Thursday, January 7, 2021

Taking Classes....

I've always loved screen printing...it's such magic when you lift the screen up ...very slowly....and see what's happened!!

REcently I came across some images of prints I'd made in my first surface design class which was on screen printing....in those days(35+ years ago) I used textile paint rather than thickened dye, but either works.

You can learn screen printing with dye (thickened) and many other surface design techniques in my www.academyofquilting.com class Dyeing to Design. The class covers simple dyeing, arashi (storm!) shibori, and several types of screen printing including deconstructed. It's really a taste of all the different surface design techniques I know. Taking a class can change your life - it has mine - many times! In the Uk I took screen printing...and judo...and pottery...and watercolour. In the USA I've done a lot more surface design and watercolor, and my very first quilting class...when I came to Georgia in 1984. And what an adventure that lead to!!! Meanwhile I also did lots of different kinds of dancing, and aikido and water aerobics and swimming, and pickleball and French and Spanish and and and....

Learning something new opens up your whole life!

So...if you have been, thank you for reading..! Do comment and tell me what classes have changed your life. oh, and while you're perusing the offerings at the academyofquilting, check out all my other classes including the new one: Simple Secret to good design - easy guidelines for strong designs.

What can we do when we can't socialize? we can learn!!!!

Take care everyone...masks hide a multitude of wrinkles!!!! Elizabeth

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Values of Winter

Winter is such a great time to see values...white and black and silvery grey...and all the subtly greyed colors... but actually you don't need to make all that detailed of a value sketch..

Here's a photograph:

Next I convert it to black and white - then I'm not distracted by the color.

I make a quick sketch of the darks only with a fat felt tip pen. If they make an interesting pattern..I'll follow that in my art work. If the pattern of darks is boring...then I'll tweak it a little. You can also see see if there are any major mistakes with balance, or rhythm. I find the position of the lights much less important...the weight is with the darks even if they're not all that apparent when the piece is finished.

Finally, I print out the photo and the value sketch - whether for a quilt or a painting -

.

and now I'm ready to make art!!! Stay safe and healthy - making art is not dangerous and you don't even need to wear a mask!! And, if you have been, thanks for reading...and please comment and tell me your working method...I'd love to know. elizabeth

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

My blog is NOT moving..........after all!

I made a new website with Go daddy. www.elizabethbarton.com

It's fun! there are some new features that were easy to use, after a bit of wrangling...and I'm quite happy with it...or will be when I learn how resize images! And no it's not just a case of uploading smaller ones...alas. <\p>

A few kind readers of this blog suggested I add a blog to the website...great idea...and website builder says that's very possible...BUT you can only manage comments through a third party company whose wishes and desires you have to agree to! I checked on the internetfor reviews of this company...and I don't want somebody monitoring my blog or the comments...so in the end decided to simply put a link to THIS blog on the website.<\p>

so often these days, things are not what they seem. There is a commercial element underlying nearly everything. But art and music can still be enjoyed relatively free! Most of the big museums of the world have nearly all of their collection on line, photographed in hi res, lots and lots of music is available on you tube....do have a book or magazine to prop up in front of the screen though to read when the ads come!! or close your eyes and ears for a few moments calming meditation and slow breathing...<\p>

And we can create art ourselves! We can draw and paint and cut and sew and sing and dance!! And nobody can charge us for doing that, or require us to watch adverts while we're doing it, or monitor it in any way. <\P>

So...to Art we will go!!! to Art we will go. Hey Ho the merry o to Art we will go!! <\P>

So, if you have been, thanks for reading! And you can comment here...quite safely...and you won't be deluged with adverts if you do!!! Thank you. Elizabeth

Saturday, December 5, 2020

New Website

My new website is live! A few months ago I noticed the old website was frozen, couldn't update it. Several phone calls later to the provider revealed that they had completely redone the whole website creation program and I had to totally rebuild! since I made the previous one at least 20 years ago, maybe more! I was in considerable trepidation.....but..."with a little bit of help from my friends" (the Beatles always had the right lines!) I made it. Sure there is lots of polishing to do...but it's up!

Please go and visit...then come back here and tell me what you think!!! Try this link: https://www.elizabethbarton.com

I have made about 300 quilts, obviously too boring for me and for you!! to upload them all, so I put up some of the ones I still have for sale, and several of my long time favorites, most of which are long gone! I hope they are someone else's favorites now!

I've also put up many watercolors...since I am spending more time on that these days... I've always made art work based on my daily life, and currently it's all about nature. Like everyone else, I'm not travelling to cities...but out in the park and the garden exploring nature. Watercolor is a medium exquisitely appropriate for nature being so uncontrollable!!! S

o please look...and feel free to make critical comments too...especially if you have the solution!!!!

If you have been, thanks for reading. Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Social isolation getting to you??? But there are so many things to do!!!

