Saturday, June 23, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I posted a slightly different picture of this woven paper thingy.  It was made from leftover painted wonder under backing paper and newspaper.  I've continued to work with it and I'm almost done with the completed piece.  I added text using t-shirt transfer paper and then monoprinted a brushstroke effect with pearlized white paint.  Finally I splattered it with more white paint.  After a couple of coats collage pauge I ended up with this really cook graffiti style background.

I just had to take some pictures of this before I started adding elements on top.  Someday (yeah, that) I want to take time to learn more about making art digitally and I think this background could be really cool.  Or I could print it onto fabric and stitch it, or......

I've been super busy in the studio lately.  The ideas just keep on coming.  Its a rare and wonderful state to be in.  Don't get me wrong, each piece goes through its stubborn stage.  Sometimes I spend hours just looking at a piece trying to figure out what it wants me to do next.  A friend of mine once suggested I try working on more than one piece at a time.  I was resistant to that idea because my studio is small and I don't have room for multiple pieces.  In spite of that I decided to try it and it seems to have freed me up in some way.  I'm into the fifth piece in this series that started with the disastrous attempt at making a quilt for a local art show.  I've been challenging myself to work with the same set of fabrics and corresponding paint colors.  Like every artist I have a ton of stuff and like too many people I have a lack of money.  It is an ongoing challenge to try and use what I already have.  My favorite source of art inspiration is other artists.  I spend a lot of time reading books and magazines and perusing art blogs and as a result I'm always finding techniques I want to try.  But all that inspiration means that there is always a reason to keep every last scrap and blob.  You know..... surely I can do something cool with that!  LOL!  At some point this series has to end.  I'm beginning to feel the stirring of boredom with the materials and color scheme.  Not quite done yet, but its coming.  Right now I've got some quilting to do, and I need to go buy a canvas to mount the above piece on and I wanted to try that thing with those scraps, and..........

Sunday, June 10, 2012

40 West Arts Opening Night

Opening night at the new 40 West Arts gallery space was a huge success.  About 300 people attended!  There was a lot of great artwork and a lot of variety.  It was so exciting to see my own work hanging on the walls.  The energy of the show and all the people who attended was so positive.  I was excited to see the work of another fiber artist.  I'm not alone!  Hopefully I will actually get to meet her one of these days.  I went over and hung out for a while on Saturday.  Theoretically I was helping at the welcome desk but really I just sat and talked to people and watched all the activity.  There was a great sense of community going on, with people looking at artwork, standing around talking to each other, introducing one another etc.  I really hope this atmosphere proves to be the norm for this new art district.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stacked Journaling Experiments

I'm working on a project right now that I thought would be interesting with some kind of text so I decided to get out various tools and try Stacked Journaling.  I had some left over copy paper with faint marks on it that I used for practice sheets so you can see some strange marks hidden in there too.  I tried writing with skewers, brushes, pens, Fantastix etc.  My favorites are the one on top of the page above which I did with a long liner brush, and the one in bright blue below which was fabric paint squeezed out of a bottle and then mono printed.
This is probably the only way I'm ever going to like my own handwriting! LOL! Once I got started I realized there are dozens of options to explore.  Not only the materials involved but also trying things like writing in all caps, using long ascenders and descenders or using short ones.  Printing or cursive.  Now I want to experiment with trying to get my SJ onto something that will be very transparent.  I plan to scan in a nice large block and then print it out onto silk organza, tissue paper, t-shirt transfer paper and ink jet transparency.

This isn't great art but it was fun to play and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of looks that came out of it.  I will add these to my art journal so I can refer back to them again. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chaotic Work Table

The thing about working in fiber or collage is that it generates scraps.  Beautiful scraps that I'm always sure I could do something with.  Its the bane of all artists!  I keep getting ideas about using the bits and pieces from the original project that turned into a disaster but left me with all these delectable scraps.  The theory is that I'll use the scraps up but somehow that never seems to work out.  LOL!  I've decided that I need to start making an effort to photograph my work as it progresses, on the off chance that a magazine article idea strikes me.  That way I'll have pictures for how-to articles or something vague like that.  And something to post on this blog.  So I get out the camera and start taking pictures of the piece on my design board.  While I'm in there I decide to take pictures of the incredible mess on my work table.  Actually, it does get worse than this.   I'm a menace to myself in here!  I can't find the sewing needles, or the right paint brush or..... you get the idea.  Not enough space, too much stuff.  And really, when you get into the zone you just aren't thinking about being tidy.  Here I was working on experiments with Stacked Journaling which I learned about from artist Judi Hurwitt.  Check out her work, its gorgeous!  The experiments were a ton of fun.  However, the pictures of the artwork came out incredibly blurry.  Whats the deal?  Same camera, same room, same photographer, and the pictures I came in here to take suck while the "incidental" photos are fine.  Hmph.

Here is a photo of the lovely sewing machine I work with.  My mom can't recall exactly when she bought it but it is approximately 40 years old.  I learned to sew on this machine.  Its a serious work horse, but at this point it kind of lacks finesse.  Unless I win a contest somewhere I'll never be able to afford another machine so I'll probably use this one until one of us dies.

Although this picture doesn't prove it, I kind of looked nice yesterday.  So while I was in a camera happy frame of mind I decided to take some pictures of myself.  Never a good idea!  Nonetheless, bravery is getting the better of me this morning so here I am, red nose and all.  But hey, you can kind of see the little pink jewel on one of my teeth.  Its been there since last August but only one person has ever noticed it.  Enough about me.  There will be more about me later!