Tag Archives | Collage

Corn Fields and Such

After separately creating the two men for my “brothers quilt,” it was time to work on the background.

I finished up the rough draft of the sky and added the far tree line, (with a piece of blue fabric marking a future silo.).

Corn Fields and Such. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Next it was on to the corn field in the foreground. Since the reference photo was taken in November, the corn had already been harvested and the short golden stalks were all that was left.

My Brothers - making faces. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I wanted to create the texture of the messy corn stalks, but not too exactly.  So, I used lots of print fabrics to convey the vegetation.  My plan was to use large scale prints in the foreground, like those shown below, and smaller scaled ones in the background.  I hoped this would add a sense of depth.

Corn Fields and Such. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

It worked, but required a good bit of tweaking. (And a lot of pins!) Here is what I think will be the final corn field, below.

Corn Fields and Such. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Distant fields had much more subtle texture, so I auditioned near-solid fabrics for them.

Corn Fields and Such. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here they are, complete.  I’m happy with the sense of depth.  That will be enhanced when I add the small buildings in the distance.

Corn Fields and Such. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Next it was time to start adding the green fields and grasses. Here it is, in-progress.

Corn Fields and Such. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I’m getting close to completing the design of this background.  I still need to add the foreground grass and the buildings.  Then, I’ll have to glue it all in place.

FYI, here’s another quilt where I used the scale of fabrics to add to the sense of depth.

Ellen Lindner

6

My Brothers: Clothing

I’m happy with the way the quilt featuring my two brothers is developing.  Here’s my brother Ricky almost complete.

Clothing in-progress. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

After making the face of my other brother, Todd, it was time to work on his jacket.  First, auditioning fabric.

Clothing in-progress. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Here it is, in-progress.

Clothing in-progress. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

All these little pieces were eventually glued to the muslin base and to each other.

Selecting fabrics for Todd’s pants was more challenging. They were sort of Army green; not a color I tend to stock.  My first attempt:

Clothing in-progress. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

No.  I decided the color was too bright.  This was my solution.  Much better, I think.

Clothing in-progress. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Now that I’ve completed the two men I’m just getting started on the background.  I’ll make it much looser, which I’m looking forward to.

So far, I’ve just worked on the sky. Some of it looks a little strong to me, but I’ve learned not to cast judgement until I can see everything together.

Clothing in-progress. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

As you can see in the photo above, I’ve drawn the background fields and barns onto the muslin base.  I’ll reference these as I continue.

Ellen Lindner

11

“Spring Forth” Complete

After many distractions, I finally got back to working on my Red Bud quilt.  I decided to name it “Spring Forth,” because I was captivated by the way the Red Bud blossoms pop right up out of the trunks.

Spring Forth, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Spring Forth

 

I got lucky with the background fabrics.  Many of them had colorful dots which worked well for implying more blossoms.  I love it when the fabric does the work!

Spring Forth - detail, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

As you can see, I abstracted the flowers quite a bit.  That was fun!

Spring Forth - detail, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Find more details, dimensions, and purchase information on the Spring Forth web page.

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  I’m the queen of cropping.  It VERY frequently improves the composition.  Which I sorta noticed in the second image.  I really like that composition, too.

19

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

 

6

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

2

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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