Winter is a great time to challenge myself. I hate the cold and prefer to hybrinate inside next to my warm… sewing machine.
I finally decided to start taking drawing classes and they have really made a difference. I have learned a ton about perspective and rules of drawing. I drew a self portrait, which everyone agrees looks like someone or everyone in my family. I think it’s a great start! Naomi Ocean, my art teacher and Riki Metz my fellow art student are both incredibly supportive and share so much knowledge. Thanks you guys!
Drawing classes, what a wonderful surprise. I found out I can draw!!! What an amazing discovery. You need a pencil or two, an eraser and a lot of patience. I have a long way to go, but it is a beginning. Now I will tell you a little about what I learned.
I had an epiphany towards the end of the year and I didn’t want to wait till 2014 to start. I thought that if I could improve my drawing skills, my artwork would benefit all around. I sought out a local teacher and thankfully found a talented, creative, energetic art teacher, named Naomi Ocean.
My first real project was of Poor Yorick (Hamlet). I worked on him for 3-4 weeks together with Naomi’s guidance and help. Who knew what one could do with a pencil and an eraser and a lot of precision? The pencil strokes and shading form the face and the background. You can’t just have an image floating on the page though. It has to have a background, right? Shading the background is how you make the focus of your drawing pop. You shade with a pencil but you draw with a pencil and an eraser. Lighter areas are brought out by erasing lightly. It’s all so basic, but not at all simple. I am sure that with these new skills I will find painting with thread even more fun than before. Here are a few shots of Yorick. Let me know what you think of him…
Tango Dancers. W: 29 in x H: 38 in. 2013
Color can evoke emotion in art. That is the theme of my latest work, “Tango Dancers”. Can you feel the extreme heat from the warm colors as well as the movement of the dancers?
To evoke passion and excitement, I used many values from the warm range of the color wheel. I think the varying values helped add contrast and made the background pop.
The focus of the piece is a pair of tango dancers in silhouette. I thread painted their musculature using warm colored thread. I layered another layer of batting behind the figures so they would also pop.
If the quilt is accepted, it will travel around the US for the next year as part of a SAQA exhibit, so wish me luck!
Dimensions: 38.25″ x 29″
Materials: Cotton fabric, cotton / polyester batting, interfacing, cotton thread
I had the most inspiring experience on Thursday. I went to see my artist friend, Malka Partouch, who taught me the techniques of drawing faces.
Now I know I still need a lot of practice and I know it isn’t perfect, but the face I drew looks like a person. What’s more it looks like the original image I was trying to imitate. We worked from a series of books published by Walter Foster. It opened a whole new world for me. Very exciting! We looked at the intricacies of the features of the face; the shape of each features; the direction and placement of eyes, lips, nose. Once we studied each feature it wasn’t so bewildering. I drew the face you see here with an HB pencil on a sketch pad.
I intend to use this new knowledge in my quilting. As a matter of fact, there is a new challenge coming up in May for the Israel Quilters Association entitled “The Many Faces of Jerusalem.” Seems like the perfect opportunity to try my hand at faces in fabric. If you are interested in finding out more details about this challenge, feel free to contact me.
Now, about my friend Malka. She is an artist from France who teaches art classes in Beit Shemesh and paints wonderfully. In addition she runs a successful bride salon from her home. You can find out more about her salon at this link: Salon Victorine or write to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
One last comment. I bought a copy of a Walter Foster book at an art shop on Bezalel Street on Friday. I had the best time visiting the art supply shops there. Afterwards I spoke at length to an artist selling her jewelry at a table along Bezalel Street. We had a really interesting chat about running a small business and selling high-end art. That seems to be the place to do it on Fridays in the Jerusalem area. There is traffic: buyers, tourists… It was so good to connect and share ideas with other artists. It was a real inspiration.
This is a real question: How do you make a field lie down? I am working on a project right now that has a field of flowers followed by a green field. Oh, and the fields are created in fabric. Somehow they look as if they are standing up rather than lying down. Even though there are mountains in the far-away background, the front portion doesn’t appear flat.
Do you plant something in the field, like a vehicle, so the eye understands? I thought about a watering system, but the fields are sort of narrow.
So what do I do to fix that?
All thoughts and suggestions are welcome!
Lots of elements come into play when you look at a path or hills in the distance. Paths have shadows along the way that change as the sun rises and sets. Hills in the distance take on a bluish tint, which is called atmospheric perspective.
I’ve been steadily working through The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Dr. Betty Edwards. I’ve never taken a professional drawing class and thought I could pick up pointers and good insights into my own art by following the steps in this book. It’s been great. I am watching myself draw — something I never thought I could do.
I belong to a quilters list that has lately been discussing the difference between art and craft. Some of the quilters claim they are not artists, rather they create craft.