Design II

Updated: Sep 29

As I write this, I’m currently in the throes of part time classes at A&M and it occurred to me that I hadn’t shared about the summer class I’d taken. It was a Design II class and I learned a lot. This was my first foray into the hard core principles of design and the elements of art. Since this was a summer class, all the usual coursework was compressed into only a 6 week class so there was no time for breaks.

We had what is called “Critique” that counted for the same as a test every week. Critique is basically exactly what it sounds like. You have to show up on time to class, give honest and helpful feedback to your classmates and an honest assessment of your own work.

I worked hard and was rewarded for my trouble and expense with an A.

Something funny- I made most of my pieces out of a bunch of random junk and/ or nick-nacks I had lying around my house and garage. I spent next to nothing for supplies and I still made an A! Ha! Who says art has to be expensive?

I thought my last post was a bit heavy, comical I hope, but heavy. So for this post I decided to keep it light and just show off some of my classwork. Enjoy the show!

The first Project we did was a relief piece. Relief means the art piece juts out from the wall to a certain extent.

It can be a shallow relief, as in not protruding much from the wall, or it can be a high relief, which means it will protrude from the wall a lot.

For this project I used some old cardstock, some Mexican monitos (tiny dishes for playing with) and some little pieces of foamboard I cut to 1 inch squares and very, very carefully painted to create a stylized compass.

Everything you're seeing here was in a scrap bin, trash pile or old forgotten box of junk before I used it for this piece. Even the paint and brush I used to paint the tiny foamboard tiles was bought at a garage sale.

I'm pretty satisfied with it. ;-P

I couldn't think of what to do for my next piece, which was wire art. I'm not very good with it and all I had was a little roll of green wire from when I was still working as a cake decorator.

While I was brainstorming, I remembered a story from the Old Testament that gave me an idea.

I made my own stylized version of Aaron's Budding Staff. See Numbers Chapter 17.

Here's how I explained the story behind this piece in class: "So there's this story in the Bible, in the book of Numbers where God was ticked the people were dissing his boy Aaron, so God provided a test to show that Aaron did indeed have his favor to be his High Priest. He told all the other heads of clans to present their staffs to him and leave them overnight in front of the Ark of the Covenant. God showed favor by making Aaron's staff, and only his staff, bloom and blossom and bud and even sprout almonds. God had Moses leave the staff in front of the Ark of the Covenant as a sign against rebellion so the people would not die. I've always thought that story was so beautiful. Instead of God reaching down to punish the people for their rebellious attitude, he gave them a show of flowers. He made something dead, bloom again. It's a beautiful biblical story that I don't think gets enough press." When I said all this in class, I was worried about what response I'd receive but I actually had overall positive feedback.

Here's a photo of what a real almond flower looks like.

And the teacher gave me an A, so yea! Almond flowers are pink when they bud and turn white as they bloom. Beautiful, aren't they?

I made little white paper flowers and pink buds in as close a facsimile of the real thing as I could.

Maybe someday in heaven, I'll get to see the real thing. ;-)

The next assignment was paper art. For this piece I took a large, square box, cutting out all the sides leaving only the frame. Then I reinforced that frame with cardboard tubes I've saved from large paper and plastic wrap rolls and very carefully wrapped each piece with brown paper, gluing it all into place.

I took all the green cardstock I had saved in a scrap drawer to make the green for the trees and grass. I used green construction paper for the interior grass and blue paper for my little pond. I used a few little painted

rocks and lizards and tiny toy baskets and food I had to reinforce the idea of a campsite by a pond.

Once I had my little "set" made, I proceeded to make little paper people, swans, teepee and fire. My classmates said it was like coming into the middle of a scene from a stop motion film. I was thrilled to hear that. I was going for a "Gumby" look and feel.

This was what I did for my, "Found Object Art" piece. Found Object Art is basically art made out of junk. The idea is to turn something thrown out into something valuable and beautiful.

Some of the images and videos we saw in lecture really struck me, they were incredible. So for my piece I chose to use the only object I had a lot of, seashells, which I've been collecting since childhood. I glued them to a clear acrylic tray and used yellow, blue and yellow cardstock scraps to divide up the rows of seashells. The tray's been laying around my garage for years. Even the fabric I used to hang up the tray over the window was a scrap piece from my rag bag. I think found object art might be my niche.


Then there's this little guy. This was what I made for my fabric art piece. I was going for the look of a fancy pill box style hat from the 30's- 60's'ish fashion.

I was inspired by an ad I saw showing a 1930's era women wearing a small hat with an octopus on it for décor. Apparently it was done as a joke about how women would wear any bizarre and/or dead thing in the name of fashion. A sad but true fact.

So I decided to use this weird little clear plastic ornament and can. I built up over it using foil, fabric bits and masking tape to give both pieces enough poof and also allow me to dab the tips with paint later on.

Originally I was going for the look of a sea urchin on a hat. But by the time I

was putting on the finishing touches in

class, one of my classmates looked at my piece and said, "Oh, it looks like Covid!"


"It looks like Covid-19 on a hat."

I was about to protest his vile assumption, but then I looked at my piece and had an epiphany of realization. He was right.

I had unwittingly made a piece of fabric art that looked like the virus that is now forever seared into everyone's mind.

So I renamed my piece. It was now, Sea Urchin or Covid on a Pillbox Hat. Again, this was all made of scraps and junk. I love making cuteness out of junk. :-)

The piece below was interesting. I decided to get a little Seussical with it. This example of clay art is the only piece I had to deliberately buy supplies for.

I had decided pretty early on what I wanted to do and that was good since I had a rather steep learning curve. You see, I've never used clay before. Handling it was completely new to me. First, I had to go buy clay. Then I had to mold the clay. Then I had to bake the clay. Then I had to paint the clay.

I did get to use old paint at least. Lol! :-D

To save on clay, I followed the teachers advice and used cubes of foil Inside my purple hash browns. I used little domes of foil in the yolk of the eggs too since I didn't want to "overbake" my eggs. Lol!


Then there was my piece de resistance, my final assignment for which I went all out. First I took this old basket I got for free at a garage sales junk pile. It cleaned up nicely. Next, I looked up videos online for how to make felt pastries. From there I got to work making my "Pan".

There were lots of online tutorials and how- to videos, so once I'd learned the basics I got to work. Though I am well experienced with sewing I've never dealt with felt before, so that was tricky. But I loved the finished product.

A plentiful basket of low-cal Pan Dulce! ;-D

I had found this old pillowcase at an estate sale. It had beautiful embroidery on it and i thought it blended will with my little stitched pastries. In my basket of Pan Dulce you can see empanadas, conchas, cuernitos, donuts, sugar cookies, cupcakes with sprinkles on them, and a variety of chocolate chip cookies.

Hope you enjoyed my little art exhibit.

Honesty, this last piece of stitched pastries was my favorite assignment and the piece I am most proud of.

I might try selling these online. What do you think?

Should I?

Let me know in the comments!

And I don't think I say it enough, but thank you for reading my blog post! :-D

And please like, share and subscribe :-P

25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All