Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Stage Seven

I decided to follow my motto of 'WHY WAIT' and present Stage Eight of COMPOSITIONAL CONVERSATION by Marcia DeCamp first thing. Like previous participants of our project, Marcia dove right into the project and has put her stamp on the work.


It's been great fun watching the composition change as each artist worked with it, and it was exciting to receive the package in the mail and unfold the project. I've noticed other studio kitties in previous posts, and our resident kitty "Inspector Suki" was immediately at the ready to guard the unused fabric pieces that came in the baggie -- or at least to settle in on them for a nap.

Inspector Suki

Not seeing how Fulvia completed her turn with the composition before I started, I wondered if I would pick the same orientation as she intended - and it turns out I did. As I studied it, I felt that it looked like there was a centered composition sitting on the larger background and that the background fabric wasn't engaged in any way.

Stage Six: Fulvia Luciano

Prior to getting the package, I had imagined that I would spend my time with the project by trying out shapes of fabrics in pleasing colors that I could add to the composition, hopefully providing some new excitement or a jumping-off point for the next stage. I didn't imagine heading off in new directions -- honest! - but that's what happened.

Since the lovely blue/gray background piece didn't seem to be engaging the other fabrics, I decided to try to pump up the background and to provide a stronger color structure. So here comes some royal blue, some purple, and more red to go with the piece of black - enough of it to totally cover the base background fabric. And let's try a horizontal orientation while we're at it.

New Background

Then I added a strip of light limey yellow and started trying out some of the elements from the current composition and some of the pieces from the scrap baggie. My thought at this point was to provide some large foreground and background shapes that would provide some more spaces for interaction in the next stages.

I decided to coordinate more red shapes to balance Terry's red shape. I wanted to incorporate some of Shelly's painted pieces for their color and texture, and wished the colors of Beth's pieced strips would have worked with the backgrounds I picked.

Developing Composition

Less of the small elements made it feel less disjointed.

More Refined Composition

Now -- A strip of textured black from the scrap baggie is added so the black fabric along the bottom almost appears to weave. The light strip needs to be more limey than yellow. And -- how much red is too much red?

Composition With More Red

And, as Fulvia said, at this point in the process it would be fun to just continue trying out different iterations. And although it's hard to quit without refining the red shapes and before reaching a final resolution, I will stop here.

In conclusion, I was surprised how easy it was to just jump in and make major changes to the project. Obviously, we all bring our own experiences and sense of style to our work on the piece, and I think my preference for bold shapes and saturated colors has come out. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in each of the next stages!


Artist Profile: Marcia DeCamp

Marcia DeCamp with JET TRAILS #6 at 2008
Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center's Quilts=Art=Quilts

I was formerly a Professor of Business Technology at a two-year community college and then established and managed a successful computer consulting company. But I wanted to explore a different type of creative challenge in 2000 when I purchased a sewing machine and took my first quilting classes. While I initially took traditional quilting classes, I soon began studying with Nancy Crow. That choice has immersed me in improvisational quilt making ever since.

Jet Trails #8

I love working with abstract designs and strong geometric patterns and predominately use machine piecing and machine quilting. My feelings for the Southwest are often reflected in the color palettes of my quilts. I use cotton fabrics, some commercial, along with my hand-dyed and discharged pieces.

Broken Squares 2009- Exhibited in SAQA's Musings exhibition

My husband, Bill, and I live on a 50-acre country property near Rochester, New York. We have designed, created and maintained extensive ornamental and vegetable gardens. In 2007, we completed a 25 x 35 foot timber frame addition to create a wonderful state-of-the-art studio.

Thank you Marcia. The project is next in the studio of Gayle Vickery Prichard.

**I will be away during the coming week and will not be able to answer your emails but I encourage you to comment on the progress of the project and support these adventuresome artists.


  1. Marcia,

    I applaud your decision to engage the background more in your conversation. I agree that the small pieces were making it disjointed. You've successfully added interesting positive shape and created fabulous negative shape in the process. My only caveat is that I wish you had kept the blue/purple curved line fabric that bisected the right hand red fabric in the next to last photograph. I realize that would have added more visual content and acknowledge that I am a negative space/line junkie.

    The piece as a whole is more unified with Shelley's cloth as the star. And while I am by no means upset about it, I do wish that my contribution was still whole as I think it would have played well with your background fabric choices.No matter, the important thing in my opinion is that the conversation is happening from edge to edge and in a meaningful way.

    Well done!

  2. Oh my gosh,l I can't believe I've let this go until now, I'm so sorry, Marcia!!

    I, too, wanted to alter the background. I love your solution for doing so- it keeps it intact, but changes it totally, as well.

    I'm not sure I understand the final piece, all those yellow fabrics placed on top of each other, but if I've learned anything from making art it's that I don't have to understand something to like it or be intrigued by it.

    Have fun, Gayle!

  3. Hi Marcia, I'm trying again. My first comment,carefully written, disappeared into cyberspace and I was too frustrated to rewrite and resend it. So this is a quick hurrah for your efforts and for the results. I hope this comment will make it through.

  4. Hi All,
    Thanks for your comments. I worked on this as I like to work on my design wall -- laying out pieces of fabric to get a general idea of how things will work together. So, Rebecca, the red pieces that created the curved purple line were not cut, but simply laid on the background. I liked the shapes that it created too, but decided to try to replicate a shape on the right side that was a larger version of Terry's original red shape. There's lots of the background fabric left under the red shapes and even some extra red fabric, so I'm anxious to see what our next artists decide to do with it. :-)

  5. Marcia,

    I figured out my mistake after looking at the work again, oops. That line is so beautiful, though! I, too, am looking forward to seeing where Gayle takes it next. This composition has been on quite a journey....

  6. Hello to all, I am back in town and so happy to read the comments on Marcia's work and the project as a whole. It is a treat to see the various compositions that develop as we try to move the work forward. Thank you Marcia for your contribution.

  7. Nice work Marcia. I am so pleased to see the background developing, and that the piece once again has an edge-to-edge composition. Like others, I am still in mourning for the tension between the original red and ochre figures, and for me, the line work is inconsistent throughout. Looking forward to seeing if/what figures will be added to the composition going forward.