Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Design Studies

Elliptical Illusion is the first quilt in this abstract series that was derived from a design study using colored paper as a medium. I have always struggled with composition and so I have been trying to focus on improving my skills. The idea was to concentrate on composition with design principles in mind. I began using painted or dyed paper along with palletes of color from magazines. The thought was to make the "mistakes" on paper first before using fabric. Once the design was complete, it could be transferred to fiber. The first picture shows the original design on paper. It is called Elliptical Illusion I and measures 9 X 12. The background paper was dyed and inked and the elliptical shapes were cut from magazines. Would you believe the largest shape is actually part of a jackolantern? I thought it was pretty cool and added texture to the piece. When this design was transferred to fiber, I decided to work with a more red pallette in conjunction with blue. The resulting Eliptical Illusion II measures 23 1/4 X 31 and has a more organic feel to it. It is almost like skipping stones ricocheting across the water while the original piece has more of a planetary feel to it. Both are neat pieces and although they have the same design, the background and color pallettes were changed making them quite different in appearance. With that thought in mind, I moved on to the next set in the series called Industrial Revolution, so named for its industrial feel of corrugated metal and revolving spheres. Since the first set was so different from one another, I tried to stay true to the original design in the second set. Industrial Revolution I measures 6 X 9 and the background was taken from a magazine advertisement. It is the corrugated metal you see on the back end of trucks. Here my goal was to create a bold yet simple design by using three objects that varied both in size and color to show depth. Once I was happy with the composition, I began by transferring it to fiber. Cylindrical shapes were painted on a rayon background to mimic the corrugated metal from the paper design. Narrow strips of fabric ranging from short light to a long dark and muddied blue were fused onto the painted wholecloth background along with three spheres ranging from a small orangish to a dark deep red color. The piece was satin stitched and layered. Each of the raised cylindrical shapes on the background was outline quilted and the spaces between them were stippled in a vermicelli style to make the corrugated metal pop out. Industrial Revolution II measures 15 3/4 X 21. Both fiber and paper pieces are very similar to one another. My only regret is that I should have added more shading to the fiber. Other than that, they are pretty close. This has been an interesting study on design and I have learned that just a few simple changes really can alter the feel of a design. I really enjoyed this exercise and am inspired to make a third set for this series. Perhaps something with a more organic feel or who knows, maybe those magazine pages will once again have a significant impact!!!