Archives for 2016

My Progress-Painting with Acrylics on Canvas

I am making good progress with painting with acrylics on canvas. What a new adventure this is! So far I have finished 2, 2 in progress and 1 almost done…that challenged me a bit.

The first two finished paintings are:

Carmel

Carmel” 11″ x 14″

Kristina

Kristina 9″ x 12″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two paintings that are in progress are not ready to be revealed yet; one is a landscape and one is of a little girl in a white hat and dress with red shoes.

The reason for holding off on these is because I want to explore my (developing) style and techniques. Painting is totally different from fiber art; I am blown away with this in a good way. Even though I give a good bit of thought to the subject and the effect I hope to achieve….the results are like nothing that I can predict. The experience is as if the paint is talking to me instead of my being in charge. Its a bit difficult to explain but that is how I feel now. Maybe this will evolve as well.

I am in a reactionary mode, I am learning. As I apply the paint I observe the results and act accordingly; responding to the effects.

The fifth canvas was the most challenging so far.

Nicole and Papillon 18 x 24", in progress

Nicole and Papillon
18 x 24″

The photo I used for inspiration lacked good contrast. I struggled with the hand the most because in the photo the woman was holding a cigarette that I didn’t want to include.  Thus, the position of the hand became problematic.

I am trained (strongly) to draw from life. Conceptualizing is not my forte; however, I want to explore that as well.

Some areas need more refinement primarily the jacket, center and down to the bottom right.

I used a palette knife to lay in the background. The remaining areas are brushed in. I like the contrast of the smooth areas and the rough (palette knife). I like to make the two inter-play; as if the background is enveloping the foreground– “ground play”.

I am not as enthusiastic about this painting and have decided to take a break from it. I think it will only need one more painting session to be finished.

For a switch I decided to paint a conceptualized subject: a “simple” teapot.

Sunny Teapot 12" x 12"

Sunny Teapot
12″ x 12″

Emphasis  on “simple”! That is a joke…I am prone to make things complex and yet…I love simplicity. So, I kept my restraint and I think it paid off.

Learning to listen to the painting, learning to realize that not all the areas must be refined in fact having a combination of refinement and less refined is much more interesting to me.

This teapot is bathed in bright sunlight. The left side has pale colors while the right side (in shadow) has richer colors and a deep cast shadow.

I am using deep (1.5″) wrapped canvases and the sides are painted as well. This eliminates the need for a frame.

This painting is available!

$250

to purchase this colorful and cheerful painting!

 

Small Works-BIG Talent

Kristina, 9 x 12"

Kristina, 9 x 12″

My piece titled: Kristina has been accepted into an exhibit at Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA.

SMALL WORKS-BIG TALENT

Artist Reception Thursday December 1

6:30-9:30 pm

Exhibition runs December 1 through December 30, 2016

577 S. Coast Highway A-1

Laguna Beach, CA

http://www.laslagunagallery.com

I must exclaim how exciting this acceptance is! I returned from a month of travel to Europe in September and October of this year; primarily, Amsterdam and Vienna and small towns in between. The art that I saw definitely inspired me. When I returned I immediately began to paint.

Read my blog post about that trip here

If you live within the vicinity of Laguna Beach….take time to visit this gallery. I understand that the openings are quite a fun with live music included.

Silk Prints with Textile Paints

Printed Silk #1

Printed Silk #1

I had a play day recently. A very good friend of mine paid me a visit. We have very similar interests in textile art. She had taken a five day workshop and learned how to apply interesting designs with procion dyes and various tools and applications. She invited me to take out some fabrics and play! I used textile paints instead of dye. The results were fast, fun and turned out fabulous!

 

The application is very basic:

  1. Spread the paint onto a smooth surface; I used a sheet of plexiglass.
  2. Use tools to scratch and draw designs into the paint. I used soft plastic texture tools.
  3. Place the fabric face down onto the surface.
  4. Gently press the fabric with a sponge roller.

Tips:

The consistency of the paint is important. The paint will soak through the fabric and show through to the back. The weight of the fabric is relevant. If it is thin the paint will soak up fast and the opposite if it is heavier. This is an experimental activity. I did spray some water on the back of one of the pieces of cotton as the fabric was lying on the plexiglass to encourage the paint to attach. This made a blurry effect, which I like too. I was able to get two prints with thin Habotai silk.

 

White cotton fabric

White cotton fabric

I decided to stick with black paint.

I used plain white cotton to begin with. This example is actually 3 pieces of printed fabric that I have pinned together. About 24″ x 12″.

