Saturday, September 23, 2017

Is Fiber Art A Good Fit For Art In Public Places

     It's common to see sculptures in parks and on street corners, but have you ever seen fiber art in those places? My town, DeLand, has just installed art onto electric boxes in our downtown and one of my pieces was chosen. They reproduced it onto vinyl and then shrink-wrapped it onto the electric box.
Me and my art.
It's in front of a beautiful mural.

Back side
They even did the top

Two by my friend, Bobbi Baugh
My friend, Bobbi Baugh, has several of the boxes covered with her fabric art, too. So, yes, fiber art can be installed outside into a semi-permanent place. These will remain until they are no longer attractive due to weather or other problems. What fun! I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on the artists' posts to let them know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, September 8, 2017

What Can You Get For You and Support Art?

     My piece is up for auction starting September 22. It's called "Across TIme". It all began as white fabric.

 Go to SAQA to see how the auction works.
I wish I could write more on this post, but I need to spend time getting ready for Hurricane Irma. I've cleaned up my studio and video taped its contents for the insurance company in case of bad things. And I'm rolling up all my art quilts and putting them inside the clothes dryer until the storm is over. My dye notebook is going in there, too. I can't imagine losing years worth of work and information. I may be without power for a week or more so you might not hear from me for a bit.  Hope everyone will be ok and suffer no or minimal damage. Good luck to all involved. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by and thanks for visiting.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What Is Your Favorite Technique For Surface Design?

     Do you have a technique for surface design that you find you use the most or do you use all sorts? I've been experimenting with techniques for years, but I've found that I find creating and using thermofax screens and stencils to be most fun. For both of them, I use my own photos as a starting point. I try to find the element I want to photograph and isolate it by putting white paper behind it.

Then I use the software Art Studio on my iPad to alter it and turn it into a black and white image with high contrast. For thermofax screens, I've gotten lucky and found a local shop, Fabrications, that makes them so that I don't have to pay for shipping. I just take them a copy of the image and they make the screens for me for a very reasonable charge.
     For stencils, I trace the image onto stiff cardstock and cut it out with an X-Acto knife. If it is a stencil I plan to use a few times, I coat it with semi-gloss medium first so that it is a little water proof.
This last time, the image I wanted to use was the root you see above. I needed an image that was too large for a thermofax screen and knew that making a stencil of it would be daunting. But it was the only way I could think of transfering that image in the color and value I wanted. So I decided to get on with it and do it. I had a transparency made of the black and white image, projected it onto freezer paper, traced it, cut it, and ironed it onto the fabric.
Cutting the stencil
I figured it took me about 5 hours of cutting time. I couldn't do it all at once because it would strain my wrist so I did it in portions over three days while I involved myself in other tasks in between.
freezer paper ironed on
There were inserts of freezer paper I ironed on into some of the larger open spaces, too.

my design wall now with the root stencil done
So now I'm designing a square version of the green one and hoping I can reuse that freezer paper stencil for that. I may have to cut another one in a different size. I'll have a thermofax made of it for the small collages and other uses. Even though it took time and effort, it was a very satisfying experience and I plan to do more of it. Regarding surface design, I think I've found a place where I can happily stay awhile. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts so that they know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Do You Multi-Task?

     When you create artwork do you do several at once, several types of things at once, or work on one piece from start to finish before starting another? I used to do the latter. I didn't feel comfortable enough to start a second (or third) piece until the present one was completely done. I didn't like my mind to wander onto other projects and lose my focus. But now that I'm in the Art Cloth Mastery program, I find the need to have several things and processes going on at the same time. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish before my next session in October and I find that one process helps another.
     For example; while I'm waiting for a cloth to batch in the dye bucket, I can hand-stitch another piece or do some color studies with paint. If I'm not sure how I want to hand-stitch a larger piece, I audition stitching on a smaller collage with the same imagery. While I'm trying to choose imagery for an artwork I have in mind, I assemble the background fabrics and have them hang on the design wall to stare at for inspiration. Here is my design wall today. On it is an almost finished piece in gray on the left, the middle one in blue is done printing and layering but needs to have hand-stitching added and be put onto a felt backing, and the green one on the right is waiting for inspiration for imagery to add to it.
The small pieces on top are collages I made with leftover prints and dyed fabrics from the larger ones. They are waiting to be mounted onto a yet undecided surface. 

waiting for stitch and backing
small stitched collage in progress
another small stitched collage
     So I've changed how I work on art and I think I like this new way of having several things going on. It's more relaxing for me to spend part of day hand-stitching and another part of the same day dyeing fabric, and another part of the day in designing mode. It felt more intense to spend the whole day in the studio working on the same process. Live and learn. 
     I'm linking this with Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on the artists' posts so that they know you visited. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Do You Have Access To A Good Museum?

