Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Deidre Adams blog

I had the pleasure of meeting Deidre Adams this summer while in Cleveland for the taping of segments for Season 7 of Quilting Arts TV.  I am a great admirer of Deidre's work.
Today, I am honored to have my work featured on her blog.  Please stop by for a visit!

Join me for some Haute Holiday fun!

I bought myself a treat for the holidays!  No, it isn't fruitcake:  it is Alisa Burke's "Haute Holidays" online course.  I love Alisa as much as I love her work.  This looked like something fun and funky to play around with during the holidays.  After I meet all my project deadlines and teach my 2-day free motion quilting class at Creative Sewing Center, I intend to gift myself with some "serious" studio play time.  Hit the link on Alisa's name and pop over to her blog.  You'll be glad you did!
Picture 2

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Making Encaustic medium and paint

I spent the day learning to make encaustic medium and varying opacities of paint at Michelle Belto's home-studio.  I appreciate how meticulous she is about safety.  Encaustic work has to be carefully monitored in terms of paint temperature, ventilation, and being safe when mixing powdered pigments.  These are things that surface design artists should be aware of, too.  I know too many people who have developed extreme sensitivities to chemicals after years of working with them in less-than-optimum circumstances.

As part of the day-long "Essentials" workshop the students were provided with chunks of primary colors and white.  We created other shades of paint by mixing the colors and adding varying concentrations of them to medium.  I learned how to test for opacity, add mica for an iridescent quality to powder pigments prior to mixing with medium, and learned that artist oil paint can be used to create encaustic paint by leaching as much linseed oil as possible from the oil paint before adding to encaustic medium.
We poured the paints into silicone candy molds and allowed them to set.  The other student and I shared our colors, though (strangely) we were mixing similar colors without knowing it!
 grinding damar resin before adding to beeswax.  Ratio:  5 parts wax to 1 part resin
 mixing paint color on the griddle, adding to medium
 After wax and damar has melted it must be filtered to remove the inclusions in the resin
 pouring paint into molds
 Michelle Belto grinds pigment, adds just enough linseed oil to bind the pigment,
and then adds the mixture to medium
 a small, quick little painting on birch board
 clockwise from top left:  2 cakes of medium, student-created paint bars in varying
opacities (some with mica-added), and beginning palette of encaustic pigment bars in can
 a sample piece of varying textures (created in 2009)
on birch board
 mixed-media collage using leaves, an old calendar, and wax
on birch board (2009)
encaustic on birch board (2009)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Garden inspiration and color

I spent some time wandering in my garden this afternoon.  Many things bloom again after enduring the heat of summer.  It was a gorgeous clear day:  perfect for meandering outside and taking photos!
I love the shadows cast by the live oaks

 purple coneflower
 Shrimp plant
ground cover on the rocks
For reasons that escape me, the lavender is blooming again!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Honor of my amazing friend, Karen, on her birthday

Today is the birthday of my amazing friend, Karen.  She posted this Jana Stanfield video on her facebook page.  Until I watched it I was unaware that SHE is in the video!  Please take a moment to watch:

Artistic construction license

I'm participating in a collaborative project involving houses, or buildings.  This project is very exciting, and challenging.  Since I have been obsessed with gritty, industrial colors/shapes/images of late, I decided I want to build a warehouse/loft.  I'm still working on the roof, and trying to decide about if (or how!) to create windows that swing open at the base (how the heck to wedge them open:   tiny pieces of velcro and a small toothpick covered in felt??).  Welcome to my obsessive little world.
Here are some images of the "cloth-siding" of the building.  The siding is constructed of dyed facial cloths fused to lutradur.  The stitching was done prior to fusing the piece to peltex for stiffening, then it was quilted to the peltex prior to cutting.  More images to follow, but here is the stitched lutradur.  I like the back of the piece nearly as much as the front!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shibori Pole-wrapped cloth using string