Social isolation getting to you??? I know it is to a lot of people, I've had emails from all over the world....but in a weird way I'm kinda enjoying this time. No social obligations! No trying to decide between this restaurant and that, whether or not to go to a concert, or a dance. or join a group. Instead...looking around at home and finding that... .... there are so many things to do!!! Like many people, I thought this is a wonderful opportunity to do some cleaning, sorting, throwing away. But first...being now "free" to do it, as it were (!), I thought I'll wash all my bras at once!! Something you can only do when you don't have to go out - and don't expect "company"!!
Then I started looking through my clothes and fabrics to see what could go to the thrift store....I used to live in an area that produced a lot of textiles especially the wonderful Liberty of London fabric...and it's definitely "too good to throw away" !!!! don't you just remember your mother telling you that??? so I gathered a big pile of old Liberty cotton lawn clothes:
I cut them apart, ironed the pieces of fabric, and started cutting simple shapes...then got a bit carried away!!! changing this and that and generally just having fun... like all creative people I'm plagued with the wotifitis! Now what if I cut this this way...or what if I rearrange things that way....or what if I add this other fabric.... and so I cut and sewed....and arranged...and then discovered I had enough for a nice quilt for the piano!! (or a bed!). The quilt looked so pretty...interesting AND intriguing...so I retraced some of my steps to make several short videos and put those together into a little class to upload to the Academy of Quilting, a great website that hosts all my online classes (for individual coaching apply direcly to me personally at elizabethmasterclass AT gmail.com). The new class will be available very soon, but you can sign up now if you've a mind to! It's short and inexpensive. The main thing is...take this time to look around you and become more aware of all the wonderful things that we DO have: all of nature...and all our own innate creativity. Begin by asking....What if I......? And do write and tell me where that led you!!! If you have been, thanks for reading.... Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Being creative in uncreative times

You know, being isolated and at home a LOT more! gives one time to sort things out and look back at old work. I came across the quilt above that I made years and years ago, quite possibly in another century! I decided that it needed a little improvement! so using photoshop elements (could have used GIMP a free download and very good, or any of a number of photo imaging programs, but just happened to have PSE and be familiar with it - the key!), I decided it looked a little murky, so upped the color saturation. also increased the contrast. Then I felt that it was really the wrong shape...I love horizontal views of trees...like you see out of clerestory windows....so I altered the shape too. and came up with this:
Those 3 little alternations make ALL the difference in how it looks. I don't think it needs any more. Though...it would be interesting to see it in black and white...like birch trees in a winter forest:
hmm!!! I'm quite inspired!!! you know it's impossible to be creative looking at a blank sheet of paper/screen/design wall! Start with something from way way in the past...and just play with the image as I have. I didn't get into extracting details, that would be another interesting step...hmm...now I think I might just make a cuppa tea and then see what details I can find.... And, of you have been! Thanks for reading...and remember, there's a wealth of possibility sitting right there in your photo album. Comments!!! please!!! thank you! Elizabeth

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Value studies can be fun!

Value studies - the easy way I really like making several different value studies when I have decided upon a sketch, but I must admit it is a little tedious to shade them in by hand. So, I like to do them on the computer..... First you have to have a nice clean copy where all the lines join up (no gaps! the colors would bleed through) Then scan this sketch into your computer. Here's a series of steps from a simple sketch through to variations. I open the sketch into Photoshop Elements (this is a fairly inexpensive photo imaging program that many people like). There is also GIMP, a free download. And I'm sure several others that I don't know - but if you do and can recommend! please...write a comment! Then I click on the two little squares right down at the bottom on the left hand side that show the foreground and background colors, and I select a dark value. I don't care what color is it, I usually get as close as I can to a neutral grey. I find it easier to begin with the darkest value, and I never use more than 4 different values: 3 is fine too: white, black and one or two greys. Then I click on the little paint bucket - it's about 6 little icons up from the bottom of that left hand side group of tools. Then over to the sketch with my bucket now full of black paint! and I click where I want the image to be dark: Hmmm or would it look more interesting if I inverted (Ctrl-I, command-I) those values: Actually that does look pretty sharp...but I'll save it and maybe even print it out to look at more later...but I think I'll go back to where I was and add some medium lights: .....and then some medium darks.... .... maybe more? No, I think I went too far...let's try again...hmm quite like this one!
See how addictive it is??? and how much fun....and a perfect way to design a quilt, not only in values...but easily translated into color too. My Dyeing to Design class (academyofquilting.com) begins by explaining how to dye a greyscale...and then make a small quilt just using values from white to black. The assignment teaches so much about the importance of value. The class also covers low water immersion dyeing, gradation dyeing, arashi shibori and several different kinds of screen printing. The class is organized around the five elements of design that we use in art quilts: value, color, texture, shape and line. Love to have comments!!! Do please step in with your favorite way of shading your value studies. And, if you have been, thanks for reading......Elizabeth