Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Weekend of Art

Ted and I headed up to San Francisco this weekend to immerse ourselves in art.  Our first stop was to Monterey to see this little guy.  He started walking the day after we were there.

In San Francisco we went to the American Craft Council show at Fort Mason.  We've gone to this show for a few years now and always like looking at the work.  My favorites were Lynn Pollard  http://broadwovens.com/indigo.html  where we bought something similar to this

and Ealish Wilson  http://ealishwilson.com

Her work was also at the San Jose Quilt Museum, where we headed next. The Museum's current exhibition is International TECHstyle Art Biennial 3, and it is fabulous.  Here's a link to their Facebook page which shows a few photos  https://www.facebook.com/SJQuiltMuseum.

I was not sure I would like this show, as I'm not a techie, but I loved it. In particular I loved the work by Julie V Garner  http://www.julievgarner.com,   who does woven photos,  Rob Gonsalves and Anna Kristina Goransson, who did a beautiful piece with felt, lights and music, that I could have watched all day

Several of the artists were in attendance, and it was such a pleasure to watch Therese May http://www.theresemay.com present her work. I consider Therese one of the innovators of the art quilt movement, along with Yvonne Porcella and Jean Ray Laury. Therese brought a bag of tricks, pulling samples of her work out and sharing them with us.

My favorite was my friend Paula's work http://paulachung.com

Isn't that amazing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Any Publicity Is Good Publicity, Right?

Wrong.  The good people at ArtQuilt Gallery·NYC let me know that my work would be featured on an episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap", a rather dubious show about well know people's wives trading places and dealing with family issues different than their own.  In this episode, it's the wives of Penn Gillette and Judy Gold.

Penn Jillette's wife took the two teen age boys of Judy Gold to the gallery so they could be exposed to
fiber art.  Here they are looking at my work.

The older of the two boys said he was "bored out of his mind"


Monday, July 28, 2014

Dye Experiments

A few weeks ago, I was reading this blog,  http://magentafreckle.weebly.com  and compared the results with what I've done in the past.  I thought I had checked out every black made by Dharma and ProChem, but somehow I missed Dharma 300.  My main reason for testing them is to see how well they bleach to white, or cream.

 I use the formula I learned in Carol Soderlund's classes, and ended up with 10 color gradations.

As you can see, the 300 bleaches pretty close to the off white I always look for.  It also has some beautiful grays.   The Dharma 39 has nice grays too, but bleaches to this pinky peach color, which is nice, but not what I'm looking for.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Boring but Necessary

A lot of the work I make requires boring, repetitive straight stitching.  This creates the background canvas for the fun part, the actual art part.  To while away the time, I try to come up with how long it takes to stitch one row, or one section, or the whole piece.  This background I'm working on now is 8 feet long, and it takes me two minutes to sew each row.

This background I'm working on now is 8 feet long, and it takes me two minutes to sew each row.  At that pace it will take me 6 hours to finish it.  Of course, I can't stand that much mindlessness, so I take frequent breaks,such as this one, for a quick blog.

I've already started on the art part, and here is a little peek at the hand stitching.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Making Time

My daughter Julie is an artist, using mainly pen and ink and watercolor.  Since she has a full time day job and a ten month old, she doesn't have much time to create.  Whenever she comes to visit, we try to set aside some time to make art.

She likes to start with a sketch, which she usually brings with her. We then scan the images, print them out and make a thermofax screen from them.  Once she has that, she can take the image home and make lots of prints to paint them with the watercolors.

This time we wanted to see what the image would look like on textured material.  This was a cast off piece I had tried using for something else.  It has a group of french knots on the right side which gave it even more texture.

While mommy played, grandma hugged. It's a pretty good deal.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Encaustic Explorations

I'm continuing to work with encaustics, and figuring out how I can incorporate them into my fiber work.   I started out with sheer fabrics, like organza, and while I like the translucent quality, I haven't been able to put wax on it without the wax looking blobby and streaky, not the look I'm aiming for.   I've been spending a lot of time on in vitro fertilization, and the picture below is of an embryo beginning to multiply.

I'm already interpreting it in fiber, but I wanted to see what I could do with encaustic.  I stitched the fabric to the wool batting, shrunk it, then applied the wax.  At first I molded it into flower like shapes, but they looked too flower like, so I flattened them out a bit.

 The background is just plain black, but I think I will use my wool batting/shrinking technique on it too.  I'm thinking I can add some hand stitching if I need it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How I Work

I know I've talked about the way I work before, and in the current series I'm working on I have a really good example of that.  This first piece is in the early stages, where I've decided what I want to do, but haven't finished deciding how I want to do it.  I've dyed the fabric black, then bleached out what I want.  If I leave large black areas in the piece, such as this one, I usually go back in and overdye the black,  because it often looks dark green or navy after the first dye.  This will sit on my design wall for a few days while I think about the next step.

Sometimes I will add in color before I stitch it, sometimes I wait until it has shrunk up a bit after washing to add the color.  It depends if I want a more solid look or not.  On the piece below, I am stitching first, then I'll wash it and thick about what I want to do next.

This is a piece I'm in the middle of stitching. My design wall is over to the right and I spend a lot of time glancing at it during the day.  Mindless row stitching gives me time to think about what I want to do with the other pieces I'm working on.

The piece below is done with the machine stitching, and after washing it a few times to shrink it, I added some color with fabric paint.  Now I'm doing some hand stitching, and thinking about how I want to finish it. The top two pieces and this piece are part of a series within a series, from the body parts http://aviewwithin.wordpress.com, I'm working on a mini series about in vitro fertilization.

This last piece is done, and I'm applying the backing and sleeve.  I never used to do the back and sleeve until something was accepted into an exhibit, but I really find it boring and hate doing several at once.

So there you have it.  Five pieces in various stages of making.  I don't always have this many pieces going at one time, but I rarely have less than three.  I think I make better art when my mind can shift around from process to process.