Friday, December 30, 2016

The Color of the Year

Electric Fields    (currently in the SAQA Concrete and Grassland show)


The color of the year 2017 is forecast to be a nice spring green...
I don't know if the idea is to try to bring hope to us! Or just to take our minds off politics...but I do love the color and it will be great to be able to get some things in that color.  I'd dearly love a spring green bra!!!!  Black/beige or white just is so uninspiring!  At least with quilts one can use any color at all!!

People often ask me "well, just how do I work in a series"?
Find a theme!!   And, while there are very many good themes, color is a great one.   We nearly all of us have a favorite color and a significant emotional attachment to it...I know when I see this light yellow green I feel different...it has a real emotional impact on me - there is so much hope and promise and lightness to it.  Of course that's just me...you're obviously going  to respond differently both to it and to other colors...but what a great starting point for a series?

I decided to look through my  image files and see just how often I had used my lovely yellow greens:

A Summer Day Long Age (in the PGQ collection)
The above quilt (to me) is really a very narrative piece...I wanted to suggest a very active summer day..with a quiet clear summer night...or, perhaps, reflections dancing in water!



April Rains (private collection)
 And this green does look so fresh and positive!!! Color has such a profound effect on our emotions..and it very often is the reason we choose art work, clothing, furniture, even books with spring green jackets!

Emerald City (newly returned from Art in Embassies)
Again there's a sense of place....the house hidden in the trees....
But below a very different bold approach.  I had just seen the new Beverly Pepper giant strong iron sculpture outside our local art museum - she's into her 90s and her work is muscular!
ForceField 2 
 Alas, Forcefield has never appealed to any juror....perhaps it's just a bit too foreceful?

The one above, just a little fellow...but again I like that sense of place...a hint at a house with the pink..not much...come into the cool shade....
Green Mansions
The one above was always one of my favorites...it's somewhere in Atlanta...I hope it's being enjoyed!!  I really do like to just suggest dwellings don't I?  it's worthwhile arranging a series of your artworks and seeing if you can detect more themes beyond the one  (in this case color) by which you selected them....  apart from Forcefield, I can see clearly how I love to show houses/homes in the middle of green....and then I remember how as a child living in a grey old city I really yearned  to live in the country surrounded by trees.  Well, you can create anything with your imagination!


Take a look at your work...have you been working in series all along?  What does the work say about you and your hopes?  What colors do you keep coming back to?   And where will you go next?

I can't say I'm really looking forward to next year (!) but I am always going to enjoy learning, creating and cogitating!  To say nothing of a nice cup of tea......which is a jolly good idea!

If you have been, thanks for reading!!!  All good wishes for 2017!  Elizabeth

11 comments:

elle said...

Happy new year. I always appreciate your insights! Thanks

Melanie McNeil said...

Where will I go next? I've been making medallions and still find the form rewarding. However, I feel like I've already taught myself most of the big lessons I can learn on my own. The problem with that is, I can't identify other people who can teach me and help me make some breakthroughs to the next level. I don't know other people who can provide high-quality feedback while I work, or even after I've completed a project. There isn't anyone else out there who seems to be working primarily in medallions, and I've already written more about them than anyone else, as far as I can tell. I already own or am aware of about every book there is on medallions. So resources are scarce. A primary reason I love medallions is because, unlike typical block quilts, they offer so much potential for variety even within the same quilt. But without growth, I risk doing the same types of things over and over. Does this make sense?

Do you have any advice for finding instruction, inspiration, or critique for my continuing work? Thanks for any advice. You're welcome to email if you prefer. catbirdquilts@gmail.com

Elizabeth Barton said...

thank you for commenting Elle and Melanie...appreciate it!
Re the medallion series..I know just what you mean....I presume you know Paula Nadelstern's work - which is a little similar. It might be worthwhile going through and making a list of the ways in which she varies the compositions...decide if you think these are successful or not, and if so/not...why?
you might also look at Beatriz Milhaze's work - these are smaller circular shape I know but she has combined them into different kinds of compositions...
so I think the overall Question is: how can I vary the composition but still use the medallion method? Once you know the right questions to ask, I think the answers will be more evident...or at least the direction in which to seek them.
another line of attack would be to look for any artists in any medium who work with medallion type idea....some of Chihuly's work for example is organized in a circular fashion, some Islamic art, some Roman tile work, possible some aboriginal work...and some Intuit.....expand your knowledge of that kind of organisation. all the best!

Janis Doucette said...

One of my favorite colors! It looks great in every one of them! And you know, this is the first time in my life I'm having a hard time saying "happy new year." So I'll say, keep your excellent art coming!

Elizabeth Barton said...

so many of us feel the same way, Janis.....still reeling over the shock.
Let's hope this gorgeous color pulls us through!

Melanie McNeil said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. I wasn't familiar with either of their work. My medallion quilts are the form you might know as "frame" quilts. They have a center motif surrounded by a number of borders, so are not circular but radiate. Even so the point holds -- there are more ways to represent that organization than quilts, and it will do me well to explore some other decorative and art forms.

Thanks again. As to "happy new year," I am with you and Janis. Still I wish you the best.

Precille Boisvert said...

It is indeed a sad and frightening time. I can't remember feeling this sad and distraught since my mother died when I was a little girl. We have to hold tight to each other. I, for one, will be participating in the Women's March on Washington, albeit in my home town. This said, seeing your beautiful work with the lovely greens and striking designs is comforting...there is normal and creative life after all. Bonne Année, despite it all, Elizabeth and thank you for maintaining your interesting and inspiring blog!

Elizabeth Barton said...

Thank you, Précille.....we must keep up striving for beauty, equality, thoughtfulness and peace. and also stay healthy with lot of exercise!!!

Janet W said...

I love all your work, but Electric Fields is , by far, my favorite. When I saw it in the C & G catalogue , it took my breath away. And, you are right that green is such a winner. I think I'll dye a bunch of greens this week. Anything to pull us through this mess!

Shasta Matova said...

I hope you have a good 2017. I'm dreading it too, thinking I just need to get through it, but hopefully there will be lots of glimmers of light in the fog. I love how your intended series of green turned into an unintended series of hidden houses. They are all beautiful.

DMM said...

BEAUTIFUL IMAGES, ELIZABETH.
This is the test and there is no sign of the problem at my end.DMM