August This N’ That

Summer is winding down…it’s August already.   It has gone by quickly.

Along with leaving town a couple of times, working to have items ready for the artisans/farmer’s market each weekend, and now produce coming in from the garden, a girl has to work hard at getting quality time making art.  I have an exhibit to hang in October…!

I have been working on some new work and last week saw me spending a lot of time just doing art.  “Composition” is a new series I am working on.  It is mixed media work and I am enjoying it immensely.  I am having loads of fun using paint, ink and pastels to create on paper and cloth.

Composition - collaged base of paper and cloth, gesso, acrylic paint, oil pastels, ink paper

There are more coming in this series and manner of working.  These measure approximately 15″ square.  Work is also proceeding on a larger piece using discharged black cotton sateen and a rust dyed cotton feed sack.

Scarlet and I have started working on Christmas ornaments for the gallery gift shop.  Mine will mostly be mixed media and made of papers.  They are started but there is much to be done before they are ready for display.

New journal covers I have been creating this summer are photos printed on cotton. Oh, look…one of them is the new artwork, Composition.

I have a couple of shows I will be working in September.  See my events tab (above) to see where I will be.  October will be the time I am finishing up everything for my exhibit in New Harmony, IN.

Well, I guess it’s time to get back to my other work now….

What I’ve Been Up To

Last week, I ran out of thread on a piece of art I was stitching on.  Rather than take a whole day and drive an hour away to buy thread, I opted for an internet order instead.  Of course! the company only had one spool of a color I needed, I found out later, and of course, I need more than one, so yes, I will be making that 1 hour trek in a couple of weeks, but I made a lunch and outing date with a friend, so driving an hour for thread won’t be all that I am doing that day.  Oh, the down side of rural living…even if I do love it!

In the meantime, there is plenty for me to do while I wait for the thread….so I got started on making some prints on cloth.  These will be deconstructed prints.  First I had to create the screens.  I smeared a few colors of dye paint onto the back of blank silk screens, then pushed objects that will create designs and texture into the paint.  Then let dry for however long it takes.  Purchased screens or homemade screens using framing wood pieces that lock together…it’s all good.  I have learned something about making the homemade screens though.  Do not use polyester sheers…they STRETCH!  And you won’t like it.  Use nylon material to avoid this. I am going to have to re-do some of my screens.

While I had the dye and the bubble wrap out, I decided to play.  I do that a lot…try something new…see what happens.  I laid my dry soda soaked cotton over the bubble wrap (to see how to soda soak cotton, see my tutorial on the sidebar), then laid a blank screen over it and pulled prints.

This deposits quite a bit of paint on the cloth, hence the following “monoprint”.

Since these two pieces use the same colors, they can be used together in something, but there is variation in the cloth.

I still need to finish one piece of cloth before I put my stuff away…maybe today!

But right now, I am making Mounds balls. ;=)

Workshop #3, Week 2

I posted earlier some of the pages I painted with fluid acrylics as backgrounds for Roz Stendahl’s class I am taking online.  Here is the Week 2 reveal.  Since I’m not that much of a sketch-er, I decided to save time (at least at this point) and use cutouts from photography that I do.

Mum Garden

Smooch Spritz

I said I would post a sample and here it is.  I played with the Smooch Spritz today.  These are inks in a small spritzer.  Kind of fun to play with but one has to learn control over the spray!

In the sample, I first sprayed over the Arabesque stencil from The Crafter’s Workshop.  I sprayed several colors.  I love the look of the sprayed ink on the paper. Then I made a paper mask in the shape of a bottle (some may think it is a gourd, but I tried hard to make it look like a bottle!).  I laid this down in various positions and sprayed over it.  I have 6 colors of the spritz.  I love the yummy yellow.  The Spritz has metallic bits in it, but that may be hard to tell from the photograph.  This was done on watercolor paper.  I will have to try it on fabric next.

Roz Stendahl’s Workshop At Strathmore Begins

I played last night at creating backgrounds for Roz’ class. I enjoyed it immensely. I did use some acrylic inks to splatter on the pages, but they seemed to dry v…e…r…y slowly, so I am not pleased with them. I am wondering if the brand or the age of the inks might be the issue. I used a Crafter’s Workshop circle grid stencil and distress ink pads to make the designs. Distress ink is probably not going to be waterproof going forward, but we shall see. I enjoyed playing with the colors and textures.

Mixed Media Visual Journal

I REALLY like the mixed media paper…not as heavy as the watercolor, but takes the wet media very well.

So now I am making a list of Golden Fluid acrylic paints I need…I pretty much used up the only yellow I had.

The next photo is the 140 lb. watercolor journal.

Water Soluble Pencils

Life has been very busy recently in March.  I haven’t had much time to do much of anything.  Because I needed to PLAY a little bit as a break from work and play with something that didn’t take much time….

I have been playing with water soluble pencils.  I love, love, love these new tools.  So much pigment…such great colors.  I bought them because I was going to be taking some online journaling classes and thought I might want them for the classes, plus my curiosity was piqued about them.  I have used the water soluble crayons before, but these are a little different.

