Sunday, April 18, 2010

DITRH- Follow me through the Art of Abstraction- Intro.

I've always wanted to do abstract work. I understand about line, shape, value, color, movement, size and pattern. I guess I have never really taken the time to PLAY with these ideas before I jumped right in and tried to create an abstract piece.
After finding a wonderful two-part article, by Liz Berg, in the Spring & Summer 2006 issues of Quilting Arts Magazine, I decided to take a different approach to abstract work.
I wanted to follow along with her suggestions and PLAY around with them.
That's what this five week challenge is all about..................PLAY.
I'm certainly not an expert.
We will be working from Liz's articles, mainly the second article where she takes a look at Expressionist Abstract work, through the use of color and form.

I suspect that many of us have books on the subject of the elements that make up art work.
Line, Shape, Value, Color, Movement, Size and Pattern.

What I would like to explore in this challenge are the principles of what we DO with the elements to create UNITY, HARMONY, CONTRAST, REPETITION, GRADATION, BALANCE and DOMINANCE.

How you play, as we go along, is up to you. You can work big or small, in fiber or paper and paint. I am going to suggest that you use what you already have on hand and not some special treasured fabric or paper.

If you don't have Joen Wolfrom's 3-in-1- Color Tool you might want to consider taking a look at it in your local quilt store. The color of dyes used in fabrics are not quite the same as those on the color charts for paints.

I personally have a problem with blues. I always think I have picked out the "right" blue for a project and then when I start sewing it together I'm not happy. My stash tells me that I most often pick out Blue-violet fabrics when I probably really want to be using a true Blue.

It does make a difference. Getting the color right makes your quilt or painting do what it's supposed to do. In the past when I had used just my eyes to guide me I was a little disappointed with the final outcome of a project. It just didn't pop like I wanted it to. After I invested in the Color Tool and brought it with me to quilt stores and checked my fabric selections I could see, in day light where I was going off.

All 24 cards have the PURE colors with the tints, shades and tones of that color on one side and all the color combinations like triadic on the back. The colors and card numbers for the matches are printed on the back of the card. It makes life so much easier.

The pure color is the HUE.
Add black and it's the SHADE.
Add white and it's the TINT
Add gray and it's the TONE

For our first step right into this adventure I want you to take a look at your fabric stash. What color would you say you have the most of? Pick out a piece of fabric and if you have the Color Tool, find the card for it and look on the back for it's triadic combinations. If you have a quilt store handy, take your fabric with you and use the one in the store. Last resort, compare it to your handy color wheel.

Once you have the three colors that make up YOUR triadic combination, pull those other two colors from your stash or if you are working with paints, gather those together.

We are going to explore this particular, YOUR particular triadic combination for a couple of different projects.

I don't want people to feel overwhelmed. I want this to be fun. I'm hoping that when we work HANDS ON we will be creating new memory neurons so our comfort level for creating abstract projects will seem easier. So, yes we are going to be doing a similar exercise, all together BUT in our own color combinations and with our own individual tweaking and twists.

You are going to work on the size that YOU feel most comfortable. I may like to work on an 8"x10" piece of muslin or canvas and you might prefer larger or smaller. That's going to be your call. YOU KNOW BEST WHAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH.

I would really like to see pictures posted on Friday's and links sent to me to share with those who are following along. Part of the fun of working together is to see what other people have done.

You have some homework to do for tomorrow and then you have the entire week to PLAY.
Like the previous challenges, this is for fun. Please do not stress yourself and feel you have to produce museum quality abstract art. Nor do you have to produce a quilt show judged mini art quilt. I have no interest in whether your edges are frayed and I hope you can let go of some of the rules to experiment. When you see where YOU might want to go with this then you can apply the details that make you comfortable with your finished art work. OK?

:)Bea Who creates well with others.

P.S. Remember that I am a fellow traveler, along the journey. I know many of you out there have a wealth of information and I am hoping that you will feel comfortable SHARING any tips that you might have learned along the way. Add them to your post on picture day or to my comment section. I will gladly share them with the rest of the travelers. :)


  1. You go girl...I need to sew my vessel together and my monthly full moon quilt for April...yikes with the exhibit 35 days away I have to get my ducks and chicks in a row. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  2. Even if you can't play with us Mary Helen, keep popping in, especially on Fridays and see what people are making. :)Bea

  3. Very interesting. I used to love to draw - I usally set out making something realistic, but it usually ended up abstract.