Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A great day in the studio

What a wonderful day today in the studio. I spent Monday there, only had less than an hour on Tuesday but I prepped canvases, and today spent the day and I feel like I did some really great pieces. I feel so good doing these!

I think this is my favorite is 8 x 8 inches. It is painted canvas, painted papers, batiked cotton by me and machine stitched.

I like this one alo is much more subtle. Since I am home and these are still down at the studio, I just don't remember what size this is...oh, I think it may be 6 x 6

Avery different one that includes a silk screen print of one of the trees I took photos of in Unganda. This includes painted canvas, lutradur, printing and stitching. It is 8 x 8 also

Again, a very simple piece but I like this also. It is 8 x 8

And finally, a small one...4 x 4

And one one 4 x 4

I did one more today but the picture I took of it is too blurry so I will redo it. I also finished up three others that are 5 x 7 but don't have the stretched canvas to mount it on in this size. I should be able to get those done tomorrow!

Monday, January 25, 2010

More small pieces

Well, this past week I haven't been able to spend any time in the studio as my daughter's babysitter got stuck up at Lake Tahoe in a very major snow storm and couldn't get back until Thursday night...which meant babysitting duty for my dh and myself! There went the studio! And then the weekend was spent in the beautiful wine country for a deanery verstry meeting. Beautiful! Since we have had so much rain, the grass was getting high and was very green.

But, today it was to the studio!  All day! Even though it got a little cold! I worked at painting various sizes of canvas and get ready to do the collage elements and I am having so much fun doing this! This piece below has gone through several incantations and right now it is perfect for the background for another collage.

And then another one....these are really mini paintings without a focal point.

and another one....I actually have several of these ready to go tomorrow morning.

Well, then it was time to add the collage elements and do the stitching. I enjoyed writing something and then doing some mark making so that what I wrote wasn't legible. The two pieces of fabric are both painted.

Again, these are mounted on stratched canvas so they sit out almost an inch from the wall. The above piece is 6 x 6"

This piece is more subtle with some reds peaking out from the blue and white. It is 5 x 7"

And another 5 x 7" piece with painted fabric. I like cutting the fabric so the circle is incomplete and then finishing it off with stitching.

Again, I have realized that if I don't get my regular dose of art making I really start getting cranky.  Not a pleasant person to be around.

I took a break this afternoon and ran over to Dick Blick and came back with 8 x 8, 10 x 10, 12 x 12 and 18 x 18' stretched canvases.  So, I will be getting bigger. I was looking at the 30 x 30" canvas and will soon be up to that size!  Then I had best find an outlet for these things! Fiber work mounted on stretched canvas takes up much more room. I have been putting a polymer varnish which provides UV protection over the entire piece and like the some sheen that shows when it is dried.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Working Small

I have been enjoying working small and working in this mixed media style. I have been painting on canvas pieces for some time and of course have also been painting fabric to use in my work. This past year I did a lot of collages, and one series, In the Wooods, was all fiber and stitched but did not have a batting and was shown under a mat. I really liked the way it looked and have been trying to figure out just how I could get more painterly (and painting more) along with using the elements of design like I have used in my Color Block series. So I have begun this new work.

Two postings ago I introduced you to two of the pieces. One of them was done as a part of a series of collages but then I went a little further with it. But I wasn't completely happy with it so I reworked it today and like it better.

7 x 5 " mounted on stretched canvas

This is another piece that was part of the above collage series which is morphing into whatever it is.

7 x 5" mounted on stretched canvas

But I have really grown to love the small, clean compositions with just little bits of thread work. I am enjoying these greatly.

6 x 6" mounted on stretched canvas
includes painted paper, painted fabric, stitching  SOLD

4 x 4" on stretched canvas
includes painted paper, painted fabric, stitching

4 x 4" on stretched canvas
included painted fabric, dyed fabric and stitching

7 x 5" mounted on stretched canvas
includes painted fabric, dyed fabric

The paper I have been using in these is from a big collection of paper that I created for an article for Cloth, Paper, Scissors a year ago, using pages from old magazines and working multiple glaszes and textures in to them.

The 7 x 5" pieces have multiple glazes on the canvas with various different surface design techniques before they are incorportated in to the collage.

