ColorPlay: Birdhouse

ColorPlay: Birdhouse - original
ColorPlay: Birdhouse – original

This is a photo from the Alden Lane Quilt show from last September. I picked it because it is so cheerful looking.

ColorPlay: Birdhouse-n.1
ColorPlay: Birdhouse-n.1

First, I had to pick out the candy colors. You know I love the brights.

ColorPlay: Birdhouse-n.2
ColorPlay: Birdhouse-n.2

I did another palette of brights, because I thought I could. I think this palette is a little brighter. There are a lot of greens in this image, so it is a challenge.

ColorPlay: Birdhouse-n.3
ColorPlay: Birdhouse-n.3

This is sort of an ode to a more traditional palette. Perhaps 4th of July palette?

ColorPlay: Birdhouse-n.4
ColorPlay: Birdhouse-n.4

And I seem to have to do a monochromatic palette. This week’s is green.

What’s your favorite palette?

 

 

ColorPlay: Splatter Art

ColorPlay: Original
ColorPlay: Original

I am revisiting old posts and came up with this Dose of Daily Art post. I thought it would be a good ColorPlay – kind of revisiting old friends.

ColorPlay: Splatter Art-default
ColorPlay: Splatter Art-default

The default is, for once, not all neutrals.

ColorPlay: Splatter Art - 1
ColorPlay: Splatter Art – 1

I like this one. It reminds me of the circus, but not a primary circus.

ColorPlay: Splatter Art n.2
ColorPlay: Splatter Art n.2

I wasn’t quite done with that fuchsia. I like it with the various violets and blues. I can see actually using this palette for something very cheerful. I also noticed that one of the colors was white. I hadn’t seen it before.

ColorPlay: Splatter Art n.3
ColorPlay: Splatter Art n.3

I had to try a blue and green palette. The two greens on the end are bit much, but I am not much of a fan of green so that could be part of the problem.

ColorPlay: Splatter Art n.4
ColorPlay: Splatter Art n.4

This is a warm palette I felt I needed to try.

I wanted to try a monochromatic palettes. First was blue.

ColorPlay: Splatter Art n.5
ColorPlay: Splatter Art n.5

I felt like I needed to make a neutral palette, so I gave up. This was a great picture to use. Although there was no variations in the colors used in different parts of the painting, there were a lot of colors and that was fun.

 

ColorPlay: Modern Building

ColorPlay: Modern Building - Original
ColorPlay: Modern Building – Original

There is a lot of building going on near my office. Barely moving my head, I can see at least 5 cranes when I get off the train without having to turn my head. The sound of jackhammers, hammering and other construction noises fill the air all day.

I walk around at lunch trying to get to know the neighborhood. It is hard, because it is changing rapidly. The other day I across this building. I love the windows and thought it would be great for this exercise. It is so whimsical.

ColorPlay: Modern Building-default
ColorPlay: Modern Building-default

I wanted to stop at this default palette. The blues are great, even without any turquoise and the Pewter makes a nice background. It is almost a perfect palette. Looking at it, however, I see that that green wasn’t touched or the orange.

ColorPlay: Modern Building 2
ColorPlay: Modern Building 2

I had to do another monochromatic palette to see how many blues I could include. I moved the circles, but some of the colors chosen are the same as the previous palette.

I admit that it isn’t quite monchromatic, but it is analgous. That green with the brighter blues looks really good.

ColorPlay: Modern Building-2
ColorPlay: Modern Building-2

I couldn’t avoid the orange. It is clearly some kind of construction fencing, which are, traditionally, that super bright orange. No matter where I moved the circles the brightest I could get was the Mango. I decided to embrace the vagaries of the computer and see what happened. This isn’t a palette I would have put together myself, but I think it works. It is definitely interesting.

ColorPlay: Modern Building-3
ColorPlay: Modern Building-3

I liked the Mango and wanted to keep it in. I also liked the green and turquoise, so I kept those. The others aren’t as successful this time. All extra grey, even the Graphite, which my eyes tell me is actually blue.

Let me know what you think of these palettes and if you make anything.

