Sunday, February 27, 2011

Freeform Screen Printing Student Spotlight: Linda Robertus

Linda Robertus was a student of mine in Freeform Screenprinting on-line at QuiltUniversity.com. One of the things I love most about on-line teaching is interacting with the international students. The internet has made the world a much smaller place in many wonderful ways. Linda is from the Netherlands but is is living in Australia. She has taken what she learned in class and worked to truly master the techniques. It brings me joy to see the lovely work she produces.


Screen printing with stencils is a truly simple technique that yields such lovely results. With a little patience and precision she has made this technique her own and brought her own unique voice to the process. I love the balance of color and the echoed forms in this piece. The implied and impending motion as well as the perfect stillness of the gymnasts is beautiful. This quilt is featured in the student gallery at Quilt University.


In this piece Linda has created a freezer paper stencil to use with a silk screen. I'd say she's mastered the technique. I love the flow of this composition as your eye is drawn up and to the left, taking a detour here and there to follow the lines of the legs or of the gymnast's horse. She's blogged about this one here.




Linda also has a great time drawing the details of the world around her. She then emails a jpg of her drawing to me to be made into a thermofax screen for screen printing. 


You really do need to head over to her blog. She has posted lots of pictures of her projects that you will enjoy seeing. Leave a comment and tell her I said hello!

http://q-linda.blogspot.com/




















This is a thermofax screen print made from a drawing of her screened porch door. The woman has talent and is not afraid to use it. Actually - what I should say - is that she is not afraid to spend the time it takes to hone her craft to the level of excellence she has achieved. We could all learn from her in that regard.






The next session of Freeform Screenprinting at QuiltUniversity.com begins March 18th. There are four lessons and I will be available for six weeks to answer questions in the class forum. The cost is $37. The best part?  When you take a class on-line nobody chastises you for being late, or for showing up in your pajamas. I'd love to meet you there!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tutorial: how to transfer a photo to watercolor paper


Hi! It's Lyric. I'm doing it again.
I had exactly what I wanted to do in my head the first day of the month.
Waited until the last minute anyway.
Stressing out because I'm trying to make it "good."
 This is the man I love. I call him Mr. Almost Perfect.
Isn't he handsome!?
The photo is by Julia Wade (who is having a photo shoot giveaway!)
I printed out a photo (yes I'm cheating again - I think it's FINE!)
Maybe in December I'll draw a face freehand.
I scribbled with a soft lead pencil on the back of the paper.
It's just enough that when I turn it over I can trace it...
...and transfer the lines to the surface of this thick watercolor paper.
I've added various color washes to almost all the pages of this book.
Just for fun. I think this was a watered down acrylic that was then sponged off a bit.
I decided to be bold and use a super cool japanese brush pen filled with india ink.
OK.... lesson learned. Don't color in the lips on guys.
Doodled with some water soluble crayons and more ink.
Doodling even more with acrylic paint markers.
I have no idea if I'm done or not. Sometimes it's best to just move on.
What do you do when something isn't working like you envisioned?
Give up? Learn from it?
Try something else? Try to fix it?
Start over?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Playtime with Bonnie



What do a boatload of beads and an entire studio packed with lighting equipment, cameras, microphones and wires have to do with each other?




On your average day, not much. Last week - everything! I've been working very hard for several months and am so excited to tell you about my latest project. A new instructional DVD titled "Bead It Like You Mean It!" It'll still be a few months before it's out but we had SO much fun filming that I can't keep it under wraps.

The lovely and VERY talented Bonnie McCaffery was an absolute pleasure to work with - who wouldn't smile when they saw that wide grin behind the camera? She is very good at helping me to focus and get down to business - and tolerant of my tendency towards silliness as well. 


Lots of silly on this DVD. Lots of really, really, pretty things and useful information too!


We got done a whole day early so we had time to play with some really fun special effects and take a walk around the lake and play with our cameras.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Faces on Friday: Figure Study



Sincerest apologies to my friends, who hopefully can't recognize themselves because the drawings don't look anything like them anyway. No - you really don't look like that. I promise.  



If you ever get the chance to go to a figure study session - DO IT! The people there don't care how good or bad you are. It is a fantastic way to get better. I'm finding quite some improvement in just a few sessions.

It begins with 30 second poses. They go by so fast I feel like I barely have time to get marks on the paper. Fantastic warm ups!

Next are the one minute poses. I've improved enough that I can get the form. I just can't get the whole thing on one piece of paper yet. I'm going to go get a really, really BIG sketch pad before the next time.





