Saturday, November 19, 2011

Easy Transition

As we segue from texture to the final art element, color in our 2-D design class, the students needed an easy exercise.  I think that this was the simplest method for conveying the concept of complementary color arrangements.

 Collage is stress-free, recycles printed matter and results in some wonderful small pieces of art.

 The objective of the lesson was to utilize complementary colors.  Students could pick any hue from the color wheel and use it in any of its manifestations.  They were to use the complement as an accent or focal point in their work.

 They were instructed to refrain from using humans, eyeballs, words and identifiable objects and instead focus on non-objective abstraction

There is always one in every crowd who rejects the "rules of the game".  All you can do is laugh out loud.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The final project for the Crafts class was to design and print cotton fabric that would then be made into quilt faces.  Wild designs made for beautiful textiles!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


If you are going to go to the effort to design and sew a quilt you may as well dye your own cloth.

Procion MX dyes can be applied in paste form to prepared cloth
Students carved their own stamps....
and even printed one-off monoprints onto cotton.
Here are sets of textiles that will be turned into artists quilts.
Now the next challenge is composition.  Fortunately we had some inspiration from Karen Schultz's exhibition at Blackrock Arts Center.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Six :Field trip to BlackRock Arts Center.

Field trip to BlackRock Arts Center. Please note that I am going back to these older blog posts in order to re-enter photos that were taken off!
Our second field trip took us north to Germantown, MD to the Blackrock Arts Center to see the recently opened exhibition of quilts by Silver Spring artist, Karen Schulz.  Students are carefully examining her techniques and the structure of this particular work.

There was a great deal of discussion about how she dyed and pieced her fabrics and also how stitching added emphasis to the designs.

My favorite series are the peaches ripening on a screened porch , evidently a memory from her childhood.

We learned a lot as we move into art quilts and surface design on fabric.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shaking things up

We are at the close of week one of a summer session course in crafts.  Our focus is surface design on paper and textiles and the construction methods for making artist's books and quilts.  We did a wide range of decorative techniques with paper and won't get to batik for two more weeks, but I couldn't pass up this wonderful opportunity for a field trip.

We traveled by Metro into DC and were greeted by these young women, both trained in dance, at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.  For one week they are hosting the phenomenal exhibition, Indonesian Batik: World Heritage.

No demonstrations were going on during our visit but there was more than enough to stimulate the senses.

Please feel free to click on each image in order to see the remarkable detail and craftsmanship.

The rooms are dramatic but the floral arrangements brought one's eye down to pieces of cloth so beautifully worked.

A favorite piece.


The Embassy is hosting the American Batik Design  Competition..  Click here for details.  If you wish to compete you will have to hurry, the deadline is August 1!  There are some very remarkable prizes.

The foyer of the embassy is ornate with a Tiffany glass ceiling over the grand stairway.Posted by Picasa
I hope that the excitement generated by this trip will last for another week when we begin our batik project.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In Shape: Part Two

When the design class assignments morph from a diet of lean lines to voluptuous shapes, everyone is happy.
Like the art element line, shape can also be classified: geometric, biomorphic, actual, implied or amorphous.  Here are two earlier posts about this element:

Students are asked to find shapes in their surroundings.  Our classes meet in a renovated factory building with thoughtful and imaginative space.
Executed in inexpensive tempera paint, this student's rectilinear design was inspired by the exposed beams of the interior structure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Of a piece: Part One

Posted by PicasaThere are several postings related to the design curriculum that I include in my classes here at our community college.  I have written about line, the art element that students begin with in the past.
Seemingly abstract to many of the non-art students, it is the beginning of our journey into dissecting what we see and how we create.

All lines are not created equal.  There are the passive horizontals, the strength of the verticals and the power of the diagonal.  There is an energy and beauty to curves.  Lines have character and we can use them to transcribe the world around us.
We begin with the line combination of horizontal and vertical.

Note the beauty of the implied spaces!