 

Creative Spark #27: Share Your Work

“Artist Marcel Duchamp believed that his work wasn’t finished until it was seen by people–that the viewing completed the work” (pg.113).

This is an interesting quote and it makes me think. I always show my quilts, at least to the guild, before they go wherever their final destination ends up. As much as possible, I try to show them in shows. I like to win, but I am not daunted by not winning.

Once my quilt Spiky Stars won Judge’s Choice at the Marin Needle Arts Guild show (now defunct). I was VERY excited and stood unobtrusively near my quilt for quite awhile listening to people talk about it. Not all of the comments were nice, but the ones that were warmed my heart.

Ms. Bloomston advocates selling work via a ‘lemonade stand’ and by that she means a low entry overhead venue such as a local craft fair or farmers’ market. She also mentions online retail. I am not interested in making much of an effort to sell my work. I have had offers, but they have been laughably low and not worth me not having the quilt. I make quilts for the pleasure of making them.

Carrie also mentions sharing via social media. I think this is important, but I think live viewings are more important. I do both, as you know. Use social media for yourself. Don’t expect the world to flock to your site or account. If  they do, it is an added bonus.

She give some tips for showing work as well, which is a nice bonus.

Go forth and share!

You can see the last post on this topic from a few weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Creative Spark #26: Take a Day Off

One of the things I like about this book is that the chapters are short. I am looking at my next book to review and one is great, but the chapters are super long. Perhaps I can do a page a week?

This is another physical chapter. In this one, Carrie Bloomston starts out by saying that she is not the kind of person to tell you to go sit in your studio at the same time every day and for the same length of time until inspiration strikes. She continues by saying that it is a theory that when inspiration strikes you will be readying for it and in your workspace ready to go. She recommends taking the day off and going fishing or hanging out in nature so you can actively fill your senses with inspiration (pg.109). I actually agree.

I don’t have enough time in my studio, but when I go out to get inspiration I come back itching for more, because I am filled with ideas. I know that going to a museum or even out to dinner with a friend will show me something new that will inspire me or give me a problem solving idea.

The reality is that you can’t force creativity and looking at the same walls isn’t going to help. I get a daily dose of inspiration when I go out walking. I try to take a different path and I have made the most interesting discoveries – a lake! a building completely covered in 4×4 inch tiles! trees touching each other! All of these things are within a 10 or 15 minute walk from my office. There is a brake shop building of which I am particularly fond. I have to take a picture, but it seems silly.

“Don’t get me wrong. I also believe in working. I believe in worth through the boredom, the obstacles, the writer’s block. But there is a time and a place for everything. Sometimes you just have to run away” (pg.110).

So, take yourself on a date and take a bunch of photos and make some sketches or doodles or whatever you do.

You can see the last post on this topic from a few weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Creative Spark #25: Make a Soul Box

A Soul Box is a way to do “soul archaeology…while making a meaningful reminder of what is most important to you?” (pg.105).

In this chapter, Bloomston gives the reader a list of supplies to make an actual box. This is a very physical activity. Sometimes, making something that is not in our regular media leads to a new place in your chosen medium. I get so much inspiration from making books, folding paper and gluing paper to things.

You can see the last post on this topic from a few weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Creative Spark #24: Shine Your Light

“You have to let go of the feeling that you don’t deserve to be happy or that you could never have the freedom that you seek” (pg.102)

In my journal, at the back, I make a list of the small sewing achievements I make every day (in a good week). It might be something like “sewed 2 HRTs – 5/25/2018” or “finished a 2 inch strip of binding on Triple Star quilt – 5/18/2018.” I used to just put finished items on that list, but the entries were too few and too far between, so this is my comprise. These are seriously small victories, but I do it to make myself feel accomplished.

Celebrate the small victories. Pat YOURSELF on the back. Believe in yourself.

