Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mixed-Media Abstract Piece

I've been suffering terrible neurological headaches for weeks VP shunt is not working properly. Instead of wallowing in my pain I've decided to try to express it the only way I know how...through fabric art. This is my first abstract piece and I put a lot of thought/design into the stages. If anyone sees this, please let me know how you interpret it, as with all abstract art, people see different things. Here's the entire work of art:

"Emerging From Pain"
Techniques used:
- deliberate use of color from no color (black and blackened copper) to bright colors in a golden embossed batik on the right.
- deliberate use of stitching lines: the first has squiggly verticals because the pain cannot let me draw or stitch a straightline, the second has diagonal lines, the third has horizontal stitching and the last has soothing waves of horizontals.
- Metalwork, all copper. Straight squares textured in vertical lines and painted black; then more rounded/oval pieces of copper still obscured by darkish paint; then embossed paisleys with a sparse amount of paint, and lastly intricate shapes unobscured by paint (two hands in the center, three oak leaves in bottom right).
- Abstract to literal. It is also tactile with shredded edges here and there. The elements in the first panel don't quite fit on the panel and extend into nowhere.
- Embroidery, quilling, thread painting (the flowers on the right panel) charms with words on them and little clocks showing the passing of time, and the special fiber trim grid in the first two panels -- one painted black and one in light brown -- showing how hard it is to emerge from the cage of pain.





Forgive my poor picture-taking. I hope you like it anyway!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I can't believe it

The shunt in my head has been malfunctioning for about two weeks now; I am in so much pain that everything is either hazy or blanked out in my mind. For the first time in two years, I have lost my creative drive. I can't believe I got anything done...somehow I accomplished the following few things:

Embroidered snowflakes sewn on Solvy, stiffened with Golden Medium Matte, spray painted with a glittery paint, and hung on my Christmas Tree:

Art cloth for a round robin group I am in (Complex Cloth yahoo group). The first person did the initial gray/green dye. I did a bleach discharge using a swirly stamp. Then I stamped all the discharge spots with the same swirly stamp in every shade of green I had in my textile paint stash. And on it goes to the next person:

For another Yahoo group (I can't remember which one, but I have until mid-Jan to find out) we are swapping needlefelted ATCs. I used several colors of muted wool roving and needlefelted by machine. Then I bobbin-stitched the swirls with a thick, glittery black thread. On top is the best part: three hand-dyed, pleated strips of silk made into flowers. Oh and a cloisonne bead in the center. I hope the recipient likes it!

Now I have to start preparing for a big Christmas Eve celebration at my house. The biggest and worst part: putting away all of my fiber art supplies that are spread out all over the house wherever there is room. Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Copper Art

This was a UFO, then an experiment, then I was inspired and finished it. What happened to make this:

1. Started with a scrap of hand-dyed (LWI method) brown cotton
2. Used a 10"x10" stencil and applied Ivory-colored Descolourant Plus using a foam stippling brush. I was not at all happy with how the discharge and color came out. It was probably user error.
3. Even though the stencilled images weren't sharp, I used Lumiere paints to paint all of the elements, all except the large paisleys.
4. I stamped, embossed, and painted copper foil in small and large paisley shapes. Can you tell I love paisley swirls? Oh and the paint was actually nail polish.
5. I quilted in and around all elements using gold metallic thread and a 90/14 needle. No problems.
6. I picked out a beautiful commercial batik for a border and stitched them together.
7. I might have gotten carried away with the metallic theme, but I added gold thread stitching in a programmed funky satin stitch around the main element.
8. I ironed this, along with a full piece of the batik onto extra heavy pellon fusible interfacing; specifically Peltex two-sided fusible 72F.
9. I didn't care for the white interfacing showing on the edges so I stitched on a sheer copper/gold ribbon all the way around the front outside.
10. I stitched plastic tabs on the back for hanging. Voila -- my art piece!

"Paisley in Copper and Gold" - 16" x 16"

detail of the gold stitched copper paisley

Fun With Fiber

Several days ago as I was cleaning, straightening, and organizing my home "studio", I got a big picture as well as detailed inventory of all the fiber trim I actually have. My husband and other normal people would probably agree that I have too much fiber...fabric, trim, yarn, etc.

Anyway, this was before the arts & crafts show deadline and I had a day or two on my hands. So I created the pieces below and they were truly fun to make. They consist of many strips of fabric, trim, ribbon, yarn, etc. and topped with beading in places. All of them are approximately 15" x 15"; not completely square because the process of sewing down all that stuff pulled it in at the bottoms. I used a square piece of wool to start with and covered it with hand-dyed fabric. When all was done I glued it to a piece of foamboard and a picture hanging zig-zaggy thing to hang it straight.

It makes me happy to see them on the wall with all of their bright colors. I hope they are fun for you to look at also!

Fun With Fiber - Cool Colors

detail of cool colors -- beading

Fun With Fiber - Hot Colors

detail of cool colors -- beading

Fun With Fiber - Neutrals and Metallic

detail of metallic piece -- beading

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My First Arts & Crafts Show

Yesterday I exhibited my fiber art and extra purses at a Holiday Bazaar arts & crafts show here in Rochester. Overall it was disappointing because I sold only one piece. But the woman that bought "Joyful Ribbon Tree" just fell in love with spoke to her and she told me "this is my mother who died recently; I love this and will hang it over my bed. I will be keeping it in my family forever". Now that is what art is all about! Even though I only sold that one piece, which wasn't even that good in my mind, it really made a difference to someone's life -- how fabulous! I also got a lot of great praise and positive critique, because I asked for it when people were browsing. So who knows? Maybe someone who took my card will commission a piece. Bottom line is I just covered my entrance fee, but no profits. I will be careful where I spend my time and energy. My art was just too high end for a crafty fair where the other vendors were like Pampered Chef, Cookie Lee, and other manufactured things only represented by people.

Here's my small booth:

Me displaying my art 12/4/10

My banner at the craft show