Monday, April 28, 2008

Collage Mania II

The Patron Preview for Collage Mania II is now open! Virginia Spiegel is again coordinating a fantastic event to benefit the American Cancer Society. So, if you like art and you want ALL of the money you spend on it to go to the American Cancer Society, take a look through the 200+ 8x10 inch collage art on this website.

She has raised over $150,000 already through Fiberart for A Cause. This woman is amazing!

I have two pieces donated to the event. :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bleeding Tissue Paper

My three year old loves playing with bleeding tissue paper. I brought back some of the pieces that Jacque Davis was using to dye fabric at Focus on Fiber. She loves ripping the pieces, cutting them, smashing them down on paper and then spraying them with water or painting them with water. Somehow she is able to come up with much better results than I. She layers on more colors than I think could possibly turn out any better than a huge muddy mess. Puts so much water on that there is a sitting pool of water in the middle of the paper. So, at first I was working on my own and she did her own. Now we do it together, so that I might learn from her free-ness with the process. We have several of these lying around and I've taken to enhancing them with colored pencil. It's great fun and as soothing if not more so than stitching. I love watching to see how different colors react to one another, next to each other, on top of one another, on top of different tissue paper dye colors. Great project for anyone looking to increase their color skills with colored pencil. Here are two different scans of sections of one of mine and Maggie's artwork. I should have taken a before colored pencil photo but of course I didn't.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oops, forgot my photos on that last post

As usual, I'm too lazy (well, really just to busy, takes less time) to take actual photos and am just using my scanner, which means that I only have a portion of some of the items.

The third photo down is a scan of my last piece from my printmaking class. It is a solar plate print from a photograph my husband took of a reflection of a tree. I manipulated it digitally and printed it on a laser transparency and then made the image into a solar plate. Pretty cool process. The first picture is the original photo (credit to Dan McMahill) and the other is after I changed a few settings and made it black and white.

The other two are a small area of the silk square pieces I made in Hellene Vermillions silk painting class. It was a bit hard to get a good scan of silk and to get the colors right. But, good enough for my blog I suppose. Take her class if you can!!

Okay, back from the bus-stop (obviously) and now on to finding gymnastics outfits and a snack before heading out.

See ya!


More Classes Are Coming!

Today has been a good day so far. It started with me getting my son on the bus and then going back to bed (bad habit, staying up too late). Then heading out later to pick up my daughter at the Chattahoochee Nature Center (she takes a nature class with Dad a couple of times a month on Wednesdays). Well, today I decided that she and I should hang around for awhile. We took a walk through all of the plants and learned many things about birds. Turns out Wednesday is the day that homeschooled students are at the center to act as educators about the birds! It was really fun watching the 10-12 year olds give me their speeches about the birds. They were really impressive! From there we went to Borders and read lots of books and magazines. I'd have just enough time to flip through a book or magazine in between Maggie picking out the next Dora or Elmo book for me to read. And, now we are home, ready to head to the bus-stop and then out for gymnastics for the kids. Where I can simultanesouly watch and look through more fun books or work on some stitching.

I've been working on class material for some more classes I'll be teaching and thought I'd share some thoughts on my art teaching experiences so far.

Teaching at Fiber on a Whim in Sandy Springs has gotten off to a really great start. I knew that I liked teaching but now I know that I REALLY, REALLY like it!! It feels almost like a sin to be paid for teaching art, almost. ;)

In April I taught Wet Felted Vessels and the participants made a small pouch (cell phone size) and a bowl. They were worn out from the physicality of the class after 3 hours but all seemed to have a ton of fun.

I also taught Watercolor Crayons on Fabric in April and this class was even more fun. There were a wide variety of comfort levels on using the crayons but by the end of the class all seemed to have fun playing and seeing how wonderful these little jewels can be.

Both classes filled up with waiting lists so the same ones are boing offered again. So if you missed them the first time, now is your opportunity!

Friday, June 13th, Wet Felted Vessels 10-1
Friday, June 27th, Watercolor Crayons on Fabric 10-1

Here is an email quote from a participant in my watercolor class: "This is ... as close to having fun as I can remember doing in my life." I couldn't have asked for a better compliment. I of course want to teach the materials and help students gain some skills and confidence, but giving someone a day of fun, permission to play and also to see themselves as a creative being are my ultimate wish.

