Working in a Series

I have recently started a four part online course at Academy of Quilting with Elizabeth Barton titled 'Working in  A Series'.  The course is an adapted version of Elizabeth's book of the same name and is very thorough.

Image borrowed from Amazon.

We have looked first at our own work and then at the work of various artists and quilters.  When I havn't been making utilitarian items my quilts and journal quilts have frequently followed a close link to the sea and things coastal.

 Looking at some of these quilts I can see that I also am attracted to grids, albeit sometimes informal ones.

 My sketchbooks show other interests, collages

 reverse applique,

Abstract shapes (albeit felted), and more collage including sea inspired ones.

I don't work in my sketchbooks enough but I do enjoy making collages and I love to set horizontals against verticals.

I have looked at artists whose work I admire including quilters and painters.  Going by the quilts I have snapped at quilt shows it is no surprise to find that I am drawn to free-form piecing and interpretations of colour.

Ineke Berlyn

Bethan Ash,

Janet Twinn ('Prelude' detail only shown above).

I also like the work of Brenda Smith who has worked in various series including 'Trees' and who works on a grid layout.

Like Elizabeth Barton I have long been a fan of Kurt Jackson's paintings and love his mixed media work.  He has completed many series, often painting a location through changing times of day and season.  I have seen his paintings in several exhibitions, live, as it were, and their scale and surface can be breathtaking.  This is a man who completely immerses himself in the place and people he is depicting.

Later this year I have to make a quilt inspired by the work of David Hockney, another prolific artist who becomes very focussed on depicting  his chosen theme through changing times and seasons.  He is famous for his views of Woldgate Woods and his brightly coloured landscapes.  For many years Hockney has made full use of technology with his iPad drawings, not least of still lives of flowers.  I didn't realise until I visited Saltaire that he had painted many portraits of family and friends, all seated and looking out of the painting.  This painting of his mother is particularly poignant and if you browse the albums you will see many more versions of his portrait series.

I have grouped together work from several other artists working in series in a Pinterest album here.  My friend Emma Mitchell makes jewellery and it is very evident from her work that she is intrigued and fascinated by nature and she develops her range and her skills by making jewellery about things she loves. 

As well as looking at my own work and the work of artists I am attracted to I have been analysing my work so far to distinguish any fascinations and interests.  I see that I like:

* Grids
* Improvisational piecing
* Curved piecing
* Transparency
* Colour combinations
* Colourwash
* Collage
* Combinations of shapes
* The tension of horizontal and vertical constructions

I have had a rather quick look at  variations of log cabin:

I find it hard to draw out log cabin arangements and prefer to work improvisationally in fabric but I can see possibilities with these drawings which could be explored to suggest depth and looking through by the use of colour and tone.

As the aim of the course is to explore working in a series I have focussed on my love of St Ives to see where it may take me.  I am fascinated by the higgledy piggledy rows of houses with their lichen covered roofs, the little houses down on the harbour front, the arches under the pier, the colours of the town as seen in the fishing boats, and the shapes of the bays around the town.  I have looked at the work of Terry Frost,  Matthew Lanyon and Anthony Frost and like the interpretation of St Ives in shape and colour.

Further explorations have brought me to explore the many and varied arrangements of windows in the town and to consider how this could be taken forward.


Elizabeth Barton said...

I love the thoroughness and thoughtfulness with which you are addressing the concepts we're discussing in class - the series is beginning to take shape!! maybe a combination of St Ives and The Grid??

Julie said...

Thank you very much Elizabeth. I am trying to do as much as I can for your course as I have tried other online classes in the past and not got very far. My mind is often full to overflowing with myriad ideas and not much idea of where to take them so I am enjoying having a focus and the way things are going I should have many ideas to take forward. Thank you for providing such a thorough course and I hope I continue to do it justice.