Here’s Looking

The last few weeks we have been examining principles of design.   Now the question is what do I do with it?    Well the obvious answer is design a quilt,  and I can help you do that if that is your desire,  but not everyone will want to do that.    However, everyone reading this is going to look at quilts.     It is also true that those who look at quilts will see some that they like, and some they don’t.    Your knowledge of the design principles can help you express your opinion in an educated and helpful way.    You will now be able to understand what you are seeing and how your eyes and emotions are being led by any given image.   ( That goes for advertising too )     If you truly look at the images around you with the principles in mind you will quickly come to understand the common factors in what you like,  and what you don’t.     While I have it in mind I want to remind you all that during quilt show and fair season it is ok to not like a piece,  if you need to express a negative opinion out loud please do so in a respectful manner.    Use the principles to explain your opinion in a manner that helps the listeners understand more clearly.     The quilt maker or her friends may just be in earshot.    So here are a few questions that you can ponder to help your looking be productive for yourself and those around you.    ( and one of my all time favorite paintings to practice looking at.  )


Starry Night by Vincent Can Gogh

Is the composition well balanced?   If not why?

How are the harmonies and dynamics increasing the overall message or emotion being conveyed?

Are there rhythms and patterns that support or interfere with the dynamics?

Does the color support the other elements?

And of course as quilters we also need to look at technique,  is it structurally sound?   How does the technique work with the design elements?

There are so many ways to begin to look with an educated eye,  I hope that each of you will practice this skill.   Looking with awareness is perhaps the greatest tool I can introduce  to you.    It can apply to many other life situations and will enrich many experiences.       Before I close,   I want to remind you that Crazy Quilt Club is tomorrow,   and that if you are going to submit for the fair booth I need to know asap.    There are some great fun pieces coming in,   thank you for all of it!!





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