Monday, March 30, 2009

Texas Highlights, Part 1

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this one sums up my week teaching in Texas. But you're going to get the thousand words with it as well!

If you're reading this, then you've found my new blog site. The old one got hijacked and now is some totally random spammy website. I will miss Exploring the Surface, but thankfully all the old files are now on this new blog. Please spread the word that I'm alive, I'm alive!! -- just with a new address. I chose the most practical, me-specific name I could get google to register, hoping that no random spam site would possibly want to register "Art by Jeanne Beck" as a domain name.

So back to the subject. To say that my time teaching at Quilting Adventures was a pleasure would be an understatement. The wonderful accommodations, perfect weather and Texas hospitality melted away memories of snow and grey skies almost immediately. A great tonic for a winter-weary north easterner like myself. Alice and Barbara, who run Quilting Adventures, do an excellent job of organizing the workshops and provide a top notch variety of classes and instructors for three weeks each spring and fall.

Our classroom was bright, open and spacious. We shared this huge open space with Creations, a quilt shop that sets up on site for the entire conference.

One of the first things we did was explore our materials. Rather than using paints straight out of the bottle, everyone practiced mixing tints, tones and shades, expanding their color vocabularies. Jean's sample charts were detailed and beautiful.

Here's Jean. She picked this reference image of a watercolor by Janet Fish to use as a color and design inspiration.

Here's her richly textured interpretation. I can't wait to see it with stitching.

Harla recently retired from owning her own floral business and created an entire design wall filled with very detailed, delicate and beautifully planned interpretations of her reference images.
Harla also is the new owner of the two spring landscapes that I posted on my blog before I left for Texas. They're en route to her right now.

Learning new techniques PLUS creating original designs from references takes total focus. It's tiring but exciting -- and everyone made truly unique work.

Jane did a number of layered pieces of fabric that were amazing. Hard to pick just one to show you.

Roberta threatened me with the Look of Death when I tried to take her picture with wet hair, so you will see her in the group photo below. I love the softness of this composition above and look forward to seeing how she will complete this piece.
Shelley actually completed a piece by the end of the week. Unfortunately I can't seem to find the picture of it. Instead, here's a wonderful sample of a completed piece she brought it to share. Since Shelley prefers machine to hand stitching, she brought her sewing machine and set up a sewing area in her room .

Sharon works as a web site designer and creates a lot of the imagery for her work with photography and computer software. She's excited about the possibilities of combining her printed images with painted fabrics -- and so am I!!

Look at the gorgeous palette she created on her design wall based on several reference images in the upper left hand corner.

Everyone in the class did wonderful work. Here we are at the end of a truly memorable week together. From left to right are Jane, Sharon, Harla, me, Roberta, Jean and Shelley. It's always hard for me to say goodbye to the incredible people who take my classes - and I do hope that our paths will cross again.
Next: Fun in San Antonio!


  1. Welcome back. It sounds like a great class! The results look stunning. I am sorry for what happened to you previous blog but glad I found the new one.

  2. Really glad I found you again at last. Now to catch up

  3. Yeah, I missed you, glad to find your new site!

  4. Hi and welcome back and I'm happy to have rediscovered your blog! Your class looks like they had a groovy time!