Archive | August, 2017

Abstract Exercises: Pattern and Scale

While working through Jane Davies’ book, Abstract Painting: The Elements of Visual Language,” my next exercises had to do with pattern.  This assignment was to find a variety of pattern scales, which I did with fabric.

Abstract Exercises: Pattern and Scale. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

She talked about how a variety of patterns, in a variety of scales, can really enhance a piece.  This was my first exercise adding patterns to a basic background.

Abstract Exercises: Pattern and Scale. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

I started with four fabrics and one magazine image of a strawberry.  It was pretty boring.  I added patterns, with markers, and that added TONS of interest!  I’m a believer.  And perhaps you can tell that some of the patterns I added mimicked those that were already there, only in different sizes.

Here’s another one, before.

Abstract Exercises: Pattern and Scale. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

And after.

Abstract Exercises: Pattern and Scale. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

Once again, the patterns added a lot to the composition.  (Although I think I may have over done it with the circles.)

Jane said if you’re going to vary the sizes of patterns or shapes you should do it in a big, noticeable way.  This was my interpretation of that.

Abstract Exercises: Pattern and Scale. Ellen Lindner, AdventurQuilter.com/blog

As you can see, I wasn’t trying to make great art here.  Generally, I just used whatever I picked up first.  But, I was really learning a lot!  Each exercise confirmed one of the book’s concepts.  I was gluing things down and writing notes.  Very exhilarating!

What great books have you learned from?

Ellen Lindner

 

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Upcoming Exhibit: 100% Pure Florida in Melbourne, FL

I’m excited about an upcoming art exhibit in my own town of Melbourne, FL. It’s called 100% Pure Florida and, as you might guess, all the artists reside in Florida.

My piece, Lava to the Sea, will be part of this diverse juried show.

Lava to the Sea, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

(I’m kinda in love with this piece, which features a center “scrap” from Judith Content.)

Lava to the Sea - detail. An art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

You can see my piece and more at the exhibit, which runs September 1-30 at Fifth Avenue Art Gallery, in the Eau Gallie Arts District.  Or, better yet, come to the opening reception next Friday, September 2nd, from 5:30 – 8:30.  I’ll be there and would love to meet you.

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  I’m going to start adding this sort of promotional information to my blog, since I’m considering phasing out/down my newsletter.  Don’t worry: it will only be occasional.
P.P.S.  See a blog post about this piece in progress,

 

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Now I’ve Done It

Well, now I’ve done it.  I’ve dipped my toes into learning more about abstract design and have become – what is it the Borg say? – ASSIMILATED!  At least for now.

I “blame” Jane Davies.  She wrote an excellent book, which got me going. It’s called “Abstract Painting, The Elements of Visual Language.”  It was that last part that attracted me.  I didn’t want to do any painting, but I DID want to learn Jane’s way of approaching design, because her pieces are wonderful.

Learning about abstract design. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

So, I started STUDYING her book, doing every exercise multiple times and creating a few more of my own.  (Like I said, “assimilated.”)  My plan was to do my own exercises in fabric and thread, rather than paint.

The first was to experiment with mark making.  Not only in the shape/line/thickness of the mark, but also in the technical materials and processes with which the mark was made.  I did this.

Learning about abstract design. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

It was a good reminder of ways to add marks that I don’t use very often.  Like that sketchy stitched multi-line near the top.  That’s pretty cool, right?

Jane is brilliant with line and after reading her approach and looking at her examples I was ANXIOUS to use more of it.

Next, I did collage exercises with various prompts.  This one was meant to be shapes I don’t use that often.  I used primarily scraps and altered their shapes very little.

Learning about abstract design. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Note: I was NOT trying to make great art here.  The emphasis was on learning, so I purposely ignored balance, etc.  I just played and it was exhilarating!

Next, I shifted to magazine pages as my collage material of choice.  This one was my response to a high contrast assignment.

Learning about abstract design. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This was great fun.  I used shapes that were not in my usual wheel house, with a variety of edges.  And by now I was getting enamored with the idea of line, so I found myself adding it even when it wasn’t requested.

Here’s the low contrast result.  (See that low contrast line again?)

Learning about abstract design. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The next assignment was to create a composition with lots of negative (background) space.  No problem.

Learning about abstract design. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

But then I got myself in trouble.  I decided to emulate Jane’s example of painting over elements, adding new ones, and completely altering the piece.  I did NOT have the skill set for that!  Here’s my result.

Learning about abstract design. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Oh my gosh!  Can you say “hideous?”  Not wanting all this effort to go to waste, I decided to look for viable small compositions within this larger one.  I used white paper to isolate small sections and found many wonderful options.  I photographed each one.

