Saturday, March 12, 2011

Working With Negative Space

When I was on vacation in Hawaii, I missed more than a week of my online class with Pamela Allen called "Pattern + Color."  Soon after I returned I skipped lesson three and started on lesson 4.  The object was to try to create a "negative shape" image.  Normally quilters have a background fabric and add positive shapes to it such as trees, houses, or people.  This time, we started with a background fabric from which the image was to emerge by adding shapes around it.  Clear as mud?

The first step was to try to create a "negative chair."   I found chairs surprisingly difficult to draw.  I sketched about twelve before getting the hang of it.  Here is my first attempt.  The background fabric is the multicolored floral.

It's a little wonky, but recognizable as a chair, right?  I think I may have mentioned that I have a directionality problem.  Working in reverse makes my brain hurt!

Having "passed" the chair study, the next step was to make a composition of a woman seated in a chair, using the same process.  I decided that since this process is kind of painful to my perceptions, I would have a little fun with it.  I made my lady "Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville!"

The background fabric is a piece that I painted with Setacolor paint in a pastel gradient.  I had to cheat a little by adding positive shapes on top to make the pitcher, limes, glass, and the lost shaker of salt.  Oh, yes, and one of the woman's legs!  LOL!

This is a pretty cool technique, but I fear it will not be my preferred method of operating.  It has definitely opened my eyes to visualizing negative space, so I guess the lesson was well-served.

Now I am working on the skipped Lesson 3- a cityscape of some sort, using patterned fabric to make buildings and landscaping.  This one should be more fun!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful pieces Jeanne!!! I bet you ahd a fabulous time in Hawaii!! Glad you got back before the Tsunami!!!!