Join Helene Weber as the featured guest blogger today. She takes us on an adventure of looking at the world through an artist’s eyes.
Here’s a glimpse of some of her class projects:
My passion is Art, I live in a world surrounded by Art. Every morning when I rise the first thing I see is the colors of a wonderful new day, if the sun is shining I see the colors that are portrayed across the sky, the play of sunlight through the leaves creating creating intense color, and the change in color values as the sun climbs above the horizon. If its a cloudy or winter day I see the monotone of color that creates a starkness to the objects existing in that realm. I explore each day finding something new that I didn’t know yesterday.
In our daily fast paced life we can form tunnel vision – too often our sight becomes so narrow its as if we are traveling through a perpetual tunnel and miss all the beauty that surrounds us. The old adage “stop and smell the roses” is more so true now then ever. We walk around with our sights glued to cell phone screens, tablets, computers, bill board advertisements, and other electronic gadgets so much that we literally miss the beauty in all the small details that make up our world.
As an Artist I love to record what I see through my eyes – sometimes it might just be a line drawing or a simple sketch or even some quick color blotches conveying what I felt at the moment I saw it. Other times I file the vision in my mind for reference to use when needed at a later date. I am constantly studying my surroundings – like taking snapshots with my mind.
Quite often I hear students state that they can’t draw or have no artistic talent – maybe when they were younger someone told them that they had no artistic ability and so they quit drawing or coloring. But Art is not a talent given only to a few, it is a learned experience, Art like any activity in our life takes practice and commitment, just like in sports, some are better than others but it doesn’t mean we can’t all play.
The first step to practice is to see what we are looking at (similar to hearing someone talking but not actually listening to what they say). In our lives we may look at flowers but its not until we stop and study them do we really see the flower. When looking at a subject, it also helps to break it down into simpler forms, this way we can easily see each component and not be overwhelmed by the whole.
Look at a tree do you see the patterns formed by the bark or how the limbs grow from the main trunk. Did you ever notice that a deciduous tree looks like an upside down rootball? Its because what you see on top is the same as what the roots look like in the ground.
Here is a simple exercise on drawing a tree -
Take a piece of paper, draw a horizontal line across the paper 1/3 down from the top- this is the ground line
Now draw the main stem of the root (we are only drawing whats below the ground line) and then begin to branch off from the stem – picture the fibrous roots from a plant you just pulled out of the ground.
Continue to add more roots – When you have added all the roots -
Rotate your picture so that the horizontal ground line is at bottom of page – you will see you have just drawn a tree – you can keep the branches bare as winter or add leaves
This is a simple picture but it can help us understand that composing a picture isn’t so hard, sometimes we just have to view our subject in a different form or spacial configuration.
When it comes to Art, I can’t remember not ever having some form of art medium or tool in my hand, I have painted, drawn, or sculpted in some form or other all of my life. When I moved into Fiber Art, it just seemed so natural to pick up fabric and literally paint with it – I love the texture, the colors, the ability to manipulate it into various forms and to further enhance it with thread, dyes and paints. Painting with fabric is as natural to me as painting with pastels or acrylic paints.
I also love teaching about Fiber Art , I enjoy creating new designs and techniques to share with my students. Some of these techniques include working with fabric and embellishments to get form and texture, creating depth and dimension with threads and paints, and alternating patterns to make a design uniquely our own. It is my hope that students will leave my classes with lots of inspirational ideas to be able to continue to create their own Fiber Arts.
Inspired by Helene Weber’s thoughts?