Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Maria Shell Workshop

Last week Maria Shell led us in Abstraction of Place (now named Abstraction through Color, Pattern, and Repetition.) After showing slides of various projects, Maria had us choose fabrics and walked the room helping us push our color choices. Then she demonstrated some of her techniques for abstracting, which involved looking carefully at the object or scene.

Maria Shell demonstrates construction techniques
This was the most amazing part of the workshop for me. I've never had anyone explain how they abstract an image before.

This two-day workshop was a treat. Everyone brought their own ideas. Many were natural: flower, shrub, hillside, path. Others were man-made. For example, Jan chose a skyscraper. What did I choose? Well, baseball has started again. It's spring training now. So I chose some photos from AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

2014 Baseball World Series, Game 5 - SF Giants vs. KC Royals
I'm using these fabrics to represent the crowd.

Some fabric choices for the crowd
Here's what I had by the end of class. It will take a while to finish. The triangles are about two inches high; the quarter at the bottom is for scale.

Triangles representing fans in the stands
I'm thinking and sketching some ideas to make this top. It will be a challenge to construct an abstract foreground.

Stephie Boon at Dawn Chorus Studio just started a series, "How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt?" and chose me as her first interviewee. Her thoughtful questions and journalistic skills make me sound so decisive and organized. In the next few weeks she talks with Kaja and Audrey. Take a look at the series and another look at Stephie's amazing work.

Enjoy the day,

38 comments:

  1. This looks like a wonderful workshop. The triangle pieces you have pieced look very interesting. Would a person have to do the foreground or could they just choose one aspect of a photo? Thanks for the info about the interviews.

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    1. Hi, Lisa. Miss Literal (that's me) thought you needed to translate everything you see. As I walked around, I noticed many successful pieces used one aspect only as the the jumping off point. This simple concept, combined with seeing everyone's work, really amazed me.

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  2. O.K. I went over and read the interview. I had no idea how amazing you are. You do beautiful work and yes you do sound organized.

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    1. I have a good publicist.
      Stephie is amazing. She paints, writes and quilts to beautiful effect.

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  3. Ann: I read your interview. How interesting. I love the book study group idea! I also LOVE what you are doing with this abstract quilt - the triangles are perfect representation of the crowd. I have become friends with Maria recently and she is an amazing talent! Can't wait to see where you take this quilt.

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. Maria mentioned you during class; she thinks you're amazing. I have quite a bit of thinking to do about the foreground. But I'm trying to keep it on the design wall until it's done.
      The book studies can be so helpful, both as a way to learn new skills and get to know other quilters.

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  4. A great abstract foil for that beautifully crazy busy background - a flat green with wonky, intersecting brown strips and a couple of speckl -y white dots! Will be fun to see how you finish it. Am jealous of your chance to work with Maria!

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    1. That's a great idea, Kay. My thoughts are still too literal. Lots to think about. Maria was an inspiring teacher, very sharing.

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  5. Those triangles are amazing! What a wonderful opportunity to take the class! Dawn's interview was great! Your quilts never cease to fascinate me.:)

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. I think the triangles are a good crowd abstraction. Stephie's interview was well-written that I can't wait to read the ones she wrote about you and Kaja. Those will be superb!

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    1. Me, too! The fabrics cut up better than I thought.

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  7. What a brilliant way to interpret the crowd!! Do share with us what else you do with it: I'm sure it'll be fun!! Hugs, H

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    1. Thanks, Helen. I will although it will take a while to get to the next step.

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  8. Blues and oranges go so well together - these blocks are lovely. Great interview with Stephanie - I need to read it over again.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. It was fun to pull the colors out of the stands and simply them, too. Stephie is a talented woman. I'm amazed at her many, varied skills.

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  9. What an interesting read, Ann. You do sound quite professional and deliberate in your quilting life. Fabulous interview. I'm definitely going to continue with her series. Your quilt, now, is really starting out with a great plan. I can imagine the crowd in your blocks already. And the variety of fabric options is perfect for your intuitive skills in color theory. Can't wait to see more.

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    1. How kind of you to write, Mary. Stephie makes me sound much more professional than I am. She is certainly a talented writer, isn't she. I'm looking forward to the rest of her series, too. As for this quilt, I had a vague plan but the crowd is the only part I've really nailed down. The rest will come; just needs some time.

