Friday, June 19, 2009

The Artist’s Progress…or lack thereof!

I find there’s always a time after a long exciting trip that one enters into the Doldrums: calm dead seas with not much happening.  Well not much being actually finished!  It’s always helpful for me to try a little painting after a rich visual experience…so I’ve been attempting a few watercolors based on some of the lines and spaces I saw in Western Scotland last month. 

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Nothing much yet, but it IMG_1588helps to get my eye and hand following some of those landscape lines…it’s good to dig deeper into it, and look and look.   I also need to do some research and see how accomplished brilliant experienced painters like Turner solved the painting problems of such glorious places.  Thinking of research, I remember Ian McEwan’s answers to questions about the validity and clarity in his work: vast amounts of research – one or even two years spent researching the next theme.  It’s so important to take your time and really examine the idea and all that goes into it.  I do dislike quilts that look like the person just took scraps from the floor and threw them at the wall!!

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As usual I’m working on several ideas at once….here I’m printing some fabric for another black and white piece, tentatively entitled Plant Life – occasionally I’ll get the title before anything else!!  Of course it’s double entendre – it’s going to be another industrial piece, but not sure whether to go with a horizontal or a vertical format on this one….

 

I was hoping to work on quilting my first Cement Works  piece but the machine started smoking!!!  I didn’t know I was that hot of a quilter!!!   IMG_1590

Here’s the space (on the little brown table – I like to quilt really low) where the machine should be.  As it happens we’ve no nearby Bernina dealers, daughter Jane is going to take  the machine to the Bernina Center in Atlanta, sadly they are known to be very slow about repairs.

I once tried the next nearest store – in Augusta, GA…and their service was worse!  I didn’t get the machine back for 6 months and when I did it was damaged – they denied all responsibility.  Oh for a nice friendly Bernina dealer locally!!  We had one for a few years and it was great.

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But not being able to quilt does give me opportunity to finally get solved the problems I’ve set up for myself with the second Cement Works piece – this one is in red!  I’ve got a lot of difficulties here – the values don’t balance out well yet, nor do the shapes…and I think it could use a tiny smidge of a cool colour, it’s just a little too hot!!  But there are some really neat bits…I love the way it almost looks like a castle in places!    Also I got a good photo of a similar kind of building up in Cleveland, GA last weekend……possibilities!!

 

So now, to work to work!!!

If you have been, thanks for reading!

Elizabeth

5 comments:

Nina-Marie said...

I find Cement Works really interesting. I like how vertical it feels yet the value changes draws you into center of the buildings. I would love to see how the piece looks before and after you make your changes. I find the whole process of self critiquing really hard.

Susan Turney said...

When I read about your Bernina problems, I had to write. I have a Janome and while taking a free-motion class the tension got all screwed up. The other women all seemed to have "spare" machines they brought to class. I was at a JoAnn the next day and wandered by the sewing machine display. I saw the huge, costly machines with the big beds and thought "No way" but....there was a little Singer Confidence Quilter machine with a big "bed". I knew it was going to take forever to get my Janome back and started talking to the lady about the Singer. She was a great salesperson and I bought it!! It comes with the walking foot and the darning foot, has auto tension, several stitches, and can do everything I need. I got it for $288, including tax since it was the floor model and they were back-ordered! I'm working on my 4th wall hanging using it and it does everything well!!!!
I know most quilters think they need the expensive machines but....you might consider this one as a nice little back-up!!!

Deb said...

You know how I love those soaring willies, um, I mean vertical elements! That heavy block of scarlet needs something to set it in place, either front, back or midground. Some small lighted windows as opposed to the darkened ones at the top of the other spires?

SCquiltaddict said...

try the one down here again...she lost the dealership...its now owned by Branums...7068605434...they have more than one full time mechanic...i used to take my 180 to them because sewing gallery could not fix it...now Branums has absorbed the remains of the Sewing Gallery but the old Sewing Gallery dealer is long gone from town....thats another story!

and if nothing else theres Bob at the Murrels Inlet SC(I think...but could be NC) near Myrtle beach store...hes the one who finally fixed my 180...till i threw out the timing and was too embarassed to return so quickly to have him fix it...hence the trip to branums...long story...but call and ask...

SCquiltaddict said...

I should have added the mechanic at Branums is NOT the one who worked at the sewing gallery...and in Augusta GA...could have brought it with me last nite had i known and dropped it off for you..heading there momentarily to see the debut of the new huge quilting machine 800 something...not that i can afford it:>

PS was great to finally meet you last nite! rereading your blog...i am not an analytical artist....i am intuitive...rules ingrained...then use them or not