Monday, May 4, 2009

ATC's, Spring, Books, Workshops

There are 9 ATC's left to go out with the Surface Design Sampler Platter DVD orders! I'll let you know when they're gone. I've heard back from a couple of you that have watched it - I'm so glad you're enjoying it! I'd love to put up any artwork you make using the techniques taught in the DVD in the student gallery on my website.

I love spring. What is it about sunshine and a little bit of warmth that gets me all pumped up to work in the studio? I should be itching to be outside. I do face the windows most of the time I'm working and it's a lovely view. North Carolina is such a green place.

I did go outside to my little garden nook last week to finish up the first layout edit of my book. It's done and off to the designer again. I'll see it for one final check before it goes to print. I think I'm going to call the book my 6th child. It's taken longer and been almost as painful at times to create it. I'm thinking the rewards will be much more immediate - no crying at 2 a.m. or teenagers who talk back. 

Enough rambling. I wanted to point you to a really great blog post titled, "How to make the most of an art quilt workshop" by Elizabeth Barton over at "Art & Quilts, Cogitations Thereon." My favorite part of her post talks about pre-planning and runs through a great list of questions to ask yourself before signing up for a workshop. It's a great idea to know ahead of time if you are looking for a technique or a project class. Do you want to just understand and absorb the thinking of an artist you really admire? Are you happy to just hang out with friends? Do go and read her post - it's chock full of great information.

Most of the classes I teach are technique classes with a bit of a project thrown in. Projects seem to appeal to the more traditional quilters who have a little niggling desire to be an artist hidden away in the corner of their heart. That's my personal crusade these days - helping those desires to come out of hiding. 

In that vein - here is a link to Fabrications - a week long retreat from Aug 30 - Sep 4. I'll be teaching "The Elements of Art" for the entire week and I couldn't be more excited. It will be a chance to delve deeply into the visual language, to learn the principles of good design.  We'll start from the very beginning (a very fine place to start...) and work until we have a good understanding of the basics (do, re, me...). By the end of the week you'll have a good start on a composition and have lots of supportive feedback so that you can keep the creative juice flowing when you get back home.

I'd love to see you there - and happy spring!