Category Archives: Year Study

Revealing Squares

4-24-14 Positive Negative; hooked

4-24-14 Positive Negative; hooked

I am thrilled to announce the administrative work is completed and you can virtually explore the Year Study – square by square.  Review the exhibit here online.

From November 2013, through November 2014 the  individual squares are listed for sale at squareup.com/store/Susan-Feller-ArtWools select STORE then the month you are interested in or scroll through. Sold pieces are not listed on the sale site but you can still study them at www.ArtWools.com/year-study.

Looking forward to conversations in person, here online and through articles about creativity, process and product.

Premiering Year Study at Sauder

Year Study Journals

Year Study Journals

One month to go! The prep work is administrative now – scanning journal pages, photographing, cropping and uploading images and creating labels for the only public exhibit of all 365+ squares.  The YEAR STUDY will be hung as twelve panels (months) at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in Archbold, OH August 12-15. On Saturday morning I am conducting a gallery talk, sign up for this or enjoy the visuals while at the show.

The variety of techniques, materials and composition styles are sure to encourage fiber artists. Taking the time to educate myself with these elements has been more important than I first expected.  As an artist there are times when everything clicks and volumes of pieces are the results.  The satisfaction of sales and ease in making similar work just keeps flowing along.

BUT I have observed the spark of the artist does not end up in every one of their pieces. Back in my college days when a roll of photographs was taken there was probably only one or maybe two which were great, artists know when the object has a soul.

Working in uncertainty everyday to create a visual record was helpful to learn how to communicate visually.  Besides improving drawing skills I learned to simplify, enhance shapes, use colors and values to direct the viewer. Using a variety of techniques within one square, I have been able to create interest in a small object.

Several themes are haunting me and the studio has been reorganized, purged of clutter and is ready to be used for creativity. While cutting up the panels and adding the finishing to each square is still ahead, knowing they will be purchased and enjoyed by others makes this step enjoyable along with educational.

Finishing up the Study

March 23 I finished the last month in the Year Study.  That is not to mean every single square is completed but I can say there is an end in sight and the twelve panels will be ready for Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week August 11-15 in Archbold, OH.

Visit Year Study – Collection Gallery to see the months and individual squares.  Over time the full project will be uploaded.

August 2014 nine squares

August 2014 nine squares

Lessons learned? Sketch and complete each subject at least within the month.  I jumped around and when busy with teaching stopped working on the pieces until months later.  The creative momentum was lost for a particular design or a techniqueI had suggested did not interest me when it came around to doing that square. So I changed it.

I still procrastinate.  Although deadlines are met, I prioritize the projects and decide whether a commitment is worth pursuing or can be shelved.  This one will be completed because I told many people, it has been accepted as an exhibit, I am happy with the results, the documentation will be useful in future articles, workshops and the direction of my artwork practices.

Color studies

Color studies

Solution:  Independent study with one person as student and advisor means goals or methods can be changed to meet the situation.  Stay positive do not chastise, evolve. I changed some designs from original sketch.  There were days with no sketches which I used to explore a series with pleasure.  I got through by breaking the 365+pieces  down into segments of a each month.

Results: When the project began I thought it would be rewarding to explore new techniques in surface design.  Now 18 months later and counting, that goal was met and I have set another one: to educate. During the year photographs were taken when changes were made to a piece.  I will write a series of articles describing the process, challenges and solutions.  In future posts and the pages on the site under Year Study, mini courses will develop and a dialog with viewers.  I found using social media helpful for encouragement, directed critique and developing an interested audience.

Progress in the Mountains, Susan L. Feller 2014

Progress in the Mountains, Susan L. Feller 2014

There is an urge to work on larger pieces finally.  Abstract, geometric, simplified palettes, and environmental stories are the styles and subjects which will be developed.

 

To be continued. I am glad to be on this creative journey with you.

Nature Lessons in Color Planning

When I wanted to illustrate complementary partners in the book ‘Design Basics for Rug Hookers’, Stackpole Books 2011; I chose PURPLE asters and GOLDENrod along the highway near Albany, NY and ORANGE sassafras and a crystal BLUE sky here in WV.

Late summer brings on the subtle changes we glorify as Fall.  These images are good studies in how amount of color and placement affect the motif . They represent RED with its complement GREEN.

 

This is is a ‘Daily Square’ from late October 2013 depicting a blackberry branch. These photos taken today will inspire several squares.

Look around your environment and select a new color plan.

Blackberry Branch, Susan L. Feller painted linen, hooked, embroidered, quilted

Blackberry Branch, Susan L. Feller painted linen, hooked, embroidered, quilted

Inspirations Everywhere

Fabric Studies

Fabric Studies in month of February 2014, Susan L. Feller

These four blocks were inspired by fabric.  The embroidered and embellished moody blue green I dyed and spoke of irises.  Next the colors from the piece used as overall background set the palette. I will line the back of this square when finished with the wool as an example.  The center panel of the striped piece is a wide, loose trim which I hooked an aqua and pink line through to anchor the fabric to backing.  Then I hooked through the edges and mimicked the patterning by hooking and braiding.  The last one was designed based on the striped fabric in center square.  I used high contrast to reproduce the stripes.