 

 

 

Eco dyed silk

Eco dyed silk

I switched to eco dyed silk. I had several beautiful eco dyed pieces that I loved but I knew they needed to develop further. Wow! This fabric performed the best of all. It is very old Japanese silk that I eco dyed last year. This picture is of 3 printed pieces that are pinned together for consideration.

I think the best way to go forward with this one is to machine quilt it with black thread so that the lines are not noticeable. I think it will be stunning!

Eco dyed silk #2

Eco dyed silk #2

This combination is two pieces of eco dyed silk. The top piece has been printed and is lying on top of another (un-printed) eco dyed piece. The top fabric has some beautiful subtle greens.

 

 

Eco dyed silk #3 is the flip side of the previous eco dyed silk #2.  It is lying on the same solid eco dyed piece for constrast, comparison and consideration.

Eco dyed silk #3

Eco dyed silk #3

So now I am staring at this wonderful new fabric from my paint easel as I am still painting on canvases. Read my previous blog post for details about that new adventure.

So, what do you think? Would you try this? It’s so easy! Let me know if you do. I would like to see pictures too.

Painting with Acrylics on Canvas

I have taken on a new adventure…painting acrylics on canvas! I did paint with oils many years ago in art school. I truly had blocked it out of my memory…almost. I honestly don’t know why. And, I don’t know why I haven’t painted before now. Only that I truly love working with textiles.

deb-amsterdam-9-2016-600Recently I traveled with my husband to Amsterdam and sailed on a river cruise to Vienna. Wow, I had so much fun! And, the scenery is AMAZING!

The weather was good, mild and dry.

This photo of me is taken in front of the oldest art supply store in Europe…I was told.

The paper that the Constitution of the United States was made by this shop! I could have stayed inside for hours.

 

We visited a number of art galleries and museums. The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam was the best one. I was so absorbed in the art I saw and listening to the stories and evolution of art movements that…I came home totally compelled to paint!

 

Kristina

Carmel, 11 x 14″

And, to my surprise I have painted five canvases so far and I like most of what I have done. I love feed back so please take a moment and leave a comment. I appreciate open “frank” comments too.

My style is slightly whimsical. I like to draw faces and so I am staying with that subject for now. I like big eyes with unique colors. I hope to improve in a number of ways. Mainly with expressions.

The first painting: Carmel

 

 

Kristina, 9 x 12"

Kristina, 9 x 12″

 

The second painting: Kristina

I have 3 more in progress.

Fresh with enthusiasm…I decided to enter these finished two into a competition. Low and behold…Kristina was accepted!

The show is at the Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach Ca.

 

 

The exhibit is : Small Works-BIG TALENT

Opens December 1-30th 2016

I am so happy about this acceptance!

My goal is to paint on larger the canvases. I love the dynamic power of a large painting.

 

 

Artists-The Path To Success

Subscribing to art blogs of artists that you respect is highly recommended. One of my favorites is Nicholas Wilton. It doesn’t matter what medium(s) you prefer….most artists have the same hopes and goals. His recent article: The Path to Success is extremely relevant.

Subscribe to his blog and I think you will learn a lot.

My artistic PATH has been life long. 

Deborah Babin, 2008. Houston International Quilt Show.

Deborah Babin, 2008. Houston International Quilt Show.

Here I am in 2008 posing in front of my art quilt: Swan Party of Ten.

I had two quilts accepted into that show; I was very proud! I thought I truly “arrived”. That quilt went on to be juried into multiple National and International exhibitions; it has been retired for quite some time. Validation? Yes. Validation is important; however, I gradually discovered that this was merely a stepping stone. Eventually, this type of venue did not fulfill my dreams. I have redirected my energy to fine art and mixed media; It is all part of the journey.

The journey is the destiny.

Have you changed your course? Are you ready to reexamine your path? Let me know if you can relate to this. I love to receive comments.


Face Book

Deb in Santorini, 9-2016

Deb in Santorini, Greece 9-2016 Face Book Image

I have a love/hate relationship with Face Book. On the one hand I love to watch the videos of animals! I also love to see what artists are up to. I do not LOVE the political rhetoric. Believe me….I DO have political opinions….but, I desperately avoid commenting and posting about political topics. Once in a while…IF it is “safe” I will….

What I do LOVE the most are poems, sayings, quotes or messages that are inline with my beliefs; such as this one I read today:

Your art is NOT about how many people like your work

your art is about

if your heart likes your work

if your soul likes your work

It’s about how honest you are with yourself

and you must NEVER trade honesty for relate-ability.

This statement is PURE and SIMPLE; one that I aspire to FOR SURE. Once we get this into our minds (head), we will be free to create like we are designed to; how we are wired to. Once we align ourselves with this freedom we will achieve levels of creativity like never before.

