Tuesday, May 18, 2010

After

     I can only come up with a one word title. I feel a bit slow yet amidst the chaos that is created this week-in between coming home and getting ready to leave already for a wedding in VT this weekend. Just a few days to re-group and re-organize -slow and not very productive is not really a great place to be at.
     I spent last week at the Barn at a workshop with Nancy Crow at the class titled Sets and Variables I and II. The class -very basically-was working on a specific motif ( a original block pattern you drew) and all it's various configurations. Each piece we cut was cut freehand and individually. She gave assignments and lectured at the beginning of the day and we had timed exercises to complete. For example, here is the project and you have one day to do it or two days to do it. Then, each person would present it to the class and Nancy would critique it. She has an amazing amount of energy and is brutally honest. But within the critique, she met each of us where we were in the process-as a true beginner or much higher. So, after the initial  critique you were less fearful , and were actually looking forward to seeing what she had to say. For the brutal honesty and time she gave us, I really respect that. Because honest critique of your work is very hard to come by.
      Lots of art theory-LOTS! I am not a person who likes to present to others so the whole experience is really hard for me-but I realized I learned the most from seeing others pieces and doing a self-critique of my work. And yes, I really did work from 7:30 am until 10pm. Brain work and sewing work.

                                                   Design wall: Day One

     Since it was an intermediate class, I expected it to be hard. Nancy spent an incredible amount of time with us both individually and as a group. Design, shape, texture, figure-ground, pattern repetition, pattern manipulation-I could go on and on. She wants you to figure out the answers and process the information.

     The energy that is created with working with others is something I don't know if I can explain. As a quilter/artist , it is lonesome working by yourself. I rarely sew with others because it is just too hard lugging my stuff out of my studio. (Yup I will now call it a studio.)  Few people do this kind of work so I am kind of an oddball too. Like-minded quilters are hard to find? So just not being odd, was great. I enjoyed spending time with a  woman, Rahel,  who was sitting adjacent to me- a woman from Israel who had just retired from teaching. She has devoted 40-50  hours a week since her last class on producing quilts so the body of work she showed was amazing. And she gave a brief 15 minute talk to us-at Nancy's request-about how to integrate art as a priority if this is what you want to do. Rahel was very articulate and had us all in tears at the end- how using your hands is a gift not to be wasted.

                                         End of Day One

     This was clearly a stretch for me both technically and design-wise. I knew that going into it and didn't really expect to make wonderful things there. I never do with timed exercises.  It's more for me the knowledge I leave with and how I begin to process it as I leave and go forward. And my head is just bursting so I hope all of it stays inside and just doesn't burst.

   Unfortunately, on the last day of class one of the gals I traveled with fell and broke her femur....poor thing needed surgery. I must run and try to call her and see how she is doing. We had to leave her behind in Columbus while she recovers. Miss you new friend and hope you heal quickly.

Off to catch up.

Happy Sewing, my friends.
  

4 comments:

  1. The timbers in the barn may have been more than a distraction, perhaps an inspiration too? Enjoy your blog, and love the story and picture about your mother and lovely daughter. Congratulations!

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  2. I really like what you are showing here. I can see how you've grown. Can't wait to get together over the summer.

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  3. That had to be an amazing week. I know that feeling of exhilaration mixed with exhaustion. It's probably a good thing you have to take off and be away from your studio right now. Your new knowledge will have some time to settle in place so it can be integrated in your work.

    Thanks for the comments you've left about "The Lake". I'd like have your email. Mine is nellie at kickaboo dot net

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  4. Thanks Chris and Lynne- Looking at the timbers in the barn did give me time to pause so you are right-inspiration time!

    Nellie-yes, the info needs to settle! And I assume it will be integrated over time -I hope in new and exciting ways.

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