I'll be digitally printing this on silk when I am done - can't wait!
In the meantime I'm linking up with Nina Marie's blog for Off the Wall Friday. Head on over there to get a peak at what some other fiber artists are up to.
Because of our antiquated wifi connection it became clear that I would have to upload the video during the night time when no one else was on the internet. So it has taken me several days to remember to do that before heading off to bed. At any rate here it is - a beginner video for sure. But in the spirit of easy going and more personal blog posts I am going to share it with you in the raw. I apologize for the view point of the camera in the first half - you'll see what I mean when you try to look through my right shoulder and arm to see what I am doing! LOL. Also it is verrrrrry long.
To see the original post just scroll below.
The stencils I used in the video are available for purchase through my Etsy shop here.
I decided to use Shiva PaintStiks with one of my stencil designs. I have chosen to use the paint sticks because I am planning to put a lot of imagery on the jacket. If I used textile paint it would surely leave an undesirable hand to the fabric - simply because I would be using so much paint. A smaller application of paint would work just fine. But that isn't what I will be doing.
Looks like my internet is too slow to upload the video during the day when other people need to be online. I'll upload the video tonight just before we all go to bed. In the meantime here are some photos of the finished jacket.
|This is the right front side - Center front opening is along the top edge|
|Full front view|
This is about half of what I dyed. I'll start listing them on Etsy over the next couple of days.
I think it starts happening in the early fall - which would explain why that by the time the new year starts I am already in full swing of my ideas. So it doesn't really feel like a new years resolution - but in actuality it is.
The fall is my favorite time of year. Living here in New England the views are incredible. I have lived here all my life and yet continue to be awestruck each and every year. However it isn't just the colors and the obvious beauty that compels me to love that time of year. I also love when the sky turns a certain color of grey that speaks of winter - when the leaves turn brown and fall away to the ground - the barren trees - and the musty smell of the forest floor.
I always have a little thrill the first time I feel the need to turn the collar up on my jacket and dig my cold bare hands deep into my pockets. I love the first frost and how frisky the dogs are when they come into the warm house after a jaunt around our property. Even as a young teen I saw the coming of winter as a time of reflection - a chance to be still and look inward. It is a gift of rest for those of us whose eyes are like visual sponges - banking in every image we see. I breath a sigh of relief when winter and the snow arrives.
On this past New Years Eve we sent my middle child off to India for a semester abroad.
|My son August on the right with fellow traveler Jesse.|
Also - this past fall my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. This is a journey that of course we had not expected. But it is ours none-the-less. We don't know yet for the future - but with a new medication regime I have a bit of the old person back with me again. For that I am grateful.
Alas, we never really do know of the future - I suppose I am coming into the age bracket where more people will get sick - some will die. Last year a friend/student and fellow art quilter passed just after Christmas. She was in the heat of trying to find her own visual voice. Another friend lost his wife and a new grandbaby has come into the life of yet another. And life goes on - amazing really.
My plans for the new year encompass more teaching and writing and much more art making. I'll be teaching in June at the Michigan League of Hand Weavers Fiber Conference as well as delivering the key note speech. And my new book proposal is out there trying to find a good home.
You can see the stencils here, fat quarters here, and digital downloads here. The selection isn't huge just yet but I'll be adding new items and designs everyday. And of course I will continue to add my hand dyed silk, wearable art and my one-of-a-kind art pillows as well. I am now also offering pillows made from my digitally printed fabric. This particular home decor favorite will be less expensive then the one-of-a-kind versions.
Don't forget you can click on the images for a larger view!
Happy New Year to all of you! May your lives be filled with love, laughter and all things creative!
The background gold fabric is a piece of my hand dyed silk. The wool for the center needle felted panel is from Weeks Dye Works, a wonderful company based in Garner, North Carolina that will soon have me listed as one of its designers. I am proud to use their beautiful hand, over dyed wool fabric fat quarters and pearl cotton embroidery floss.
The quilt now measures approximately 36" square. Not very large - I know. But I am loving it just the same.
|Finished piece titled "Fertility".|
|Needle felted panel.|
|Detail of needle felted area.|
|Detail of needle felted area.|
I'm linking this post to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday. Have a peek at what some other fiber artists have been up to.
