I haven’t blogged for a while. I guess it’s because I haven’t been doing that much. I visited with some friends last week, but I haven’t had much time for artsy stuff, although I do try to keep working steadily for my exhibit in October.
I have all 7 pieces of the “Flow” series now mounted on canvases covered in ash grey cotton. They look very nice. The only work left is to finish the back side of the canvas.
Work on Sticks and Stones #3 is finished. All that is left is to get the hanging slat cut. I have several pieces layered and basted; I’m ready to start the stitching. Sticks and Stones #4 is started. I am studying where I am with at this point and where I want to go with it.
It’s time to get serious about getting work finished. October will be here before we know it. July is almost over. I need to design my postcards for the exhibit so that they can be at the gallery in time for the August gallery stroll. I will only be working a couple of shows this fall and no quilt shows since I will be working on the exhibit.
In other news, I had two textile pieces accepted into the MoFA exhibit that will run during Innovations in Textiles in the St. Louis, MO area this fall. There will be an opening reception in early October at which time I will travel to the area and also go see Quilt National in St. Charles. I can’t wait for that! I wish I had several days to hang around and see all of the exhibits and lectures and demonstrations going on, but this time, duty calls! I’m sure I will be too busy and too nervous to take any more time out. My exhibit has to be hung during the week of October 23.
Scarlet and I have scheduled another play day next week. We are going to work on special Christmas ornaments for the gallery…this should be interesting and fun!
An artist friend of mine from Evansville wanted to come have a play day with me this week. So we decided to make paper cloth. Scarlet had not done that before and I had purchased some new tissue paper that I wanted to experiment with. We had a blast, of course.
This time, instead of just layering random pieces of paper, which would in the end, be covered with a layer of paint and stitch, I chose to make some that were deliberate and thoughtful, of color scheme and contrast in size and patterns. These really did not need paint when they were finished. The only thing I did to them was dry brush some Lumiere metallic paints on them which was caught by the high relief wrinkles from the tissue paper. And that was enough. I love them just as they are.
I’m very pleased with the outcome of both of these smaller pieces. They would make great journal covers, but would have to be mixed with other cloth because of their size. Since I scanned them into the computer, I have digital files…and cotton inkjet sheets to print on! I printed them out on cotton and made small journal covers. I also used a TAP transfer to jazz the covers up a bit.
Some of them have black linings with a black strap and some have brown linings with a brown strap.
If you want to learn how to make paper cloth, there is a tutorial on my sidebar that will give you all the directions for making it. Just scroll down to the Tutorials section.
I love what I do. I love my work. Looking at inventory after the past weekend, I decided I needed to dye a few more scarves and make a few more small bags. I am almost out of the ArtFul cloth zippered bags. And so this a.m. finds me printing cloth. I have 11 ready to stitch!
Killing time waiting for them to dry (actually, I’m taking a break), I was looking at my favorite pages on Facebook and came across something everyone might be interested in. Linda Matthews has gathered 250 free handbag and tote pattern links from across the web all on one page. There are so many cute bags on there! Now I want to make some just for fun. I have added the link permanently to my sidebar under her name, but here it is too. Free patterns for purses and bags.
Yesterday I worked on fabric for my small ArtFul cloth bags. They are the size of a small make-up bag but can be used for other things too. My inventory is getting low. (That’s a good thing! It means I’m selling.) So it’s time to get back to work on them again.
First I pull out pieces of cloth from my ever-swelling stack. For some reason, I always go for the paint rags. As I’m pulling out pieces I pray that I start getting ideas for other designs to layer on them, but nothing was coming Wednesday night. Bleh. When I woke up yesterday morning, however, ideas were coming, so it was time to get to work!
Remember the bird stamps I was making a couple of weeks ago? Well, the birds are finding their way onto these bags.
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!
I get plumb silly with myself when I make an exciting (to me anyway) discovery while I’m doing art. Remember this piece of paper cloth? It was the piece I did the tutorial on (see sidebar link). I am finding this paper/cloth with metallic paint on it notoriously difficult to photograph. It looks like blotches of paint when it really has a nice warm color all over it.
I decided to make a needle case today for a friend of mine out of this paper/cloth. I layered it and quilted leaves and hearts on it. As on the last one I made (see tutorial) I colored in the leaves with Tsukineko Fabrico marker #165 Pine. The ink is transparent which is a wonderful asset because it doesn’t totally cover all those luscious designs on the papers below. The heart quilting could barely be seen. Coloring them posed a greater challenge to me because the garnet and orange markers make a pretty solid look, which was not what I wanted. (To see what I mean, see the Tutorial–one of the needlecases has hearts that are painted with the marker and left to dry.) On a whim, I colored a heart with the Garnet #125 and Autumn Leaf #153, but instead of letting it dry, I smudged it with my finger…PERFECT! I kept doing this to all of the hearts with both colors. Results? A luscious look full of depth…and you can see the hearts but they blend softly and don’t stand out. Something so simple…
I have been running around a lot for the last two months solid, so it is nice to finally be at home without having somewhere to be this weekend. I have been catching up on some cleaning and doing some cooking, for a change of pace, as well as anxiously looking forward to creating some of my own work again.
But in between the cooking and cleaning, under the pretext of “I need to use up this dye”, I have been creating some cloth. It is time to clean up the patio workspace and using up the dye is a way of rewarding myself for it. This is two fat quarters in coordinating shibori patterns.
And another coordinated set of fat quarters…
This one I poured several colors on. The pattern was made by clamping it with small spring clamps that are two inches long. I was totally surprised and delighted with how the patterning came out on it. It was a paint rag and I think it has some metallic paint on it too. I will be making more of this pattern.