To register for classes or for more details go to the Fiber on a Whim page:

And be watching for even more classes!! Sometime this summer or into the fall, I will be teaching Sunprinting, Stamp Carving, Monoprinting and Needle-Felting (by hand and by embellisher machine). There may even be some classes for children or Mommy and Me type classes sometime this summer.

Oh and before I forget, I took Hellene Vermillions Silk Painting class and I had so much fun!!!! I came home with 3 great silk pieces! I highly encourage you to take a class with her. You can find her class info on Fiber on a Whim's site as well and her blog and website there I think too.

Have a great evening! Off to the bus-stop and to gymnastics!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

So Cool!

I found this by searching aruond the Artful Quilters Blog Ring. YOu can generate a palette based on a picture file. Isn't that cool? Here is one the one I tried using my series piece I already posted. Thanks to whoever had this on your blog! I can't remember who it was now.

If you want to try it out for yourself go here:

Be warned, it's a place to try lots of fun things. Total time sink. Grab a cub of tea first.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Working in a Series

I finally have a series! Yes, I work with similar colors and similar imagery very often. But, this time I actually created works all at the same time (well, started them at the same time). It feels really good to have work like this. I'm not exactly sure why just yet.

The pieces are the only ones I was really satisfied with after playing around so much on my retreat. It took several tries but I finally got the hang of a monoprinting technique, or more like a collograph, printing on fabric that I like. I placed objects on a piece of plexiglass to add texture and dimension and then added acrylic paint. I then laid fabric on top to make a print of the image. I then repainted it several times, sometimes moving the objects and sometimes leaving them in place and printed new pieces on fabric each time. I'm now adding stitching. I've completed two. Here is a photo of one. Well, actually, I'm not sure it's done. I'm liking the minimal stitching on them and trying to resist the urge to over do it. I often feel like I take things too far and end up ruining them. But, maybe it needs more. Hhhm. I was listening to NPR the other day and they were interviewing a writer (of course I don't remember who) and discussing how books, or the written word, is a living thing, always changing. For example, they mentioned a famous writer writing 39 different endings to one of his books (before publishing) and then after publication, that it changed again many times with each edition. I wish we had that option with artwork sometimes. Of course, as long as it is in my possession I can change it anytime I think it is needed, even if I thought it was complete before and had made it over a year ago. But, once it leaves my hands, that's it.

This piece is on cotton canvas and has acrylic paint, colored pencil, cotton embroidery floss and painted lutradur. What do you think? Finished? Or not?

The other is being donated to Collage Mania II.

Thanks for looking! What are you doing to feed your creative soul today?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Computer Art

Well, I've mostly settled back into my life. It is so strange to be back in the real world after having a week of no real responsibilities. But, the strangest part is to go from an environment where everyone around you is being creative and is not only not judging or criticizing that you are spending so much time on art but are totally just as enthusiastic as you are. It is total unconditional acceptance, which I guess I don't get enough of in my life. And, it is very rare to have so many people so interested in what you are doing and really GET IT. YOu know what I mean. That is what I miss the most. It's like a little private club and you get glimpses of it when you are around other artist friends, but to be in that environment 24/7 was simply a gift I will treasure forever.

So, I've been stitching like crazy on one of the pieces I worked on at the retreat. It's not new, I painted it over a year ago. I thought it was a flop, mostly turned out kind of a brownish green. BUt, I added lots of colored pencil while in Florida and am now stitching with beautiful embroidery threads. Hopefully it will turn into something I'm satisfied with. For now, I find the stitching completely enthralling and soothing.

I've been playing around with my Corel Draw program a bit the last couple of days (procrastinating other things of course). And, here is one of my drawings after many steps in editing. I think it looks really cool and would make a great fabric art piece. So be watching, this one may reappear. Feedback/critique always appreciated.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Focus on Fiber 2008/Atlantic Center for the Art!

