Make Big Art-Black and White Compositions Update

In January of this year I announced that I would be making big serious art with the focus on black and white. My attempts were feeble to say the least; however, I learned a lot. The first composition did not progress to a point that pleased me. Eventually, I gravitated to a place where I am comfortable and yet still challenged.

What I learned is that working in (stark/solid) black and white is not for me. I realized my eyes respond best to subtleties in values and additional subtle color; having nuances is pleasing to me. The color I like the most is turquoise and I consider this to be a neutral color. This is the results: Four new compositions. As for making big art…that hasn’t happened yet either. I hope this goal will eventually work for me. I have made more art besides these four which I will cover in another post.

Sway with Me

Sway with Me

Sway with Me, 11 x 17″

This piece is made with canvas painted with two methods and mediums.

Method 1-Black ink and turquoise ink was poured and left to dry.

Method 2-Black and white acrylic paint. Black paint was applied with a paint brush first in random areas. When dry, white paint was added randomly. The paint was scratched into while still wet using the end of the paint brush to reveal black underneath leaving calligraphic marks and then left to dry.

Both pieces of painted canvas were torn into smaller pieces. It took many attempts of arranging the pieces to come up with a composition. Finally, I settled on this one. The hand stitching defined the character along with the addition of beads. Gradually I saw a woman’s figure dancing with her arms raised overhead. I am very pleased with the results. Click on any image to see an enlarged image.

sway detail 3 sway detail 2 300 Sway with Me detail 2 1024

Purple Haze

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Purple Haze, 8×10″

 

I like to draw on a program called Procreate. Often times I use this program to pass the time while flying long distances. This design is a cropped section of one of the drawings in black and white.

I printed the drawing onto silk habotai using my Epson printer with archival Durabright ink. Prior to printing I tweak the image in a photo program. I enjoy trying out various effects and this time subtle areas of purple developed. The only draw back is the size limitations.

 

Future plans: Divide and print a composition on multiple pieces of 8.5 x 11″ to enlarge the scale. Check the link to read about it using MS Paint.

I love the way silk responds to ink. Hand stitching brought this piece to life. The small (chicken scratch) stitches in purple represent a field in the background behind the large dark shape. I had some large purple bugle beads (mat finish) that connected perfectly by repeating the effect in the foreground (bottom left).

Seashore

Sea Shore, 5 x 8"

Sea Shore, 5 x 8″

 

This piece is not quite finished yet. I am thinking about adding a few more embellishments.

It is made with pieces of the painted canvas. I decided to add some warmth with shades of brown/pink thread (machine stitching).

Three pieces of painted lace looks sort of like beach fence; tiny real sea shells fit in perfectly. (Lace painted with Adriondack color wash: Butterscotch and Raisin)

I begin by moving and  arranging pieces of the painted fabric until I see a pleasing  composition. Sometimes this takes hours. Often I walk away,  wait a day or two and resume. Occasionally, I put it away and work on something else. The composition was positioned on batting and machine stitched in place; additional hand stitching enhances specific spots.

Silver Strands

Silver Strands, 6.5" x10.5"

Silver Strands, 6.5″ x10.5″

Silk habotai printed with my Epson printer; black and white with organic effects.

 

This piece is hand stitched with black and white thread; both running stitch and chicken scratch. Beads are attached to emphasize areas; blue and white. Some blue beads are crystals some are mat. In addition, I added four silver wire shapes to the center. I like adding wire. The wire has been pounded and shaped. The ends are pounded flat like a paddle. The wire is attached with hand stitching. Several stitches repeated in one spot to secure it and then repeated in several spots along the wire. The thread matches the color of the background at the point of stitching.

Silver Strands detail 300

Silver Strands detail

Both Seashore and Silver Strands will be trimmed and the edges finished.  You can see the stitching along the edge to secure the layers until this is done.

All four of pieces have similar qualities but are uniquely different. They will be mounted the same to create cohesiveness; 1.5″ deep painted canvas; black paint swiped on rather sloppy to look similar to the paint effects on the fabric.

I would like to read your comments. Write to me and tell me what you think. I welcome feedback.

