Posts Tagged ‘exploration’

Art Lessons

July 6, 2016

I think I’ve mentioned that the art quilt critique group I belong to has decided to give ourselves art lessons. Specifically, we’re going to explore elements of design in a semi-structured way. None of us are in a position to enroll in a formal art program, so we’re going the do-it-yourself route. In the past, I’ve incorporated our assignments into a project I wanted to do anyway. I planned to treat our latest assignment, exploring negative space, the same way. Then I changed my mind.

The tree wants to disappear

The tree wants to disappear

This is not the start to the project I need to get finished. It is, however, a good piece to explore negative space. The fabric for the tree limbs seems to drop away from view. That’s partly because it is a delicately grayed green, and grayed colors retreat. The background contributes to the effect, because it is so exuberantly busy.

The grapevine wants to show off

The grapevine wants to show off

This is the project I need to get finished for a challenge on the theme Colors of The Vineyard. You can see that both projects use the same background fabric. I originally planned to use the yellow and green fabrics on the same piece, but a little voice said, “Think before you cut.”

So I thought, and realized that I had the opportunity to do something new in my art quilting. I could use a project as an art journal page, in effect giving myself permission to abandon a piece if it didn’t work. I fused the green branches onto a small bit of the background and immediately realized the fabric wouldn’t do at all for my challenge piece.

I will show the green piece at the next art quilt critique meeting, and ask the other members what they would do if it were their quilt. If I like their ideas, the project may evolve, but if not it has a place in my art journal. I’m already beading the yellow piece for the challenge. And I’m very excited to be taking baby steps toward becoming a more dedicated art student.

Luck and wisdom!

The “Look, There’s A Squirrel” School of Quilting

September 17, 2014

The topic for discussion at the last Art Quilt Critique Group was “What do you want to say with your quilts?” I’m still in the discovery phase of my artistic growth, and I get distracted easily, so I suggested we found our own movement – the “Look, There’s A Squirrel” school of quilting.

Later that day, I thought about crows.

My spirit animal - a little dusty, but mine

My spirit animal – a little dusty, but mine

I took one of those silly personality tests and discovered my spirit animal is the crow. Crows are cool birds (they are also easy to draw, and one of these days I’m going to make a crow quilt). There are lots of other cool birds, some of which take ribbon and fluff and weave their baskets with pretty colors. Heaven knows I have enough ribbons to fill a forest with bird nests.

Lani Longshore ribbons

Some of my friends are making Quilts of Valor projects with eagle motifs. I don’t know much about eagles, but I suspect I could decorate a few bald eagle/patriotic quilts.

Lani Longshore red, white and blue

Of course, anyone who has seen my studio knows that my spirit animal should be a bower bird. I have enough beads and shiny stuff to outfit an island of bower birds for many generations.

A small box, in a larger box, in a larger bin . . .

A small box, in a larger box, in a larger bin . . .

Nevertheless, I think this new artistic movement should definitely showcase the value of distraction and squirrel-like behavior. I bet we could get a lot of followers, too. Maybe we could even have tee shirts, and . . . oh, look –

Luck and wisdom!