Friday, December 08, 2006

Exercise Your Creative Bone! by Arlee Barr

Exercise your creative bone!

Some times ya just got the blahs and yer not sure what ya wanna do, or where to go for a personal "design-power-pick-up". Try this, it works.

You need a photo--or a drawing if you have one that's stumping you--, some tracing paper and a variety of crayons, pens, markers, whatever medium you choose. High end magazines are a good source for unique images, as are quality art mags. Do a tracing first of the main lines of the image; don't worry about fine details: you need the basic shapes that make up the whole. Then from the tracing, start playing. Use the shapes as a guide to fill in textural marks, writing, objects, what's your fancy? You can also blow up the initial tracing and use it as a pattern to cut paper, fabric, rags, plastic in those shapes. Try images from other cutouts cut to the shape. You may astound yourself with a new approach to both design and your own approach to certain images!

Here are 2 samples i've just started. I'm not sure what final techniques i'll use, but it intrigues me.



textural study


Update on Tue, June 6, 2006 at 10:49AM by arleebarr

This is the actual article that went into the Canadian Quilter Summer 2006 issue:

CQ page tutorialAnd here is the text as it may be hard to read from a jpg! :}

"I thought i would try something new this time. You know the story of Tom Sawyer where he is supposed to whitewash Aunt Becky's fence? Well, i have used his example and invited a quilt artist to write about a technique for this column! Arlee Barr is a self described quilt artist living somewhere in the huge Vancouver area; she has a wonderfully interesting web journal and that is how i discovered her unique and innovative ideas. You can check out her web journal at http://arleebarr.squarespace.com. Click on the menu on the right side of the page: she offers insight into some of her artistic endeavours and there is even a section that she writes about a number of techniques she uses.

I asked Arlee if she might like to pass along some pointers to my readers so she gave us some ideas and even sent along some photos to illustrate this technique.

Excercise your Creative Bone!!!

Some times you just have the "blahs" and you're not sure what you want to do, or where to go for a personal "design-power-pick-up". Try this, it works.

You need a photo or a drawing, some tracing paper and a variety of crayons, pens, markers, whatever medium you choose. High end magazines are a good source for unique images, as are quality art mags. Look through your sketchbooks and "doodle" lists for original images. Do a tracing first of the main lines of the image; don't worry about fine details: you need the basic shapes that make up the whole. Then from the tracing, start playing. Use the shapes as a guide to fill in textural marks, writing, objects, what's your fancy? You can also blow up the initial tracing and use it as a pattern to cut paper, fabric, rags, plastic in those shapes. Try images from other cutouts cut to the shape. You may astound yourself with a new approach to both design and your own approach to certain images! If you're feeling brave, you can jump right in and use fabrics.

This is often a good way to integrate fabrics that you can't quite find a use for, that are 'ugly', or that you normally wouldn't use. Don't be afraid to try new techniques on these as well: a bit of beading, some free motion, some hand stitching, a bit of paint (acrylics can be used here if it's not a piece to be washed), or any technique you've been wanting to try but have been a bit leery of! Start small: do fabric postcards, journal size pieces, even add magnetized strips to the backs and display on your fridge---great little gift idea too! Several images can also be combined to create collage elements in your work---try theming them, or combining oddities for a personal statement.

These design excercises can be as realistic, abstract, traditional, representative or contemporary as you please. Save them in a journal or scrapbook and refer to them later for other works--you never know where the design path will lead!

Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Arlee Barr of Albedo Design. Arlee is a textile artist, fashion designer, seamstress, published poet, book critic, illustrator, artist and floral designer. According to Arlee: "Texture and shadow and illusion draw me: the more lush and luxurious, the more alluring and seductive. My passion manifests itself in one of a kind and limited edition garments. These pieces are wearable art fashioned using a variety of hand and machine techniques. My designs appeal to the adventurous, the non-conformist and the unique. Design shapes are simple, allowing the fabric and detailing to tell the story. Whether your taste is gothic, flamboyant, outrĂ©, avant-garde or just ready for something different, you can explore your closet dreams."

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