Thank you to Sarah Ann Smith for her informative review of A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists and Craftspeople
by Steven Aimone. I’d heard about this book on the quiltart list but now I have pulled out the credit card to actually buy it:
As a quiltmaker with no artistic background and no formal training in art and design fundamentals, I welcome resources that allow me to address this gap in my knowledge. Sometimes reading the theory simply reaffirms something that I have discovered in practice. Other times the theory provides real insight why a particular design works and another doesn’t. Either way I like to think my quilting output improves however incrementally.
Colour and Composition for the Creative Quilter by Katie Pasquini Masopust and Brett Parker in an excellent introduction to basic design terminology and concepts and includes a series of lessons to put these concepts into practice.
One of the exercises, Composing with Line, involves making black and white compositions by fusing black shapes onto white negative space. In a similar vein, Nancy Crow advocates that her students build up their composition skills by working in black and white fabrics before introducing colour. You can see this process at work in Robin’s recent post and you will recall that Unplugged went from this:
(You will can see the more details about the evolution of this quilt in this post.)
One of my quilting resolutions for 2007 is to undertake more black and white compositions. Theory is all very well but, as Katie and Brett, say “to increase your artistry, you must DO the exercises”.