Friday, September 22, 2017

Off the Wall Friday

I'm feeling a bit quiet today and its 80 degrees in September. . . . I'm going for a walk!

But don't let me stop you from Blogging!!

What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Facts You Didn't Know about Quilting - Off the Wall Friday

The AIDS Memorial Quilt
Thought you knew everything about quilting?

Well you thought WRONG!

1.  The word Quilt comes from the Latin word, culcita, meaning stuffed mattress or cushion.  There is evidence of quilted clothes in Egyptian tombs as far back as 5000 years ago.

2.  Dr. Dunn, the Father of Occupational Therapy (1868-1966)  used quilt making as a form of therapy. He was said to have taken up quilt-making in 1915. He felt that the bright colors were pleasing to patients, and that the cutting and sewing helped to take their minds off their inner

3.  The largest quilt in the world was the AIDS Memorial quilt consisting of 48,000 3' by 6' panels and 94,000 names.  It is the largest community art project in the world.

4. A 2014 study showed that quilting is a 3.7 billion industry in the United States alone.

The First Rotary Cutter
5.   The Rotary Cuter was invented in 1979 by Yoshido Okada, the founder of the Olfa company.

6.  The most expensive quilt ever sold at auction is a Civil War-era quilt known as the Reconciliation Quilt. It was  bought for $264,000 at Sotheby’s in 1991. It is now at the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska .

7. Over 61,000 quilters attended the International Quilt Festival - Houston, Tx from over 28 countries in 2014.

I could go on but its getting late and my eyes are closing.  Researching this post I got kinda carried away reading about what  an amazing art form I've gotten myself into.

So What Have You've Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Focal Points Found - Off the Wall Friday

"What's the Focal Point of your piece?"

Huh??  Welllllll......ummmmmm..........this section  here?????

Let me tell you, this is NOT the answer you want to give a teacher or viewer of your art.  I mean, the focal point is  the area  around which the rest of the composition is centered and where you want your viewer's eye to rest.    So you should have an idea where it is!  Okay, I get that buttttttt. . . .
Achieving it is a whole different story!

So let's take a look at how the "Greats" managed to create a great focal point!

1.   Value Contrast

In the his painting, The Third of May 1808, Francisco Goya, uses the lightest value of the man's shirt to emphasis the point of the painting - the horrors of war. Notice the layers of how he used light.  The man is super light, around him is a bunch of darker values and then around that is light again.  Your eye can't help but rest there!

2.  Color Contrast

Notice how Renoir uses the colors, red and yellow, to bring your eye right to the most interesting part of Dance of enamored the man is with the woman he's dancing with.

3.  Convergence 

 Notice how all the lines converge to Christ's head in The Last Supper by Leonard de Vinci.  Some are obvious - some are subtle - all converge.

4.  The Unusual

The Son of a Man, Rene Magritte -   Enough Said!

5.  People, Animals, Vehicles

Because they are so relatable, people, animals and vehicles make great focal points.  The Scream by Edvard Munch is a perfect example of it.  Of course, its also an example of convergence, value, isolation and the usual.  I guess Munch really wanted us to look at the screamer!!

6. Isolation

 In Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World, the girl is set alone away from the farm with our eye resting on her.  Also notice he uses value contrast and a person which also makes this such an iconic focal point.

The next time you're at an art museum, start searching out the focal points in each piece and why they are the focal point.  You'll be amazed at how much you learn from playing this game and hopefully this will be helpful the next time you're trying to create a focal point in your own work!

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, September 1, 2017

My Favorite Art Quilt Videos - Off the Wall Friday

Ahhhhhh, its back to school time and its one of the busiest times a year in our house...even with Tessa being in her second year of college!!  (Seriously, how did that happen!?!)  I've been busy on my quest to finish off my pile of "Almost Done" pieces, which while not very "bloggable" is very much needed!!  I promised myself that I would not set off on another creative road until I at least finished the paths I've already taken!!

While I've been finishing up some of my quilts, I listen to  my favorite podcasts, and watch my favorite quilt/art videos.  It keeps my mind busy while my hands do all the work!

