Friday, October 14, 2016

Can You Bear To Experiment With One-of-a Kind Fabrics?

     Have you ever had special fabrics that you were afraid to cut up or paint onto or add other surface designs and possibly ruin them? Well, I dyed several fabrics to prepare for my next session in my Art Cloth Mastery Class with Jane Dunewold. The supply list for this session said to bring 6-8 pieces of at least 1/2 yard pieces of hand-dyed fabrics that didn't work out and maybe some you even liked. We are going to be over-dyeing and discharging among other things this session. Since, I haven't been a fabric dyer, I didn't have any pieces of dyed fabric just laying around so I had to freshly dye all mine.
     As it turned out, I ended up liking all but one. I kept notes on how I made each piece and was surprised that I got different colors from the same mixed dye in the same jar of chemical water simply by how I poured it on the scrumbled cloth. I'll have to experiment with that some more in the future. Here are my fabrics that will be sacrificed next week with further experiments in Jane's studio in Texas.
cotton fabrics hanging on my design wall
I applied various manipulations to them so that I would have a variety of things to look at and consider when I discharge and over dye. And I used both pure dyes and mixed dyes to see how they would react when over dyed and discharged. We also have to take 5 yards of white fabric to dye and over dye. I think my dye notebook is going to get a lot thicker by the end of the seven days. 
     Looking at those lovely fabrics, I want to cut them and sew them together and make them into a scarf and boro stitch it, or make them into a cover for my iPad or a purse. I hate to change the actual fabrics. But, alas, their fate is going to be for research and that is that.  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.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What Kind Of Art Do You Buy?

     Since this is mostly an art quilt blog and most of my readers are probably interested in art quilts, do most of you buy art quilts? Or do you also buy other kinds of art? Do buy art from local artists or artists who live far from you? Must you see the art in person or do you buy your art on-line? Or do you only have your own art hanging in your home?
     I once attended a lecture about how to sell my art and the first question from the lecturer was "How many of you own art from an artist other than yourself?" Only a few of us in the audience raised our hands. And, in my case, most of the art hanging in my home was indeed my own.
     That got me to thinking about why. Part of the reason was space. I create art quilts and need a place to put them. Another reason is cost. Good quality art quilts are expensive. And again space. The art quilts by other artists I like are huge. And my walls just won't fit them. I travel a lot and my walls are taken up with art like masks and shelves with sculptures from my trips.
     Later on, I attended another art lecture. But this one focused on how to collect art. The two main points were to buy art either that you like or that would be a good financial investment or both. For me, I doubt that I would ever try to resell my things to make money so I buy art that I like and don't pay attention to whether or not it's a good financial investment.
     Two weeks ago, I made a new art purchase from a trip to Devon and Cornwall in Great Britain. My husband and I rented a car and drove around without any real definite plans. There were only a few places I wanted to visit for sure. One of them was to visit St. Ives to meet Carolyn Saxby who was having her art in an exhibit during the time I was there and to buy a piece of her artwork. I've followed her blog for some time and the photos she posts of the area helped inspire my trip.
The mixed media piece by Carolyn on my studio shelf
I bought a beautiful mixed media piece that reminds me of my beach walks in Cornwall. It has all the right colors and I love the textures. I've seen her art online, but waited to buy any until I could see it in person. And, to top it off,  she's a sweetheart of a person.
     Another place I wanted to visit was the Jurassic Coast to collect fossils, which I consider artwork from Mother Nature. I booked a guided walk at Charmouth before we left home, which was marvelous and we collected fossils on our own a second day, too. You are allowed to bring home whatever you find, no matter how large or valuable. 
I wanted to bring home this heavy rock full of ammonites, but due to baggage allowance, there was no way we could.
I love this fossil-laden rock!
Here's some of what we brought home. 
My artwork of fossils and rocks
     Mostly they are ammonites and belemnites that are about 200 million years old. In the photo, the large, angled rock with the ammonites is one that I purchased there. I collected all those rocks on this trip on the beaches there and consider those works of art, too. You can see some smaller ammonites that we found and the bullet-shaped looking rocks are the belemnites which are the remnants of small squid-like creatures.  
Another rock that was too heavy to bring home
I thought long and hard about how to bring home that gorgeous rock! There must have been a way. But alas... no.  I couldn't even dig it out of the sand. Let alone pick it up.
     I like to buy art in person as opposed to on-line, although I often look at art online and have thought about buying it there. I think buying art quilts online requires some effort from both the buyer and the artist that is different than it would be than buying other types of art. Since there is stitching involved, the photography must be able to show the nuances of the stitch. There should be detail shots of the artwork to do that. I, as a buyer, might contact the artist and ask for other detail shots of certain parts of the quilt to see it better since I can't see it in person. Many of the quilt artists that I follow have excellent detail shots on their websites already so you know what you are buying, but some don't, so you would have to ask. 
     For a time, I was actually shopping on-line for some art quilts to fill a space and I browsed several sites: firstly, my favorite artists' websites, then Artful Home, SAQA, and Pinterest. Now there are even more. You can shop for art quilts on Invaluable and (fine art/fiber). I eventually decided to fill that space with something else, but the resources are there.
     And I occasionally sell some of my quilts. Most of them get sold online through SAQA. One recently sold to a client who saw it online through SAQA several years ago, then contacted me a few weeks ago and asked for a discount. I agreed and we both were happy.
Beach Fence - SOLD

So it is always a good thing to communicate with the artist. It may be the start of your art collection. 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. I hope that this post links up OK. I've scheduled it ahead of time, but may not be able to check and hook up to Nina's place, since we are due to be hit by Hurricane Matthew on Friday and may not have power. So if you don't see me on Nina's list, then I'm off the grid and may be for a while. Last time this happened, people in our area were out of power for two weeks. Fingers crossed... 
Addendum: We made it through Matthew with no damage to the house. We lost power during the night and got it back on Saturday afternoon. Lucky us. We have a large tree uprooted and hanging over the driveway that we will have to have removed and lots and lots of debris to clean up. Our town has lots of damage and many are out of power and the outlook for them is 5-9 days. We are so glad Matthew took a jog to the east and wasn't as bad as it was forecast. Well, on to the clean up.