Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Judgments in Shows

It's always interesting to me what judges say about work in shows.  Each one has his/her own opinion about the work so it's very subjective even if they say it isn't.  It has to be.  We are all influenced by different things:  our background, our family, our beliefs, our friends, our environment, our culture.  And on and on.  These influences affect our outlook and thereby our judging views. 

When I first started entering shows and teaching, I was always affected by the judgments of others.  Sometimes they seemed to be very nice and sometimes I thought totally off the wall.  I started realizing that it was their opinion and that was it.  Why be sad or mad or whatever about the comments made as long as I was happy with my work?  It didn't really matter.  I could take it as constructive criticism or not.  I could ignore it or cry in my beer for days.  It was my choice.  So I decided to not pay that much attention to them.  They were judging my work with the best perspective they had at that moment.  I really wouldn't want to be in their position.  Judging is so Judgemental! 

Anyway that brings me to the AQS Show in Paducah last week.  My piece Enter My Sanctuary was accepted in it which is always exciting!  I wasn't very happy about the way it was displayed on a side wall.  It's better seen directly head on.  I received it back home yesterday with the judges' comments.  One was "Perspective is problematic" which I think is the weirdest statement I could have received.  I created this from a pattern I made from a photo I had taken in France.  Maybe the balance of the earth that day was off and the judges saw it.  They may be more intuned to the Earth's rotation than I am.  Here are the photo and my piece.  I don't see any difference in them really.  The perspective is that the picture was taken head-on.  I don't get it.  I guess this is definitely where you have to take the judge's opinion with a grain of salt.  They were grasping at straws. 

Enter My Sanctuary 2013
My Photo for Enter My Sanctuary
So now you see the two.  This piece was a real challenge for me.  I didn't have very good foliage fabrics so I had to be creative with the ones I had.  I created the leaves individually and made the hydrangeas fresh and alive instead of the over-the-hill flowers of the original photo.  Maybe the judges didn't realize my shadow was a shadow.  I was very happy with my result and still am.  Here are some detail shots. 

I worked on this piece after my sister died and my daughter got married two days later.  It was a difficult time, and I needed a distraction.  I still love this piece and will always be happy with the way it came out no matter what any judges say. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Empty Spools Seminar Last Week

Last week I was once again at the Empty Spools Seminar in Pacific Grove, California, near Monterey.  It is always fun and the students create wonderful designs.  They spend five days creating a fused design from their own photos. 

This piece was created by Sandy of a photo she took at Lake Michigan at St. Joseph, MI.  She found the gradient fabric and used it also for the water.  It's always fun to watch the pieces grow as the days go by.  The students learn about value, texture, and color making their project come to life.  This workshop focuses on realistic design using a photo as a guide, what to leave in and what to take out, how to create a certain look with fabric. 

These are Sally's swans.  She used lots of Northcott Stonehenge prints which are very textural and have a lot of variation of value.  When the design is finished being fused, we go in and add detail and shading with fabric paints, anything too small to fuse is painted.  Finding the perfect fabric to do a job is always exciting! 

This magnolia is coming along great and will be even better whent the detail painting is finished.  Students work for nearly five days creating their designs.  We design in class and talk about how to finish the pieces with stitching when they are home.  The background on this piece is a dark purple making the flower and leaves pop even more off of it.  Learning about value is crucial to designing these realistic pieces!  Next year I will be teaching two sessions back to back.  If you would also like to try a project from your own photos, please join us!  Here is the link to their website.