Thursday, May 28, 2009

WIP? or File 13?

Here is a piece I have been working on, and I’m just not sure where to go with it. I feel like either it’s a) really awful; or 2) missing something important. If the latter, I can at least work on fixing it; if the former, I may as well give up now.

What do you think? Should I keep going with it? Is it too busy? Are the colors just ugly? Too many textures? Does it lack contrast? Is there a good focal point? Is it boring?

Any and all comments and suggestions will be appreciated, and please remember that you can make anonymous comments.


26 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think it is beautiful and I love the colours... I will tell you when I look at it,my eyes first focus on the 3 flower like bulbs then go down to the darker piece on the bottom right. i was wondering if softer lines could be put on the darker piece or can it be embellished ?

Approachable Art said...

Hi :) If you feel like it's too busy (and I don't necessarily agree- there's a lot of good movement and texture but no real focal point) then you might try dry brushing the most scant amount of opaque white textile paint across the background. That would not only unify the background, but it would also bring the flowers forward and make them the obvious focus.

I like the color scheme, I just think your focal points (the flowers) are too close in value to the background to allow them to stand out.

Good luck! :)

Cynthia Wenslow said...

Michele, I agree that there needs to be more contrast in value.

Here's a value check trick you can do if you have a digital camera. Turn it to the black/white setting (they nearly all have one) and look through the LCD or take a shot. Does it all look about the same tone of gray? It lacks value interest then.

Good luck!

Terri said...

I think it's a marvelous design, one of my favorite motifs actually. I do think it may need a bit more contrast between the focals and the background. And I feel like the dark area on the bottom right is all alone and needs company.

Sherryl said...

I like this piece but I agree about the lack of contrasts. I don't think it needs much but a suggestion might be to add some metallic to this either with paint/sticks or foil. If you still don't like it, send it my way :-)

Donna said...

First, off I love the design and I do not think it's too busy at all. I too think that perhaps a little contrast would be the touch it needs--maybe some beads in contrasting colors on the bulbs and/or around the edges of the bulbs or quilt. Maybe scattered throughout the quilt? I'm not sure but have fun with it whatever you decide to do!
D~~~~

Leslie said...

Just my 2 cents, I think you are heading in the right direction...

Donna beat me to it about beads, but my thought was black and/or dark grey with a few of the reddish colour seed beads scattered on the background like shadows. On the other hand, bead the poppy seed (?) cases and their stems.

Wendy Coyne said...

The piece in the lower right is too dark, it is drawing the eye away from your seed pods. Maybe you could applique over this? I would be tempted to brush white paint over the whole piece and then highlight the pods. If you think that it is wrong anyway, what can you lose?

juanita Yeager said...

I think it needs more contrast, Maybe adding some highlights to the flower seed pods to emphasis their roundness.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel that it is too busy. It has three strong design elements---the flowers. I think they need bringing out further. have you considered some metallic thread, Shiva sticks or similar to lighten them a bit? And lightening up the bottom right corner which doesn't look right...it is too dark compared to everything else.

Marija said...

The first this I saw when looking at your lovely piece is that it seems like the light is coming from the bottom right - almost as if the dark piece is a hill and sun has just set behind it?
So maybe you can highlight your flower pods with something (beads, metalic, shiva...) on the bottom right side? It seems to me it would look like those flowers are in a glorious sunset... With that, maybe the dark piece needs a bit of an extension on the left side of it - to give it more "organic" feel?
I love the textures and shadows in the whole piece and I am sure you'll make it into something YOU love too, eventually!

Anonymous said...

I agree that there is not enough contrast between the pods and the background. I also agree with the bottom right patch being too dark. That is highlighted by the fact that the patches directly above it are the lightest in the whole piece. One additional issue for me is the length of the stems. I think they are a bit too long and create a lot of neagtive space that is not being used. How about cutting the piece off just above the dark patch? I thnk it may make the piece a bit more economical in its design. All that being said, I think you have made a great start on an outstanding work. Just a bit more fine-tuning needed.

