Sunday, January 31, 2016

Do You Have A Favorite Process In Creating Your Art?

     When you create a piece of art, do you have a favorite step or process? I'm not sure I do. I'm slow to start a piece. I think about how I want it to look in the end and usually try to sketch it out and paint it several times first. I enjoy drawing and painting so I find that part fun and relaxing. Getting fabrics ready is also a good time for me because I get to mix colors with my paints and who can't have fun with that? If you get the wrong color, just keep mixing. If the fabric doesn't come out right for this project, it will be good for another one.
     In my last installment, I had my fabrics pinned on my design wall and was happy with the arrangement and colors, but it was a bit boring.
last week
     The large rectangle in rust needed to be darker and more oomph. There was paint left behind in many of the colors on the plastic on the cutting table. So I sprayed it with water, put the rectangle of fabric on top of the leftover paint, and brayered heavily to pick up the paint.

adding paint from the plastic to the fabric
     That actually helped some and it cleaned up the mess. Then I added more paint using a sponge and Dyne-na-Flow in Chartreuse by Jacquard, and various rust colors I mixed up with acrylic paints and GAC-900 by Golden. Here is the result
surface designed fabric
The fabric to the right of it is a commercial fabric by Stonehenge. I also added acrylic paints and GAC-900 to the girl and the window in places to darken that area, too. Once I was happy with the tints, shades, and hues, I sewed the fabrics down to the background fabric with a straight stitch. Then I backed it with batting and quilted the girl, window, and walkway. After that, I decided to add two more fabrics and pinned them on to try them out. I think I like them because they keep the viewer's eye from leaving the piece. I'll sew them down down today.  All of these steps have been lots of fun for me, too. It's like having a conversation with the artwork. It almost tells me what it needs next. As you see, it has changed from the original sketch and painting. Once it has become fabric, it takes on a life of its own with its textures and unique character and begins to evolve. It's a fascinating process to me.
     I've been struggling with how to quilt the background. Perhaps, that is the least favorite part for me. I take the photos and put them into the App ArtStudio and then sketch possible quilt patterns on top to see what they might look like. For some of them, I'm happy with them for a day. Then the next day, I realize that they just won't look right for the piece. I think that yesterday, I finally hit one that will be just right for it (I hope). At least today, I still like it. 
     So here is how it looks on the design wall now. (By the way, these photos are taken with my iPad at night with just the overhead light. That's why they are a little fuzzy.)
in process
     The next step for today is to sew the two new pieces of fabric onto the background. Then, quilt the flowers onto the bottom right (from the shadow photos I took here), then quilt the rest of the background, and finally put on a pillowcase backing. (I think that's the plan, anyway. Unless the artwork tells me differently as I go.) So, I guess my favorite process overall is the conversation with artwork. I'm linking this with 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.


  1. Oh what fun you look like you are having! The fabric came out beautiful and goes perfectly with the Stonehenge .. Good tip on the art studio app. I'll have to find it. Sounds like something I could use as well. Sometimes quilting can make or break apiece.

    1. The ArtStudio App has been so helpful to me, but there aren't any directions with it. If you know how to use Photoshop, then you can figure out how to use ArtStudio. It is much the same. It's very powerful with layers and many other features. You might be able to find some YouTube videos for it.

  2. I like your final version of the rust fabric much better and it is interesting to learn how you go there: it sits perfectly next to the commercially printed strip.

    1. It was my fourth attempt at that rust fabric. I almost went with the third one. I'm glad I gave it one more try.


Your comment is appreciated and will be posted after it is approved.