Thursday, November 20, 2014

Valuable Feedback on Art Group Day

Can't believe I let them take pictures in my messy studio
As much good feedback as I can get on-line, nothing beats showing your work in person where those making comments can see true colors, true sizes, ask lots of questions and voice opinions while I clarify and ask my own questions. Not only did I get verifications and more things to think about on my fountain wall piece, I also got more feedback on that shibori piece I got stuck on. As for the fountain, there seems to be agreement about ditching the one batik and leaving some of those turned edges without satin stitching. We laid out various threads options for the stitching that will run through the center, and talked about what one is really seeing when observing running water, how that might be interpreted in stitch.

Detail of quilting in Donna Deaver's newest textile work

As for the question of interpreting the foliage in the upper part of the shibori piece, there was less concrete advise, save Donna's suggestion to study some of the Urban Sketchers methods of suggesting tree and bush forms. Good idea! However, it wasn't until the next day when I saw this detail shot of her beach reflections quilt on her Facebook page that I felt I had my answer. Seeing the quilt in person as a whole, I'd focused on other parts of it. Now I could see my bushes and trees in her stitching in this small part. I'd only gotten as far in my thinking as outlining the major areas with no idea of how to fill them in. Now I think contour stitching similar to this in those delineated areas is my answer.

Meg shared some pieces she's working on for an upcoming group exhibit. She does these stand-alone pieces that in the traditional quilt world would be appliqued to a background. Hers are built up on Peltex to be arranged installation style on walls. With the exhibit opening in January, she's keying in on winter themes with these snow people. She shared that as her work has developed, she's recognized that some of her figures exude more energy than others and is currently focusing on instilling a sense of energy in each of her designs, be it a person or thing (her example being a page in her sketchbook filled with feathers both stagnant and not). We agreed she'd done just that with these guys.

She's also working on this large tree which is presenting it's own technical challenges due to its size. We talked of ways she could divide it into sections for transport while maintaining a seamless appearance once installed. The tree will have additions that can be changed out and rearranged at will (leaves, birds, a swing, bird house) which is also raising technical questions. She normally satin stitches around the outside of her pieces, which she sees as a problem with the joins in the tree. So she was very interested in my sample where I turned the edges to the back. Yes, this is the great thing about sharing with a group, finding unexpected answers to niggling problems through the sharing of each other's unique journey and lots of spirited discussion!

Robin & Donna in Houston

It's not all about the work though. Two of our members had the great fortune to attend the International Quilt Festival in Houston last month, while the other two of us stayed home. They did not forget us though, posting pictures of themselves and quilts they thought we'd be interested in, making us feel not so left out of the fun. Robin couldn't meet with us this week, but Donna shared more about the experience, including the workshop she took with Hollis Chatelain.

And to us homebodies' surprise, they collected a bag of vendor freebie's for each of us - what a hoot! And what great friends...


Cheryl Gebhart said...

It sounds like a wonderful group. I have a couple of friends like that too - it's really invaluable for the friendship and the feedback.

Cathie said...

I say next year we BOTH go!

Michele Matucheski said...

That's exactly what I miss about my old Art Quilt Group. You are fortunate to have them to bounce ideas off of! Online is not quite the same--There's a synergy in seeing the work in progress up close and personal, and having people give their live feedback.