LIKE me on Face Book!

FOLLOW ME on Face Book!

 


Now on another level….I am quite feisty! The following sums me up as well…

CREATIVE PEOPLE ARE

  1. easily bored
  2. risk takers
  3. color outside the lines
  4. think with their hearts
  5. make lots of mistakes
  6. hate rules
  7. work independently
  8. change their mind a lot
  9. have a reputation for eccentricity
  10. dream BIG!

Do you dream BIG?

Let me know if you relate to any of this….leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you.

 

Painting a Public Sign and Gate

I am seriously behind with posting on this blog; however, that does not mean I haven’t been making art! On the contrary, I have been very productive.

I plan to write about some of my art today and more in the near future.

My life revolves around making art and travel.

Traveling means there are many opportunities to meet new people, draw and paint, commune and play; I am truly fortunate.

I always take basic drawing and painting supplies with me when I travel. I now have several sketch books with wonderful memories etched into my mind. This way I remember the sights MUCH more vividly.

drawing 7

Caribbean Island Cruise, 2015.


Now for an update on two recent public art experiences:

Project 1-Neighborhood Sign

My neighborhood is small. A quaint seaside location in the Northwest…just across the Puget Sound from Seattle. It is quiet, tranquil and charming; like a miniature Cape Cod setting. Most of the neighbors have lived here for quite some time and are native to this area; we, on the other hand, are newcomers. On any given day, no matter what the weather is…people walk. It is flat and scenic; perfect for a nice walk.  Part of the scenery is the lovely yards and gardens. A very thoughtful neighbor came up with the idea to acknowledge fellow neighbors for efforts put into creating such beauty for all of us to enjoy. Her idea was to present a sign to neighbors to thank them. This sign would be displayed in front of their property for two weeks. This neighbor would in-turn, pass it to another neighbor to continue the gratitude.

She asked me if I would be willing to paint the sign. I agreed, but I have to admit I was a bit hesitant as I have never painted a sign before; however, like most new adventures I was willing to “give it a go”.

It takes a village

We collaborated on the message content. Her husband painted the sandwich board sign (donated by another neighbor, Dave) a glorious shade of PURPLE; this color set the tone. I selected colors that would complement and stand out for all to notice.

I wanted the sign it to be special and yet not overdone…it is a sign…not fine art; none the less…I wanted to present a sign that was beautiful. It was a good challenge for me; one that I am delighted I took on.

I used acrylic paint. I learned that thinning it with (only) water is not the best for longevity. My research revealed that the best product to use is airbrush medium. It is very thin opposed to other acrylic mediums and it worked like a charm.

Watch this you tube VIDEO  to learn more about this.

Some of my paints are a bit old. It was difficult to thin them enough to paint fluidly. Once I learned how to properly thin the paint my efforts rapidly improved.

Progression:

First I drew several designs on paper. I chose the one I like best and drew it loosely on the wood sign with chalk pencil.

 

Side 2-Preparation

Side 2-Preparation

The design was filled in with a base coat of white and white mixed with yellow.

Side 1 Complete

Side 1 Complete

I added shadows under the petals and foliage which made them pop.

Side 2-Complete

Side 2-Complete

A few bumble bees and lady bugs are tucked within the grasses and foliage.

To top it off, another neighbor (Cheryl) drew a very nice Zen Tangle style card that is given to each recipient to commemorate the award.

What a nice idea, thanks to (Sandy) the neighbor who came up with the concept.

Positive affirmation at its best!


Project 2-Garden Gate

We have lived in our present home for 6 years now. This home is the first one that we decided to have landscaped; quite a switch for us as we usually DIY most projects. I designed the plan and my (diligent and talented) husband has painstakingly kept it up. We are very happy with it. Here in the North West the climate is perfect for growing many types of plants; no wonder it is called the Ever Green State.

The garden is partially fenced and has a hedge in front and back. It is for the most part, private. We left an opening in the hedge in the back to exit for easy access to the beach across the street. I’ve been thinking about adding a (decorative) gate at that open spot for quite some time.

Finally, after painting the sign I decided it was time for a nice gate. We ordered a manufactured gate (Amazon) which is highly weatherproof. My husband painted it the shade of “white” to match our house. The pristine surface was like a white canvas begging to be painted.

It was fun to paint and I am quite pleased with the results.

Gate-Street Side

Gate-Street Side

I decided to decorate the gate different for each side. On the street side I drew basic (zen tangle like) black lines to highlight the design of the gate.

Gate-Street side close up

Gate-Street side close up

On the inside (garden view) I decided to paint (fantasy) flowers.

