It’s been a year since my last post. That amazes me.
The year has been full of changes in my creative life. I have tweaked and retweaked my branding. There are some major elements that I will never let go of. I want to be a positive force through design. Adding a bit of magic to people’s lives by creating things that make them happy, serene or uplift their day is something I will always aspire to.
My next posts will feature a project in which I will do a mini work of art everyday using one of my too many craft books. I look at them daily and know that I should be delving into those pages that I faithfully paid good money for yet they sit on the shelves tightly mushed together just waiting for some attention. Well, attention they will get, finally! I will use a different book each day.
Below is the chosen one. My first in the series of my Craft Book Challenge. Wish me luck!
It’s feels like so long ago since my last post. Ugh!
Anyway — the color study exercise is still fresh in my mind. It actually taught me more than just about how color relates to emotion. It taught me what shades and tones I didn’t really care for. It showed me how the differences within an individual color danced playfully with each other and how sometimes those variations did not play well together at all. Also, how textures read differently depending on the interplay of the shades. The mini monochromatic study was fun yet frustrating and tedious at times but well worth every minute.
The reason I force myself into various art exercises every so often is because little surprise lessons spring up every time.
I will be moving on to making some pieces from the serendipitous fabric I created by scrunching random paint splashes.
It’s a new year! I have a new company name! It is now eclectic cloth. I have been honing my art brand and it has graduated into a more fun design style. Textile collage displaying various themes from love and spirit to pure whimsy fits my all over the place way of creating much better than my previous scheme.
Procrastination will take a back seat this year. Well, that’s the intention anyway. I also intend to make posting on my little art journal blog a priority.
I am ending my posting hiatus by continuing my exploration into color and featuring some monochromatic studies in the form of various textile pieces.
This first piece is a study in white. White symbolizes purity and innocence and is considered a cool color due to it’s relation to snow and ice. There are many shades of white. Snow, pearl, cream, antique white just to name a few. Even beige is actually a shade of white. I have attempted to display some of the soft and beautiful versatility of white in the art quilt below.
I named the quilt wish in whitebecause it’s a big bowl of ice cream and I don’t eat much dairy anymore — I miss vanilla ice cream so much. It is 11 1/2″ x 13 1/2.”
The Universe is displayed in color. Vast stretches of vivid spectrums of lightness and darkness. Nature just flows in hues, shades and tints just waiting to be admired. I have always loved color. My boxes of crayola crayons and coloring books used to help soothe my tummy aches when I was little — they gave me immense joy.
While looking at my collection of fabric, I noticed a surprising trend. Beige. With all of my fascination with color I seem to have a thing for beige toned fabric. I think it’s because beige evokes a quiet calmness that I gravitate to. On the other side of that is my adoration for purple which has a magical and mysterious quality. Purple is my favorite color but I don’t wear it much and my fabric choices don’t reflect that. Artists are funny creatures.
All of this color introspection led to me to a decision. I am using up all of my paint and revamping my palettes. I will only buy certain colors and use particular palettes for various themes. My crayons, painsticks, inks, embossing powders and other surface design and marking tools will find their way into my work as they fulfill some sort of creative need.
I randomly plopped, spilled and then scrunched paint on mid-weight printed fabric, drill (a sort of canvassy type fabric) and canvas scraps. It was so much fun. I didn’t want to stop so I kept making more and more pieces. The result was some wildly seredipititous combinations that I will use for various projects.
I had been on quite a lengthy quest to develop my art brand. What I mean by that is coming up with a signature style so that when the viewer looks at a piece they will know that it is actually my work. Needless to say this is not an easy task especially since my tastes change like the weather. A couple of things that have stayed true with me have been my love of fabric and collage.
Some artists use the same color thread or the same basic materials and color palettes. A running theme regarding subject matter is even part of some artist’s signature style. Me — I like anything and everything so narrowing down elements has been quite the challenge.
Ultimately, I decided to go with mixed-media fabric collage with a spiritual touch; noting particular constants and basic themes. We’ll see how that goes.
Here are two patchwork collage clutch bags. These started out as art quilts. I love quilting fabric collage. The texture it renders is simply delicious. I love the way the purples play with and enhance the deep reds. Both of the bags have a soft structure and are just so unique.
This is the last series of quilts for the project. They are enclosed in a piece of lightly inked canvas. The image was printed on iron-on inkjet printable fabric. I didn’t need to but I stitched it down with some variegated thread.
