Monday, January 31, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge: Highly Prized

I've been thinking about the Sketchbook Challenge theme all month.
It only took a few minutes to know what I consider to be very valuable.

The first bit glued into my sketchbook? My usual schedule. It looks like that through next June. Five kids and a part time career will do that to you. Time is flying by and I often feel I'm missing it. My oldest daughter just applied for college. I'm feeling a little ... something. Excited? Yes. Apprehensive? Just a tiny bit - she's prepared. Bushwhacked? When did she grow up!?!

I've thought of images I wanted to incorporate. I've thought of amazing and wonderful outcomes.

I've also avoided actually doing anything until the last possible moment. It's a fear thing. Yup - me. The lady who preaches non-stop that "it's all about DOING the work and we can't let fear get in the way." Here I am in front of everybody - thinking everybody is expecting some fantastic outcome and feeling inadequate.

So. TIME for me to take my own words to heart and just DO it. Forget about expectations. 

1- The calendar gets glued in. Painted over with a bit of gesso. Oops. Now I remember that ink-jet prints smear when wet. Ah well, so be it. Find a couple of my favorite pics.

2- Let the gesso layer dry then paint a little bit of a color wash over that. I'm using Prochemical's Profab Textile Paints - because I have a LOT of them on hand. They're an acrylic and work fine.

3- Play around with photoshop and a few of the images that speak to my feelings. Print them out, cut them out, glue them in. I used a PVA glue this time. I think I might like gel medium better. We'll see.

4- Add a little more of a blue wash over the hands to blend it into the background.

5- More acrylic in a transparent blue and an opaque white - swirls in with a brush - like time swirling all around me and away.

6- Hunt through my stack of screen for the perfect image. Ah - there it is. This time I used it like a stencil, first with the white opaque paint, then a navy transparent. It was a pain having the wire binding loops right in the way. I'm seriously thinking of working with loose sheets then binding them as shown in Jane Davie's  tutorial. When I find some time.

I am addicted to thermofax screen printing. I have a machine and run a service, making ready made or custom screens. It allows me to feed my insatiable hunger for making new images in my own work. This particular screen came from a photo sent by Alexandria (one of my on-line students from of one of her antique pocketwatches.  
This is what my work surface looks like when I've got projects going on. Stuff left from the last class I taught. Samples shoved out of the way. Kids forms for school events to be filled out. The usual. No - I'm not an artist who thinks clutter is great - it drives me nuts. I work best when I can clean everything up and start fresh with room to work and breath. No TIME for cleaning up right now.

8- Last step - I started in with pencil, moved up to a Sukura Pigma Pen and then decided a sharpie would glide over the bumpy acrylics on the page. 

My baby has wings. She's ready to fly.

I'd love your feedback.
Do you have any ideas that could help me?
I want to learn how to savor each moment, live in the present. I still have to keep most of my schedule - I'm already very good at saying no to more stuff. The things I do I love. But time still flies away.

Oh, and don't forget to head over to  the Sketchbook Challenge today to see who won this months giveaways. February's theme will go up tomorrow. Can't wait!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday morning faces

So last night my daughter was sitting there being her beautiful self and she agreed to let me draw her. We were both tired. 
I got frustrated. I know I shouldn't - it's just learning process and I know I have a long way to go. I should go and reread the first chapter of my own book eh? "Don't compare yourself... permission to be imperfect ... time to learn... " yada yada yada.

Left: last night, from life.      Right: this morning, from a photo.

So I know I'm going to get there eventually but I wanted to make on good drawing NOW. Well - bedtime and then draw in the morning. She let me take a picture. I photoshopped it to up the contrast and turned it black and white. Then I traced the back of the picture a bit, placed it on the paper and traced the outlines again to transfer the pencil to the paper. If I wasn't doing it in my sketchbook I would have just used a light table. Yes I consider all these things crutches. Cheating - sort of. I want to be able to draw what I'm seeing without them. But for this morning - who cares? I got the outlines in the right place and filled in the shadows from there. I gotta say. It's satisfying to see the results.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Faces on Friday

 Very quick sketches while she's reading

 At a guild meeting
 The middle one is getting closer
So - the last one up there - how do you draw THIS!?!?

And a little eye candy for you and me just for staying with me this long.
 I ignored other deadlines and played with polymer clay - these might become new buttons for my coat. 
Every once in a while I need to reward myself with something completely non-pressure-dealine.

What things do you do that are "completely different"just for a break?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Article in Quilting Arts Magazine

I love it when the mailbox opens up to goodies like this one! The newest issue of Quilting Arts magazine is as lovely as ever. It includes an article by little 'ol me.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Teaching: Sarasota Friendship Knot Quilt Guild

Roberta was my chief schlepper!

If you've got to travel somewhere in the cold winter month of January - Florida is the place to go.  The Friendship Knot Quilter's Guild is a fabulous group of ladies and it was a pleasure to spend time with them last week!

We had a blast (and exhausted ourselves!) learning a bajillion different surface design techniques in Surface Design Sampler Platter. We laughed and worked through carving stamps, thermofax screen printing, photo transfer, stenciling, and even beading!

Roberta Miller's Book Cover
Pam Zeck's Book cover

Pat Haas with her absolutely FANTASTIC piece!!