I'm sure some of these  you might know or recognize - Some you might have watched - Some maybe art new!!  But I thought I would share just in case. . . . .

The Art of Quilting - Wisconsin Public Television
  I love this video.  I've watched  it more than once always getting inspiration and also empathizing with the artists.  I always think - OMGosh!! Me too!!!  It has highlights from Quilt National, Art Quilts of Philadelphia, and the Chicago School of Fusing Members.

QNN (Quilters News Network)

Although this is a sample of their pay for view service, they still keep a  lot of great videos on their channel including Quilting Arts and some other PBS shows.  I never quite know what's going to show up here!

Ted Talks on Creativity

Am I the only one who thinks these people are smart?  I love hearing them and I listen to them over
and over!

National Quilters Circle

Need a refresher on all things quilt?  Check out this channel!!  There is a TON of good basic quilt information on here - including a great video on needles.  Just a treasure trove of useful tips!!

The Art Assignment

Looking for catch up with contemporary Art in America??  Here is a weekly series that explores art history through what is happening today through out the country.  LOVE it!!

Various Art Museum Channels 

Need inspiration?  Want to visit art museums without leaving your couch?!  Here is the link for you!  On this list is a BUNCH of different museums and videos they produced.  What's on your bucket list?

Smarthistory - Art, History, Conversation

Want to catch up on some art history in an engaging way?  Try this channel.  Its like you having a conversation with a professor of art - right there where art is!!  They have enough meat to them to be totally educational but not long enough to be too boring or dry!

So I'm not advocating you ditching  your sewing machine to veg out on the couch with your laptop. . .  BUT if you do find yourself wanting a little visual stimulation or inspiration - give these a try.

Do you have any suggestions for me to try?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Off the Wall Friday

Friday, August 18, 2017

Choosing Titles - Off the Wall Friday

Discarded Roses, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (great title!)

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet." 
William Shakespeare  

Really???  Does Will Shakespeare really know what he's talking about when he suggests that a name is just a label to distinguish one thing from another?  Well, maybe.  I mean the title of a piece of art doesn't make it any more worthy or successful.  In fact, some artists feel the title is so insignificant that they use "Untitled I", "Untitled II" etc etc.

But for me. . . . OPINION WARNING. . .a name is significant.  It holds great power.  Both in my Christian upbringing and in forklore, speaking the true name of someone holds mystical powers.  At the very least, not giving much thought to a title of an art piece is wasting a chance of one last expression of the piece.  

During my recent class with Cynthia Corbin, we had a discussion on how we name our pieces.  For a long while, I would pray on it and name my pieces after scriptures.  As I started working abstractly, I started choosing titles that spoke about the piece.  I've even named my titles after the nicknames I've adapted in this blog when it was a work in progress.   Really, I can't remember one time when I the name of the piece wasn't blatantly apparent by the time I finished it.

Cynthia suggested that we don't chose names that give too concrete  a label to the piece.  That way the artist can let the viewer choose her own mental name. I understand exactly what she means!  How many times have you looked at a piece and it strikes you one way but when you read the name you see it in a whole different light? Still, knowing the artist's title hasn't dampened my personal viewing experience of the piece though.  In fact, sometimes, its a "Ah-haaaaa" moment.

So are you having trouble naming your pieces?  Here are some suggestions on where to start!
  1.  What is the piece?  Give it the simple name that it actually is.
  2.  Use Adjectives that describe your piece or the feelings you were trying to evoke
  3. Use the most important thing you strikes you about the piece
  4. Ask a friend you trust
Other hints?
  1. Avoid Cliches
  2. Don't be pretentious and use words people know the meanings of
  3. Shorter is always better
Still Stuck??  There is always an online naming site!!
This all came up because I'm going to spend the next month finishing up some of these pieces I have in a stack in my studio.  Included in finishing them is labeling them and included in labeling them is NAMING them.  I promised myself I wouldn't start anything new until these were completely done soup to nuts!!
So What Have Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Off the Wall Friday

I spent my studio time giving my room a good fall cleaning, so this week, I'll just host.  BUT I do have a long weekend this week with a plan of finishing some pieces that are almost done!

So with that. . . . . .

What are you up to Creatively?