This piece of cloth is part of a round robin exchange from the complex cloth list.  I received this piece of cotton broadcloth, already quite saturated with blue procionMX dye.  I had doubts about how well an additional dye process would work, and frankly, considered discharging the cloth prior to over-dyeing it.
After all is said and done, the cloth wasn't significantly altered from the over-dyeing, but it looks okay.
Take a look:
cloth is rolled onto the pvc, then wrapped with string and "scrunched".

the wrapped cloth is lowered into the dye bath (equal parts chartreuse and olive green)

soda ash is added and mixed into the solution

6 hours later, the cloth is removed from the dye bath

string removed, cloth unrolled from the pvc pipe, the cloth has a lovely scrunched look

finished and dried, the cloth has a subtle striation of green throughout

Organizing Show Entry information

I'm re-printing this with permission from Liz Copeland, who mentioned her system for organizing show entries on the SAQA yahoo list.  Thank you so much for sharing, Liz!  This is an idea I will be adopting for my personal use.
Here is her blog post:

Shows - entry tracking system

Today, I'm going to talk about how I track shows I want to enter and make sure I don't miss the deadlines. My daughter, who has worked as a business manager/accountant for some artists in the Bellingham area, helped me set up the system and I have to say, it is working wonderfully for me. This year, one of my goals is to apply to at least one show a month, and with this system, I am doing well at organizing the show info, the dates and tracking how I'm doing with them.

Here's my little box, next to my computer, surrounded by the clutter on my desk. I have a three bin wall holder that I will put up in the new place, but this works for now. So, what's the magic? I use erasable labels on the file folders, that's the first step. When I hear about a show I'm interested in, I print out the prospectus, write the name of the show and the date I have to do something by on the label. Note: if the deadline is a receive by date, the date I write down is a week earlier so I'm taking action in time for it to get there. Then I put it in the box in chronological order. Usually, I'll write a little note on the first page of the prospectus saying which pieces I'm thinking of submitting. If I'm going to do a piece just for the show, I put a to-do item in my studio grasscatcher notebook (visible in the foreground on the desk). Then, once a week or so, I look at the next couple of weeks to see what deadlines are coming up, and I mentally plan out what I'm submitting. Once I hear back from the show, assuming I've been accepted, I erase the date on the file folder and put the ship date on it, then refile it in the box in the right place for the new date.

I'm not yet entered in so many things that I need a system to track which pieces are going where, but that's the next step. Right now, I use my inventory sheet, the long printed pages sticking up from the file folder box. It's a word document with a table, done as 8.5 x 14 size paper in landscape mode, with columns for Title, Date finished, ID#, Type of work, medium (I'm doing both paper and fabric nowadays), Height, Width, Price, Shows, Date photographed, and date posted to my webpage. For now, scanning down the Shows column is sufficient to make sure I don't double enter something. I pencil in a name on my hard copy when I submit it and do it in ink when a piece is accepted.

This seems so simple now that I'm explaining it, but it's such a delight to feel completely on top of all of this. And it takes only a couple of minutes of my time to add a show to my entry list. I share this because it's made such a difference for me and I hope it can help some others get on top of the whole show submission cycle.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Beautiful ceramics

One of the many pleasures of spending a weekend in Rocheport, Missouri, last month was the discovery of Shirahaze Gallery and the work of Yukari Kashihara.  I fell in love with her aesthetic, and decided to order a sugar bowl to coordinate with a small creamer.  She emailed me that the bowl is ready, so I am looking forward to the arrival of my new pieces very soon.  Please stop by her website and take a look at her unique work.   She is a lovely, charming young artist.  Please tell her I sent you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Paper & Encaustic

I am participating in a workshop that is "beta-testing" the manuscript for an upcoming book.
I was an ideal subject because I know nothing about paper-making, and only slightly more about encaustic.  The process of learning about these techniques has been really interesting.  My skill sets are crude, at best, but I see all sorts of possibilities.
Here are a few of my rudimentary experiments:
thick hand-made paper painted with encaustic medium, white encaustic paint, 
then inlaid with black and raw sienna encaustic

Handmade paper wrapped on birch board, burned,
collaged, painted with several layers of encaustic paint

Handmade paper, pulp-painted, wrapped on birch board,
layered with encaustic medium, inlaid with black and turquoise encaustic paint

encaustic medium as is cools in the pan

ribbons of encaustic paint removed from my pieces

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Poem

My lovely friend, Martha K. Grant, is both gifted fiber artist and poet.  She sent me two poems honoring Veteran's Day and one of them resonated with me.  I am posting it here, with her permission.  It seems we all have a personal battle, or challenge, to contend with.  Perhaps this will speak to you as much as it did to me.

