Saturday, March 28, 2009

February FFFC # 30 - Done

Houses Round the Bend

It's done. Well, maybe done, it needs a label, and a hanging sleeve and I may decide to add more trees in the upper right corner, but at the moment I am considering it done. Our Challenge for February was to use the design element of an S curve with a split complementary color scheme. Going with my theme of structures, I drew an S curve on a sheet of paper in my Drawing pad and added simple houses. Going through the stash I pulled fabrics using the split complementary colors of Orange, blue green and blue violet. Right away I had a problem, very little blue violet fabrics, not in the hand dye, not in my batiks and even not in my commercial prints. Since I like the color I can only think that the Mfgs don't make all that many fabrics using blue violet. My other issue is that I think some of my oranges are more on the yellow orange side, or even drifting to the red orange, though I did try hard to stay away from that. I did find a group of 6 inch charm squares from a packet of Primrose Gradations fabrics to give the enough blue violets in a range of values to make the houses. I added in a couple of blue violet batiks that I had. Base fabrics are the blue green hand dyes.

Machine pieced, machine applique, machine quilted with cotton threads, usually a 30 weight, and hand embellished with various colors of pearl cotton. The embellishments are the rooftops, the large quilting stitches in the houses and the trees in the background. I am going to call it Houses Round the Bend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

March Winding Down

Almost the end of March is upon us. The weather looks like it isn't going to be quite as nasty as it was for the beginning of the month so we may have the traditional "in like a lion and out like a lamb". It is starting to warm up a bit, and we are having rain instead of snow, Yeah. I actually saw some crocus blooming the other day. Spring is actually starting to come after our very cold snowy winter.

I was back at school this week after last weeks "break", wasn't much of a break for me because of all the school work I was trying to get done but there weren't any classes. I did note that this weeks classes had rather poor attendance, I guess a lot of kids were trying to recover from their spring break. The up side of being back in class is that I have pictures for you again.

Lets start with Color and Design. I turned in my drawing of the 7 houses on Monday. Our next assignment was to draw two views of a room, one from standard human view, and one from either a birds eye view, or a cats eye view, I chose to do the lower view, though mine is probably more of a large dog then a small cat.

Standard Eye view

cat/large dog eye view - lower then the the Standard view anyway.

We now have to draw our 7 barns/houses in 2 point perspective from 2 views. Those images I should have for you next week.

No images for you from either Graphic Design or Typography. In Graphic Design we are still working on our Poster designs, though we have moved into the computer design phase. I need to have 3 files for Monday of my final poster design. In Typography we have started our research paper. I have chosen to do a paper on John Baskerville. He was an Englishman who lived in the 1700's and was actually a friend of Benjamin Franklin. He not only designed the Baskerville Font, but developed hot press paper. Since almost all of the paper we now use is hot press that was a significant development in the process of printing. I promise that I will try to not bore you too much with details of his life as I learn them.

We were back in drawing class on Tuesday, and I got back the homework drawings I turned in just before break. These were our leg and feet studies. We had pictures of a male model for them and I took the liberty of obscuring some of the details on one photo of my drawing. I was going to get creative and draw a fig leaf, cut it out and put it over the proper area, but decided that a small block of post it notes was the perfect size and so used that instead. It doesn't seem quite fair that I post my female nudes with no qualms but mask or select out photos of males that expose too much. But such is life I guess.

Bones of the legs and feet with pelvis

Basically the same view, except covered by skin and muscles

Side view legs and feet

We had a live model again on Tuesday and spent the first part of the class doing quick full studies of her. Then we viewed some slides about drawing heads and faces. Then we went back to class and did some drawings of her head. I have 3 of my quick sketches then 3 of my portrait drawings for you this week.

These may be sketches but I think I am starting to get some of the energy of her poses transferred to the paper, so I am relatively pleased with them.

That's it for this week. I have also been working on my FFFC February challenge quilt and hope to have that done this weekend so I can post to the blog pictures of that one. Since we received our next challenge (March) this morning I really need to get this one done. I fear school work and some pleasure reading have gotten in my way this past month. Hopefully I will do better with March.

As always comments are welcome.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Break

This past week has been spring break for us at school so no classes. That doesn't mean there was no homework. All of the instructors gave homework, but only one really loaded it on. So instead of playing and visiting museums or doing other fun stuff, like getting my Challenge quilt finish for the FFFC group I have been working on homework. That includes writing a paper about a Non-profit organization that I will be doing a logo redesign for, I have chosen Mass Audubon. I have also been collecting pictures and images so I can do 10 sketches before Monday, and now today I have been looking to see if I can find a poem or some words that relate to the word BIAS to put on the poster. Any comments or suggestions about that would be appreciated.

