Sunday, September 30, 2012

Seasonal Attire

This post is also available on the "8 That Create" blog.
Check out the artwork, creative ramblings and activities of myself and seven other artists!

I am using the fashion of nature as my inspiration for the Old Forge show pieces.
I often work in my sketchbook before hitting a canvas or anything else with ideas. I find this helps me to focus, flesh out good ideas and scrap bad ones (hopefully).
The last piece that I want to share was started in just this fashion.

I went into it with vague idea of what I wanted to do or the idea that I wanted to share in my art making.
I use a large sketchbook (8 1/2" x 11") to work on most of my canvas art. It allows a little more room to move things around on while I am auditioning ideas.
I gathered my supplies - leaves, jute, molding paste, absorbent grounds, acrylic mediums for adhesives, acrylic & watercolor paint and gesso.
Then set to work.
Some of my inspiration came from this book  about people that use nature as fashion accessories -

Hans Silvester is a very talented photographer that has amassed a huge body of work that includes (in my humble opinion) some of the best tribal photos any where.
I already had the idea of working with nature as my fashion icon. When I started doing research on "the fashion of nature" this is one of the books that was recommended to me by our friend Mr. Google.
I was immediately hooked after I saw a tiny sampling of the photos.

(I've included a link to the book on Amazon but I do not receive any compensation from the sale of it)

After completing a small piece of art in my sketchbook, I went to a 20" x 24" stretched canvas to tell one of nature's fashion stories there.
There are many many layers on this canvas. I kept adding collage items, covering them up, painting, scraping pastes & mediums, adding more paint, natural items and then a piece of driftwood.

"Seasonal Attire"
20" x 24"

I liked the sketchbook page so much that I framed it too.
It is, after all, a completed piece of artwork.
Don't be afraid to share the artwork that is in your sketchbook!
You have to learn to let the light of all your work shine...put it out there in the world.
You created it from a deep well of creativity. You have to bring it out in order to make room for more.

"Seasonal Attire:A Study"
18" x 22"
Both of these pieces were difficult to photograph at home. One is lighter (white/sand/tan/sienna colors) and the other is in the black (multi-layered) shadowbox frame.
I hate to read this and really hate to write this but...the photos really do not do the pieces justice.
They are better enjoyed in person.

So - there you have it.
Stories, details and ingredients to the five pieces that I created for the upcoming show in Old Forge, New York.
I can't wait to go there, see the show, teach a class and spend time with my friends Liz Kettle and Jane Davila.
Check out the workshop offerings that we have and join us on October 12 for the opening!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quarterly Journal Dress

This post is also visible at the "8 That Create" blog.

I love create collages out of vintage papers.
I usually add paint and molding paste on top of them, almost covering them up...but I still love to add them for texture and the occasional peek of text.
After completing one of my larger pieces for the Old Forge show, I decided to make a sculptural type collage.
Seeing three "dresses" in the show, I decided that, even though my slant on the fashion theme was nature's fashion, I would create a dress.
A tiny dress.
Out of paper and vintage lace.

I actually made two dresses (I was having too much fun to stop!) when it was all said and done but will only send one of them.
For the first one, I used pages from a women's magazine ("Demorest's Monthly Magazine" 1878), vintage sheet music, dress pattern pieces, antique book pages and a few scraps of handmade paper.
I glued these torn pieces of paper onto a scrim type fabric with an acrylic medium.
(let that dry of course)
I used a doll dress pattern that my grandmother used (when I was a young lass) to make doll clothes out of.
It is veryyyy old...
And then I stitched the paper dress up on my sewing machine.
I added a sash at the waist with vintage netting as well as antique lace around the sleeves and bottom.

Framing was going to be a problem since it is a 3D piece.
I decided on a deep shadowbox frame. This worked great but was a bear to photograph.
Here's a shot out of the frame.

I'll add a couple of detail shots so you can see the fashion references on the dress.
I had a lot of fun making this tiny dress (overall length is about 7 inches)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Nature of Fashion

This will also be posted on the "8 That Create" blog.
Check out the other blog posts there!

Like everyone else in the group, I've been working on the upcoming show in New York.

I chose to incorporate a bit of natures' fashion into my pieces.
I've been working off of the knowledge that nature, just like fashion, dresses herself according to the season.
Her fashionable colors change as well as the way that she clothes herself.

I spend a lot of time observing the fashion show that Mother Nature organizes.
I try to take my creative cues from this show.

Season to season, the colors change.
The emotion changes.
She sheds her autumn foliage for the monochromatic palette of winter.

The fashion of nature sheds light on the nature of fashion.
Meaning that fashion changes with the same cycle as nature.

I created this piece from natural elements - sticks, stones and leaves.
The stitched background is made from real leaves that have been pressed and allowed to disintegrate into tissue paper before laminating them to tea bags and scrim.

You can see the leaf above - it has disintegrated
into the tissue paper that I pressed the leaves on.

I used leaves that I gathered from my home garden
as well as vegetation from the forest near my home.

You might find an herb or two in my fabric...

Petals from garden flowers, especially gardenias and lilies.

You can see the layer of tea bags and scrim on this sample.
I laminated all of it together with acrylic soft gel and matt medium.

I also dipped a couple of the central collage elements into beeswax.

The beeswax makes the tea bag very transparent.
I love the smell!

"Nature's Fashion"

This is a 12" x 12" piece mounted on 1.5" stretcher bars.
Each person in the group of 8 will create a panel the same size.
They will be hung in a grid - like a nine patch - with our signage in the center.

I have created two other pieces of wall art plus a book.

Last April, I helped a friend of mine vend at the Virginia Beach "Art & Soul" retreat.
She had all sorts of vintage items to sell (!) and I was one of the helpers in charge of putting these things out on display (can you believe that she left me there with all that cool stuff?!) (my husband couldn't).
I unpacked a pair of little girls espadrilles.
I immediately saw the potential for a book in this pair of shoes.
Some of the group used women's shoes to create a piece of artwork out of.
I chose to use this well loved pair of shoes for one of my projects.
Here's what I came up with.

"The Sole Book"

"Sole Book"
front view

I spent a lot of time painting, staining, crackling and waxing each page
before adding them to the book

I love the crackle pages.
They look like an old sole (or soul, for that matter).

I used a glaze of acrylic paint to bring out the crackles on painted paper

Thursday, September 6, 2012

End of Summer Break

Blogging break, that is.

I have several (looming) deadlines right now that are keeping me very busy.
I am thankful that I have deadlines...because if I didn't - I'd never get anything done!

So please excuse me while I finish up my obligations this month.
I'll be back as soon as I can!