Monday, December 14, 2009

Compositional Conversation: Stage 15 - Terry Jarrard-Dimond

Stage 15: Terry Jarrard-Dimond

This project has been a fun/wild ride with lots of surprises, twists and turns. I retrieved the piece from the PO Tuesday morning of this week and spent part of two days making my changes and additions. Here is my story.

Terry's Comments

From the very first I thought that when it came time for the project to be returned to me that I would make only a few minor changes or additions. I thought this because I knew so many of the artists working on the project and know the quality of their compositional skills but as you can see, that is not what happened. I felt all along that the most important part of this exercise was what happened with each individual in the studio as they worked on the piece and I still feel that way. While the work certainly is more complex than my own work, I had liked it when viewed on my computer screen, however, when I saw the piece in person, I knew I would have to change a few things.
  1. I wanted to eliminate the large red shape I introduced in stage 1. It took a while for me to figure out how to do that but I did succeed.
  2. I wanted to try and strengthen the color palette. The colors and values just did not seem cohesive.
  3. I felt compelled to remove the diagonal element on the left side of the composition. Diagonals are very strong elements and I found it was all I could see.

It didn't take long to realize that removing elements from the composition was akin to the potato chip ad that says, "Bet you can't eat just one," only now it said "Bet you can't stop with a few changes." It was like any formula, remove one part and the whole is changed. Despite this, I wanted the piece to retain some of the feeling of the previous version either through using actual shapes or through cutting some new shapes in other colors. It was difficult.

There is 'the famous' bag of removed elements which has traveled along with the work from person to person. I laid those elements out only to find that most of these were like what was on the wall only smaller. I might like a color but the remaining fabric was too small to work with. I might want to use a specific shape I found in the bag but it was the wrong color or value. As the problems became more obvious I considered reverting back to the work as I had received it but I knew this would be totally disrespectful to all the work and effort my group had put into solving this puzzle.

  1. I started by recutting some of the shapes I wanted to keep in colors/values I felt would work better.
  2. I added a few more colors.
  3. I selected a mix of the fabric with flat colors and some of the textured fabrics. I loved the textured fabrics that were introduced but it is a hard combination to resolve.

This is the piece as I received it.

Here you can see that I have removed some pieces from the top right,
the curved elements and the small piece of blue at the top.

Here I have replaced the yellow/green element on the top left with one the
same shape but with a strong yellow. I have also added the a deep
burgundy element in the center top.

Here I have removed the vertical 'chain' element and turned a couple of
elements 90 degrees.

Here I began the process of opening up the left side.

My final version.

My resolution is not perfect but as I said, I learned a lot from this project in many unexpected ways. I am planning to do one more article on this project with statements from the artists involved and we would love to hear from you and get your thoughts on this experiment. We appreciate your following along.

Terry Jarrard-Dimond
Mini Artist Profile

Art is an interesting talent to have. Everyone seems to admire your ability but this does not translate into fame and fortune for most of us. Despite this reality, I have both an undergraduate degree and an Master of Fine Arts degrees and wouldn't have it any other way. I taught at all levels after completion of my MFA including universities and schools for the gifted but my last 12 years before retiring, I worked in the textile industry designing for home interior products. I now spend my time in the studio and on this computer!

Terry in the studio.

For many years my work was mixed media sculpture utilizing wire, sheet aluminum, asphalt roofing, fabric and all sorts of other materials. During the time I was working as a designer I 'discovered' the traditional craft of quilt making and after making a few utilitarian quilts I knew I wanted to use the techniques to make more personal statements.

While I have been working with these process for about 10 years I only began to exhibit my work about 4 years ago. It has been exciting and fun to enter work, have work accepted and see this new body of work hang in excellent spaces. My biggest joy has been meeting and making friends along the way. I have begun doing some teaching and will be teaching a workshop entitled, "Ask: What If?: Building Creative Pathways to Creative Work" at the Crow TimberFrame Barn in the spring of 2011. Check it out. Should be fun and would love to have you join me.

Those of you who have been following my blog know that for the past year I have been doing a good deal of exploration relating to surface design techniques. Most of the work I have been exhibiting is however focused on shape, composition and piecing. Please visit me at : to view more of my work.

Here Comes Trouble - 2008 - 14" x 18"-
In collection of Bob and Sue Whorton

The Mysterious Stranger - 2002 - 88" x 84"

Joy and Sorrow -2008 - 59" x 38"
Selected for Art Quilt Elements 2010 - The Wayne Art Center -
Wayne, Pennsylvannia

To see more of my work, please visit:

Monday I will be presenting an Artist Profile of Sylvia Einstein and later in the week will present the final article on Compositional Conversation. As always, thank you for your interest in this blog and your comments are appreciated.