Friday, March 9, 2018

Study in Color and Texture

That's the title of the finished fiber art/mixed media panel I mentioned at the beginning of my last post.  I finally got the stretcher bars, found fabric to mount it on... now to wire it for hanging, and it will go into the Arts Connection Gallery soon.
I think the fabric I chose to mount it on gives it a nice finished look.  This one was a real challenge for me, and more than once I thought to abandon the project.  So glad I continued to go back in, try different things, and worked past my blocks! 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

And even more Mixed Media!

I can't seem to stop!  In my last post, I mentioned wanting to do a piece that is reminiscent of work I have seen by Isobel Moore, a mixed media textile artist from the United Kingdom.  But as I worked on this next piece, I found myself veering off in my own direction. Inspired by both Isobel Moore and Carol Nelson another mixed media artist, I ended up with this:

I haven't framed or mounted it yet - it is not a standard size, so I'm planning to buy stretcher bars, stretch some fabric over them and mount the piece on the fabric.  

After finishing the above piece, I decided to try one using a piece of driftwood and some seed pods I had on hand.  I also had an unpainted canvas, some hand dyed scrim, painted corrugated cardboard, and some other items.  Here's what I came up with:
I had a vague idea of what I hoped to accomplish here, but it came out even better than I had hoped.  One bonus was that I found a piece of rust-dyed lutradur I have had forever... given to me by 
(I forget!) because (I forget!).  But it was a perfect background for the composition.  I did a color wash on the canvas to blend with the colors of the piece, cut the lutradur to fit the canvas, then used matte gel medium to attach the lutradur.  I continued affixing each layer, some with the gel medium, the 3D items with E6000 glue.  Before I glued the driftwood, I used waxed linen to tie the clay bead to it, then glued the driftwood and seed pods.  
Much as I like the first piece in this post, I think the one above is one of my best pieces of wall art in a very long time!  
I see myself spending time walking the trails to scavenge for cast off wood and other organic items, and I also plan to start visiting the junk shops looking for rusty metal things, old fabric, and probably some old books with yellowed pages, or sheet music I can use as the base layer to future compositions.  I think I have found a new obsession!  Stay tuned for more... 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

More fun with mixed media

I finished my first 3 wall hangings, using the same general pattern, but varying colors and combinations of embellishments.  The first 2 are framed and hanging at the Arts Connection Gallery at Flagstaff Mall:
This was the first one, using hand dyed fabric for the background, dyed twigs, torn art paper and painted corrugated cardboard I made last year, fabric beads, dyed cheese cloth (aka scrim), gold braid, ladder yarn, a pipe cleaner wrapped with eyelash yarn, and embroidery floss.  It's 6" by 13", and is framed in a shadow box.

This one had pretty much the same combination of materials, plus I added some washers.  So happy to be using some of the art papers at last!

Yesterday, I finished this one - 9" x 20".  It was a little more difficult, due to the larger size.  Plus, I finally figured out that it would be easier if I would wait until all the hand stitching was done before I added the twigs!
Oh, and I added a "bundle" as a focal point - a piece of dried black walnut, wrapped with scrim, yarn and a couple of beads, plus a couple of dried Coreopsis blooms.

Now that I have found my comfort zone with these, I am going to spend some time creating more embellishments  and see if I can find other ways to use these techniques for future projects.  I would also like to try and incorporate some machine stitching into my pieces, ala Isobel Moore, whose work I really admire.  Sadly, she has nothing published about her techniques, so I will just have to play and see if I can use her work as inspiration.  So the journey continues with no end in sight!  Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Adventures in Mixed Media

I shared in my last post about some of the mixed media techniques I have begun to explore.  I am continuing my explorations, and think this year I will finally make enough progress to be able to use the techniques in my art. 
I ordered a wonderful DVD by Carol Nelson, "New Approaches to Mixed Media Materials", and really love what I have learned so far!  I'm sure I will watch it again many times as I try the different techniques she demonstrates, and hope to have some examples to show here soon.
While I was waiting for the DVD to arrive, I browsed my bookshelves and discovered I had a Cloth Paper Scissors Book "Techniques and Inspiration for Creating Mixed-Media Art" by Barbara Delaney.  As I flipped through it, I found an article "Paper Collage Quilts" by Annette Morgan, and rediscovered a section I found inspiring when I first read the book, giving ideas and instruction on making a long panel using fabric, torn paper, dyed sticks, and hand stitching.  I was ready to give it a try, using painted papers I did last year, along with some twigs from the yard that I dyed, some paper and fabric beads, painted corrugated cardboard and stitched embellishments.  Here is my first one:

