Monday, August 19, 2013

A Successful Class at Arrowmont

My new class, Abstract Art for Quiltmakers, which I've been developing since early Spring, went down very well at Arrowmont Art and Craft School last week. I had an assistant, Karen Hamrick, who has photographed many of my quilts over the years, and it was so great to be able to hand over to her some of the multiple tasks involved with a dye/design/construct class. Thank you so much, Karen! Now I'm completely spoiled!

Most people composed at least a couple of dozen designs and some did even more!  Of course not every design is going to work well, and you can't be critiquing them as you do them. Nothing annoys the Muse more than having somebody breathing down her neck saying "well that looks awkward!" and "how on earth will you construct that?" or worse yet: "that's Boring!"  It's important just to get into the Zone and the Flow (yes, at the same time!) and just sketch away.
I have lots of ideas for starting points, so the ladies in the workshop had actual directions to follow but they were not so rigid that they all came up with the same thing.  In fact the sketches were all remarkably different and reflected the style of the person making them, not me - which is always my aim. I'm not like that poor old sheep in England, I don't want to be cloned!!
And here are some of the designs:



Nina-Marie's beautiful circles were not sideways but I can't persuade blogspot to put them the right way up!  However you can see it's an image full of joy - also it's all quilted!!  Just needs the  edges trimmed and the interfacing added.  On the side are a couple of her other designs, and she was well on her way to having a second piece completed that alas I did not get a picture of ..but I know it will be on her blog soon!



Connie made a couple of super pieces....this one is based on a wonderful artwork in Arrowmont's gallery.  It's such a great inspiration having a gallery with almost a hundred amazing pieces just outside the studio door...one of the many ways in which Arrowmont reigns supreme!   Unlimited photocopying in both black and white and color AND with enlargements is another real boon - plus an superb library full of art and craft books and all the latest journals.


Here are some  of Connie's other designs...

I love this frieze quilt that Elaine made....she was so busy designing after that she neither made another quilt, nor even pinned them up!!  But I'm going to be checking up on her!!!

Liz made this beautiful clean, elegant quilt - I would love to see it done Very Large - but it's gorgeous just as it is....
 Linda's wall of designs....all excellent, plus that lovely little landscape already completed in the middle - a very Abstract landscape by the way.  Abstract art can be all the way from pure nonrepresentational to abstracted from some existing source and we covered all of it.

another piece by Liz - such movement and still elegant, I love the gradation of blues.  As you can see Liz is a Very Fast worker!  And her style is so crisp and clean too.  
 Elizabeth (yes we had three Elizabeths in the class!) made this lovely shoreline piece  - it's quite wide - maybe 4' or more - and I like the mystery of it..part driftwood, part ocean...


Kathy not only made great designs, and a super start on a geometric piece, but she also had this crowd of cheering onlookers!!  She's going to make those shapes much more abstract and I think it will be a lot of fun.  Also I love the circles...and they were very painterly and textural..and I know she's going to do More!


Look at the power  of this deceptively simple design by Mary....There are all sorts of nuances to it too when you get close.  She wisely edited the sketch - it just didn't need the fringe.  Great economy!! One of the hardest guidelines to follow.
Mary was working on a really interesting piece that I didn't get a photo of and I hope she'll send me it!!  Plus those circle designs have great depth and I think they'll work really well.








Gay whipped out this beautifully balanced indigo piece...great depth - from across the room it felt really dimensional - and she had many more designs that had great flow to them....as you can see from the small one at the top here...



Marilyn made this very strong piece in a complementary color scheme.  I love the repetition of the black and white bars...and the use of negative space.  A very intriguing little quilt that I think would work in any orientation - I hope she makes more!


 Cindy had never made a quilt before - there were three complete newbies to quilting in the class plus a number of folk who had never dyed their own fabric (as you can imagine, they are totally hooked on hand dyeing now!).  This little quilt is really well balanced, but continuingly interesting - every time you look at it you see different relationships between these quadrilateral shapes AND  when you get close there's hand stitching  on some of them, like the thin white lines of an elegant pinstripe!  Very very nice.


Carmen had also never made a quilt before...she finished this amazing piece (it's all quilted, just needs the interfacing) and had many other designs, PLUS a start on a very large version of the little colored sketch below.  Carmen really knows how to use space in a quilt and I love her unique style.  It was also a lot of fun to introduce her to free motion quilting!  Within minutes she was galloping away with a big smile on her face!


 Elizabeth's second piece - also going to be huge and so fresh and new...as you can see she had just completed the first three rows of the sketch...I think these strips were at least 5' long!!  Nothing daunts these new young quilters and it's great.

I do love the mix of folk you get in an Arrowmont class - people with 20 years experience and Quilt National acceptances and folk who've never ever made a quilt before.  People in their prime, and others still young and beginning their careers in art.  We also had professions from a travel agent to a rocket scientist (wonder if they got together on some advance planning?)

I was so pleased with my Abstract Class that I plan to do another version of it at Falmouth, Cape Cod in October (see the side bar for Linda's phone number if you're interested - there are a couple of spots left).  I'll also be teaching it at Alegre in April, for the West Coast people.

And now to see if I can make something myself!! 
If you have been, thanks for reading!!  And do please comment - comments make my day!
Elizabeth





10 comments:

Leah said...

I would really love to take this class!! Falmouth is a bit far me. Will you teach it online at all? Or anywhere else? I live in the southwest.. Your students all did an amazing job! It's inspiring...

Marit said...

Thanks so much for sharing the work of your students! The class looks wonderful. I live in NC and would love to take your class sometime. I recently followed the steps in your design book and make a quilt from start to finish. I am new to design, and found the book extremely helpful in the developing stages and as the quilt begins and grows. It worked so well for me. I am eager to make another! (Have to take time to do the dishes first, and sweep the floor!) Thanks again.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Thank you Leah and Marit - yes I'll be teaching a version of this class at Alegre Resort which is near Grand Junction CO, Leah. Also I will be developing it into one (or more!) online classes this winter...

So glad you found my book Inspired to Design very helpful Marit - hope those dishes and floors get done quickly to give you plenty of time!!

Hockeyodlies said...

This looks an excellent course and one I would love to take!! I will look out for any online courses you develop - I presume you will highlight them on your blog? Also, just read your blog article about drawing and thought it was fantastic! Just found your blog so will now follow regularly...thanks Elizabeth.

Maggi said...

What a wonderful selection of work you have inspired your students to produce. I would certainly be interested in an online class.

Kristin said...

Yes, it does look like the class was successful - lots of nice work shown. I too would be interested in taking this as an online class. Keep us posted!

Marybeth Tawfik said...

Fantastic fun work ... love the chairs, LOVE the cheerleaders! (I could use some of those right now - did she have an extra? What fun to have them hang in a studio!)

Can't wait to see all these new art quilters in all the shows ... you can be the proud mamma hen, no?

Elizabeth Barton said...

I'll be sure to let y'all know when I get the new class written and online! Thank you for your comments - appreciate it!!

Ellen Lindner said...

Daggone! This really looks like fun. Just looking at the photos has started my adrenalin flowing. I can tell y'all had a great time! Hope I get to take this class one of these days!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Thanks for this excellent review of your class and your students' work. Very exciting!
best from Tunisia,
nadia