Thursday, April 30, 2009

Painting Skin Tones

OK, I've got a (partially finished) painting to show everyone!
In reading my newest Cloth, Paper & Scissors magazine, I saw an article by Pam Carriker.
I loved the painting of the girl in her article and was itching to try out the colors for skin tones that she used. I quickly sketched out a long neck (girl, that is) and hurriedly painted in the face. I've gotta admit that I may like the colors that I've used her better than any I've used.
And I've tried a lot here lately.

What do you all think?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Inspires Me

My muse.
Wow, I have many of them.
Nature is a big one for me. My husband and I kayak and get to see Her (Mo' Nature) up close and personal. We went this past weekend and sat in the water (in our kayak), under a tree where a huge Bald Eagle was sitting - we watched him as he watched us.
Beautiful beautiful stuff, this Nature around us.
I am also so inspired by the work of others. Their imagination fuels mine.
Children inspire me...their free spirit is so refreshing .
I love the shapes of shadows, the play of light and dark.
My mind inspires me...from the bright happy memories to the dark, painful corners I possess.
I am constantly amazed by the colors, the shapes, the textures of every day an aging cement block, scattered sand on my door step, the tree bark on our crepe myrtle, the rust on our hand rail...tiny little micro-environments that a lot of people walk right by and never notice.
I am inspired by Life.
By words.
Faces worn with age, lined with experience,love and pain.
I am inspired by my Tribe of people..people like me - that the fire of creating burns so hot within them that they would cease to exist if they couldn't create their art.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Return of the River Rats

I'm hoping that you will be able to enlarge the photos I've posted. The batteries in my camera were almost dead when I took these...
See what's in those pictures?
It's a Bald Eagle!
My husband and I were kayaking last Saturday on the Keowee River and he spotted a large bird chasing (or being chased) by a couple of smaller birds. You could see a flash of white (or lighter color) as he swirled and dipped in the sky.
Mr. Wonderful (dh) shouted "Look! It's a Bald Eagle!"
and sure enough, there it was, in all his splendor...a wing span of 5 to 6 feet.

Now, tell me, how cool is that?!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Reworked Face Drawing

Back on March 8, I posted a picture of a beautiful face that I had drawn. I later needed to redraw the face for something and this is the result. I think that she is even more beautiful now.
The faces do look similar but could actually be two different people...sisters maybe.
And believe you me, it is NOT a self portrait! I've got these big, bold white streaks running through my hair. A lot of people ask me who "did" my hair and the answer is always the same...
the good Lord and Dr. West.
The story is that I became very ill one time many years ago. I was on a lot of medication and under a tremendous amount of stress. I lost probably about 33% of the hair on my head. The doctors told me that IF it grew back it would probably be white. I personally didn't care what color it was, I just wanted it to grow back...
It did and it was (grew back & turned white).
Anyway, a little straying from the main story there...anyone that knows that me knows that I tend to do that. I can start with one story and by the time I'm through, I've gone so far from where I started that I don't even remember what I was talking about. Does anyone else do that?

OK, today I am painting. Not an easy thing to do. For me anyway. I am taking Paulette Insall online class (wonderful!) and am back at the studio table.
Canvas in hand...
paintbrushes laid out...
paint colors mixed...
water mister full...
music playing...
and where am I? Yep, avoiding the job at hand. I can paint other things...just not people! It's difficult!
But, ya know what? I will do it.
I will paint beautiful people.
I will no longer run from the fear of painting faces, hands, bodies...
I will embrace it the same way I do when I create fiber art - fully, without fright or excuses.
I will learn how to do this and I will do it well.
I drew the woman. Now I will paint her into existence...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Slow Design at Asheville Arts Council

Yoshiko Wada

This is what Yoshiko's web site says about her -
"Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada is an artist, author, curator, textile researcher and has long been an exponent of traditional and sustainable practices in fashion and textile production."

I would simply say that she is a beautiful woman...inside and out.
I had the pleasure of spending the day with Yoshiko (and about 25 or 30 other lucky women) in Asheville, NC yesterday. We were at an all day workshop at the Asheville Arts Council on Biltmore Avenue (part of the Hatch festival in town). Boro Transformed. I wish it had of been a week long workshop. I could go on and on about it but just lack the time right now. I have to get packed for a weekend trip. I'll try to add more later.
I sat with my buddy Judy Simmons and we were just in awe of our speaker! So very intelligent and interesting. We spent the morning listening, looking at awesome textile samples from far and wide. Then in the afternoon we were "set loose" with a bag of samples, directions and orders to "have at it"! We had sheets of water soluble vinylon that were supplied to us so we could create our own piece of fabric. I laid mine out in the workshop but didn't sew it until I got home.