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  10. This looks fantastic! Love reading your blog, I scrolled down quickly to glance at what you have been up to. A LOT I gathered! What an inspiration! xoxo

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    1. Welcome back, Sujata. I followed your photos and can't wait to read about your discoveries when you have time to put them to paper.

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  11. Your fabric selection and pattern design will be perfect for the crowd. I will enjoy following this project.

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    1. Thanks. That part seems to be working well. Still not sure about the foreground.

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  12. The one time I saw the Giants in person, the game was at Candlestick! But, I do remember it was a perfect day. :D

    You are off to a great start with this -- I think your fabrics are just right. And Stephie's series is off to a great start too! It's so interesting to read what works for others, and see if you can tweak your own process. I know for sure that Libby's "one at a time" process would be paralyzing for me. Let us know how it works for you!

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    1. Don't you just love the old stadiums? Especially their fabulous names; so much better than corporate names. I've been to several but not Candlestick.
      I'm enjoying my quilt, too. However, there are several that need to be finished. I'm trying to squeeze some of this in. Libby has a point: fashions and interests change. And we can stuff more than we realize into corners where they are forgotten.

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  13. It was an awesome workshop and you were certainly in your element! You were cranking out abstract crowd members and had the biggest smile throughout both days!! Can't wait to see how you abstract the rest of the scene. And kudos again on being featured on Dawn Chorus Studio...so much fun to learn more about you, your process and your gorgeous quilts!!

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    1. Everyone at the workshop was fabulous. So many ideas flying around. Won't it be fun to see the results over the coming months!

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  14. This sounds like a fantastic workshop: so interesting to think about how to get to abstract from a figurative starting point. I like the way your piece is going a lot - the triangles and colours are very effective and reference your starting picture without being at all literal.

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    1. It was a wonderful experience. Although I think longer workshops would be quite useful, I've rarely taken them in the past. I'm planning some in the future. Advanced workshops just need longer time to get through the material.
      Referencing the photo is so useful. The colors are grouped more than I thought at first.

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  15. Great blog post Ann! Thank you for sharing your version of the experience. It is really helpful for me.

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    1. Thanks for a wonderful workshop, Maria. I wanted to write about the experience without giving away details of your teaching. I was very impressed with how well everyone got to work on their project. A bit of anxiety at the beginning as people were trying to figure out what to do. But by lunch the first day, people were settled in and working hard. You were so helpful. I appreciated the way you rotated through the stations throughout the day and gave demos at various times during the classes.
      I'm so glad you made it back in time for your son's program. So important to be there.

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  16. Oh, what fun! I like how the circles here and there make it look like heads here and there.

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    1. Thanks, Cathy. That's the effect I hoped to get. So, so glad to know it's working.

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  17. That sounds like a great workshop and Maria a wonderful teacher. Your results sure speak of how well you took to abstracting a picture. It's amazing Ann - your triangles really do capture the feel of a stadium crowd! You chose a very challenging subject too.

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    1. She was an excellent teacher and the first I've had who explained abstracting in a way I understood (dimly.) I'm not sure I have many results yet. I'm worried about the foreground; it's so uniform. As for challenging, that varies with each subject. One woman chose a lily that seemed to have only three solid colors. Maria helped her find the veins and push those colors and lines.

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  18. This does sound like a wonderful workshop. Love the idea of using triangles to represent the people - your fabric choice is perfect for the crowd. I read the interview too and found myself nodding for all of your great ideas. I do need a smaller stash - it is getting in the way of adding too many choices. I should be working on one quilt at a time, or at least a few instead of spreading my time over so many quilts. It was great getting to know you better.

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    1. Thanks, Shasta. I thought the people looked like triangles or trapezoids. I'm glad you read the article and hopefully didn't think I sound like a fanatic. It's not for everyone. People should do what makes them happy and I become very unhappy with "too much." I reach a point where I can't remember I have a piece. This last move I was startled to realize some of it was really out of date. I remember the excitement when purchased but it didn't inspire me anymore. (Of course, some old stuff still thrills me.)
      You make a good point. We'll probably never reach "one quilt at a time" but trying to keep in-progress projects to a few would help us finish them. Continually adding to UFOs decreases the amount of time available to work on each and lessens the likelihood any will be finished.

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