Friday, July 17, 2015

Movin' to the Rhythm...EBMC July - Part II

Rain at last!  For the last 36 hours or so we've had torrents of it, beginning late Wednesday evening and moving with all sound and fury through the wee hours of yesterday a.m., on and off again...until sometime during last night, when it began to pour down in sheets, blown on occasion by the wind.  Rain barrels are over-flowing, and streams are running down the street.

Not to worry; no flooding. We have a sandy under-soil here, so I expect it will all eventually soak in...

Perfect weather for getting into the sewdio and tackling my "Rhythm" piece.

First, the feedback on my initial sketches, though, eh?

Initial doodles
EB thought my initial doodles were "...a great way to start and I think it would be really interesting to draw out a whole page with your rectangle idea - it's a kind of quilt pattern/plain chant hybrid!  It would be fascinating to see what happens.   You could also simply take the musical staff and see how that would work out into a design."

A full 18" x 24" of rectangle!

This morning, I took her up on her suggestion and did a full page rectangle...

Um...static, boring...and look at that vertical slice right up the centre!  Aaargh! 

About the drawings of rectangles, including the watercolour, she wrote:

I think you've got a lot of rhythms join on here, and a lot of variety in your shapes...even though they're all skinny rectangles!  I'd do two things...first you're always ascending - musically speaking that is, which means that your implied diagonals are all going in the same direction.  It's always good to counter the movement when it's unidirectional with something going the other way - a lot more interesting and it prevents imbalance problems.  So have a few notes coming down as well as going up!!  And I would pull the two line together so they begin to overlap which will make for a lot more excitement.  You might even have three lines...more depth, more fun!  don't limit yourself.

Rhythm in line
She particularly liked the line drawings, though, and wrote this about them:

"I can see... how you have started to be looser and also to leave more spaces and more overlap.  This is an excellent a LOT more, don't be in too much of a hurry to start sewing.  this has the nice drawn line quality of some of your earlier designs which I think is part of your style and it would be good to develop further."

I was blown away at the thought that my earlier designs had, in her opinion, a "nice drawn line quality".  I can suck on that sweet candy comment for some time...  :-)

So...I went back to lines, after listening at to "Rhapsody in Blue" three more times: once, the Leonard Bernstein version (from my last post), once a piano solo, and once Gershwin himself on the piano.

I got the sense that maybe the lines should be more least to reflect the wee section of the music I wanted to isolate and focus on, so I tried this:

What if I joined the lines?

 And then this:

What if I try curves or waves?

More curves

I followed the drawing by putting a piece of pale blue fabric up on my design wall and trying to arrange a deeper blue length of yarn on it, emulating the curves.  It ended up looking like a textile electrocardiogram...Not quite the effect I was after!

So...I went back to strips of fabric lying on the background.  At one point, after another hour or so of playing with it, I pulled on a thread and the entire piece fell to the floor.  No, it wasn't pinned.   

Sigh.  I was close to tears with frustration at this point.

"Breathe!" I told myself...and as I reassembled the bits and bobs it occurred to me that if I used fewer strips and values of blue, it might be more effective.

My first attempt was rather lop-sided and less than charming:

"Rhythm In Blues" (WIP) version 1
I kept at it...another hour went by...

"Rhythm In Blues" (WIP) version 2
Size: approx. 17" square (unfinished)

Finally something worthy of EB's consideration!  And something I can realistically assemble and quilt.  I even have an idea of how I would quilt it.

So...we shall see what EB has to say.

Meanwhile, I'm linking to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday and digging out my handwork.  The rain continues.  It's a good time for some quiet stitching and knitting while I catch up on blogs and some episodes of Design Matters TV (the Kemshalls) and The Quilt Show...

Have a great weekend!


quiltedfabricart said...

I so enjoyed reading about your process. From failure to triumph:-) EB is getting you out of your comfort zone and that's a good thing

Kathie Briggs said...

An interesting use of repetition with just enough variety for interest. Waiting to hear EB's comments. Thanks for sharing your process. Its so interesting to hear the voice of the artist.

Bethany Garner said...

Hi Marg... I enjoy reading through your process and EB comments as you strive for "mastering" her design class. This exercise was really strong in your stash of trials, and the recovery is awesome. Really like the design ending the post!Support the design try with a finished quilt and then set out to better that one... series in the making.

Anonymous said...

While I like your final choice I do oprefer the waves and curves sketch. It reminds me of a crescendo in the music.

Thanks for sharing your work with us and enjoy EB's comments and after reding see more in the work discussed.


rtquilter said...

Looking really good Margaret. This is a great exercise. Enjoy! I am looking forward to seeing what you end up with.