I learned about Elizabeth Barton – an exceptional artist in an online class I took a couple of years ago. Since I came across this very talented lady I have taken all her classes that are currently available. There’s something about her depth of knowledge that appeals to my way of learning. Not only does she possess a wealth of knowledge, she teaches you to research and understand the building blocks behind the designs you create.
Her classes are a ton of work, not for the faint-hearted for sure, but I just love her. I’ll sum up her approach to teaching art like this: Creativity is not enough. You need to make intentional intellectual decisions to support your creativity.
So when I saw the information that she was going to teach a workshop in Cape Cod, I didn’t have to think twice. I’ve always wanted to take one of her live classes so I knew there was no way I was going to miss her if she was coming to my neck of the woods.
I attended the week-long workshop by Elizabeth in Cape Cod and it was simply amazing. It was all worth the time, the trip, the exhaustion (yes I was exhausted from the very long daily drive) and from the mental strain of thinking real hard to come up with designs on short notice.
Having said all that, the career growth and self-fulfillment of being with like-minded people was phenomenal. Most participants were from the Northeastern part of the United States although one of the participants, Heather, drove 19 hours from Canada to be at the workshop, yes an Elizabeth Barton workshop is that worth it.
I drew so many sketches as a result of this workshop that if I decided to create them all,I’ll have enough designs for the entire year. I like that about Elizabeth’s way of teaching; you can take her class and still create in your own voice without having to imitate her step by step.
I sketched several abstract drawings which was no surprise since most of my work is abstract, anyways. However a special thing happened. I sketched my first landscape. I’ve never been interested in landscapes so I decided to challenge myself and sketch one. And oh boy, was I happy with the results!
Here are a few examples of the designs I created in Cape Cod. I’ll share some more with you in a later post.
The first abstract piece was inspired by Sonia Delauney. Ms. Delauney was a Russian-born French Artist. She was a very accomplished artist whose designs were characterized by geometric shapes and bright colors. My fondness for curves and diagonals is what attracted me to her work because she also uses a lot of circles and diagonals.
This is one pencil sketch I made inspired by Ms. Delauney’s work.
And here is the mock-up of the sketch in cotton fabrics that I’d hand-dyed
Here is my special landscape drawing. I’m so proud of myself for challenging myself to do this. This was inspired by a beach scene with lots of boats and activity. I was immediately drawn to the curvy shape of the scene so I focused on that in my sketch. I’ve began working on creating this design in fabrics. I’ll share when it’s done.
Finally, this is a sketch that was inspired by Ad Reinhardt’s work. Reinhardt was an abstract painter who was active in New York during the 1930s to 1960s. He was a minimalist. What I like about his work is his repeated use of monochromatic schemes. It takes amazing skill to create a beautiful design with just one color. His designs also remind me of modern day QR Codes. My love for technology draws me to it’s reflection in his work. Also, in his designs, he often limits himself to only one shape- a true minimalist in every sense.
I hope you enjoyed coming along with me on my trip to the Cape.
Leave your thoughts and comments below. As always I enjoy hearing from you.
Janis Doucette says
Clara, your drawings are all so good and the pieces you had in the show are delightful! You’re a very talented young woman! It was so good to meet you!
Clara Nartey says
Janis, It was a pleasure meeting you too. I love your work too. Especially that piece you made with the very thin black strips all around.