August 27, 2007

Colorful Weekend

Wow, what a colorful weekend I had with Sherrill Kahn. She is a warm, generous teacher that is willing to share everything she knows and encourages you to take it even further. If you enjoy playing with paint and experimenting, I highly recommend this workshop.
The paints we used are Lumiere which is a metallic paint and strong coverage. Textile paint is transparent and glazes the surface beautifully. Neopaque is strong, bold colors that covers completely. Sherrill's Sorbets are pretty colors that really pop and have amazing coverage. I have a better understanding of how and when each type of paint should be used.

These pieces have several layers of paint and were stamped rolled and scraped. Both of these designs were printed from a design I drew onto a Styrofoam plate. Different colors of Lumiere were used. The one on the right was outlined with gold Lumiere paint.
All three layers began with one application of paint. The first layer was wet fabric, the second wet layer had the images painted onto it: red grid, gold spots and red circles. The rest was filled with colors. A third wet layer was added and all pressed together and magic happened. After it dried, I took the layers apart and did a masking tape resist, stamping, scraping and outlining to each piece. I really like the way all three turned out.
I have done this on my own and have found many great designs this way. You cut a hole in a small piece of cardboard and move it over a photo until you find a composition you like. The painting on the left was inspired by a photo in a National Geographic, the one on the right was taken from my sketchbook and was inspired by a piece of fabric.

August 23, 2007

Gathering Supplies

This is the third night I have spent gathering supplies for the Sherrill Kahn workshop. It is one of the most extensive lists I have encountered. I'll be amazed if I use half of it!

Of course, we need paint! Lots and Lots of Paint! I have Neopaque, Dynaflow, Setacolor, Textile Paint and Lumiere. Then there are crayons, paint sticks and markers. And then you need a way to apply it. I have sponges, texture squeegees, combs, toothbrushes and of course paintbrushes.
I saved the best for last, a new apron. I saw this and had to have it. I love it. This is going to be fun!!!

August 19, 2007

Smoked Out

As you may have heard, there is a major forest fire burning where I live in Santa Barbara county. It's the longest burning fire in the history of California. So far, it's burned 215,000 acres in 1-1/2 months. It's about to cross over into Ventura county and they expect it to burn for at least another month. Their main focus is controlling what direction the fire will burn. Fortunately, no structures have been burned so far although several evacuations have been issued.
Usually the air quality is very good where I live, but that has changed because of the fire. The direction of the wind makes a huge difference on whether or not you can go out. Some days the sky has an overcast orange glow to it and it is snowing ash. Other days, it's a beautiful blue sky.
Needless to say, a lot of people are having problems breathing, myself included. I ended up getting a sinus infection and generally feeling lousy. So I've been taking a bunch of medicine and staying inside trying to get it cleared up and overall I'm beginning to feel better. I've bought a paper mask in case it gets bad again and I need to go out.
I've been finishing a couple of projects, it's about all I've had the energy for. I appreciate all the feedback you gave me about finishing my latest piece. There were some great ideas that made me think differently. I ended up stitching Sliver metallic thread into the piece and then sewing it onto a painted canvas. Here's the final version. I'm still pondering whether I should finish it with a very narrow painted wood frame.

August 11, 2007

I Survived the Presentation

My quilt presentation went pretty well. A couple of friends told me that my face was redder than my shirt and I spoke a little too fast. I'm glad it's over and I'm sure the next time will be easier.
Overall, my quilts were well received. When I presented my first finished quilt, I hear several gasps of surprise because it's way too nice for a first quilt. I think they enjoyed seeing my non-traditional quilts. Several people stayed afterwards to talk with me. One said my quilts were better than many of the speakers that we have and several asked me if I would teach a class.
At this point in my life, I don't have enough time to spend on my own artwork. I can't imagine teaching. Maybe when I retire.
Remember the turquoise wax painting. I added another layer of crayon and another wash of color. I also added some accents with Red Tsukineko Ink.
Here is the finished painting. I like it even better now. I think it has a lot more depth.And here are several of the ATC's after I cut it up. I really like the movement. I've finished these three weeks early, I don't need them till September.
Now I have to finish two quilts for a group show at the Elverhoj Museum from October - December.

August 8, 2007

Nervous and Excited

I'm a bit nervous because I'm going to talk to my guild about my quilts. It's a big guild, probably 300 members. Public speaking is not high on my list of skills. I agreed to do it because I really need to conquer this fear and what better place than in front of your friends. I'll be showing 16 quilts created between 1996 and 2007. Please, wish me luck!
I'm really excited because I signed up for a two day workshop at the end of August with Sherrill Kahn. I can't wait, it's going to be a blast!I found these paint chips at the hardware store and had to have them. I have to make another trip for the rest of the colors. I'm going to use them to make some ATC's. Way to fun!

August 6, 2007

More Shopping!

Another shopping trip with my friend Kathy, north this time. We went to several stores, asking for donations for the Coastal Quilters Guild challenge "Lights! Camera! Action!". I'm sure we spent twice as much money as we received in gift certificates!
I'm pretty sure I needed a couple of these items and some were such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up. I had a coupon for the sewing machine feet, Buy two, get one free, so I did! I bought the Open Toe Free Motion Spring Foot, Edge Stitching Foot and the Chenille Stitching Foot. I have quite the collection of feet now.

I need the corner marker tool to get the Ricky Timms binding to work right. And my hands are dying of heat exhaustion in the quilting gloves I've been using. A friend told me the Machingers gloves breathe. I'll let you know. I cannot find the Tsukineko ink locally, so had to get that too!

Here's my justification for the fabric. Black is my neutral, it makes all colors POP, and good light fabric is hard to find, so you need to buy it whenever you see it. The others had good texture!

These two are special! I love it when the fabric changes throughout the width. There are two fabrics here, the black line shows the separation. The fabric on the bottom starts as yellow and changes to purple at the other end. The fabric on the top has the different skies. Had to get these! Don't you agree?

August 5, 2007

Artist's Muse Challenge

The chapter 4 challenge from the Artist's Muse Yahoo group is finished!
The challenge was to cut 12 fabrics into irregular shapes and place them randomly onto a base with fusible web and iron. Then stencil and/or paint on the surface as desired. I followed the guidelines up to the shapes being ironed, then I took a turn.
The piece looked nice, but it was too flat for me. I decided to add some pieces of painted dryer sheets, baby wipes, recycled thread bunches and yarn. I put a layer of Solvy on top and stitched it all down. After dissolving, I decided to stitch more layers on top.

I really LOVE it, it reminds me of the ocean. But, I still wondered if it needed something else. I cut out a palm tree and placed on top. It looked good, but I decided it was beautiful by itself and could stand on its own as a piece of art. I am going to paint a canvas blue and stitch the piece on top.

Do you think I should add beads?

August 3, 2007

¡Viva La Fiesta!

August 1 - 5 is Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara. Tourists invade the city by the thousands and the whole city becomes a very large party.
There are many different activities throughout the city. Wednesday night at the mercado, we attended a free concert by Hollywood U2. Tonight is the Rodeo and tomorrow is the childrens parade and tomorrow night is the Flamenco dancers at the Courthouse.
Here is a vasquero showing his roping technique, he was really good.
Beautiful costumes can be seen throughtout the city.

One of the hundreds of beautiful horses in the parade.

The cascarones are definitely one of the Fiesta highlights. Colorful confetti is contained inside every egg. You sneak up on people and crack the egg on their head and confetti goes flying everywhere. It will take six months for the confetti to disappear d0wntown!