Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sue Benner Workshop

Well hey there, I'm back!  My life got rather busy for a while but I'm here now to explain some of what was going on.  First of all, I got promoted to a new position at work.  Yea me!  However, I still have to do my old job at the same time until they get someone hired to replace me.  So I'm a bit overwhelmed at work.  I am lucky, in that I don't have to bring my work home with me, but at the end of a workday or a workweek, I'm pretty pooped.

On top of that I have been taking art workshops.  I'm here to tell you that it is totally worth spending the money!  The first workshop I took was in April, with the fabulous art quilter Sue Benner.  She has been my art quilting hero for a long time and I was so thrilled to get a chance to take a class with her.  The class was put on by the Front Range Contemporary Quilters, of which I am a member.  This workshop was about abstract art.  Sue was incredibly knowledgeable about fine art in general and showed us a lot of great stuff about the development of abstract art.  We focused on the ways in which artists of the past and present have used other artists work as inspiration for their own art.  It was fascinating to see how the other workshop participants approached this idea.  I soon realized that I was taking a much to literal approach to using an image of something as inspiration for an abstract piece of my own.  The results of our first exercise stunk so bad that I won't even show it.  I learned so much from looking at other peoples work.  In the end I started making progress on the piece above but soon realized that I wanted to work with sheers and that Wonder Under fusible just wasn't going to give me the results I was looking for with sheer fabrics.  I decided to put this aside to work on at home, where I have some Misty Fuse.  Here is a detail shot of the part I worked on for a while:

Since I didn't want to continue with the piece above right then and there I started another one (below).  I'm really happy with where this is going.  I plan to make two or three along the same lines so I can try out some different techniques on it, including monoprinting.  I may even print this to both paper and fabric so I can play with it some more.

The rectangles with the black lines are actually paint covered paper towel with black fabric lines fused to it.  I so love to combine paper and fabric!  I took a monumental amount of stuff to this workshop.  Getting ready for it took me two weeks!  When I got home I put away a few things but mostly I just piled the stuff up in a corner and got on with preparing for the next workshop.  I'll talk about that in a separate blog post.

This was my first workshop with the Front Range Contemporary Quilters group.  One of the things I enjoyed most was meeting the other participants.  Everyone was so friendly and helpful.  Some of these women are very experienced and accomplished artists.  We had lovely conversations while working and while sitting together for meals.  A couple of other women on my side of the room were also relatively new to the group and we all got along really well.  We decided to try forming a critique group that will meet once a month.  I've been longing for connection to other people working in textiles and mixed media so I am so happy to have met these people.  Now I feel like I am part of the group and going to monthly FRCQ meetings will be twice as fun.

In parting I have to apologize for the crappy photos.  Since these are "before" photos I didn't worry about setting up optimal photo conditions.  If I wait to have perfect pictures I will never get another blog post done!  When I finish these projects I will work a little harder at photographing them.  LOL!

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