Ruth and Eve

I have two new dolls.  My friend Julia at designs and creates these dolls.  I think they are wonderful, so I purchased one, actually traded for one.  I named this doll Ruth, like the Ruth from the bible.  But this Ruth is a bit jazzier; she wears silk and hand dyed cheesecloth is her head covering and shawl.  She also has some fancy jewels hanging from her arm.

Julia also gave me another doll, one I believe she said was a prototype doll, one made out of a paint rag.  This doll I call Eve.  She’s wearing hardly any clothing, but she does have a big leaf printed on her chest, much like the original Eve might have worn.   She has a big smile on her face too.

Work Day…Seriously!

Yesterday an artist friend drove over to spend the day with me out in my “wet studio”, commonly known as the patio. I have a delicious screened-in place out back 19 feet long by 13 feet wide or so. She was wanting to learn some silk screening techniques so we went at it. We did soy wax designs and blue gel glue designs on the screens. We did paper resist screening and we did deconstructed screening. The “flavors” (dye colors) of the day were: terra cotta, chartreuse, eggplant, and turquoise.

The sun was so hot yesterday that we could literally “bake” the deconstructed designs on the screen in fairly short time. Then, if the dye pooled at all, it took many pulls to get it all out of the screen.  In this photo Julia is contemplating the screen design before printing.

This one made some awesome prints. This is just one of the many.

For patterns, this screen used a latex glove, wide rubber bands (our new love!), and large bubble wrap.  She got a lot of prints off of it and then I also printed to try and get the dried up paint designs off of it.

Here are some of my completed pieces.  These are all fat quarter size.

This one is just about my favorite.  Colors: turquoise and terra cotta, dirty print paste mixed with golden yellow.  Technique:  I used a glue screen.  I’ve been using this one for awhile and the glue is amazingly resilient.  It is breaking down in areas and could be touched up with more glue, but I used it as is.  Curiously, I planned on using a plain screen with no design, but didn’t have any available!  So I was stuck using this one!  I am SO glad I did.  I cut out some freezer paper curlie-q’s to mask out areas.  First printing with the turquoise, let dry a little bit, then I came back with the terra cotta, laid the screen down differently to get this layered, collage look.  I love the layered look, and the screen with glue curlie-q’s  is a perfect background pattern for my larger freezer paper curlie-q’s (I actually didn’t plan that).  At the end of the day, Julia was using a syringe to add some detail designs onto her cloth…I monoprinted the yellow bits that you see off of her golden yellow circles.

This piece: same technique…colors: terra cotta first, then chartreuse.

This one started life as “the dropcloth”.  Using turquoise and chartreuse I screened some of the pattern onto it, then came back later with eggplant and a syringe and outlined some of the curlie-q’s.  Later, as above, I did some monoprinting off of Julia’s circles with the golden yellow.  It needed that color.

This was a white piece of cloth stamped with melted soy wax.  Then it was cracked and I brushed chartreuse and terra cotta dye paint on it…this is the BEFORE picture….and following is the after picture…

The white areas are really white…I expect I will go in with either dye or paint and tone them babies down!

These are a few more pulls off of Julia’s lovely screen.

This one is at the end of the day…it got everything thrown at it.  Julia made a gel glue screen which is the repeated design you see.  I printed it over some stripes and then in the bottom row, we made an interesting find….I laid small bubble wrap under the cloth, then laid the glue screen on top and made a pull.  On the far right is that image…the cloth shows some of the bubble wrap pattern.  The middle image is the most fascinating one.  As I made the first pull with the bubble wrap beneath the cloth, the bubble wrap pattern shows up on the screen.  I removed the bubble wrap, made a print and the middle one is the result.  You only really get one good print using this temporary technique, but there was still a bit of the patterning left in the next pull (the far left print). That was an interesting discovery…I am not sure if I have seen others do that or not.  The random chartreuse pattern that you see is from rolling dye paint onto the pebbly texture of a liner for a paint pan.  The roller picks up that texture and you can print it right off the roller.

It was totally exhausting standing out  on the concrete all day, but we had  a really fun time exploring printing. I kind of want to keep going today…everything is still out there in the patio!

A Week of Working

The title sounds like I have really been working hard, right?  Well, I have, but just not with cloth.  I have been actually cleaning house and washing windows.  I can’t tell you the last time I washed windows….I  had been noticing that the bedroom window was getting a bit “hazy” to see through.  That’s my cue…it’s time.  I didn’t even get them all done, but got about half and the two big sheets of glass we call doors.  I mowed the grass, trimmed the trees in the front so I don’t have to duck when I’m mowing and cleaned the flower bed in preparation for new chips.  In between other household tasks, I have managed to get things sort of “under control”…mmmm…yeh, we’ll see how long that lasts.  I even cleaned and gave a semblance of order to my sewing room…we’ll see how long that lasts too.  I’ve been in there working today, being creative.  I suppose if I would only clean up after myself every time I work in there, it would be easier, but more often than not, I am not DONE with the project, so there it is with the accompanying chaos, waiting until I can come back to it.

