Sunday, August 11, 2019

Quilt design ideas

I get inspirations and ideas for designs for quilts from a lot of places and things....of course every idea has to be carefully evaluated and honed and worked with.
I've found that making a quilt based directly and literally on a photograph never works out quite as well as I hoped.

Instead I try to figure out just what it was about the original image that really intrigued me....and it's rarely the whole thing.

so this quilt:

which hangs in the stairwell of my nearest public library (Athens Regional Library on Baxter St for locals!)    was actually inspired by a chair...looking at the woven rattan or cane seat and looking through the little holes created by the loose weaving just really fascinated me.
I actually did not need a photo.  As you can see I copied the color of the cane/rattan (whatever!) pretty directly....but was a bit more inventive with the backgrounds...I like the sense that these are all little windows onto different worlds.

This morning I was inspired by the light over the pond:

I may just take the colors...or that patch of light and shade...maybe it will be a quilt, or maybe a painting....WATER color of course!!

but the image below...taken last week sitting out an outdoor cafe ..would work both as a quilt or as an acrylic painting...

I would crop out or blur a lot of the detail...but I love the light/shade and the cream against the midnight blue sky....
hmm!!! I must away to my studio!!

And if you have been...thanks for reading!!  And do please write in the Comments and tell me how you get inspired.....



amyfibre said...

I love reading about your design process. I get a lot of inspiration from the line(s) and shape(s) I see around me. Whether it's a brick wall, or the lines of the tree trunks in your pond photo, or the blocky shape of the building in the last photo. As a handweaver, my materials are individual threads and learning how interpret areas of color/texture/light & shade in the overall patterns of handweaving is a challenge I'm really enjoying.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Thank you for your comment, Amy! yes lines and shapes...for me particularly lines...weird grids are very compelling!

I love the shapes of light and shade too..... good luck with your weaving...onward...we should all look forward......Elizabeth

mjs said...

I think I am unusual as a visual artist in that I am most often stimulated by words or text. That said, I may use things I've seen as inspiration in my backgrounds. Furthermore I am a realist - a scientist in my real job - so abstraction does nothing for me. I've tried to make some abstract works, and looked at lots in museums and galleries, but my brain just doesn't go there so I stick with my portraits, people and nudes. However, I love your semi-abstract works, in particular your industrial works.

Elizabeth Barton said...

THank you for the comment, mjs, and also the compliment!!
Words can be extremely inspiring...especially poetry of course, or great oratory.
There are many different kinds of abstraction and many to be seen in science - e.g. the electron microscope photos of everyday things - plants etc....and also things like formulae...which is an abstract concept if you think about it.
However, i do think that it’s much better to stick to one type of work...that way you will gradually make stronger and better and more interesting work. And portraits and nudes are not easy!!! And few do excellent choice! Thank you for writing. Elizabeth

mjs said...

I think that maybe we define abstract slightly differently. There are some wonderful patterns in nature including those seen under an electron microscope as you say, and also neural pathways and crystalline structures as a couple more examples. However, i don't really think of these as abstract because they are 'real' but viewed via a mechanism we are not so used to. I think of these as quite different from an abstract cubist portrait which may not look like a person at all. Nevertheless, when I try and make abstract work my brain turns into mush and so does my art! Mary Jane

Elizabeth Barton said...

There are many different kinds of a way anything that deviates from how we see it in everyday life - literally - could be considered as "abstracting"...
but pure abstraction, non representational so called...probably doesn't really exist!!
There is always something in the artist's mind, it seems to me...or in the state of the painter's arm which is attached to the body!!!
i guess even if you programmed a machine to paint, it would be Programmed!

you are very right though, it doesn't work if you try to make work like something outside of you....Elizabeth