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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

Painting Watercolors on Location in Nice, France

Recently I traveled to Nice, France to join a group of ladies for a week of painting watercolors on location. My experience with watercolor ended about 2o years ago. I painted for a few years and never really achieved the level of expertise I desired. I stopped painting when I discovered textile art and I have not painted since. When I heard about this opportunity it appealed to me for a number of reasons. I love Nice, I wanted to meet new people and I thought it would be fun to try painting again especially on location and what a fabulous location it was!

Instead of painting a complete scene we narrowed the focus down to small vignettes on 5×7: paper. This enabled editing and minimizing which took less time (and helped me to not overwork it).

I had a great time. Each day we went to a different town and setting.

The first day we painted at an outdoor antique market, which is held on Mondays. The other days the market has flowers and vegetables. FM_1

Walking around and in between the tables to find interesting items to paint was challenging as some of the vendors were not pleased to have someone blocking the flow; I had to work quick. Several vendors told me to move on. I was surprised that I was able to paint at all. It was very tempting to stop and shop…but there wasn’t enough time. I spotted some beautiful linens that I would have bought for sure and I manage to return the following Monday to shop on my own. There were fabulous things displayed unlike what you would see here in the US. I spotted a collection of antique perfume bottles which stayed in my mind. When I got home…I did a search and found some to buy on line. I plan to paint these in the future. They are charming and I think they will make excellent subjects.

The ceramic bird was the first item I spotted and quickly started to sketch and paint it.

There were two of them and I quickly bought them and moved on; now I can paint them over and over.

The second item was the vase. It was porcelain delicately detailed with flowers and very intricate metal work for the stand. The third item was the perfume bottle. The seller came over to see what I was doing. She smiled and seemed pleased so I could stay longer at that spot. I wrote the name Caline on it, as this is the name of one I have and bought in Nice many years ago ( I still have the bottle). The fourth item was the  porcelain basket. The handle was made of fragile rope like strands that wove together. The edges had delicate ridges. I really should have bought that one, but it was very fragile. I added a bit of wrought iron that was visible. The name of the market was Cours Saley. antique_market_painting

 

 

The next day we took a train to Ville Franche and walked to the Rothschild estate.

Rothschild_estate

What an amazing place! Everywhere I looked was beautiful. The estate and the grounds were fabulous. I painted from 10:30 till 5 p.m. I spent the first 2 hours painting random flowers.

After a fabulous lunch there, I spent the remaining time painting a collection of features. A rose, a small landscape and a beautiful stone pot. The design on it was very intricate. I simplified it but it still looks intricate. I plan to add something more on the top open space.

rothschild_paintingThe next day was spent at Menton. This was my favorite day. The town is know for citrus and I love anything lemon. I became interested in the shutters which were on every window. They were a similar shades of aqua green. I started to take lots of pictures of shuttered windows.  My painting began with the one window and shutter as I ate lunch at the Le Balico . The building was on a corner and was rounded. The window was on one side of the curve and the shutter opened onto the opposite curved side. This proved to be a challenging perspective. The shadow helped to explain the curve. Next I became fascinated with a stone statue nearby. Menton_statue2

I tried to decide what color stone would be? What colors should I mix to get the effect of stone? This was intriguing. The sun was shining just perfectly from behind and over the shoulders to highlight the details. Later that day I added the all important lemon.

Menton_paintingThe next day was spent on an island off the coast of Canne, Ile Saint Honorat. This island is small and has only a Monastery and vineyards.  A stop at the farmers market in Canne prior provided an opportunity to buy fruit. I decided to paint the fruit; fresh ripe figs and apricots that was the brightest yellow orange ever. The inside of the figs were rich shades of coral red. The view was beautiful. On the walk back to the ferry, I took some fabulous photos of the vineyards and the coast. Both had a wonderful fence with very old and narrow pickets. I knew these scenes would make great subjects to paint. saint-honorant_fruit_painting

The remainder of my stay was spent on the beach. I painted there too. I used photos which was totally different than painting on location. I definitely liked painting on location the best. The elements that come into play add to the experience and make it real.

The main benefit I realized was that painting on location required lots of editing. This is good for me as I tend to over work when working with watercolors….and this is not a good thing.