Gate-Inside view

Gate-Inside view

Gate-Inside/Close up

Gate-Inside/Close up

Again, I used acrylic paint.

One plant in the hedge had to be removed; the gap will gradually fill around the posts. It is not for security! Rather, for fun…

PS. We are the current recipients of the neighborhood sign! How perfect.

I love to receive comments! Tell me what you think about these projects.

PPS. I highly recommend the video on painting with acrylic paints. There is no point to put effort into painting and eventually observe it is not sound. In this case I wanted the paint to hold up to the outdoor elements. The video will open your eyes to the vital importance of properly thinning the paint and preserve the quality of (the paint and) works of art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denim Phone Bag

I don’t know if others have the same problem that I do but….my phone is never where I am! I am always on the move in my tri-level house; invariably, my phone is on another floor. So, I decided to design a phone bag. It is just the right size for my phone and glasses.

denim phone bag 1 denim phone bag 2 denim phone bag 3

I am still in love with discharged/altered denim. This bag is made with old and new black denim. It has a nice firmness…just right which enables it to stand up. I used medium weight non fusible interfacing, my favorite for various applications.

This one came out particularly nice; I’m pleased. Now onto making some more!

Could you use one of these? I’m thinking about putting them in my ETSY shop.

Let me know!!

In The Bag-My Stuff

I Love Making Bags!

M_bag_side 2A_300

Rising to the occasion…there is nothing like an occasion (form of deadline) to get me going!

MMy grand daughter Madeleine is turning 14 soon, wow that is hard to believe! What a sweetie she is. One of her birthday gift requests is a cosmetics bag. Okay! That is an excellent motivator for me.

The first thing that came to mind is to make one that is functional, practical, washable, cute and a good size and shape. My “go to” fabric: bleached denim was the best to use.

I always stumble when it comes to selecting the “perfect” lining; not only which colors, also prints vs. solids. I have collected various fabrics that I consider to be good lining; none the less, I spend way to much time pondering which ones to use; this time was no different. Finally I just picked one and decided to start and see how things develope. This lining is hand dyed silk that has a a texture. I pieced together two pieces and I liked the way the various colors looked when stitched. I used bamboo batting to give the bag stability…not too stiff and not to soft.

After the quilting was done I then had to select the binding fabric. This is also challenging for me. I selected a batik with multi-rainbow colors (reluctantly) because the background was “dirty”; however, in the end this combo was perfect. The “dirty” tone made the rainbow colors connect to the “tan” underlying tones of the bleached denim.

I used this tutorial and followed the directions.  This particular method has a hand stitched zipper. She gives a link for another tutorial that is similar with a machine stitched zipper which is not in English; however, I used a translation. I stitched the zipper by machine because I think (know) this bag will gets lots of use and I want it to hold up.

I think this is an excellent bag design. I have been looking for various methods for lining in a zipper bag. This one is good because the lining is not separate and the seams are finished.

This is a good tutorial; however, as with any tutorial….it can appear easy…until you actually try to follow it. I think the directions are well written and the pictures are clear; however, I did struggle with getting the zipper aligned around the outside properly. Even though I measured and marked the space on the sides the zipper did not end up aligned evenly. But, I did finagle it somehow; that is the only way I can describe it. You just have to have it in your hands and holding the zipper to realize what the pictures are trying to explain.

In addition, the zipper I used has heavy teeth which are wider than standard zipper teeth and require 1/4″ width space. This space came into play and I had figure out how to allow for it.

The pattern can be made as a small change purse and up. I drew two 10″ circles to make the pattern thinking this size would be good for a young girl to hold small size goodies . Now that I have made it, I think the bag is versatile. It would be excellent to make a larger one to use for various purposes such as: Jewelry and other things you might want to keep together. When I travel, I put my jewelry into little individual bags and then in a larger zipper bag that can fit into a safe.

I have referenced to “bleached” denim in several of my blog posts; also referred to as “discharging”.  I plan to explain this process in a future post. It is a simple process using household bleach to remove color from fabric. The fabric is also treated afterwards to remove all of the bleach and halt the action. 

I selected several pieces of bleached black denim to use. The light areas beacon for special features. I started the free motion quilting to see what would develop. I wanted too make the lining fabric “visually connect” to the denim and I hoped the quilting would do this. I chose thread (40 wt) with rainbow colors for the top and solid color (fuchsia) for the bobbin. At first the colors jumped out more than I wanted but I proceeded.

As I was quilting I was thinking about my grand daughter…she is a sweet heart, so I added a heart. I thought about what she might put inside the bag. I stitched flowers to keep it simple and then followed some of the lines that developed from the bleaching process. In one open area I stitched “MY STUFF”. And below that: MMM, her initials. Since I had not made this bag before I did not think about where these details would end up…and, unfortunately the initials ended up on the bottom, and one of the M’s doesn’t show.

