Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great workshop

The two days with Janet Fogg went by in a flash.  She's a wonderful teacher, very organized, very creative and very willing to share her talents with all the students.  I'll have a lot more to share about the workshop as soon as I can get some time to sit and download my brain.  After six solid hours today, I felt more mentally exhausted than I have in years.  But in a good way.  Like I'd really used my brain to the greatest extent possible. 

I went into the first day with no idea what my project would be (I didn't even realize we were suppose to bring a project) - and ended up with a concept and design that I'm really excited about and can't wait to get back to.   I started out with a picture of a butterfly that I liked, but it was just a picture.  The theme of the workshop was unexpected combinations, putting together two things that are unexpected, to make you think about them in different ways...   At the beginning of the first day, we did a brainstorming exercise where we each pulled a slip of paper with a saying or movie or book title, and we were each to come up with an image that comes to mind from that title.  Mine was "The Painted Veil."  The minute - the second - I read the words I had a vision of a Muslim woman in a full burqa, but instead of black, as the fabric flowed around her it became a beautiful feminine pink and blue design.  

From there it was a surprisingly long hour or so before it all came together in my brain I realized that the butterfly was the "painted veil" I needed to portray.  First we were each supposed to show the photos we brought and what our design idea was.  I had nothing.  But I showed some of the fruit crate label designs that I liked, not even the butterfly, I thought it was too trite.  Only after I sat down and others went on to show their ideas, did the combination come to me.

Then this morning there was another breakthrough when I realized that the eyes I'd carefully drawn out were way too detailed to fit into the woman's face...and thought I'd have to discard them.  But I had something in the back of my mind about "eye spots" on butterflies, and magically when I overlaid the eye drawing on the butterfly the eyes seemed to fit right into the wings.   From that point it only took the rest of the day to get a composition and rough tracing on the wall.  

Janet was very complementary, and I think she will be interested to see if I can execute it.   I just have so much less technical skill and experience than most... I'd say almost everyone in the room except me had been quilting over twenty years...  oh well.  Gotta start somewhere.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you show us some photos! I love your description of your creative insights and how the piece revealed itself to you.