A few of the class ladies strut their stuff at guild meeting.
Pam Zeck, ?, Carol Masulonis, Roberta Miller, and Kim Sherrod.
Catherine Eberly showed off fabric she printed during my
on-line screen printing course at Quilt

And the food was not only fabulicious - it was pretty and just a bit dangerous!
Seafood stew in a flaming peacock.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finding Purpose

I've been thinking about the purpose behind both my business and personal goals ...
...trying to distill thoughts and feelings into just a few words.
What is it that I want for myself? What do I wish to give to YOU?

My answer is simply this:

Find Joy
Be Inspired
Create Beauty

I've revamped my Artists Statement to better reflect these ideas.

In a world where too often, the images we feed ourselves are full of violence and fear, my goal as an artist is to create beauty, to uplift, and to remind us of the strength we all possess.  In a many layered process I gather intriguing materials both old and new. I marvel as plain cloth absorbs dye and changes appearance. I cut, piece and stitch, print, paint and embellish. Slowly order emerges from disarray, beauty from chaos.
The tactile nature of cloth, its texture, richness and malleability are what have drawn me to this medium. Fabric has a history almost as old as humankind; we cover ourselves in cloth every morning and wrap ourselves with it at night. Quilts hold a particular fascination for me. During a time when creative women were not allowed to be artists, they were able to stitch together beautiful works of art imbedded in objects of utility. My quilts are freed from utility and allowed full freedom of expression as fine art.

Thanks to Alyson Stanfield's book, I'd Rather Be In The Studio, this was easier than it might have been. She has a great list of questions to ask yourself.
She's coming to Durham on May 20th and 21st for a fantastic No-Excuses Art Marketing workshop. It's part of the Professional Art Quilter's Alliance - South spring conference but is open to the public. I'd love to see you there! You can look here for the workshop description and to sign up.

Have you thought about the reasons you do what you do?
What are your gifts? Why do you create? What is your purpose?
If you have any thoughts or critiques on my statement I'd truly appreciate hearing those as well.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Faces on Friday

 Staring myself in the face late at night. My kids recognized the one on the left. PROGRESS!
I need to figure out how to do noses and lips in profile.

 At the airport - surreptitiously sneaking glances at people waiting in the terminals.
Isn't it funny how we draw what we THINK we see rather than what is there.
It's taken all this time to realize how far back to draw an eye in profile.
It's usually way back behind the nose and I've been drawing it too far forward.

Late at night and I don't want to get out of bed to look in the mirror so I made up a couple faces.
The one in the middle is from a photo. Still such a long way to go - but I'm having fun!

Monday, January 17, 2011

On-Line Class: Color Theory

If you are serious about learning color, how it behaves, 
how it interacts with other colors:
I highly recommend this course with the fabulously talented
Judy Coates Perez

Color Theory
9 weeks, on-line, $60.00

It is a basic, beginners course.
It is technical yet very clearly presented and well written.
I've read through the entire course and promise that if you actually
DO THE WORK that you will come away with a much clearer understanding of color interactions.

Here is how Judy describes the course:

Did you know the color choices you make can transform an average piece of artwork into something spectacular? Be surprised and delighted by the effects and illusions you can create by understanding the mysteries of color. In this hands-on experiential class you'll learn key color concepts with visual examples, mix new paint colors, and create helpful charts, all providing you with the tools you’ll need to see color in a whole new light. 

As part of this class you will start a color journal and learn to mix color using textile paints, creating charts to address the different color theory principles.

Lessons include:
The color wheel
Color Schemes
Tints, Shades and Tones
Value Color Studies
Complimentary Color

The class website is designed for students to work at their own pace with each lesson accessible at any time. The lessons include color diagrams and examples with explanations of the different principles for working with color. After each lesson you will blend colors and paint swatches of color to make a chart to fully understand each weeks lesson.

Head right over HERE to sign up.
You won't regret it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Resolutions

Last week I posted my reverse resolutions for 2010
I'm going to be brave and post my resolutions for 2011 as well

1-Begin each day with a Prayer of Gratitude
2-Practice Discipline

That's it.
A freight train can be moved in a different direction by pulling a simple switch. 
Over time, great canyons can be carved into solid rock with a trickle of water. 
Small actions can create big results. 
(I got to DRIVE this freight train in Kamiah Idaho!)
Do you have any short and/or long term goals?
Can they be distilled into a simple word or a phrase?
I'd love to hear about them.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Faces on Friday

Week Two of my 365 Faces 2011 goal

I wonder how long it will take before my drawings look like the person I'm drawing?
Above and below are the same two kidlets.
Length and width are something I need to work on.

 Some of my kidlets are even asking if it's their turn to be drawn each evening.
Mr. Almost Perfect looks serious in the sketch - but will NOT stop making funny faces.
My little pixie friend thought it was great fun - she really does look like a baby doll.

Neighbors and unsuspecting strangers are fair game.
These profiles actually look quite similar to the actual subjects - ah - progress!
 And yes, I can't count. I'm still enthusiastic and some nights draw more than one.
 I did spend moments here and there this week making a sweet little box to put the 3x5 cards in.
You could make one too by following Jane's tutorial here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For Your Inspiration: Wickedly Wild Flora at the Sonoran Desert Museum


I love this desert.

I can't help but thinking that perhaps Dr. Seuss might have loved it too.


Still. I think I'm glad not to live where every green thing wants to bite you. Ouch.