Thursday, November 27, 2014

What Are You Thankful For?

     I have many things to be thankful for. Too many to list. One of the things pertains to this blog. For the last month, I've been away traveling in Argentina and Chile. I wrote my posts and scheduled them before I left home, planning to link them to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Friday each week while I was on the trip when I got access to a a wifi on each Friday. As it turned out, I ended up in remote places on Fridays. Some without Internet and once with satellite access but in a bad storm and so couldn't keep a connection long enough to make the link. I was able to email Nina Marie, however, ahead of time, and she was kind enough to link me up since my blog had already posted. So many thanks to her!
     I'm also thankful for the opportunity to travel. This trip, my husband and I visited Patagonia, which is the bottom part of South America. We started in the southernmost city on Earth and then slowly made our way up the Andes Mountains northward taking buses and ferries and hiking. It was a great, adventure-filled four weeks. Here are some photos I took with my iPad. The really great photos are on my husband's really good camera, but we haven't gone through those yet.
 Oh... I should mention that I sprained my ankle while hiking in a snowstorm one of the days and got rescued by real gauchos and got to ride their horse in amazing mountain scenery, too.  I'm thankful the sprain wasn't too bad and I was able to walk after a few days.
me hiking in Torres del Paine park in Chile
the famous peaks in Torres del Paine

Perito moreno glacier in Argentina

Us on a bus heading north.
The Andes on the left mark
the border with Chile
same photo using the Waterlogue App
on the iPad which turns
photos into watercolor paintings
Patagonia has the most incredible clouds.
I think, because of the ferocious wind.
This photo is not touched up.
     How will I use these images in my quilts? I'm not sure. I have many photos of the incredible clouds. I could see using those in my designs. I have lots of photos of ice. I could see using some of those textures and colors. I love the photo of the feet in the bus window. If I need a whimsical quilt, I'll use that. I find that using the Waterlogue App helps simplify the image so I often apply it to my photos to test them out to get an idea of what they might look like in fabric if I were to want to make an art quilt of them. It's a quick way to test it out.
     Lastly, I'm thankful to be home. My first morning home, it felt so good to sit in my pajamas sipping coffee, watching Good Morning America with two cats snuggled up against me. No more backpack on my back, no more seeking out hostels, no more long bus rides, no more ferocious never-ending wind (although all that really made the trip feel like a great adventure).
     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.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Back To Monoprinting

     Now that I'm working on a larger piece again, the first step is to monoprint the background fabrics. I wanted to have several color choices to choose from and this piece is about a walk in the woods in the early morning. So I needed to use greens for the foliage, oranges for the sunrise, and blues for the water of the lake that I came upon. I mixed my own colors starting with acrylic paints of cadmium yellow light, cadmium red light, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, and titanium white. I added equal amounts of Golden's GAC 900 Fabric medium which allows the paint to play well with fabric. I also used Jacquard's colorless extender to thin the paint so that it would be more transparent on the fabric.
     This is the first time I used the actual Gelli plate. Before this I used my home-made gelatin plates. When I took the Gelli plate out and spread the paint on, it kept beading up. I thought maybe I just had to break it in and do a few prints. But it kept beading up. I was getting ready to contact the company when I realized that I had not removed the protective plastic cover! I got some interesting prints that way, though.
     Here are some prints I got off the actual plate.
reminds me of sun reflecting on the water,
impressionistic style

might be good for background in the woods
with a foreground on top

another background

I like the white "resists" I got in this one
All of these will be cut up and used in pieces and have other elements added on top, but they are a good beginning as the bottom layer for backgrounds for what I have in mind.
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, November 7, 2014

Does Your Art Overflow Into Your Everyday Life?

     Does your art influence other parts of your life? I've seen posts of other artists showing photos of themselves standing next to works of theirs and the colors of their clothes match the colors in their artworks. Not surprising since we often work with our favorite colors. If you regularly read my blog, then you know that one of my favorite and most used color is blue. I'm particularly fond of the blue-greens and teals. I especially love when I see rust colors next to them because, since they are the complimentary colors to them, they really bring them out.
     Recently, I bought a new bicycle. When I was going to shop for one I was excited about choosing a color that I would like. I was going to lean toward a blue. I wanted to get a ladies style bike. I still wanted a 21-speed, but I was having trouble getting my leg over the bar on my boy's style bike due to a hip injury. When I got to the bike store and looked on-line, I was very disappointed. The only colors to choose from in ladies style bikes in 21-speed were black and white. And to make it worse, they had flowery scroll designs on them like they don't take us seriously. The bike was good, though, and it rode well. So I bought it.
     I thought of painting it, but that involved taking it apart, sanding it down, priming it, painting it, and then reassembling it. Then I had the idea of putting decals on it to cover up the designs I didn't like. I chose my favorite color combination.
colors painted in Art Studio App
I painted them in the Art Studio App on my iPad and then I took a photo of my bike. Then I painted on top of the photo in the App with the colors to get an idea of what the bike might look like with decals with those colors. I thought it would look good so I found a company that sold them on-line and ordered a set. Dali Decals If you scroll down to "shapes" on their site you'll get to the ones I ordered. They came in stripes and dots. I only needed the stripes.
     They were relatively easy to apply, but it took several hours because I had to do a lot of cutting them to the right sizes and bending myself around to get them on right. But now I have a bike in the colors I like.
My custom bike!
     And as a bonus, after I took the photo, I noticed a brown thing in the photo next to the front wheel. I went and looked and this is what it was.
Wonderful surprise
It even matches my bike! Art is life, life is art. Color spills over. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their blogs to let the artists know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.