Friday, January 31, 2014

Balancing Act

I have always been interested in the functions of the left and right sides of the brain. The left side deals with logic, analysis, sequencing and time. It is the area for speech, mathematics, science and language. It deals with the details of every aspect of life and prefers structure and orderliness.

The right side of the brain deals with emotion and the big picture. It is the area for creativity, intuition, colour, shape and pattern. It has no sense of time or true language but rather uses a visual form of communication. Its connections are more random and spontaneous rather than sequencial. It is not bound by rules or regulations but is more free-wheeling in its processes.

While working on this quilt I tried to use both halves of my brain. The left side was the leader in planning the content of the quilt. It did the research, collected images and information, looked at colour palettes and set up a time line. The right brain was then asked to present a whole, complete image based on this information. Then it was back to the left brain to develop a work sequence, techniques and approaches. The right brain stepped in whenever there was an overall design decision to be made.

Being a very left brain dominant person, it was an interesting experience trying to work in this intuitive way.

In the quilt, the left brain is represented by the background while the right brain is represented by the areas of strong colour. The concept was to have both areas work together to create a sense of balance.

Hand printed and dyed fabric, surface design, appliqué, machine quilted, hand stitched


  1. An extremely interesting and well executed piece, Janice. The complexity you have achieved with your background fabric is amazing and inspirational.

  2. Interesting work and again very interesting to read, Janice!

  3. As usual, you have given us much to examine in the detail of your work. The impact of the primary shape is like a jewel. The colour palette also emphasised that central feature, but allows some conversation between the ideas.

  4. Your image is very arresting and I immediately wanted to know what your quilt was "about". I love the overlap of imagery in the background and the color palette you've selected. Did you consciously give the right side of both the "square" and the entire piece more space to represent that you're a more right-side-of-the-brain person? Love, love, love this piece -- as I do all your work.

  5. You always come up with such interesting approaches to your work. The story of how you created it is fascinating. And the result is beautiful!

  6. The colours and textures in this piece are delicious!
    I love the "printy" textures in the background and the neurons too!

  7. So interesting. I love all those layers of imagery in the background fabric and the way the hand stitching complements them. Gorgeous colours too.

  8. You have succeeded well to interpret the difference between our two cerebral hemispheres. Looking at your quilt without having red your AS, I understood what it was about when seeing the "dancing" dendrites. The picture of the brain could be double-edged.
    Both hemispheres are of the same size or is it possible so that the right side is bigger than the left one, (if you look at it from the lower left side up to the upper right side)? Many details to ponder about.
    A lovely quilt!