MoFA Conference…just what a working girl needs!

This spring I got to attend the the MoFA conference. This is the only professional organization I belong to right now. I love the variety of work represented by this group. I can go as far in my work in one direction as I want to and then go in another direction and still fit in fairly well! This group encompasses weavers, knitters, dyers, paper artists, etc. Some people use bones and skins in their work. I think I will leave that to them…I don’t think I will be going there with my art.

The conference is a wonderful event. There are classes, vendors, great food, a members’ show, a style show, usually a national teacher/speaker. This year the speaker/teacher was Judy Dominic, who works with a lot of different materials. At this conference she had held a 2 day workshop prior to the workshop teaching how to create mud cloth. I was unable to take the two day class because of work, but the girls who did take it had beautiful cloth.

I thought I would post some photos of the members exhibit in this post. Three awards were given. One for best use of color, one for best use of stitch, and one for best overall composition. I am always stunned when I see MoFA exhibits. I think they are stunning in their variety and are such a great display of the unique talents of all of the members. This year our projects had to all be mounted on 12×12 inches canvases that could be wired and hung on a wall. This would keep the show uniform in its size. About 35 members entered the members’ show.

I was not disappointed when I arrived and looked over the entries. They were all so wonderful, I felt like my puny, sort of thrown together at the last minute entry paled in comparison. I oohed and ahead over all of the entries. A lot of them were felted. There were so many clever ideas. I loved all of them. Another feature of the conference was that each artist could schedule their own private critique with Judy. I didn’t schedule one, not wanting to hear how bad my piece was! And Judy was also the judge for the show.

Imagine my surprise on Sunday when the three awards were given, to receive the Best overall composition award! I was shocked. And the funny part is, that I have always felt that composition was my weak point.

So without further ado, here is a panorama of the show. Drool, ooh and aahhhh all you want. It’s even better in person!

Starting on the right hand side of the exhibit….in the upper left hand corner (#26), Leandra Spangler’s lovely piece won the Best use of color award. My Fragments of a Life is in the first row, third photo on the right in the very middle and bottom of those on the wall.

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#17 in the photo below, with all the trees, I believe was awarded best use of stitch.

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The show continues to the table with samples of papers and books with marks on them.

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More papers with surface design.

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Getting something accomplished!

I am always busy with something. My schedule is so overloaded, it doesn’t matter what I do, there is always something waiting for my attention. If I kept living according to that, I would never do some things I really want to do. For instance, take classes.

I have been taking some online classes in the last year sporadically, when I let myself. The newest one to capture my heart (and attention) is Shelly Sequinot’s Simplified Pattern Design on Skillshare.com. I was paying a small monthly fee, assuming I could get through one class a month. Well, that didn’t happen, but then they made a discounted yearly offer and I went for it and now I’m taking all the classes I can get to!

I haven’t made the project yet, but I have got the pattern made, and in a dozen different colors too. I am working in Illustrator which I have a great interest in learning. I have learned a lot in the last two classes of hers and now am taking this one. The project is to use the pattern you create to make a card, but there is so much more that can be done with these hand drawn patterns! I will be brainstorming. So here’s a sample…first I hand sketched the designs, then digitized them into Illustrator, then made the repeat patterns. Enjoy!PinkBlackTanYellowBlueLimePinkBlackGreenDkBlueRedYellowBlueGrapeGoldGreenBlueYellowRedBrownishBackgrndBlueBckgrndCreamBckgrndDkGreenBackgrndGreenishBackgrndGrayBackgrndPinkBackgrnd Click on any of them to get a better look. They should link to a larger sample and you can also view them in slideshow fashion.

This class is awesome and fun! Illustrator has a lot of cool tools to make changing colors on your patterns quite easy to do.

Here is the original design done created in the original colors.

Here is the original design in the original colors.

I love making small art!

I LOVE making ACEOs…those are the 2.5x 3.5 inch small pieces of art that I make a lot of. I use papers, bits of fabric, paper towels and other fun things. I use a product called Fast2Fuse interfacing. It’s fusible on both sides, which is great for layering stuff, then fusing it, then I cut it up, and then I work with each piece individually with paint, inks, gesso, etc. Here is a group I finished recently. Making these is just too much fun! They are $40 each. (First row, on the right is not for sale.)

 

 

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How to stitch? That is the question.

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Basting today. Don’t want to hold up my fellow collaborators more than I already have. We have to get this show on the road! I am working on raw silk, front and back.

