Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Learning to Work in a Series

When reading about various artists and their development, you often notice that they work in series. Whether it's Picasso, Monet or Nancy Crow, working in series is often attributed to developing their style, improving their skill as well as developing a cohesive body of work.

Since I was interested in all of these things I decided to do a course on working in a series.

The first thing I learned was that you need to choose a theme that you are passionate about so that you don't become bored too quickly. I chose emotions and decided to start with depression. My interest in emotions is from the effect that various emotions have on your spirit or soul.

I then learned to set up certain parameters that would be constant throughout the series, such as the size, the colour, the style and to have other parameters that would change such as any of the above.

My first piece: Depression #1


When I was doing my self critique of this quilt I decided that I liked the damaged bohdi leaf that represented the damaged spirit but I felt that the colours were a bit too bright to convey the idea of depression.

Based on these decisions I did a second piece with the same basic design but with more muted colours.

Depression #2:

I liked this colour palette better as it had the subdued colours of depression as I perceive it. I also used this design to work out a better visual path around the design by printing darker and lighter areas on the right side of the design.

At this point I felt that what I was most interested in in the design was the bohdi leaf and its deterioration.

For the third quilt I focused on the bohdi leaf and on the use of texture to try and draw the viewer deeper into what I was trying to convey.

Depression #3:

This quilt was a new and scary direction for me as it depended almost entirely on free motion quilting which I find quite intimidating especially in a pale colour on a dark background!

On critiquing the quilt I felt that I should have left more areas where the quilting was more open to add a bit of variety to the design, so in my next quilt....

Stay tuned for further developments!


  1. Very interesting, Janice. I have one suggestion and that is to entitle them something other than Depression 1,2,3 etc. They are appealing, and might elicit a buyer, but depression is a confronting word. Even if it was a word that had those connotations, like Valley, Deep or Decay.

    Just my opinion. I like all of them, but the first one maybe my favourite.

  2. How interesting!! Love these pieces!!!!

  3. Janice, love your blog. It's good to see your work here too.

  4. thank you for sharing, Janice! I like these quits and thinking to try to work in series...

  5. I think the last one looks like a shattered soul... very powerful image of depression.