 

Line – a mark with greater length than width which can be thick, thin, diagonal, straight, vertical, horizontal or curved; defines contours; indicates movement and direction; can suggest a mood.
Working with line can be enlightening. It can turn what starts out as a little dot into a beautiful work of art. Paul Klee is one of the artists who took line to a spiritual plane in my view. Check out some of his work if you want to learn about the art of line.

Shape – a closed line that can be organic (my favorite–for now), geometric or flat expressing length and width.

Form – 3-D shapes that express length, width and depth; conveys volume.

Space – the area between and around objects; referred to as negative when around the object and has shape; can refer to the feeling or illusion of depth; real space is 3-D.

Texture – the surface quality that can be seen, imagined or felt; can be rough, smooth, hard or soft.

Color – the light reflected off of objects; hue (blue, green, etc.), value (the lightness or darkness), intensity (how bright or how dull).
Color is my utopia. I am eternally, desperately in love with color. Although, a blank canvas can make quite a statement.

Principles

Balance – the distribution of visual weight; concerning the heaviness or lightness of objects, color, texture and space; balance can make a design feel stable or chaotic.

Emphasis – the part of the design that catches the attention of the viewer; usually a focal area that stands out due to contrast; a difference in size, color, texture, shape, etc.

Movement – the route the viewer’s eye travels while observing the work; usually along line edges, shape and color planes.

Pattern – repeating of an object or symbol all over the artwork.

Repetition – creates unity within the work.

Proportion – brings the feeling of unity through the appropriate use of size, amount and number.

Rhythm – when one or more elements of design is used repetitiously in order to create a feeling of organized action; creates a mood.

Variety – the use of several elements of design to hold the attention of the viewer; guides the viewer’s eye throughout the work.

Unity – the feeling of harmony; all parts of the work create a sense of integrity; completeness.

I will attempt to create some good examples of each in my next post. Wish me luck!