Sunday, February 27, 2011

Canvas Accordion Book!

This book was created from a section of grafitti-style painting on both gessoed and ungessoed canvas and subsequently embellished with a variety of items.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sheer Imagination: A 2-day lamination workshop

Jamie Fingal and I will be teaching a 2-day workshop in Costa Mesa at CREATE! retreat.  Our workshop is featured in the daily Cloth Paper Scissors email blast:

Sheer Imagination

Spacer 10x10 pixelsSheer Imagination: A Paper/Cloth Lamination Adventure
Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison
In this 2-day workshop, you will learn to create unique laminated cloth using their own
color copies of any subject you choose (travel, art, cooking, funky imagery, sewing, family,
and text if desired).
We encourage you to create an artwork using a theme and to create your own
mixed media apron.
 Jamie and Leslie will provide a vast variety of tools and materials for you to
experiment with and add unique layers of imagery to your laminated cloth.
Color, design, and free motio machine quilting will be discussed
as everyone will be fusing their laminated images and sewing them down.

This is our interview for CPS CREATE!:

Meet CREATE Instructors Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison
Fingal and Jenison
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1. When did you start creating art individually?
Leslie:  I've been interested in art my entire life. I fell in love with quilt making in 
the late 70s. When my family moved to San Antonio in 1997, I became interested
 in surface design and mixed media, and combining these passions has consumed 
me ever since.
Jamie: I've been making art as long as I can remember, first as a graphic 
artist, then decoupage boxes and suitcase with fabric and paint.
 I made my first quilt in the early 80's, onto art quilting in 2001, and wrote 
a book in 2007.
Now we are team teaching and we bring a variety of strengths to the working 
relationship that compliment one another quite well. We are both passionate 
about what we do and bring fun and laughter to the classroom.

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2. What can students can expect out of your workshop Sheer Imagination 
at CREATE Costa Mesa?
Separately from each other we have been experimenting with laminating paper 
and cloth together. This is a very interesting way to create a unique material 
which can be used for a wide variety of textile, quilt, and mixed media 
work. It is a technique that is not taught very often, because of the many 
supplies that are needed. Since one of us lives locally, we knew it could be done, 
and we are thrilled to offer this 2-day workshop!
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3. Where did you find your inspiration for this workshop?
We felt that we wanted to look beyond the art quilt and create an art apron that 
expresses any theme the student desires. The aprons are totally wearable 
and will be one of a kind works of art that are sewn. 
Jamie has made 3 unique mixed media aprons. I love the symbology 
of the apron as a means of expressing an idea. We have both created 
a number of mixed media pieces using the lamination technique and are 
very excited to share this with our students.
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4. What other hobbies to do enjoy besides making art?
Leslie:  I am an avid photographer, reader, cook, blogger, and gardener. 
I am also a private pilot. 
Jamie: I also enjoy gardening, reading, writing, photography, 
have a few blogs and love to cook.
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5. What are you most excited for at CREATE Costa Mesa?
We love the whole atmosphere of this retreat! The students are really 
enthusiastic and focused, yet we have a blast with them, and we love
 seeing the other instructors, many of whom have become close friends, and 
meeting the new instructors and getting to know them. 
Costa Mesa has a lot to offer CREATE attendees because of the close
 proximity to a wide range of shopping, restaurants, the beach, etc. It is going to be
 a great place for this retreat!! 
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6. What is your favorite memory of CREATE 2010?
That is a tough one to answer because there were so many great memories!
One that stands out for us is that the students and instructors were so inspiring.
One of the best moments for us was seeing the
Student Showcase at the end of the week and looking at the amazing
 things everyone had "CREATE"ed
during the retreat. Truly, it was astonishing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pink chair meets Orange chair

Home Depot spray paint colors aren't very much fun.  I did the best I could, but I think I may need to make a trip to Michaels.  I wanted a coral color and a candy-apple red.  I got red-red, and no coral, and I found some purples that interest me.  I got black, too, thinking I might want to do black and white "checks" around the edge of the table.  I did make some progress:
 meet orange chair
pink chair faints from envy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things with wings

I just returned from a week-long session on color and design composition.  This was session 6, year 5, of an ongoing series taught by Hollis Chatelain.  Although my brain is fried, it is fried in a good way.
I need to struggle with design, composition, value, and color.  I need to be frustrated and filled with self-doubt, at least enough to continue to question and experiment.  I need to push myself.
Does immersing myself in an exploration of these things make my journey as an artist easier?  No.  I think it makes it more complex, more challenging.  I think this is very good.

During the week I recalled a line from the movie, "A League Of Their Own".  Geena Davis' character decides to quit playing baseball because "it just got too hard".  Tom Hanks' character responds, "Of course it is hard.  If it was easy then everybody would do it.  It's the hard that makes it great."  This is a perfect metaphor for making art.

As artists we sometimes get discouraged.  We hit a wall.  We occasionally feel dried up (or is it just me?!).
How do you push yourself as an artist?  What do you do when you hit a roadblock in your work?
I'm interested in these questions and would love to hear from you.

I'll share one exercise from my previous week.  This was one of 33 exercises:  create a series of small studies done in fabric.  The challenge was to create harmony with close values, analogous colors, simple shapes, and horizontals.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pink chair

I've been thinking about repainting my outdoor wrought iron table and chairs in bright colors.  I'm bored with them.  Today I went outside and puttered in the garden, and before I knew it I had primed the 4 chairs and painted one of them (very) bright pink.  Now, I'm trying to decide what colors the other chairs should be.  Should I paint two and two?  Different colors for each?  What color should the table be?
Don't you like how I plan ahead so carefully?!  I wonder what my husband is going to think when he notices this (after 29 years he isn't surprised by much...).
Feedback, please....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ONE turns into a big number today!


