Saturday, June 28, 2008


The Artful Home ( is hosting a studio sale beginning tomorrow (June 29) and continuing through July 15. I have put nine of my older works on sale at a discount ranging from 20% off up to 50% off. Follow the link to see what's available.
Artful Home (The Guild)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

QSDS Final

I'm back home today after a long 8 hour drive. The views of the mountains are beautiful but I sure wish somebody would come up with a Transporter ala Star Trek. Be easier to bring stuff, too.

Here is the piece that I mentioned in my previous post, now with the window imagery. I'm not happy with it and part of the reason is that I don't think it's a successful enlargement of the smaller pieces. It doesn't work just to make everything bigger and I haven't even really done that because the lines of the window are not in the same proportion to the size of the background as are the small pieces. So more work is needed on this.

The idea I had for the other larger piece involved trying alot of small window images instead of doing one big one and to also use both the positive and negative sections. I've applied wonder under to a bunch of fabrics and started playing with positioning on the last two days in class, but didn't come up with anything that rated a permanent placing. That's still in progress also.

On the last day of class we did an open class critique, or 'crit' as Sue informed us it should be called. Each person had 4 minutes, the first 2 for talking 2 things she learned and 2 things she thought were still unresolved. Then Sue and the class had the remaining 2 minutes to respond. It really focuses your mind when you have to present your thoughts in only 2 minutes and nobody was allowed to go beyond that time limit. Usually there are some long winded people in a class who can go on and on and then others get shortchanged. I was last in this round and didn't feel shortchanged because I got the same amount of time as everybody else, and people weren't feeling exhausted by the time they got to me.

I have pictures of everybody and their work but we made an agreement on the first day of class that we could only write about and post pictures of our own work so that's why you won't see pictures of anybody else or their work on here.

However, I am going to post a picture of the little dolls we all made as a remembrance of the class for Sue. Little scraps of fabric and threads wrapped up like little memory boxes. She was thrilled to get them.

So now it's the unpleasant task of unpacking and returning everything to its proper place and getting back into the routine of my life, starting off with going to the grocery store. How pedestrian.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

QSDS Report 3

In between doing bigger stuff I've done more little pieces. Here's another one.

Another larger piece that since this picture was taken has gotten torn paper screens and splatter paint on it. And I think I rotated this image when I shouldn't have because it's really horizontal. Oh well.

This is something from earlier in the week. I quilted it first then added the gold paint and the dark outline using thermofax screens. It still looked unfinished so yesterday I added the lavender window screen (good pun...). Interesting. I was trying to get the paint to stay just on the upraised parts of the quilted areas but I pressed too hard and it went down into the stitched areas. Live and learn.
I forgot to take a picture of the other large-ish piece That's been painted and has the windows on it; will have to do that today.

Last night was the Banquet where we all gather for dinner and silliness. It was lots of fun to hear about what went on in the other classes. Before the banquet was the Walk-around where everybody puts their work up and people can walk around and see what's been going on. I sort of missed that because I was showing someone in my class how to screen print and how to throw paint. She had never done either before and wanted to try it with a piece she was working on that she wasn't liking very much. Looks excellent now, if I do say so myself. I am eager to see how she finishes it.

My plan for today is to quilt a small piece then do a monoprint over the quilting. The new group for the weekend class has arrived and so new stuff will be going on in the other rooms, including Carol Soderlund's Dye the Bible class. (It's not really called that, but that's what they get - a reference book for dye recipes.)

Thursday night we went to the opening of Material Matters at the Columbus Museum of Art. This show was curated/juried by Linda Fowler and Tracy Reiger and I can't think of enough superlative adjectives to describe it. There were more than 1000 people at the opening, many of whom had never seen fiber like this. It was a big eye opener for them, I'm sure. There is a catalog of the show which doesn't do it justice but is a very nice record to have. All I can say is I wish I had been in this show.

Also last night was the Silent/Live Auction of the mini-quilts. All week people could bid on the little quilts that are auctioned for the Scholarship Fund, then on Friday night the live auction begins. Sort of a weird way to do it, but since it raises more money I guess that's why they do it that way. Thank you, Teri, for purchasing my little piece for a considerable amount of money!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

QSDS Report 2

This is Day 5 of the 9 day class. We spent the morning doing a class critique where each person talked about her work and received feedback. A quick lunch followed by student slides, followed by some class presentations on other artists. Each person in class was responsible for doing a report on another fiber artist. Finally we were able to get back to work. This is what I have been working on. If you look carefully you can see that I've sliced the work and stitched it back together several times. It is noticeable in the blocks in the body of the work. I intended to do some screen printing on this but discovered that I had left my paint extender at home and I needed it. A kind soul in the class offered to drive me to Dick Blick's where I was able to find a suitable substitute. This piece now has more layers of paint but I didn't take a picture of it yet. That will be tomorrow.

This is the work on the rest of my board. I wrote the Wednesday note because I'm having a difficult time keeping track of the days, as are my classmates. One day blurs into the next. I decided that of the six windows pieces the one with the purple background stills needs work. So I've added more paint to that also. Picture tomorrow or whenever.

Thanks for the comments, everybody. I'm having a great time but I'm really tired by 9pm. I left the classroom but there were still several people down there working. I need my beauty sleep.

