Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Back in the gallery

Following our 16th annual Flagstaff Recycled Art Exhibit - another wonderful opportunity for members of our community to display their creativity and ingenuity - our regular Artists' Co-op will re-open tomorrow.  We have many of our regular artists returning along with some new artists, all with wonderful items available for purchase... just in time for Mother's Day, May 13th!
Here are a few shots of my booth display:

I have several mixed media pieces, along with a selection of my coiled fabric bowls and hand dyed scarves.  Not shown, a rack full of hand dyed t-shirts, rayon tunics, dresses, and some skirts.  And there are at least 28 other artists showing their art, so it's definitely worth stopping to see all the wonderful art work!  Arts Connection Gallery is located at the Flagstaff Mall, near J.C. Penney, and the gallery is open Noon - 7 pm, Monday - Saturday, and Noon - 7 pm Sunday.  If you are in Flagstaff, please stop by!   Oh, and just to whet your appetite, here is a picture of a wonderful beaded "Tree Spirit" displayed in the front window, made by my friend Cinde Dalhover, who is a very talented bead artist!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Coiled Bowl Class and "Blue Lady"

I taught my first Coiled Fabric Bowl class yesterday at our local quilt store, Odegaard's Sewing.  I had 7 lovely ladies as my students - one was a self-confessed complete novice to sewing - and they were just great!  We had a four hour class, and I took them through the whole process with some individual coaching where needed.  Here are some shots of the class, and a group shot at the end (one lady had to leave early, but all the others were either finished with their bowl or real close!)

I am teaching the class again May 5, and I hope the next group is as great to work with as these gals were.

On another note, I have been getting back into making "Spirit Dolls", something I began dabbling in about a year ago.  Here are the ones I made last year:

I loved how these came out, but I think I have taken my dolls to a new level with the one I just finished:

I call her "Blue Lady".  One of the things I like is the face, which is one of 3 I bought from Lyn Belisle.  She makes them from clay and they are fired, then painted.  The features are lovely, and the size is a little larger than the ones I made from a mold.  "Blue Lady is about 20" long and 9" wide at the arms.  
Now that I have more wood to work with, and a plethora of fabrics, yarns and other fiber and bead embellishments, I hope to have some sisters for her soon... and they will be on display at the Arts Connection Gallery in the Flagstaff Mall starting in May.  Come by and welcome the ladies!

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!