Blocked Letters

My August master class offering is a tribute to my old nickname. I made up two approaches but will continue with just one.

Here’s my submission:

I’m sending three variations of the letters design I developed. Two are very slight differences in the orientation of two of the four blocks. One is a different approach in different colors. They all use blocks I printed from a foam stamp. On some I also used oil paint sticks.

In the black and gold versions each block is slightly different. I’ve arranged them so the bottom blocks look like reflections of the top blocks. The setting is traditional, with a narrow edging of gold satin and a border of a dyed old pillow case. I tried many other on point type arrangements but they just didn’t work for me. I did the blocked 2 version because I thought the Js looked like 3s where they met. This version would finish at about 25 inches square.
August JMM blocked 1 resized August JMM blocked 2

In blocked 3 I played with different value intensities of the letters and tried to get a fade effect with the outer blocks. I developed the middle block as an inclusion to break up the horizontal line. The extra Js were added to extend the middle block. Blocked 3 would finish at about 28 inches long by 25 inches high.

August JMM blocked 3 resized

Elizabeth’s response:
I really like the idea of the fading stamp (blocked 1 and 2)….I suggest you make more units and put them together without the border though…the border encloses…and I think if you had, say, 16 of these blocks …and let the marks fade out even more…. as you go along, not in a hugely controlled way, but rather making sure that the boldest and crispest are in the area of importance – as you define it – usually people find somewhere in the center of their visual field is where things are clearest – having two more saturated ones on top  and two softer below… is a nice idea but it doesn’t really come off all that clearly.
I realise I’m totally stream of consciousness here!  will try to be more coherent.
I love the idea…but do more …let it really work for you
don’t box it in with borders…you don’t need them and they’re tight and enclosing…even though that border fabric is really intriguing….
but definitely keep working and let the stamp fade out completely in places – what that will do is force the viewer to “find” the shape for you.  That will keep them engaged with the piece…which is what you want.

And I see that you are experimenting with the fade out in this one (blocked 3)…which has a lovely airy feel.  I think it will work….add some more of  the “ocean” section so that we can envisage expansiveness…crop down the sky a little – which will raise the horizon line for you…also experiment with cutting and sliding some of the sections.
Both the black/gold and the blue/green are great color ways….one very rich, the other very evocative….keep working!!

So, back to the design wall for me. I won’t continue with the black and gold approach right now. I’d need to print a lot more blocks and I can barely get close to finishing less involved pieces each month.

I’ve been modifying the blue/green idea a bit, but don’t know if I’m satisfied with what I’ve done so far.  I doubt I’ll finish it by the end of the month.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process

9 responses to “Blocked Letters

  1. I like the bottom left corner on the black and gold ones, the way it looks 3 dimensional. Elizabeth’s ideas on these were intriguing, I would love to see more of the blocks with no border, fading in and out like she said!

  2. I’m partial to #3 but maybe that is more because of the colorway, though I really like the fade idea. Would you share more about your experiences using oil paint sticks (or maybe you have an older post you could direct me to). Thanks.

  3. jennyklyon

    I LOVE the ocean one!!

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