A Morning Walk

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
Friedrich Nietzsche

This week’s focus has been my art quilt, Morning Walk, which I sketched out in Elizabeth Barton’s class, Inspired to Design. I wrote about the sketch a few weeks ago in a post and received some great encouragement. The photo that inspired the sketch was taken in Crete a few years ago – a local woman walking along the street. As is traditional in smaller villages on the island, the older women all dress in black. It brings back memories of my childhood growing up in a Sicilian neighborhood in New York where black was worn by all the old grandmothers.

I knew that a totally black figure would be a bit challenging to convey and so I made it my first effort. I didn’t want to follow my more typical process of beginning with a background and then building upon it. After all, what if I couldn’t finally capture the sense of a woman walking and was left with a blank background? I really shouldn’t have worried. The woman came together fairly quickly.

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The rest of my week has involved play on a background for her. It is still in draft stages – simply blocks of fabric on my design wall with the start of a tree. Here is a cropped photo of its current state as I audition background elements and positioning of my lady and tree. I suspect she will wind up closer to that tree than in this version.

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You may remember, in my sketch, she is walking along a fenced off area.

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I really liked that fence and visualized quilting it in with fine lines at the end of the quilting. As I have been playing with a background, one friend wondered if including the fence would be a distraction to the flow of the work. Hmmm? Good time to raise the question. I wonder too. I have asked Elizabeth for an opinion as our class is still going and am awaiting her feedback. I wonder if anyone else has an opinion?

It is convenient that I can continue working on the quilt and make a decision on the fence towards the end. There are plenty of other decisions to be made first as this is definitely a work in progress!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday so you can check out what others are doing as well.

On Course

My legacy is that I stayed on course…
from the beginning to the end,
because I believed in something inside of me.

Tina Turner

This was a challenging week to stay on course here in the U.S. The events in Orlando were horrific and rightly monopolized the new media online and on screen. Juxtaposed for anyone who follows the soccer world were major series in Europe and the Americas that offered hours upon hours of sports relief. Still, I did manage to use the week to plug away at my drawings for Elizabeth Barton’s course and make progress on other fronts.

Hidden nicely away in a corner of my studio was a quilt waiting to be completed for Quilts Beyond Borders. It offered an easy opportunity to stitch away at my Bernina in the midst of all my sketching. It now off to QBB headquarters and will soon be on its way to a young orphan or refugee somewhere in this world.

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I continued to sketch for Inspired to Design and produced many images, a few of which I deemed worthy to share with Elizabeth.

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I found her comments quite helpful, as always. She thought the last of the three did hold promise. The first sketch of the flower stalk also was ‘interesting’ but likely needed some companions to be a successful quilt. The middle sketch of the woman walking excited her the least – being too static. Of course, that would be the sketch that I most want to follow through on. I do like the flow of veggies in the bottom drawing and will probably work on that more in this week’s exercises. However, that woman intrigues me. She was dressed totally in black and walking along a street in a village in Crete. I definitely see an art quilt entitled Morning Walk in it and will continue to play with it on my own. While I enjoyed sketching the flower stalk, I don’t feel it would hold my interest long enough to follow through with its detail, so I suspect it will be filed away in a folder for another time.

I did spend a number of hours watching both UEFA Euro 2016 and COPA 2016 soccer this week and that fit in very nicely with my hand stitching. You might recognize the background of this piece. I am working on the back side of what will be a pouch.

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This coming week promises more sketching with Elizabeth and undoubtedly some more hand sewing as I follow both soccer events. I will be linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday, so please go check out what other artists have been up to. I always find the entries inspiring.

 

 

Play, Play, Play!

One finds limits by pushing them.
Herbert Simon

A little over a week ago I was catching up on my blog reading and ran across a post by Elizabeth Barton that she was offering a class, Inspired to Design, in a few days. I have taken a few classes with Elizabeth and I have grown to respect her skill in online instructing. She provides a wealth of information and good feedback to her students. I had just completed my latest art quilt, so I decided to sign up for her class. I have taken a number of design classes over the years and always found it a challenge to be ‘disciplined’ in designing a piece. Aware of this limitation on my part, I asked Elizabeth to really push me.

The result has been great fun! Remember my post last week about play? Well, I decided to make this brief 4 week class an opportunity to play. And, play I have.

The past week I focused on a photo of an Irish cottage that holds a special place in my heart.

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I filled my design wall with sketches – here are just a sampling of a few!

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I discussed my progress with Elizabeth, assessing why I was attracted to the photo, and gradually isolated an area that really spoke to me. Many more sketches followed as I honed in on an idea.

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I actually went back to my original photo and cropped that more, revealing more detail to play with.

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Which, of course, lead to more sketches.

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I am now entering into week two of this four week class. The instructions for week two are more sketches! My goal is to hang in there with Elizabeth and continue to play.

I took a brief excursion to Seattle early in the week with one of my granddaughters to visit a zoo. It gave me time to process all that I am learning with Elizabeth. And, yes, to experience discovery and play on a different level. These photos suggest definite success.

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Now back to more play with Elizabeth!

Linking as usual to Off the Wall Friday.