Classes Offered

Monday, May 16, 2011

Taking Art Classes

Someone recently asked me if my ocean quilt was being made from a pattern.  I told them that it was from a sketch I made from several inspiration photos.  I'm not sure they understood, or believed me.  

One thing I can say for sure is that I would not be able to do what I'm doing today if I had not taken some basic drawing classes.  Here is a recent exercise that I worked on.  This little fox figurine was set up on a white surface, with a floor lamp off to one side, so there was a strong light source casting shadows.  I did not finish my drawing but I still could, just from this photo.  Here's the result of my one hour of sitting, observing and sketching this cute little guy.
It's not perfect but then I don't think it needs to be.  The purpose is to really look at something and then put what you see down on the sketch pad.  What isn't there is as important as what is there.  Personally, I have found that highlights are more important to a drawing than shadow.  It seems that the lighter spots, in combination with the shadows, are what really make something look like it has rounded or curved areas, thus making it look three-dimensional.

I highly encourage anyone looking to make art of any kind, to take art classes.  Learn basic drawing techniques and art principles to make your work really start to rise to new levels.  Look for an art center or community college class that truly starts at the beginner level.  You'll be surprised at how fast you can advance with just a small amount of practice.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Now the Fun Begins

I'm pretty happy with how the fabrics are working to convey my scene.  I will still fuss over the flowers in the foreground but I couldn't wait to start quilting.  Laying in the texture, that comes from quilting, is my favorite part of a project.  I know many quilters only like the piecing part of the process, sending their finished quilt tops out to be quilted by someone else.  Whether I'm doing traditional piecing, or building a scene like this, I always look forward to putting in the quilting lines most of all.  

It is this texture that really pulls all the elements together, often obscuring where one fabric edge is laid over the top of another.  It's like blending paint and the closest a textile piece comes to being like a painting.  The quilting lines can bury mistakes or pull disparate elements together in a way that is fascinating.  It always makes me wonder how the eye and brain work.  It's like they want to see unity and matching color and the thread, laid on top, helps the brain do just that, even when it isn't quite there.

So, enjoy watching this develop as I continue to quilt the remaining parts.  I think I will tackle the large boulder on the left next.  That should bring it to life!