Right at the moment I am feeling very discourage about my Graphic Design class which most of this work is for. I have found images, and taken pictures, but have no idea what I am going to be sketching for my poster design. He wants detail drawings and there is no way I will have ten detail drawings done by Monday. I will try to have 10 drawings, but how detailed is a huge question. I spent all day yesterday trying to get the paper written. Can I say I am a slow writer. It is four pages long and I am now struggling to do the bibliography since he didn't tell us which style of notation he wants us to use I am just guessing. This isn't what I went back to school for I can tell you that

For my Color and Design class my homework was to draw 7 structures using one point perspective on hot press board with ink. I do have mine done, but I took the picture yesterday when we had overcast sky so the picture isn't all that good. Still I think you can see what I have done. Not very exciting, but as the Instructor says we will never forget how to do one point perspective after this.

Thats it for this week, next week I will be back in class and have some drawings for you. I also hope to have finished my Challenge quilt. Don't hold your breath on that one though, too much homework will get it the way of that I fear. Though I have made progress with it I still have a lot of hand embellishing I want to do and that takes time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Finished Quilt

It's done. Finally, but no one could ever say I was speedy when it comes to making even a twin sized quilt. According to my notebooks I started this top in April of 1995. The top was pieced and bordered by March 2000, when I purchased the backing fabric for it. From my notes I sandwiched the top in May 2000, and started the quilting. I did a basic grid then got stuck with how to quilt this top and put it aside until November 2008. After all quilts do need to age before being quilted don't they? I decided to take out the block quilting I had done and start over. I finished the quilting early February and got the binding sewn on. Because of school work it has taken me way too long to get the binding sewn down, but this morning I took the last stitches. It still needs a label, but otherwise it is done. Above is a picture of only part of the quilt, below is an almost full on image. I don't really have a good place to hang it so that one corner is draped over a curtain rod, and the bottom isn't totally straight. Still you can get a good idea of what it looks like.

Fabrics used were batiks/hand dyes for the colors. The borders and gray sashing are more batiks, the black and white fabrics are commercial prints. The pattern on the inner blocks is Double X, though I reversed the lights and darks, the border blocks are Friendship Stars. All of the pieced blocks are six inches. Batting for this quilt is Fairfield 100% cotton.

Friday, March 13, 2009

March Madness

I am not a basketball fan, but I like the title, March and madness seems to go together. The weather in March can be crazy and I think all of us here in the northern parts of the states are going a bit stir crazy about now. Especially this year since we have had so much cold and snow. Last weekend we had some lovely warm weather to tease us, then Monday we had more snow. It didn't stick, really, but some areas did get at least an inch on the grass. Fortunately they didn't call off classes.

Monday I turned in my Graphics design that I showed you last week, but the instructor didn't say much about them so I don't know if I did well or totally missed the boat on this one. We then we went over our next assignment where we had to pick a word from a list, find words we associate with it and create images. Our homework was to find 30 words and create 15 images. I chose the word Bias, and created images using the 3 different definitions of Bias. One relating to fabric and bias or angled edges, one relating to sports, like the bias that a spit ball has when thrown, and the last bias is the opinions/feelings/actions people have about others when they have preconceived notions. The instructor didn't like any of my sketches. The only one that came close was a sketch of the police stopping someone by the side of the road. But he wants me to change the viewpoint. He wants it so our point of view is inside the car, seeing someone driving, with a police car coming up behind them in the rear view mirror. I can work with this, but am having some second thoughts about how good a fit graphic design is for me. I really have a hard time with metaphor and he loves it.

On a happier note, my Typography Letter design was posted in the hallway, so that one works. And some of my Color and Design studies have been posted along with other students work.

In Typography we have moved into the Computer lab and we are working with Quark learning how to manage fonts in a document. There are rules that we need to learn about spacing. Spacing in typography is critical, not just line spacing, but the spaces between words and letters. Very subtle stuff, and it means there are no images for me to show you.

My Color and Design class has completed the study of color and we are moving on to the study of space, and how artists create the illusion of space in their art works. Our first assignment having to do with space was to do a pen and ink drawing showing spatial indicators. Those indicators are: sharp and diminishing detail, size, position, overlapping, transparency and interpenetration. Interpenetration is when an object goes through another object and comes out the other side. Below is my drawing for this assignment, I included everything pretty well except for diminishing detail. I do have to say that I don't feel it is all that well executed. I may be doing a lot of figure drawing, but my object drawing skills seem to be a bit rusty.

Objects are a pear in a glass bowl, cheese being cut by a knife, a cup
with another pear in the distance.

