Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Discharged leaf art quilts

      In my last post, I wrote I have to work at what I do. I always had strong visual ideas. I had no art in school until high school which was was rudimentary busy work. I had no art supplies. Initially, I did not go to art school (art ed) as I was discouraged by counselors forecasting looming layoffs in teaching (it did happen). I didn't get my graphic design degree until much later and my art ed certification and masters at 42. I struggled to learn fundamental art and design concepts and skills and college did not help. Back then, art at the SUNY schools was all about feeling and abstraction and therapy and making marks. There was disdain for techniques and color/values/composition-they said it had no soul. I had to learn on my own sketching, examining, taking workshops to what was close to where I wanted to go. One of the reasons I became an art teacher was to bring children a solid art program. 
     Art is my passion in creating and finishing. Process and product are not separate for me. When I am done with a project, I want to move on.

     Since last summer, I had a bunch of fabric that I discharged leaves. Real leaves were harmed in the making of the discharged fabric. I weighted them down with pennies and sprayed the bleach/water mixture over all kinds of blacks, dark greens and other solid colors. The black worked best, but I did use the green in two border strops. 
     Everytime I took the pieces out, I had no clue. Well, now I am forced to come up with some work for shows. I made two at once because when I stuck working on one, I go to the other.
     I have this hate relationship with fusibles. When I needed leaves, I cut freezer paper leaves out and wrappd the edges of the batiks to the back and used a glue stick and dry iron. I removed the paper and then used a blind stitch on my 70's Bernina with monofilament from YLI and an 11 needle to applique them onto the backgrounds. I made a lot more leaves than I used. The sketches I made were not what it ended up like. I don't like doing applique, but sometimes, you just need it.
In process figuring made fabric border

Finished top of art quilt, 24 x 24, but not quilted
The rectangle art quilt, 24 x 30
     The mess of fabrics from making these was put away, but then the landscape quilts fabrics have spilled over also (not seen).

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The heART of it

     I don't like interruptions. Even vacations. Somehow I got pursuaded to take two this summer. And then all the summer get together stuff, my children's remodeling projects (ceiling removal, floor refinishing, revamp entire front garden, etc.), the flu in June and on and on. So, I am overall mentally derailed artistically.
    I am one of those people who have to work on a pretty daily basis to keep my direction going and the projects flowing. It is work for me.
     So now, I am facing two huge deadlines- a show starting Sept. 1st and our guild show Oct. 3 and 4. Not done. And hard to move ahead quickly on the remaining projects. Despite notes and sketches, I am like "what was I thinking? What does this mean?"
     On vacation in the Adirondacks, I took a class with the masterful Kurt Gardner on photographing sunrises. I brought home over 300 photos taken in a three hour window. Most are not good, but I was learning and adjusting the camera like crazy to follow the swiftly changing conditions. I did take them all off the camera and labeled them. 
    Before I show photos of the art quilts I am working on, here are some ADK (Old Forge, NY) lovelies from my workshop, no retouch, with my old Canon DSLR.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Recent work- on paper

     I shared some of my Maine sketches a few posts ago, so I will be brave enough to post some recent watercolor paintings. I love waterlilies and I take photos of them in the Adirondacks around Old Forge, NY. I am ready to leave for our yearly one week stay. Last year's photographs were used as reference for this year's paintings. Keep in mind, I probably shoot over 200 photos, and maybe 10-20 of them are useful for paintings.
Painted on Arches paper that was brushed with gesso first.
Arches bright white cold press 140 lb paper
A half sheet of Arches cold press 300 lb paper. You think fabric is expensive. this paper is in that ballpark.
     Also, a dear friend's mother is going through a bad time with bladder cancer. My friend shared a photo of her mom two years ago from her 90th birthday holding her great granddaughter. I finally, after many sketches and attempts, girded myselft up, painted, framed and delivered it. They were happy with it.
      Keep in mind, I am a very amateur photographer and I cannot get the true colors of the paintings across in these posts. Transparent watercolor is hard to reproduce.