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Thursday, July 06, 2006
Developing a Style
In the last few days I have received Nancy Crow's new book as well as Joan Colvin's "Nature's Studio." I have been thoroughly enjoying going through them, soaking in the images and reading.

First, Nancy's book. I confess, I had long wondered what all the fuss was about both Nancy's and Michael's quilts. To me, it looked like they were both in a rut...the same stuff over and over and over. Now, in my defense, I am NOT a formally trained artist and that is why (I believe) that I did not understand what the point was.

Thank you Nancy for giving me the education I didn't get in college. To view the work in her new book, after reading what she has written and getting the opportunity to understand her process is (sorry Mastercard), priceless. Ok, I need to take her basic question.

Now, on to Joan. My biggest issue has been that of style. I have none. I jump from here to there and over there.....nothing I do has any continuity. Probably the only thing I can think of that is common to my work is thread work- sometimes by machine and sometimes by hand- but there is always a lot of it. That is not enough to define a style.

This is what Joan says: "So, what is a recognizable style? It means just what it says, that when people see your work, they can identify it as yours. Your own particular choices fit into a pattern that is becoming consistent, and you are sufficiently comfortable with this set of choices that you can settle in to work more deeply and more searchingly within the framework you've chosen."

Ok, I do understand what she is saying. But HOW DOES ONE DEVELOP A STYLE? This is the part I don't get. She goes on to discuss this in further detail and I will continue to read and question here. I would really appreciate any input/discussion I can get from my friends/readers/fellow artists.

posted by Teri Springer @ 7:51 AM  
  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger Karoda said…

    I've wondered that too about styles...but I think its too early for me to have this time, its important to me to try as much as possible and see what sticks.

  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger Scrapmaker said…

    Just stop worrying about it and keep on working. The style that belongs to you will emerge, and it may even be there already. sometimes other people can see it when you can't. Jen

  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger deb said…

    I've stopped wondering but when I look back on my work there are basic common elements I keep coming back to - color choices, construction and design methods.One promise I keep to myself, I won't keep plugging ahead with a piece that is not pleasing me every step of the way. The "doing" has to be as fun as the result.

  • At 3:03 PM, Blogger Shirley Goodwin said…

    This has been an issue for me too, Teri. Interestingly, my enforced time at home with my broken ankle has led me closer. Because I had time to fill and could really only sit and do stuff, I worked on my art. A particular thing kept happening - in my case, it was complicated appplique cutouts - that wasn't something I did before. I agree with the bloggers above to just keep working - your style will show itself in something that's so appealing to you (maybe unconsciously) that you kep doing it in different forms.

    Shirley in New Zealand

  • At 10:18 PM, Blogger Dianna in Maui said…

    Hi Teri,
    Love the new look of your blog and that's a very nice picture of you, BTW! I enjoyed your comments about Nancy's book; my friend Robin took her class at QSDS and has been transformed. I'm going to have to get my hands on that book myself!

  • At 5:00 AM, Blogger Deb H said…

    I'm with you Teri, I must still be searching for that style. I tend to do whatever strikes me at the time, & am always exploring new avenues. My purses,& thread painting & quilting style may be recognizible to those who know me, but I don't have any particular style quilt, & am not positive that it's necessary. As long as I do what I like & enjoy, does it really matter?

  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger lizzieb said…

    Style just comes. So ya gotta just keep on working. The more work you produce, the more clearly your style will emerge. May be the way you use color, may be the compositions you tend to use, may be a design element that repeatedly shows up. Just do the work and style will come!

  • At 1:57 AM, Blogger diva of quilts said…

    It takes time and trying lots of techniques to discover what works for you and you LOVE to do (I'm definitely not there yet but I think I'm getting close to where I want to be!)

    Then this is crucial: to NOT become a carbon-copy factory, creating essentially the same art over and over again. An element of surprise, something unexpected that leaves viewers guessing, along with your signature "style".

    There has to be a balance between a signature "style" and growth/experimentation.

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About Me

Name: Teri Springer
Home: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Me: Studio Art Quilt Associates for the Atlantic Canada Region (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island). Quote:Apples and Wine: Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough & smart enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree. Now Men... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the hell out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.
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