Forever Young

May your hands always be busy

May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful

May your song always be sung

And may you stay forever young

Bob Dylan

Mock up for abstract design class I have been

taking with Roxane Lessa.

My hands and mind are busy busy busy. I have not started any new major pieces this month as I have been in several classes at a time. They are all on Zoom of course. I have only been art quilting a little over a year and there is so much to learn and so many experiences to have in this art medium.

Each class and each teacher provides contact with other creatives like myself.

Working alone at home can be very isolating, especially in these COVID times.

It is so important for me to have time with other people that are active in art endeavors. I learn, not only from my teachers, but from my fellow students!

When I started art quilting I called 2020 my year of learning and that is spilling over into 2021. And I think it will spill over into subsequent years. A class, learning something new, provides a challenge. And a challenge makes me feel alive.

Mock up for abstract design class.

Each piece I work on is a challenge in some way of course. It’s a challenge to make a piece match the vision in my mind’s eye. Sometimes it’s a challenge to come up with an idea or design I want to execute. Classes help me form ideas and practice skill sets. One class I am in is about abstract design. This is like the “science” of design; design can be broken down into structures and elements. Another class teaches about the “science” of values (shades of light and dark) and color. There is a lot of thinking in art design, it isn’t all necessarily intuitive. And this thinking makes me feel alive.  

So I am realizing that learning something new is one of the keys to keeping my mind agile. I am realizing that a challenge keeps my mind agile. And that all of it is fun. And one of the most important things in life is fun…don’t lose the fun in your life. Go out and challenge yourself, learn something new. Fun is what keeps us forever young!

Below are some of the pieces I have been working on for different classes:

This was a class on pixelated portraits. Each square is half an inch. The teacher, Tammie Bowser, has created software that makes a pattern from your photo. Up close it doesn’t look like much, just a random pattern. But step back, and the image appears! This still needs to be quilted.

This piece was from a portrait class I took from master quilter Phyllis Cullen. This was her pattern that we all used to learn this type of collage. This is a magical technique for doing faces and you will see I have done others with this technique now. See below!

This is a piece currently being worked on. I did this portrait because I loved this photo of her and now I am figuring out the background. The ideas are running around in my head. So far I have those symbols of our democracy thread sketched, now I may watercolor them.



This piece I did for another class with master quilter Phyllis Cullen. It uses scraps of fabric to make the collage. This is Phyllis’s pattern and I look forward to designing some scrappy animals of my own.

Here’s a little musical treat!

Published by JoAnne Harris Hoffman

Artist, currently working in fabric, thread and paint, making art quilts.

5 thoughts on “Forever Young

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