     People who live in large cities have access to many quality museums, but what about those of us who live in small towns? Our local museum, The Museum of Art DeLand, gets fantastic exhibits. I don't know how they do it, but we regularly get to see top quality shows. The latest one downtown (the museum has galleries in two separate locations), presently has a show called "Painted Bodies" by photographer Roberto Edwards from Chile. The exhibit is on loan from  The Holden Luntz Gallery.
     The project had very well know artists from all over the world go to Chile to paint onto the bodies of models.  Here are some of the images:
Artist-Linda Mason, England

Artist- Jaime Zapata, Ecuador

Artist Pedro Ruiz, Colombia

Artist- Verónica Rubio, Spain

Artist- Sebastiàn Leyton, Chile

Artist- Verónica Rubio, Spain
Note: the red strings on two of the models aren't actually strings. They are painted onto the models with red paint and the shadows of the "Strings" are also done in paint.
     If you are anywhere close by, do try to see this exhibit in person. It's amazing.  Here's a YouTube video about the project.
     In between museum visits, I'm adding stitching to my series.

Also, here's a link to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on the posts so that the artists know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What Do You Do With Art Experiments?

     When you create a piece of cloth from an experiment do you put it in a notebook, put it away somewhere, or try to create something out of it? I usually try to create something. I hate for things to be put away and not used. Such was the case with an experiment on silk from my most recent Art Cloth class with Jane Dunnewold. We learned how to print on fabric using thickened dyes and used screens we had created in class to print through. Here is one of my results:
experimental screen print
     It was over a yard square in size. I cut it up into strips and machine-pieced them together. Then I overlapped two of the resulting long strips and sewed them together with a seam. I topstitched around the edges and then my scarf was finished. 

     I have two more cloths from that same procedure, but they don't seem as promising as this one was. But since I don't like cloth to just sit there, I may try to overdye them and turn them into cloth napkins. That's all for now because I'm very busy dyeing and printing to continue with my art series. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on the artists' posts so that they know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Quest for Spring Green.

There are so many green hues in nature. But which ones really dominate in Spring? The answer probably depends on the plants in your view. But in creating a dye background for my Spring pieces, I want to capture the yellow-green I see in the new growth popping out of stems and branches. I also need that hue to coordinate with the gray pieces I've already made for Autumn so it can't be an intense hue. So to find my desired green, I ran several experiments mixing colors to produce my yellow-green. I tried various blue dyes mixed with Prochem's Sun Yellow. I tried Neutral Gray mixed with that yellow, too. And then I mixed compliments to get a duller green because the brightly colored ones didn't play well with the gray pieces. I mixed grape with yellow, grape with curry, bronze with tangerine. All produced some very interesting greens. I think, for my purposes with this series, I've settled on the bronze/tangerine mixture.
     One thing I found was that the color will change dramatically if the fabric is completely immersed in the dye bath compared to if it is just wet with the dye bath. Here's an example:
green produced by completely immersing
fabric in yellow/grape mixture

interesting but ugly sample using the same dye bath
shown above, but only wetting the fabric with it
instead of immersing the fabric in it
I think I've learned that only wetting the fabric with dye mixtures causes the colors to split. (Which may be a good thing sometimes, but not for what I want here.)
Completely immersed in a bronze/tangerine mixture
This one is very close to what I want. (The rectangle you see on the right is a shadow of my iPhone when I took the photo.) I tried overdyeing a piece of it in very dilute Marine blue to get a little more green and less yellow.
Overdyed sample
I love this piece of fabric, but it doesn't really go well with the gray pieces I have so I'll use it for something else. I wasn't expecting so much blue to come out pure. Something for me to remember about overdyeing... Some of the new color will show as its pure color. 
     So I might use the bronze/tangerine mixture and try getting the effect I want by printing on it with the right hues. I'm getting a little frustrated because I can get the exact color I want when mixing paints, but with dye, you can't see what you've got until after you've washed and dried the fabric after it has batched in the dye bath. Sometimes, while it is in the dye bath, it looks one color, but after batching, washing and drying it comes out different than what it seemed. I guess that is part of the learning curve. 
     While my samples, batch (24 hours), I work on smaller projects. I needed some coasters in my studio for putting on wet glasses with ice water or cups of hot coffee or tea and I wanted them to coordinate with the quilt my grandmother made for me. Instead of buying fabrics, I went to a bag I've been keeping of scraps of fabric leftover from dye experiments. I cut up pieces of those to make small collages and followed a tutorial I wrote here for my very first blog post on how to make coasters using old floppy disks. 
new coasters on studio table
All four coasters
      So that's what I've been up to. Trying to find the right green and smaller things. I think it is the scientist in me that makes me want to get just the right mixture. But I've decided that this week, I'll just choose one of the mixtures I've already tried and make it work in my series. I can change how it appears by the paint colors and values I choose for printing imagery on it. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.