Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Texas Federation of Fiber Artists' Exhibition Reception in Kerrville TX

The Hill Country Arts Foundation was the venue for the 2012 juried exhibition for the Texas Federation of Fiber Artists.  Kathyanne White juried an amazing selection of work from artists across the state.  On display was the gambit of all that is fiber:  sculpture, artcloth, quilts, wearables, and more.  A second reception for the exhibition was held on Friday, February 24th, since members were in town to attend the federation conference and workshops.  For a nice recap of Kathyanne's 3-day workshop, please visit Diane Sandlin's blog.
Here are a few images from the reception:
Mary Ann Johnson uses her ipad camera to snap a few images of Susie Monday's quilt

The reception was well-attended!

Two of Jean Dahlgren's amazing artcloth pieces,
Cindy Hickok's award-winning embroidered bag (foreground right)

Rachel Edward's magnificent shoe sculpture

Ivy Jensen poses next to her construction, which is comprised of 
25 years-worth of art reception postcard announcements!
I recognized a few of them!
I want to be like her when I grow up.....

Juror Kathyanne White's amazing textural book resides next to her journal (foreground)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Wonderful Quote from Ira Glass (of 'This American Life' on NPR)

This resonates with me so much.  I posted it on Facebook, but it is worth sharing here, too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mastery Series: Year Seven

Today begins an intense 5-day session in an ongoing mastery series with Hollis Chatelain.  This series is pretty broad-based as we began with three years of drawing, followed by a year of color theory and two years of color-focused design work.  This year, we will be using the information from the previous sessions as it applies to thread and threadwork.  Quite frankly, I have no idea what to expect.  I brought all the solid colored thread I own, which consists of the entire Aurafil Mark Lipinski Collection, Superior Nature colors, Superior Living Colors, Superbrights.  In other words, I could barely see out the windshield of my car as I drove from San Antonio up to New Braunfels.
I think that, no matter what fabric I brought (and I brought enough to fill the entire bottom section of BB, the teaching travel bag) it won't be what I need, but I'm good with that!
My hope is that I increase my skill set in terms of using thread as an important component of the design.
I want to elevate the idea of thread as "paint", and I think there are several ways thread can accomplish that.  So, I'm excited about the coming week.
Being at an off-site environment has made this intensive level of focus possible because we can work as long as we wish, our meals are provided at the facility, and we can walk quickly from our classroom to our lodging:  it is all on the same property which makes it an ideal setting.  This place, the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch, works so well for this that Hollis is beginning another mastery series this fall in the same facility.  No matter where you are located, if this sounds appealing you can contact Hollis, who will refer you to the person who is coordinating that group.
Members of this group come from all over the country for the workshop series.  We have formed a tight bond with one another.  I would compare this series to a college intensive course.  It has been hugely important to me in my development as an artist.  I'll be reporting in from the classroom during the week ahead!

Scenes from last year:

an afternoon critique session
we learn a great deal from one another

a collection of "sketches" in cloth
The two below are mine.
I believe they are related to composition and harmony.
Cloth glued (quickly) to 8.5x11 sheets of paper

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Electric" Garden Color and an amusing sighting

I love these colors in my winter garden.  The stems positively glow when the sunlight hits them.  This is a great color fix! Colored chard and pansies.

 Seen in the parking lot of my neighborhood grocery store:

his little jacket says "Bad To The Bone"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Foto Fiber Fundraiser is Tomorrow!

The time is finally here!

Four Ways to Win with Foto/Fiber 2012

A quick reminder that Foto/Fiber 2012, a fundraiser for the American Cancer
Society, opens tomorrow, February 15, at 10 a.m. Central.

I am honored to be part of this event and hope you will support our efforts.

There are 4 ways to win with this fundraiser - one of which is that 100%
of the funds are donated directly to the American Cancer Society through
Fiberart For A Cause. The other three are detailed here today:

Thank you!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Create A Set of "Ransom Lettering" pages

For those of you who enjoy mixed media, why not take a couple of hours and create a "ransom letter" alphabet file?
Grab some printer paper, glue or double-sided tape, and a stack of old magazines and begin clipping.
I designated a half-page per letter/number, but I may change this in the future.  I figure I can always add to the set.  I cut a batch and made piles on the table, and when I had enough, I stopped and glued.
Once finished, I slid the collection into a clear page protector.  As the collection grows I will separate them into sections, but this is sufficient for the time-being.

Ransom lettering can be an interesting layer on collage, and a set of words can be scanned onto printable cloth.  Try it and see how many ways you can use it!  Have fun!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Foto Fiber 90 Fundraiser for the American Cancer Society

In one week the Foto Fiber 90 Event begins!  Don't miss out!

