Affirmation-Two Acceptances

 

I entered two calls for entry recently. Two shows-two pieces accepted. I am delighted.

Carnegie Center for Art and History-Form Not Function 2015

Circle the Block 1

I sketch basic designs periodically. Several of them spoke to me and evolved into a series of five. Each piece was made with zillions of little pieces of fabric. First the sections were defined and then filled with rectangles, circles and squares with a circle cut out. Some pieces have two layers of color. Each piece has been stitched. Yes, this was tedious; yet addictive. The more I worked the more the colors mingled, contrasted and appeared to be moving. This motion reminded me of cars as if they were circling around (looking for a place to park). The circles and blocks and the act of “circling the block” produced the title.

Circle the Block 1-12x12"

Circle the Block 1-12×12″

circle the block 1_hanging 300

Circle the Block 1 side view

Circle The Block 1 in progress

Circle the Block 1-in progress

Circle the Block 1 detail of in progress

Circle the Block 1-detail in progress

Yeiser Art Center-Fantastic Fibers 2015

Imagine

Imagine 28 x 55"

Imagine 28 x 55″

Imagine Detail 1

Imagine Detail 1

Imagine Detail 2

Imagine Detail 2

Medium: Linen, dye, organza, rayon thread

One of my favorite songs is IMAGINE by John Lennon. I love the word and I love to create and use my imagination.

The fabric is one piece of linen fabric. The design was created by Deconstruction Screen Printing.

Thickened dye was used with the silk screen to create the design. I used the word IMAGINE and wrote this word many times in various places on the screen. The thickened dye design is left to dry. The fabric is spread out and the screen with the design is placed on the fabric. More dye is added inside the screen well and then pushed through the screen with a squeegee. The dried dye blocks the wet dye from going through and creates a resist which shows the design produce by the dried dye. This process is continued over and over again; overlapping and repositioning with each pull of the squeegee. Various colors of dye are used for the design and more colors are used on the silk screen. As the process continues the dried dye begins to soften and break apart (deconstruction). This deconstruction creates a multitude of effects including partial designs. Some of the words are more visible and clearly defined and some are barely recognizable. The process is done with quite a bit of pressure to aid in the deconstruction of the dried dye. This takes several hours to complete a piece this size. And when done there is no dried dye left on the screen.

IMAGINE is outlined with free motion stitching in rayon thread.

Hand cut squares of organza are scattered over the surface.

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

CL_fv_200

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

Paper Cloth_full sheet_200

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

book_200

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:

HL_fv_200

1. Historic Look-inspired by authentic botanical illustrations

CL_fv_200
2. Current Look-Updated style inspired by the Historic look

AB_fv_200
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.

Goal: Make BIG Serious Art in 2015

My goal for 2015 is to make BIG serious art. I have decided that if I want to make (serious) progress I must establish a starting point; and, so I have. What is serious art? For me it means: defining my focus. To do this I must first take an assessment: Where does my art (career) stand professionally?  Define what main components need to be activated, engaged and clarified. This scrutiny had been done throughout 2014. I have been considering various directions. Now it is time to sort out my ideas and chose which ones have the loudest voice. I keep several journals. I write down my thoughts to actualize them. This is necessary otherwise the same thoughts circle around and I get frustrated and confused. Once written, I can relax and clear my mind.  This includes sketches of designs.

Now I can read my notes to extract the essence. To make a preparations to accomplish my goal: To make BIG  serious) art. Art that is fulfilling for me. So what did I realize  from my writing? Graphic elements catch my eye. I am drawn to art (designs) that have a black and white or a minimal palette. Thus, I decided to stretch myself artistically and go with this direction; to specifically focus on a black and white palette. In addition, one of my on going desires is to make BIG art. One of the main aspects I defined that  I admire  is scale: LARGE scale  art is compelling, dynamic and daring.  Confidence is a must.