It is with great joy that I tell you about the overwhelming success of ONE, the reverse-auction fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  Over $8500 was raised in just over 6 hours, and every cent of it goes to ACS.  This makes me very happy.  I have said it before, but I want to repeat that each piece I contributed to this fundraiser was a "love letter" to a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  This was done in honor of my late mother, who was a breast cancer survivor.  This is for my friends Ellie, Karey, Lynne, Keri, and Peggy:  all survivors who are living fierce lives.  This is in honor of my friend Steve's sister, who just yesterday lost her long-fought battle with cancer.  This is in honor of  my husband's aunt, Ardeth Laake, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009.
Thank you, Virginia Spiegel, for rolling up your sleeves and herding many of us into action.  Over the past several years Fiber Art For a Cause has become one of the leading fundraisers for the American Cancer Society.  I am so honored to have been a part of it from the beginning. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Last Day in Tulum

Here are some parting shots:
Seen in the breakfast buffet

Iguanas are often called "Mayan Chickens".

What is this tree?  Thorns at the base that resemble 
rose thorns, the bark looks like it has been painted green!

a beautiful hibiscus blossom

....and sadly, no origami towel tonight :-(

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Day At Xil Ha

Xil Ha is a natural aquarium located near Tulum.  We visited this place a few years ago and agreed it would be great to return.  Today was spent in the water.  I snorkeled for quite a few hours and saw some amazing things in the water.  Too bad I didn't have an underwater camera or a flip underwater video camera!
Things I saw: many colorful fish, a total of 4 manta rays, one very small and one quite large barracuda, some large parrotfish, and a bunch of conch shells on the floor of the lagoon.  We dove down and picked a few up to examine them (returning them afterward, of course).  Thanks to this maneuver I now have a water-logged ear.  I will be most-grateful when I can hear out of it again.

I love this guy:  he is eating a feather and holding it like a sucker!

Tim makes friends with a Toucan

These guys were making some great music

Our origami towel of the day: a dino (I think)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A little rain must fall....

As we enjoyed our view of the ocean from our perch on the beach we could see a squall line forming a few miles offshore.  Eventually, we had to relocate to the porch, then indoors as the rain splashes started to threaten our electronics. (LOL) It is a lovely sort of torpor that has formed over us:  the feeling you encounter when you are completely, utterly relaxed.  So, what's a little rain?
This year, we have decided to be more selective about our activities.  We have been to this area a number of times so we don't feel quite the pull to see and do everything as we have in the past.  Rather, we are more interested in "just breathing", reading, and such.  Tomorrow we will go to Xil Xa, a sheltered lagoon where we can snorkel.  I'm content to read and draw.
A quick gestural sketch of two women playing beach volleyball.
This was done with graphite pencil (as was the one below), but i forgot my sharpener so 
these are probably the only pencil drawings of the trip :-(

the lifeguard station, and the outer edge of my palm umbrella

palm tree and sailboat.
It rained before I had a chance to work into any of these with watercolor!

I'm fascinated with the symmetry of things on this property:
This is an open-air bar in the resort.  Why so many posts?

I love the rows of palm trees beyond the archway

our towel sculpture for the night:  a peacock!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tulum, Mexico

I am in Tulum, Mexico, for a few days.  My husband's e-team is having an off-site strategic planning session.  We have been in this area before.  It is a welcome change from "winter" in San Antonio.  I think I can hear many of you groaning from this vantage point!  Sorry...
One of my goals during the time I am here is to do some sketching and watercolors.  Just quick little pieces to sort of flex my art muscle.  I need to do more plein air drawing/painting.  I used to do it fairly often and I miss it.
My little clear zipper bag included a small travel-size set of watercolor pan paints, a 5x7 moleskin journal (why didn't I put some absorbent ground or gesso on some of the pages?), a pigma pen, graphite pencil, some Sakura gel pens, and a couple of slightly better watercolor brushes than what is in the tiny little case.

I'll spend more time on making some drawings tomorrow.  I did manage to do one quick little drawing (which isn't great, but it was fun, and I'm not after great here!).  I spent a lot of time listening to the crazy grackles talking and flitting about, the surf, the wind through the palms, and the light chatter of people nearby.  I read most of a good book (ah) and generally had a lovely time, all next to Tim, which made it even better.
Here are a few little shots of the day/evening:
venturing out onto the beach shortly after arrival yesterday

This guy seems to be saying, "Hey you!  You are in my chair!"

towel-as-elephant posing on our bed

my little sketch/watercolor from this afternoon on the beach
(taken in bad incandescent lighting...sorry)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Come Join Us At CREATE! in Costa Mesa California!

CREATE! Cloth Paper Scissors is offering not one, but two, locations in 2011:  Costa Mesa CA in May, and Chicago in August.
Jamie Fingal and I are excited to offer something new in Costa Mesa:
"Sheer Imagination:  A 2-day paper/cloth lamination workshop"

Image in paper
same image, laser-copied, then laminated to sheer, fused and quilted
My apron as "personal armor":  it is all about the journey.
apron detail

Jamie and I have been exploring this method of creating custom imagery on cloth and are excited to have a 2-day workshop to share this method!  In the workshop students will use their own personal imagery to create a mixed-media apron.  Please consider joining us for this workshop on Friday, May 20th, and Saturday, May 21st.  Class registration opens online February 8th.  Sign up here for email updates.