Wow, what a fabulous time I had last week! Great space, great women, great all around! We named ourselves Sisters of the Cloth and we Stitched, Painted, Dyed, Talked, Ate, Danced, Relaxed, Screen Printed, Bonded, Drank, Smiled, Slept, Walked, Read, Sketched, Burned, Sewed, Pieced, Quilted, Felted, Laughed, ... I'm hoping to work on a piece to reflect the whole experience. My cell phone mostly didn't have signal and I didn't take a computer and there were no televisions. Heaven on Earth. There was a fabulous library, all art related books, journals and other publications. The food was fantastic--I gained 5 pounds!!! Whoa! And, the people, the BEST! We all shared and learned from each other. And, I believe that many of us made new friends and connections. I know I did. I didn't get the kind of work done that I had hoped-quilting already finished pieces, or creating new masterpieces. I did try a lot of surface design techniques and flopped on several and did okay with others. I learned a lot about how I work, what I like and that not all work is done externally (of course).

Here are some photos of the fabulous grounds at ACA and some of the fabulous artists at work.

Definitely, my favorite part of the campus and one of the first things I saw there. This sign! How validating is that??!! To show up and see this!

Here are some photos of the great studio spaces we had to work in. Great windows and light! Beautiful nature scenes all around us.

The grounds were covered in trees. Lizards scurried at your every step on the boardwalks. The trees were covered with moss and lichen. I had never seen red lichen before but many of the trees had it. It is a sign of health for the trees.

Here are some photos of the fabulous women that I met. First one shows Julia Yaciw (and Paula Sheron, with her back to the camera, sorry Paula). Great gals! Had a lot of fun getting to know them both. They dyed a ton of fabric and were so neat and organized about it! They both worked on some fabulous pieces and made a lot of progress this week.

And, then we have Debbie Babbin demonstrating one of her techniques for several of us. She had wonderful, colorful mixed media artwork. She did a great job in the presentation of her work with her pieces mounted on canvas and wood.

To her right in the photo (in the green apron) is Kathie Briggs. Kathie was generous enough to show me how (and to share her supplies) to do some deconstructed screenprinting. She originally learned the technique from Kerr Grabowski and I am ordering my copy of Kerr's DVD on the process TODAY!! My piece turned out really nice. She did amazing work using her own photographs from Italy to design some of her screens and also makes beautiful dolls.

Next is Linda Dawson. Her art cloth pieces were simply astonishing. She did some very unique designs and techniques, and the layers of her prints on her cloth just blew me away. She also brought along a Jane Dunnewold piece. It was great to see one in person. She also had some copies of Jane's new book for sale. I can't remember the name of it but I hope to get a copy myself soon.

Here is Linda Hoffmeister and Jacque Davis (on the right). Jacque did some fabulous tissue paper dying of fabric and painstakingly worked on a piece inspired by one of her own drawings requiring lots of cutting of small pieces. She and I had great fun getting to know each other and talking about how to speak about your own artwork and to discuss what it is that moves you about other's art.

Here is Pamela Allen with her piece entitled Four Women Laughing Like Hell showing herself, Rosemary Claus-Gray, Claire Fenton and Mary McBride from the retreat last year. I guess they had a good time in 2007! I took a course with Pamela last year and she is still as fun to be around as ever. She is a hoot!

Here is Rosemary with one of her beautiful layered, transparent pieces. Watching her work was a real treat. She had a very calm and serene presence that matched what I see in her work.

Mary McBride organizes and hosts the event and she did an excellent job!!! Thanks Mary!!

There were many other great artists and women that attended including Jan Girod (my driving buddy! Thanks Jan!), fabulous artist and co-owner of Fiber on a Whim here in Atlanta (she is on the right in the photo below with Marilyn Cicek). Unfortunately, my 2 other buddies, Sharon Ahmed and Rebecca Reason-Edwards didn't make the retreat this year, althougth the 4 of us had hoped to go together. Sharon came for a few days but had to leave due to some health reasons. Rebecca had to cancel to get her house ready to go on the market. The other Georgia artist, Deb Lacativa, also had to cancel for some family health reasons. So, the Georgia contingent was on the low side but hopefully next year we can come back in big numbers. We missed you guys!!!!!!

Well, it was wonderful! I hope I get to go back next year! Sisters of the Cloth You Rock!!!!