…was always the advice given by the centenarian as to the secret of a healthy old age…
and I’m beginning to think it might well be true of critiques as well!!
I was looking through old sketchbooks and came across advice given me by the art prof 12 and 13 years ago and it was no different from advice given me a couple of months ago by an artist friend!! Yikes! how can I not have learned?
The professor said he always like my more abstract quilts the best because he felt the problem with pictorial work was that it had a point of reference. With abstract work, however, one could make up one’s own mind as to what the piece was about. (But what if you want to make a piece about a specific something, I wondered? Questions like that usually just lead to a downward sniff so were rarely repeated!)
He felt things that were too realistic prevented the viewer from using their own imagination. And I certainly want my quilts to engage the attention of anyone who cares to stop and look ! He instructed me that one should reduce the information included in an artwork so as not to be too obvious. My Lord! too obvious!! ugh – that’s practically as bad as tampon art! And, in fact, I have learned from my attempts at watercolor painting, that it’s much better just to hint at something (e.g. a window on a building) than to spell out every last carpentered inch. Lost edges are another way of reducing information of course.
Doing the unexpected thing – reverse or multiple perspective, reversed lighting, putting the focal point a tad outside the so-called Golden Area…(actually I think the “Golden area” should go out with the “g spot”! )..would be other ways of reducing realism.
Ambiguity intrigues. Definitely a mantra to remember!
Don’t have things too real…and don’t look back! The view might be just all too familiar!
So what place d’you think realism has in art quilts? Please do comment. And, If you have been, thanks for reading ! Elizabeth
PS all illustrations are from pieces completed over 10 years ago.