Saturday, December 17, 2016

Master Class with Elizabeth Barton 2016

This year, starting January 1st, my course with Elizabeth Barton began with her mandate to strengthen our art quilt skills.  Which I think she accomplished with her organized topics and her insightful comments as our work progressed.  Each lesson had a specific goal, with examples and references to a multitude of artists, and musicians to help us out.

This was a lesson in value and how it adds interest to the work.
This is based on a picture I took of the chapel on Lykovitas hill in Athens. I originally did it in white with gray but it was too stark so I overpainted it with the light blue, giving a moonlight feel.


The lesson was on movement to bring the art to life and help the viewer's eye move around.
 I've had numerous interpretations of this piece.  It was originally meant as a ski slope and the blue I had used as sky didn't work.  Yellow was EB's suggestion, and I think it really inspired it.  However it has given some the sense of sand and waves.  Let me know at the end how you see it!

Line.  And how it influences the viewer - movement, contrast, mood.  
This is based on a stairwell at the Tate.  One valuable lesson I've learned is to crop - there is more interest in a small section than trying to recreate the whole photo.


Landscape.  Less is more - take out and rearrange the items in a photo.  That is our liberty as an artist - to make the piece our own.
This is based on a scene outside the window at the Hermitage Retreat which many of my fellow quilters will recognize.  And yes, there were more trees,  poles for bird feeders etc.  This is still a work in progress - a little more apricot paint is in order I think.


A lesson on layers and transparency. 
I did two pieces for this as it was also the deadline for my 12 by the dozen art group and Paul Klee was our theme.  Hence the piece below - a pieced background overlayed with dyed cheesecloth and appliqué on top.


 The second piece was created by playing with sticks and seeing how their shadows fell.  Perhaps not much transparency, but well layered. 


 June was a month for us to critique - using what we'd learnt in the lessons above, and an opportunity to re-do one of the exercises.  Hmm, didn't do it!  

Rhythm.  It creates unity and involves repetition.  We listened to some excellent music suggestions for this.  My piece is based on the rivulets that one sees in the sand on a beach. 


And another month that didn't get done.  Not a subject that appeals to me and, I discovered in the sketching phase, that I know how to play with.  Something for another day.  And August was simply a very busy travelling month.  That's my excuse! 

Lost and Found edges
To create illusion and again, interest.
So these are my birches in the snow.   


Dominant colour, dominant mood.

The overall intent of this piece was to create a mood of spring, with soft calm colours.  But just a burst of bright sunrise colour.  

Working from a photo.  The trick was that we all worked from the same three photos provided by EB and they weren't particularly great ones.  What she didn't want was a photographic interpretation, but an abstract of something we saw in the photos.  One of them was Central Park NYC with banners by Christo so this is how I saw it.  Not quite finished, and probably needs cropping. 


a review and catch up month.  So no photos.

Along with the technical lessons I have grown in confidence and feel that I will be able to better assess my own work as I go along.  I have also learned to work bigger!  
If you have thoughts about this I would love to hear from you.


Heather Dubreuil said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this review of a year's worth of explorations. It seems you got a lot out of this course, and as you've said, you now have some tools to evaluate your own designs as you go forward. A worthwhile initiative, for sure.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Thank you Dianne - loved having you in class...and it's great to see the whole year's work at one go!! You did an amazing job....

Susan TZ said...

Thanks for giving a link to your blog - as Elizabeth says, it is great to see all the quilts in one go! A wonderful perspective.
A fellow student in the year 2016 Master Class
Susan in Tanzania