4/16/2011

And Why Is Contrast So Important????

And why is contrast so important?.....it affects how your eye sees the block and especially how your eye moves around the block!!! Since this is a favorite subject of mine I'll be able to use all Sharon's information on contrast..

First this is my "Hearts to Sendai" block which I took with me and finished on planes and off hours... There is some color contrast but it is primarily a red-on-red block. There is contrast in texture, scale and shape in the fabric as well as the embellishments but Sharon has some other areas of contrast that you can look for and include in your work.

1. Sheen vs. matte (in both fabric and embellishments

2 Structured elements ( buttons all round) vs. free form elements (daises that that are irregular

3. Single focus elements ( fan) vs. repetitive elements (hearts)

And my very favorite.....busy areas vs.quiet area. Quiet does not mean empty. An area can be heavily embellished and still be quiet....( the lower right corner which is covered in a rich red Venetian lace...) In all the examples of her fabulous work she pointed out the paths she created for the eye to follow but emphasized the necessity of quiet areas for the eye to rest. Over and over she stated that if a block is too busy the eye just flits about and doesn't really see the beauty of it.... Which is exactly how there can be two blocks heavily encrusted and one is beautiful and the other is just junky.... It will be hard not to get ahead of myself but I'll keep referencing these points as I go along...

Now I will get just a bit ahead because I will be sending this block off... The second day we immersed ourselves totally in seam work, which I loved being newly converted seam obsessive... But Sharon didn't always do every seam and some seams were quite simply done and some were rich and textured.. So there was even contrast in her seam treatments. She used all three techniques as part of the design of a block... As you can see I immediately embraced the very embellished seam... (more later) I can't even count the layers on the first seam but it was for an exercise in expanding seams (more later).

I'm including this second example because it is a rick rack seam... but the rick rack is glitzy red stuff underneath... What looks like blue rick rack on top is actually a needle weaving of a zigzag chain stitch. We did a LOT of needle weaving which was something I did very little of before so watch for it now in my work.... great fun and interesting!

Next post I will show the block I actually did during the workshop.. Sorry for some reason blogger is messing with my paragraph divisions...

6 comments:

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

Your block is drop dead gorgeous Ms Gerry! And you are so good to share what you learned. The seams really struck me because I know they weren't your favourite always - these are outstanding! Beautiful block - beautiful work - thank you for the lesson.

Cathy said...

Why did you decide on blue to use as an accent?

And thank you for another lesson. It will come in handy as I work through this tone-on-tone RR.

Cathy L

msmo said...

Fabulous block, Gerry and many many thanks for the pointers for those of us who could not make that retreat!!! Maire

maire said...

One FAB U LOUS block, Gerry. Thank you for sharing new techniques to those who were unable to make it to that retreat!!! Hugs, Maire

Jeanne said...

I love this gorgeous block, Gerry! Thank you for sharing these new techniques, I am learning a lot.

Quayceetatter said...

WOW!! Gorgeous block!! I learn so much from your articles and tutorials. Many thanks for sharing your vast knowledge in CQ. Many of us can not attend these retreats and you have done a wonderful job reaching out to us what you have learned.
Linda in NM

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