But how to stitch? The onion skin marks cry out for “do not ignore me” stitching? I like to do utility line stitching on most things just to get the layers together, but this? The onion marks are talking to me…so I guess I must listen. Check back later to see how I’m doing.

Stop! Don’t Throw That Leftover Dye Out!

I held two classes at the Studio last Saturday. In the morning class, called Creating your own Papers for Collage, we had quite the adventurous time…

Two papers I dyed with leftover dyes… after I made a Shibori folded pattern with the paper. The edges were then dipped in three different dye colors. Wonderful! This was plain white copy paper. Such nice contrasts.

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The next paper is charcoal drawing paper that has been crumpled up and straightened back out. The texture comes from brushing ink pads over the bumps.

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You simply MUST try it, darling…

 

What’s New

I have developed an interest in natural dyeing. The MoFA girls do a lot of that and it intrigues me, so I am trying my hand at it. First try at natural dyeing: I used peony leaves and rose leaves, rolled up in a silk hababoi scarf and steamed.  Results: not so much, kinda bland. So on an impulse, I dipped it in some rusty water-vinegar mixture and voila!~ The scarf turned a nice smoky gray color and  the leaves all finally showed up! Ok, I already showed you that one in a prior post.

The next natural dyeing I tried was with onion skins, again all wrapped up in silk Habatoi scarves and steamed.

 

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They might need some gray. The bamboo sticks I wrapped them around left a gray marking that I like very well, if I could just figure out how to get it over into the other areas….

Next on the agenda are some rust dyed scarves. Again, these are silk Habatoi. I am out of silk crepe de chine and eagerly wanting to order a few to try natural dyeing on.

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I’m Still Here

Yes, I am still here even tho I don’t post very much on this blog. I am still doing stuff…

I do love to take leftover bits and pieces and put them together into a piece of art. I suppose it’s the way I was raised, to use what I had and not waste. So here is art with leftovers of this and that, all put together and sitting on a little easel for sale. It’s a little three-dimensional as I didn’t glue it down flat. I like that.

 

 

bits and pieces

Junk Mail Art

There is a group on Facebook called Junk Mail Art Collective. I listen in and ooh and ahhh over the artwork posted there. I don’t contribute because I usually don’t get anything done. But this week…..I got to play around a little. There has been some really cool junk mail art posted on FB. I only wish the junk mail I get was that interesting.

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Payne’s Gray paint, acrylic INK in Yellow Ochre, label from a shipment I received, acrylic ink in Earth Red, and black acrylic paint.

The acrylic inks are FW Daler Rowney. These are AWESOME inks! I had so much fun playing with them. They are full pigmented COLOR! Very nice! I only have three colors right now, but that is enough. They are beautiful.

This ‘N That

My how time does fly….I haven’t blogged for far too long. I’m going to have get better at this.

Since the last post, I have tried my hand at natural dyeing. I heard that peony leaves were good for this and rose leaves. I have plenty of peony bushes and the flowers are now exhausted, so there are lots of leaves. I gathered up all the leaves from them and my rose bushes. I wrapped leaves in a silk chiffon scarf and a crepe de chine. The results were less than desirable. The chiffon barely showed any marks and the crepe de chine did have some on it. The day I wrapped and bundled them, I stuck a huge hunk of steel in a mixture of vinegar and water. It sat there changing the water into a dark sludge. On a whim, I stuck both scarves in the rusty sludge. Oh my! What a difference that made! Both scarves went instantly to smoky gray colors and even after rinsing, it stayed. The leaves now can clearly be seen on the crepe de chine in a reddish brown color. The transformation is amazing. The chiffon came out with softer colors and may need some more application of something….

 

first try natural dyeing

 

crepe de chine natural

I have had a busy week…3 of my nieces came down to visit my studio. Two of them wanted to make a quilt; the third wanted help making a pieced pillow. They wore me out! We stayed up pretty late the first night sewing…later than I am used to staying up. That made for a late morning the next day, but by noon we were at it again. I’m so proud of all of them. With little or no experience in sewing or piecing, they did very well!

Now for the Fun…

During the Paducah quilt show, I was asked to demo at Rend Lake. I actually took a few things to demo but one of the easiest things to demo is mono printing on a gelatin place. I did some with fabric and some with paper. Then I played with the paper ones in Photoshop. Fun results! Such yummy patterns.

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paper patterns3 ink outlines

paper patterns3 posterize paper patterns3 red