Sunday, November 29, 2015

Up To The Challenge?

     How can I incorporate the images I've been using in my latest series in a challenge about wildflowers? My art group, ArtsEtc., has an exhibit coming up in our City Hall about wildflowers and I want to use the image I've been playing around with of my niece in it.
     To try it out, I did a sketch using her image scattering seeds with simple shapes around her similar to the quilt I made of The Puppeteer seen here. I added some flowers to the bottom right. Not too bad.
practice sketch 1

     When I was in Croatia, I did several sketches that I really liked with that image. To me, the image represents a force in the Universe of some sort. I decided to try the Croatian influence on this theme. So I started a sketch with her in the top left sitting in a ruined window. Then I drew some flowers in the bottom right and developed the sketch from there using photos I took in Croatia as references.
practice sketch 2

     I think this has promise. I could see monoprinting the background fabric for the wall and ground and free motion quilting around the shapes.  The next step will be to choose a color palette and start playing with fabric. My guess is the final product will end up different than the sketch, because fabric will call upon me to make other choices. I took out some embroidery floss in colors I might choose.
possible color palette
     This week, when I meet with my sketching group, I think I'll paint a couple of versions of the sketch in those colors and later in the week maybe start getting fabrics ready. A possible title is The Seed Bearer. As I'm working with this series, I'm finding that I can adapt her image to a variety of themes which is bringing a lot of creativity out of me that I didn't know I had. It really is true that there is great value to working with a series.
     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 the artists know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Do You Stay Creative When You Travel?

     When you travel, do find time and energy to create art? I try to create some type of art on each trip. On some trips, I pack small embroideries that I can sew. Usually those work best on family types of vacations where I'll be staying in one place for most of the time. On my most recent trip, I spent three weeks in Croatia visiting various cities. I had envisioned myself sitting by ruins sketching and painting the views. So I packed a sketchbook, a small set of watercolors, a pencil, and a gel pen.  As it worked out, I didn't feel comfortable sitting for a few hours at a scene sketching while my husband was ready to move on to something else. To get my creative itch scratched, each evening I looked at the photos I took with my iPad and chose the one the inspired me the most and began to design a sketch of it. As I began, I decided not to just do a realistic drawing. I decided to carry on with the series I began here.
The Puppeteer
     I cut out the main figure in various sizes from tissue paper and then superimposed them onto sketches and photos as I worked to help me with my designs.
tracing paper "tools"
My husband took this photo of me playing with a cat in the town of Labin in Croatia. 
in Labin, Croatia
As I started a sketch of it, I decided to put the figure of my niece on the bench instead of me to carry on with the series.
The Puppeteer of Labin
Another place we visited had the remains of a Roman arch. It's at a place called Burnum. How this sketch began was a bit unusual. On the right side of the sketchbook, I had made a pressing from watercolors a few months ago from a plant and it looked like just a spray of blue paint. I was sitting in the hotel room in Croatia wondering what to do to it and I saw that it had a vague shape of an ammonite. So I drew the shape around it with the gel pen and painted patterns in to finish it.
     Then, I decided to sketch the arch on the facing page and unify the two sketches with each other so I did the arch in the same style as the ammonite and put the figure of the girl under the arch to carry on with the series.
The Puppeteer of Burnum
I took a photo of clock against the ruins of a wall in Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia and I'm working on a sketch of her sitting near the clock.  The tracing paper pieces of her helps me to decide what scale of her to use and where to place her in each drawing. Plus I can hold the tracing paper pieces right up to the iPad photos to see how she would look before I start sketching. I've found it to be great tool. So even when I don't have time to sit and do sketches right on the scene, I find I can still be creative when I travel.  Just take photos during the daytime, review them in the evening, rethink them into something new, and draw and paint whenever there is time.
     And now for some personal news. Those of you that have followed my blog for some time are familiar with one of my cats, Opus. He is black and white and often in my studio with me. Well, another black and white cat showed up in our yard and would not go away. We tried hard to ignore him and then to find another home for him. But in the end, we had to adopt him. We named him Andy... not after anything or anyone. Just a cute name. Here are some pictures of Andy and Opus making friends for the first time. Andy is on the left and Opus is on the right.

Uh oh

The first touch

So now I have three cats. They all are getting along just fine. Opus and Andy play a lot with each other. They are going to be best buddies. Rosie is just starting to play with Andy. I'm linking this to Off The 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 6, 2015

The Sum Of Many Parts

     Once again, I was fortunate enough to attend another marvelous fiber exhibit. This one was called The Sum of Many Parts and was exhibited in two separate galleries in Winter Park, Florida about a 10 minute drive from each other. The reception at the second one included a wonderful live jazz band. This show had traveled through China and is now touring through the USA. The quilts that were exhibited were quite varied in styles. For the show in Winter Park, the gallery added some local artists, too. I wanted to take more photos, but due to lighting problems and crowds in the way, here are some of the quilts that were in the show. I've put watermarks on the photos with the artists websites to give some protection to the images. And, of course, I got permission from the artists to post the photos of their quilts here. I'm linking this post to Off The Wall Friday  where you can find other art quilt blogs.

Caring is part of  Ellen Lindner's Body Language series, which I think is so very creative and touching.
Fledgling, Time to Fly Little Girl, is one of Bobbi Baugh's intriguing storytelling quilts.

Blues in the Night
I love how alive this quilt is that  Carole Harris made and it really fit with the music that was playing during the reception.
Like Jamie and the Nature Spirits
Lauren Austin quilts always have such a free spirited nature to them and yet still have a great composition.
     When I read from other bloggers about quilt shows that they go to in New York and New England and California and see the photos I wish I could go, too. Those areas get some big name artists that I really admire and would love to see their works in person. But I must admit that the local shows I've been to recently have had some very, very impressive pieces of art and I'm surprised at some of the artists whose work show up at them, too. I hope and I bet that your local shows do, too. Let's give a big hooray for all the fiber artists out there sharing their work and inspiring us.