I shared in my intentions for the year that I am taking an online class with Elizabeth Barton. January was the first assignment of the year. We were tasked with learning to see, sketch and use value. Working from a photograph, I made a sketch of the Point Reyes Lighthouse that we visited over Christmas.
The assignment challenged us to use only one color in light, medium, and dark values. I chose to use black, which meant I needed to dye some fabric!
It’s been ages since I had a dye session, maybe almost a year! It felt pleasurable, like seeing an old friend, pulling out my supplies and making magic in the kitchen. I dyed two colors, black and blue, in an eight value color way.
Black is such a fascinating color when reduced into values. It brings out the colors that make it black. Here, I discovered gray black tones of purple!
I had my sketch and I had my fabric, and then I pulled it all together. The assignments are divided into three parts throughout the month, first we turn in our sketch and receive feedback, then we turn in the blocked quilt, and have a second chance for feedback and making changes, and then at the end of the month we turn in our finished quilt.
The blocked stage isn’t stitched or secured down so that there is the opportunity to shift and make changes. The main lesson I learned in my design is that the literal truth seen in the photograph doesn’t necessarily make for a pleasing or interesting design. Small changes can be made to make the design a good one. I guess that’s why they call it artistic license!
This piece is small, 11″ x 15″, and the quilting came together quickly. Swirls and squiggles and wavy lines. I was trying to evoke the craggy rocks, breaking waves, and fog-filled sky.
The lighthouse looks little, perched on its craggy rocks against the grandeur of the ocean and sky. That’s how I remember it in real life, and how I wanted it to be seen in the quilt.
Here’s another picture of the lighthouse from when we visited last December. There are more than 300 steps to walk down to reach the lighthouse.
When the lighthouse was in operation, a lone individual would live there for months on end. Now that would be a wild job. Just you, the rocks, and the surf.