Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thinking Like an Artist

Today I hosted the monthly meeting of the Anything Art quilt bee.  I decided that I would share some of the knowledge I have gained from taking so many of Pamela Allen's online art quilt classes.  This task was simplified immensely by showing parts of Pamela's DVD, Think Like an Artist

She goes through her improvisational process of composition, shows how she embroiders and prepares for machine quilting.  Then there is an extensive section on how she chooses and attaches her embellishments.  Great fun, and we may have an embellishment swap at our next monthly meeting!

I had instructed everyone to bring a small piece of batting and a piece of dark, medium, and light valued fabric for the background.  After watching the first part of the video, we got to work creating backgrounds and then adding shapes.  The ladies did a good job of getting started on a piece of fabric art.

Peg wanted to try a composition similar to this Monet scene on a Christmas card at the left of the photo.  She may make it more snowy when she gets home to her stash and has more white fabric.

Roberta created a still life utilizing some striped fabric.  I showed her how to add some dimension to the vase a la Pamela by altering the direction of the stripe.

Ruth-Ellen put together this very charming house and yard with perky fabric prints.

Toni was working on a landscape that was showing a lot of promise.

While the gals were working at their compositions on my kitchen table,

I got lunch ready.  I served light, medium, and dark fabric scraps on one side of the counter, and baked ziti and salad on the other side!  Nothing like a fabric/salad bar!

Peg brought a book with beautiful Caribbean photographs.  I took one look at this lady's portrait and just had to take a picture of that page.  (Sorry about the flash reflection on her face.)

The reason is because I had already started a portrait quilt of a bodacious lady and could not decide how to finish her.  Several of the participants in Pamela Allen's workshops challenged ourselves to make a woman's face that was full of personality.  The portrait in the book reminded me of my lady.  Now I think I have an idea!  Doesn't my WIP portrait remind you of the one in the book?


Look out lady, you are probably getting a turban and some dreads!

Last year when I hosted, we worked on a watercolor painting lesson, using many of the techniques that I learned in a Karlyn Holman watercolor class at Art of the Carolinas.  Ruth-Ellen never finished hers, so she brought it along  We were working on a simplified drawing of hollyhocks.  Here is the one that I did at AOC.

I have actually painted the hollyhocks four times now.  To help Ruth-Ellen with the leaves and flowers, I quickly drew some similar shapes and painted them on a plain sheet of watercolor paper with no background.  How very different the flowers look without the juicy background!

Maybe I will add some background color or negative painting.

It was a very fun day with friends!

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