Anyway, Jeanne has been a great friend for me. She is an exceptional artist and is a master at dying cloth. You can read her blog here, and visit her web site here.
One of the goals for this blog hop is for artists to talk about their art making process. That is a hard one for me to write about. Only because I don't really know where I begin. I have been making art since I was a very small child and have been lucky that over all these years I never really lacked for inspiration or drive. I feel that I just can't help myself.
Like many artists inspiration is all around me. Sure, it can come from a beautiful sunset and the glorious autumn leaves here in New England. But it also comes from a single twig on the path through my woods, the call of a lone seagull and a random song on the radio. It comes from the ticking of my studio clock late into the dark night, from the color grey, from the fabric I just dyed and the stencils I cut the other day. It comes from the work of other artist be they painter, quilter, song writer or poet.
With my mind and heart heavy with vision and thought I go to the studio and simply work. I make things.
Over the last decade or so I have been making things with fabric - fiber. I am a painter. I am a sewist, a dyer of cloth. I am a collage artist - I make things, then cut them up and put them back together again.
It is a strange and intriguing process. And I know not where it comes from.
Below is what I am working on right now. You definitely need to click on the image for a larger view. As you see it here the piece will measure about 28" x 32".
The process of creating this piece is almost complete. It is at this stage that I can finally see it finished in my mind's eye. However, if I am not careful and become too dedicated to this final vision I might miss something along the way.
Recently I have begun adding needle felting to my art quilts. Through texture and the nuance of tiny bits of wool fiber, I add another dimension to the surface of the piece. The blank spaces on the top and bottom will be filled in with small squares of needle felted imagery.
|This shows one of the needle felted areas.|
|Here it is again. There will be more of these with similar imagery.|
|Needle felted pear. I love how it looks like a pastel drawing!|
That is what happened with this entry from August of this year.
|The two page spread|
Don't forget to click on the images for a larger view.
I think I might have but I just can't help myself.
I love the use of scale in my work. I often talk about it in my classes. Sometimes all a piece needs to finish it off is a few more prints ( such as stencils or stamps) of an image you have already used but in a different scale. You can easily accomplish this by enlarging or reducing your image/design on your home copy machine/printer or on your computer with editing software. I use photoshop but there are so many others you can use! The Silhouette allows me to have multiple sizes of one design with little effort.
Cutting stencils by hand has become increasingly more and more difficult as the years pass on. Those middle aged finger joints just aren't happy any more griping that exacto knife and pressing hard to cut through the stencil plastic. So I always put off cutting them out.
As a result, I have had a growing pile of stencil designs for a while now. So it has been such a treat to see them come alive. Here are a few examples.
|sketch in pencil|
|The traced outlines with a pitt pen.|
|The shapes filled in with a Pitt pen and refined in photoshop.|
|The cut stencils.|
One day I was fooling around with my stamps getting ready for a week long workshop I was about to teach. Before a new workshop I always like to bring something new that I have created, even if it is a workshop I have taught many times.
I have had these stamps for a few years now. I made them out of Craft Foam or sometimes known as Fun Foam, but never really used them. I always thought they were kind of weird. When I made them I was trying to see if one could cut the foam with scissors in a kind of free form method. That part worked out just fine. But I never really liked them. Never even used them!
So I took them out when I was packing up. I had just packed my stamping sketch book, but I hauled it out of the box and grabbed a couple of Ancient Page stamp pads. I love what happened. Sometimes the best things come about when you aren't really taking yourself very seriously.
Anyway they look very retro to me. I can't wait to use them as a new fat quarter design!
Because they are one of a kind and because they utilize my hand painted and dyed fabric, I am referring to them as art pillows. Just the thought of that makes me giggle.
Many/most of the pillows will be made from samples I have created for my classes. It is true that I could just keep them as samples so I wouldn't have to be always making new ones. But I hate dragging around the same samples from one year to the next. For my own excitement, I need to create new samples. An added bonus is that the process of making the samples reconnects me to the technique and helps me formulate the workshop in a new way.
I take pictures of the old samples so I can precent a slide show of samples on my ipad to my students, but the actual physical samples are new and exciting to me. Plus it keeps me pushing my mediums and helps me grow. So I thought making pillows out of the old samples would be a good use, rather then just keeping them in a box on my shelf.