Drawing this week was from projected photo's and in the second part of the class we moved on to a discussion of the arms and hands. We did a couple of hand sketches and our homework is to do more drawings of arms and hands, including one of the bones of the arm and hand. My first image for you is my homework from 2 weeks ago, here is my study of the bones of the torso, including the rib cage and pelvis.

I did this with pencil, charcoal is just too soft for me to get the detail I want

These are from photo's our Instructor took of a Model he likes to use. Because we didn't have a live model we had longer to work on each image, so these are more finished then my live studies.

My Hand studies, not wonderful, but not too bad, at least you know it is a hand.

My last image for you this week is of the Spinners mini quilt I did for one of the FFFC challenges. I have added more beads, lightened the center spinners light fabric by using Shiva paint sticks and added the Japanese character for Wind. Hopefully this has helped improve the overall design, by moving the middle spinner a bit more to the foreground and keeping your eyes from totally going off the quilt surface.

As always comments are welcome. Next week is our spring break so there won't be any drawing images for you. But I have Color and Design homework and hope to have finished my February FFFC challenge quilt.

Friday, March 6, 2009

March in like a Lion

March came in like a lion this year. Maybe not exactly on the first here in the northeast but certainly along the rest of the east coast. Here we had snow on the second, a real nor'easter for us and even the South had snow. Atlanta had a bit over 3 inches, something they aren't used to. On Sunday night into Monday we had approximately 8 inches where I live. It drifted so it is a bit hard to say for sure how much we actually had, it might have been less, but it was enough of a storm that we had another snow day at school. All classes were canceled on Monday. I played catch up with some of my homework so I didn't have a relaxing day, but it was good to get caught up with things. These spring storms don't last long but can be nasty.

Since I started last week with my Tuesday classes I am going to change the order of the images a little bit. Tuesday is my Color and Design class, for that class I have two images, the last of the seasonal color studies.

On the top are my summer colors
the bottom is fall, note more browns
and neutralized colors for that season.

The next image is my personal color pallet. I choose to use the colors I prefer to wear, not that I can always purchase these colors as fashion colors come and go but I buy them when I can get them. I noticed when I finished that it is a fall pallet, all neutralized colors in one way or another even that pink is a neutralized pink. For three of these colors I added black, something I did only for this study. All of the other neutralized colors in the other studies were done with either white or their complement on the color wheel. But you have to add black to get a navy blue so I did. The other two colors with black are the brown in the upper left and the burgundy above the navy blue. Not sure that color will show up correctly on your monitor, but in real life it is a dark burgundy red.

My afternoon class on Tuesday is my drawing class, we had a life model and did a lot of quick sketches, but I am not happy with Tuesdays work so I only have 3 images for you. One sketch and two of longer poses. I also have the 2 skeleton drawings we did for homework, he gave me a fairly good grade on them, but I think they are awful. I really don't like drawing bones.

The legs on the back view are a bit too short, the front is ok, but I got the spine too long in the back.

I am not really happy with either of the last two, to me something is not quite right with both of them. Oh well, hopefully I will do better next week.

Wednesday we turned in our Typography homework. This exercise was using letter forms to create a pattern. I chose to use a serif font so my letters are obvious, I used A and W from the Century Font. In case you couldn't guess this took hours to do and was my main focus all weekend. I would work on it a few hours each day and finally got it finished on Sunday.

Size on this is about 20 inches square.

In Graphic Design on Wednesday we went over our 10 sketches for the final layout for our second project. The instructor did more explaining about what he was and wasn't looking for, a good thing as many of us weren't headed in the right direction. Turns out we couldn't use different fonts in either word we used but we could use different styles on the larger word. I spent yesterday morning finishing my design and here is a photo of it mounted on the foam board. I have a bit of adhesive over spray which I hope will evaporate before Monday, but if it doesn't it doesn't. The picture is of a radiator and its relief valve. The cut off H was the instructors suggestion, which I followed. The sounds are sounds I hear all the time in winter, usually the thunk/bang is first then the hiss when the hot water/steam finally reaches my radiators.

Not sure how I feel about this, I think it works for our project, but I am not in love with it. I liked the chair better.

My last image is a landscape drawing I did using colored pencils. It is small only 6.5 x 4.25 inches. I started it over my winter school break and finally finished it last month. I forgot to post a picture so thought I would share it this week. It is from a photo I took one fall in our local park.

That's all for this week. I need to go work on my FFFC challenge quilt, which so far only has fabrics pulled for it, and a very preliminary design sketch done. Need to work on the sketch so I can work on the quilt. It is due tomorrow, and I know I won't make that, but would like to have it done next week. Per usual comments are always welcome.