The FFAC 2012 fundraising event for the American Cancer Society is in one week!  Please stop by Virginia Spiegel's blog to get all the details.  Since the first event we have raised over $200,000, and every cent goes to the American Cancer Society.  
This year Virginia has invited a number of artists to contribute three "bonus packs".  When you make a donation to the ACS you will be gifted with a photo and a bonus pack chosen randomly.  Please stop by 
Virginia's blog for all the details.  The gold donor day is Wednesday, February 15th, so mark your calendar!  Foto-fiber day is Thursday, February 16th.  
Here are the 3 bonus packs I am contributing:

One of these little gems could be yours!
Thank you in advance if you decide to participate.

My mother had breast cancer.  One of my very close friends did battle with breast cancer last year and won! I know far too many people who have fought against this terrible disease.  Let's make a difference!
Stop by Virginia Spiegel's blog and check out the event.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Experimenting with Potato Dextrin

A few years ago I messed around a bit with potato dextrin but gave it up as it seemed a bit too fussy.  I was after crackle, and when I discovered how easily I could achieve crackle with flour paste, I went down that path.  I still love flour paste results, but recently I decided to revisit potato dextrin.  It began as a discussion with a group of surface design artists.  I was interested in experimenting with potato dextrin again to see if I could get it to hold a mark or shape on cloth.
After mixing the dextrin I screened it onto cloth that was tightly pinned to a print surface.  I used two types of cloth:  white silk/cotton Radiance, and black cotton broadcloth.  My first object was a dinner plate, the second was cardboard packing material.
Here are my two cloth samples with the plate used to create the circles.
I used the base on the underside of the plate and the rim to create the marks.

The pins were removed fairly soon after the marks were made
because the dextrin begins to draw in as it dries.

Thickened dye was "pounced" through the crackles once the dextrin was completely dry.
The dye was allowed to batch for 24 hours prior to washing.

The black cotton broadcloth was pounced with bleach gel.
The gel was left on the cloth for approximately 10 minutes, then washed out.

Here is the underside of the cotton broadcloth as the bleach begins to penetrate through the crackle.

A portion of the silk-cotton Radiance after wash-out

Here is the black cotton broadcloth after washout.  

The second experiment used this cardboard packing material to create the marks into the dextrin:

Here is the crackle pattern as the dextrin dries
Here is the result after bleach gel was applied through the resist.

I am very interested and excited about this discovery.  First, I answered my question as to whether the dextrin would "hold a mark" made into it after being spread over cloth.  Second, I am very interested to observe the effect of these marks on the crackle size and pattern over the surface.  

I believe there are a variety of influences on the crackle pattern:  the thickness of the dextrin, the effects of gravity on the cloth (hanging the cloth to dry influences the pattern of cracks), and the size and shape of embedded objects into the glaze of dextrin, which influence the surface tension of the resist.

Another exciting discovery:  potato dextrin is far easier and less messy to remove than flour paste!  This is a big deal in a studio environment, especially one that has old plumbing. 

My experiments will be ongoing, so stay tuned!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pieced House Block with a Twist

The SA Modern Quilt Guild has some sort of block challenge or swap every month.  This month was a funky house block.  These were supposed to be on gray, but I don't follow directions very well (ahem).
In my case, I didn't even LOOK at any directions.  Instead I jumped in and started swimming.
I had so much fun making my blocks I decided to share an idea with you.
I incorporated a little surprise:  a photo behind a zippered opening.

This is a piece of Spoonflower fabric (the photo).
The original photo was taken on my 1st birthday.

I like this idea so much I think I'll work up a few more blocks and put them together.
This one is gone, gone, gone, to Jordan, president of SAMQG, who won the block haul this month!
I had fun making this and will do a better step-out tute soon!

Friday, February 3, 2012

In Memory Of My Father

My dad died on February 3, 1980, at age 58.  I was 25 years old and a freshly minted RN.
It is so strange to realize that my dad has been gone for 32 years.  I had him in my life for such a short time.
Still, I have a lot of memories of my father.  He taught me so many things.

A very physical guy, he taught me to ice skate, ride horses, snow and water ski, sail, and more.
He was an architect and a structural engineer.  He built furniture.  He was a pilot in the navy during WW2 but he rarely talked about it.  He had the voice of an angel.  He sang in a barbershop quartet, a chorus, and always sang in his church choir.  He swore like a pirate.

I think about him every single day.  I wish he had known my husband and daughters.
Some holidays and anniversaries are more difficult than others in reference to my dad, but it is what it is.

I think he would be tickled about how I have lived my life.  I know he would have liked my husband.  There is no doubt he would have been enchanted by his granddaughters.  He would have especially enjoyed their quirky humor.

So, I have a ritual that I use to honor my loved ones on these anniversaries.  It is different for each, but important to me.

Dad (R) with his sister, Maxine
Dad (L) with my uncle Ralph (center) and Maxine
This is a "Lil Rascals" shot!
The Tuckers
L-R: Marjory, Maude (my grandmother), Rex, Roger, Ralph, George (my grandfather), and Maxine
My uncle Roger, like me, is the last member of his family-of-origin.