Saturday, February 23, 2008

The second from the bottom it is...

and WHY. I think it is because you move about in the piece better. Your eye swings from the center of the bloom to the right edge and back to the center. In addition the negative space at the right edge is more interesting.
The hardest thing for me to accept when I was newer at making original work was that cropping 99% of the time made my work visually better.
Yes I know in this case as well as in most instances I have done a lot of quilting in the areas that will be removed, or painting or piecing. But having a better piece in the end far out weights the tears shed over what will go into a trash bin. And aren't I lucky,I can do this with my quilted work.

I will crop it down to get this today and live with it for a few hours before I put the facing on and yes the sleeves too. The label and a title once again will have to wait.

Friday, February 22, 2008

To crop... then how much?

This is the question I always ask myself as I am finishing a new piece. It's the question I am asking myself today with this piece too. I know when I begin that I always design the piece to be larger than what I imagine the finished size will be. I don't add to much to the original, but I do allow for what will be under a binding or turned back when faced. I've decided that I will face this piece which. Finishing with a facing seems to have become my preferred method of taking care of the edges of my work over the last year or so. This piece was dye painted, quilted to contour and to suggest dimension. Highlights shading and additional shaping was achieved with fabric markers. I like the fact that I can take a digital image of my work and upload it into the computer and crop and re crop and ponder before I take a straight edge and rotary cutter to the piece.
But today I am really having more than a few doubting moments about this piece. Here are a few cropped images of the piece.
I am going to go hang the piece on the design wall and take strips of white paper and pin them in place and take the rest of today to decide what will be cropped off and end up in the trash can.
Do you have a favorite cropped image?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I've been laying down on the job

around here lately. Not because I've been lazy, but because while I was dyeing painting, bending over my print table, my back POPPED and OUCH!!!! I had to go to bed for days with first ice and then heat and pain pills and finally something popped back in place and the really bad pain went away, put there is still some lingering pain that keeps me from sitting for long. Standing and walking is no problem. So if this continues much longer, I may have to start quilting standing up.
But after a couple of day abed, I was able to get up and fnish dye painting what I was working on and I am now in the process of quilting it.
The photographer came today and yes I did put some make-up on. He was good. Knew what he was doing too. He instructed me on how to sit and how to hold my head and kept me smiling and laughing throughout the shot as well as telling me to do a little jig to loosen up. When I had thought I would hate the whole exprience, I can say it was a highlight if not in my life, certainly the highlight of the last week or so.
Met with about 11 other women at the library on Saturday (Took a pain pill an hour before I left home and a was dire need of one when I got home ) where we discussed starting a mixed media fiber art group that will be focus on learning new techniques in a 4-5 hour meetings once a month format. Each of us will take turns teaching something. The group will be limited because of participation and the places where we can meet that will give us a work space for messy wet work.
I've sat here all I can for this session so I am back to bed and the heat pad and a pain pill.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I opened my closet and


what did I see,
the biggest mess in the world, it seemed to me.
So I got busy and dived into the piles
and discovered yards of fabric that went on for miles.
I found a lot that I dyed and a lot that was new
However most were years old, but very few blues.

Okay, enough of this. I am not writing this whole blog entry in prose.

I had no plans to clean the closets when I opened the doors on Tuesday morning. I was just looking for my Muse. With no firm idea in mind, I was hoping my Muse could be tempted by color when it hadn't been by what I saw in my sketch books.
What smacked me in the face was lots of greyed purples that did not help lift my mood or inspiring me and what I thought was, "no self respecting Muse would be caught dead admitting that she was inspired by the blahs that presented there."

Surely, I thought, I must have some happier colors in here somewhere, some clearer colors, some more oranges and reds and happy blues. On looking harder, I found them hiding in a bin on the top shelf. I guess they were up there because I had no room for them on the selves.
I am still trying to work in the space I have now and in the year or so that I have been here it still isn't fitting like a well loved pair of kid gloves yet. There's more tweeking to be done. I think it is because my creative area is so fragmented.
One of the things I loved about my old space was the ability to see what I had by glancing about my studio. Everything but my large rolls of batting was contained within my studio room. The fabric was organized by colors, prints were with prints, hand dyes and commerical solids had their places too and there bins labels according to what the fabric reminded me of; leaves, water, sky, rocks, etc and this worked well for me. Imagine, all of my fabric folded neatly in wire drawers that were under my work table or standing as a base for a work surface. And for a time I could pay my youngest grandson a Dollar a drawer to resort and refold. Ahhhh those were the days.
Here I don't have the space and or the ability to shut out the light that would fade the fabric over time if I could fit them under the two work tables. So I settled for two closets to hold my stash. One with stacked wire shelves and the other has 6 wire shelves attached to the wall. But since the fabric was in two separate places it made coordinating the hand dyes with the commercial prints and with the solids harder. What it has been is a pain.

So far the last three nights I have been sleeping with piles of fabric on the unoccupied side of my king size bed as I sorted and refolded and decided what to keep and what to get rid of.

To have... just to have... has never been part of my being. And I have always said too, if I don't love it, it must go.
And it was beginning to seem that having to have was exactly what I was doing by keeping all those yards and yards of fabric. And why was it still here when I could honestly say, I had fallen out of love with most of it a long time ago. I know there are some of you who are saying, but your fabric is your palette. Well yes, that is true if you are still using that palette, but when you have moved on, what is it then.

So I offered to sell my Kona solids; that I had acquired 3 years ago for 2 weeks of classes with Nancy Crow, to anyone who wanted them and got a taker. Today, I packed it all into three boxes that are now in the hands of UPS and on the way to that person.
I offered my commercial prints to anyone who could make use of them and got a taker for all of it too. The new owners will be a quilt guild that does charitiable project. For them I think I will have about four boxes to send off on Monday.
I did keep a few of my newer pieces and some longer lengths that were purchased for quilt backs.
Now when I look in my closet I can see what I have and what I really need, which is some blues and some greens and some true reds. I'm itching to get out the dyes and plunge in if only it would warm up enough to spend some time in the garage.

And as I was fondling and folding and sorting several idea played through my head, so after the box packing tomorrow it will be back to the studio and to work.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When your mind is divided

and involved in to many things, it is really hard to make something that reguires too much of your creative brain. This is the work that got done in the studio this week as my brain has been divided between the books on CD and the characters therein that I have gotten very attached to, the political debates, the Super Bowl, Tiger Woods in Dubia and some knitting. Sorry you have to look at all the other stuff in the studio and not just the image of the quilt. I don't know why sometimes when I crop an image it stays cropped when I post it to my blog and at other time it does not. I did crop this image, but as you see, this was one of those days when the cropping refused to materialize.
It has been like Spring here for two days and because all of the above, missed an opportunity to spend two days in the garage dyeing, or screen printing or whatever but I don't feel to bad because I really did not have an idea at the back of my head to delve into at any rate, just in case.
A group of ladies here have decided to start a hands on during meetings surface design group that I am looking forward to participating in. Our first meeting will be in a week are so.
Today it is raining and a varitable deluge began just as Lyn and I got to the polling place this morning, but rain did not stop us from trudging through it to Vote. I hope all of you who are in the States that are voting today have done the same or are planning to do so before the polls close.
I have one more book to hear after the one I am listening to now. And it is a very good thing. I think I had better take a break from Lt. Dallas and her New York Police Department crew. She is getting to be an addiction close to what I can imagine someone waiting each day for their favorite Soap can become even though I know at some point there will be no more books about her available at the library.