I hope to find a shadow box to display it in.  The finished panel is about 5 1/2" by 13", which is small, but it is a great size for trying the technique out.  I have another one partly completed:

It's a challenge to decide how to embellish in a way that will add to the visual interest, but also enjoyable as I see the piece change and become more of a piece of art.  
I look forward to continuing my journey, and will add more posts as I continue learning these wonderful new techniques!  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Playing with other mediums

Seems like I'm right back where I was a year ago - playing outside the box!  I've been working with fiber in one form or another for years... my comfort zone.  But I keep trying to expand my horizons, and the first part of the year seems to be my time to do that.  After another successful year selling at the Arts Connection Gallery in Flagstaff, I know that the next few months will be a slow time for sales... perfect opportunity to dabble, play, experiment with new things.  So this year, so far my dabbling has returned to mixed media, specifically air dried clay and composition using various mediums - cardboard, spackling paste, tyvek among others.  Here are a few pix of what I've done so far:

 I started with a piece of corrugated cardboard, coated with gesso, then added texture with spackling paste.

Here are a couple of shapes I made with terra cotta colored air dry clay.  I've done a little with this medium before, but really want to improve my skills... I can see several ways I would like to use it in my art, and it is far easier to use than regular kiln-fired clay.
Tyvek is another material I have been interested in for several years.  I have experimented with envelopes so far, but ordered a pack of tyvek to really delve into using it.  Here, I painted a few pieces, then manipulated it using my heat gun and teflon ironing sheets.
Here, I'm starting to play with some arrangements on the cardboard.  I plan to paint over the surface first, but wanted to start "what-iffing" with exposed cardboard, dyed cheese cloth, newspaper and my clay medallion.  Stay tuned for further developments!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

New projects to end the year and 2017 in review

I'm always on the lookout for new things to try, and recently I added two new items to my inventory, just in time for the Holiday shopping season.  The first one, Mug Rugs, was an easy one to turn out, and makes a wonderful Stocking Stuffer or small gift for a co-worker, child's teacher, etc.

These took about 15-20 minutes to make. Once I determined the length of cord I needed, and cut my strips of fabric, they were a cinch to make.  And they have been selling in the gallery like little hot-cakes!  Guess they will be a perennial item in my inventory from now on.

Another item I just started creating is 5-strand necklaces made from Ladder or Trellis ribbon yarn.  And in the case of the one below, I added some eyelash yarn.  These are adjustable length, with a bead in the back which slides up and down to make the adjustment.

Here is one where all 5 strands are the same length.  These are made by single crocheting each strand separately, then knotting the strands together on either side with a 9" tail on the ends of each strand.  Not shown is the bead in back, which I fed the tails thru then knotted close to the end of the tails.

I'm looking forward to making more of these, and experimenting with variations.  The Ladder yarn comes in many colors (mostly available on-line now), and I have assembled quite a collection to play with.

This has been a very creative, prosperous year for me, with great sales at the gallery.  I am looking forward to another year of happy creating, and want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here's a little slideshow of my year:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Holiday display and Bowl class

It's been another busy month here as usual!  I've been busy getting my holiday shopping stock beefed up and into the gallery:
Pictured here, an array of my Fringed Cut Velvet shawls and scarves.  I also added a table in my regular booth space to display my Covered Notepads and Journals.  No time yet to get a picture of that.  I also have a full rack of my tie-dye shirts, Jackets and Skirts, as well as a selection of my coiled fabric bowls.

Speaking of my bowls, I was approached recently by some gals who wanted to know if I teach classes in coiled bowl making.  I have wanted to do one for awhile, so I got their e-mail info and contacted our local quilt store.  I have 2 class dates set up for next spring, and already have 6 people interested in taking the class... woo-hoo! 

And if all this weren't enough to keep me busy, I've been doing some batik/ice dyed shirts:

Other than that, I haven't been doing a thing (she said, tongue in cheek!).  Hard to believe 2017 is almost over, but it's been a very busy and successful year for me so far... lots to be thankful for!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!