On to May journaling, the trees are bursting into bud and each migrating bird upon arrival is adding their music to the orchestra.  Sounds, sights and memories emerging as subjects.

What is new in your neighborhood? How can you record, document, or reinterpret these experiences?  Tap into your creative space and show others your thoughts.

February Studies

image The daily square project is moving along slowly visually but the knowledge I have explored is vast.  There are two more squares to be completed for February, one I thought would be a value study in fine cuts since it is made up of “petals” around a center. But as time has progressed I decided to build dimensional shapes using a modified shirred technique.  Fine cut later this year, maybe. Winter lead me to work in the kitchen near to constant free heat from our wood cook stove.  I empathize with people who do not have a dedicated studio space and work within the family living area.  I had to consolidate materials, did not have all the tools available to paint, sew, use wire or sort through the unusual materials for inspiration, and ended up hooking more squares than if in the studio.  Back there this month though.

Red, Green, Purple, Orange

Red, Green, Purple, Orange

Workshops coming up were the topics for several squares.  The session at Green Mountain Hooked Rugs School in June will address color planning with a Mood — happy, sad, in love, sunny.  Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green and Purple are interpreted with lines or motifs and in monochromatic palettes.

Complements, color and value

Complements, color and value

A presentation to With Hands & Hearts Antietam Chapter of ATHA covered relations of colors with values.  Squares address colors on white, black and textured gray backgrounds.

Fabric Studies

Fabric Studies

Just as in home decorating where the drapery fabric or a stunning piece of artwork cues the coloring for a room, I responded to a piece of wool or trim in four squares. March journal entries reflect the studying process.  Nightly a book from the library was reread, notes taken and a design exploring the technique or art style was drawn.

December Studies

It was exciting to put out two months of squares and see the variety of techniques, materials, subjects and color/values.  I have found it challenging to keep coming up with new images and then decided I do not have to.  Revisiting a composition and changing some element involves experimenting.  The landscape subjects are especially good to look at again, weather and seasons change the details.  SNOW brings out high contrast and changes shapes along with visual focus.

Not surprising, the December squares are filled with white and neutrals.  Color still abounds, but like spring in the Arizona Desert you need to look closely.  Bluebirds flitting, holly berries, sky blue, the warmth of our wooden buildings are all examples represented this month.  Enjoy a sampling including some subjects photographed but sketched from memory.  First a blank slate staring at me on January first:

January 2014

January 2014

 

November Study Finished

I am thrilled to create this post of the studies created in November 2013.  The variety of techniques include painting canvas, beads, hooking, applique’, using found objects (ceramic mug, twist ties, clothesline), alpaca yarns, proddy, wire.  Styles ranged from realistic, dimensional, abstract to geometric.

Inspired a larger piece

Inspired a larger piece

During the month I created three larger pieces inspired by the studies and like the feeling I had while making two random squares.  They too could become runners at least.  The palette is changing to softer, colder, and more subtle as the seasons change.  I am going to bring out the alpaca yarns in a range of neutrals and softness for winter and the bare woods.  Missing the FALL foliage wools already.  Sure the small sparks of color will be much more enjoyable as our birds, the evergreens and wintry sky become subjects.  But that is for December and into 2014.

I began this journal on October 18 and was literally in the studio or outside working each day.  As November’s weather changed and the work space became a warm corner in the kitchen (with wood cook stove going) my work ethic changed.  In the studio all the toys were accessible adding to pieces easily.  Away from those inspirations more of the squares were just hooked.  Those which I envisioned needed different materials awaited a trip downstairs.

So it took until December 13 to complete November’s squares.  That’s ok with me.  For the year each month will remain as you see on the header image, one large piece of linen divided in a calendar grid.  After that I will divide them out and finish in appropriate manner for the piece.  I have photographed changes, documenting the lessons I am learning.  Considering this year to be my Independant Study.  Self issued certificate at end.

December has each square drawn out but I felt completing one month was important in the new discipline.  These pieces are revisiting some of the subjects with the new high contrast which snow adds.  Tree branches, railings, even a chair are different when defined by a blanket of snow.   Enjoy the Gallery of selected pieces.

Year Long Study

Beginning the study, working outside

Beginning the study, working outside

I have decided to dedicate the year leading up to my 60th birthday to studio work. Each day a sketch and five inch square design will be worked up in techniques I want to explore.  The series began ahead of time on October 18th with a plein air landscape outside of the studio.

This does not mean I won’t  teach and travel, but right now there is a long stretch of time off the road and a routine was necessary.  The short term goal is a sketch for each day.  Several larger works have evolved from these exercises already.  It has been a productive and meditative time.

Lori LaBerge’s Plein Air Hooking Artists concept helped formulate the process.  Although I am religiously sketching my subject into a journal, and working from the image for color and values, most of the subjects are also photographed as documentation.  I am also documenting changes made anticipating compiling a text to accompany an exhibit.

So far skills from a wire jewelry workshop have been incorporated into several pieces; acrylic paints; quilting; embroidery; and coiling have augmented traditional rug hooking.Monthly there will be a progress report showing the seasonal palette; design evolution; and techniques explored.  Below is a gallery of some early subjects and works.