M_bag_lining

Lining, in progress.

M_bag_exterior_300

Exterior, in progress.

The most fun…..

Painting the Denim

This is where the painting came in. I decided to fill in the open areas of the quilting motifs with acrylic paint. This was fun and, this made the bag come to life!

Exterior, side 1, before paint

Exterior, side 1, before paint

Exterior, side 1, after paint application

Exterior, side 1, after paint application

Exterior, side 2, after paint application

Exterior, side 2, after paint application

Interior, Lining, after construction

Interior, Lining, after construction

I am very happy with the end result!

The finished size is: 5.5″ high x 9.5″ wide; the bag sits flat the bottom is 4″ wide. The bamboo batting made the bag just firm enough.

I do plan to make some more bags like this and perfect my installation of the zipper.

Future plans include: Instead of fabric..why not up-cycle “failed” quilted projects? Making this bag prompted me to remember a box full of “failed” quilted projects which garnered several good candidates for painting. These will become bags! The quilting is already done. Extra bonus: Paint the lining!

Yes!!

Stay tuned for more bags.  😆

 

 

 

Motifs-Find Inspiration From Fabric Designs

Motifs

Inspiration from Fabric Designs

I find inspirations everywhere. Keeping a record of them is very helpful like photos, sketching and clippings. I have gravitated away from using fabrics with prints and yet I still include bits and savor some of them as inspirations.

One of my favorite methods is to work spontaneously….with a plan. That is the key…spontaneity is fun (for me) but I have learned to prepare my approach and have a loose plan and/or goal in mind.

motif_stencil_results 1

Composition 1

I like to stitch scraps together as in this case:

This time my plan was to work with contrast such as: warm/cool, glowing/dull, light/dark.

This proved to be a lot to keep in mind, but I did my best.

I came up with several compositions that I liked. Some ended up with open spaces that were begging for details such as composition 1. I did include a print that has a large block style design (right side). I decided to extract a portion of the design as a stencil motif to fill the spaces and repeat the motif; repetition unifies.

First I drew the design onto freezer paper and cut out the openings.motif_stencil 1

Next, I pressed it to the chosen spot. The slick side of the freezer paper sticks slightly when heated with an iron.

motif_stencil_attach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The paint is applied with a stencil brush which has stiff bristles cut flat and blunt. The paint is actually tapped into the openings.

Watch this video demonstration:

Freezer Paper Stencil Paint Application from Deborah Babin on Vimeo.

motif_stencil_paint_application

 

motif_stencil_results 1

 

 

 

 

 

The stencil design has helped to balance the composition and now I will continue with free motion stitching. I like leaving open spaces for these opportunities and allow the composition to evolve. There are more spaces to ponder….this one is not complete; none the less I am pleased with it so far.

Making and painting stencils is fun and easy to do. You can learn more about developing your art with original methods in my online course:

MIXING UP MEDIA on the ACADEMY OF QUILTING.

The next session begins April 1st. You can sign up now!

Check it out here

 

 

 

Academy of Quilting-Mixing Up Media opens April 1st, 2016

Join me on the Academy of Quilting for my online course: MIXING UP MEDIA

begins April 1, 2016

It is so much fun to meet new people on line! We who share the love of fiber arts especially love to connect with one another.

WE can learn so much from each other.

When we study online…sometimes we are hesitant to participate in the conversation. This is unfortunate because this is where the serious learning takes place. Imagine…if you can…as the instructor, that the communication is minimal. What can you do? The answer is: encourage.

With encouragement…sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. We who instruct online HOPE we are reaching you…that we are helping you to grow and learn. IF we do not have communication…we cannot know that we have reached our goal.

Keep this in mind if you study online.

I always get excited when my course is about to present. I hope to present a pleasant learning experience. This course MIXING UP MEDIA is one that I am very proud of. It is quite comprehensive. You will learn a lot! Be prepared to read, try new things and witness results like you have never done before.

CL_emb_200

I pack quite a punch!

 

 

 

 

Painting tissue paper is so much fun! I will show you how to make it a viable art surface. Think of it as a “skin”.

painted papers 1

Example: Painted tissue paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The possibilities are endless.

MM_mini_finished

Mini composition

The light center section is made with painted tissue paper. You would never know it. In person, it feels like leather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CL_full_300x410

Full composition

The complete composition is offered as inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete with stenciling, stamping…making your composition ORIGINAL.

I hope you consider joining me on the Academy of Quilting.

 

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