 

 

 

 

Academy of Quilting Blog Post

The Academy of Quilting has a very nice blog. The courses offered there are quite diverse; from traditional piecing to courses like mine: Mixed Media. Do yourself a favor and check out what is offered Here

Yesterday my post was published on the Academy of Quilting blog:

HL_fv_200Opportunities-Are brief moments in time; timing is everything…I say that a lot. We have many opportunities that come our way; often times we are distracted; or, maybe we aren’t ready. When it is the right time, we are receptive, we are ready, that is when and the chances for growth are optimal; which, in turn set up for opportunities.
◦I have the opportunity here on the Academy of Quilting to meet you and share my knowledge about how I make art.
◦You have the opportunity to participate, learn new things and meet new people.
◦We have the opportunity to meet each other, discuss, and make a solid connection; one that presents a bountiful opportunity.

Making connections is vital for us. People with common interests become our support system. The ability to meet people online all over the world is still amazing to me. What an opportunity for sure.

Mixing Up Media-Now open for sign ups

Compiling and composing this course was quite challenging. Making art is my passion; however, explaining how I make art requires countless hours of writing, photographing, making samples, making art and more. I am proud of the results and delighted to present this compilation here.

Big Reveal: I have been working with certain mediums for the last ten years and I developed methods. These have been extracted, simplified and fine tuned to present to you in a manner that will be enlightening. My goal is to ignite a fire in your creative spirit and guide you along the way, to stretch and grow, discover your style no matter of your level.

Win-Win-We make a new connection and the best part: You will take away more than you started with.

Mixed Media-Translates to: The freedom to play and experiment. Mixed Media is a vague term; the sky is the limit. Thus, I have chosen to focus on a few particular materials and mediums; some that are unique and uncommon and my favorites.

Materials such as: Interfacing, Tissue Paper and Silk Organza.

Mediums such as: spray inks (Adirondack Color Wash and Dylusions)

Join me-let’s make something wonderful together.  Enter my virtual studio and observe the action. In my younger years if I had had an opportunity (like this) I would have jumped on it, and now you can.

 

Painting with Ink

TP_Example 2Painting with ink creates remarkable effects. The ink that I prefer is made by Ranger Ink: Adirondack Color Wash and Dylusions. The ink comes in a spray bottle with a fine mister. It is consentrated and can be diluted with water; mini misters are the best for this.. Color Wash has a muted palette. The colors have an earth quality. Dylusions on the other hand, are vibrant colors. They can be used together quite well. Smaple colors: Color WAsh: Eggplant, Espresso, Butterscotch. Dylusions: Vibrant Turquoise, Pure Sunshine, Polished Jade. The names alone suggest the tones.colorwash

Product description:

Dylusions Ink Spray

Dylusions Ink Spray dyes are a high quality, acid-free, non-toxic concentrated colorant for porous surfaces. The Dylusions Ink Sprays’ bright and vibrant palette will colorize paper, Sticky Back Canvas, wood, paper, clay and more. Use to create backgrounds on cards, scrapbook and journal pages, and in mixed media art projects.

■Concentrated colorant for porous surfaces
■Acid free and non-toxic
■Fine mist sprayer
2 oz bottle

Adirondack Color Wash
The Adirondack Color Wash featuring Tim Holtz is an acid-free, non-toxic, water-based dye developed for use on paper, fibers, fabric and more. These earthy and bright spray dyes will colorize paper, fibers, fabric, wood, paper clay and other absorbent surfaces. Ideal for paper crafters, mixed media and fabric artists alike. 2 oz. bottle.

Spraying vs. Painting

Spraying color onto a surface such as paper results totally different than painting. Painting with a brush (most of the time) reveals the marks made; looking obviously “painted”. Now, of course this is certainly highly desirable and exprected by many artists such as oil painters. I have reallized that mystery develops when it is not obvious HOW art is made.  I like that.

The other quality feature of (spray) painting with ink is the immediate results. Just a few pumps applies quite a bit of ink with rich and vibrant colors. You have many options. Create textures or go for smooth. Fold, pleate, twist, crumple the paper; anything goes; vary the papers and vary the methods.

LEARN TO USE THESE INKS IN MY NEW ONLINE COURSE: MIXING UP MEDIA

THE ACADEMY OF QUILTING 

Detailed instructions are given to create a LOOK. You may follow the designs provided or better yet….venture off to create your own LOOK.

click images to enlarge

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Current Look-Dylusions color palette

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Historic Look-Color Wash color palette

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Abstract Look-Dylusions color palette

Sign ups are now open!

