Monday, May 6, 2013

New book from Elizabeth Barton

Having taken three of Elizabeth Barton's on-line courses, I am a big fan of her as a teacher and as an artist. Her book, published on May 1, is based on her course of the same name, "Inspired to Design".

Anyone who has taken this class will find the text familiar, but Barton has added many images of her own work to illustrate her points about effective use of the elements of design. Almost all of Barton's work is architectural in theme, so it has a special resonance for me. But no matter what your preferred subject, the principles still apply.

For those who would like to begin to make your own art quilts, this is a great primer. Barton leads the reader from first inspiration (whether it be a photo, a poem, or an experience) through the many decisions the artist must make to create a compelling work in cloth. Planning and thoughtful consideration are very central to Barton's approach, though the judgements themselves can be based on intuition. Barton always recommends "making visual decisions visually."

Establishing a focal point, creating a sense of depth, leading the viewer's eye around the work, effective use of negative space, the use of colour schemes to create a certain mood: all of these topics are discussed. The book ends with a thorough explanation of Barton's favoured construction techniques, right down to the design of the quilting stitch.

I think this book would be a welcome tool for novice and experienced art quilters alike.

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