I am so happy to have completed this self imposed creative assignment. I learned many things along the way and got to use some supplies that were just languishing in my studio.
I used fabric glue and attached eight of the mini quilts (including the cover which was the first quilt of the series) to a strip of canvas in order to create the first journal. I had to cut the quilt that I used for the cover to size and redo the edges with the zig zag stitch.
Golden Fluid Acrylic – ultramarine blue
Piece of foam sponge
Metallic thread – gold
Polyester thread – copper
Found objects – old keys, metal no.4
To create the sun printed quilt top, I spread the paint out on the muslin with the sponge, making sure the muslin was highly saturated. It was a nice sunny day so I put the fabric outside on the grass and placed the metal number and the keys on top. When it was fully dry I removed the objects and added the felt batting. I thread painted inside the little openings within the object’s shapes then hand stitched the stones onto the quilt. Added the cotton fabric backing.
Tip: Metallic thread is iffy when machine stitching. I used a metallic needle and the thread still broke intermittently. Stitching slowly helps.
15) “puffy pear”
Jaquard Textile Color – golden rod, olive green, sky blue
Beaded trim Polyester fiberfil batting Polyester thread – copper
Transfer Artist’s Paper
Royalty free image – pear
After randomly tying the rubber bands around the tightly squeezed muslin, I put the fabric in a plastic container and squeezed out paint on top of it, purposely leaving some white spaces. I squished it with gloved hands to work the paint in and left it to dry overnight. Somehow the green took over but the tie-dye effect was a success. The pear image was printed on Artist’s Transfer Paper, cut out and then ironed onto the quilt top. The fiberfil batting was put under the pear shape and I stitched an outline around it to create the trapunto effect. I then trimmed of the excess fiberfil and made the quilt sandwich. I free motion stitched around the pear to bring out the puffiness. The trim was added to the bottom.
Tips: Although many paints nowadays are non-toxic, if your hands are going to be dabbling in a lot of paint, as a precaution it may be best to wear gloves. Regarding, trapunto, it is best done using polyester batting. It creates more dimension than cotton batting.
These next three quilts have some fun embellishments.
I love the resin trapped pressed flowers on “preserved beauties.” Sequins are not something that I intend to use often but they give “wandering ginkgo” it’s brightness. The shisha mirrors add some dimensional whimsy to “goddess of thought.”
Tea bag paper
Gesso – white
Dynaflow – chartreuse, teal
Polyester thread – copper
Golden Gel Medium (Gloss)
Ice Resin trapped pressed flowers
Flex Shaft Drill
Found objects – foam comb, gridded foam pad, wood dowel (from a broken foam paint brush)
I painted the tea bag paper and sealed it with the gel medium to create the quilt top. The found objects were lightly dipped in the gesso and I painted on some abstract designs. Using the drill, holes were made in the resin to allow for stitching. I added the felt batting and hand stitched the flowers onto the quilt top. Added the cotton backing and assembled the quilt sandwich.
Tips: When working with Ice Resin, be sure not to stir it quickly. Too many bubbles will form. Also, take all safety precautions if using a Flex Shaft Drill. I use industrial grade leather gloves and protective eyewear.
The rubbing plate was taped down and I taped the muslin down over the top of it. I lightly but firmly rubbed the paintstik over the muslin. The area around the gingko design was painted yellow in order to bring out the leaf shapes. The floral stencil was held down over the canvas scrap and I put hot glue in the empty spaces of the stencil to create a resist. The stencil was removed and watercolor paint was spread around the hardened glue. Free motion stitching was added to outline the floral shape on the scrap. I cut around the stitching to create the motif. The quilt top was put on top of the batting and I hand stitched the motif, sequins and beads on. The backing was added.
Tip: When working with a glue resist and stencil, try to work quickly. The glue dried with the stencil on top and I wasn’t able to achieve a detailed resist because I had to tug at the stencil to remove it. Some pieces of hardened glue pulled away from the canvas therby allowing some of the paint to seep into areas that would have otherwise been covered up.
13) “goddess of thought”
Gesso – white
Staz-On Ink Pad – black
Foam make-up wedge
Polyester thread – purple
I stamped and stenciled the quilt top in a frivolous yet balanced kind of way then added the batting and hand stitched the shisha mirrors on it. The backing was added and the quilt sandwich was assembled.
Tip: Shisha mirrors scratch easily. Be careful to not let your fingernails scrape them.