Saturday, April 25, 2015

Elizabeth Barton's "Find Your Style" Exercise Works!

The Potomac Fiber Arts Guild's members are encouraged to form small interest groups.   I'm lucky to belong to a group dedicated to studying design.  One of our members was inspired by a blog post from Elizabeth Barton -  "The List of Important Features."  Her article talks about the importance of personal style and how you can go about identifying your own.   Head on over to Elizabeth's blog to get her take on personal style...   

My design group decided to use Elizabeth's excellent style exercise, but with a twist.  A group member selects artwork that she's drawn to and presents it to the rest of the group.  The group feeds back what they see in the collection of artwork.   The presenter considers the group's opinion.  If the idiom "two heads are better than one" is true, then imagine how fabulous the seven heads are in our group!   I received the following feedback on my style preferences:
  • underlying grid
  • an organic feel
  • lots of orange/blue complements
  • layers of texture and pattern
  • representational imagery, but non-dominant
  • collage
  • strong use of line
This led me to create a grid structure for the background of my next grant piece.   An organic feel is incorporated by softening the edges of the grid.   I tried using some new screens, but the solid rectangles lacked interest.   I dug out some old screens that I'd used to run a screen printing event a few years ago.  I'd tucked them away to rescreen eventually.  The small amount of texture afforded by the randomly clogged screens was much more interesting when printed.   I can see that some orange and blue snuck into the composition.   Additional layers of dye, stitch, TAP paper and whatever else inspires will give the piece additional layers of texture and pattern, as well as, adding some representational imagery.
 Torn blue painter's tape is used on the printing screen to break up the straight lines.   
I am deliberately making my pieces larger than the 20"x33" size required because the fabric pieces will be made into tote bags to sell in the museum's store after the exhibit ends.   The extra fabric is required for straps.   It made me realize that I need to make a viewfinder tool that windows the 20"x 33" size, so that I print the next layer in an appropriate spot.   I'm off to raid my cardboard stash!

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