Anonymous said...

I like a lot of elements in this work, so I don't think you should biff it. One suggestion is to change the shape of it, maybe lopping off the bottom, or adding something longer. I know several people have mentioned value contrasts, but personally I think the pods and the background are fine. Glitzing and beads would certainly add texture and light, but I think the shape might be the key.

Heather P said...

I don't know if I can add anything, other than I like the poppy seed pod motif very much, and I agree about the lack of contrast and the dark patch on the bottom right. I like the idea of using shiva sticks to lighten the background. Whatever you decide to do, don't throw it away! The basic design is good, the pods are the focal point, the color scheme is attractive.

Janice Mc said...

It has a LOT of potential!! I think the fastest and easiest solution would be to lop off the bottom edge above the darkest piece, then shadow the pods somewhat (with beads, paint, thread, etc) to make them stand out more. I love the amount of texture in it already. If you decide to dry brush, perhaps a yellow ochre instead of white? I second the comment to send it my way if you despair of it!!!

Antonija said...

I like this a lot. It has a good and subtle texture and contrast--and I really like the pod motif as well. The only thing I would add is a little shading to the pods to add dimension to their shape. But just a little.

Anonymous said...

I like the flower shapes and the low contrast feel. The dark area in the lower corner detracts from that, however, at least for me, it makes me look at it when it isn't the subject. Love the rest, though!

--Lorraine

Anonymous said...

I think it could benefit from some stronger value contrast. I also wonder about the dark piece at the bottom right- it seems to just lead my eye right off the piece.

I do like the texture you've achieved, and think it is worth further work if you choose.

Judy said...

Hi Michele!
It's a lovely piece! Do not give up on it! :-)
I tend to agree with Sherryl and Terri, and will not rewrite what they already said.
But like Sherryl, if you don't want it, I think you do have my address from a previous RR! LOL

xo

Alison Schwabe said...

I find the large shapes and their almost geometric textures behind the poppies compete with the poppy shapes themselves - they have such strong individual patterns in them. To me these don't do much to enhance the poppiness of these seed heads. I think you could consider putting this aside as a sample or ufo, and approach this topic again. This time in the background lightly print, stencil or paint some shadowy shapes suggesting the leaves and other botanic things that would be around a group of poppies in the field. These don't have to be green as such, just shadowy enough to suggest that the poppies are not just standing there in a bunch of 3, which is what I think you were trying to avoid in the first place. They're nice shaped things - go for it. Do a whole series! ;-)

lisa said...

I love this piece as is!! Interesting to read all the comments, I suppose a little contrast within the yellow designs inside each oval would make it pop more....but I really enjoy the color blend, it makes me want to look more closely at the rest of the detail.

claynfiber said...

I think this piece is great! When I cover the bottom dark piece I like it more. I feel it is distracting so would like it covered or even better as someone suggested, cutting it off above that point. Then the addition of foil (which I've never used but sounds like fun)or just a tiny something to add a little pop if you feel it needs it then. I like the colour combo. Thanks for sharing!

Sam's mom said...

I'd use borders to make this piece the center of a medallion that includes a lot of light neutral and dark/black abstractions. Focus a bit more attn on the pods with some metallic in the swirls. It's great that you've bravely asked for critique, and you can actually try just about anything and everything.--Eleanor Levie

Mary said...

This is a very strong piece and the colors are vibrant! You just need to boost the contrast as the 3 motifs blend into the background. The values are all so close that everything blends together making it hard to see the design. Definitely keep going on it!

Cathy Mendola said...

I happen to love it as is. BUT if you felt the need to highlight some areas you could use some Shiva paintsticks. You could also use them to lighten up the dark fabric at the bottom, although I happen to like that contrast. It seems to ground the piece.
You could also add a few beads here and there to accent the pods.
But as I said, I LOVE IT as is.
The stitching is fabulous when I enlarged it!

Elizabeth Golden said...

I really like your quilt piece.
I think if you outlined the three flowers in turquoise thread it would be stunning!And maybe some black.