Snapshots of the Retreat

It’s official: The first ever Artistic Alchemy retreat is history! The three of us had a great time, and judging from our students’ comments, so did all of you who came. The creativity quotient was high, the laughter was contagious, and the projects—wow! Below are some class images, lunchtime show-and-tell pics, and shots of Lake Tahoe and the Zephyr grounds.

Watch for details about next year’s retreat. Heidi is working with Zephyr on the dates, and we are hopeful we can add an extra day, for a total of three full days in class.

Take a look at who was there and what we did. (We were missing a few when we took this group pic.)IMG_7690IMG_7642IMG_7718IMG_7648IMG_7611IMG_7644IMG_7584IMG_7699IMG_7628

show & tell 3show and tell 4IMG_7660IMG_7716IMG_7738IMG_7710This could be YOU, next year! Stay tuned. . . .

Artistic Alchemy Retreat, Zephyr Point, The Place to Be!

We are madly rushing around getting everything ready for our retreat. packing Zephyr

There will be treasures galore that you can buy. These are some of Christine’s. Oh, those colorful ombre’s.

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Here is a pile of cool name tags made by Sandra. There is one in there somewhere with your name on it.

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Heidi is making a mess deciding what to pack. Number one thing, BRING OWN PILLOW! And DON’T forget a colorful pillow case. Otherwise your pillow could be left behind (ask Christine about that).

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We’ll see you before the sun sets on beautiful Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd. You’ll make new friends, see beautiful scenery and above all, increase your creative energy with Artistic Alchemy. Christine, Sandra, & Heidi

“Polished and Published”!

Artistic Alchemy. Here are some of our latest accomplishments in the publishing world. We are all honored to have been chosen to represent all these fine publications.

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Heidi Emmett: Modern Patchwork. The above issue is Spring 2014. In this issue Heidi has designed a unique, “Quilted Summer Backpack”.  She had fun using bungee cords for straps and using the “quilt as you go” method in the sewing of it.

Apr-May14cover_issue 68 Sandra Bruce: In this issue of Quilting Arts, March/April 2014, Sandra shows us her “Material Matrix” in a featured article. Many of her quilts are shown. Material Matrix, what an art inspired approach to quilt making.

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Christine Barnes: In this Winter issue 2013/2014 issue of Modern Patchwork, Christine has a project for a wall quilt titled “Urban Ombre”. It’s a stunning example of Christine’s use of color in her quilts.

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 Sharon Alves: This full sized quilt (only the center is visible, see Sharon’s website or one of her past posts here, for a full view) is aptly named: Fyrewrks I. Sharon’s quilts look intricate at first glance but, using her own paper-piecing method, go together easily. This quilt is featured in an article that Christine wrote in McCalls Quilting Magazine.

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More works from all of us are soon to be published. Come to Zephyr Point and enjoy the creative energy! We have a space waiting for YOU!

Luminosity—a Very Special Effect

9a AA DecNew Year’s greetings from me, Christine, to all of you! I hope you’re enjoying (or recovering from) the holiday festivities and are looking forward to a fresh year. If you aren’t already relaxing, I invite you to do so now while I show you one of my favorite special effects, luminosity. In my first post I wrote about luster—the sense of light striking the surface from above or from the side. With luminosity, the light and warmth come from beneath the surface.

I stumbled on the concept of luminosity while playing with transparency. As I was working on a mock-block exercise, I said to myself, “Oh my gosh, that block looks, well, it looks luminous!” As I worked with the concept more, I came up with a luminosity recipe—when you surround a relatively small area of warm, medium-value, intense color with a larger area of cooler, darker, duller color, you can create the illusion of glow. I can’t begin to tell you how much quilters respond to this effect—when it works, we all say, “Wow!”

Let me begin by defining value, temperature, and intensity. Value is about how light, medium, or dark color is. Temperature is about how warm or cool color is; yellow, red, and orange are warm, while green, blue, and violet are cool. Intensity is about how bright or dull color is; neon green is intense, while sage green is low-intensity.

The three fabrics on the right below pulsate with warmth and light, making them great for creating luminosity. Surrounding them with the three fabrics on the left would enhance their luminosity.  (The middle two fabrics got into the act because I loved them.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWoven plaids like the one below look luminous on their own. When you fussy cut them to isolate the warm color, then surround it with cooler color, it’s as if candles burn brightly beneath the surface. 3 AA DecThe same woven plaid, in a different colorway, used just in the center of this block. (This image looks so soft because I framed the block using nonglare glass.)4 AA Dec“Airy” batiks are great for suggesting luminosity, and the colors can be a mix of warm and cool. The dappling in the center batik also suggests distance because a light-value fabric will recede when surrounded by a darker-value fabric.

5 AA DecLuminosity can be just about light, without the illusion of warmth. In this block, the lighter-value batik looks far away, as if you’re looking through a cut-out in a dark stripe square.

6 AA DecThis cut-and-paste block shows how a combination of different fabrics—woven plaid, woven stripe, batik stripe, and ombré—makes a luminous block more interesting. 8 AA DecAnd finally, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between luminosity and luster. Look again at the pillow at the start of this post. Do the circles suggest light striking and bouncing off the surface, or light and warmth emanating from beneath the surface? (The circles are cut from a Caryl Bryer Fallert “Gradations” ombré, and the solids are Kaffe Fassett shot cottons.)

What about the blocks below, where the ombrés and Marci Derse prints switch places?0 AA Dec These are the things I love to ponder, and I hope you find them just as enticing. I’d love to hear what you want to learn about color. Let me know your thoughts, your questions, and I’ll explore them in future posts. The New Year is the perfect time to play with new colors and concepts. Let the creativity—and the fun—begin!