Do you know Carrie Bloomston of Such Designs? I met her during this past quilt market in the Windham Fabrics booth and felt an instant connection. I have known of her work for some time now, but we had never met. I wasn't a stalker or anything - but we just started chatting and are now looking forward to swapping some mad karate-yoga-green juicing skills at next years market. She is the later two by the way, I'll only be sharing some self defense techniques. Should be fun, but until then - here is the real reason why I am talking about her.
After meeting at market, we continued to connect via Instagram. When her Art Techniques for Quilt Design DVD was coming out, and she was looking for a few folks to preview it, I raised my virtual hand. She didn't know this - but I went to the University of Hartford Art School. My husband and I actually met there. My mother is a retired Art Teacher, my Aunt is a current Art Teacher, and the list goes on. I was very curious to see what her DVD was all about. She didn't disappoint.
I was thrilled to watch it with my daughters and loved hearing my oldest saying things like "I have learned that in school mommy...I have drawn the Michelin Man style". Watching Carrie made me want to pull out the old college days newsprint sketch pads I have stashed under my daughters bed and get sketching (I only couldn't because they ended up having to go to bed). Hearing the ebony pencil scratch life into the paper brought me back to those days of sitting in large classrooms with splatters of paint on every wall and on the floor too and sketching figures for hours.
Don't get me wrong - this DVD is not just for former art students. She teaches you (the viewer) drawing, composition, and other "art school" basics and gives you the tools and the confidence to move forward on your own path of exploration. Somehow with all that info, she is still cheering you along the way, with comments like: "You are inherently good enough" and "Trust your knowing, trust your vision. Celebrate that". I love that. I love hearing an artist tell a beginner, intermediate or advanced creator, that they are good enough. To keep going. I needed to hear that again. We all do.
When I was in my various art classes, we had critique days. This was an opportunity to get and give feedback, from our teacher and our peers. It wasn't always at the end of a project, it was often in the middle, before we were done seeing our vision through to the end. People could give us positive criticism, or simply cheer us on. Carrie does this throughout the DVD. During the Blind Contour Drawings (where you are drawing without lifting your pencil, and not looking at the drawing itself), she says "be free, trust your intuition and your eyes to lead you to the details". Her hand drawing was not perfect - but it doesn't need to be. That is the whole point. My daughters loved watching her draw her hand blindly, and giggled, but they have done it too. Because it's fun, it's an adventure. Regarding composition she advises "don't micromanage it".
I loved watching Carrie in her Art Techniques for Quilt Design. I took a lot away from it and have so many designs I want to explore myself and then with my girls too. Should be loads of fun and giggles when that happens. Thanks Carrie for sharing your gifts - and for including me in your blog hop. I'm looking forward to our get together next year!
If you want a chance to win a copy of this DVD - visit Carrie's blog and leave a comment - the giveaway ends on October 7th so go quickly!
Disclosure: Interweave provided a copy of this video for me to review. Clearly the opinions are my own.