Learning about abstract design. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Okay, so all those little compositions made me feel better about this piece.  Not that I really felt bad to begin with.  I KNEW I was experimenting and learning, so I wasn’t expecting awesome results.

This is just the beginning of what I’ve been up to.  I’ve got lots more to show you.

Ellen Lindner

 

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QBL Classmates at Work

My classmates at Quilting by the Lake worked hard and did some amazing work.  I somehow missed final images for most of them, but these few will give you an idea.

Rosalie Dace, our teacher, circulated around the room almost non-stop.  She gave one-on-one advice to each student.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Barb worked late each night and almost completely assembled her piece by the end of the week. (Here it is still in-progess.)  It was inspired by a stone wall, but she took a lot of liberties with her color choices.  I loved it.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Peg started with rectangles and turned them into house shapes.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This is Lisa’s piece very early on.  Hers is the one inspired by her engagement ring.  She quickly mastered curved piecing and it’s a good thing.  As you can see, she has quite a few yet to do.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I wish I had a photo of Lisa’s work further along.  She used some wonderful hand dyed fabric and many bright colors.  It was really singing at the end of the week.

Olan was the only man in our class (or at QBL for that matter,) but it didn’t seem to phase him in the least.  He pieced these intricate feathers as part of a very large stylized piece.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Emily went for a minimalist look and for good reason.  When she began to play with these fabrics, they interacted so well she didn’t want to break up the composition.  She hand appliqued them in place and her top is finished!

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

My neighbor in class was Annemarie and she brought these vibrant colors.  I knew I’d like her piece when I saw them.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Sure enough, here it is.  I love the composition and contrast!  It was my favorite.  This is it at the very end of the week.  She just had a few more seams to stitch.

QBL Classmates at Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

One of the great things about taking a class is learning from your classmates.  I definitely did that!

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  If any of my classmates read this, I’d love to receive photos of your finished pieces.  With your permission, I’ll add them to this post.

 

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Translating Sketches to Color

After working in black and white to create sketches, it was time to make them up in fabric.  (Fabric with color!)  This is the palette I selected.  My usual favorites.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

These are my first four.  I used my favorite 2 sketches, plus mini-crops from them.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Rosalie’s idea was for us  to create multiple units and then join them together.  But, I began to lose enthusiasm for that idea.  Although I really liked these four units, I didn’t like the idea of creating a quilt with a gridded format.  I discussed it with Rosalie and she agreed.  So, I decided to focus on just one motif.  However, with Rosalie’s encouragement (insistence?) I decided to incorporate the four stitched units into the background of my future piece.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Above, you can see the arrangement of those pieces and my black paper “place holder” for the future primary motif.  (Thanks to Olan who provided the white fabric I needed to extend my background muslin.)

I drew lines on the muslin to help me make sweeping curves throughout the background. I was excited about this idea.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I got pretty detailed where one line crossed another and used a different fabric for each little shape.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here it is near completion of the background.  As you can see, I pinned up potential fabrics as I worked. Once selected, each fabric was cut to shape, often with an “underlap” for the adjacent piece, and pinned in place.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And here the background is complete, and glued.  I was VERY happy with it.  Next, I worked on selecting fabrics for the main motif.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Auditioning motif fabrics.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The final class arrangement.

Translating Sketches to Color. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I’m pretty happy with this.  I will add quite a few more arcing tapered lines in the background.  However, when I got home I was so tired of looking at it I needed a break from it.  So, it’s on my design wall FOLDED IN HALF so I can only see the back.  I’ll get back to it with new eyes in a few weeks. Do you ever do that sort of thing?

Ellen Lindner
P.S. A miracle happened: with the exception of that white piece of background fabric, I actually had everything I needed in a five day class!

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More Black and White Exercises

One of the great things about taking a class is that you get to learn from everyone around you.  In my class with Rosalie Dace, she was very good about going around the room and coaching everyone.  And she didn’t mind eavesdropping, so I overheard quite a few good tips.

I thought you’d enjoy seeing how some of my classmates tackled their black and white exercises.  Each one started with a single shape that was then altered, multiplied (maybe) and explored at least three more times.

When Stephanie alternated the values in her shapes she got something that looked almost like a rib cage.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Olan cut his very exact shapes with an exacto knife.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Mary’s sharp triangles morphed into a large flower.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Lisa used her engagement ring as a jumping off point.  Thus, the curves, which emulated her oval stone.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Kenna did an awful lot with a basic triangle.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And look what Cathy did with the same shape.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Annemarie’s composition seemed pretty basic at first, but wait until you see what she did with it.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

More triangles.  Betsy used very sharp ones.  Almost like thorns.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

What a lot of diversity!  These little sketches turned into some really awesome quilts.