Carrie says that “believing in yourself is a practice. The more you practice, the better you get. And the more you practice, the more able you are to accept your limitations and shortcomings, because there is always another chance to try again, to do it differently and maybe better” (pg.102)

You can see the last post on this topic from a few weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

ColorPlay: deYoung Flowers

ColorPlay: deYoung Flowers- default
ColorPlay: deYoung Flowers- default

This week’s photo was a bad choice. It is a gorgeous group of flowers and I really like the image, but there isn’t enough diversity in the colors to make interesting palettes.

As a result, after the default palette, I stuck to monochromatic palettes.

Green: the green looks really brown – or yellowish brown- in the palette.

Orange: I thought the orange would be great, but, again, the colors look very brown. This groups would make a great Thanksgiving quilt.

Pink: these colors aren’t bad. They do have a pink tinge to them, but I wouldn’t call them pink.

The tool was acting strange as well. The colors with names were not displaying on the side. It might be time to think up a new creativity/inspiration project.

Let me know if you use a palette to make something.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture

Wind Sculpture, San Francisco
Wind Sculpture, San Francisco

I saw this wind sculpture when I went to get my hair cut on Saturday. I have walked by it numerous times and finally stopped to take a photo.

ColorPlay Wind Sculpture-default
ColorPlay Wind Sculpture-default

The default was great! NO neutrals this time. I found it to be a very appealing palette, if a little too monochromatic.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.1
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.1

I took the opportunity of a great default to try a monochromatic palette. I tried to go for sea tones and I think I got a blustery day sort of look.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.2
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.2

With the second palette, I tried to pull out the colors in the image. There are quite a few colors and I wanted a variety. The only one I don’t like is the Kona Parsley. It doesn’t look like parsley at all to me. It looks like one of those life-sucking beige relatives.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.3
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.3

In the third palette, I went back to blues, but expanded to darks. I like the colors together. In a quilt, however, I don’t think there would be enough contrast.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.4
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.4

I really got a lot of mileage out of the default blue-centric palette. I continued with the monochromatic theme in the fourth palette, but went with brighter and happier blues. There are some darks and it was hard to find places in the images where the tool registered the location as a different color/fabric.

ColorPlay Wind Sculpture-n.5
ColorPlay Wind Sculpture-n.5

With n.5 I tried to find every spec of warm colors in the whole image. The pickle is the only cool color, but it has a tinge of warmth to it, I think.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.6
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.6

With the last palette, I decided to stick with blue, but go light, even venturing into grey. The Avocado was kind of a desperation choice, but the others stuck with my idea.

What will you make?

Creative Spark #23: Repetition

“There is only one way to achieve the fluency, freedom and grace of the expert, and that is by doing” (The Little Spark, pg.97). I believe this quote. I live this quote. I sew a lot. I make a respectable number of quilts and chop up and sew back together a lot of fabric.

I get the impression that people think you can make one quilt and be an expert. I have made a lot of quilts and I still don’t consider myself an expert. “We get better at anything we try to do by doing it over and over (and over and over)” (pg.97).

I do think, as we progress towards becoming an expert, we gain “fluency and fluidity with the materials and…movements.” We “understand…the rhythm and harmony of the” materials, the tools and our “body.” We can feel our way through the” work ” instead of thinking…through” [it]. We become less attached to our work as we get better and we get better at telling the materials exactly what we want them to do using great economy of movement. As we get better, we are fully in control of our work and yet we choose to surrender that control to the materials. (pg.97)

“You don’t learn by thinking about doing. You might enjoy thinking and planning, but the learning comes from doing” (pg.97). Each time we make a quilt or, even, a block “a new awareness…is born. The reality is that you have to show up and do the work.

Carrie recommends that when you start to, she calls it, “throw a hundred bowls” (pg.97) that you not do it alone. In quiltmaking, guilds are great for that, but so are friends, classes and, in a pinch, the Internet. YouTube is a wonderful thing. The point is that if you get stuck and you don’t have a friend or support system, you will have an easier time stopping that if you have someone to lean on.

The text is followed by a quiz (pg.98-99), which helps determine your learning style.

Now, go make your hundred quilts or hundred blocks and improve your skills. Become an expert.

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is fueling this flight of fancy.