Many times when I finish a piece I think

“I like it; however, too bad it isn’t LARGER”

 I was completely confident that was an excellent choice and one I anticipated to be enjoyable. I began the first week in January. I have several versions going; however, none of them are what I expected nor am I happy with. Working in black and white has proven to be much more challenging than I anticipated. This tells me that this is a good challenge; I need to push through this.

My design wall usually has various pieces on it. I mostly use it for pieces that are in various stages of development; and some had been hanging on it way too long. I decided to take everything down and start fresh; no distractions.

The background is white. I cut a number of  black fabric strips in various widths. I also cut strips from my printed on Spoonflower. The colors did not print as I had hoped. I like the design but the color is not true black or white. I have since learned that this is my fault not Spoonflower’s. The colors are a strange charcoal tone and dull white; an overall drab look. But, I decided that these tones would be perfect to mix with very black and very white. These strips are hanging on the freshly cleared design wall.

The design wall is clear and ready to begin.

The design wall is clear and ready to begin.

Surprisingly, I immediately knew I was in uncharted territory and this perplexed me; I didn’t expect to be challenged this much. I proceeded but there were a lot of stops and starts. I have no idea if I like what I have or not. The first piece is just there. I continued to work and add more pieces all day however; the more I tried the harder it got and I knew I was getting “fussy”.

Finally I had to stop; I wasn’t in the right mode. The piece is still hanging there today. I look at it each day but so far, no excitement. I have not given up though. I made some smaller pieces using the same fabrics and added some prints that (I thought I liked).

B-W_fabric 1

Again, I had the same experience. Adding prints didn’t work…the total effect is not original (enough). I began to fuss again; this is a red flag, so I stopped. Now I have two more on the wall and none of them excite me. Oh well, that is okay because often times this is part of the development, the challenge, the search. These may not go any further but they are (part of) the catalyst. I’m still motivated and that is what matters.

Conclusion: I need to explore black and white as value and be patient until a direction presents. I decided to switch mediums and paint values. I used a gelli plate and good quality smooth white paper. This was fun and spontaneous and the enthusiasm returned.  I like some aspects that emerged. I see potential. Again, I looked at the papers for several days. It was as if my brain was trying to translate a foreign language; more pondering to do.

Gradually, I began to cut and combine pieces and still only a few pieces came together. I continued to work with the pieces for days on end.

B-W_paper_canvas 2 B-W_paper_canvas 1

Why is this so hard?

Next I decided to paint on canvas. I primed it with gesso and then applied black and white acrylic paint quite spontaneously. I love the results. I tore the linen into several pieces; I like the small compositions, but that’s the problem…they are small!

My original goal was to make serious LARGE scale art. I hope I will find the direction back to that goal.

B-W_linen_canvas 1

I like the painted linen a lot. I have tried the pieces on various backgrounds; none have said “yes” yet. Here I used black linen (that needs to be ironed).

Next I painted some handmade khadi paper. It has a wonderful texture. It almost feels like fabric.

B-W_paper 1

I used acrylic paint and India ink. I like the effects very much. This has promise.

The plan is established, now I will continue. To be continued.

Double click on the smaller images to enlarge.

Denim Story

The next bag I made from old denim has a story.

I put out the word out to people I know to save their old jeans for me. One day a neighbor that I know casually brought me several pairs. One was made from black denim, from Germany.  I explained to her what I was doing with the denim and this lead to a nice chat. She intimated that she was in a very distressing situation with her adult son. He was in rehab. He was about to be released and she was very worried that he was not ready for the real world. She was right at the doorway of reality. She knew this was the defining moment…she could not cave….she must stay strong; but it was plain to see, she was terrified. She had to believe that what ever happened it was up to HIM, not her.