Ellen Lindner

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A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises

Are you familiar with the work of Rosalie Dace?  She’s a fabulous art quilter from South Africa and a highly sought-after art quilt teacher.  I’ve been wanting to take a class with her for quite some time and I finally got to at Quilting by the Lake a couple of weeks ago.  It was very good – although somewhat different than I expected.

She gave us some very useful tips, concepts, and pep talks each morning.  Our first assignment was to use black and white paper to create some “sketches.”  We were to choose one shape and then explore it over and over at least five times.

I chose the humble rectangle.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

These are shown in the order in which I created them.  This was actually quite a stretch because it was sometimes difficult to come up with one more variation. I noticed that I was somewhat enamored with the idea of line.

For our second shape, Rosalie suggested that we choose something special to us or familiar to us.  I chose a palm frond.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

As usual, I had to make a literal depiction in order to get that out of my head.  In doing so, I was able to focus on the long skinny tapered shape within the frond and I started playing with it.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Soon, things got interesting.  I really liked the last 3 above. Rosalie wanted me to make more, so I began to search my favorite two for tiny compositions.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

There were many that I liked.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and White Exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Can you believe so many viable compositions came from those little sketches?

The fact that these designs no longer say “palm frond” is not a problem.  As a matter of fact, it’s actually the point.  The idea is to play with shape only and to see where it takes you.

I found these black and white exercises to be fun, enlightening, and useful.  Why not give it a try?

Ellen Lindner

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“Circular Abstractions,” an Awesome Exhibit

While at Quilting by the Lake, I got to visit the Schweinfurth Art Center, which was hosting an exhibit called “Circular Abstractions.”  Oh my, these quilts really make an impact!

As you can see, they’re quite large: each about 80″ square.

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Kaci Kyler, Marks IV

The quilts were meant to be inspired by a large Bulls Eye pattern.  That is, four quadrants, each with a bulls eye (target) motif.  The challenge was proposed by Nancy Crow, and she invited certain students to participate.  Some artists got very creative with their interpretation of quadrants and bulls eyes, as with the quilt above.  But, that was sort of the idea.

Others stuck to the bulls eye motif more clearly, but still with LOTS of variation.

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Randi Morgan, Traveler

Some artists disassembled the components and put them back together askew.

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Patricia Guthrie, Rolling Color

Our class teacher, Rosalie Dace, gave us the assignment of selecting a piece to buy if we were gallery owners.  This piece was my pick.  I really love it.  Wouldn’t it be great in a large public space or on a business wall?

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Tommy Fitzsimmons, Orbicular I

Tommy, (above) really S T R E T C H E D the proportions and I think it’s very successful.

Rosalie also asked us to select a quilt we’d like to take home.  Although the one above tempted me mightily, I just kept gravitating back to the one below. I think I could look at it for hours!

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

By Kaci Kyler, Marks III

Doesn’t it just glow?  When you look closely, you can see the woven effect created by ALL THOSE LITTLE PIECES.

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And then, finally, you notice the VERY TIGHT matchstick quilting.  Compare the texture to that of the wall.  Amazing, right?

"Circular Abstractions" Exhibit. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This is a FABULOUS exhibit, which demands a little bit of study.  It’s divided into trunks and is traveling around the country.  If it comes close to you, you’ll definitely want to see it!

Ellen Lindner
P.S. I only showed you a few of the quilts in the exhibit.  There are about 20 or 30.

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Energetic Quilts by Noel Keith

I had a great time this past week at Quilting by the Lake.  It was like (a rather intense) quilt camp.  What fun!  We stayed in dorms, ate our meals in the cafeteria, and used the college class rooms as our own.  The camaraderie and Adrenalin surges were just fantastic!

Viewing the related quilt show was one of the first things I did.  There I was introduced to the quilts of Noel Keith, from New York.  I’m showing you several of her quilts here.  (They were labeled, but it wasn’t always clear which title went with which quilt, so I’m showing them without titles.)

What color!Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

What energy!Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I think maybe this one is my favorite. Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Love it.Quilts by Noel Keith. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Aren’t they great?  She’s a master of color, but her pieces are much more than color stories. She’s created a lot of energy with her improvisational (inexact) piecing.  Very nice!

Which one is your favorite?

Ellen Lindner
P.S. I couldn’t find a website for Noel, but she has as Facebook page.

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