Yesterday I took off and went to Paducah, KY.  Yes, the quilt show is over, but I didn’t get to do everything I wanted the day I was down there.  I also decided it was a day for me to go and be inspired by some art exhibits. I visited Hollis Chatelaine’s exhibit, “Imagine Hope“.  It was at the Quilt Museum and it was quite wonderful.  Hollis dye paints all of her images that she uses in her medium and very large quilts.  She is very gifted.  I also found it interesting how she dreams in a certain color and that is the color she will paint the cloth in.  I visited the Yeiser Art Center’s current exhibit.  I could have skipped that one.  There were a few pieces that I appreciated but for the most part, it was made up of drawings and paintings of creatures who were half rabbit and half man.  I didn’t really find any inspiration in that work.  Then I went across the street to see an encaustic exhibit by Gretchen Smith.  I found it VERY inspirational….wonderful work and well worth seeing and reading about her inspiration.  After that I went to visit Helene Davis’ new studio digs.  I had great conversation with her husband Bob and bought a couple of handfuls of his ceramic beads that he made a long time ago.  They will work well with some of my art.

But I will be getting back in the real swing of things this week.  On Thursday an artist friend of mine is coming over to spend the day.  She makes wonderful fiber dolls (see if you want to see her work) and I am “purchasing” one (on her site, 4th row down, middle one in the dyed cheesecloth, that one’s mine), only we are doing it in trade.  She wants to learn some screen printing techniques so that is what we will be doing on Thursday.  But before she gets here, I want to get some scarves printed in case I want to “erase” (wash out) some of my soy wax screens.  I also need to prepare a couple of deconstructed screens for her to play with.  I will prepare those ahead of time to be dry for her to mess around with.  We will have fun.

What else this week?  Well, I have some family members graduating high school at the end of the week…since I probably won’t be making the 3 hour drive home, I will send them cards and money and perhaps that will alleviate their disappointment that I am not there.  I would love to be there, but I have done an awful lot of driving in the last few weeks.  But who knows, I might change my mind and jump in the van and go on Friday.

I received my textile work from the Fiber: 2010 exhibit back.  I am disappointed that it didn’t sell, but I have another show that I can enter it in this summer.  I also got the cd catalog of the show that I am enjoying.

New felt beads made into earrings…I want to call them Jimmy Buffet earrings because of the turquoise and orange colors…very bright and tropical.

Re-Working Art

I love to work with layering, shadowed images and vague impressions.  I like to see what happens when I take a torn piece of fusible web and cover it with a lightly painted dryer sheet, then maybe stamp on it, or take a dryer sheet with a design already stamped on it and layer it over something.  The possibilities are endless.

I started this piece last year or the year before, can’t remember.  It just never came together for me for some reason.  I think I am a person (at least for right now) that is really in to creating patterns, mark making and other ideas that create a foundation, but sometimes I get lost from there.  That’s what happened here.  I was working intuitively and after deciding it needed more “lights”, I stamped over it with various stamps and white gesso and then got lost. I liked the colors, the stamped images, the hand stitching, but it still wasn’t coming together as a whole piece for me.

A couple of weeks ago, preparing for an art fair and contemplating making small pieces of economical art called ACEO’s, I pulled this piece out of the closet.  Armed with a photo mat with a window cut  ACEO size, I began to roam over it.  I began to see all kinds of cool things.  So I promptly cut it up.  Then to each little piece that needed more, I added it.  I think each little piece is now adorable and am very pleased with this experiment.  There are frames on the market now that will will hold 3 of this size together.

Each little piece has a lot to look at…maybe that’s why the larger one wasn’t working…

Lesson Learned

I  made a glue screen a couple of days ago so that I could screen a resist design onto some white cloth.  The last glue screen I made has been used over and over again and the glue is taking FOREVER to break down and disappear.  With the screen I prepared recently I used a paintbrush to “paint” the design on it. I used it and washed the screenprinting ink off of it…and the glue design also came off, even though I was using cool water.  Hmmm?  Ok, the first screen I made I used the glue right out of the bottle tip, no brush, just draw right on the screen with the bottle.  The glue is much thicker this way and that’s the difference.  I’m sad because I wanted a wider line…guess I’ll have to use use soy wax with a brush to get that.

This is white screenprinting ink (with a little bit of leftover turquoise dye from the screen mixed in accidentally).  I am going to roll dye paint over it.  The white ink design will act as a resist, but won’t wash out.  It will show through the dye.

Everything’s Coming Up…Flowers!

My whole yard is in bloom! The peonies were starting when I left on Tuesday…now the bushes are climbing with large flowers.  I failed to get my rosebushes trimmed and now one is making some glorious blossoms.  I don’t really care for the miniature rosebushes because there is no smell even though the flowers are quite nice…but they are also going crazy with blooms…must be all this rain we have had….it’s very windy here today as storms are forecasted for the area.

Arts In Harmony

Arts in Harmony is over for another year.  It was held inside this time due to the threat of thunderstorms.  And I think it worked out pretty well.  There were lots of artists and artisans there, lots of variety of wonderful work.  It wasn’t wildly profitable to me as far as money is concerned, but it wasn’t wildly UN-profitable either!  I added 9 new names to my mailing list for the studio tour. I added to my collection of small pieces of pottery…for some reason I’m into bowls.

Here’s a booth across from me…I don’t know who they were or where they are from, but I did enjoy their large pieces of yard art.

And here is friend Tom of Bee Tree Pottery with some of his most excellent pottery pieces.

I got a new “business card holder” from him. It perfectly matches my business cards and is a lovely little bowl.

And another one I couldn’t pass up…

Oh yeah, I sold 2 pairs of my felt bead earrings.  Not a bad weekend at all.


I also added some small beaded fringe on a couple of corners…a new signature idea.  The lady that bought this loved the bead fringe.

Three screens were used to make these designs.  One was made with blue glue and two were made with soy wax.  Screen designs are easy peasy to make.