Monday, April 20, 2009

Think Like an Artist

Panic is beginning to set in, as I can't find my camera! Yikes! So these fairly lousy cellphone camera shots will have to do for now of the work I accomplished in the amazing and wonderful Pamela Allen class this past weekend.
Our first piece was to be an exercise in monochrome. I went with peach pink orangey browns. This is how it looks with quite a bit of hand stitching added, as well as some beads that I happened to have in my work bag.
This was what the board looked like after the first exercise. The colorful floral piece is Jaye's, she wasn't doing the class projects, but there for more work in this piece started in a previous Pamela class.
This one was fun, Pamela gave us a small image of part of a painting or collage that had been printed out on fabric and we had to incorporate it into a small piece in 10 minutes. The three orange shapes I added are what she calls an "arbitrary artistic element", something that works in the piece but isn't necessarily part of the story. I protested and said they were chicken feet. Granted, very fat chicken feet.
Next we were given a piece of printed fabric and asked to extend the lines and incorporate the fabric piece into the whole new piece. When I got the zebra stripes my first thought was "oh crap, so high contrast and obvious". I realized that I didn't have the darks in my stash or really available to camoflauge it into an overall piece so I needed an emphatic color that would support and compete with equally those black and white stripes, this was red. As I started working with it the phrase "nature is red in tooth and claw came into my mind." So I just went with it. And was done fairly quickly after adding in some various white/cream silks of different weights. I really like this piece quite a bit.
So since I finished that quickly, Pamela gave me an assignment to work on while everyone else was busy, and it was to create textural dimension up and out of the 2d surface. This was pretty fun, although frustrating because I had lots of ideas, but doing it by hand and not machine was going to be way too slow.

Back for day 2 of class, we began by each talking about the pieces we'd created with the linear fabric. It was really interesting to hear what each person went through to make her piece, as well as the comments from Pamela as well as the group.

This was the final piece that we made, and it is the largest one. We were working on making additional volume, texture and pattern using preivously printed fabrics. I wish I had taken a before and after to show the difference between just the big pieces, unaltered, to this state. Iti s really quite dramatic. The theme of this is an industrial landscape which is based on the oil refineries in the North Bay we just drove by on our way to and from Lake Tahoe. It is quite striking, such a big contrast, all this machinery in the beautiful green hills.

I highly recommend taking a class from Pamela if you can. She is a great teacher, a fabulous art teacher and a very inspirational fabric artist. She manages the class time very well, is attentive to all the students, and is encouraging and challenging.


Jaye said...

Fabulous write up! Let me know if you want me to send you pics I took of the class.

rosalie cooke said...

Wonderful to see your comments and pics. I'm going to link from my blog as a continuation of reviewing Pamela's DVD. Your note offers so much! Obviously in class she goes far beyond the DVD in stimulating your thinking and creativity. You and Jaye make that very clear. Now I have to try it on my own...

LeslieN said...

Your cell phone stepped up like a trouper. I love the stuff you did in the class. Thanks for sharing.