In less than 2 weeks I will be heading down the coast to join my mom for a quilting class. We're signed up to take a class from Jean Wells at Empty Spools Seminars, more commonly known by its venue name, Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA.
Not only will this be my first time taking a class with Jean Wells (and the irony is not lost on me that I live in the same state as one of the top contemporary quilt artists and teachers but am traveling out of state for her class), but it will also be my first time at Asilomar. I am super-excited and a little apprehensive. My mom has attended Asilomar many times in the past and seems to always enjoy the experience. She has tried to get me to go with her time and again, but this is the first that I've come through. At least for this particular venue.
The class for which we are signed up is entitled, "Exploring Your Own Personal Theme," and one goal is to work toward creating a quilt series based on said personal theme. It draws from the design principles and techniques that Jean puts forth in a couple of her books, most closely (to my knowledge) in "Intuitive Color & Design" and "Journey to Inspired Art Quilting."
My biggest problem so far is that I just cannot seem to focus on or decide on a main theme. I started by going through photos I've taken over the last few years, many while traveling or on hikes, There are so many interesting shots that I think would translate into cool quilts, but one thing that I've learned about myself in my many years of artistic endeavors is that I tend to get quite literal in my interpretations. And for this class I do NOT want to be literal, or at least not literally pictorial. That requires too much detail, and I'm lazy. So I decided to steer away from landscape photos as my compositional inspiration. I think. Now color scheme is a whole other issue! And that leads me to a shout-out once again to Anne for her ever-so-helpful Palette Builder tool on her website play-crafts.com, and while you're there, she has a number of other great design tools available under the "tools" tab on the home page.
So then I started going back a little further and looked again at some of the images I created back in my CreativEntropy days, when I was studying photography at Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC). I am still fascinated by the wearing down of urban surfaces, the textures and colors that come out of the process. I'm not sure I'm prepared to create good quilt compositions based on those inspiration images, but that's what taking a class is all about, right? It's time to expand my experiences and let someone guide me into territory that I would otherwise find extremely daunting.
So now the task of gathering inspiration images, narrowing the theme I'd like to pursue, and pulling fabrics to take with me is at hand.
And there's still much narrowing that has to happen in order to get this stuff down to California for a week, especially keeping in mind my carry-on will be my sewing machine.
Oh and bonus... not only will I be spending a few days after the workshop with one of my oldest friends and her family, but while in PG I have a date to meet up with one of my newer, online quilty friends for the second time IRL and I'm so looking forward to it!