Sunday, February 24, 2008

Student Work

I thought I would share a few of the design exercises that some of my on-line students have been doing. This class has been a lot of fun. Each week students receive a lesson with various exercises to do during the week. They then post them to our Yahoo site and then I sit down and do a written critique on them all. The students have found that seeing the critique on each person's work and going through all the work really helps them to understand the principals of design better. Each of these exercises was done in response to a specific exercise.

This was done by Judy.
This was done by Marianne

this was done byAmy

This was done by Carol

This was done by Diedra

this was done by Gerrie

this was done by Heather

I will be posting more as I have more students whom I am sure would like to share their work also. I am so impressed by the work they are doing, and the really hard work they have been doing over the past five weeks. Tomorrow they get lesson 6.

Now I have to decide when I want to give the class again, but first the students have to do their critique of the class so I can make improvements. But it has been a lot of fun for me!

Lisa's comment

Lisa left a comment for me regarding my choice in delaying my full time art career until after I had completed another career. I have answered her directly but thought I would share it with others.

I have thought about that a lot....the what ifs? If I had stayed in art and later gone for an MFA that would have been a completely different pathway to follow. While I was at CAl Berkeley I did not do well in the art department there...partly as I came in as a transfer student so I had not started in art with people there. I felt very out of place and had a hard time fitting in. During the school time, I was busy showing at art fairs and in a couple of local galleries. At that time I was doing painting, primarily. I don't think I had the maturity at that time to do a full time artist thing and have to work at making enough money to live on. The man I married right out of school was not earning that much money either and we had it pretty tight for quite a while. It was actually my job that gave us the health plan, etc. All during my early marriage I was still involved in doing art shows but when I was working full time it was just a lot harder to fit it all in.

During the intervening time I have frequently wondered what kind of artist I would have been. And, would I have been any good? I became involved in quilting and have used all the the years learning as much as I could and perfectly my skills to a level I was happy with...not perfect but fairly good. And then I started working toward incorporating my sense of art in to my fiber work. That is still coming along.

One of the benefits of doing this at a more mature time in my life is that I am very comfortable in my own skin...I can create my own work. I have taken some workshops over the years from big name fiber artists and have gotten a lot of support from them regarding my art. When I retired I had to spend over a full year working on a body of work and during that time my work changed a lot. It has changed even more since then. Now I have the time to do all the office stuff that goes with being professional and trying to get my work out there but I don't have to worry about starving if it doesn't or if it doesn't sell. I have been following a path I have chosen for the past seven years and it has been very fruitful and I don't see an end in sight yet!

So, to answer your question, yes I wonder but just three months ago I finally realized that I had to give up questions about what could have/would have been if.....many things were know the parents, my husband, my career. It just doesn't get you anywhere so I am fully in the now and very happy to be there. Honestly, I don't think I could have been there way back then. I don't know how old you are now but I went out on my own in 1969 or at least was married then and there were a lot of things happening at that time socially.

I have learned that we make our choices we can at the time and we don't get anywhere trying to second guess ourselves....we can always make more changes at a later time.


Friday, February 22, 2008

White Washing the War

This is my Bush war quilt called White Washing the War. It is not quilted nor is it layered. It is painted canvas with laminated images, image transfers, silk screening, and rubber stamping. You need to get a close up look to see the faces more but they are all there in all their misbegotten glory.

On a happier note these are the remaining collages for Fiber Art for a Cause.

Well, got to get back to my class....they don't give me a break at all! I will be posting some images from the on line class tomorrow or the next day! It really is fun and I am learning a lot. Nothing like spending six hours in one day doing critiques on work of 15 people....I'm tired and my typing gets really bad! Oh well, they are very gracious!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just Working Along

My students in my Better Art by Design class are busy on their 5th lesson this week and I am behind in doing the critiques. I have several from lesson 3 to do which were just submitted and also a bunch from lesson 4. I must say, the work they are doing is getting better and better. So are the assignments...they are getting more complete. I will ask a few if I can share some of their images with you all.

But in the meantime, I thought I would share some more of my collages for Fiber Art for a Cause with Virginia Spiegel. This has become my favorite way to give to the American Cancer Society, both through buying things and by supporting Virginia by donating art. I love it!

So, here we go:

Collage 3: Old Words

Collage 4: Peaches

Collage 5: Flowers

Collage 6: Elevation

Collage 7: On the Street
I have already posted Collage 8: Blue Lines, in the previous post. I will post the remainder in a day or so.

