News: Moving On With New Inspiration

Relocation-

I now live in Arizona…which compared to Washington, is like another planet!

Wow! There is so much to learn about Arizona. I have met the most delightful people everywhere I go. And…the people LOVE and respect the arts and artists here! There are numerous festivals, galleries and art events year round.

My new home is amazing!A true Spanish/Mediterranean hacienda complete with a a studio space…of course! That was a requirement. Yes, life is good!

New Inspiration

Prior to the move I was actively making art with new inspiration and enthusiasm.

I went on a fabulous trip to Amsterdam last Autumn. Among the numerous experiences the MOST  outstanding was my visit to the Van Gogh museum. I returned home exhilarated! I promptly ordered painting supplies and proceeded to paint.  It had been over 30 years since I had painted (a proper painting). How fun it was to get my hands messy and explore…just to see what might develop. To my surprise I saw a style presenting and I quite liked it.

Subject: Women with an exaggerated format.

Carmel
10″ x 12″ Acrylic

Not every attempt was successful but each canvas presented a new learning experience.

 

Dream Girl 12″ x 12″ Acrylic

 

Kristina 10 ” x 12″ Acrylic

I am currently setting up a new gallery page for my paintings. I will be offering them for sale as canvas prints. The best part about a print is the ability to select the size.

Often after I finish a piece I think “Wow! wouldn’t this look great if it were LARGE!”  That is exactly what I did with Carmel. I ordered a print size 30″ x 30″ and Wow!

 

Here she is size 30″ x 30″ in the foyer of my previous house in Washington…a show stopper! Everyone stopped to stare at her when they entered the house. And now, she has established her presence in my current house.

The canvas is deep which looks very nice and doesn’t require a frame. The sides of this painting are painted a soft olive green.

 

Price for a canvas print this size is $260 + $15 shipping within the US. Allow 3 weeks for delivery.

Contact me to order.

Let me know what you think about these paintings.

 

2016 About Face

Greetings and Happy New Year! 2017 is here and I am very happy and optimistic about this year.

January of 2016 I decided to offer drawing lessons. This went very well. I revisited my main love: drawing from life. Consequently, I didn’t get much textile art made in 2016.

In November 2016, after returning from a wonderful trip to Europe; visiting Amsterdam and Vienna….I was inspired to paint! I have been slowly gearing up for this for quite some time. This time I made a decision that was huge. I decided to step back from my textile and mixed media art practices and redefine my goals to set a new and clear focus.

The initial decision was quick; however, the process of realization was gradual.

First I cleared a space to paint in my studio away from everything else. My studio is fairly large. While I was sitting in the far off corner working away, I noticed all the remaining room lined with filled storage bins of various art things; mostly fabric. Even though I have trimmed down my stash over the years quite a lot, I still have plenty. Now I realize I will gradually become aware of what to keep and what to pass along.

Now, this is not to say I have stopped sewing! That just isn’t possible…is it?

Hopefully my new adventures with painting will appeal to my readers. The adventures are happening now and I am happy to be learning new things.

Carmel, 11 x 14"

Actually, I am learning a lot more about what was happening in my artist life schedule because now I have another reference point.

I now realize that while I was making art…textile art and mixed media, I was extremely distracted. I called it being spontaneous, inspired, diverse, curious, multidimensional. Yes, I was in all of those modes and that results in one thing: NOT HAVING A FOCUS.

Teaching was a huge distraction, especially writing for online teaching! The amount of thought, energy, planning that I put into it was tremendous! I loved it and I did receive validation; however, I was distracted from the main point of: MAKING MY ART.

Once I began to paint, I could realize all of these distractions.

For me, painting is completely different from making textile art and mixed media; it is instant. My brain embraces and processes the results immediately; I am gratified and challenged quickly. Sewing is not fast; it is tedious, labor intensive and time can spread out endlessly.

It may sound as if I am criticizing sewing…the making of textile art. On the contrary, I love sewing, I love working with fabric the tactile satisfaction, the handling of the fabric, the beauty as it develops.

When I am sewing my brain is on task but also I am thinking of a zillion other things I could make …once I finished the current project or stopped.

Conversations with fellow painters enlightened me. They revealed that they would never consider working with textiles….why? Because they did not have the patience. Hmmm….patience was not something I had considered. I had to think more about that.

Making textile art does require an investment of time. But, I did not think of it as having patience. I merely KNEW the pace and accepted it. In contrast, a painting is just as complex yet I have been able to execute much faster. But, is speed the primary element and desire? No! Rather, satisfaction.

The elements I use to paint are the same. It is the process that is faster. Pure and simple: I am enjoying the freedom and the faster pace of painting. It is refreshing and fits my brain (mind).

One observation I received about a painting of mine was how I captured “texture”. Really? That is interesting and makes sense. I guess my experience with fabric and textiles will reveal in new ways.

The main point of this is to have a FOCUS.

My focus has freed me. My thoughts are simplified as well as my routine. It goes like this:

Set up:

  1. A big drafting table with painting supplies on it.
  2. An easel and chair is next to the table.
  3. I have several sets of painting clothes to wear.
  4. I have references from magazines, and other sources for inspiration.

Daily

  1. Paint in the morning for about 2 hours
  2. Lunch
  3. Paint for a few more hours.
  4. Exercise
  5. Shower
  6. Dinner
  7. Rest
  8. Reflect for the next day

Now, some days I have appointments and other things like housekeeping. And, then there is travel.

TRAVEL

Yes, travel now has become such a pleasure. Now that my life is simplified I can calmly prepare and look forward to traveling. I can actually pack ahead of time. In the past invariably I would have tremendous pressure with art to finish, prepare another lesson, finish a binding, write a new chapter in a course. I have been sewing down to the wire on (too) many occasions. I wasn’t able to predict how much time to allow, how much time to add on to “get it right”.

I love all the art I made though!

I am much happier with my new life style. Simplifying isn’t SIMPLE! You must STOP and assess.

I was ready. I am glad I finally found my FOCUS.

Here are two of my recent paintings

Kristina, 9 x 12" Isabella, 12 x 12"

As you can see, I like women’s faces.

I would love to hear your feedback on this topic: Having a Focus

Can you relate? Please leave comments.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Pen and Ink-Black and White

I love to draw! Typically though I focus on drawing while on travel. I always take my “kit”. Paper, pencils, pens and watercolors. If I have a subject that is straight forward with high contrast I prefer to use pen/ink. If the subject requires more pondering, shading and sensitivity I use pencil. Depending on the results of the pen drawings, sometimes I add a bit of watercolor.

Straight forward>>

 

Shaded>>

Dick Blick contest

monkey_240x300

 

 

 

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!!