Saturday, December 15, 2012

WIS Assignment #2 - Space and Scale

It's been a  slow go here with the blog, excuses range from seasonal chaos to being a landlord, to a complete hard drive melt down.  Nonetheless I still have high hopes of writing about and posting more details of my Working in a Series pieces.  At this point three quilt tops are done, #1, 3, and 4.   Today's feature is #2, which is currently in many pieces.  I still have some hopes of "finishing" it, or at least sewing it all together.  This was my least favorite of the five pieces.

This picture is how it looked when I submitted it at the deadline.The assignment as I interpreted it ( we were encouraged to start with the proposed topic and define our goals and the exercise we planned to do in a way that was meaningful to our particular medium, style, etc.) was to try to convey a sense of depth or space by overlapping elements, and also to focus on the figure/ground relationship.  I attempted to do this by using value to make dark pieces stand out on a light background.  I also used the shape of the cross-bar or tee to create the effect that the dark green piece was behind the lines.

I felt that to achieve a clear figure ground relationship I needed to exaggerate the values I used.   This is my least favorite of the five pieces, and it was a big disappointment after liking #1 so much.  Yes, there are clear figures (dark) on ground (light) and yes, there are some interesting compositions in the individual "vignettes" (my term for these little "units" I like to make), but as a whole this piece just sucks.  It sucks because the figures are just blobs. And they are bumping up against the edges of the composition, or just floating in space, neither of which is really interesting to look at.  

The way the dark bit in the upper left just barely touches the green bit that passes "under" the cross bar is annoying, and the sense of a square that it and the pieces below it are supposed to make is destroyed because it's awkward shape is jumping off the page, and the lower pieces connect to their mates on the other side, not to the square.  I thought it would be enough to make the shape, but without value as part of the definition, it doesn't work.

I should abandon it, but I have taken that upper left piece apart to see if I can find something more satisfying.  I tend to want to fuss and slave over a bad piece, when I should just toss it and move on.  I should learn that it's very unlikely that fussing will transform a bad piece into anything better than a mediocre piece.  Why put all that effort into something that will never be good?  
I guess because I learn from it.  I can see that this is bad, so if I can see that I should be able to figure out why it's bad.  And that should lead to knowing how to make it less bad...

Following are some photos of other variations I tried, other units that were deemed too ugly or too mid-value to create figure ground...  So you can see, or at least I think I can see, that the final piece was at least an improvement!
In this one I am overlaying pieces on #1 to get the size and proportion right.
I struggled and struggled with that gray part, and it never did make the "cut."

Here are some other variations.  Part of the problem is I just DON'T LIKE RED.

As you can see, it received way more attention than in was worth.
So that's the scoop on assignment #2.  Chalk it up to another learning experience.

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