I have a 5.5″ x 8″ visual journal with 140 lb. watercolor paper.  I decided to do  color washes using the pencils on some of the pages as a warm up exercise of play.  On some of them I doodled in ink, on some I tested stencils.  Most likely none of these are finished, but will have more added to them over time.

The next one is a blind drawing done with charcoal, then it was wetted.  After that I tried various pens and water soluble pencils.

More new tools…a water soluble charcoal pencil and a water brush.  The brush has a barrel to hold water in it.  So when you use water soluble pencils, crayons or charcoal, you just squeeze a little bit of water down to the brush tip and voila! you can paint!

Finding Bargains

Last Friday morning I left for Evansville to do some shopping before heading over to Ferdinand to set up for Quilter’s Day Out.  My great niece has a birthday this week and I hadn’t gotten anywhere to get her some art supplies.  I found these awesome “things” in clearance and put the last 4 in my cart.  They are wonderful teal and curry colors, which are very popular with me.  I have not been much to decorate my house lately, but these things just sort of jumped out at me. I love the colors!

I was in the checkout all prepared to purchase everything in my cart.  The lady in front of me laid some floral thingies on the counter that caught my eye…she said they were on clearance too…for 50 cents each…so off I went in search of those.  I thought they were so interesting…sort of like the puff balls from gone-to-seed dandelions, but these were still yellow.  I found them and bought all that was left as well as throwing in some berry branches for nice contrast.  They were on clearance too.  I’m quite pleased with my new home decorations. Spring must be here.

Various And Sundry Things

By my calculations, it’s almost 10 years since I started dyeing my own cloth. Ten years…sounds like such a long time!  Actually it’s the same amount of time we have been living here in southern Illinois.  It was 10 years ago this month or in April (can’t remember which), that I took a dyeing class…and it’s been uphill ever since.  Wow. 10 years.  I feel like such a pro!

What else have I been doing?  In between shows and teaching I do get to play around once in a while.  A couple of weeks ago I tried my hand at embossing black silk velvet. I used a rubber stamp with hand writing on it…cool, huh!

Naw…you’re not supposed to be able to read it!

At the Bloomington quilt show, my demo helper was a bit shy about trying to paint a face with Tsukineko inks, so I took the plunge.  It’s actually easier than I thought it would be.  I used a tracing of a face, so how hard is that?  Start with the lightest colors and work your way up.  She is actually not finished as I will do  more highlighting and shading on her and I haven’t painted the eyebrows yet, but I think she is a pretty cool redhead.  This was painted using aloe vera gel mixed with the inks, a trick from the ever cool Judy Coates Perez.

She has red sparkles in her hair too….I’m going to share how that was done in a minute.

Here is the fish I painted using Tsukineko inks.  At the Bloomington show, someone reminded me of something I had wanted to make a sample of…I simply added it to my fish sample…

Bo-Nash bonding agent is a fusible that comes in a can and you sprinkle it like salt.  It even looks like salt!  So I sprinkled it in some places on the water and in the redhead’s hair, then laid some foil over it, heated it with an iron…and voila!  Sparkling sprinkles!  This is very fun.  And I sell the Bo-Nash fusible and the foil, so call me or email if you want some. I think I will start putting sparkles on lots of stuff now…this is just way too easy.

Catching Up

On Friday, February 11th, after 3 attempts to go, I finally made it to Form, Not Function at the Carnegie in New Albany, IN. A friend and I first visited Jane Dunnewold’s wonderful exhibit, Etudes: A Daily Practice on display in Louisville, KY at the Hite Art Institute. We enjoyed that very much, then went to New Albany to find the Mexican restaurant, which had moved, before we went to Form Not Function.  I love Jane’s work. It was an awesome day and I really should do that more often. It just reminded me that I don’t get out enough!

Back to life at home….my husband and I went out to eat at an awesome Mexican restaurant the next night in Marion.  Can you tell I like Mexican? Here’s what I got…Don Sol’s Fajitas.

The salsa was excellent and there was enough food to take home for lunch on Sunday!  The restaurant is Don Sol’s in Marion, IL.  If you are in the area try it!

Last week I painted dryer sheets.

This week I ironed them.

This week I painted sky fabrics.

And dyed all of these things.

Cotton and rayon circular scarves, jumbo cotton rick rack and a bunch of onesies.  Walmart now sells organic cotton onesies made by Faded Glory.  They are so nice and soft.

Well, that’s my week so far.  I have more to do before the Bloomington, IN quilt show next week.

Visual Journal-ing

I got the idea to decorate the front of my visual journal from someone else who is doing the online workshop at Strathmore.  Of course, I couldn’t just do it with paper…I had to use some cloth too…this cloth is rusted cloth and the rest is paper. I really loved her color scheme of browns, tans and red, so I worked off of that also.

Now as to what is inside…I have yet to finish Week #3’s instructions and Week #4 is where we are now.  I will get it finished this week!  And post it then.  As for the Sketchbook Project I signed up…I have gotten as far as collaging some newsprint to the page.  My plan is to do a sketch over that and then paint it.  This has been percolating for some time…and January is almost over.  A new theme will be announced for February. January has been a busy month, but I almost have my tax paperwork finished and will get it to the cpa early for once!