Tuesday, March 16, 2010

takeaways and muscle memory

New approaches came in cascades during Bob Adams' three day workshop this past weekend. Sometimes I think the most learning comes afterward, when those little information bits pop out of our memory cache willy nilly, little gifts, like finding money tucked away in a winter pocket.

We were to bring our own piece on the last day and try out what we had learned. I'm working on some photos I took of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles and printed one of those. 

One aspect of Bob Adams' work is using thread as an element of color, juxtaposing it with the underlying textile to produce a sophisticated interplay.  All this draws on color theory and is just plain magical. So, I laid down two hues of blue, overlapped them, and this is what I got:

It didn't work. Why not? Because the strength of the image is its color, and the dense thread work obscures that.  So, on to Plan B.  Bob suggested using stitches to emphasize the building's lines.  The Frank Gehry edifice is actually matte silver metal panels. In my digital version, those panels are various colors, here shades of blue, topped by blue thread, the panels outlined in lavender:
Who knows how the piece will turn out -- the final version has been printed on cotton sateen. Lots of options are there, and, of course, more will pop out, like so many unexpected gifts.

One of our warm up exercises required us to create our own freeform designs.  Fifteen of them. I thought I was making up new ones, but after a while, it seems that muscle memory took over -- you know, those ingrained moves that we all have in sports (throwing the ball just so) -- I reverted back to the staccato stitches I had made in recent pieces -- I guess I'm not so inventive...
Since the dense threadwork didn't work on my Disney Concert Hall piece, I tried it out a little on my needle felted practice piece:

I like the different textures that result here -- another nice takeaway from the class.

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