Monday, January 31, 2011

Cornflower Hills

I have been spending a few weeks working on my ribboning techniques; mostly hand done but a little bit of machine work. This is the first piece I put together, as the fabrics inspired me. I used hand-dyed silk cut into wide ribbons to make the cornflowers. Actually I cut them into multiple widths to make them smaller as you move farther away in the landscape. The farthest corner of cornflowers are french knots and beads. Oh yes, I beaded all of the cornflower centers with pretty beads. We all know real cornflowers don't have these kinds of centers but's art! Your eyes are not deceiving you, nor is my picture-taking that off -- it slopes downward on the right...on purpose. The pink cornflower is on purpose as well.

Wait until you see the next one with ribbons...I am incorporating every technique in the book!

Cornflower Hills - 18"w x 24 to 26 h

Cornflower Hills - top half

Cornflower Hills - bottom half

Cornflower Hills - detail

Cornflower Hills - detail of smallest flowers

SDA's Confluence!

I just signed up for my first fiber art conference -- Surface Design Association's "Confluence" in June in Minneapolis / St. Paul. I would love to do pre and post workshops, but cannot afford to. I am happy enough to be able to attend a conference and meet others who share my passion for fiber arts and surface design. Although I have no hope of winning or selling, I made a piece to express what confluence is to me:

Confluence - 28" x 12"
There are many layers and objects of symbolism in this piece. Here are the layers starting from the bottom up:
- a piece of hand-dyed cotton
- watered-down elmer's glue
- 2-sided pretty scrapbooking paper run through the shredder and strewn all over
- tissue paper to hold it all down
- last layer of watered-down glue
- after that was dry I applied many swirls and dots of acrylic paints mixed in Golden's tar medium and applied with a baker's frosting bag. I wanted the paint to "stand up" or be 3-dimensional.
- I used various pieces of fibers including organza, cotton, and silk and molded them using Golden's matte medium. I wanted the circles and swirls and if you notice an infinity symbol in ribbon.
- Everything is separate but converges mostly in the center where there are two pieces of stamped and etched copper in the yin/yang position.

Hope you like it. Any and all comments are welcome.

Julia's Bat Mitzvah Quilt

I made this pinwheel twin-size (with extra long sides to cover what's under her messy bed) for my special neice who recently had her Bat Mitzvah on her 13th birthday. The ceremony and her readings made me very proud. Unfortunately I changed the design a couple of times so the quilt wasn't ready for the big day, but she was SO HAPPY when she did get it a month later.

Over the summer she and I went to the local quilting store and she picked out all the fabrics. She wanted her favorite animal incorporated somehow so I appliqued panda bears on each front corner. The surprise part was what I would do for the backing. With kids, you never know. This ended up being more of a surprise for me than her because of how much she loved it...I put lime green with white dots MINKY on the back and used satin binding around the edges. I can't believe how much she loved the quilt, how the softness of the backing was just what she wanted, how the satin binding reminded her of her blankies as a baby, how the white of each pinwheel part brightened her room. I love you Julia. Here's a pic of the whole quilt laid on her living room floor:

Julia's pinwheel quilt

Here's a pic of the center detail:

This is my beautiful Julia loving her quilt:

And this is myself and Julia mugging it up for the camera:

Julia and Kim

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Commissioned Art for Firefighter Bar & Grill

Back in December I had posted on forums for inspiration and ideas to create a piece for a firefighter's bar/restaurant ladies room. It is so bare. He asked for something in theme and feminine. I created an assemblage featuring and honoring female firefighters. I presented it to him last night and he loved it!

A neighbor of his also loved the piece and watched as I presented it to Anthony. This guy is opening a dance studio a few doors down and wants me to do art for his whole place! Will wonders never cease! I feel blessed to be able to share my art AND get paid for it.

Here is the female firefighter piece and some detail shots. The assemblage was spray lacquered with Krylon matte finishing spray and mounted on a 24" x 36" canvas so it was easy to put up.

Female Firefighter Collage

Female Firefighter Collage -- top half

Female Firefighter Collage - bottom half

Female Firefighter Collage - lower left corner

A Commissioned Landscape

This piece was commissioned by a local connection, after being invited to my arts & crafts show (a bust), but couldn't make it. She loved my work...said the forest ones reminded her of her deceased Dad and the pansy watercolor reminded her of her deceased Mom. So I made her one that combined the best of both and added elements of their lives, like the fly fisherman and deer hunter in her Dad. Here's the entire piece,  which measures about 24" x 36":

She loved the piece, esp. the details and it is hanging in a place of honor over her fireplace. She was so touched at the rememberences of her parents that she cried (and paid happily I might add). Here's some of the detail:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun With Paint Mediums

Another artist's work inspired parts this piece...really the technique: using Golden mediums with acrylic paint to get different effects. Here's the final piece, entitled "In Flight", which is 24" by 24":

It's pretty colorful, is it not? How I made it:

1. I made my own background cloth using a discarded hand-dyed piece of cotton, watered-down Elmer's glue, colorful 2-sided scrapbook papers put into my shredder and scattered about on the fabric/glue mixture, then more watered-down glue and tissue paper on top, with a bit of glue for total adhesion. I mostly used my bare hands and felt like a kid playing in goop. Super fun. Here's what it looked like at this stage when dry:

Then having this colorful piece of paper-fabric I was at a loss what to do with looks great by itself but then I saw an artist using gel and acrylic paint. Voila -- it came to me! I used almost a whole jar of gloss super heavy gel (Liquitex or Golden, doesn't matter). The four colors predominant in the butterflies I used by mixing the gel with acrylic paint; I then plopped it into a bakers bag with a thin spout and painted away. Here's what it looked like after painting and before the butterflies:

Now doesn't that look like messy fun? But I call it ART!