The War Is Over 

Today in a fit of determination
and self-confidence, you delare
the inner war over, the forces
waging mayhem and confusion
in your psyche now cajoled
into surrender—

the battle lines having become
increasingly blurred over time,
it was impossible to tell
who the opponent was,
whose side anyone was on
any more.

The warriors have fallen
to the ground in a heap
of exhaustion and relief,
grateful for that white flag
you’re waving in the distance,
that lone bugler on the hillside,
sounding taps.

Relaxing into this respite,
they feel their bruised limbs
for injuries, reach into pockets
for the wallet
with a photo
from home. 

                 Martha K. Grant, printed with  permission

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"ONE" Fundraising Event!

Sponsored by Fiberart For A Cause

Please mark your calendars to participate in this event!  I'm honored to be an ongoing participant in FFAC events.  Since its inception, FFAC artist-participants have raised over $205,000, and 100% of the funds are contributed to the American Cancer Society.


What a thrill:  my piece, "Heartland:  A Scattered Landscape", has been sold to an architectural firm.  I'm very honored that this work was chosen.  Since my father was an architect (as well as a structural engineer) I'm especially pleased that it will reside in this type of setting.
Here are images of the piece:
Front of the 2-sided piece
dimensions:  80 inches by 24 inches


detail of front

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Houston Memories

I'm posting a few more fun images from my time in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.  It is always a letdown to wrap another year at festival.  It has come to mean so much more than seeing the amazing quilts:  it is a gathering of the sisterhood of women that have bonded to one another.  Many of these women are far away from one another and, although we are in frequent contact via email and phone, many of us only see each other at festival.  All the more reason to pack as much laughter, conversation, and all-around fun (and the occasional heart-to-heart conversation) into our time together.
I had two photographs juried into "Eye of the Quilter".
The middle image on the left is of my daughter on our patio.

This image is of my youngest daughter while hiking through a forest north of Vancouver BC.

I believe Judy Coates Perez (left) and Melly Testa are imitating squirrels.

The B&W triplets:  l-r Maggie Winfield, Jamie Fingal, and Rachel Parris

This is, hands-down, the best image of loving friends I have ever seen.
Jamie Fingal took this photo.  I think it is very special.

Helen Gregory & Pokey Bolton (Quilting Arts) crack up at the Gala On The Green event.

Dinner in the glass room @ Spencers
L-R:  Michelle Flores, Christine Adams, Rachel Parris, Jamie Fingal, Carol Sinnreich, Frances Holliday Alford, Lesley Riley, Judy Coates Perez, and Melly Testa

Lesley & Melly demonstrate their spoon-skills while Judy looks on.

This sums it up very well!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quilt Show Images from Houston!

My apologies for being slow in loading photos from festival.  I failed to pack my firewire (ugh) which has prevented me from loading the images from my digital onto the laptop.  Melly to the rescue!  Melly wisely carries a card-reader wherever she goes.  I love you, Melly.  Thank you for loaning me the card-reader.
Okay, seriously?  Even the bell guys are laughing!

Beneath The Surface signage for festival.
Thank you, Iris, (attached, inc/Mistyfuse) for your generous sponsorship.

Dinner @ Spencer's in the Hilton America's hotel:
L-R:  moi, Frances Holliday Alford, Judy Coates Perez, Jamie Fingal, Connie Hudson, Alisa Burke
We are sophisticated.
L-R:  Frances Holliday Alford, Lesley Riley, Judy Coates, Perez

Demoing at Open Studio:  I'm laminating mulberry paper to sheer.

Jamie works in Open Studios