Back to work...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Teacher Mode

I have been solidly in my teacher mode for the past six weeks. I have 20 students in my on-line class, called Better Art By Design, in which everyone is working very hard on the elements and principals of design. I am so impressed with what everyone is doing. So far we have had four lessons and lesson five gets posted tonight for them. I do a critique on all of the work during the following week so everyone can learn from each other. I really feel it is going well.

I have been sick for two weeks with a horrible head cold. Only two things have been going on besides teaching, art is shopping on EBay for odds and ends to include in collages, and the other has been the making of collages. I have sent 10 to Virginia for Fiber Art for a Cause and she will be posting one, maybe, in her next blog. I have participated in past years with lots of postcards and also a piece for the reverse auction so this is fun and different. So here is a sampling and I will probably post a few more as the time goes give you a sneak preview.

Two weeks ago the Monterey Peninsula Quilt Guild put up with me a for day of class on design and then a lecture....I coughed a lot and stayed a distance away from everyone and they said nice things to me. I am posting some of the examples of the exercises that we did in the class and that we critiqued at the end of the class. I was really impressed with what everyone did.

All of the students work in a 4x6 format and have strict time limitations...they have to work fast and not over think the can be really hard for some to learn to let go like that but when they do, they really have fun!
All of these are in response to directions to do specific things. Each person put up only two of their exercises.
Some of these will be great jumping off points for making full size abstract quilts.
I ask students from my classes to let me see what they have done with the exercises but so far, no one over the years has shared with me...I don't get to see what happens in the end! Oh well.
Maybe this group will be different and show me some finished work!

I really enjoy teaching but it sure cuts in to my time to do my own work.
I am getting to the end of my war quilt and should post it this weekend. I am still trying to figure out the most accurate count of US military dead for this piece...and of course, once I have a figure for now, it will change but the piece is made so I can unfortunately, add on.
I love to see how different students respond to the same directions. Everyone is so very creative and I must say that sometimes I am tempted to borrow someone's design to take further...but then it wouldn't be my work. I do make sure to point out to people when I think they have something really special that calls to be taken bigger.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm back again

I seem to be having such a hard time keeping up here. I must tell you, it is really because I like to post photos and if I am just not up to doing the photo part for some reason, then I just don't seem to post at all. I realize we are all visually driven!
So I am including a couple of shots of fabric that I have stamped with my rubber stamps that I have still be busy making.
It's fun to look at what other people carve. Some people carve images, I carve backgrounds.

This is the next layer on my war quilt. I carved the stamp and then stamped all over it. The count on this part is only 2000 so I still have a ways to go but they are going to be stamped as attachments. I have another layer or two to add to this.....
This past weekend I was teaching a the Monterey Peninsula Quilt Guild. They had had me a year ago and I had a power point presentation that just would not run through the projector...they were so nice about it. Fortunately, I had a lot of quilts with me. This time I didn't even bother with the projector, I just took tons of quilts. On Sunday I gave a workshop but I must tell you that they had to put up with me being sick while I did it. My sweet grandson, the elder, shred his cold with of the problems with getting older is that I just don't recover from colds quite as quickly as I used to. They were so nice, tho'.

I did a workshop on design for abstract quilts. It was a lot of fun but I realized that my online class is getting so much more. I'll show you some of the exercises we critiqued at the end of the class at another time...I am still coping with this stupid cold. I even lectured with a little bit of coughing but they were so understanding.

On Monday, since the lecture was in the evening, I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It has expanded a lot since I was last there and has so many exhibits just for children. I spent a lot of time sitting and watching the jellies...fascinating, undulating creatures. I only had my little camera so I could not quite get the images fast enough for the low light didn't help that these things don't sit still in the water. But what beauty!

This is really not upside down...they go down and then up and back and forth....

The blue background and the lighting were just a tremendous way to show off these creatures.
And check out this school of was fun to watch them...sometimes the front fish would just swim to the back and others would become the leaders....or they would all follow the front fish to the back and it was like someone was telling them to step to the back....and off they went.
What has really been taking up my time during the past three weeks has been my on line class. I am just so pleased with how it is going and the work that all the students are doing. Each student has their own folder and all the work they do is posted from the exercises they are given. I then spend a lot of time putting together a critique on all the work so that everyone can learn from each other also. So far we have just completed lesson 3 and I will post lesson 4 tonight. Then, I will start doing the critique of lesson 3. I do think the class is a good one!