Monday, January 26, 2015

Approaching Design Step by Step

I clearly remember when I began as a quilter, over twenty years ago, to get itchy and restless with following traditional predetermined patterns.  I think I was making my second or third quilt when I thought, "What if I just change the color of this row of blocks right here?"  On my next quilt I decided to add skewed frames and wonky jagged quilting to my decorous applique flowers, and then there was no going back.

Photo:  Molly Elkind
For me the next logical step was to take classes in Surface Design and Fiber Construction at the University of Louisville's Alan R. Hite Art Institute.  I realized I would be a more effective designer of my own work  if I had a little professional instruction.  Or  a lot.  One class led to another, and before I knew it I was working on a Master's degree in Studio Art with a focus on Fiber.  It was a great, mind-expanding experience that changed my artistic practice, and my life, forever.

What if you'd like to take your work to that next level, but you can't put your life on hold to take college classes in art?  Or perhaps you've taken workshops and classes with artists and makers who've had you reproducing the techniques they are known for.  You learn some new skills, but you don't learn how to make your own work.

That's why I've developed a two-and-a-half day intensive class in design--Approaching Design Step by Step--intended to get you comfortable with using a sketchbook (you can call it a visual journal if you like), generating lots of ideas and samples, and learning the lingo of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design.  These aren't hard and fast rules so much as they are basic concepts that help you understand what you see when you look at your own work or anyone else's.  They are sort of a magic decoder ring for visual art.  When I began to understand concepts like value, contrast, and proportion, I felt as though finally I could put into words that uneasy feeling I'd get when something about my design wasn't working but I just couldn't put my finger on it. 
I'll be offering this class at a fantastic venue in April--the renowned Arrowmont School of Art and Craft.  It's part of the biennial Fiber Forum weekend conference, featuring nationally and internationally known artists and students in a wide variety of fiber media.  It's a great time to hang out with the fiber tribe, work at what you love all day, and not have to fix any meals or run any errands.  There are vendors of fiber supplies, two exhibits of work, and a fashion show.  Add in the fact that the campus is a wooded enclave in the heart of the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, at the height of spring, and you get the picture of how special this weekend will be.  

Here are the links:

Conferenceat a Glance
Workshopand Instructor Information


Go ahead, check it out.  Hope to see you there!

No comments:

Post a Comment