Diane Stavola Blog

Archive for October, 2007

Step Three

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Step two is off for evaluation and I am getting into step three. I look forward to documenting the entire process for the design portion of each step.  It will give a good idea of what I go through as I design, as well as what is required by this particular program.

For this I need a piece based on an historical or ethnic theme.  I have definitely decided to go with the historical.  As part of my work for Cities and Guilds Creative Sketchbooks, I have had to make a collection of architecture.  So wherever I go, so goes my trusty little old (and I mean old – only 2 MB) Canon Digital.  I don’t think they’ve made this model for years, but it does what I need.

One the wonderful old buildings in my town is being rehabed.  Originally, it was a furniture store.   As part of the rehab, they are removing a brick facing that had been added to the building back in the 60’s. In speaking with Alison Blanton, Architectural Historian, she said they were not sure what they were going to find when they removed the facing.  They have pictures of the building with its original detail, but how much had survived was a mystery.  Well, alot has survived.  Grand Piano Building full side viewThis is a photo of how the building looks today as they are stripping the facing. This is a side view from across the street and way into a parking lot.  Most of the pictures will be mine, but if I can get permission, I will add some gorgeous photos that Alison sent me.  GP from the front

The workmanship on this building is fantastic.  And talk about quilt designs!!!!  And they say quilting isn’t art! Well, not everyone says that, but they are surprised when they realize it is art.

GP upper level

The yellow brick alone is stunning.

The style of the designs is definitely Art Deco, according to Alison. I thought it was but wanted to verify it with a pro.

 I will have to get a book out and do some research on Art Deco. gp detail a

The colors of my photos just don’t do justice to how beautiful this work is.  All of mine were taken from the ground looking up so they aren’t the greatest.  Even so, I think you can see why I am so excited about this project.gp detail b

I have been playing with these photos in Paint Shop Pro, Corel Draw, EQ6, and Autobead.  I have so many ideas and more each day.  I hope to be able to gp detail cinclude some of my alterations from the various programs here.

I already know that I have to do a quilt and a beaded piece.  At least one of each! Maybe more.

Step Two

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

step-2-long-hall.jpgI am in the process of finishing up the paper work and quilts for Step Two.  The assignment required a piece that demonstrates illusion of depth.  I had taken this photo of an exterior walkway in Charlottesville, VA.  I remember the friend who was with me thinking that I was a bit off my rocker.  She has since become used to me whipping out my ever present digital camera and running across streets to get photos for my design inspiration collection.master-space.jpg

My intention was never to replicate the walkway exactly, but for some reason I just love this photo.  It resonates with me, so I did want to retain most of that feeling in my work. I subjected the photo to numerous filters in my Paintshop Pro program.  This shows the addition of a vertical perspective filter.  It is the view I finally chose to use.

As I am working on a piece, I often don’t know at the beginning what it is I am trying to convey or why.  It was no different for this piece.

I did probably 50 or more variations of it in my Corel Draw and EQ6 programs.  I did at least 4 -5 color ways for each variation until I decided to stay as close to the original colors as possible. 

It wasn’t until I finished piecing the last of 5 small test quilts that I began to realize what this quilt is about.step2-c.jpg 

I see this as a representation of our entry into life and our exit from it.  I had opted to remove most of the detail from the side walls and unify the floor and ceiling so that they did not become too important in the quilt.  I had drawn many variations with all sorts of detail, but it was distracting me from the real purpose. 

How we enter life is pretty much well known. How we exit is also well known.  What lies between awaits our touch to add the details, but we have a general notion of how things will progress.step-2a.jpg 

The points of emphasis are the entry and exit portals, thus the name, “Portals”.

The exit is the same fabric as the entrance.  I wanted them to be tied together in that manner, even if it meant disregarding the application of atmospheric perspective to the door. 

I used an open form ( the entire object is not in the picture) for the doorframe as a device to require the viewer to participate in the completion of the picture. Where is she coming from, where is she going, what will her life be like? The viewer, to my mind, is actually an element of the picture that extends beyond the boundaries of the picture.


At one point in the process, I also tried a different approach to the direction of the lines for the floor and ceiling.  In this quilt, I used the obvious fading toward the vanishing point of linear perspective.

I was also tired of the colors with which I had been working.  So I used colors inspired by a Cleopatra Canna Lily.  The sense of depth is not as great, because there is not the gradual fading of colors in the distance that is the hallmark of atmospheric perspective. In “Portals”, I applied that concept to the walls, floor  and ceiling.

It is  less challenging than “Portals”. Sometimes that is exactly what we need: less challenge, more beauty.

More Sketchbook

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

photos-127.jpgAh, the infamous sketchbook!  At least one of many that I now have going.  This one in particular is a Moleskin with watercolor paper that can take washes.  It is not 140 lb weight paper but it does the job. 

Obviously, it is being stuffed to the gills.  The techniques I am learning in the Creative Sketchbooks class are wonderful and very textural, for the most part.  This picture shows the sketchbook up to Module 3.  I am currently working on Module 5, so it is even bigger and messier than before.photos-129.jpg

This is one page of the book.  It is an exercise with paint and bleach discharge.  My notes about the exercise are on the side. 

One of the most important lessons I have learned so far is to keep good notes.  Do not rely on memory!photos-130.jpg

This is a page using oil pastels and water color washes.  Another lesson I am learning is that I really don’t care for paints, but they are so important in working through some designs.

I have not been as consistent about working in my sketchbooks as I should.  I know that it should be a daily exercise, but with work, school, and family obligations, I often let it slide.  I know that this is to my own detriment, so I am going to try to be better about it

Champagne and Diamonds pendant

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

champagne-and-diamonds-a.jpgThe Champagne and Diamonds series continues to evolve and grow.  I have more ideas than time to get everything made.  This single drop pendant is one of my favorites.  I was able to use Peyote stitch, Ndbele, and Netting. 

 The Swarovski Rivoli’s continue to amaze me, and I have had a great response to them. Champagne and Diamonds pendant I will be making several donation pieces using them.  I know they will be a hit! 

Several members of my EGA chapter have asked me to teach this technique, so I am also in the process of developing a class. 

Now I just have to begin working on a bracelet.  I have the earrings done, at least one variation. 

When I think how bored I used to get doing the same thing over again, I have to laugh!

Thank you, JA, for pushing me to be more and better.

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