Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Beth/Lyric Project Week 12 (Open Form vs Closed Form)

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 bschnellenberger@gmail.com.

Another consideration when creating a composition is the concept of enclosure--the use of open form or closed form. In doing a bit more reading on this concept, I found some interesting information in “Design Basics” by David A. Lauer and Stephen Pentak. (I liked their descriptions.) Open form is a partial glimpse of a portion of a scene that continues beyond the “borders” of the piece—the eye is led outside the composition. Open form creates a casual, momentary feeling, with elements moving on and off the format in an informal manner. Closed form consists of a complete scene within the “borders”—focus stays within the composition. Closed form is more formal and structured.

For the first portion of this week’s exercise (closed form), I was instructed to “find or draw a picture of a simple flower or plant.” For inspiration, I used a picture I had taken of a daylily. I drew it and painted it using acrylic paints, watercolor pencils, and Inktense water-soluble ink pencils. I backed it with fusible web and fused it to my background fabric. I was also supposed to “create an interesting border to frame the work.” I didn't get that done (life intervened). The entire flower is enclosed within the boundaries of the composition.
 Ask Yourself…
  • How much depth is there in this composition and can you increase it?
  • Are you drawn in as a viewer?
  • What is the most interesting part of your subject?
  • How can you create and open-form depiction of this subject?
  • Do you think a border will be useful?
  • What would happen if parts of your subject escaped the frame?
For the open form part of this week’s exercise, I was instructed to enlarge the most interesting part of my subject so that it fills my 8” X 10” background. Of course, I didn’t follow the directions exactly. I used a different picture I had taken of some black-eyed Susan flowers. I drew the picture and used acrylic paints and the two types of pencils to color it. This is a picture I really liked, so I used it rather than enlarging a portion of my previous picture. Portions of the flowers are outside the “borders” of the piece.

I think the open form is much more interesting. The composition is more complex (which would probably make it more interesting alone).

5 comments:

Ruth Anne Olson said...

I guess I'm not the only one who was inspired to do this after seeing the movie, "Julie and Julia." Check my blog.

K. Crane: Big Fat Art Cloth said...

I am definitely drawn to those yellow flowers. Wow. Those are beautiful Beth. My prayers are with your mother.
K.

Quilter Beth said...

Ruth Anne, I did check out your blog. It sounds like you are going to have some fun. You can look back through my blog archive to see what my other Beth/Lyric exercises looked like. I posted one each Sunday for about eleven weeks. I really like how your "paper" exercise turned out.

Quilter Beth said...

K., thanks so much for the kind words about my "yellow flowers" and my mom. We can sure use the prayers. As for the yellow flowers...I think I read somewhere that you like sunflowers. Am I right? Have you done a sunflower screenprint?

Karoda said...

Hi Beth...am a LAFTA member but inactive with attending so far this year. At the turn of the year I created a curriculum for myself in similiar fashion. For reasons related to my aging parents and helping with grandchildren, I've not kept up with it. This inspires me to get back on track. Thanks.