Tomorrow is the bus tour so we will loose another afternoon of work. But maybe the break will be good and we will be inspired by all the great art we're going to see.

Monday, June 16, 2008

QSDS Report 1

Two days of class so far and here's my report. This is my board, pre-pretty much anything.

For the most part we can work on any project we choose but there are a few class exercises. We had to prepare a presentation on ourselves, no more than 5 minutes, do a book report that will be compiled into a resource list, and prepare a presentation on a fiber artist. In class we are to spend 15 minutes every day making a small piece that tells our artistic history. These are mine from the first two days. On the left is a representation of my first mural, a crayon line drawn on a freshly painted wall in my brothers' bedroom. My childhood signature included my street address. The horse represents my infatuation with horses and looks somewhat like a picture I painted in an art class. I think it was in an 'art show' and won a prize because my mother framed it and I still have it.

Here is my first windows-theme piece, complete. Sue suggested that I try to work on more than one piece at a time, so I'm trying. Results to follow.

And here, courtesy of Sue Reno, is a picture from the opening reception of Images 08. Notice all the people standing around my piece. Notice that they are all looking in the other direction. Here's hoping they turned around at some point.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Done for the moment

I had to finish up this week because tomorrow I leave for QSDS. Just when I was really starting to get the hang of it! The last batch of screens was almost exclusively torn paper stripings. I really like these alot. I made some thermofax screens from some of these torn paper results and combining these with the DSP makes some really interesting designs.

This piece of fabric was somebody else's in my class at QSDS last year. For some reason she didn't like it and threw it out. I grabbed it. It has really nice feathery lines which are the background. The strips are my torn paper and look how cool those outlines are.

One more. I learned several things. In order to see the deconstructing outlines of the shapes you have to screen with a color that is lighter than what's on the screen. A second thing I learned is that leaving the paper stuck on the back of the screen while doing the pulling makes for even more interesting designs. Good outlines but also terrific patterning.

More of the holey paper strips.

And this is an image I used to make a thermofax screen. It really captures the look of the wrinkly paper. I had to enhance it a little in Photoshop so that there is a little more definition between the wrinkles.

So now the fabric is packed in a box and all my stuff is packed into my car. I'm leaving tomorrow morning at 7am and driving to Martha's house. Then I will have to reload my stuff into her car, and we will be off. We usually arrive in Columbus around 3 or 4pm, depending on how many stops. I should probably research in which state the gas will be cheapest since we hit Maryland (of course) then West Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia again, then Ohio. Our first pit stop is always at Sideling Hill which is a huge gouge cut out of the mountain so the road can go through. It exposes a very interesting geological formation and there's a very informative display in the Exhibit Center. I like geology so this spot fascinates me.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

More fabrics and an invitation

I received this postcard in the mail yesterday. It's from Images 08, held at Penn State University. This used to be Crafts National but they've changed the eligibility to artists in the states surrounding Pennsylvania. I don't know why since they didn't include me in the decision making process. But they did choose to put my piece on the postcard - upper right hand corner. It sort of doesn't go with the rest of the works on the postcard, but I'm not going to complain.

The show opens on June 11 with the reception on Friday the 13th. Hmmm. You are invited. I won't be there as I will be at QSDS for the Master Class with Sue Benner. Nine days of class - I think I will be very tired.
And here is more fabric. The smudgey background on this is from the deconstruction, but then I used a thermofax screen to directly apply the cross hatch pattern.
On this piece I took the hole-y paper strips that had dye paste on them, wetted them slightly, then pressed directly onto the fabric. There was enough dye paste to transfer the design but not so much that it's very obvious.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

And more...

I really like this one. I used torn paper strips to create the vertical stripes in a deep blue/green. In the open area between the stripes I used a curved tip syringe to draw a thin line with dark cherry. Screened with a yellowish-brown paste. When the green began to deconstruct it showed a crystal-like pattern. Difficult to see in the small picture, but click on the image to view it larger.

The storm drain cover again. Makes such a wonderful pattern.

I found a roll of stiff paper with little holes in it at the hardware store. I have no idea what its intended use is, but it makes a great resist. The little tiny holes are really cool.

Here's another view.

I have alot of fabric that has been painted and I wanted to see if the paint will resist the dye. The answer is "sometimes". This fabric had blue scribbles all over it and they were fairly heavily drawn. Where the dye overlays the paint scribble, the dye is a little lighter. In some places it's totally resisted. Also, washing this fabric softened up the paint; there were some stiff sections where I had globbed the paint on and these are much softer now. I think some of the paint might have come off. The fabric was ugly to begin with and I don't I've improved it very much. But maybe in small pieces it will work somewhere.

Monday, June 02, 2008

More results

A few results from the previous session. This screen was made using a storm drain cover placed under the screen and then I pulled the dye paste across it. The dye color is dark cherry, which is nearly black. The fabric used here was pale blue and I screened used yellow print paste, which resulted in green. The dark colors are the dark cherry deconstructing. The edges are fantastic!

This is the fabric pictured in my previous post after it's been washed. There is a considerable amount of lightening up, alot of which is due to the fact that the previous picture is of wet fabric, which always looks darker. I would have preferred the darker color, but then I always do. Some great deconstructed edges on this one also.

And another section of the same piece of fabric. You can see faint outlines of the circle furnace grid that I also used on this piece.

Well, it's time to get back to the dyepots!