Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year Exercises

In addition to getting back to the gym for the new year, I've been doing a little artistic exercise as well.  The FANE group is experimenting with 3-D art in the form of blocks (apparently, the people who created the gelli plate are now selling similar but larger blocks).  At our meeting last month, our inspiring and always-on-the-cutting-edge leader Jane Davila brought a bunch of these blocks she made by slicing up a piece of lumber 1 3/4 inches square.  We each took one or two to decorate in some creative mixed-media way.  

I needed a theme to help me approach this and went with "color opposites" using fabric.  I went through my stash and pulled out scraps that I thought would work, then painted, fused, stitched and cut to get pieces that looked like this:

In doing this exercise, I discovered a few things.  First, I don't often choose color opposites in my work.  I find the contrast to be too jarring - I like analogous and blended colors.  But using opposite colors definitely makes things stand out, as you can see from the squares above.  I tend to use variations on red and green a lot, including shades from deep jewel tones of ruby and emerald all the way to pale spring greens and pinks.  But I also really liked the yellow and purple combinations here - they really said "spring" to me.  The most challenging color combo for me to work with was orange and blue.  Another thing I discovered - I don't like working with squares!  Especially in such a small size, the rigid sides seemed so unnatural to me.  I definitely prefer more organic shapes.  But one thing that was nice about the cube idea is that it got me thinking how the sides all relate to each other, almost like a series in miniature.

Here are the finished cubes:

I'll keep one for myself and swap one at the meeting tonight.  How have you started off the new year?

P.S.:  Want to see more really cool cubes?  Go to the FANE blog.  You'll be amazed!


Vivien Zepf said...

Oh so tiny and oh so precious! I wish I had been able to see this in person. It's lovely.

Congrats on getting to the gym to. On my to-do list, but it hasn't been done yet...

Norma Schlager said...

I loved seeing your block in person. As someone at the meeting said, they are so "you". I did not do a block, but was so inspired after seeing all the fantastic entires, that now I will definitely do one.