Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fabric Painting with Inspiration from Nature!

For the past dozen years my friend Sharon and I try to walk every Sunday morning! Life gets in the way sometimes and we miss a weekend or two but we always circle back for our walking-friend-time. Years ago I started a "Walking with Sharon" fabric series inspired by our Sunday walks. 

On this Sunday walk the contrasting white mushrooms against the moss and tree bark caught my eye.
It's finally getting warm enough where I can create work outside = yeah! I love my outdoor work space and on a delightful warm day I took some fabric and paints outside to splash away! 

It's worth noting that I am never compelled to duplicate nature but rather use what I see as a jumping off point!
Outdoor Tip: I carry my supplies in a "bus bin" that you find when waitstaff clear tables in a restaurant. It's durable and easy to clean.

To emulate contrasting white I pinched the fabric with clothes pins.

I painted over the surface of the fabric not spending too much time trying to cover every square inch - just touching on the surface. 

I heat set the fabric once it dried... I decided I wasn't too thrilled with the pops of white feeling it needed more depth.

I painted a thin layer of black paint over the entire surface. I think I'll try sponging some variegated moss-colors lightly before I consider it complete! There are no more contrasting white spots but as I mentioned I never try to duplicate nature... just a little inspiration here and there to get started! 

I read tree bark! 

Do you work outdoors?! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fabric for Sale & Surface Design Technique Demonstrations This Weekend!


Please join me at the 9th Annual Quilt & Needle Art Show, Winchester Center Congregational Church Route 263 Winchester Center, CT

April 23 10:00 - 5:00 & April 24 1:00 - 5:00 

I'll be in the vendor section with an array of fun fabrics for sale! Throughout the show I'll be talking about the techniques I use when creating my fabrics so be sure to stop by and say hi! 

BONUS - Premiere Exhibition
The Farmington River Quilt Project--a 50 foot-long quilt depicting 25 scenic locations along the Wild and Scenic designated portion of the Farmington River will be hung in the Jean Hurlbut Room.  Several items for sale and queen-size quilt for raffle at $2 per ticket.  

Admission $5 adults, $3 kids and senior citizens.  Homemade soups and sandwiches available.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Look What Irene MacWilliam Did!

Irene MacWilliam was intrigued by my earlier tutorial on creating big color splashes across the surface of her fabric! I was delighted when Irene shared her pictures - how fun! Irene is contemplating using them in a project titled, Long Walk Home. You can read about it on the Stitched Art Textiles blog. 

I love the internet for connecting artists globally! Irene is from northern Ireland and I'm in Connecticut, USA... sharing a cross cultural experience is awesome! Please enjoy Irene's pictures and check out her website and blog! if you have photos to share please send them along! 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Soulful Journey - CT Fiber Arts Collective Exhibit!


CT Fiber Arts Collective opened the Soulful Journey exhibit March 12th but I wasn't able to get to the Windsor Art Center until now. It's an inspirational show with over 30 fiber art pieces on display. The Windsor Art Center was great to work with and they've had strong attendance all month. I encourage you to stop by if you are in the area. The exhibit comes down April 24th. 
CtFAC members: Carol Vinik, Karen Loprete, Mary Lachman, Me, Christina Blais, Linda Martin and Wanda Seldon. Missing from the photo: Rosalind Spann, Antonia Torres & Diane Cadrain

The SAQA CT Chapter held their meeting at Windsor. The group is always so supportive when members have an exhibit. You can see some of the work on the walls behind the crowd. Co-Reps Kelly Caldwell and Christina Blais gave an enthusiastic update on a recent International SAQA conference hosted in Philadelphia. 
I had 2 pieces in the show. The first is Leaf Study I. I started by pressing the leaves onto cotton with thickened dye. Next I over dyed some of the leaves and added Inktense pencils. The individual leaves are lined and attached to 2 layers of organza. The organza provides transparency and is designed to move lightly as the wind blows. 31" X 44" 
The second piece is titled FaceScapes. The design celebrates the diversity of the Connecticut population. Each face is hand dyed wool roving and wet felted into faces. Next I used free motion stitching to give each face a personality. The beads separating each face were made from a map of CT. Background fabric is confetti dyed. 19" X 30" 
The SAQA meeting gives me a unique opportunity to
chat about surface design with other artists!

The SAQA CT Chapter is a warm and welcoming group. Each meeting I learn from other artists and get a better idea about upcoming events - lots of networking and giggles! Have you thought about joining your local SAQA Chapter? 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cotton + Silk Organza = Fun!


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE splashes of color - BIG splashes! With the cold and windy weather we are having I had visions of color bursts swimming in my head. Into the studio I went with a vague idea of how to get some color splashes onto fabric.
To create the colors splashes I layered 2 yards each of cotton and silk organza

I inserted whiffle balls under the fabric

Using Seta Color fabric paint I slathered it on!

It takes a while to dry so be patient! 

This is a detail of the cotton fabric

The paint makes a cool design when it mingles

Here the silk organza is laying on top of the cotton. You can see it is a mirror image and ready to be turned into an interesting piece of art!

This is the silk organza against a white design wall. It's very soft looking... what should it become? Any ideas! 



Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 SAQA Conference was Another Success!

If you haven't had an opportunity to get involved with the SAQA organization I encourage you to think about joining. I love attending the annual conferences to hear from industry leaders and understand where the fiber art community is going. The speakers provide a deeper knowledge of how exhibitions work and tips for being successful when submitting entry's. There were so many excellent speakers addressing multiple topics I couldn't possibly list them all. The conference allowed me to reconnect with friends and make new buddies! For the past 3 years I've also been a vendor allowing me to connect with soooo many fabulous artists. Being able to chat about fiber techniques, color and artistic vision with other like minded people is a treat! 


Will I see you at the 2017 conference? Lincoln, Nebraska is going to be the next hot spot! 
You gotta have your textile fix! 

I get very excited about fabric! 

It's fun to see so many fabrics all lined up and ready for a party! 

Here I am with fellow Printed Fabric Bee alumni Deborah Massie Boschert!  

I had my first professional photo shoot with Bonnie McCaffery. Bonnie is fabulous - she helped me relax and feel comfortable since having my photo taken is not a favorite thing! 

There was some down time for exploring Philadelphia. We wandered into the Fabric District after a friend had earlier discovered a stash of authentic Mud Cloth! I find myself unable to pass up collecting traditionally crafted cloth. These 4 pieces came home with me! 

I also happened upon a fabulous supply store having a 40% off sale on Speedball products = score! These babies are 32 ounces and with the primary colors taken care of I should have plenty of color experimenting in my future! 

We couldn't resist an outdoor cafe showered in sunshine on Spruce Street.

CHEERS TO GOOD FRIENDS, GOOD TIMES AND TO SAQA FOR BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER!