Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Here are the three collage images

I created in the workshop that were to be the inspiration for a work in fabric. NOT. Here is the class example and what the instructor did with her approach to design and composition based on one of her photo images.
The top row is a color copy of her paper collage and the bottom row is how she made it in commercial fabrics. Each piece measures 11" x 17 inches. This is working really too small for me. But I will play with her approach on a larger scale when I get back from Kentucky next week.

Here are the images

that blogger didn't want to share with you all.

Monday, October 29, 2007

When it is all said and done

I guess you have to ask yourself it it was worth it.
That's how I tend to evaluate the workshops I take. In this case I have to say it was. I got to spend the better part of two days with some like minded women. The instructor; a studio artist herself as well as a art professor here in Missouri was very sharing of her knowledge and her techniques.
But then too taking a workshop equates somewhat to why I don't like a sitting down let me think chair in my studio. It is a catchall. Workshops are catchalls in the sense that there is often ssssssssssooooooooooo much info being thrown around that it take several days to sort through what is relevant for you and how you make your art. The same goes for getting all the stuff off the chair that was so easy to toss there in the first place. It takes time to decide what goes where when it is time to clean up your clutter.
Back on the book shelf.
Into a fabric bin.
The trash. 
All of this needs to be put away before I can get started again. And not for long since I will be packing and going to Louisville on Sunday.
Most of the stuff in the chair, I think I will take with me to show to my art girls friends in Kentucky next week. And this is a peek at a part of what I did for two days. Is it me.?????

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Just so you know

I haven't fallen down a hole or anything,since the last time I posted but for what it is worth I have been busy, first teaching a class on Monday of this week and then doing a dye workshop here at the house for six ladies and then I had to clean up that mess and get stuff out for the two day workshop I just came home from that I took. It was interesting and just as in any workshop sometime we learn as much what we like and will do in the future as well as what we will never do. This workshop was on designing art quilts and working in a series.
This approach to making art quilts begins by using a digital photo image provided by the instructor, which she had printed in gray scale using Photoshop. From there we painted three pieces of paper all the same size, but varing the look of the painting by being really loose with the painting. The paint color we used was determined by a piece of fabric we brought to the workshop that we would use in all three pieces in order to make the set cohesive.
Then using both the colors and the images found in old magazines we collaged abstractly our digital image. The those paper and painted collages were color copied. That was yesterday.
Today working with the three color copies of the collaged image we were to interpret those images in fabric using what every method we liked in the construction of the three small (11"-17"). Our instructor uses primarily commercial fabric in her work which gaves her a lot of visual texture. And she does raw edge collaging of fabric with free motion zig-zag. Not at all what I would call applique.
I like the process of using Photoshop. A program I have had for some time now without having used it. However, since the workshop wasn't on how to use the program I had to call a friend for him to walk me through the steps to get the gray scale images she had us working with. Of course none of the images she had were flowers and I was hard pressed to find something that spoke to me. But I will be going into my photo album looking at some of the floral images I have collected from my own garden and Marti's garden and the Shelter garden to see what I can now do with them.
But since I really didn't produce anything as a result of the two days. And those of you who know me well know I rarely produce anything in a workshop. Therefore, I am itching to get my hands into doing something productive and creative so I am going to spend some time in the garage making a screen to deconstruct tomorrow. Will let you see what I accomplish.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A day of threes and wonders

that began when I awoke.  
I had to take the grandson to school because his ride didn't come. At first I was a little put out until I looked out the window to check th weather to see the most gorgeous rose colored sky I have ever seen. It didn't don on me to get my camera and neither did I stop, go back into the house to get it when on backing out of the garage I was greeted by a double rainbow the intensity of the colors in the one in the western sky I have never seen before. It was impressive and gave me pause. It was almost a 180 degrees arc since where we live we can almost see the horizon in one direction. WOW! was all I could muster. Only by grace did I not have a accident because it was hard to keep from looking at it as I drove out of the subdivision and onto the main road. All things of wonder come in threes I am convinced because upon getting home and standing in the kitchen with the first cup of coffee of the day the yard was invaded by birds. BIRDS as in Hitchcock's the "Birds" Now that I got a picture of.
I began quilting on one of two tops yesterday, one I created using deconstructed screen printing (Kerr Grabowski style) and the second piece is a combo of soy wax resist and screen printing. Both techniques I plan to explore more. I never saw much point in making screen prints on fat quarter size pieces of fabric,I had the same thought about discharging too, but once I saw how easy it was to make a large screen I was intrigued and since I am so happy with the results, I plan to do more and more and more. I think I am in love.
So here is the deconstructed screen printing piece that measures 50" wide by 26 inches at this point. It still needs a facing applied. The second piece is also about the same size, but it has not been quilted at this point. I have it on the design wall letting it tell me how it wants to be quilted. IN the mean time I have a small piece that needs some hand work to finish the facing and the large piece I left over a week ago. I'm going to finish it, I'm going to finish it, I'm going to finish it. I promise , I promise, I promise.
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Monday, October 15, 2007

Rainy days and Mondays

don't always get me down, not when I am doing something I really like. It's raining here again today and it rained (poured) on Saturday too. Sunday couldn't make up its mind and stayed mostly cloudy all day. (So I made my own sunshine)Spent a great part of Friday at the movies seeing Michael Clayton and Why I Got MArried. Both of which I enjoyed. Had hoped to work in seeing Kingdom as well but around here it is showing as a late movie for adults audiences, by that I mean both moovie complexes in the Columbia are starting all the showings around 9:00 pm. Not that I will turn into a pumpkin if I am out late, but there was nothing to do from the time WIGM ended at 7:30 and Kingdom started at 9ish. Eating dinner was out because I had gorged on popcorn and soda through two movies anfd food was the last thing I wanted. There is something about movie popcorn I can't by pass and Raisinettes and the hotdogs which I still eat even though I can't eat the buns due to my allergy to wheat. So instead of waiting around or coming back I went home and spent time in the studio.
I started working on the two pieces you see on Thursday, They were discharged through a large (I made it myself) silk screen. I used the same screen for both images but used two different black fabrics one of which was Kona Cotton and the other I don't know who's brand, but was purchased from Hobby Lobby. The no name was visibly blacker and less dense than the Kona and discharged to the orange color and shrank more, while the Kona discharged to tan. I worked back into the images with Prismacolor pencils, fabric paint and paint sticks along with machine quilting.
The pieces measure approx 18" x 36" each. The work on them progressed very fast even with my movie going time out of the studio and having a student in for private lessons for three hours on Saturday. I did the facings yesterday while television watching and all that is left is the sleeves and the labels. I will get to them later. Let's say, start to finish, dispite interruptions, 4 days. Not bad.
I'm of two minds right now. Do some more discharged images because it was really fun to see the results turn out like I had visualized or do some deconstructed screen printing because I have an idea that I want to see if it will works out. HMMMMM Although the piece on the design wall is still waiting, it is not calling me to attend to it right now.
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ignore the mess

Here is the leg system for the table in the dye area and a picture of the wire baskets unit with wheels. I had lots of those wire baskets in my studio in Louisville, but since moving to Columbia I am using this one in the dye area to be a miscellaneous "catch-all" and two others that are double stacked in a small closet off the foyer.
My fabric was out and visible for as long as I have been making quilts until a year ago. Seeing it was inspiring but now that I have it behind closed doors in this closet and in a rather large guest closet in the foyer that I confiscated and converted into my stash and stuff warehouse by having a handy-man install six rows of wire shelving that are 5 feet wide and 12 inches deep, I have had to make some adjustment in how I select my fabrics for my work.
For one thing I have to totally put away all the fabric from the last project and the project to keep me from being influenced in my color selection.
I had a productive day yesterday doing two pieces of discharge. I didn't go to bed until it was quilted, blocked and squared which meant I was up past my usual bed time. Today I will do some more painting and more thread painting on it and then move on to the second piece if the day permits.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Someone wanted to know

what the tables I like look like. So here are images of the two in my studio space. As I was taking the pictures I realized that the legs are different and I guess it is like everything else in the world. "things change" The tops are made of different materal and although I had wanted the top of the new one to look like the top of the older one, the wood finish was not in stock, so I settled for the white formica type top instead. Which in the long run doesn't matter since it will in most cases be covered with my ironing surface which measures 33" x 64 inches or the large cutting mat you see part of which measures 60" x 32".
The wood looking table sits behind my sewing machine cabinet to hold the weight of larger work and measures 63" x 31.5 inches. The newest table is a little smaller 59" x 29.5 inches. All in all what I like best is the fact that the tables are sturdy and the legs are adjustable from approx 25 inches high to about 38 inches. The one behind the sewing machine is at 29 inches to match the height of the sewing cabinet and the one I will use for cutting and pressing measures 36" which is the right height for me in shoes. Ikea had a variety of different adjustable legs, and in different colors red, black and the metallic grey that I choose. The tops also come in a variety of lengths and widths. For those of you not fortunate enough to life within driving distance of an IKEA they do ship, but I would buy only the legs (they are sold separately in a pick the top, pick the legs, a mix and match thing) and get wood for the top closer to home, because before I realized how close my brother's house was to the IKEA in Woodbridge, VA I was going to have that first table top and leg units shipped. I COULD NOT AFFORD THE FREIGHT. It was more than the cost of the table and legs.
Another good thing, At cutting table height, those wire basket/rack units with wheels fit nicely under the table too if you have fabric storage space issues in your sewing area. I will show you an image of the third table with a different adjustable leg system that is in the dye area in the garage the next time bloggger will let me up load an image. It's being testy again and won't let me do it now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Picking up from yesterday

Here are a few images of the class and just a few of the 47 quilters who attended my class. I remember in the old day when Mary Ellen Hopkins taught to a ballroom full of people. You know, I never aspired to that kind of a situation but found myself in one very close. I still think it was fun but there is no way to teach to that many without a kit and a step by step instructional booklet.
As I said, John and Lyn saw the sites and I want bore you with all the images of tall building that John snapped. He has a thing for buildings. And because he does, we stopped in Springfield, IL on the way home to see the Dana-Thomas House a Frank Lloyd Wright Commissioned residence that was very interesting but reaffirmed my happiness with living in this time period and not some 100 years ago when rooms were poorly lighted and Frank's furniture while interesting fell more in line with austere torture rather than graceful comfort. Sorry, we have no pictures of the house interior and grounds since camera's were forbidden we left the camera in the car.
I am off to teach a class at the quilt shop today and I did get my studio back in order and the dying area in the garage is clean and I ordered dyes this morning since I am running low on some of my favorite ones. I'll place an order for PFD fabric in a short while, to replace what I dyed for the Chicago class kits.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Home again home again jig-it-t-jig

I was away three days and two night and slept in two different beds. One at the Marriott on the south side of Chicago and the other about 30 miles down 55 in a Springhill's near an IKEA store. (SORRY BLOGGER IS NOT HAVING A GGOD DAY AND THERE ARE NO PHOTOS)
When I knew I was going to Chicago where other would make it a point to see some of the sights I on the other hand having seen Chicago, was looking to visit an IKEA store. So while I was teaching, John (the youngest grandson) and his mother, my daughter Lyn went off to see the city. Below are some of what caught John's eye.
I having two IKEA's to choose from was in heaven especially when one happened to be off the road I had to take to get home. HOW NICE OF THEM.
I was going there to buy another table similar to one I already have from them that is sooooooo much better than those rolling foldable tables you get at Joann Fabrics .
If you remember and there is no reason why you should have, I'll tell you now that I have brought three of the Joann Fabric type tables. The first one I gave away after I had purchased my second table from IKEA with adjustable height legs. I got them in the store in Woodrigde, VA when I was visiting my bother who lived just 5 minutes from the store. That was more than six years ago and they are still as sturdy as they day I got them.
When I moved to Columbia, I brought another Joann's folding table to use in the inhouse part of my studio space because one of the IKEA tables was needed for the in garage dye area, only to have one of the wheel break off very shortly after purchase so it too was relegated to the garage dyeing area and I purchased my third table, again to be used inhouse.
As I was working and getting the kits ready for Chicago, the more I cut and pressed and cut the wobblier this thord table got. So I stopped to tighten the screws only to find that they would not tighten and the ones that did preceeded to come through the top of the table. BAD!!!!
So this table is going on the trash heap. I can see no way of salvaging it even for the garage dyeing area at this point. But them, maybe I can use the leg and coaster part and get a core door or piece of plywood. HMMMMMMM!
At any rate, my time in Chicago was great. The ladies and GENTLEMAN of the guild were a delight to meet and teach. What enthusiams. They did my soul GOOD.
So now it is back to what is normal for me around here for a little while. There's the unpacking of luggage and a little necessary clean up of the mess I left waiting my return. The quilt on the design wall is waiting. And ideas in my head are waiting too. AND THERE IS GRASS GROWING IN OUR YARD!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!
I am home until the first of next month when I will be in Louisville for a few day. Helping to jury Form Not Function at the Carnegie, and meeting with friends and family... ALL.... I miss so very much.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

It really isn't the teaching .

that gets me. It is all the prep time you have to put in before the class. For this class in Chicago that I will teach on Friday I have spent most of my waking hours since Monday getting ready. I've dyed yards and yards of fabric which had to be pressed , cut and folded. Drawn patterns,which had to be folded. Written,printed and assembled an instructional booklet etc.
Needless to say I have done nothing for myself in the way of personal creativity.
But after I return from this teaching trip I will be counting down my teaching engagements which are short one day classes and all in Columbia, until I am finished the middle of November for this year(the deadline dates for several shows are looming). Therefore, I have promised myself that I am doing nothing but work, work work in my studio until the Middle of May.
I am so ready to get my hands back on the piece on the design wall and my head into all the ideas I have been putting on hold.
I am not a shutter bug so I will try to remember to take some pictures of my trip to Chicago and the quilters there.
Will check in when I get back which maybe late on Sunday evening if I decide to hang around the city after my lunch/speaker duties on Saturday to see what's up and shaking in Chicago.