I really enjoyed the process and know that I'll be doing more of it. I choose to use some of my rusted fabric, wool that was supplied in our sample packet (the loose weave black fabric), rusted cheese cloth and black batting. Oh, and some beautiful hand dyed wool thread from Nancy Bruce. I like the way it turned out and will probably use it on a book cover or similar project.

Then we hit the indigo dye vat. Wow! Loved, loved, loved it! This is one of my most favorite colors! I'll post a couple of pictures of everyone else's work (even though some had already been removed). They were wonderful! Judy shared her beads with us so we did some shibori with them. I also just tied up other areas on a piece of PFD fabric. I would have loved to dyed much more but due to time, space and a hip that refused to cooperate I was limited to what I could do. I may just have to add indigo dyeing to the rust dyeing mess, I mean area that we have now. It's just so beautiful!
The gallery of the Arts Council building was a veritable feast for the senses. The "Slow Design" exhibit was being shown there. I've a few photos of it, not very good ones, as the new camera seems to have a mind of its own (and a very stubborn one at that!). You simply MUST go there and have a look at all that they offer. Talented, fresh designers that all are trying to create their work involving local and/or regional technologies and materials. They were featuring work and works curated by the HATCH Fashion mentors, Elisa Jimenez, Yoshiko Wada, and Mary Gehlhar on the theme of 'Slow Design'. I also recognised the work of Natalie "Alabama" Chanin. I have her book and adore it! The pictures below of reverse applique pieces belong to the "Alabama Chanin" line.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The King

No, not that one...
This one -

This is part of the project that I am working on for my buddy, Jane Powell.
It's an ATC . sealed with beeswax. This is the first time I've worked with the wax and I'm really liking it...Smells so yummy!
Anyway, just a quick post to make up for not posting in over a week. I've been out of town every weekend. And just plain exhausted when I'm home.
Do you ever have two or three days pass and look back and wonder where they went? I've been doing that here lately...So, it could already be Friday but I'm thinking it's just Wednesday...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baking by The Book

While going through my mom's cookbooks, look what I found!
It's a "How to bake by the Ration Book" . It is date 1943.
There are readers of my blog that will remember this. I can't but am frightened that one day it may come to this...history does repeat itself, doesn't it?
Let's get past that scary thought...
Let's all do everything that we can to live a lean, scaled down life. Let's agree to try our level best to preserve - no Improve - our way of living for our children, our grandchildren.
Now, let's move on to the inside cover...which reads

Who said "No cake"?

And it goes on to give pages of recipes without sugar, without shortening and without eggs! Some use what they call "blessedly low amounts of all three".
I love looking through all of the old recipes that my mom has held onto all these years. A lot of church cookbook just chock full of good ol' down home cooking and baking.
My mom was one of those cooks (and moms) that thought you needed something of every color on your plate...
meat, yellow, orange, green and white...Dinner's ready! Oh, and three meals a day.
I never got to eat pre sweetened cereal until my younger sister was old enough to eat it (she is 13 years younger than I am). Wonder why mom allowed her to eat it and not the older sisters?
Oh well, a short trip down memory lane tonight.
I've got more art journal pages drawn, not colored yet as I wanted to scan them without color first. I've been working on a project for my buddy Jane Powell (Random Arts). I'll share later. I can tell you it involves a paper mache house, Sweet Tweet ATC's and rust strips...oh, and maybe bee's wax.

5 second face sketch

Here is a 5 second face sketch with the skin tone Pitt Pens..kinda funky. If you hold it farther away from you (which obviously you (dear reader) can't) it looks even more like a face. I looked at the sketch on the front of the Pitt pen skin tone marker set pack (say that fast, oh 2 or 3 times...). Their pic is much better but not too bad for the first time, and in 5 seconds.
I would be willing to bet that my son could do much better than either one...too bad he is not here at the moment or I'd try to bribe him, I mean talk him in to trying.