Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Contemporary Expressions exhibiting in Alsace.

I am delighted to report that the group's exhibition, "Hidden Treasures" was shown at La Mine d'Artgens in Sainte Marie aux Mines during the recent 19th European Meeting. . Fifty plus quilts on two themes were shown. Shakespeare's England - a collection of pieces inspired by art, artefacts and architecture from the 16th and early 17th centuries and pieces inspired by Kew Gardens.
The collection has been a good eighteen months in the creation and each of the 10 members have contributed a minimum of four pieces.
The group were delighted with the response to their work, seeing over 2500 visitors in four days.

The venue was light and felt like a proper gallery space.
My two Shakespeare pieces were:
Elizabethan Bodices:

Four small pieces based on the lacing to the back of bodices and taking four aspects of Elizabethan life, Poverty, Virginity, Piety and Usury.
 The other piece was based on the Knot Garden:

It was an interesting experience, especially in another language, but I also enjoyed brief opportunities to visit the other exhibitions. More on these later.

More design ideas for embroidery

It has been really interesting to spend time on simple methods of achieving design ideas. I have in the past used lettering to create a design and I remember visiting an exhibition of quilts at the Barbican in London years and years ago, where a very striking design had been drawn from lettering.
I spent a chunk of a day playing with possibilities for abstract work.

I first used a headline from a newspaper working in black and white and then adding colour. Where shapes touched new shapes were created when shaded. I could see this being useful in creating a sinple motif to be added to an item. Next I played with my name, but only then realised that the presence of two A's gave be far too much "background!

By choosing a different font style I had less "background" to deal with and Alyssa made a reflected letter combination which could be worth exploring as a signature on the back of quilts for instance.
I love days that open your eyes to something new!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Playing with line designs

I've enrolled again for another year of embroidery classes. We are starting off with design work, much needed by me, which I hope will have a positive effect on my own designing for quilts.
This is the aspect of my work that needs the most attention. I generally start from a collection of luscious fabrics and a vague idea of how I want to use them and then the quilt grows a bit like "Topsy", culminating in a quilt that doesn't quite work! My mission this year is to try and conquer this approach!
So have to learn to love my pencil and enjoy my Coloursoft crayons!
Working against the clock to limit thinking and worrying time we worked on a whole range of different lines and marks, quite liberating. Then isolating small sections of some of the drawings we enlarged them and begin to look at the textures that might fill them.

I tried this with several selections, each of them teaching me a little bit more about what works well and what doesn't.

What I need time to do now is to try a small composition based on a couple of these to see how I can translate them into my work. Perhaps little hand stitch pieces that can be carried with me on my travels.