Sunday, October 30, 2011

Color Play

I haven't had much to show lately because even though I have been working, it's that somewhat repetitive phase of getting things ready for our show in Dec. The result is I ran out of my favorite dyed threads and ribbons, so I took a little dyeing break.

I've been using hand-dyed rayon bias tape as the ribbons to join my prayer flags. It's abundant at thrift stores and takes dye beautifully.

My favorites are the variegated dyes.

Here's how I do it. Start by making a hank of the seam binding and put a loose wire twist to hold the two ends. Keep it loose or you will end up with a white spot there. Soak in soda ash solution.

Holding the wires, dip the middle into your first color.

Then dip each of the ends into a different color.

I drape the dyed ribbon over two sticks placed over a plastic bin to catch the drips. After I leave them over night, I rinse out the excess, let them dry and they are ready to go.

I've also been playing with color with the teens in my Art and Design class. I gave them a word prompt and had them cut colors out of magazines to form a palette for that word. Some designed their pages carefully.

Some added explanatory notes:

And some went wild and came up with their own words. I love the exuberance of this one. She filled her whole page to show "the whole world."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Art and Design Class

I used to teach quite a few art classes for all different ages, and I stopped a few years ago to take a break. I've had this one particular class in mind for some time though, so I was really excited when the opportunity came up to teach an Art and Design class for teens. I love working with this age group because they are highly creative and old enough to be able to take on challenging work.

This is such a fun class for me because I've been gathering examples from the design world--fashion, architecture, comics, video game design, etc. to illustrate art principles. Gives me a fresh perspective on things.

And the students' work is inspiring!

Here are some of the results from a negative space exercise I gave. Students start with a 6" black square, cut out shapes and flip them onto a white background.

The next 2 started with a black rectangle.

For the first two weeks, we worked on an exercise on finding variety within limitations. Starting with a leaf shape, they cut no more than 5 straight lines out of it.

Then the next week they repeated the exercise using curved lines.

They really astound me with the range of ideas they can come up with!