Sunday, October 29, 2017

THe Christmas Sales season - make me an offer!

 A friend and I have decided to sell our work at a Christmas  fair!! or rather a "Xmas fayre in a Xmas shoppe"!!!! Yes I know you're puking!!! but tis the season and all that!!! 

She suggested I  cut up some of my quilts to make them into "bite sized pieces" - which actually turned out to be quite fun!!!  It's amazing when you do that, how you can discover much better little compositions within the whole.....I didn't take any photos....she's backing them for me right now!

But I also thought I'd have a"make me an offer" section too....let's face it I have a room FULL of quilts...most of them really rather nice, they've been in  both quilt shows and  art shows ...I have no spare walls left in my not suggest that people simply make me an offer?  Pase comment if you object...and tell me why? I'd much rather I had pieces out there being enjoyed by people, than rolled up in a room facing a doubtful future!
Of course I can always say: "well er....I've got a nice little bite sized piece here might suit your budget better!!!"

THe quilt below is for those that think everything HAS to be red and green and Christmas!
Everything you can Imagine is Real 49 x 34

Waiting for the boat 29 x 19

 How about the one above for the boat owners or rather would be boat owners in your life?

Four Rooms with a View 33 x 22
Or the one on the right for the literary types?
The First Machine 33 x 20

Above for those who like to take things to bits!!! and Below for the oil men in your family!

All that glitters is not gold 40 x 18

Ambivalence 35 x 48
this would  be a good quilt for those who can't make up their minds....

Athens , summer light 39 x 26
A nice one for somebody who like to trim hedges and keep them all very neat......!!!

Black and White, No Grey 38 x 53
Two black and white ones for the elegant aunts...the one above for the Political Aunt, and the one below for the musical one.....
Overture 35 x 47
Don't forget the train spotter....or factory owner.....
What Pretty Smoke36 x 43
Of course I don't know just how many would be boat owners, oilmen, train spotters, pollution inspectors and the like will be at the "fayre" but I shall have a lot of fun imagining them!!!

All comments most graciously read and replied to!!  
If you have been, thanks for reading......Elizabeth


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A beautiful fall day here in Georgia - finally!! A day of complements.

Highlands, FAll

Fall is such an inspiring season for so many of us, all those lovely warm colors mixed together....once again nature gets it right!

it's always good to have one dominant color in a piece, one color  that sets the mood for the whole piece.  It doesn't have to be the most saturated, the most intense fact it's probably better if it isn't - that would be too dominating....  but having one main color helps to pull the piece together as a creates a color structure for the piece.  

This is actually very easy to do, and is one of the basic technical "tricks" of artists.  Set the mood with color!  In the above piece I've split the usual red of autumn into orange and pink and scattered those shades, in various values, throughout the piece.  

I've added a little complementary color - green.  This is because having the complement of the color enables the eyes to refresh and so makes the first, the dominant color even richer.

Complements, of course, are simply opposites on the color wheel.
Adding a complement is another artist's tool!  if your colors are looking a bit flat, add a dash of complement!

So: a dominant color, a complement, a quick dash of something bold and intense - if needed - you might already have it...and a good helping of neutrals.....and you have a tasty color dish!

All comments and compliments! gratefully received, most desirable - I've been teaching a square dance class introducing the idea of desirable difficulties in learning!  so I'm well up on desirable!
especially when it comes to difficulties!

If you have been, thanks for reading.   Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Learning how...

When does the dawn light?

 As a teacher and a learner myself, I am very interested in just how people learn.  When does the light dawn on how to do something?  How can you get there from here?  How can I help myself and others to get there?  Just about anything you want to do that's a bit more involved than making a cup of tea (though alas many can't make a decent cup of tea!!)  requires some learning, some teaching..either of oneself or others.

 So I've been fascinated by the work of Robert Bjork (he has a LOT of you-tubes you can watch and listen to).  He started a learning and forgetting laboratory at UCLA to investigate learning.  It turns out that many of the ways we have been taught to learn in fact are not very effective!  What's even more surprising is that even if you give people a chance to learn something in an effective way versus an ineffective way, they will usually choose the latter.  Why?  Because the old ways are familiar, they are comfortable, they are easy to set up for both the teacher and the learner...and countless books and learning materials are based on them!  Oh here come the flat-earthers once again!! it's not only (whisper) the science about climate change that is being hotly denied, but the science about many more things...including learning.

A very common way of having somebody learn something is to require them to repeat it many times.
This is called blocking.  It's very evident in many skills including athletic ones (e.g. throwing skills) or learning strings of facts (people read the same chapters over and over again), or craft skills like calligraphy.   And of course it's used by manufacturers in areas like producing clothes:  one worker sews the first seam, another the next seam.  Nobody sews the whole garment.  Nobody could. The manufacturer has control of the learning.

But if you teach something in repetitive focussed blocked practice,  a few days later, if you test people on these skills, the ones who have learned by blocking do not do as well as those who have learned by interleaving (mixing up everything they have to learn) - and several weeks later the interleaving group's superiority will be even more marked.

Bjork has several other points to make:
 - that it's better to space out your learning, lots and lots of random attempts instead of a whole day spent on a specific task, that when it's more of a rote memory task
 - learning by testing yourself (e.g. with flash cards) is more effective than rereading the material - EVEN if you get the answers wrong!
- also that for skills like piano playing, it's better to learn on a variety of pianos, in a variety of settings and at different times of day. can we apply this to becoming more creative?  (and I don't think that Bjork or his associates have experimented with creative skills like designing art quilts!! or painting).
One thing that occurs to me is to not limit one's creativity to one place, one type of work, one setting - you might get less done initially...but in the long run you'll be overall a more creative person.
so for example in one of my design classes (like the abstract art for quiltmakers class just coming up at the academy of quilting), 
you would probably become more creative if you tried a lot of different exercises and created a lot of different designs using different drawing material, painting materials, collage materials.  Choosing different times of day, sitting in different place!  Like right now I am in our local library on the second floor which looks out over a school playground...lots of different things to see!! and not where I usually sit to write a blog.

Do read or listen to something of  Bjork says, and think about how you could apply it to your own learning journey - and write me a comment about it!!!  I'd love to find more ways to apply his discoveries to my own learning.
If you have been, thanks for reading!   Elizabeth