Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WIS Assignment #1 - Color and Value

Assignment #1

I stuck these posts of my workshop series up as placeholders until I could get back to write more.  It was pretty intense trying to complete the series during the eight week workshop, and there was no time for blogging.  Now that I've had time to breathe, I will look back at them, share some of the thoughts that went into the creation, and the learning experiences.

This was the first piece I made, and by far the best.  That seems a little ironic, and it was disappointing when the following works didn't live up to the first one.  In retrospect, it's not surprising, since each piece had additional assignments attached.  This one was simply about use of color and value.  Moving forward the assignments needed to be about line, shape, texture, etc., while still using value and color successfully, so instead of following down the path I started exploring, I needed to move on and respond to the assignments. In the end it was for the best, because each exploration generated more and more ideas for possible future works or directions for series.

In this one my goal was to create a "High Value" composition.  (the concept of high = light, low = dark is counter-intuitive for me) As I began selecting and putting together the strip pieced fabrics,  I felt I really needed to have a light-medium range so that the piece was not too boring.   I think I succeeded in making a good piece and an interesting piece, but not really a high value study.  This was my first encounter with the question:  Do you pursue your goal, assignment, sketch etc., or do you make good art?  I tend to get too obsessed on following directions and not enough on trusting my creative instincts.

Fabrics small  Here are some of the fabrics I created.
I do love to compare how a pieced fabric became a composition.  Here are some examples:
fab 1 

One other thing I should mention about the series is that I set a size and proportion for myself as an added way of giving the series some consistency.  The shape I chose was the "golden rectangle,"  something we learned about in architecture school, and also the basis for our company's logo.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time to Decompress

Golden Mean Series: #4, Line

Today I will have my final phone call in the Working in a Series Workshop with Lisa Call.  It's been a wild ride for me.  I was ready to completely immerse myself in producing the best five works of art I could in eight weeks, while at the same time learning as much as I could absorb about the assignment topics, from her lectures, and from the weekly e-mails.  It sort of felt like being surrounded in a swirling whirlwind of art.  She provides all sorts of backup material to read and think about when you're not in the studio trying to finish your assignment.  I felt as if I was deeply immersed in a graduate level art course.

Eight weeks is a long time to stay shifted into overdrive, and she warned about mid-session burnout, but I powered right past that, and into week seven, where I promptly crashed.  All the pressures of work and family that I'd shoved to the side just couldn't wait one more week, and assignment #4 didn't get finished on time.  I did finish it yesterday, six days late.  Last night I promptly started on #5, which was due - last night.  I don't think I'll have much to show Lisa on it before our mid-afternoon call.  Oh well.

Prior to the call I have a date with my color/painting teacher Caryn Friedlander, to see her studio and her work.  I'm excited, and pleased that she invited me.  But scared to death of the reciprocal invitation.  My "studio" is nothing but a messy basement full of fabric.  Her class runs through the end of the quarter, early December I guess.  I'm hoping now that I'm done with the series workshop I will be able to devote more time to it.

So blog posts have taken a distant back seat to all this.  I will try to catch up and share more of the results of the workshop, and possibly post some of my workshop posts to share and record the thought process at the time.