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 :-)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cooking the Sugar Plums

.... metaphorically speaking. I'm making sweet little things to offer for sale in my gallery and in my studio this holiday season. (I'd also be delighted to sell them to blog readers who contact me about specific items.) My studio will be open on Saturday, December 14th from 10am to 4 pm. Lots of lovely art for gifts, and I'll have previews of many items here on my blog over the next week.
In addition to the packages of 4 art cards (3 different themes: Watercolors in Provence, Fresh Produce, and Spring Flowers), I am packaging up many little blank books I made over the past few months. Wonderful to use for journals, trip books, and even shopping lists.

To see the next fun previews the easy way, just click on "Subscribe To." My posts will head straight to your inbox! How cool is that?!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

From Final Product to Beginning Image

 Here is a detail from a piece in my new series based on a day's paddling in October with my Gratitude Girls buddies. After paddling and carrying our boats from Polliwog Pond to Follensby Clear Pond to Horseshoe Pond, we reached Little Polliwog Pond. Karen had told us it was the Place of the Magical Bog, and she did not exaggerate! We spent a couple of hours there exploring the pitcher plants, autumn-hued waterlily and watershield leaves, ripe wild cranberries, and the brilliant marsh vegetation set off by the dark spruce forest on the barely-drier borders.
The photo at the right shows the process, described backwards from the finished piece. I printed my edited and cropped photo on cotton fabric (with its freezer paper carrier sheet). Then I tore the fabric into strips of varying widths and fused them to my stabilized background fabric one by one. With dark blue thread, I stitched the strips down. The orange fabric and the printed pitcher plant image were added, and I did some free motion stitching on the image to emphasize the plant shapes.
You can see that the original photo for this piece was not great. I cropped and used the "contrast" and "saturation" functions in my photo editing program, Paint.Net, to turn it into a more colorful and interesting image.

I'm working on several more pieces based on my photos and memories of that beautiful Autumn day on the water. Next photo:

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Summer Lovelies


Since my last post, I have been doing lots experimenting, framing, and watercoloring. To the left is the results of one of my spring fiber (plus) experiments, now matted matted, framed, and hanging at our NorthWind Fine Arts gallery in Saranac Lake.

And below is one of the little bird collages made from the contested neck tie :-) (See my April posts.)
"Red-eyed Owl"
Yet another is the beginning of the piece I made for the "Life on the Lakes" exhibit (now showing at the Paul Smith's College VIC). I made a watercolor background, then inkjet printed over the dried paint. (It's an image of McKenzie Pond, showing McK Mountain way back there.) I stamped borders along the top and bottom, then added some collage elements over this. More about this piece later, with images of the additions I made. It was great fun to put together!

Preliminary view of "My Mountain Pond"
 Now though, I am off to Moravia, NY to assist the wonderful, fabulous Oiseaux Sisters with their week-long mixed media workshop. I'll be posting some processes from this week for sure! I feel like I just absorb the Creative Artist Mind while I'm with Caroline, Susan, and their creative students.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Provence en Plein Air - Part II

Cafe au Lait a Les Deux Garcons

Pepper & Plums
 Here are two more watercolor sketches from my Provence trip.  The Café Les Deux Garcons is in Aix-en-Provence - had to go there for its long interesting history of hosting many famous artists and others. I spent a pleasant hour there watching people and enjoying the atmosphere.

The Pepper & Plums is a sketch from my purchases at Le Marché De Cassis - one of the most beautiful open air markets imaginable. These luscious fruits were consumed shortly after the paint dried.

Both of these watercolors are in my new exhibit at The Left Bank Café, opening on Sunday, May 5th (4 to 5 PM) in Saranac Lake. On the left bank of the Saranac River. It will be a lovely party, especially if my young French-accordian player friend can come!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Provence en Plein Air - Part I

Bouillabaise in the Rain
This is one of the watercolors that will be exhibited in my show at the Left Bank Café in Saranac Lake on May 5th. For reasons beyond my control during my two weeks in October 2000 in Provence, I could not get myself a steaming dish of this classic Provencal seafood stew until well into my trip. And in Avignon - pretty well inland! I had spent the day (me and my cold) in St. Remy looking for traces of Vincent van Gogh. There was a van Gogh Museum there. All the work was reproduced from the originals, very few of which remain in France, but it was interesting and lovely. I also found a wonderful market and before they closed down had time to snag some lovely fabrics and my fabulous linen apron, made from an old sack, which still serves me well. As I rode back to Avignon on the bus, the rain started (and continued for the next 4 days, washing out roads and causing big problems in some places). When the bus pulled into the walled city, it was nearly dark and pouring rain. An outdoor café under canopies on the walking route to my tiny hotel was serving dinner, and my food arrived in several deliveries while I sat close to the ubiquitous outdoor heater. As the meal arrived, it looked so beautiful and luscious I did this painting. (I think I sneaked a few bites as I worked.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Blue Door

Very old blue door in Le Val, France

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Heart is Back in Provence

 As I prepare for the May 5th opening of my watercolors and sketches from Provence, I have been reading my travel journals from that trip, thinking about how to frame more work, and remembering what it was like to be in Provence in October. And where I saw this lovely blue door. It was in the small village of Le Val in the Var province east of Marseilles. I remember ancient buildings and beautiful faded colors.
The door grew wider as I drew it. Still beautiful.

