Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Our guest speaker this month was Professor Larry Ortiz from Sierra College. Professor Ortiz was kind enough to present a slide show at our May meeting on artistic principles and how they could be applied to our quilts. We also welcomed three new members, two of whom are featured in this month's showcase.


Our Program


Most of the lecture focused on creating depth and perspective, something Professor Ortiz feels is sometimes lacking in art quilts.  Depth can be implied in a variety of ways, beginning with one point perspective.  

“Delivery of the Keys to St. Peter” by Pietro Perugino is an early example of one point perspective.  Note how the lines converge in the central building.

“The Last Supper” by Leonardo DaVinci not only illustrates one point perspective but also shows how this perspective can be used to draw the eye to the focal point.


Two point perspective is just that — all lines converging on two separate points.  “Paris Street: Rainy Day” by Gustave Caillebotte incorporates both one and two point perspective.


There are other ways of creating both perspective and depth.  Foreshortening is another approach, but one that requires considerable skill.  “The Lamentation of Christ” by Andrea Mantegna is an early, imperfect, attempt at foreshortening.  


Albrecht Durer came up with a grid method to help artists translate 3D objects into 2D representations.  This method is one that can be used by quilters as well.


Light and color can also be effective in creating depth.  Often, lighter, hazier colors in the background, a technique known as atmospheric perspective, can lend the illusion of distance.  The painting “Fishermen at Sea” by Joseph Mallord William Turner is a good example of atmospheric perspective.


There are other ways of creating depth as well - diminishing size, overlapping shapes, the use of color to bring some shapes forward or to make them recede (warm colors come forward, cool colors recede), the use of value (a light object on a dark background comes forward, as does a dark object on a light background).   Many of these techniques were used by George Seurat in his famous painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” 


Dr. Ortiz did touch on some other artistic principles — the use of positive and negative space, the difference between shape and form, implying mass through the use of highlight and shadow, tenebrism, and chiaroscuro.  


"Figure of a Woman" by Paul Colin illustrates the importance of light and shadow, evident here in the human face.


He also talked about the visual interaction of colors, which is not always what one might expect.  This interaction is apparent when colors are placed next to one another, overlapping, or one on top of the other.


In the painting, "Le Chahut," Seurat used tiny dots of complementary colors next to each other, expecting them to create a vibrancy.  The effect, however, was a muddying of the hues, creating the overall impression that looks much like brown.

Professor Ortiz concluded his presentation with critiques of several quilts brought in by members.



The program ended with an invitation to the members to focus on incorporating at least one of these principles in a quilt to be shown at a meeting next May.  The gauntlet has been thrown down, Ladies! 

New Member Showcase


New member, Susan Marshall, brought in some of her work to share.  This pet portrait, "Amber," was begun in a class with Jane Haworth.

She shared a top she created using tissue paper dyeing and water colors, techniques she learned in a class with Bonnie Lattin-Hensel.

Sue is currently considering how to turn her artwork into art quilts.


New member, Stephanie Bennett-Strauss, shared a recent fish quilt, still in progress.

Her farm themed quilt has a few surprise elements . . . 

Another innovative quilt by Stephanie.