ColorPlay: Israeli Art

Flying Sun by Joel Amit
Flying Sun by Joel Amit

I was walking through the streets of downtown San Francisco to the train Saturday night after a lovely dinner with friends. I saw this great piece of art by Joel Amit of Jerusalem in one of the gallery windows. The piece is called Flying Sun. I really like it and thought it would be great for ColorPlay.

ColorPlay: Apr27-default
ColorPlay: Apr27-default

Starting off with the default always makes me wonder. This time I checked out some of the pieces on the Play-Crafts Instagram feed and I don’t see that her quilt pieces focus particularly on neutrals. With all the color in this piece, the tool still defaults to neutrals. There are so many colors that can come in the Palette Builder tool! I don’t even have to move the circles very much- a couple of millimeters at the most to make a new palette with completely new colors. Again, this makes me wonder why so many neutrals in the default palette. Do I sound obsessed? Perhaps I am?

The greys are nice, but it is still mostly neutral.

ColorPlay:Apr,27 n.1
ColorPlay:Apr,27 n.1

I finally started moving the circles around and thought, when my first palette was finished “okay, I am done”. My first palette is extremely bright and cheerful and reflects some of the colors Mr. Amit has used. I like the Kona Lipstick and the Kona Cardinal, overall, but there is a bit of a circus feel with this palette, so I tried again into order to get something a little more subtle or, perhaps sophisticated.

ColorPlay: Apr. 27 n.2
ColorPlay: Apr. 27 n.2

My second palette uses more subtle colors. I don’t think the Kona Grellow works. It looks a little too mustardy to me. It isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t fit with the rest of the palette. I like the green – Kona Leaf, but not with the  Tomato and Watermelon.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.3
ColorPlay: April 27 n.3

Palette n.3 was another adventure. I added some turquoise, which is great and added Orangeade – there aren’t enough circles to have a ROYGBIV rainbow palette, but we do what we can. I wanted to keep the Watermelon, but moved the wrong circle and ended up with Chinese Red. Somehow I didn’t get rid of the Leaf or Grellow.

ColorPlay:April 27 n.4
ColorPlay:April 27 n.4

Palette n.4 is much better. I kept the colors I liked – Cyan and Orangeade – and tweaked the rest. Except for the yellow, I just made little tweaks. The Geranium is a nice addition. The Honeysuckle and Cyan go really well together. The Clover isn’t terrible, but I don’t like it next to the Canary.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.5
ColorPlay: April 27 n.5

Since I was getting close to a palette I really liked, I only changed the green. Again the Grasshopper is better, but still doesn’t work very well with the yellow. Also, with the Grasshopper, somehow the Orangeade doesn’t look as bright, but it does look ok next to the Honeysuckle.

This is a great photo for this exercise and I could go on forever, but I am not going to since you can go to Play-Crafts.com and make your own palettes.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.6
ColorPlay: April 27 n.6

TA-DA! I took out the green. It wasn’t working, so I added some Shitake. It is a nice light-ish grey and would make a good background.

What will you make?

 

 

Inspiration from Liz

Liz's Star Quilt
Liz’s Star Quilt

I get a lot out of the guild meetings and the April meeting was no exception. I already talked about Alison’s blocks and Tim’s quilting. Liz is a new-ish member and she brought her star quilt.

This quilt reminds me of my Star Sampler.

One of the things I liked about this quilt is that there are a lot of half square triangles that make secondary designs. The half square triangles also make up the border. This is a great self bordering border!

I also like that there are four patches. This tells me I could use leaders and enders if I want to make this quilt.

There really is a lot to like about this quilt including the stars within stars.

Creative Spark #22: Find Your Voice

This has been a difficult week, so I decided to sit down and work on a creative spark post. These posts take a while, but I usually end up happy after I am done. Or, at least, distracted.

Carrie Bloomston shares an Alan Alda quote with us that exactly explains the subject of this spark. She quotes “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself” (pg.93).

