Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I've Got Rhythm

Scott Joplin
George Gershwin
Or...maybe not!  That's the theme for the EB Master Class this month: "rhythm".  Achieved by repetition, among other things.  BUT there's a catch!  EB wants us to work with syncopated rhythm: rhythm that's just slightly off-beat.  Think Scott Joplin, think George Gershwin, think jazz, even think Bach and Beethoven (sometimes)...

Now, I enjoy all of the above, musically, art?

Turns out there are many artists who've employed syncopation in their work...and this includes quilters.

Think about bargello quilts, for example.

Photo via

Or the work of Nancy Crow (specifically "Contructions #82: Breaking Control" - scroll down), Katie Pasquini Masopust (scroll down for Syncopation) or Liz Berg:

Syncopation -  Liz Berg

And remember that piece I worked on last year that was a "Convergence" quilt -- based on the work of Ricky Tims?

Um-hum.  Like that.

I tried a few doodles in a small sketchbook, just to get the flow going.

Stiff. Formal. Constrained.  Ugh!

But there was something about the staggered rectangles...that got me thinking about lines.  Dancing lines, like in a scene from Disney's Fantasia...

I got to thinking about Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.  I downloaded it from iTunes into my iPod, and I listened.  And listened.  And listened...

And began to draw...LARGE piece of paper, Sharpie (R) marker...

I turned the lines into rectangles (as if pieces of fabric).  There were two attempts at this on the one sheet of paper:

And then I tried it in colour -- smaller size, water colour paper, water colour paint and pencils:

It has the makings of a very "modern" quilt... but...we'll see what EB has to say first, won't we?

And as I wait...I'll work on other projects (like the 2nd coat of primer on the kitchen walls)...and link to WIP Wednesday on The Needle and Thread Network.  

As you catch up with what other Canadian needlers are doing, grab a cuppa and have a listen (it's 16-17 minutes long) to Leonard Bernstein playing and conducting Gershwin' guessed it:

Hope you're staying cool (we're not!) and have some rain (we don't!)...

In any event, be well!


Sandi said...

Love your Rhapsody in Blue interpretation! Have making a quilt when you finish the design.

Crossing fingers for rain.

Wil said...

this rhytm theme is more difficult, than it looks like :-)

elle said...


Giddings Art said...

I love it!

Kate said...

I like your Rhapsody in Blue.
It reminded of my brother many years ago, coming home from about grade 5 music class, telling us about the cool music the teacher played. He said it was called Blue by a rock band called the Hamburg. We found out later that it was actually Rhapsody in Blue, performed by the Hamburg Symphony.

Unknown said...

Way to go, Margaret! Very inspiring!

Laurel's Stitches said...

Wow! Margaret! Thanks so much for describing your creative process. It is inspiring. I almost always listen to the radio while sewing. You have inspired me to keep some paper close-by so I can jot down any ideas that might inspire me while I'm listening to a great piece of music.

Thanks for posting to TN&TN's WIP Wednesday!

Peg's Place said...

It's amazing where we get inspirations for quilts! I love the modern concept in blues! Can't wait to see what you end up doing!

Linda A. Miller said...

What fun, Margaret! Thanks for sharing your journey with this piece!