My friend hates diagonals, she loves rounded shapes...
I adore diagonals - the movement the excitement and the dynamism! I'm probably not keen on very skinny prickly shapes...but you never know..hedgehogs are kinda sweet.
But unlike Jack and his poor wife, we should not stick to an exclusive diet!
Shapes are how we "speak" about things visually. We can speak Shape, or Line or Colour, or Value or Texture or Direction etc....we can't use words - well we could of course but that, I think, would defeat the object of making a visual piece. Though I do believe that words can play a part in a piece - if their visual language is considered.
So what do different shapes mean to us? in our quilts we want to communicate our ideas or feelings etc visually. So it's important for us to be able to speak our own language.
Think about a tree. I want to tell you my feelings about this tree...it is home to birds, it provides a sheltered spot for reading (or other activity!) (actually not here in the South USA too blinking hot), it flowers with soft and lovely blossoms in the spring. My feelings about this tree suggest shelter, gradual organic growth, soft shade that encompasses....how can I convey this with just the shape of the tree?
Another tree: a blasted heath (funny how heaths are so often blasted!), winter, cold, stormy, a tree that struggles to survive despite difficult circumstances - how would my shape vocabulary describe this tree?
And yet another: living in a city, helping people to look up and think about air and sky and not just trudge along the pavements....what shape would that tree be?
A lively growing tree putting out shoots in all directions, full of vigour and energy...what shape should it be?
They're all trees, but by the shape alone we have conveyed all those extra meanings. We've conveyed more than
the treeness of the object.
And that's just using the shape language! Now to our tree we can add the line language...the colour language and so on. It's actually much richer than words because each object is portrayed in so many different dimensions (not literal, but figurative - as in the value dimension, the texture dimension etc). Each visual image can be "read" simultaneously on at least 5 levels.
Think about a box.....how can you use visual language to convey the human emotions associated with what is in that box?
I'd love your comments to be just shapes and colours....but alas! mere words will have to convey your thoughts.
And, if you have been, thanks for reading! I hope to post once more before leaving for Festival of Quilts in the UK plus a painting class plus visits to relatives and old friends including Damien Hirst's first art teacher! Only 2 degrees! Not that I'm anticipating talking in cadaver anytime soon...Elizabeth