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.
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.
The project is finally complete. Time surely flies when life happens.
I made fourteen sample mini art quilts in addition to the initial 3D applique technique quilt. Each one is 6″x 8″ and has three techniques and/or elements from the list except for the last one which has four. They are all bound with a zig zag stitch, have raw edges and a cotton fabric backing. Any applique work was also done with raw edges. Here a is link to how the project changed from it’s original intent.
I will post them in a series of three quilts at a time and include a list of the supplies I used, a summary of each piece, and some tips for anyone who might want to try a little mixed-media.
This exercise was so much fun but it was challenging at times. I learned a lot about what works for me and what doesn’t. For instance, I will probably never do fabric manipulation using fabric paper ever again. The paper was too stiff and difficult to work with. The results of spraying alcohol on fabric in order to create a marker bleeding effect was not worth the fumes. I also learned some new techniques that I absolutely love and will incorporate again and again in my pieces. Low loft batting looks amazing painted and sealing tea bag paper with polymer medium yields a cool leathery look.
Playing with unfamiliar materials is a great way to experiment and ease out of your comfort zone as an artist. Sometimes we can get bogged down in repetition using only the supplies we’re used to and get stuck in a creative rut.
Perhaps I would have never uncovered any of the useful lessons I learned had I stayed in my little artistic cove of fear — afraid to open my bottles and jars which were moving closer and closer to their expiration dates — standing there wondering about my mysterious unopened packages of colorful painting tools. I finally, bravely ventured out. One of the greatest things an artist can do.
“Collage is the assemblage of different forms creating a new whole.”
Collage has such an enchanting and vast history so I will only nibble at very limited edges in this post.
It started out as paper art in the Orient, way, way back in the day–the 12th century. Paper was held as sacred. Poems were embellished with flowers and other motifs from nature. Decorated text. Although it has evolved immensely, and is now a practice used by artists all over the world, it has held on to it’s roots. Collagists still decorate text and anything else that comes to mind. Not until the twentieth century was it considered a valid fine art method. Artists bringing painting, sculpture and assemblage to the collage party weren’t taken seriously at first but persistence has it’s rewards. The freedom of expression and spontaneity that collage offers revolutionized the way folks looks at art. Artists began collecting and using all kinds of stuff in their pieces. The limitlessness was tempting and many creatives gave in. There were of course many artists who were opposed to the abandonment of conformity but many were thrilled by it and their art displays a special passion. If I had lived back then I would have been one of the giddy ones. Anything can be used in a collage and that thought brings me sheer joy.
Fabric is my primary medium of choice. Occasionally adding found objects, paper, paint and anything else the piece calls for takes me on interesting adventures. One of the reasons for starting this blog is so that I will hopefully be forced into art discipline. Either I make stuff or my blog withers away. Blog withering is not acceptable. Experimentation and getting away from comfort zones leads to learning, growing and ultimately meeting goals. I intend to do much experimenting.