I could relate as I went through a similar situation not to long ago. This was the first person I had met that I could offer sound advice and encouragement from experience. I was surprised at how confident I sounded…that I could immediately cut through what she was saying and translate; her words and thinking revealed how unsteady her thinking was. My responses were immediate…I knew exactly what to say….the same things others had said to me….that I couldn’t wrap my brain around. Now I could see this clearly and be supportive in a kind way that enabled her see the reality from a new source.

During my struggle last year…I sought counseling.  I went weekly. It was a constant acknowledgement of my pain and deeply troubling. I knew I had to face the truth…that I could not fix it. I was fixated upon impending doom. My counselor stood by me and relentlessly repeated what I had to do. Eventually, it came to a point where she made me aware that I had come far enough, that I knew what I had to do. My counselors parting words were:

If you don’t get out of his way…..he doesn’t stand a CHANCE.

Wow! That hit me smack in the gut. That became my mantra. I am so grateful for the wisdom of my counselor Erin Brower.

Thus, the chat with my neighbor was highly beneficial for both of us; we bonded through crisis.

I proceeded to use the denim jeans she gave me; her black jeans and her husbands well worn blue jeans. I used bleach to remove color using both liquid and a bleach pen. I enjoyed using the bleach pen but it didn’t go far. I wrote words and swirls. The black denim changed dramatically. The end result was a pinkish beige and black areas. How interesting! Now I a multitude of ideas about black denim.

I love it when I see something totally unexpected. This immediately jump starts creative thoughts.

I decided to make a bag for my neighbor with her black jeans.

As I thought about the style of a bag and how it could relate to her….I continued to think about her STORY.  My STORY and hers had connected.

The black denim had wonderful character and I liked the overall effect thus, I decided to use whole chunks rather than cutting up the fabric which reduced the construction time a lot. The black denim was gorgeous but an accent color was needed. The blue denim was the perfect accent. The picture shows pieces of the bleached blue jeans. This doesn’t look like much to work with does it? This is how it starts.

BB_blue_denim

The bag was developed with a front and back side. The front would have a functional pocket and details. The back would be subtle and personal.

I wanted to tell the STORY on the back without it being obvious. This way she could share the  STORY to certain people when it was appropriate. The purpose of the STORY was to define life’s reality and option. The story is brief and to the point.

Your Chance-Your Choice

She could selectively reveal the STORY. It HIS CHANCE for a new start…as well as HERS  and both had a CHOICE.

The construction of the bag went smoothly and as I sewed I continued to think about her, her son and my story. The design is called a knife edge, referring to the seaming of the front and back. This image shows the bag wrong side out with front and back joined and the darts on the corners.

knife_edge

I included a monogram, of the letter B; like Chanel (two C’s). This was free motion stitched. First I stitched a rectangle and then positioned the two B’s back to back. monogram

 

 

 

 

I also made a large initial B out of blue denim.

large_BThe swirls were the perfect spot to write text. I made a stencil from freezer paper for the word CHANCE. I painted this in yellow to stand out. I used a small alphabet stamp set to write the other words.

I spent 30 hours creating the design and constructing the bag plus one week dyeing and planning.

I called her and told her I had something for her. I walked to her house and we chatted and she gave me an update.  In the elapsed time her frame of mind was completely improved. She had managed to stand firm. Her son did leave rehab, he moved into a half way house and had a job. At 45 years old, he now had for the first time in his life a new start….a CHANCE. She beamed with happiness (as well as relief).

Then I knew it was the perfect time to present the bag to her.

She gasped!

She was completely blown away!

She cried and cried…she repeated: I love it…thank you…thank you….thank you.  More tears and more thanks…it was truly the perfect gift. I then explained the process, my reasons and how she could share the story if she wanted to. She immediately said “I do want to share the story”.

We, who have been through something like this, know this is how we heal…through support and encouragement.

Her husband was in complete amazement….he said, “no one has ever done anything for her like this”.

A perfect ending to a perfect story.

bag_finished

P.S. I am proud my son has taken control of his life. He has come along way. I commend my daughter for taking a stand and initiating the recovery for are family. We are grateful this is behind us now. Thank You Erin.

