Needlepoint Creativity Club: This is just a sample of the great information you’ll receive weekly as part of my new Needlepoint Creativity Club. Topics about design, color, and creativity will be explored in weekly emails, exercises, and discussions. Members will get extra benefits too.
Throughout the month we’ve been looking at our needlepoint pieces as a whole. We’ve considered harmony, gestalt, and unity/uniformity. In this last sample lesson we will apply what we’ve discovered to look at needlepoint.
Because we’re learning by looking this is, mostly, a thought project. You may want to keep a notebook handy to write notes and ideas you have about canvases you own.
Looking at Successes
Take two of your needlepoint pieces that you like best. Pick them not just because of the design, but how you stitched the design. We’ll analyze these for harmony.
Remember that to be harmonious the stitches and threads need to suit the design and the whole thing needs to be right for its use.
After considering those largest ideas, you should look for concepts and ideas that will be explored more in the Club. Ask yourself:
- Is there a focal point? Do I look at it first?
- Are design elements (thread, stitches, shapes, repeated so that the project looks like one thing instead of unrelated elements?
- Are there enough different threads, stitches, embellishments (pick one) to keep it from being boring?
- Are items clustered so that your eye sees groups instead of isolated elements?
- Do you feel that the whole is more than just the elements? Have you made the needlepoint more than the canvas was unstitched? (gestalt)?
These are questions to ask ourselves to understand why those needlepoint projects are successful.
Looking at Problems
The next step is to look at a couple of pieces, finished or unfinished, you think didn’t turnout so well. Ask yourself the same questions while looking at it objectively.
Your answers may give you some clues about why the project didn’t turn out so well. Don’t necessarily expect that you will find the answers — it might be other aspects that don’t work. Even so the process of analysis is helpful.
If you find areas that don’t work think about how you might change them.
- Could a textured stitch background keep a Tent Stitch piece from being too uniform?
- Would adding some embellishment add more variety?
- Have you put too much emphasis on an area not the focal point? Can additional stitching fix that?
- If your project is unfinished, can your later stitch address some of the problems?
- Did you pick stitches or threads that are not proper to the planned use? Can you use it a different way?
Looking at other People’s Work
With the existence of so many blogs and the presence of Pinterest, there are thousands of pictures of stitched needlepoint out there. While sometimes you can’t see detail well, often you can.
Surf the Internet to find four or five needlepoint projects done by others that you think look great. Using the questions from the first section, analyze them to see how they show harmony.
We learn how many creative principles work by looking. This process trains our eyes to see and our brains to ask the right questions. It may be uncomfortable at first, but this is the traditional way artists learn.
It’s also something you can continue to do. Every time you see a stitched piece you really love, stop and analyze it. You’ll discover ideas you can apply to your own work.
Planning a Project
This is an optional step. If you have a project you want to stitch (and it doesn’t have a stitch guide), pull it out.
Spend some time looking at the canvas to find the focal point. Think about who will use the piece, how it will be finished, and how you might enhance the focal point.
Write all these down. As we continue in the club we’ll come back to this piece as a way to apply what we have learned.
Needlepoint Creativity Club
You saw samples of information for the Club on Thursdays throughout June. The club will begin July 15, 2014.
Sign up for the Club now so you don’t miss a thing. Use one of the buttons below to pay monthly ($5/month) or save by paying annually ($50/year).
If you do not want to use PayPal, you can contact me to pay by check, however other forms of payment are only accepted for the annual fee.
Come join me to kickstart your needlepoint!