Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sneak peek

I have been working on a project for... it seems like a month now, but it could have been less. I have lost track of time! It's a complex piece which uses several techniques, and it is becoming a little difficult. However, if I can stick with it, I am in hopes it will prove to be worth the time and effort. I swore I wasn't going to post any pictures until it was done, but thought maybe a sneak peek wouldn't hurt! So here it is:

This portion of the piece depicts the house I lived in for 16 years in Southern Calif. It is a small California Bungalo built in the 20's, and I always loved the charm and hominess of it. There are 3 other scenes in the overall piece - a snapshot of Nasturtiums growing through a picket fence, a shot of the living room looking at a fire in the stone-faced fireplace, and a picture of my favorite cat, an orange tabby. I will post another picture when the piece is done, but for now this will have to do...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another experiment

I decided to do another art cloth using DVD's and Clamps to resist the dye. This time, after first using LWI to lay on the first colors - lemon yellow, medium orange and scarlet - I dried the fabric, then pressed, accordion folded and applied the DVD's and clamps. Then, instead of applying the black dye using LWI, I decided to apply thickened dye with a squeeze bottle. I began to apply the black, then realized I had not soda soaked the fabric first! So, in the interest of finding out what would happen, I finished applying the black dye, let the piece sit for an hour, then sprayed on soda ash. After letting the soda ash soak in for another hour, I washed the fabric. To my surprise, not only didn't the black dye wash out, but I think it came out better than the first piece where I used LWI to apply the black! Here is the new piece:

Here is a closeup of the middle rows:

If you look closely, you might see what resembles Hibiscus flowers... another 'happy accident'! I will no doubt be doing more pieces using this method, and I am convinced that no two will look alike! Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My latest experiment

Somewhere in cyberspace, I recently saw a picture of an art cloth where the artist dyed fabric with bright, warm colors, then folded and clamped using DVD's as a resist, then overdyed with black. I can't for the life of me find where that site is, but I did my own experiment of the technique today, and here is the result:

My version did not resist as well as the one I saw, but I still like the results, and plan to play with this method some more. The one I saw retained the bright colors in the circles, whereas mine absorbed some of the black and left very little of the original colors untouched. Still, it came out with good markings, and a nice color range.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Done! (sigh...)

Well, I finally finished the leaf piece! I have decided to call it 'Fallen leaves on the lake', which is what it is. I had no idea when I started this piece how much detail work would be required, but all in all, I am satisfied with the results. The only thing left is to prepare it for hanging, and I'm not sure yet which method I will be using. But here it is:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Reflections, projections

Happy new year to you all! I don't know about anyone else out there, but I have had a really fabulous year, starting with the class I took in July from Melly Testa. I had been in a creative rut for a long time, and her class blasted me out of the rut and gave me the tools to find whole new vistas, creatively speaking. Then a couple of months later, I met Linda, who has become a wonderful friend. She inspires me greatly with her beautiful artistic creations, and encourages me to grow in many different directions, creatively. She is teaching me to watercolor, I am teaching her to dye fabric, and we have great fun whenever we get together.

So now we are in 2008. I have set myself some ambitious goals, one of which is to create an art quilt to submit to Quilting Arts' Calendar contest. I have a little over 60 days to complete it and get it in the mail... So far, I have a preliminary design, but haven't got much further. I am also working on putting together several pieces to show and (hopefully!) sell at our local Artists' Marketplace in May. I have one finished, one almost complete, and just started one. My goal is to have at least 6 completed, so I'm well on my way to achieving that goal.

I plan to attend at least one class of the Surface Design Symposium this summer, and may submit a piece for the participants' exhibit. What I am trying to do this year is get over the fear of exposure, i.e., put my work out there where others can see it! This blog has helped me to work on my rejection issues, but I need to go further and I have some great encouragement in my friend, Linda. She has been selling her art for some time, and is helping me to believe in my abilities. I am on the brink of realizing a lifetime dream, and it's really scary, but exhilirating as well.

Alright, enough with the words! I will close with a picture of the cityscape I painted many years ago, which is the design I hope to translate into fiber this month:

Stay tuned, and I will post pix of the art quilt when I have completed it!