These fabulous  inks are the primary medium for this course. You will learn a lot about how to use them and a lot more. I am very pleased with this new course. I encourage you to check it out HERE.

 

 

The Academy of Quilting-Opportunities Abound

The Academy of Quilting is a wonderful resource for learning about all sorts of topics related to quilting, fiber arts, textile art and more.

My new course MIXING UP MEDIA is now open. Start date: March 6th.

Check out the supply list. Realize that when working with mixed media….you need to have quite an assortment of tools, materials and mediums. Please do not be put off by the list. I think it is important to be thorough to provide each student with detailed information.

The main medium is: Ranger Ink Color Wash and Dylusions.  These inks come in 2 ounce spray bottles. They are highly concentrated. A little goes a long way. I have used Color Wash for over nine years. I love the versatility of it. Dylusions is a newer product. I have just begun to include it. The difference is in the color qualities. Color Wash has an “earthy” base; sort of brownish in tone. They are rich and glorious. Dylusions are clear and bright; very rainbow like. Both have the same properties.

The main reason I like this product is the effects I get are amazing. I have not achieved such w0nderful (surprise) textures, color combinations and elusive qualities with any other product.

I do not have an affiliation with the company; although, I think they would be thrilled to know about my praises and the course.

Here are some examples of superior effects on tissue paper:

TP_Example 2 TP_EXAMPLE 1 tutorial_painted_paper_3

Effects on silk organza:

organza_detail_drying_on_plastic_resized paint_acra_gold_RUST_effects_resized painted_silk_organza_resized

Applications: Collage

There are numerous applications I have done with ColorWash and Dylusions

I prefer to paint quite a few sheets of paper and choose the ones I like to use for a particular look or application. The image on the left is a good example of a typical selection I would work with. The collage have been made with the papers along with some other types of painted papers.

 painted_tissue_paper_200 Leaf_Collage_5_200 Leaf_Collage 15_200

Luminaries

 luminaries_3 lum_2 lum X

Fabric Paper

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Fabric Paper made with layers of: muslin, ephemera, glue, tissue paper, color wash

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Fabric Paper Book cover

 

 

 

Mixing Up Media-Course Online

Mixing Up Media-My new course online at the Academy of Quilting

Start date: March 6th, 2015

Five Lessons $50

Sign Up now

MM_mini_finishedI am very happy to have this course ready to go. Many hours go into composing, making art, photographing, editing and more to put a course together.  Visit my profile page too.

You are invited: Go behind the scenes to experience some of my favorite methods and materials I use to create authentic art. Mixed Media: the fascinating realm of endless possibilities. Learn to: Transform various materials and unleash your creativity; observe amazing results from the get go.

 

Mixed Media-Take a Look and Make your LOOK

What is mixed media?
Basically, it is a playground filled with various types of art materials. All you have to do is take a look and then give yourself the freedom to play and have fun. It is impossible to go wrong, you will see.

For example, what if I told you that it is possible to make a painted surface look unpainted? No problem, I will show you just how to this and more. Working with mixed media offers unlimited options and endless possibilities. Once you experience this fascinating world you will soon realize this. Now, the best way to begin is with a focus otherwise the options are overwhelming.

The focus of this workshop is: To experience selected products and materials that produce amazing results. I invite you to realize the vast range of possibilities and gradually unleash your creativity. In addition, you will get to peak at my methods that I have used successfully for many years. I will share my journey with mixed media. I love stories, do you?

Create a LOOK-Three looks set the stage for exploration:

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1. Historic Look-inspired by authentic botanical illustrations

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2. Current Look-Updated style inspired by the Historic look

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3. Abstract Look-Pushed onward and into the future

Layouts are provided with various options that will guide you through practice and application. The design is based on a botanical illustration; a single flower is the featured specimen and focal point. You have options: work within your style whether you prefer to work loosely or refined with precise detail.

Either way, the objective is to create authentic art while at the same time experiencing some of my favorite and unique mixed media methods and (unconventional) materials including: interfacing, tissue paper, silk organza as well as cloth. These materials will be saturated with luscious colors and developed into dynamic textured surfaces using color wash dye paints; spritz, spray and drip dye paint. No need for prior painting experience…this is super easy, fast and super fun.

