Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pamela Allen Workshop Number Four

I guess I am a groupie.  This is the fourth consecutive February that I have participated in online art quilt classes with Pamela Allen of Canada.  Many of us have continued on through all of the sessions.  You know that speaks well of our teacher!

This one is called Pattern and Color in Fabric Art


Fabric as an art medium has unique features that make each work of art characteristic of the genre. Whereas a painting's texture, color relationships and patterns must all be created from scratch, fabric comes in a ready made and infinite variety of color, texture and pattern. This class will concentrate in making maximum use of this unique characteristic. We will explore color combinations that resonate in their subtlety, or sing with unusual juxtapositions. We will explore textural simulations as well as actual almost 3D effects. We will cut up and recombine stripes, bold patterns or linear patterns to create new forms. All the while we will be making reference to other works of art as inspiration, and discussing our own WIPs to solve compositional problems. I will be critiquing each person's work, and hope lively discussions amongst yourselves will stimulate ideas as well.

There is a new lesson each week, and as in the past, each lesson  has several different projects.

Week One started just like last year's, which was one of my favorite activities.  We were to choose examples of artwork that we like,and try to find similarities or connections between the choices. Then, part one is to pull fabrics that are similar to the hues and values in one of the paintings.  Make a fabric study of one of the painting you chose.

Here is my chosen painting, from the North Carolina Museum of Art here in Raleigh.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner,  Flowers, Still Life, circa 1935.
Here is my fabric version.

Nothing is sewn or even glue-basted yet. This exercise was supposed to take no more than an hour, but I think I spent three hours composing the study.   It is just sitting on a white fabric background and a piece of batting. I really like it, though, and will probably quilt it at some point.

Next up:  take the same fabrics that made up the palette for this piece, and do an abstract composition  using the  fabrics but in a totally different configuration and proportions.

Finally, we will use the same fabrics again, but in our own composition.  Whew!  Lots of work.  the best part is when all the students post photographs of their fabric attempts, and Pamela critiques them.  She will take our photographs and tweak them in a photo editing program.  Using our own fabrics, she will add shapes or improve values to show us what a difference it will make.  And all in a good humor and with a helpful attitude. 

If you would like to see the other artwork I selected, here they are, all from the Art Institute of Chicago which I visited last summer.

Braque, Landscape at La Ciotat

Cezanne, The Bay at Marseilles

Miro, The Two Philosophers

Vlaminck, Houses at Chatou

Marc, The Bewitched Mill

Monet, Venice, Palazzo Dario

A secondary benefit of this exercise is the art history lesson gained from everyone's posting of their artwork and stories of the artist's lives.  I always learn about artists unfamiliar to me and enrich myself by visiting their paintings online.  One is Mary Fedden of Great Britain, who is still painting well into her nineties.  Like the Kirchner still life that I selected, her paintings often consist of a still life in front of a window with an exterior landscape.

Many of her still life paintings contain an image of an iconic cat. 

That is so funny, because Pamela has been telling us since Workshop 1 to avoid placing kitties and other cutesy objects in our art quilts.  We have heard this so much that we are planning a secret student revolt with a cat in everyone's quilt.

The one I like of Fedden's is this very busy one, with lots going on in her living room.

Although it was sunny and not real cold today, it may snow tonight.  Me no wannee!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

wow, those are some nice paintings...have I missed my quilt pictures on here?