We often put on a mask to go to work, do not wear red tights with our all black outfit or simply don’t talk about our true feelings about creativity. Engaging in creativity is different. “No matter what you do in your creative life, you will bring all of you to it” (pg.93). I also would add that artists do their best work when they do what they want to do, not what they think someone else wants them to do and certainly not what the artists think they should do.

This spark is about finding your creative voice. Bloomston explains that “your voice is a combination of style, experience, work, and subject matter” (pg.93).  She shows readers three ways to find your creative subject, “Internal, External and Catharsis” (pg.94).

For internal, we have to dig through our unconscious self for content to figure out what we want to say. For external, you have to do research and then there is catharsis, which is healing through art. I find that I use two of the three less than External. I look at things (have you seen this blog?) and get inspiration from them. Sometimes it is colors, sometimes shapes, sometimes what others are doing, sometimes from books. I know I bring my own twist to these sources. I know that sometimes I veer so far away from the original source that the art has little to no relation to the original source.

In terms of internal and catharsis, inspiration is more complicated. I write a lot about my feelings and I think that form of creativity takes care of internal imagery for me. With my quiltmaking, I am more interested in color, shape and line. I don’t always have those images in my head. With catharsis, again, I write, though I have made some art to try and get painful experiences out and work through them. Quiltmaking doesn’t always provide an adequate venue for working through problems. Again, I write.

The worksheet is very good in this chapter and I am actually feeling good about working on it.

What do you think about finding your voice?

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Meeting Inspiration

Alison is really great. She always brings something to work on after the meeting. I have brought things in the past and I seriously thought about bringing the BAMaQG IRR quilt to stitch on. I think I need to try my hand at Big Stitch again at home before I start Big Stitching in public.

This time she brought scraps. She brought them to sort out. I didn’t get to ask her how she normally stores them. What I saw was a big bag in which they were shoved.

Alison's String Blocks
Alison’s String Blocks

Alison was sorting scraps to make these 12/5 x 4.5 rectangles to make a quilt from a book called No Scrap Left Behind. She started out using a foundation (tracing paper), but found after a few blocks that she didn’t need it. This is definitely a block you make with what you have and then trim to the right size.

I like how the sizes of the strips are different. Alison said that she doesn’t use any strips larger than 2.5″ wide and I think that makes sense. I like the skinny little strips as well. They add a bit of pop to the block. I am kind of excited to try this, not that I am done making the Bias Rectangles for more of the Spiky 16 patch quilts.

This block sparked my interest. I have a ton of scraps. I do use them, but the piles are not getting any smaller. This block would enable me to use different scraps together. Once finished, I could put the blocks together in different ways to make interesting and fun donation quilts.

ColorPlay: Ruth’s Flower

Ruth's Flower
Ruth’s Flower

DH and I went over to my MIL’s house last night to get the mail and take out the garbage. On my way up the stairs, I saw that one of her flowers had bloomed. Better late than never, I suppose. It was still perfect.

I thought I would use it as my ColorPlay image of the week. Even though I already did a sort of tribute to her, this one seems appropriate as well.

ColorPlay April 13: default
ColorPlay April 13: default

The default palette was actually pretty good this time. I guess the tool couldn’t ignore all of that red-orange.

ColorPlay April 13 n.1
ColorPlay April 13 n.1

My first original palette was all about the various reds, pinks and red-oranges. I couldn’t resist trying to find as many as possible in that photo.

ColorPlay April 13 n.2
ColorPlay April 13 n.2

Can I vary the colors? Yes! Can I create a balanced palette that would make a good set of colors for a quilt? Apparently, only if that quilt palette is monochromatic. This time I went with green. I like green in plants, but not so much in fabric. This palette is not a favorite.

ColorPlay April 13 n.3
ColorPlay April 13 n.3

I decided to create a balanced palette move one circle to each main section of the image. I did come up with a lot of different colors, but am not sure if the palette would make a good group of colors for a quilt. I think not.

ColorPlay April 13 n.4
ColorPlay April 13 n.4

I made a last effort and actually looked for opportunities to add in some neutrals. This one has both Kona Cinnamon and Kona Crimson. They look the same to me and the latter looks nothing like Crimson.

What will you make?