Techniques

The information I will provide comes straight from my coveted collection of tried and true methods and tools. For example, you will learn how to make and utilize a highly effective tool that I developed and use exclusively for appliqué.
Embellishment tags

CL_emb_200Make it yours-Refine your look with handmade accents-Descriptive text that is found on botanical illustrations will engage the viewer. Attach these with flare using hand and/or machine stitching, free style or uniform; unique beads, buttons or any personal findings; various sewing methods are suggested and demonstrated including quilting considerations.

Have more fun making your very own stamps and stencils to mix together and play around with; use them on tags as well as the surfaces.Stencil_200

MM_L5_hl_binding_strip_3Complete your look with my favorite (and easy peasy) binding method with silk organza along with a sleeve to hang your prize piece and show it off.

Painting with Adirondack Color Wash

I LOVE Adirondack Color Wash by Ranger Ink. I have used it for years. The qualities are amazing. Not only are the colors rich and beautiful but they also blend without making “mud”. They come in a 2 oz. spray bottle (originally a 4 oz. size). I have been using them full strength but recently I saw a you tube video that showed how they can be diluted. That is a great idea as they are very potent.

There is another advantage I discovered over the years and that is the mystery of the medium.  Color wash is considered a craft product. None the less the qualities are high; it is acid free; however,  unfortunately it is a disburse dye; it can be reactivated with water or any medium with moisture. This is a detriment for sure. One I had to find a solution for  to continue using them. I found a product that seals  the wash making it permanent and  a huge bonus! After the sealant is applied the colors POP! The mystery is the results of the art I  have  made with it.  The  medium(s) are undetectable as well as the methods.

My favorite application is to spray color wash on to several layers of papers capitalizing on the intensity. There are many options for application. I usually follow these basic steps:

  1. Dampen the paper first and then apply color wash. This enables the wash to spread nicely.
  2. Spray the color wash on first and then spray lightly with water. It is amazing to watch the color move and blend to make unpredictable colors.
  3. Dry with a heat tool or air dry.

I never tire of the experimentation with color washes.

I use color wash to make various components to make (serious) fine art, fine crafts and casual things like notecards. They also work on fabric somewhat. The best results I have had is with lace, seam binding, silk ribbon; heat setting is a must.

Fine Art

Art Components-Paper Cloth, fabric and embellishments

Mixed Media-Title: Leaf CollageThe process has several steps.

Step 1 Paint Papers

Step 2 Backgrounds added

Step 3 Collage-Layers of painted papers

Final Details-Accent “line” with machine stitching with black thread

painted_tissue_paper_300 Collage_multiple_1_300 Sea Shells

An assortment of painted papers to work with. Collages in progress. Finished collage 5×7.

Tin_Heart1_300 Tin_heart_detail-300

Title: Tin Heart 15×20″

Multi layer-Composite

Focal Point: Heart-Impression from antique ceiling tile; sapphire blue ink defines the design of the tile. Surrounds-Layers of painted papers with color wash.Two side panels with areas cut away to expose fabric behind. Embellished with small hearts, bits of painted lace, pieces of piano player paper. Fringe top and bottom edge.

Fine Craft

Glass Luminaries-Glass is wrapped

with thin painted paper. When the

luminary is lit the light shows the

beauty of the translucent papers.

Luminaries

Three examples of Luminaries made by students.

Luminary

Luminary Example 2

Paper Cloth_full sheet_600

A large sheet of paper cloth.

Paper Cloth-A layered composite made of muslin, bits of paper, white glue, tissue paper and color wash. I have used paper-cloth in various applications.

Paper Cloth painted with Adirondack color wash

Take out Box made with paper cloth.

Take out Box made with paper cloth. Simply open the box out flat to use as a pattern. Make a piece of paper cloth large enough for the pattern.

You have the perfect opportunity to learn more about using Adirondack color wash ink in my new online course through Academy of Quilting.

Title: Mixing Up Media

Open for sign up NOW here.  Start date March 6th- 5 weeks $50

Stay up to date….Subscribe to this blog.

