Friday, April 3, 2015

My favorite week of the year....

Usually I love returning home from a trip away - I love my pretty house, lush garden and my own comfortable bed - but each year I feel a real wrench leaving one of my favourite places on earth... Pacific Grove and the Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar. It's a perfect week in the company of great friends, learning new art quilting techniques, making some new friends and enjoying the simply beautiful background - the beach, the pines, the vintage Julia Morgan designed heritage buildings and the charming town just down the road. It was hard to come home.....

My class this year was taught by Susan Carlson who had escaped the horrible Maine weather to sunny California and happily taught us her technique of fabric collage. Basically we traced our designs on a muslin foundation and then filled the outlines with freely scissor cut fabric and glued it down. So simple, so easy to achieve a fabulously painterly effect with commercial prints, batiks and hand dyes.

Susan is a very relaxed easy going and gifted teacher. She gave each of us a lot of her time quietly moving around our classroom dispensing helpful and pertinent suggestions in a really lovely way. Our tables were quickly piled with the most beautiful combinations of pattern and color - scraps, fat quarters and larger pieces in every color and scale. It was certainly the messiest classroom at Empty Spools last week, but also the most beautiful with the cascades of color and pattern. 

Very soon images began to develop on our boards - landscape scenes, floral studies, exotic animals, family pets, portraits... Even a colorful warthog done my talented friend and traveling companion Roberta Walley.

My portrait of a Green Man - a Celtic folklore forest spirit- grows little by little... My drawing began as a photo of a plaque hanging on our garden fence and grew from there. 

He's almost finished by week's end. Just a few more finishing touches, a background and quilting remain. You'll see final version soon.

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