Beginning of a watercolor sketch.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

MiniPortfolio from Provence

April 13
I am preparing for a May exhibit at the Left Bank Cafe in Saranac Lake of the watercolor sketches I made while traveling in Provence quite a few years ago.

After I finished scanning most of my paintings, I wanted to keep track of them. I also wanted to make a little flag book, after being inspired by my students' little books last week. Sometimes great ideas collide!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Process

Today I was viewing the blog of a quilter and saw that she had taken the "Process Pledge." I'm all about the process and love to see the processes of other artists of all kinds, so I took the pledge too. I hope you'll enjoy hearing about what I do to get me going, keep me going, and what happens as a result.

And I am continuing in my current process of making a daily art practice a real habit. I missed a day - last Sunday - when we went out in the morning, took a long walk, and had guests while whirling around getting the house in order after a crazy week. I didn't feel too awful about it, as the previous several days were filled with art projects, plans, and commitments.

Wild grape drawing
April 6

I attended a print making class, using Silk Cut Lino sheets at Bluseed Studios in Saranac Lake taught by Robynn Smith. This material was lovely to work with, although still hard to find in  the U.S. (made in Australia). Several of my arty friends attended too and it was great fun. I carved two plates, both from drawings I did awhile ago of wild grape. I need more practice, but here is the result.

Our instructor, Robynn, is a wonderful teacher and an impressive artist. Brave too, coming from California to the slush-embedded Far North of her own free will!
Two finished prints

I plan to use these plates to print on fabric soon.
April 8
Red-eyed Owl

April 9
Detail of small quilt "Ice Moons"

I have been playing with this photo printed on cotton for awhile. It was taken in early winter when the pools of water at a marsh edge were beginning to freeze, trapping lots of air bubbles near the ice surface. This little piece is finished now.

April 10
This morning, I pulled out this tiny watercolor. It was a student's practice sheet from a few semesters ago, and it looks like a landscape with an arc or rainbow moving across it. It is a lovely little "accident" that gave me another way of working toward a piece I am planning. I used it on a journal spread that I played on to make a similar landscape (not as graceful as the original, I think) and to do some other "designed accidents" - all tiny - that apply to the project.
Landscape with arc and rocks
Watercolor print with a photo fragment

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fragments and Imaginings

April 4
 Today I sorted through more fabric fragments to find some combinations that worked for more fiber collages. Many of these are upholstery and drapery fabrics from decorating projects in former homes. The sources are long-forgotten, unfortunately.

April 5
I used my daily practice time this morning to look at the work of Charlotte Ziebarth. I have seen her wonderful art quilts in Quilting Arts magazine and wanted to see more. I am very attracted to her grid format, her altered photos on fabric, and her natural subject matter, Here is a detail from her quilt "Marsh Morning Mists." I think we live in the same Universe.

Finding My Birds

April 2
Thinking about Birds for some fiber collage pieces. I found a photo of a Scarlet Tanager from a birding trip brochure, then I found some drawings I made for a Partners in Flight brochure some years ago, in black & white for the printing process we used. Colored with watercolor pencils and blended with my waterbrush. Love that red and black.

April 3
Here is the tanager with my fabric selection. Might work.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Little Fiber Collages

March 31
Today I played with some fragments that seemed happy together. A little fiber collage series, perhaps.  But I feel a little stuck now. My sweetie put an old necktie in the discard pile, and it sat around for awhile until I decided to put  in  my stash because I love the birds on that black background (below). Then he decided he might wear it again, at just about the time I decided those birds would be perfect additions to my collages.

What would YOU do?! He IS retired now .....
One of the charming birds on the disputed necktie
April 1

Since I first looked at the book Quilting: Line + Color by Yoshiko Jinzenji I have been itching to try some of the beautiful and simple designs - reserved bursts of color on white cotton.
This is my initial attempt at the "fracture" line on white made by reverse applique. Another piece of white fabric to be laid over this, basted over the red line, and cut to reveal the color. A bit challenging.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Still at Work

March 30, 2013

 Two small projects from a morning in my studio.

Free-motion stitched plant forms on patterned organza over batting. Fun!
A pale printed border made from a photo with mirror imaging designed for an old project. I printed the original photo with some images of plants that grew near this beaver dam. I am playing with placement, repeating images, and other fabric for a quilted fiber collage.

Fiber Collage from Fragments

March 28, 2013

A new fabric paper collage, made with scraps of paper from past projects. I love these bean seedling printed on sumi paper from an old botany book. All stuck together with matte medium on another fragment of the old handkerchief.

March 29, 2013
Stitching added to the collage. The woven lines on the handkerchief edge make a wonderful border.

Making and Stitching Fabric Paper

March 26, 2013

Using my waterbrush to prepare paper for tearing
Papers layered and collaged to fabric
Today, I made some fabric paper by attaching sumi-e paper and colored Canson paper to a well-worn  handkerchief with acrylic matte medium.

March 27, 2013
I am remembering that stitching mistakes on paper are very conspicous! The needle makes an irreversible hole.
 The curvy lines I added were made with my little old Singer, in free-motion mode. I left the feed dogs exposed (they won't lower) and loosened the presser foot pressure as much as possible. I didn't think it would work so well!