Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Couple More Pictures from the Workshop

Here is me, presenting the two things I accomplished on week one.  The piece on the right was completely pieced in time for the show, but so close to the "finish line" that I never even saw the whole thing together until I got this picture, unless you count the angled view I have here.

I sort of like it!

This piece is the "Circle Sampler" that I loved so much on the wall, but butchered trying to put it together with the background being pieced.  Still want to work on it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Two Weeks' Worth of Exercises

Spring is here, however temporarily, which means that quilting, blogging, and almost everything else have gone on hold for the duration.  Never fear.  Rain is sure to return.  But I did want to at least post a little more about the Nancy Crow Workshops, and what we did.  Or didn't do.  The number of unfinished items dismays me.  I need to learn to accept them as exercises, and not necessarily as things that need finishing.  But it's hard.

You've already seen this one. I think I will finish it.

Second strip piecing exercise - the assignment was generally,  "Be bold."  The top is done now.

Most people didn't do this, and almost no one finished.  It was to create a  very busy piece out of the same strips as the one above.

The snakes.  I was sort of liking this until some random comment from  Nancy shut me down.

The vast amount of fabric that was mutilated to create potential snake material.
I'm determined to do more with it, mostly because I can't bear to throw it all away.

I really liked this one.  It is also now a finished top.
This is my circle sampler, reconfigured on the wall.
I was not able to get it assembled with a pieced background successfully.  
Would like to get this together, but probably won't spend the time on it.

The grand finale - Bull's Eyes.  I tried a figure ground approach.  I t went much further than this, all the circles are sewed.
The only comment I recall from the critique was, "No one has ever done this before."
I didn't really take that as praise....

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Deprogramming Time

Several of us joked that spending two weeks in a Nancy Crow workshop is a little bit like being kidnapped by a cult. Except that we go willingly. Willingly, we cut off most communication with the outside world, eat only what we are fed (although it's great food!) and spend 14 hours a day focused on the pursuit of figure/ground and knockout compositions.

Okay, enough sarcasm. The short version of the report back is that I feel like I absorbed immense amounts of information about art and design and composition, learned a lot about sewing and construction techniques, had some great ideas, saw some masterpieces by classmates, had great times made new friends and spent time with those from last year.

But I didn't really produce much in the way of great work myself. I have more pictures on the camera of some of my in-process stuff, which I'll post and continue working on. And some of my classmates' which of course I won't post. But if any of them blog, I'll definitely link to them.

Right now I'm on the ferry heading back to "the mainland" although technically Indianola is not a island the easiest access is by ferry. Here are a few more process shots that are on the iPad.

The first exercise of the first week was creating a figure-ground composition with black and white strip-pieced fabrics.  I wanted to do something other than rectangular, but this didn't work too well.  The narrow lines disappeared into the seams.  It's not fully sewn together, so I can take it apart and re-work it.  I think I will add some wider black strips.

Oh, and by the way, "Asemia" didn't get accepted into the SAQA show. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mid-session Break

I'm home for a day and a half between weeks with Nancy Crow.  As expected it was a week of hard work, frustration, and excitement.   Nancy pulls no punches and gave me a hard time about not working more since last year.  That was painful, as I felt like I had really focused on "working" but apparently it didn't show either in my abilities this year, or the pieces I brought to show.  

After a couple hours of self-pity I convinced myself that if I wanted sweetness and ego-stroking I was in the wrong place.  Then I convinced myself to buckle down and produce the best final piece I could.  She deemed it a "knockout," which was redemption enough for now.  It's a term that she uses somewhat freely, so although I was glad to hear it, I realize I have a lot of work to do.   It's hard for me to get out of the fussy fiddle-y strip piece box.

Here's a piece of one assignment - to make something as "busy" as possible!  Maybe I'll get it sewn together tonight.

I am resolved to put everything I have into FINISHING more assignments this coming week.

I don't have too many pictures to post at this point.  I'd like to show the "knockout" piece, but I didn't photograph it yet.  In fact, I never really saw it very clearly myself.  In the small room I could not get more than about 5-6 feet away from it, and when it was on the wall for critique I was standing in front of it!  I hear it was good, though.  :)   This is the B&W composition which was interpreted in B/W Grays first, then in full color.

I checked my e-mails while in line to come home on the ferry Friday night, and found that my submission to the SAQA show was not juried in.   I was not surprised.  But still disappointed a little bit.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day Zero

Tomorrow is Day One of Week One with Nancy Crow.  We all started arriving and setting up around 3 pm, then had dinner together and got to know each other a little bit.  It seems  like a really great group of women, some of whom have been studying with Nancy for twenty years.  But a few "newbies" too.  There are about 20 people in the class, and about 10 familiar from last year.  But a few I'd hoped to see are missing, sadly.

I was assigned a space in "the small room" off of the main room, there are only three of us in there.  It will be less distracting to be looking at what everyone else is doing, I guess.  I feel sort of insecure about it, because I  never really know what I'm supposed to be doing and like to look around me to see if I'm on the right track.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Yeah, weird name, but I didn't have anything else in mind.... "Asemic writing has no specific content or meaning, so it essentially becomes a work of abstract art itself. "  That seemed to sum up what I was thinking about as I conceived of this piece.

I managed to get it submitted about 2 hrs. before the deadline.  It's a terrible photograph.  That alone will probably disqualify it.   I love the concept, but am not overly impressed with the execuation.

I was up until 2 am the night before it needed to be finished, and I was in no mood to work at the photograph quality.