30 December 2007

Art Homework

As promised, here are the results of the art homework project I gave my family for our holiday dinner party. At each place at the table there was a miniature easel for each guest to display their mini canvas. After dinner we cleared the table and lined up all of the easels to take pictures. It was really fun to see what everyone made.

These were made by my daughter Sam and her boyfriend Jesse. As a wonderful bonus, Sam told us during dinner that she made the Dean's List at college this semester. I'm so proud of her! And I think their canvases are very cool too.

My parents made theirs at their vacation home in the Adirondacks. My dad loves to kayak and he cut that little kayak in half and affixed it to his canvas. Mom used fabric, of course, and a little bit of metallic foil for the water.

My sister's family all created self-portraits. My brother-in-law Chris loves to cook so his portrait is made of food items - cloves for hair, pasta for a nose and a manly stubble of spices. Linda's is hand and machine sewn on fabric with some twigs as found objects, it's very her.

Five-year-old Sage created an abstracted watercolor version of herself - with a rainbow, she said. And twelve-year-old Whitman showed his drawing skill and love of anime and manga.

Carlos and I went with an insect theme and I had a hard time dragging him away from his current, very, very large abstract oil painting long enough to complete this miniscule-by-comparison project. His colored pencil and wax pastel butterfly and my printed and collaged beetle are very congenial.

I would definitely do something like this again. Watch out if you're invited to dinner at my house! There might be homework...

26 December 2007

Art for Boxing Day

Boxing Day has typically been an art/craft day in my family. We all go off in our own directions to work on our art, meeting for meals of leftovers and to check out what the others are working on. A nice way to relax after the holiday...

A fiber postcard made in the theme of Maps. I found a paper at Papyrus that's printed with an old map of Paris and chopped it up. The gear is a carved stamp.

I gave my extended family a "homework" assignment for our holiday get-together on Sunday. I passed out 2" square canvases and told them that they each must fill their canvas with their choice of subject in their choice of medium. There will be 10 for dinner from kindergartner to grandparents - I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with! I worked on mine today and it has everything I love on it, an insect, text in several languages, fabric, paper and printing.

24 December 2007

Merry & Bright

May everyone's holiday be merry and bright.

¡Salud, amor y pesetas, y tiempo para disfrutarlos!

Illustration Friday - horizon

cotton fabric, printed mulberry paper, acrylic paint, acrylic inks, stamped letters and postage stamp on 6" x 6" stretched canvas

19 December 2007

Starry Night

I finally got our tree up and decorated this evening. I strew (is that a word?) our Moravian stars on the mantel and wound some white lights among them. You can see the tree reflected in the glass on the little print.

Then I made an ornament for my friend Carrie with some beautiful handmade paper I found in Papyrus a while ago. I tried it out on my tree first and now I'm thinking I should make myself a few of these.

15 December 2007

Illustration Friday - backwards

cotton fabric, printed mulberry and rice paper, acrylic paint, water-soluble pastels, image transfer, cotton thread, dyed raffia on 6" x 6" stretched canvas

13 December 2007

Snow Day Butterflies

The weather outside is frightful! (wait, isn't that a song?) So I'm home working in my studio, waiting for the snow and freezing rain to stop. There's a cozy fire going and supper smells are wafting from the kitchen - neither is my doing - not a bad afternoon, all in all.

Imprima - Mariposa

Imprima - Polilla

block prints with acrylic paint on cotton fabric, printed rice paper, nori paste, cotton thread

08 December 2007

Illustration Friday - little things

digital illustration on shrink film, cotton fabric, silk fabric, watercolor paper, cotton thread, acrylic paint, water-soluble ink on 6" x 6" stretched canvas

07 December 2007

Inspiration, Journaling and the Blank Canvas

A loyal and dedicated merry band of art quilters meets at The Country Quilter on the first Thursday of every month and last night's meeting was rousing and inspiring. Our professional topic of conversation was visual journaling. Several members have been journaling this past year and they've inspired the rest of us to give it a go for next year. It's a good time to start planning a long range art project with January fast approaching.

Now that the Journal Quilt Project is officially over it seemed like a good time to launch our own initiative. Some of us are planning to create something once a week, and some once or twice a month. We discussed the advantages of creating a set of self-imposed "rules" or a framework to lend structure to your results. Rules can be things like a theme, a common size or orientation, a medium, a color palette or a combination of things. And since they're self-imposed, you can change what doesn't work if you need to. I've decided on a common size and base - a 6" x 6" x 1.5" pre-stretched canvas is my starting point for every piece - and I plan to mix media at whim. I ordered and received a big box of the canvases so I'm ready to go.

For the meeting I researched artists who journal and post their results on their sites or blogs. Some ambitious souls journal every day!

Jeanne Williamson is an art quilter who has been journaling since 1999.

Randel Plowman creates a 4" x 4" collage every day and offers it for sale on his blog.

Teesha Moore offers a wonderful peek into her process with a look at her journal pages. She also includes a link to an article about journaling and techniques.

Noah Scalin is making a skull image every day for a year!

I also compiled a list of sites that offer challenges and prompts to get you started.

Think Monday, Think ATC presents theme ideas once a week for atcs.

Monthly Postcards and Fluffy Fatbottom's Twisted Tuesday are two challenge sites for those who love making fiber postcards.

Theme Thursday is a paper art challenge site.

For the photography enthusiasts, here are two sites, Moody Monday and See it Sunday.

Mixed Media Monday is just what it sounds like. 4x4 Fridays and Skinny Saturday are both size-restricted challenges.

And finally, Inspire Me Thursday and Illustration Friday offer prompts that you can interpret in any medium you wish.

Most of these sites encourage you to upload your results to a blog or photo-sharing site and post a link for viewers. The feedback and comments can be helpful and validating, and the connections built between artists can be enriching.

06 December 2007

Ferocious Flora

My daughter Sam brought me this unusual, anthropomorphic flower last night. It looks positively ferocious! Perhaps it's annoyed at all the attention that poinsettias get this time of year.

Actually, if you look at the underside it's two conjoined blossoms. Wicked cool - and way better than your typical poinsettia.

05 December 2007

Illustration Friday - excess

...baggage, that is...

cotton fabric, mulberry paper, linen thread and acrylic paint on 6" x 6" stretched canvas

New Fiber Postcard

Block-printed Fish, 6" x 4"

I'm working on some new postcards for swaps and the first bunch are done and ready to be mailed. This one gave me a chance to try out the new Stewart Gill paints I bought at Festival in Houston and the pearlescent acrylic inks I picked up in my favorite local art supply store.

This series is bound for the latest students in a class that Elin and I teach called Swap Art. Elin shows the students how to make fiber ATCs in the first class and they make enough to trade with each other. I teach them how to make fiber Postcards in the second class and then we all mail postcards to each other over the next couple of weeks. Fun! I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Then it's on to the postcards for the latest round for Postmark'd Art. Our group has been trading for a number of years and we have members from all over the world.

03 December 2007

Happiness is...

42 new colors of Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Wax Pastels. Santa, are you listening??

I seriously love these things. And new colors - my heart's all atwitter. I've used them on fiber postcards, on art quilts and on paper. They're simply scrumptious. They blend beautifully with a little water and a paintbrush and you can add layers and layers of colors.

Earlier this year I made a quilt for Virginia Spiegel's Fiber Art for A Cause reverse auction and the incomparable Tomme Fent bought it. This is a detail of the butterfly on the piece, Muiopotmos, all done with the Neocolors and one continous line of quilting. Yep, one. The background is hand-painted fabric.