If you would like a bag personally made for you or someone else…please contact me. I love making these bags.

**I ask that you respect my original design. Please do not copy or put any of my images on Pinterest. Thank You.** 

 

 

 

 

Website Redesign in Progress-Denim Bags

I finally gave in and decided to have this website redesigned. Anyone who uses WordPress for their website knows how often the updates are issued. This eventually becomes problematic. I have hired Holly Knott to do this work. She is very talented and also makes art quilts. I am very excited about this change. I estimate the new site to be up by mid-March.

In the meantime, I have continued my focus on sewing with old denim. I love the feel. I love the comfort of it. I made a bag for all three of my grandchildren for Christmas. The first two are conservative and practical, for the boys. The third, for my granddaughter, took a completely different direction.. What fun this was! This bag took a lot longer and I almost didn’t finish it by Christmas day. I was still hand sewing the edges as we drove to their home. All three kids love their bags. I wrote sentiments on the inside and the date.

I am optimistic that these bags will connect me with specific people who will embrace them for art as well as a functional bag.

Major concern:

To be copied or added to Pinterest. I admit, I truly don’t think anyone could actually copy me, but, rather take the concept. Thus, I will only show sections of the bag here

The denim used for this bag was prepared by a process to remove some of the indigo dye. I used shibori techniques and loved the results. Each type of denim produced a unique coloration. This truly amazed me and prompted me to think about a completely different look.

.M_bag_section1

I used original stamps and cut stencils to apply various colors of paint. Her favorite color is purple so that is the main color. The body of the bag is constructed with sections of jeans mixed together. Any pockets are left open and usable. This is challenging. Some motifs are outlined with hand stitching.

M_bag_section3M_bag_section2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yo-Yo’s, lace and buttons as embellishments.

More to come about denim bags in my next post.

 

 

Collage-New Work

The wateimagercolor journaling courses revived my interest in working on and with paper. I consider paper as fabric, it is fiber after all.  I have made art that you would not know wasn’t fabric but is actually paper. I love working with paper. The results are mysterious…people are intrigued, which I like. I began to work on the collages in September. I was thinking about Autumn and decided to use leaves as a motif. imageI use primarily tissue paper and old book pages. First I apply paint on the tissue papers. They are too thin to keep tidy…thus this is how I work:image I use craft tissue which is slightly thicker and a better quality than gift tissue. I spread out several layers of tissue and spray with Ranger Ink Color Wash….I love this stuff! No matter how many colors you spray and mingle…they do not make mud. Great for beginners. The colors I like to use are: Denim, Butterscotch and Eggplant. The papers stick together when wet. I dry the papers with a heat gun and as they dry they  separate easily. The paper is stronger once it is dried. I used a 5″ x 7″ piece of watercolor paper for the base of the collage. Some of the base paper was left white and some I added a wash of watercolor in a 4″ x 5″ defined area. The layering process evolves. The papers have beautiful unique qualities that when combined and overlapped create amazing results.  It is impossible to detail what happens during this time as I go with it…I don’t think much, rather I enjoy the process. Some progress faster, some fizzle out, but most become truly amazing.imageimage After the papers are layered and adhered with acid free glue or adhesive, I place them under weights to dry. The next step is the stitching. The stitching is spontaneous. I stop sewing when I run out of ideas and proceed to sew a different one. Many times I realize what else can be added after sewing othimageimageers.

This image shows a collage prior to stitching. This particular collage did not have a  leaf motif so, I used stamps and gold ink instead. One stamp has fine detail that I purchased and one is larger that I made.

