Monday, July 26, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

Several of my friends at Facebook are participating in The Sketchbook Project.  I was intrigued, so I checked it out.  For $25, you get your choice of Moleskine cahiers in red, natural or black, and you can choose from among several themes, including the option of letting the organizers choose a theme for you.  The books are sent back to The Brooklyn Art Library and will be touring the country next year.

I went with the theme “Dirigibles and Submersibles”, which felt like it could inspire some steampunk and fantasy creations.  Once the book arrived, I let it sit for a few days while I pondered how to begin.

Finally, I picked up the book and began to draw:

sketchbook project inside front cover

Pilot pen over a pencil drawing. 

sketchbook project spread one

The paper was thin, so I ended up gluing pages together.  This page was collaged with pages from an old AAA guidebook, listing stations from Michigan.  After I applied a thin wash of Golden Quinacridone Burnt Orange acrylic, I stamped the spread with a hand carved stamp.  Once that all dried, I drew in the submarine and waves with india ink.  Details are filled in with gouache and paint pen.

sketchbook project spread one detail

Here you can see some of the detail of the listings. 

The third image, so far:

sketchbook project spread two View from inside the sub.  Pilot pen over pencil drawing.  I plan on going back into both this and the inside front cover and coloring them in.

Future ideas include the view from inside a dirigible, and dirigibles and subs made in different shapes.  (I’m thinking a banana dirigible would be really cool).   Then, who knows?  Right now, I’m having fun, and it’s a nice break from my other work.  The rules do say that artists can diverge from the theme of their book, but I am enjoying the parameters at the moment and intrigued by possibly doing something similar on my own once this book is full.  The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shows, Shows and More Shows

Over the past week I’ve managed to put in some good studio time.  Some of the work has been for specific shows, while others have been play/spec.

First, the play.  I have a set of Liquitex Basics 22ml acrylics, and I’ve been practicing my painting:

cow in process

Cow Bird in process.  This painting is based on my quilt of a similar cow and bird couple.  Right now I’m still building the layers of color.  I love how the table underneath is its own piece of art with all the layers of old paint on it.

bunny pierrot

Bunny Pierrot II, one of three rabbit pierrot paintings I’m planning.  This one will be on the far right.  The full piece will be 8” x 24” when finished.

I also committed to sending a shoe piece to a show at Ten Women Gallery, so I applied some of my painting practice to this piece, still in process:

ten women shoe two

I drew the shoes using a regular #2 pencil, then began layering in colors.  The fish are a silkscreen I made based on a stamp I carved several years ago.  This piece is 10” x 10”.

And finally, I mixed the media up in this piece for the Art Quilt Network Fire and Ice show at Galleria Evangelia:

 fire quilt stern

So far it’s untitled.  It’s based on the bead drawings I did last month, and I used hand painted paper which has been screened with the fish print.  I sewed fabric onto that to fill out the image.  It measures approximately 15” x 15”.

fire quilt stern detail

Detail of the painted paper and fabrics.  I really like how this piece came together and want to play more with the painted paper concept.  I would love to be able to get such painterly colors and crisp images on fabric.  Maybe Jane Dunnewold’s new book Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design for Fabric will have some good ideas.  We do have several dry days coming up and there’s nothing like painting in the yard. :)

Tomorrow I will share images from my work for The Sketchbook Project

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

All in the Family

image This wonderful poster for Izzy’s upcoming show just arrived in my email.  It was created by Ryan Spellman at the Athens Public Library.  If you’re in the area, stop by and see the show.  We hang it next Friday (July 30)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Boogie on the Bricks

Saturday was the last day of the annual “Ohio Brew Week” festivities here in Athens, celebrating home brew and craft brew culture.  The culmination of the week is an all-day festival of brews, tunes, and art.

This year we didn’t sample any brews, we grooved to the tunes, and this is the art we took for sale:

boogie one

Handmade purses, assorted necklaces, magnets and collage paintings.

boogie two

We didn’t have display for hanging items, so I made do with these old wine crates my mom gave to me.  I think they worked pretty well.

boogie three

One of the framed collages on display in the wine crate.

boogie four

Collage pins made using old name tags.  I love making these collages, they provide the perfect setting for all those odds and ends left over after making bigger pieces.

Izzy got into the show spirit as well:

izzy art

He has really come a long way from his early polymer creations.

izzy art two

I love how he comes up with scenarios for his creations.  The King Crab is multi-media, it’s made using shells and glitter as well as the polymer clay.  This year he even has two pieces in the Youth Creative Art exhibit at the Ohio State Fair.  It’s a great joy to see the pleasure my children take in expressing their creativity.  Boogie oogie oogie!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From Concept to Finish

I am in the process of going through my studio in preparation for a potential move.  My husband graduates in November, and we are not sure where his next job will be.  We’ve lived here for 17 years, which means there is a lot to go through.  As part of the winnowing process, and to help support the family while he finishes his education, I have decided to offer a “Feature Quilt of the Month” for sale here on the blog.
This month’s quilt is my piece “Elephants in the Garden”, which was designed as part of a project proposal for Lark Books.  I like working with this whimsical style of creating animal images, and relished the opportunity to return to my old stomping grounds to create this piece.
elephants in the garden of good and evil
Most of the time a piece begins as a sketch in my journal.  I play with colors and composition before scissors come near fabric.  This is a sketch for “Elephants in the Garden”, done with Crayola Pipsqueak markers.  I used my trusty black Pilot pen to outline the figures and to indicate the lines of the patchwork, etc.  This is the image I submitted to Lark to propose a piece for the book “Pretty Little Mini Quilts.”
11 elephants pinned to quilt background
When the proposal was accepted, I began the quilt.  Here you can see it in process.  The background has already been pieced and the elephants appliqued in place.  The metal yardstick is in place to help me confirm that the piece fits in with the 36” dimension requirement.  You can see the sketchbook with the initial concept in the background, and my Iris carts full of pieces parts under my working table.
17 elephant and tree on quilt
Elephants wearing their blankets and ears now, and the tree trunk is in place.  I won’t bind the quilt until all of the pieces are appliqued into place.  I embellish once the piece is bound, so as to not catch the threads from the binding process on the bulky embellishments.
elephants in the garden detail one
Detail of the eye, which is a larger button layered with a smaller button, and the tusk, which is a dentallium shell sewn to the piece.
elephants in the garden detail two Detail of the palm tree.  The shiny fabric in the leaves is cotton lame, and the dates in the center are three-dimensional, made with hand-dyed fabric from Judy Robertson of Just Imagination.
elephants in the garden detail three
Detail of one of the feet, with a detail of the machine quilting and hand stitches using embroidery floss.
elephants in the garden
The finished piece, which measures 20.5” x 35.5”.  After completion, I sent the piece to Lark, where it was photographed for the book.  It returned home to me earlier this year, about the same time the book was available for sale. 
This piece can be yours for $425.00, which includes hanging rod and shipping within the US.