I love the process. I love painting paper and creating texture on it and doing the same thing with fabric. I am also really enjoying the freedom of doing the background canvas pieces for the very new pieces as it really takes me back to my painting days but also lets me include more fabrics via the collage process. I am also enjoying just painted larger pieces of canvas with various glazes and then cutting them up, screening on them, stamping, what ever and then cutting them up to use as elements in the collages.

By working small, I am able to try lots of different ideas out without committing a huge amount of time or materials. I can work quickly, rework easily and just have fun. At the same time I am thinking about how this could be interpreted in a larger size. So far, 6 x 6 is the largest stretched canvas size that I have but the 8 x 8 and 10 x 10 are calling to me.

Jeanne Williamson has been working in a similar manner and she shared her process of mounting her work on to the stretched canvas. I really like the way it looks. Of course, our work is so very different but check out what she is doing.

I have mounted finished small quilts on to stretched canvas that is unprimed, or have been primed and painted a coordinating color. The presentation of small work is a challenge. Of course, in the painting community, something such as a 4 x 6 plein aire painting would have a huge gold frame around it! Ihave been framing some work but that is usually work the is behind a cut out mat board.

So I will see how all this goes!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Journal pages


When I have too many distractions around me, I need to pull away andjust spend a little bit of time with my journal. These are pages from my journal that I have been prepping for writing. I don't do much of an art journal like those you see in themagazines but I keep two for journaling my personal thoughts and feelings and one that has thoughts and ideas about art. Usually I just put down a color wash but during the New Year's weekend we were up at our small cabin with my husband, daughter, her husband, two grandsons full of energy, my son and his got a little crowded. I was happy to be with them but I spend a lot of time by myself and I just needed to pull away for little bits of time.

So upstairs I went with my journal, small travel box of watercolors and the travel brush which is really fairly small. Not good for color washes which was good because I found myself just drifting off with the colors and using lines a lot more than usual. I had a great time...there is no right or wrong when doing this as it is all background for something else and thusly I can experiment and try new things. So I thought I would share them with you:

Most of these are facing pages but the left hand one on the third row is actually a right hand page without its opposite page...this was done while I was listening to Ravel....on my headphones so I had my own noise. It's doing little things like this that keep my going....just playing with the color, with the lines, with the washes, just enjoying the movement of my hand.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Time at the Studio

Yesterday I was down at the studio for most of the day until I just got too cold. So I took off for a short trip to Dick Blick for some small canvases so I could mount stuff on them instead of  putting them under a mat board. It was so nice to sit in the car with the seat warmer going and the heater on full blast. And then I returned to work some more at the studio but finally had to leave at  3:30 because I was just too cold. I had gotten a heater which just sends the heat straight up to the ceiling...not where I want it. Oh well, I have brought a piece home to quilt at home and will spend some time sewing the facings on to several other pieces. I feel like a starving artist suffering in an unheated garrett working away for my art...of course, I am certainly not starving!

Below is one of a series of collages I have been working on. It is painted canvas which has painted paper stitched to it and is further stitched for other design elements. I have mounted it flush on a 5 x 7" canvas so that the canvas does not show in front at all and it all sticks out about 1 inch.

This is a piece that I did yesterday and it is 6 x 6". I painted canvas, stitched painted paper and fabric down and did further stitching. It has also been mounted on stretched canvas of the same size. I really like this and have started several as I love the ability to paint directly on the canvas in a far more painterly, lots more paint than just a color wash.

And I did spend time with my embellisher adding silk pieces to a background of glittzy organza (polyester). I am trying to decide if I want to add any stitching, either hand or machine.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Understanding One's Own Process

Creativity is a fascinating subject. I personally feel that we are all creative human beings and that we each find out our outlet for our creativity. It is important to understand several things about creativity in order for us to be comfortable in our own skin.

I know that my creativeness ebbs and flows. Although I may not always have a spark going and busy doing something that appears creative, my mind is always looking, seeing, visualizing, and pondering. At my best, I take notes and then can refer to many things much later.

I like to jot down ideas in my handy sketchbook which is part journal (strictly about art) and part sketchbook, but frequently a place where ideas are just noted. It is also a place where I put pasted articles from Robert Genn and other creative people who write regularly. I like to copy those out on the computer and stick them in. Sometimes I go back and re-read them and something they have said really connects with me again or in a different way.

