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Sunday, March 22, 2009

One Year Later...



I just finished sewing the beads on this piece yesterday. (Finally!) I've shown it to a few people and they seem to really like it. I'm also getting ready to do a show next weekend so I started pulling out what I have in inventory to sell (it is an art show, so I need finished pieces). I found a journal that I had done about a year ago. Here it is:












There is a paper tag on the journal cover that says "inquire within" and the theme of this book was meant to be contemplation. I did this piece entirely by intuition. When I created the piece this year (The one above left -- I need a name for it, perhaps Contemplation?) I knew that I was creating with primarily horizontal lines and that horizontal lines are restful. I used the colors that Leatrice Eiseman calls "contemplation" in her book "Color: Messages and Meanings". I love the peacefulness that I find in nature, so the scene resembles a landscape. Perhaps the larger beads are houses tucked in by a river on a hillside. However you interpret this piece, I meant to convey peaceful contemplation. Something serene. But this time I knew that I was doing that -- the first time was sort of hit or miss. Yeah! I learned something!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Insight...

Connie made a really insightful comment about art vs. craft (Thanks, Connie -- see Connie's comment on my last post -- also see her wonderful blog at sewforthsewon.blogspot.com) Connie says, in part, that the difference between art and craft is based on intent. To me, this hits the nail on the head. Approaching your work with the intent to convey a message seems to be the most fundamental difference between art and craft. A piece of art speaks to the viewer on some level. The artist's theme, choice of materials, colors, etc. all work toward expressing something they feel some emotion about. Here is a quote that Connie found that says it well:

"Artists who are true to themselves do not make art for the marketplace, but for themselves--to start a dialogue with their viewers, their fans, and the world. They make art because they have something to say that is best said not with words, but through a creative act. They make art because they have to. The marketing stuff can come later. " Alyson Stanfield.

As I see it, the artist has two tasks. First is to find a theme that captivates us. This is pretty much an exercise in being present. Begin to notice what you are drawn to or places/things that hold your interest or if there is something inside you that needs to be expressed. Notice when you feel some emotional reaction to things you see. Keep notes. Take pictures. The second task is to develop a composition around that theme. Learning and applying the art principles and elements will speed the process of developing your piece. You are just tapping into what the brain already knows. I call this the "language of art" -- this is a language any of us can learn.

We will explore both inspiration and composition here. You guys chime in with ways you have found to develop a piece.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

OK, I Guess it's Time!



I don't know about you guys, but I have been skirting the "artist" vs. "crafter" issue for some time. What is the difference? What am I? I've gathered some books, been to a few seminars, but never really applied myself to learning the language of art. I've allowed my intuition to be my guide, but now it's time to focus in a bit.

I am really hoping to get some input from readers here. I have gathered some resources which speak to me, and to the best of my ability I will demonstrate the points -- but I know there is a wealth of visual art out there that could chime in here! Send in pictures that you find that clearly illustrate a point and tell us what you do to learn.

To start, I am going to paraphrase a list I found in the book "Creative Composition and Design" by Pat Dews. I really love this book. Pat is a painter, but her words and methods speak to me.

She says in part: "All the design advice in the world will not help you create better art if you are missing the fundamentals it takes to become a better artist." Vow to live by this list:

1. Read, Study and look at good art. Listen to the pros.

2. Make the time and create the space to work. Work. Make small studies.

3. View your in-progress works from a distance and from every orientation.

4. Learn to take good photos for reference. You need reference material that you have made.

5. Enter shows, sell your work and reward yourself!

That's it for today. Have a creative day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Creative Genius




Here are a few more pictures of people having fun learning in class! Hats off to you guys!

I will be starting a discussion about composition for the next several weeks. I'd love to hear from you guys! Send in pictures of your work if you feel it really demonstrates a design idea.


Have a great week!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Creative Genius



I taught a nuno felting class yesterday at the White Rock Weaving Center. It just thrills me to see the wonderful things that come from the class participants. The creative process is just thrilling! My favorite part from yesterday was: I asked everyone to lay out their roving in a particular way to save time. (We didn't have much time for the class.) As I walked around the room I was absolutely thrilled to see all of the variations of the pattern I asked them to create. They were still using the creative genius within the confines that they were given. Hats off to you guys!

While I don't have photos of the actual class participants from yesterday, I have pictures from previous classes where the same thing has happened. Thanks to all of you who have come to my classes -- I learn so much from you guys. I also love to see the joy on people's faces as they enjoy learning and creating. Very fun!
Cheers!