Five and ten minute poses give enough time to work harder on getting lines and proportions right.


After a break the 20 minute poses seem like a treasure. Unless things start going wrong - then it's an eternity. When that happened I simply chose a really hard feature like hands and feet and switched to working on just that.




This is my favorite. Roughed in with a pencil then lines laid in with a japanese brush pen. It occurred to me the other day that I could fill a waterbrush with india ink at half the price of the refill cartridges.

So which is your favorite? And - have you been drawing faces too? Put your links in the comments and I'd LOVE to come take a look!



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Any Time! Anywhere!



You truly don't need to be fancy about keeping a sketchbook.
Get a small one that is portable and keep it with you all the time.
It can be a place to freely doodle and play. 
You'll be amazed at how your drawing skills improve
simply by taking a minute here, a minute there.

 At the airport.

 Staying awake at church.

 Waiting for food at a restaurant.

 Insomnia late at night (drawn from a photo).

Just DO it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ONE Fundraiser - Tomorrow!

TOMORROW is the big day!
TODAY you can preview the 

http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/ONEFundraiserPreview.html








Would you like to help promote ONE and be entered in a drawing for great prizes?
Zip over here for ready-to-use blog and Facebook posts, Tweets, logos, and more.



One Cause - The Fight Against Cancer
One Wednesday - February 16, 2011

One Hundred Collages - Created by an all-star team of artists:
Natalya Aikens - Interview
Pamela Allen
- Interview
Laura Ann Beehler -
Interview
Liz Berg
Pokey Bolton -
Interview
Laura Cater-Woods -
Interview
Jette Clover -
Interview
Jane Davila
Jane Dunnewold -
Interview
Jamie Fingal -
Interview
Gloria Hansen
Leslie Tucker Jenison - Interview
Lyric Kinard -
Interview
Jeanelle McCall -
Interview
Linda Teddlie Minton -
Interview
Karen Stiehl Osborn -
Interview
BJ Parady -
Interview
Judy Coates Perez -
Interview
Wen Redmond -
Interview
Cynthia St. Charles
Virginia A. Spiegel






Our goal - Raise $8,000 in one day to add to the $205,000 already donated to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.



On Wednesday, February 16, ONE hundred collages will be offered with a minimum donation for each collage of:




$160 for two hours (10 a.m. - Noon CST)
$80 for two hours (Noon - 2:00 p.m. CST)
$40 for two hours (2:00 - 4:00 p.m. CST)

There will be a direct link from this page to all the collages at least one day prior to Wednesday, February 16 for a preview and all the details about how to acquire your favorite collages. Collages will be featured periodically on my blog and Facebook Fan Page prior to February 16.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gallery Walk

A good friend video taped part of my solo show gallery walk at the Herb Young Community Center in Cary, North Carolina. She caught me talking about some of the meanings behind "Malachi's Promise" and some of the techniques used in my paintings.


Thanks to Sonya Stead for filming. She and I had our first babies at the same time. She taught herself to play guitar, I learned to quilt. I have solo shows and travel the country teaching. She has a band called Sweet Potato Pie and travels the region performing in places like Branson Missouri. Go Sonya!

Faces on Friday

 At a meeting.

 At the airport.


From an ad for Lion King while on the plane.



At a quilt guild. Sorry ladies - these don't look anything like you and next year I definitely need to work on hands.
On the plane again.




Last week Sandy asked how to draw noses and how to draw expression. I told her that if I knew I'd let her know. My sister did send this link last week from Lackadaisy's website. I love, love love, this graphic artist. It's a great little tutorial on how to draw expressions.

As for noses? I've been trying is to pay close attention to the shape of the tip and rough that in first. Getting it in the right place is another story. I see progress - and much work left to do. But the important part? I'm having fun doing it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

For Your Inspiration: The Ringling Summer Home

I'm in Chicago today.
Cold place with warm hearted people!
Thought I'd share some pictures from a warmer place.


Sarasota Florida was the summer home of the Ringling family (yes, the circus people.)


A wonderful sink with beautiful design.
In Photoshop Elements - play with "color options" and the "poster" filter.


Of all the beautiful art in the home my favorite was this statue, veiled.
Photoshop Elements "fresco" filter.


I know Floridians think spanish moss is ordinary, but it's mysterious to me.
Photoshop Element's "dry brush" filter.


It was a beautiful home (ostentatious even.) I was even more fascinated with the hard working circus people that made it possible for the Ringlings to live in luxury by doing things like being shot from a cannon.