Wednesday, January 16, 2013

workshops: past, present and future positive!

In the same way that I love taking workshops, I also enjoy teaching them...and especially the planning! Planning out a new class and doing the research leads me in all kinds of different directions which interest me a lot - and I hope will interest the students!  

Currently I'm having a lot of fun understanding, analyzing and deconstructing various abstract art works (particularly those by women artists) in both modern and contemporary art (modern being 18602 to 1970s....  and contemporary art being that made by still living artists) and seeing how their design and construction processes might relate to fiber.  I was afraid this was not a legitimate activity until I came across this you-tube clip by Elizabeth Murray - one of the foremost artists of the 20th century where she talks about deconstructing a de Koonig painting in order to learn from it.

Murray is fascinating as a painter because she was both representational and abstract at the same time being indifferent to attempts to classify her as belong to one art form or another.  There is such a tendency in the arts to try to group people according to genre - which as art quilters, or are we fiber collagers? or mixed media artists? - we constantly run into.  Murray is credited along with Philip Guston, Frank Stella and Brice Marden as rebuilding painting (which was thought to be "dead"!) during the 1970s with her innovations and bold expansion of ideas. As such she is a great source for inspiration not only for painters but for all artists.  And so are many other amazing women painters of the last 100 years!!  This is going to be a great year of exploration for me.

I did have another idea for a class - but couldn't get any interest in it...that was "the Sensuous Quilter" - we were going to see, hear, smell, feel and taste our way to new designs!!  Ah well, it's good to have some crazy ideas once in a while - even if people think you are - well - crazy!

I'd love to take a workshop in abstract art, but have never seen that's why I decided to build my own!  As well as looking at videos, I'm also reading What are You Looking At by Will Compertz which proves to be a fascinating look at all the different movements there have been in art since the mid 19th century (and the invention of the camera which changed everything).

Meanwhile my Dyeing to Design class at Quilt University starts this Friday and in two weeks my Inspired to Design class also starts at Quilt University.  If you've not taken a class with me before, that's a great first class. My first abstract class will be at Arrowmont in August. Quilt University has the best value of any online classes I've come across - check them out!

And looking back to last year, I'm honoured to be nominated again for one of those Professional Quilter TOTY (Teacher of the Year) awards.  At first I was a little puzzled by the announcement that I might get a TOTY award because the word "tottie" has somewhat different connotations in England!!!

Well back to abstraction!  or is it forward....
And, if you have been, thanks for reading!


Hilary said...

Elizabeth Murray's work reminds me of graffiti art.


Beth said...

Elizabth, Have you ever raed this blog?

Nina Marie said...

sighhh - I think I'll just keep telling you all the things I want to learn and let you develop great workshops on them! You picked just the right things - don't be surprised when I show up in one these classes!

Elizabeth Barton said...

Re Hilary's comment -good observation! I think a quite a few contemporary artists have been influenced by graffiti - inspiration is drawn from everywhere! Fashion designers are said to look to what's happening on the street too.
Re Beth: thanks for the link!! It's always very interesting to read someone else's (non art speak!) take on a painter.
Re Nina Marie - ye! please do!!! Ideas always very welcome!