a conversation

As I prepare to share some of my art with you, please enjoy this interview recently recorded with Nathalie Kalbach. It's really more of a conversation than an interview, Nat is lovely to talk to! And you'll love her new book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media! So grab your favorite beverage and settle in...

click for the interview!

play time

I honestly don't remember the last time I did any surface design. I don't consider Photoshop manipulation surface design, my hands don't get dirty and that's just a whole other world...

But the other day, lo and behold, I was actually inspired to do some surface design! And it's all Sue's fault. Sue Reno that is. And her Quilting Arts Workshop Video Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt. She asked me to review and participate in the blog hop, and I thought - I'll be happy to, I'll just watch the video, write the review and post. Easy peasy! Nope. Not so easy peasy.... I watched the video and my hands started itching. Itching to do some surface design. I wanted to play with it all!
I wanted to play with the cyanotype process, the heliographic sun printing, the thermofax screens and the collagraph techinique. I wanted to do it all and I wanted to do it now.  The sunny days were not in my favor for the cyanotype or the heliographic.... and much too windy outside lately too. The collagraph was thoroughly intriguing, but the prep time issue was a factor, as I wanted instant gratification. And then I remembered that long ago, in a galaxy far away, a friend made me some thermofax screens during a playdate. Shamefully I have never used those screens. But they don't have an expiration date and here was my chance to try some instant surface design NOW!

So I rummaged around for a substrate in my recyclables box and came up with a bunch of color catcher sheets. A quick iron to smooth them out, flip over my portable ironing board to the hard side for an instant printing surface and I was ready to go! Here are pics of my instant gratification surface design session:
pinned down used color catcher sheets
first thermofax prints in gold (oh the torture of waiting for it to dry!)
second layer in silver
the finished product
now to find a way to use it in my artwork!
I highly recommend Sue's DVD, every technique is clearly explained, the samples are perfectly illustrating the process and her finished artworks are lovely and are great example of how to combine the techniques, the free-motion quilting and sharp design sense.

Tomorrow’s blogger is Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

Blog tour schedule
11/5/14: Sue Reno http://suereno.blogspot.com/
11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
11/7/14: Allie Aller http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com/
11/8/14: Diane Doran http://www.oohprettycolors.blogspot.com/
11/9/14: Vivien Zepf http://sevenpinesdesigns.blogspot.com/
11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/blog/
11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles http://cynthia-stcharles.blogspot.com/
11/12/14: Natalya Aikens http://artbynatalya.blogspot.com/
11/13/14: Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

art filled

Last weekend was very very art-filled. I dubbed it "art-ovewhelmed". And have been digesting it ever since... You might have seen Vivien's and Kristin's blogs for very full reviews of all the exhibits we indulged in. Do go over to there for some wonderful observations and photographs.

Here I will indulge in showing the many details that are still burned into my eyelids... They are motley bunch from several exhibits and the streets of NYC.
construction view from the Highline
intentional plastic bag art
somebody just wants love...
art by Tegan M. Brozyna at the Textile Arts Center
Molasses footprints at Kara Walker Domino
molasses melting
molasses chunks
natural plastic bag art
Swoon details at the Brooklyn Museum
Swoon details at the Brooklyn Museum
Swoon lace sails at the Brooklyn Museum
Swoon larger than life at the Brooklyn Museum
Swoon details at the Brooklyn Museum
Swoon details at the Brooklyn Museum
I highly recommend indulging in some artful excursions for recharging the batteries....

window to your soul?

That's what they say about eyes, right? What about windows? Home windows, apartment windows, cottage windows? What are they? Well...all metaphors aside... I think that windows are an intriguing pathway to your art. I have used windows as a starting point to many an artwork. So many actually that I have quite a few scraps left over. And I have put those scraps to work! Who are they to just take up space in a basket???

I invite you to bring your scraps along for a playdate. Just a few hours on a relaxing evening... We'll sit around, play with our scraps, stitch them by hand or sewing machine, put them into a little frame and embellish the heck out of it. And you'll leave with a small little window art quilt in a pretty frame and the satisfaction of knowing that you reduced your scrap pile! And now you can add to it again.... ahem.

You say when and where?? I say at the Create Retreat in New Jersey in July! Come and play!

folk couture

Run! Don't walk, to see this totally fab exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum at Lincoln Center. It's only up until April 23rd. Here are a few of my favorite images to entice you. For a very thorough review go read Vivien's blog.
Ronaldus Shamask hanging from the ceiling
Fabio Costa
designers sketches - Gary Graham
more designer sketches (Fabio Costa)
I just love this little gem of a museum, wish it's bigger space didn't close....


A couple of Fridays ago Vivien and I escaped to NYC during the school day. Boy oh boy do I miss being in the city everyday... It was so invigorating to just drive in, see an exhibit, have lunch and drive out. Is it sad when so little really makes your day? I'll take what I can get..... 
A peek at Explosions in Color by Carol Taylor at the Art Quilt Gallery (that's Vivien taking the same photo as I)

a retreat...

Back in mid July I hosted a leeeetle art retreat in my home. A few friends (Kristin, Robin, Deborah) came to stay with me and one (Vivien) came over daily. We had an incredible time chatting, sharing, stitching, discussing, brain storming, viewing, you name it. We had a get-together with a few other local artists and shared some more. We went into Manhattan and saw various exhibits and some fabric and notion shopping. It was like a gigantic playdate for artists!
clockwise, art by: Kristen La Flamme; El Anatsui; Rayna Gillman; A-POC
Clockwise, art from: Metropolitan museum of Art; MOMA; MOMA (Gilbert and George); Metropolitan Museum of Art
The whole time was wonderfully exciting, deeply thoughtful and truly inspiring. I highly recommend regular get-togethers with kindred souls for general well being!

mini playdate

Tuesday I had a lovely time having a mini playdate with Rayna Gillman. Most of my playdates are mini, due to the fact that they are limited to the time between kids being dropped off at school and picked up from school. Adding the hour there and the hour back from Rayna's house, this playdate was even more mini. But! We made the best of it, fit in a yummy Peruvian lunch and lot's of conversation. Rayna has a wonderful studio in an old Johnson and Johnson factory. I just love those old brick buildings, so much character. Of course I neglected to take a picture of this factory.... 
But I did take pictures of Rayna's studio and a little of our playtime. Rayna told me all about thermofax screens and we made some for me. 
She insisted that I make a trial run with one of my screens, and how can I resist getting my fingers in some paint if only for a minute. I can't wait to start playing with my new screens in my studio. Stay tuned! For now it's back to designing the 3rd grade playbill for my daughters musical next week.....