I know that I must be comfortable with my creativity. For a long time I just felt different and strange when looking at other people. I acknowledge that I see things differently and that is just fine...but it has taken me 62 years to reach this point!

I know I am moved by colors and color interactions will make me swoon with pleasure.

I am fascinated with the intersections of lines. I love organic lines and writhe through a piece, changing width, colors, lengths and creating their own shapes.

I am not formal in my design, I love things that dance around.

I have come to understand the symbolism for many of the shapes that I use repeatively.

Circles are about life that goes around and around.

Vertical lines are fences, for setting boundaries, for keeping things/people close, for keeping things/people at a distance.

The moon and the sun are frequently represented in my circles.

But enough now...the studio is calling and I was awake for an hour last night just letting my throughts come and go and free associate.  And then this morning the ideas continued so by, see you later!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Things are settling down

As you may know from my infrequent posts the past several months, much has been going on in my life. Two months of babysitting my 2 year old grandson, Thanksgiving house clean up, Vestry meeting and dinner at my house which required even more clean up and then the holidays with family gone and family coming back.

During this time I have had difficulty doing much with my art. A series of collages have been in various stages during this time and I have had serious difficulties trying to figure out the next step for them. I have had too many ideas of going in different directions (too many directions) all because I have not been able to focus and spend time on my art.

Well, things have finally settled down. I am back in the saddle again and will spend all day tomorrow at the studio. I have moved all of my silks, roving, wools, and a bunch of yarns down there so I can work with everything at hand with the needle punch machine. I am still trying ti fiugre out how it is going to work for me and what kind of art I am going to do with it.

I have been doing alot of reading about authentic art, finding your voice and creating your own work. Most recently I have been reading "Creative Authenticity" by Ian Roberts. He discussed 16 principles to clarify and deepen your artisitic vision.  I have underlined a number of things in his book but wanted to start off with this one statement that he makes which has really resonated with me:

Page 153, Creative Authenticity:
"I suspect that were are only two ways to deal with the creative process. First, with courage. Just recognize the need for exploration and storm on. Second, with experience. With experience we move the product thinking to process thinking. We still want a good result, but with time we become more relaxed about how we are going to get there and what happens along the way.

Own your creativity. You are a creative being by nature, and your creativity is one with the unending creative energies that flow throughout the universe. The question is not whether you are creative "enough" but whether you will free yourself to rexpress the creativity this is uniquely yours."

I have long preached just "do the work" and it will all come about. I really realized that I am a process person and not a product person when we had a house fire and I lost about 200 quilts that I had made over the years, and some special ones that were just the beginning of my art in quilting. I let it all go very easily as I knew that I would only get better and make better art and create a lot more so, in the long run, it really didn't matter much.  There was no longer a need to hang on to what I had done.

Now, if I could just get rid of some of the pile in my storage room!  No fire, please, but would prefer sales!

I have much to say about a number of things that have been happening and will include pictures as I know we all like the visual goodies but this is enough for today. Look for me again tomorrow!
Thanks for hanging out with me during this time!

Monday, January 04, 2010

The New Year and sneaking time to work

During the past two months so much has been going on (Thanksgiving, Christmas, children coming, etc) that it has been very difficult for me to do much work. I knew this would be the case and I tried to tell myself that it would be fine but it is really difficult for me to not have regular time in my studio. Part of it is because I need the creatie time but the other part is because I very much need the alone time. I really don't like to go-go-go all the time, really, not too much of the time, but I did sneak in once in a while.

I had purchased the Pfaff needle punch machine a couple of months ago and would sneak in to my studio, which became the clean up the house dumping ground, and do little pieces of felted work, trying to understand how this type of process works best with my style of work. This has been a time of experimentation and play, which is so very important to us all.

Because these are small, I could have a sense of acomplishment.

This is the last one that I have done...I have been working on painted cotton batting, felted wool, or purchased felt. Ihave incorporated painted lutradur, wool pieces and roving, yarns, paper that has been painted, cheesecloth and wool fabrics that have been shrunk.  I have also been using silk and silk chiffon and I love the texture of the silk after it has been punched. The bright blue is chiffon. I am still playing along so we will see where this goes.