Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another AMAZING artist!

OK, you know how I LOVE to rust fabric?!?! Well, just check out this amazing artist named Cal Lane. A friend sent me this link and I have to say I was drooling a bit. The art in itself is so wonderful.....but I kept thinking about what fun it would be to put a piece of vinegar soaked fabric on there!!!

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. (click on the first picture that shows up and you can see the series of photos) never ceases to amaze me where you can find art!

Is Abstract a State of Mind????

I'm not really sure but I'm certainly there at the moment. I think it is a break from everything being so exact. I did, however, find out that it is not as easy as it might look at first. But now I'm just having a blast in the studio playing with all kinds of things.

So, I've moved on (for the time being) from flowers to trees. Below are my first two attempts. Didn't start out to do a seasonal thing but fabric would catch my eye and I'd start playing with it. And I've always loved trees anyway so this seems like a good fit. For me, trees (more than flowers) evoke a visceral response. Some make me happy, some make me sad, some bring on a pensive attitude. You get the picture (no pun intended!)

My first tree is Autumn Beckons. The "ground" and "hill" are from a breakdown printing class I did a couple of summers ago. I LOVED the fabric from that class. This, sadly is my last bit of those sad. All the fabrics in this tree are my own hand-dyed fabrics.

Autumn Beckons

The next one could easily be the tree outside my studio window. Except that it is a bright sunny day here today. Still cold and white but at least sunny. This one is called Winter Solitude. It reminds me of one of my favorite Ansel Adams prints of this one tree out in the middle of seemingly nowhere. It seems at the same time to be lonely and content. Strange but there you have it! The background for this piece are hand-dyed grays that I cut into strips and wove together. One has a bluish cast and the other a purple-ish cast. The difference is very subtle but adds a bit of depth and interest instead of just one big gray piece. I think the mottled effect is sort of crystaline and cold feeling. The tree and snow are all from my commercial black and white collection.

You guys know how I feel about Serendipity. Well.......I didn't even realize it until I put the piece up on my design wall to take a photo. There is a shadow of the tree on the left side on the ground that was a natural effect of the hand dyed gray fabric!!! Cool, yes???

Winter Solitude
Have a few more ideas of abstract trees to work on in the coming week! So, check back in later to see what appears!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Congratulations are in order!!!

My friend, Wil, is celebrating her 333rd post!!! If you haven't visited her blog you are in for a treat! Beautiful fabrics and quilts and artwork! Now is a good time to drop by and leave a comment on her 333rd post. She is giving away one of her beautiful snow-dyed pieces of fabric! Since the Netherlands is "enjoying" more snow than thay have had for many years, this is a momentous piece to have since it is made with REAL Dutch snow!! Here is the link to her blog:

Don't forget while you are there to leave a comment to spend a little time browsing around!!!

Congratulations my friend!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This Week I've Been Abstracted!

Previously I have not been one to particularly enjoy abstract art. Although, I do LOVE Georgia O'Keeffe. But I have been looking at quite a few pieces and found that I do like many of them much more than I would ever have thought.

So, I decided to take some play time and give it a try from my perspective. While I don't think Georgia O'Keeffe would feel threatened.................still, they are MY perspective, right??? And just playing for fun.

Here is the results.

Pink Peonies

Dance of the California Poppies

And Flowers is a Burgundy Vase

Next........I'm going to try some TREES!!!!!

Adventures in color and design

A friend posted recently on her blog about a color study she was doing. What fun!! Of course, I had to try it out for myself! I really like Destiny by Waterhouse so I decided to reinterpret that in fabric. (LOL! Now you see why as a rule, I don't do people!)

Then I tried the same fabrics to do an abstract piece. Found that I REALLY like doing abstracts. They are harder than they look. Since there is sometimes not an obvious subject, a lot depends on balance and color.

Now I am in the middle of working on a landscape. A bit abstract. Most of it is just laid out on the fabric at this time. I'm having to walk away from this for a bit. I need a new perspective on it before I make some final decisions on just where it wants to go. It is called "Red Barn in the Sunset".

While I have never ventured into many other genres of art like abstract (although I LOVE Georgia O'Keeffe!!) I am finding that there are many other types of art that I am learning to appreciate! You gotta LOVE the journey!!

A New Addiction!

OK, like I need something else in fabric to be in love with right???Well, some things just can't be helped!!

This is a new technique I had never tried before. First, I take a piece of fabric that is a bit larger than the size I want to finish with. I use MistyFuse to back the whole piece with. THEN I cut it in strips but not quite all the way through at one end. (Looks like really long fringe when I'm done!) Then I take another piece in a color that will compliment the first one and do the same process except I cut it all the way through.

Pin a backing fabric (I used a fairly thin muslin) to a board. I used my 12" squared that is a cutting board on one side and an "ironing" surface on the other. I pin the muslin to the ironing side. Then I pin the "fringe" piece at the top of the board over the muslin.

