Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Autumn Fire

This is some more experimentation with sheer fabric that has been gel medium’ed on both the front and back and then painted with acrylics. To finish it off I did some free motion stitching and added copper foiling (loving this foiling stuff on fabrics). I do like many things about this technique but still have some issues I’m contending with! I use rubbing alcohol to manipulate and alter the paints. The alcohol seems to make the paint a bit shiny and slick. I like texture and matte so I’m still trying to get that type of result and still be able to use the alcohol. Maybe if I gently sand the painted piece it will help me get the effect I’m after.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Good name for this piece?

Last night I added tons of free motion stitching to this piece (if you click on the photo is will bring up a much larger image). The thread spools in the upper left corner is this great thread I found in a fishing store. It has a subtle metallic sheen to it and is about the weight of buttonhole thread. It's used for making lures. I thought it will work perfectly for some added hand stitching on this piece and to attach the Lutrador image. I also might add some beading, but we shall see!

Monday, August 27, 2007


When I look at these pictures of my daughter at the age of 2 or so it fills me with a longing and – somehow – a bit of sadness. I was a very young 22 yrs. when Heather was born. She was already 7 when I was the age she is now. I loved her fiercely but wonder if my youth was a benefit or disability in fulfilling a parental role. Perhaps if I were older and wiser I might have made different choices in regards to my expectations both of me and of her. Heather has grown into adulthood with a brain that functions better than most and an innate common sense that helps guide her through this world. I still love her fiercely and pray for a safe, comfortable journey as she navigates through the messes and blessings of life.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Lutrador is my new best friend!


My great artist friend Fran inspired me to try working with Lutrador after seeing what she did with it yesterday. Now...Fran is an amazingly versatile artist who works in many different mediums and is so good at all of them we ask her how she can stand herself and her many talents.
Anyway, the top photo is Lutrador that was painted and then had a photo transfer applied. The final step was a burning with the soldering iron. I think I'm going to add some copper foiling and stitch it onto some of my home dyed fabric OR attach it to the bottom piece. This piece is sheer fabric that had gel medium applied to it. After the gel dried I painted it with fabric dyes and acrylics then sprayed it with plenty of alcohol to get those cool textured effects alcohol renders. The image was then transfered onto the whole shabang.
Life is very good this early Sunday morning!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Oh The Places We Go!

For months now I have been fiddling around with paint and dyes on fabric, trying this and that with mixed results. The main issue I've been working to resolve is to get a truly texturized, layered effect painted surface on fabric that is not stiff and has an ethereal look. Last night I realized a bit of success with a new technique. I took polyester sheer curtain fabric, stretched it over a frame and then coated it with gel medium on both the front and back. When the medium dried it provided a barrier for the paint but retained a flexible surface on the cloth - even after layers and layers of paint were applied, manipulated with rubbing alcohol, rubbed, layered, etc. The depth of this piece is not captured by this photo. More layers and experimentation to come!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beauties and the Beasts

I love all kinds of art. Abstracts, filled with texture and movement, are an absolute favorite as are beautiful landscapes and realistic renderings of still lifes. One genre I am particularly fond is edgey, funky, raw outsider type art. You know, the kind that can give you a bit of an internal jolt or a feeling of being a smidge off center. Last night I just started messing around and working completely intuitively - no plan, no map. The piece that came out may not be everyone's cup of tea but I am loving it - even the next day. My husband person (you know the one who periodically expresses a wish for a bed quilt and that his jeans get mended) took one look at this piece and declared "that is gallery material". I do so love this man who never fails to surprise me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend Warrior

It was a quiet, calm weekend without obligations or stress (yeh!). I was able to get a lot of quilting done on the hand dyed, funky log cabin piece. I also made another 4x6'er last night.
We were even able to take a 4 mile hike on Saturday in the early evening, which was just what the doctor ordered for this woman who sits at the sewing machine 24/7 (at least that's how it seems).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A 4x6'er

This one was hard to photograph. It is filled with tons of depth, layers, textures and colors that were not captured real well by the camera. It is fabric altered with acrylic paints, dyed scrim, hand embroidery, beads and some tulle. I call it 'Dreaming'. Why? Because while I was making it I was thinking that if I could get paid tons of money (ha! remember, the key word here is dreaming) to make 4x6 art all day long it would be a most wonderful world!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Work continues on the log cabin inspired piece created exclusively from my hand dyed fabric. The colors in this piece are soothing to me and, while some people might think of them as somber, I find them so organic they are calming.

