Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beth/Lyric Project--Week 3 (Shape and Meaning)

As a reminder to those of you that don’t normally keep up with my blog (if you do, skip to the next paragraph), I have started a project that I’m calling the Beth/Lyric Project. In the spirit of the movie “Julie/Julia,” (i.e. Julie working through Julia Child’s cookbook) I have decided to work through the exercises in Lyric Kinard’s “Art + Quilt, Design Principles and Creativity Exercises” book. My goal is to get at least one of the exercises done each week. I’ll be posting my progress on Sundays. I’d love for you to work along with me. If you decide to do that, please post and let me know how you’re doing—send pictures too! If you have trouble leaving a comment on my blog, email me at

First, let me say that I realize that every exercise will not (and has not) produced “keeper” pieces. I take this “project” for what it is…a learning experience. I can honestly say that I have learned a lot from each piece regardless of the success/failure of the piece itself. I know I will be using what I have learned through doing these exercises in my more “serious” art pieces.

This exercise of the Beth/Lyric Project deals with “Shape and Meaning.” I drew a few simple, familiar shapes as instructed. I ended up drawing a piece of watermelon. (I had just visited my Mom, in the nursing home, and they were eating chunks of watermelon. I guess that was on my mind.) The next instruction was to cut out the shapes and arrange them into a pleasing composition and trace them. Then we were to bend, stretch and change the shapes a bit and create an abstract composition based on the tracings.

I used several solid fabrics as instructed and made this composition. I machine quilted the piece emphasizing the shape of the “watermelon” chunk and the “seeds.” I added the gradated orange rectangle to break the background into separate areas with the intent of lending interest and creating better positive/negative integration. (I’ve been reading up on design…can you tell?) I would like to have done another composition using the same shapes but different colors. Time just didn’t permit!
We were to ask ourselves—“Can you create a composition where the shape of the background has equal importance to the foreground? Well, I wasn’t sure, but I gave it a shot. It was suggested that we gather inspiration from the things around us. "Find a picture of a landscape in a book or magazine” and trace the major shapes concentrating on those shapes and their placement. I used that suggestion; this first composition is from the actual tracing. The second composition uses the same shapes, but spreads them out a bit. The topic of next week’s exercise is “Shape: Active vs Stationary.” Stay tuned for the Sunday posting of the next Beth/Lyric Project exercise. Come on…work with me…you have a whole week to get this done!

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