Archives for June 2012

Lost Art

I have lost one of my favorite pieces. I have searched high and low. It was accepted to several shows. I can only guess the box it came back in got pitched. Perish the thought!

Passion Tree, 10×10″

Can I make another one? No. Each piece I make are totally original. I’ll have to enjoy the photos of it instead.

 

My Other Blogs

I have several blogs. Two are from my early days that I do not use anymore and one is geared to home, family and travel which I will continue to use.

It is amazing to look back at that blog and see where my head was at the time we moved to Washington two years ago. I was euphoric!

Check it out.

Title: goodasitgets

A Fabulous View

Our house is located on a very narrow and short peninsula called a spit. There is water on both sides so we have views of the Bay and Puget Sound.

The beach has very fluctuating tides and the sand is mixed with rocks.

Our house has three floors. The ground floor has the entrance and two guest rooms and laundry room. The second floor is the main living area. And, of course the third floor is my studio.

This is the view from our covered porch on the second floor. This view changes constantly. This was a really foggy morning.

On a clear day Mr. Rainier is visible from the balcony looking another direction

You always hear about how rainy it is in the Seattle area. Well, yes it does rain more than I am used to but the rain is gentle and intermittent. Summer starts on July 5th. Yes, it really does.

I am ready for summer!

An Original Design Developed Into a Creative Sewing Course

Soon after we moved in I met many nice neighbors. Some who sew. The word got out that I was a quilt artist and people asked me if I taught courses. I had, but only online. Title: Textile Art with Pizzazz. They were very interested so I conducted the course for six delightful ladies. The main project is a design titled Flora Rosa.  The inspiration for the course evolved as I worked on the first piece.

While I was working on it I was auditioning fabrics for a background as well as some for the flower and leaves. I ended up with lots of extra pieces cut out that didn’t work out so I laid them aside. Some of the pieces ended up on a rejected background fabric and when I glanced around I saw potential with the rejected pieces. This made me think, maybe I should make a second one with completely different fabrics. So, I did just that. I had two going simultaneously. This was really exciting!

Flora Rosa Azur 14×22

This approach intrigued me so much I decided to continue and see how many versions I could come up with. I ended up with six.

Flora Rosa Key Lime

Woodlands Flora Rosa

Flora Rosa Santa Fe

Flora Magenta (detail)

Flora Rosa Crimson

The class progressed nicely for all six lessons. They worked hard and were able to develop some very nice pieces. Teaching this course in person was very different than teaching online. The part that I had trouble with was what to do with myself while they were working.

I wanted to be available, but not make them self conscious. It all worked out just fine in the end. I think I would do it again.

Creative Landscaping

The first four months in our new house were devoted to landscaping. This turned out to be much more than I envisioned and was very creatively satisfying. The house sat for sale for two years, consequently the yard was a mess.

Front View Before Landscaping

The back during landscaping

The front yard in progress

The bare ground above is now filled with flower beds in a diamond grid design to reflect my love of quilting (below).

The back ready for planting and water feature. The rope designates the future boardwalk over the water feature.

The rocks that will create the water feature.

Boardwalk and Water feature today.

We are very pleased with the outcome.

Living In Washington

My husband and I moved to Washington 2 years ago. What a HUGE job that was Our house has lots of great features but my favorite one is my studio. It is located on the 3rd floor and has windows on all 4 sides. I can see Seattle most of the time from my sewing table. The light is fantastic, even on a cloudy day (which there are a lot).

This photo was taken while the new marmoleum floor was being installed. The design is a simple quilt block. This is a great floor to have in a work area.

Today it is filled with three large tables and storage bins.  Including a sitting area with a couch and comfy chair that is by a window. This is my favorite spot to do hand work.

New Website, Blog and Artwork

NEW WEBSITE

About a year ago I lost track of keeping up with my website. I also fell into a slump with my artwork. A serious personal problem interfered with my life resulting in a complete stall. Many months passed and I became more and more distressed about my situation.

Needless to say, I did not utilize my website and blog at all.

Recently I attempted to post on my blog www.studioquilts.com and since it had been so long since I was last on it, there were MANY changes that developed with the theme, the plugins, the whole package needed updating. Well, I attempted to do that and after many hours of attempting to sort it out, the site became virtually inaccessible. I had to face the grim reality that I would have to start fresh. The site was old and outdated anyway. The art that was shown was not anything like what I create now. So, this was a good thing, but could I pull it off?

Well, here I am a few days later writing the first blog post on my new site: www.deborahbabin.com. It is barely defined but I like what I see and I am learning as I go. Thus, this first post is lengthy, bringing things up to date.

NEW ART WORK

Last winter, I decided to take an online course with Lisa Call titled Working In A Series. This was such an amazingly thorough presentation which did help unlock my creative mind and begin to think about making art again. I enjoyed taking the course and being able to work at my own pace in my own studio. I really liked some of the pieces I made. Although, I did not choose a topic for a series that got me motivated on my own. Lisa offered another course soon after titled Abstraction. This appealed to me as well. Again, a very comprehensive course with enough links to last a lifetime. Lisa doesn’t leave one rock unturned. Again, I liked some of the work but I did not come away with a break through as I had hoped. I did sort out and rule out a lot so this was helpful.

In January I received an invitation to exhibit for the month of August at a local gallery Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, located on Bainbridge Island. Theme : inspired by water. What a great theme! I was honored to be invited and this was exactly the motivation I needed to get productive again.

In the Working In A Series course, Lisa stressed how important it is to refine your series down the the basic elements. To focus on those until you have exhausted the subject.For example, I chose leaves because I seem to always include them in my work in one way or another. So, to refine this I narrowed the series down to A. a single leaf B.size: 15×15″

During the courses, I learned the value of sketching and writing (journaling). I sketched for weeks and wrote about water defining  how water inspired me.  The main components I came away with were A. movements of water (currents) B. colors of water, a color palette, with the colors of the Caribbean waters, which are my favorite.  Next I spent weeks searching online for particular fabrics that reflected the palette.

Unfortunately, the more I sketched and wrote, I gradually became reluctant to start sewing. I was not used to turning sketches into actual art.  Lisa also says you just have to make a lot of art. Some will be good and some will not. So, eventually with this in mind, I dove in and started sewing. The first attempt utilized one of my sketches. However, the more I worked on it, I knew it was overworked. I had too much riding on one piece. It was hard to put it aside and admit that I needed to move on, but I did.

Next, I decided to pull out all of the fabrics that inspired me the most and concentrate on the palette alone and “experience” the fabrics. I wanted to let them talk to me and I was ready to listen. I began to do some simple piecing. Before long I had  composition that pleased me. This composition inspired me to do some hand embroidery. I liked the interaction of the fabrics and wanted to now enhance the surface with hand embroidery; furthering the water theme with stitches that contrasted in value and texture keeping with the water theme.

Blue Lagoon (detail)

While I was searching for fabrics I came across one that really caught my attention. It was a screen printed fabric from the 1960’s. It had the perfect colors and movements. It was a barkcloth fabric which had nice texture.

Screen Printed Barkcloth, 1960

The finished piece came together quickly and restored my spirits. I was truly inspired by my concept of water and pursued utilizing my refined components: color palette and water currents.

 

 This piece broke ground and now I have completed several others and have cohesive body of work that I am very proud of.

Thank You Lisa!

And, the personal problem is gradually resolving.