My stay in Europe spanned 24 days. My travels took me on to Majorca where I found additional subjects to paint. I was inspired and motivated.

Now that I am home, my vision is expanded; I see plenty to paint right here in my yard and nearby. The Seattle area is full of glorious scenery. The component that compelled me to go on this trip was the allure of Nice, which is definitely worth experiencing; however, travel is expensive and has its challenges. My eyes are open now and I see my surroundings in a completely new way. This awakening is great as most of my time is spent in the studio.

I still struggle with the tendency to overwork the painting though. My goal is to overcome this; only time will tell.

I have ideas about painting on location here. It would be fantastic to bring some like minded people together and join me. If you are interested, let me know.

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.

Watercolor Journaling/Mixed Media Course

In my previous post, I described the first watercolor course that Jane LaFazio offered this summer.  Jane is also a quilt artist. She incorporates various mediums to create her work. I love her versatility and enjoy seeing what creative hat she has on from day to day. Following her blog is highly informative and inspirational.

The second course she offered this summer continued the journaling techniques. This course added mixed media. This was very appealing to me. I enjoyed it immensely.

Watercolor is challenging, you can’t control it and you shouldn’t try.

That is my theory. It takes a lot of restraint to NOT try to take control. The medium must flow and create nuances that are unpredictable. This is always a gamble.

Jane offers a relaxed casual approach to painting with watercolor. First, the act of journaling is meant to be quick and not labored. Do a quick sketch, refine it, add some watercolor, add some text, add various elements to bring it together like stamps.

Jane’s use of watercolor borders on illustration and graphic art. She defines the drawings with permanent black ink before painting. This was something new for me. It took some getting used to. Jane also believes in setting up a pane or field around the composition. This is a defined area outlined in ink that links the elements and adds a nice quality.

In the mixed media course she includes a method using tissue paper. Drawings are traced onto the paper and then adhered over an area of the watercolor paper. She introduced new art tools like the TomBow pen. This pen is felt tipped and water soluble.

lesson 2 resized

In this composition I broke the 9×12″ page into sections by drawing several different size and shape frames. The center tray with stones is overlapped by the candle stick and the tray overlaps one of the frames. This creates depth. The pen was fun to use.

 tombo pen_section

This close up shows the stippling I did. The candle stick was aged and had a crunchy texture on the finish. The stippling described this texture well. Then I used the stippling again for the shadow on the tray. The pens come in various colors. I used gray and black.

 One of the lesson’s was to draw one subject nine ways. Varying the scale, the tool, the method.

 

lesson 4 part 1 2nd page resizedlesson 5 page 2 resized

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image on the left shows the first sections. I numbered each one in text. 1. The top left section has a succulent plant defined with ink and no watercolor. 2. The Bottom left section has a hydrangea blossom drawn in pencil, no ink outline and painted with watercolor. 3.The large flower in the center is several branches and blossoms of the hydrangea plant.

In the right image the page is developed further. 4. Top center is an ink drawing of a small cone flower, watercolor background. 5. Top right has another larger cone flower drawn with water soluble pencil. 6. Is mid-left, Tombow pen drawing of a succulent, watercolor background. 7. Top right corner has another hydrangea blossom drawn with ink and painted with watercolor with a book page as background that is also painted with watercolor. 8. Is another succulent plant drawn with ink with faded text from a book page tinted with pale turquoise watercolor. 9. is a very small cone flower located between 2 and 4. which was first traced onto tissue paper and then applied to the watercolor paper with gel medium, then painted with watercolor.

Jane offers art walk tours in Europe. This summer she conducted one in Italy. Next summer she is conducting one in France on the Riviera. As it turns out, my husband and I had planned to be in that region at the same time for our 40th wedding anniversary. So, we will be joining Jane in Nice for a week. She has things planned for husbands too.

I encourage you to check out what she is up to.

http://janelafazio.com

 

 

 

New Updated Menu

I have uploaded all of my artwork. There are now 42 images. This collection is from 2010 to now. In addition, I have updated the menu on the home page. Instead of having one gallery I have created two galleries. The main menu tab is titled:  GALLERIES with two drop down menus below.