As many of us do, as I'm working on one piece my brain is already envisioning another piece. Driving to and from work is a great time for me to spend designing in my head (much more productive than thinking about work tasks that you get paid to perform, don't you think?). I am trying to mind design a large piece that incorporates imagery. I don't like to work large so we'll see how this ends up being translated from the mind to the fabric. If nothing else it will be a great exercise in stretching my creativity.
And now for an important SHARE!
I would like to take a minute and share the link to a great, privately owned radio station in my neck of the woods. If you like roots/folk/blues/Americana/rock/bluegrass (think this about covers it) listen LIVE to WKZE. While you might not like all the dj's choices ('cause THEY get to choose, not some corporate exec like on those other stations) for sure you hear a couple of tunes that will touch or inspire you.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hand Dyed Logs

There is so much controversy in the world of quilting between art and traditional quilting. I've actually witnessed people being downright rude to each other in regards to this controversy. Perhaps the same type of dissension occurs between abstract and realism painters? Anyhow, I love the funkiest most abstract and textural textile art that can be found AND I love log cabin quilts. Yesterday (after getting a loaner machine when my NEW sewing machine broke down - ugh) I started messing around with the fabric I had hand dyed on Saturday. I'm really liking this look of old with the new - it looks modern to me but in a very earthy, primitive way.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Home Made Peach Pie and Hand Dyed Cloth

Dyed cloth hanging on the 'ole clothesline (that I really do use for clothes, by the way).

I started dyeing fabric this summer for the first time. At one point - when I realized I wasn't using dyes but liquid, concentrated fabric paint (ok, have to like that I fessed up) and was having less than stellar (to say the least) results, I told my husband that I would win the dyeing cloth battle.
The photos above are only a sample of the many, many pieces I created today. As I told my Studio 33 artist friends "I'm in love".
And then, because it seemed like a good idea since the 1/2 bushel of peaches were ripe I made a peach pie. This lovely thing with the heavenly smell could be dinner if my husband person weren't so intent on having protein with the night meal.
A very good day was had by all.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Building Blocks

I started messing around with this last night. The building blocks are hand dyed fabric that was then painted with acrylics; dyed, batiked and discharged masa paper and painted cheesecloth. I'm going to keep on stitching and embellishing.....might end up looking kind of interesting.....

Have a great Friday everyone. I wish you all peace and happiness - something we all can use a little of.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Thistle Time

I love thistles. My husband laughs and calls them weeds but then tells me the story of how they warned the Scotts years ago that the Romans were invading. Apparently the Roman army was trying to sneak up and perform conquering on some Scottish troops but they became enmeshed in a field of thistles and the Roman cries of pain alerted the Scotts. All this from a weed. Nature works in mysterious ways.

This small painting on fabric is waiting to receive lots of free motion stitches. I think something wild will be appropriate.

I am also very, very happy that I received the news that Night Lupines, the 12x12" art quilt I donated to the SAQA auction, sold yesterday. Hooray!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Threads & Colors Gone Wild

Stand tall and rise to meet the sun!

A 4x6" postcard offered in my Etsy shop (see link on top right of this page).


We live in the land of the Hudson River School of painters of which the founder Thomas Cole and one of his students, Federick Church, are two of the most famous. Both loved this area and often depicted the Hudson Valley and the Catskills in their spiritually expressive symbolic paintings. Church built an interesting (to say the least) house on a high hill overlooking both the mountains & the Hudson. He and his wife were taken by Persian architecture so - because they could - built this homestead that is a combination of Middle Eastern design and Victorian furnishings. Some love it, some are appalled by this unusual structure that sits among spawling, rural farm country. To me the point is that this home, its location and the love that Church poured into it epitomizes an artist's pursuit of passion. Church loved this home and designed every detail, every vista and every tile with the care and attention he gave to his masterpiece, The Heart of the Andes.
As an aside, I was recently in the company of two artists who declared they were 'bored' (yes, that is the word they used) with the Hudson River School style of painting. How pretentious I found this statement. I do agree that sometimes a style or type of art may get so copied it becomes watered down and can seem uninspired but throwing the baby out with the bathwater misses the point of great art. The reason this and other painting styles have been so studied and replicated is due to the fact that they are of mounumental merit in the art history world and remain of importance even after having endured falling in and out of favor with those that become 'bored' with the latest art fads.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Abstract 4x6 Textile Art

This is a 4x6'er I made last night using some of the lutrador and masa paper I altered with paints, dyes and batiking. It looks much richer in person - textiles and art lose so much of their soul in photography. This little piece is on the way to the gallery in Maine. People seem to like these miniatures there.