Sometimes I add a bit of embellishment. Sometimes there might be a collection of a certain pattern or print, but they will remain one of a kind.
Here is one I have had for a while now. It is made with one of my batik samples. I had laid out several pieces of fabric to work on at the same time (this is a practice of creating I now do all the time). So I had enough fabric to cover both the front and the back of the pillow, as well as another piece of the batiked fabric I turned into a small and decorative wall hanging/art quilt.
|Covered back with a saw tooth hanger|
|Pillow and wall hanging together.|
This is all reminding me about a teacher I had in art school years ago. He practiced making drums when he was feeling artistically blocked. This way he was still making something that challenged his craftsmanship and the end result brought him a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride. I haven't thought about him for years. But I guess his drums are my pillows. Although I am not feeling particularly blocked! LOL
Here's another pillow. I actually have several of these, but each one is a little different. The front fabric is silk broadcloth. It was part of a failed dye job - a reject! One day I discovered that I actually loved the back side and began working with it again. And because I already have pillows on the brain and the fabric seemed to be more decorative that my version of fine art, I sewed all the pieces into 4 different art pillows. The back fabric is commercially dyed, but one I thought off set the silk beautifully. The stamps are of my creation. Then to make the front and back be more cohesive, I added the touches of applique and discovered the blanket stitch on my domestic machine! Who knew!
|Seam with zipper|
Don't forget to click on the images for a larger and closer view.
Here is the progression of how I painted and sewed them minus photos of the orange and yellow background being painted. I did that with Jacquard Dye-na-flow paints in yellow, bright orange and salmon applied with a spray bottle on wet white cotton.
|I started stamping with Jacquard Lumiere Pearl Turquoise.|
|My cat Julian is in the back supervising.|
|I love how the addition of red really makes the piece pop.|
|Then black! This is one of the finished fat quarters. They are all a little bit different.|
|These are the napkins all nicely stitched and folded.|
|I folded over some of the ends here so you can see my mitered corners.|
|All wrapped up!|
Click here to see the sample on Etsy! It is painted on silk, so the result is a bit softer.
I am linking this post up with Off the Wall Friday hosted by Nina Marie Sayer. Head on over to see what some other artists have been up to this past week!
I am back in Ludlow, Vt teaching at the Fletcher Farm Art School. It is definitly starting to feel like home away from home. I have had trouble with my iPad and the internet so I haven't been able to post all week. The little building pictured below is my classroom. I just love it! The other fun thing is that the kids art camp is happening at the same time. With my own kids well on their way to adulthood, I don't get much of an opportunity to see little ones at play. I am pleased to see that jump rope has not gone out of style!
My students are wonderful. As it turns out they are all related. So the classroom dynamic can be very funny!
Today is their 4th day so they are starting to really use all their new tools and techniques. I'll post some of pictures of their work later today. Bye for now!
So a good night's rest and a cup of strong latte this morning has made me clear headed again! I am at the Fletcher Farm Art School in Ludlow, Vt. It is a lovely place to teach. My stamping on fabric class is small so the students are moving at lightening speed! They cut and carved all day yesterday and briefly started painting. Today they can work at their leisure painting and making more stamps.
These classroom spaces are in a very large, old barn. The basket making class is next to ours. They have a large garage type door that opens up one whole side of their classroom. The road is only then yards away. I am fascinated with the view from my classroom door through the barn and across the street.
Breakfast and lunch are included with my lodging here at the farm. I didn't particularly care for yesterday's breakfast, so I headed into town this morning. Don't get me wrong, there wasn't anything wrong with the meal. I am just not much of an eggs and sauage kind of Gal.
At first it looked like Dunkin Donuts might be my only option. But then I discovered an adorable little coffee shop. I had the most srumptious sour cream coffee cake and my lattee. It was perfect! Plus I was totally charmed by the shop.
I'll be back here at the farm for my 5 day Textile Paint Extraviganza class in just a few short weeks.
Have a great day!
I am in Ludlow, Vt right now teaching stamp making for textiles. It is a great place and a great class. But I just can't get my photos to import to mt iPad. So I give up!
I am so tired. So off I go to bed.
I'll post tomorrow after I get home. Hope you are all having agreat weekend. It is simply gorgeous here in Southern New England.