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.
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.
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.
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.
There were many that I liked.
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?