Monday, January 21, 2008


Texture ... Color ... Line ... Shape ... Value ... Form ... Space

Emphasis ... Movement ... Unity/Harmony ... Balance ... Rhythm ... Contrast

The art form is negligible; the elements and principles are the same whether your create with music, dance, paint, crayons, pencils, your camera, words ... or ... fabric.

Every year during the end of January and through the month of February moving on into the end of April, I'm struck by the commonalities found in the art world regardless of the form. Beginning mid-January I spend my Sundays working with my husband and his studio of private low brass students by accompanying them as they prepare for solo contest. Our first two rehearsals are spent developing (or recreating since many are returning students having studied with Mike since they first picked up their horns as elementary students) a "feeling of ensemble" correcting rhythms and missed notes.

After the fundamentals are in place, it is time to communicate. What do you want to say to your audience; how do you keep them actively engaged during your performance. It is a fine balance between "playing what is on the page" and "owning the piece." The piece you "own" is personalized with your message stamped in each note, phrase, or movement.

Helping the students to find their voice, to move toward the goal of communication and connection with the audience through their music is how I spend my February. Some will do well and will qualify for the State competition. I take the month off in March from accompanying, and then we start up again in April with the elementary competition and helping the high school state competitors put the finishing touches on their pieces as we polish and refine.
Quilters, whether crafting art pieces, traditional pieces, or innovative pieces are faced with the same challenges. Communication and connection through your art form creates a sense of community developing a relationship and understanding of the beauty of nature in the whole of the universe.

Consider ...
  • the emotional message in an art quilt
  • the serenity and control in the repetition of shapes in a traditional quilt
  • the blending of common elements in a new and surprising way in an innovative quilt

And sometimes, we make blankies because we love our grandkids and we want to connect to the across the miles across the generations with a quilty hug ... we want to communicate love everlasting, security, safety, and comfort.

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