Paper Shibori-Indigo with a Twist

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Memory On Cloth by Yoshika Wada

 

I took a workshop with Joan Morris in August. She is an expert on natural dying and various resist methods. She developed the fabrics for all of the costumes in the Broadway production Lion King. Miles and miles of gorgeous fabrics! This accomplishment is covered in a book titled: Memory on Cloth-Shibori Now by: Yoshiko Wada. It is a beautiful book to have in your library.

Photos along with a presentation of how the costumes evolved for specific characters of Lion King are included. Joan conducts a very efficient course. She is specific and intent on the execution. She has very high standards for herself as an instructor as well as artist. She delivers more than one could possibly absorb. I truly respect that. You can see her amazing work on her website.

I chose to focus on the resist methods in the workshop; how to arrange fabric to create unique and beautiful patterning from the planned resists. Resist dying is when sections of the fabric are constricted so those areas will not absorb dye. This can be done with any dye. Methods for resist dying are ancient and were developed in multiple areas of the world. I learned a lot in this course; however, I did not come away with successfully completed examples. The natural dyes that we used call for certain steps some of which I didn’t get right thus, the results I have are too pale. Resist methods can only show up with high contrast.

I’m glad I took the course and I did learn what NOT to do when it comes to natural dyes.  I doubt I will ever use them except maybe indigo, someday. I prefer procion mx dyes and I am not up for another learning curve.

I enjoy working with paper  as much as cloth. After the course I decided to try some of the resist methods with paint and paper. The paint I like to use often is actually a dye paint: Adirondack Color Wash/Denim. This product is in a spray bottle and is concentrated. The color: Denim is very close to indigo.  I tried several kinds of paper: Lotka, Rice and Mulberry. These papers are hand made from very strong fibers. I am quite pleased with the results.

The steps I used:

1. The paper was scrunched up into a wad and then opened several times. This breaks the fibers and makes the paper soft almost like fabric.

2. The paper was dampened slightly and then wrapped, folded or clamped. Stencils and wood shapes (blocking) were used on some pieces.

3. Color Wash: Denim was sprayed on mainly to the edges on the surface.

I applied the paint sparingly to observe the absorbency of each type of paper; more color was applied as needed.

The papers were left to dry with a fan circulating the air; they dry fairly quickly. It is always a surprise when a bundle is opened…and I love this part.

ARASHI SHIBORI

Wrapping around a pole-The paper is wrapped and tightly scrunched on the pole to set up creases that act as channels. Minimal paint will seep into the creases thereby creating a resist. Depending on how the paper is wrapped the design will differ; no two are alike. Often the fabric and in this case paper, continue to hold the creases.

Arashi Shibori

Step 1-The paper is damp and will be rolled onto the PVC pole on the diagonal.

 

Arashi Shibori

Step 2-The paper has been scrunched up tight. Twine is wrapped around to hold it in place.

Arashi Shibori

Step 3-A minimal amount of paint is sprayed on at first.

Arashi Shibori

Step 4-The paper is completely covered with paint.

 

If the result is not satisfactory (not enough paint, not enough design) the same process is repeated.

Arashi Shibori

Arashi Shibori

 

KUMO SHIBORI-SPIDER WEB

A spot on the paper is selected, pinched and shaped to make a point. Starting at the point, thread is wrapped tightly around and down (as far as you choose) and then back up to the point; secure with a knot.. The longer the length of the wrapped point the larger the design (spider web). The dampened paper was pliable similar to fabric. I decided to make various sized webs on this piece.

KUMO

Step 1-The thread has been wrapped securely around the point and knotted.

KUMO

Step 2-Five points of various lengths are secured.

KUMO

Step 3-The first application of paint is light.

KUMO

Step 4-More paint is applied both on the front and the back.

The results are good.

The results are good.

Collectively, the various methods proved to work well on the papers.

Shibori

Five successful results.

Top left: Itajime-Clamping, Top right: Itajime and wood template, Center: Folded Accordion style, Bottom left: Kumo, Bottom right: Arashi  (two applications).

Adirondack Color Wash Denim

Stencil Designs with Denim color wash.

Alternatively, stencils are effective with color wash paint. I used two stencils here. The top design with a circle is once. First the paint is sprayed over the stencil, second, the stencil is flipped to utilize the paint on the surface of the stencil. The design on the bottom was done the same way.