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.



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


Current Look-Dylusions color palette


Historic Look-Color Wash color palette


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_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


Fabric Paper Book cover




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.

A Movement: Textile Art vs. Fiber Art

What is the difference between TEXTILE ART  and FIBER ART? Is there any difference at all? These terms are debatable. Today I decided to change my title from TEXTILE ARTIST to FIBER ARTIST.  Why is this important to me?

Festival Triptych

Fiber Art by Deborah Babin
Title: Festival

I do not relate to the term Quilt Art. I rarely if ever, say the word quilt. I do however, include the act of quilting in my work. I am not making a quilt or a blanket. I am making art. What I make is actually rooted in the history of quilts. This I acknowledge to myself. I have decided to not include this term when discussing and describing my work. Why is that? The main reason is to distinguish between those that make art with cloth and sometimes quilt it.  I explain what I do with respect to the traditional quilt world and qualify that I make contemporary art. When describe what Fiber Art is the terminology has to be specific; however, many times I am looking at an expression of confusion. The progression from traditional quilts (blankets) to current day contemporary (fiber) art is at a snails pace.

I researched this topic and found a detailed report on the difference of these two terms: TEXTILE ART and FIBER ART

What I was not aware of until I read it was the regional definitions. In the UK artists that make art with fabric or cloth refer to this as: art textiles

In an article titled Defining a Movement by textile writer Jessica Hemmings 

Fiber art is seen as an American term; art textiles a British one. Are these terms useful? Dated? This snapshot reveals some of the deeper issues surrounding perceptions and directions within the field.

When Fiberarts asked me to investigate the use of fiber art and art textiles I was, at first glance, tempted to assume that fiber art is simply the American equivalent for what the British, and some Australians, call art textiles. But as I found when I began to question various individuals whose disciplines help define the terms—art historians, curators, educators, and makers—things are in fact far more complicated than a quibble between British and American language preferences.

Continue reading the complete article here

I agree with Jessica, Fiber Art is a movement.

Further research led me to a rather in-depth twenty page report titled: The Descriptive Challenges of Fiber Art by Lois F. Lunin


Fiber art is both a new and an old art form. “The use of fibrous

materials as a medium for art works is not new; woven, knitted,

printed, and otherwise treated materials have long appeared in the

history of mankind” (Henning, 1977). Traditionally, however, they

appeared as functional objects. The term fiber art, sometimes called

art fabric, was introduced after World War I1 to characterize new

art developments in textiles. This article deals only with the fiber

art developments since World War I1 and the challenges presented

in describing that art for inclusion in text and image databases.

A movement…..I like knowing this. Next time I am asked what it is that I do, what kind of art I make, what kind of an artist I am I will include and emphasize that I am a part of a movement, one that is on the move and moving forward.

Are you part of this movement? Do you relate to this?






ETSY shop opened

I finally decided to open an ETSY shop. I had no idea how much work it would be. Between all of the photographs, editing, uploading, describing and more I have spent countless hours attempting to complete the tasks necessary.

ETSY DeborahBabin

Please visit my ETSY shop and see what you think. I appreciate feedback.

I sold a four pieces at the gallery show, I received my check.  The profits are split 50/50. I had art displayed for two years on going and sold none. Now I have boxes of beautiful framed art. It seemed logical to market it where I would get the full price. Mose of the pieces are small scale. Pricing is challenging because people equate size with value. The time invested is indeterminable.  I have a formula for calculating the price and yet I still feel like I am giving my work away. I know what it costs to custom frame art as well. The buyer does not factor that cost in. At any rate, I am giving ETSY a try. I know others who have had success on ETSY and I respect the format.



Opening Night

Twelve of my pieces will be revealed at the opening tonight in a group invitational exhibit.

Location: Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Winslow Way, Bainbridge Island. 6-8p.m. The exhibit will be up for the month of August.

Blue Lagoon (detail)

Dawns Early Light Upon the Sea

Nautilus I

Art displayed on design wall

This photo was taken when the art work was about 3/4ths complete. The finishing touches took much longer than I expected. All of the pieces were mounted to painted stretched canvas except the piece top left shaped like a kimono. That piece is titled REIN (rain in Japanese) and hangs loose from a dowel. I added beads cascading down the side panels to represent rain.

I will post photos of the show right away.

I am so pleased to have this opportunity. I know I have delivered a completely cohesive body of work. I think the work will look dynamic hanging together. The gallery always does amazing things the way they hang and stage the art work. I can’t wait to see it.