Sunday, 23 March 2008

what's all this white stuff?

Easter Sunday and I woke to find snow on the ground. By the time I got dressed, grabbed the camera and went out it had half melted, but even so managed to get these shots of snow on the blossoms of my neighbours' flowering currant:

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

More from Liz Berg's class

Am catching up fast with this class, discovering design concepts I didn't know existed, and producing lots of small pieces (mainly paper but the most recent ones have een fabric). I'm also gaining confidence and learning to work more playfully. Here are a few more pieces:

I like this one a lot - not my usual colours but the brief was pale with low-key contrast and I surprised myself. (The papers I used are oil-marbled, done ages ago)

This is a more familiar colour-combination for me (paper painted with brusho on plain sugar=paper), as is the next piece:

The next set of pieces are about contrasts. Firstly a contrast in scale, which is not something I've considered a lot in the past

More marbled paper - hmm, maybe I need to marble some more fabrics to play with too. On to colour contrast (the greens are from magazine pages):

And then to texture: luckily I had some textured paper left over from my City & Guilds days; now I need to create some more (I intend to go over the exercises a number of times as some ideas still do not come naturally to me): marbled paper, gel medium and silver paint, plus angelina for the moon:

And the last in this group is a contrast of shapes (I chose straight and wiggly - a bit obvious but it sort of works, even if it does look a bit like snakes crawling over logs:

And finally a stitched piece - the brief was to produce a small stitched piece using contrast: in this case I used a colour contrast:

I have some reservations about this one - I need to live with it for a little while before I quilt and finish it, and I may need to modify it. I'm hoping by the end of this class I will be able to see more easily how I can change things to improve the design of a piece. Liz is expert at this, but I'd also welcome comments from blog readers.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Liz Berg: Elements & Principles of Design

Sorry I haven't blogged for such a long time - January brought successive illnesses - none major but unpleasant and one after the other which left me feeling flattened. I'd also signed up for various challenges and two classes which I'm now having to catch up on. Most of my spare time in the last few weeks has been spent on Liz Berg's class, Elements and Principles of Design.

This class has been very demanding and also very worthwhile. Though I found the first two lessons relatively straightforward, having done some design work as part of a City & Guilds class some time ago, lessons 3 and 4 (there are 6 in all) stretched me to the limit.

The earlier design work is done postcard-sized on paper, a useful way of working which produces fairly quick results without risking loads in materials. I chose for the most part to work in cut paper (I've loved cutting paper freehand ever since I did a C&G pproject on Matisse). Here are a couple of the more successful pieces, from a section on size (including relative size of different features of the design). The first is simple two-colour design:

At first I really disliked this design but it has gradually grown on me (it's also one of the ones Liz liked, which helped). The second is a similar exercise but using smaller high-contrast shapes against a dark background. I like this one because I think the contrast works well. The dark paper is painted with brusho; the light paper is the result of playing around in PaintShop with a photograph I took of mosses.

The third is from an exercise I found really difficult at first but eventually managed to get a grip of: the intention was to produce a design which moved the eye round the composition. Used the same paper as the second plus some cheap dayglo stuff from the kids section of my local supermarket.

Once the class is over I shall rework these and some of the other designs as fabric postcards - plus other ideas are already churning around in my head - enough to keep me going for some time! I've also gained a great deal of confidence (much-needed I assure you) doing this course.

You can find more details of Liz's class (also called Better Art by Design) on her website at

I'd really recommend this - it's really good value for money: though it may look expensive to start off with it's packed with so much that is valuable it's worth every penny.