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Thread: Finding your voice as an artist...

  1. #1
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    Finding your voice as an artist...

    I love art quilts. I don't really enjoy piecing (I love quilting) and really would love to get into art quilting. Problem is, I don't have an artistic bone in my body...

    I've seen a few books that help develop a sense of artist voice- but I was wondering if there are any online resources people would recommend?

  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Take a class on embellishing. I took one nad had a blast, felt it gave me some good artistic ways to punch up my quilts

  3. #3
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    I've taken a class on painting quilts. It does give me very good ideas. However, all the classes still only give me ways to copy other people's styles (you know, since they are teaching them). I'm looking for exercises that will help me find my own.

    I did get the Art Quilt Workbook- but I'm wondering what is available online.

  4. #4
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    Carol Ann Waugh's classes on craftsy have really opened my eyes to art! I didn't think I had any talent but even the first Stupendous Stitching project I did, people wanted to buy. Now I can't wait to go on to her Stack and Slash projects. And yes, embellishing them is so much fun.
    Take a class, online at at a local craft store. You'll love it and discover the talent inside you!

  5. #5
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    I sort of think artistic voice has to start out with having something to say. It is one thing to master technique and increase skills and craftsmanship, even to develop personal preference as to style, materials, colors, but voice implies wanting to say something. If you have a message or meaning, you can work backwards from there to the techniques and materials that will get the meaning across.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnye View Post
    Carol Ann Waugh's classes on craftsy have really opened my eyes to art!

    I've done both her classes. I LOVE Stupendous Stitching, it gave me a really amazing final product. Slash and Stitch was fun, but not for me.

  7. #7
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I have started participating in the Art Quilt Challenge here on the Board. There are many great suggestions as well as tips on how to do various techniques. You can participate or just lurk, whatever floats your boat.

  8. #8
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Finding your own voice is composed of many things and is, by definition, highly personal. Lyric Kinard has done a lot of speaking/writing/thinking on the subject. She's written a great article in the June/July 2012 issue of Quilting Arts on finding your voice as an artist. Her book, Art + Quilt, imo, is better than Davila's Art Quilt Workbook if finding your voice is a goal (I have taken classes from both Kinard and Davila). Her blog is at http://lyrickinard.com/blog/ and she teaches three classes at Quilt University, more in person. There's a ton of information online as well, you just have to Google it.

    Finding your voice is an evolution, not a sudden revelation. It can include mastery of a technique, developing a certain recognizeable style, the materials or colors you use, and/or even a consistant theme. Think of the artist's whose work you recognize on sight.

    The more work you do, the clearer it becomes. Don't be afraid to experiment, to reach past your comfort level. Try every technique that interests you. Learning what doesn't work is just as important as learning what does work. You will recognize your voice...just as you will know each time you get a step closer to it. It can also change, so don't fight it. Look how many voices Picasso had.

    I highly recommend you get Art + Quilt. It gives you the art basics, principles and elements, that you need in easily understood terms and exercises and much, much more. See if your library can get it for you before you decide to buy it.

    And, btw, in my experience, no class taught by an art quilter has been/will be a duplication of their style...merely an instruction of the technique(s) they have found useful and how you can adapt them to your own work. Then again, maybe I've just been very lucky?
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the Art + Quilt recommendation. I looked at it on Amazon, but had decided to pass for now. I may go pick it up. I will visit her website as well.

  10. #10
    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    Get a camera, take lots of pictures of things that you like and then turn the best of them into your creations.

    I have been an (award winning) artist and art teacher my whole life and have taught classes across North America and Japan. Years ago when asked this question I would say get a sketch book and a pencil, set up some things that you like(and know) or go outside and find something you like to look at and draw it, then draw them again refining and polishing your concept.

    Now a days I say get a digital camera and use it to capture what you see or would like to see. Many people have lots of good ideas, but ideas can be fleeting and unless you train yourself to stop and jot them down they can wander right out of your brain as fast as they can arrive. Having some pics to reference just helps in the process. I now also teach photography and editing for artists along with my fine art classes :-) (maybe I should work up a class for quilters too!)

    I'm not saying that you are going to be able to get the 'perfect" shot that can be automatically turned into a painting or quilt painting, I use anywhere from 1 to a dozen ref pics when I am working on a composition but that skill can be developed and can also be made much easier by the use of modern computer technology(photoshop) The creation of a quilt painting will still require some drafting/drawing ability to create the pattern pieces to put it all together (there may be a program out there that can assist that process, and it could be done in PS as well but could be rather tedious, personally I get to a stage where the pencil is much faster)
    ...and of course your sewing/quilting ability will definitely impact the finished product. The embellishing will be where the true artist shines and takes the fabric into the fine art realm. I try to remember to watch "Quilting Arts" when it comes on our PBS station - I have to smile watching the them using the paint, crayons, stencils etc...I taught all of that over 20 yrs ago when fabric painting was "the rage" and I WAS going to pitch all of it out, now I am rethinking what I should keep LOL!

    and a word of warning - finding photos on the internet and using them without permission is a copyright violation unless you use copyright free images or have permission to use the photos from the photographer. I have no idea what the rules are for quilt competitions but for juried art shows Originality begins at "conception of thought" and you must be able to prove that all reference materials are your own which means you cannot use free images or photos taken by anyone but yourself.

    sorry to be long winded - hope this give you some ideas where to start

    Joann

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