The collage truly came to life after stitching. This image shows the threads still hanging. At some point I started to like the thread hanging revealed on the front. I purposely pulled the bobbin thread to the front, tied a knot and trimmed each thread to a good length. image The leaf motif was added to this collage with a piece of paper that was the negative shape of a leaf.

image

When I finished with 18 pieces. The next step was to show them. The rep at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts where I exhibit my work, was very delighted to see them. He asked me to prepare them right away for December. Cutting mats and mounting takes time, but I completed the work in time and they are now at the gallery. 10″ x 12″ $165 I am very proud of this work. I enjoyed the process immensely so much so that I was motivated to write an outline. I consider collage as playing….allowing the elements to talk and evolve. The materials are simple and the methods are easy. I hope others find this intriguing enough to ask about it and invite me to teach.

New Art

I have completed five new pieces.

This collection can be seen at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Bainbridge Island Washington

The original inspiration came from this piece:

Circle the Block V 14"h x 31"w

Circle the Block V
14″h x 31″w

(Yes this is the source for my header above.)

The onset of this application began with a pieced composition that was good but the color was not. I would have liked the colors to be more vibrant. How can I accomplish that? Is there any solution for this composition? I thought that if I could enhance the color of each section that might work so I spontaneously began to cut small rectangles out of colors that would contrast and relate to the base color but also enhance it. I realized that putting one layer of pieces over the base color improved it but not quite enough. I began to place a second layer strategically and this worked. However, because I was working spontaneously, I didn’t think the process through and I begin to panic. How will I attach these without messing up the placement? They were too small to pin and too many. My only choice was to carefully carry it to the machine and begin to sew….while holding my breath. This was next to impossible but somehow I managed to sew each one in place.

I was so happy with the results I wanted to do another, but with a better method. I left it out where I could see it hoping I would think of a solution. A year passed and one day I decided to make another attempt. This time I would attach the pieces with adhesive.

I began with new gusto feeling confident that I could focus on the creative process rather than the method.

Fusing is done with a product called fusible web. This is an adhesive that is acid free and is a thin layer on a backing paper. The fusible web is applied to the back of a piece of fabric with an iron. The backing paper remains on the back until you are ready to fuse the fabric to a surface.

I sketched several compositions with a concept: While thinking about hand stitches and how they are rhythmic running in rows. I also set up sections similar to the original piece.

The stitches (as shapes) were enlarged within the sections. Using this concept I decided to make the first piece 12″ x 12″ with rectangle shapes about 1/2″ wide by 1 1/4″ long. circle the block I_detail

Using cotton fabric with various solid colors and batiks many shapes are cut out to have an assortment to work with. The shapes are layered with smaller rectangles in multiple contrasting colors. The colors interplay and create a vibrant texture and effect.

 

Circle the Block I in progress

Circle the Block I in progress

The process:

Each composition is divided into several sections. The base layer (background) was cut from several hand dyed cotton fabrics for each section. Specific colors are used to provide a vibrant background for the shapes. Strips of contrasting fabric cover the raw edges of the sections. Each section was developed separately with shapes in color collections.  Each section of the composition stands out but also integrates the composition.

The design, batting and a backing fabric are layered together and machine stitched with various colors of thread to add texture and further secure the shapes.

The process was tedious. As each section was developed more ideas for color combinations were realized. In addition to rectangular shapes, squares and circles found there way into the combination.

As the art developed inspiration from the enlarged stitch shapes evolved. Once the composition was complete I studied it and decided the design resembled cars parked in a parking lot. This made me think about looking for a place to park and often times we must circle the block to find the best lot.

Thus the titles: Circle the Block

 

Circle the Block I 12" x 12"

Circle the Block I
12″ x 12″

Circle the Block II

Circle the Block II
12″ x 12″

 

Circle The Block III 12" x 12"

Circle The Block III
12″ x 12″

Circle the Block IV

Circle the Block IV
10″h x 20″w

All of the pieces are mounted to painted canvas. They look really sharp hanging on the wall.

circle the block I_hangingA

Circle the Block II_hanging 2

Circle the Block III_hangingCircle the Block V_hanging

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