Then I weave in the contrasting color fabric, being sure to snuggle it up really close to the strip above it. A stilleto is great for this but a toothpick or a pin could work just as well.

Since both pieces are already back with a fusible material, I just iron the whole thing so it is fused together!!

For this piece, I cut the green piece of fabric in straight lines but with varying widths. I cut the gold contrasting fabric in wavy lines. (NOTE: IF you are cutting wavy lines, be sure to keep them in order as you weave them. I did this by not cutting all the way through but leaving about a 1/4 inch still attached. When I was ready for the next strip, it was easy enough to just rip it off and start weaving.

I think it needs something now on top of it.

Have you ever seen some of Vasarely's work?? This kinda reminds me of a few of his pieces.

Here's a link to one in this period of his art.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nurturing Creativity - Week 8

An interesting one today......

Soak It In

The idea is to plan a day (or a week) where you can just be creative in your art. A time where you are not interrupted by a schedule or put in just a few minutes to paint, sew, sculpt or whatever you do. But to really become immersed in it. Give the creative juices time for the trickle to become a torrent!! Sounds awesome!

This would be a tricky one for me. I could probably plan a day where I can MOSTLY be in my studio. I'll try that out and see how it goes. Weekday or weekend??? That is the question. It would have to be a day where lunch could take care of itself. And everyone in the family would have to understand that I (and my studio) are OFF LIMITS!! Wish me luck!!!

Another Inspiring and Interesting Artist

As I have said earlier, one of the things I want to do on my blog is to share with you when I come across other artists in any genre that are inspiring and talented. A friend sent this link to me and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The paragraph below came with the e-mail, not original to me. It helps to understand what the images are about.

This video shows the winner of "Ukraine's Got Talent", Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch. The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about £75,000. She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated. It is replaced by a woman's face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman's face appears. She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier. This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house. In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye. The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million. Kseniya Simonova says: "I find it difficult enough to create art using paper and pencils or paintbrushes, but using sand and fingers is beyond me. The art, especially when the war is used as the subject matter, even brings some audience members to tears. And there's surely no bigger compliment."

If you enjoyed this clip, there are others of her on YouTube. You can search on Kseniya Simonova and find them. I'll have another post about this probably tomorrow. Something that is rattling around in my brain.

Have a WONDERFUL and CREATIVE week!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Still more snow dyeing!!!

Hey! It's Minnesota!! Gotta make fun where you can! Some way to enjoy all the white fluffy stuff we get! Recently I posted some photos to a group I'm of snow all over cars and porches. Titled it: "Art Supplies" AND it is free!!!

I'm experimenting to get some certain effects for a project I'm working on so that is why I'm playing with some of these colors. So far, each color I'm working with I use all by itself. None of the pieces below are from more than one dye color. (OK, before all you Color Bible people jump on me....I don't mean pure colors. Just that I used just one jar of a color dye) But I'm really liking how the non-pure colors separate into component parts. GREAT EFFECT!!

I need a pale golden yellow. Not a bright yellow so I started with Straw. Since this is a fairly light color anyway, I didn't dilute it much to start with.

Straw barely diluted.

Straw barely diluted but with full strength dripped onto a few places in the snow. Not much difference but less white space.

Straw VERY diluted. Doesn't really show up as much on this screen but it really had quite a peachy look.

Now I tried Golden Pineapple. Much better and closer to what I was going for. Again, first the Golden Pineapple diluted.

Then diluted Golden Pineapple with drips of full strength in spots in the snow.

Now I tried Mixing Red. Again, diluted. Difficult to dilute it without getting pink when I really need red. So far this is OK, but I may play with some other colors later in the winter.

Now diluted with full strength dripped on the snow in a few spots.Can't really tell much difference. Just less white space.

No for the really fun ones. This one is a diluted Stormy Gray. Again going for a metallic feel. Didn't get anywhere near that but I do SOOOO love the results!!!

And finally, I'll bet if I didn't tell you the color this started out as you would never guess..........OK, I'll tell you......Cocoa. Not brown a bit but GORGEOUS!!! In my opinion anyway!

OK, so now I'm putting the snow dyeing away for a bit. Taking a break to work on a totally different project I will blog about shortly!!!

Nurturing Creativity - Week 7

OK, this is just downright spooky!! This morning while writing my pages I decided I needed to keep working on getting more of the clutter out of my studio. I even set myself a deadline on certain spots around the studio because on Friday, my husband is going to help me with several small things that need to be taken care of (changing light bulbs, hanging some art pieces, hanging a plaque, etc. All of which require the big ladder!!)

THEN...I picked out my creativity card for this week. Well, actually, it picked itself out. I was shuffling and cutting them and it just jumped out of the stack. Figuring it must be the one, I put the others aside and picked it up. Here it is........