 Textile Paintings

and

Mixed Media

The textile paintings are made with various fabrics. The mixed media pieces are made with various materials. Such as: fabric, assorted papers, wire, buttons, beads. In addition various methods are combined. Such as: Painted fabric, painted paper, paper combined with fabric as “paper cloth”, collage, hand stitching, hand embroidery, to name a few.

Each gallery shows eleven thumbnail images on each page in one column. This makes it easier to see each one separately. Click on an image to see the full image.

I think this is a big improvement. I hope you enjoy seeing all of my artwork. Let me know what you think.

 

Up-Cycle-Just Do It

Nancy Crow is currently in my little town conducting a two week workshop. I attended one two years ago. This experience taught me many good things. One was, how much I dislike strip piecing. Nancy’s assignments are complex and the amount of time for each one is limited. The pressure to produce is intense. The first assignment was to strip piece several units of black and white fabric using precise measurements ranging from very narrow to wider. This took me until about 1 p.m. Then we were to create a composition and stitch it. It was due first thing the next morning.

Pieced units

I tried several layouts.

Layout #1

This was very challenging. Most every layout I did looked the same: busy. I finally decided on this one and sewed it together. This was challenging too as some of the seams were very thin. There were a lot of bumpy seams to sew over.

Stitched composition

Honestly, I thought all the compositions looked alike. Way too many black and white bands, boxes and lines.

We continued to make compositions all week. The last assignment was to make a 4’x8′ composition using the units made with various colors of fabric. This next photo shows my final composition along with the black and white composition and several experiments on the design wall.

crow_b_w_others

I did not like the large composition. When I got home I took it completely apart. I was full of emotions from the workshop. It was nothing like I expected. But, I am glad I took it. It made me do a lot of thinking. So that was two years ago. I have not looked at the work I did since. This week a friend of mine took the current workshop and stayed at my home. I told her I had not looked or worked with my pieces that I sewed in the workshop. That I didn’t know what to do with them. She convinced me there was something worthwhile in the stack. She commented that one person made a grocery bag from the black and white composition. Wow! I loved that idea.

UP-CYCLE

While she was attending the workshop, I proceeded to make a bag from the black and white composition. I was very motivated. I first studied it and concluded it needed something.  I layered it with batting and backing and proceeded to quilt it vertically one inch apart using variegated grey and white thread.  Afterwards, I decided the black and white is so stark that paint would tone it down and unite the pieces. So I decided to stamp it with paint.

I pondered the spaces and saw that the white spaces would be perfect for a specific shape, but what? Then it came to me…CROWS; to commemorate my workshop experience.  I loved this idea! I made two stamps, one of a crow and one of an abstract set of bars. I didn’t have black paint so I used India ink. This worked well as it soaked in and created a nice medium grey. I then applied white paint with the bars. The combination of the greys united the surface and muted the harsh black and white spaces. The white paint dried transparent so in some spots I stamped again changing the position. I loved the results.

b_W_paintedThe bars remind me of telephone poles which crows sit on.

b_W_painted_full viewI was very happy with the results. This piece was looking great. Next came more quilting; this took about four hours. I stitched horizontally with black thread going around the crows. Then I stitched vertically again with the variegated thread.

I love to add text by quilting free hand. I decided to add one of Nancy’s comments in red thread:

JUST DO IT

b_w_quilting

Detailed view

The quilting and the paint made this composition come to life.

Now I had to decide what kind of bag to make. The fabric looked sophisticated now so no grocery bag was in mind. Instead I studied bags online and researched in some of my books. I had to make the size of the bag fit the area I had to work with and I wanted the JUST DO IT on the front. I decided upon a 10×19″ finished bag. Most of the crows that were fully stamped wound up on the back.

I worked the next day for about eight hours and finished the bag all except the handle. The lining is a white and tan linen stripe. The next day I decided to add two pockets on the inside in red fabric. I stamped a crow on each one. The perfect final detail.

bag_completed

I am very proud of this bag. It is functional and beautiful.

This project was satisfying and helped me to think of the positives in the workshop. I am grateful for the advice my friend gave me (thanks Barb!).

I took pictures of the construction process and plan to make a tutorial for this bag. I will put a notice when it is available.

 

 

 

 

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