Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gearing Up

Here is what I made yesterday as a base for using embroidery threads and beads to embellish it further - I like having a handwork project on the go. I've put these fabric creations on the front of fabric journal covers, or even used them as the complete journal fabric, but I can see many other potential applications. I'm continuing to fuse fabrics and pack supplies for the Sue Benner workshops. Tomorrow night I will attend a presentation she is giving, along with Pamela Allen. I can't wait to see her art quilts!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

On a Roll

I spent a large part of yesterday choosing and fusing 15 metres of fabric in preparation for taking a workshop with Sue Benner next week. The top photo is the fused fabric in a roll. I need to double this amount to meet the minimum fused fabric requirement, so guess what I'll be doing more of today? I happened to see a book on Quilt National in a store and discovered that Sue was one of the three jurors for it this year. She is listed as being one of the top 20 teachers in another book I'm reading and I expect I will be very challenged by the level of learning I experience with her. The second photo is an ink washed muslin base that I will add to in preparation for including some calligraphy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Writing's Off the Wall

Today I attended Lisa Engelbrecht's presentation and show of some of her calligraphy mixed media art. What lovely lettering she does! I felt inspired hearing about her journey and seeing her work, and bought a card she made with a large, beautiful 'Y' that is full of flair and interest. The top photo is of Lisa with one of her pieces. She asked each member of the audience to participate in a collaborative art project where we wrote down 'notice' followed by our individual ideas of what to notice such as 'your breath' or 'the feeling of the wind on your face' on a post-it note and then posted them randomly in Duncan. A few days ago, I tried out a calligraphy pen and acrylic inks for the first time - just a quick 'dip' onto both freezer paper backed fabric and regular paper. I really like the feel of the pen as a mark-making tool and with the help of Lisa's DVD, I hope to experiment further. My doodle is in the other photo.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World Treasures

Today I saw the 'Treasures' exhibit at the Royal BC Museum - over 300 works of art and craftsmanship from around the world brought from the collection of the British Museum. I went from being moved seeing the Rosetta Stone, to amazed at the vitality of bronze Egyptian sculpture and statues of Eros and Dionysos, to sobered by a modern 'Throne of Weapons', made from reclaimed guns. What an incredible gamut of human creations through time and across cultures - so much to drink in. I also held a 6000 year old tool made of antler and stone that had been found at the bottom of a lake in Sweden and was used to scrape hides. A very impactful artist date!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall Fun

Today I was at two of my quilt guild's fall workshops, making mitred placemats with Ursula Riegel and doing mosaic applique with Susan Teece. The power went out before we could start sewing, but fortunately went on in time for us to at least do some, and what a pleasure that was. Neither of the projects above are finished - the placemat that is shown back and front needs topstitching and there are 5 more to complete. I created the background for my elephant scene last night and the work in the class was tracing and outlining the image I brought onto my background, followed by snipping and positioning fused bits. I want the elephant to have an almost drawn look - and to be ephemeral as they are an endangered species. I plan to make it into a small quilt.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Deconstructed Screenprint Results

The top photo is the dye painted fabric I showed previously when it was batching and alot darker. You can also see the difference in colour and value in the photo directly above this text, where the left side is batching screen printed fabric and the right side is the same fabric after rinsing, washing with synthrapol and drying. I printed with clear soda ash paste on the dyed screen 7 times and you can see how light the final print was, as well as the screen once most of the dye is gone. I like having one of a kind fabric and I can see that having the same colours in various values will be useful for putting them together in an art quilt. This method of colouring fabric is pretty time consuming, messy and requires plenty of space - mine is pretty tight and a drying rack would have come in handy. I really like the results, though.

Leftovers Can Be Good

Discovering what fabric I've coloured looks like after rinsing, is very exciting - and the water turns such lovely colours, too! These fabrics are some of the ones I monoprinted or painted with the leftover dye from preparing the screen. I'll do another post to show photos of the fabric that I screenprinted.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Screening at Last

I'm finally using the silkscreen that I bought at the beginning of this year, although I haven't printed on any fabric yet, because I'm trying the 'deconstructed' method. After duct-taping the screen, I added thickened dye over texture I placed below the screen - a peacock feather, rubbing plate, puzzle pieces, and a spongy grid from a fruit box. Once the dye is dried on the screen, I will use print paste to transfer it to fabric. Although I used very small amounts of the dye thickener, I still had some left over, so I used it to do monoprints as well as paint on several pieces of cloth, and they are batching right now. I also tried this curved piecing technique in the photo directly above, which I found tedious but doable.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tall Bottle

I've spent today in New York artist Jonathan Talbot's 'Dancing With Design' collage workshop at the Vancouver Island School of Art, exploring the process of composition, and this collage is what I made at the day's end. Jonathan has sold over 35 000 pieces of art and listening to him was like entering a much larger world where anything is possible. I had expected we would examine each design element and principle and how to use them effectively in various ways, with plenty of hands on. Instead, I have the sense that I opened the door to a hurricane of such magnitude that I still don't know what hit me - in a different and positive way. The learning feels complex and in need of digesting; a view of a larger whole. Sometimes I wish I could bottle the essence of a workshop experience, to uncork and breathe in, in the future. I'd label this one 'Talbottle' - for a tall order and tall shoes to fill.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall is Here

It seems especially fitting that 'Falling' is finished on this first day of September - the month I associate with the beginning of autumn. I have handstitched the rain, using a variegated thread that reminds me of how sometimes when I look out of the window to see if it is raining, it's hard to tell unless I look from a certain angle or in a particular spot. In some places, the raindrops are more visable than in others. The pinwheel is quilted stitch in the ditch and the leaves with free motion.