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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Synergy Piece #2

Here is Cathy's photo for our weekly Synergy project. I was leaving for a couple of days, so I experimented in the car with a glue stick and the only piece of junk mail I had. 
Here is what I tried in my sketch book. It's a blurry photo - early spring roads! It was helpful 
to work with the design issues this way. Below this is the nearly-final piece, embellished with some embroidery. The butterfly needs a little work.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Interpreting a Photo in Fabric & Threads

Between a wonderful trip to Oaxaca, Mexico and the more mundane stuff of life, I have a head full of ideas and images and a calendar too full of To Dos.

But a friend and I started a weekly project together, as we try to generate ideas for our joint exhibit coming up at our gallery, NorthWind Fine Arts, in September. The idea is that each week one of us chooses a photo we have taken that we really love and share it on Wednesdays. Then she interprets the photo in watercolor and I do it in fabrics and fibers.

The photo here is one I took of the ARIPO gallery doorway in Oaxaca. The sight of that blooming jacaranda tree at the back of the gallery's courtyard  against that blue sky woke me right up one morning as I walked to my breakfast cafe.

I loosely interpreted the image with several fabrics and some hand embroidery, which I have been itching to do recently, incited by the fabulous blog "And Then We Set It in Fire..." The lavender jacaranda flowers are done in French knots - a favorite stitch.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Daily Practice Redux

I'm back to a Daily Practice (How do I let that slide? So important!!), using the exercises and gorgeous images from Jean Wells' book Journey to Inspired Art Quilting as my initial guide. The photo above of the orange peppers and knife with a Japanese dish was already in my journal. I drew some of my ideas on how I would turn the photo into a fiber piece, using Jean's exercise on Journaling to get me started.

Lots of other projects happening now as well, which I will include here in bits and pieces. Below is a fabric and digital photo collage I completed last week, now framed under glass and hanging in our gallery, NorthWind Fine Arts. The beginning of this piece - the torn-and-sewn pond lily photos on fabric - began as one of my Daily Practice experiments last March.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Putting It Together

 The four pieces of printed photo are now laid out on turquoisey blue cotton, layered over thin cotton batting and a heavy cotton backing, and I have stitched along the flow lines of the photo with grey, turquoise, and lavender thread.

I'm learning lots from this project about how my sewing machines moves - or not - over different thicknesses and textures.

Below is one of four grey linen borders. I layered the same cotton batting beneath. I sewed the first two borders on first, before quilting them by machine. Then I learned something else - do most of the quilting on the borders BEFORE adding them to the central panel!

Only a couple more steps to go!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Transformation Underway

The image above shows the textured stabilizer I made with my edited stream photo printed on top. I make this printing substrate by coating medium to heavy weight stabilizer (a.k.a. interfacing) with either acrylic molding paste (like art-grade spackling compound) or - in this case - fiber paste. I spread on a thin layer with an old credit card. When it dried, I lightly sanded it then painted on thin layers of acrylic paint thinned with matte medium. I mixed some pearl medium into the paints this time for some snowy luminescence.

After the paint dried thoroughly, I ran the stabilizer through my fancy inkjet printer to print my photo, now transformed with contrast, saturation, and hue enhancements with - my favorite image editing software (easy, free, on-line, although I send a donation about once year, since I love it!). The image was then trimmed and deconstructed. Ready for for layering and stitching.

Any questions so far? Guess what happens next!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Now You See It

Earlier this week, I went for walk to see for myself whether the lake near my studio was still frozen after all the ridiculously warm rainy weather. Yes, still solid. But other waters were flowing, including this tiny stream next to the dirt road. The off-balance cruciform shape appealed to me.

You are invited to follow along as I take this plain photograph on a transformation journey!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Brand New Book-lets

 These little works of paper art are at my gallery (NorthWind Fine Arts at 11 Woodruff Street in Saranac Lake) now, ready to become gifts. (I call them book-lets because they are mostly little - kind of like the Golden Crowned Kinglet. It's a sweet little bird found all year in our local boreal forests, and called a "bird-let"  by Roger Tory Peterson many years ago because of its diminutive size.)

Most of the books are about 4 inches by 5 inches. Some slightly larger; some smaller. Many have inserts of lovely papers (for special notes).

 I'll have lots of these book-lets for sale at my Open Studio too on Sunday, December 14th from 10 to 4, as well other little art works.

Let me know if you want to visit my studio at Breezy Acres Lane, Saranac Lake NY. I'll send you directions AND the current road conditions. (Four wheel drive is highly desirable :-)