Bare Bones

Declutter to keep from being distracted when creativity is the plan for the day! OK OK!!! Got the message!! So, I'm off to take care of some of those de-cluttering projects!!

One of them is to iron the latest snow dyeing adventures and post pictures of them. My iron is heating up as I type. Those will be posted shortly.

So.........clutter is taking a holiday I guess!! With a little help from yours truly!

Monday, February 8, 2010

So the Snow Continues! And so does the Dyeing!

Gotta love living in Minnesota when you enjoy snow dyeing! I'm one of the few in Minnesota over ??? years of age that actually gets ecstatic when it snows!!! I have always thought of it as making lemonade out of lemons but a friend sent me a quote today (we are expecting 6-9 inches of the beautiful white stuff in the next two days) and I really liked it! Here it is:

Rahm Emanuel says, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” LOL! Works for me! Thanks, Conni!

OK, so another friend did some snow dyeing recently (Hi Becky!) and ended up with some amazing pieces. There were some "white" spots and she was wondering about overdyeing them. I though they looked perfect just the way they were. Haven't heard yet if she overdyed them or not but I decided to do my own experiment. I was doing some snow dyeing for a specific purpose and looking for some more specific results. I snow dyed the pieces (two each) and then overdyed one of each color with the very diluted version of the original color just to see which effect I preferred. Below are the results. Keep in mind that each piece was done in ONLY ONE COLOR. But that is one of the things I love about snow dyeing. The surprise at the end!! For instance in these pieces, I love the way the dye separated into some of its component parts!

First is Dark Green.

Here it is snow dyed

Here it is overdyed with a very diluted Dark Green

Now, so you can better see the effect of the overdyeing and determine which YOU like better I have photographed them side by side. Left is overdyed and right is not.

Now for color number two - Pewter. I'm looking for kind of a "patina on metal" look. Have a few more experiments to try but this is the first one.
Snow dyed with Pewter but not overdyed.

Same color snow dyed and then overdyed with a very diluted Pewter.

And again for comparison, the two pieces side by side. Overdyed on the left and the right is not.

I know I am partial to the NON overdyed ones. But then, it all depends on the look you want! decide just what colors to use with the AMPLE supply of snow I'm going to have now!

Nuturing Creativity - Week 6

OK, now this one I can really get excited about. Just picked it out of the deck and haven't even read the description - just the title.....

Be Open to Adventure

This one HAS to be right up my alley. Gonna go read it and I'll BRB.

OK, taking risks (no problem - LOVE it!) Interesting that it is talking about summoning the courage to try something new! Falls right into line with the new group I participate in on a monthly basis -- Fiber Arts/Mixed Media. They have a group that for 2010 is doing an experiment each month with something you haven't tried but have wanted the excuse to do!! Or something like that. Pretty much my interpretation! Obviously, being February and all, this is only the second month. I have some "toys" I've never played with so perhaps the best thing to do is to just pick one out and PLAYTIME BEGINS!! And what if it is really ugly when I'm done??? That is the wonder of being a Mixed Media artist..........nothing ever goes to waste! It can always be overdyed, painted, cut up, get the idea!

So......LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN (this week will be an easy one!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Other Art

From time to time I receive links to other AWESOME artists - often in other genres. I find them fascinating and figured this is as good a place as any to pass them on.

This link is to a guy who makes models (cars, buildings, etc.) in a setting and it is amazing. At first I thought it was a sham until I let it go through its whole slide show and saw how he set them up. What patience and talent!!!

Hope you enjoy it, too!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nurturing Creativity - Week 5

Today felt exceptionally exciting to me for some reason....something about the beginning of a new month and the beginning of a new week. And I've really been looking forward to seeing which card pops up for this week.

And the winner is.........

Be Taught or Not

To take a class, in person or online is the Be Taught part. I LOVE online classes and take as many as I can. I love learning new techniques or new ideas with techniques I'm already familiar with.

The or Not part is for the self-motivated....learning on your own. I also love that! In fact, this card really fits in right now. I just started studying about Claude Monet. I have a fantastic book of his biography and am enjoying it very much. I've always been partial to the Impressionists and Monet in particular. I did get to see one of the Monet traveling exhibits when it was here several years ago at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Awesome.........truly. So, I guess it must have been a connection that was meant to be. On the first pages of this book is a quote from Monet that says, "Even in my childhood, I could never be made to obey rules..." A man after my own heart!!!! I'm just now to the years when he first returned to Paris. A very interesting man.

And a friend of mine told me about Antoni Gaudi....the Spanish architect whose work (at least all I've seen) is in Barcelona. Intriguing! Very "Middle Earth"

I try to find art and learn about art and artists in many disciplines. It never ceases to amaze me what mediums some people come up with to vent their creativity!

So....never stop learning.....never stop seeing art all around you!