Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winter daze

I have spent the last three days with Leonard Cohen in the background, quarter inch seams and colours that make my heart sing.  Three winter days.  It doesn't get much better.
Lots more to do.
I'll be back...

Friday, December 28, 2012

More for the Jane Davies class

I have prepared three pieces for Jane's class taking one of my earlier pieces as inspiration.
This is the one I started off with.  I took some of the various bits and pieces, the vocabulary, and used those pieces to create three new pieces.  Each of these is 3 1/2 inches by 22 inches.  These were each so much fun to do!!  I so want to try this 'vocabulary' in stitch.
I am playing with another set of three based on one of my other pics.  I'll show you that one in a bit.....
Back later...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Starting to stitch more pears.

I have sewn the pears onto the fabric and have started to do a bit of stitching onto the piece as well.  It makes for a lovely quiet evening activity and if the fire is on then the cat is generally pretty content to lay by the fire where it's warm.  No competition for knee space that way!!
This is quite similar to the pear quilt that I prepared earlier but I have used a different version of the pears this time.  I had some extra fabric that I had previously dyed and printed with soy wax so I thought I'd do another version.  The extra practice is great and I learn something new every time!
The Christmas festivities are over and there is nothing but quiet space before me for a few days.  Lovely.
I'll be back.....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Landscape compositions

I've prepared a couple of acrylic landscapes for the Jane Davies class Extreme Composition.  They are for the last lesson (I made it!!! late, but I made it...) and are part of a warm-up exercise.  I actually quite like doing these and so was happy to have the excuse to prepare a couple more.  I've used the same materials for each iteration.  These are possibly too representational to be called 'abstract' but they are what I felt like doing.
This first one is 8 x 10.  On each of these I prepared a collaged background that I painted with neutral colours....
 Then I put on the pieces to represent the landscape, using a different horizon line each time.  This second piece is 8 x 8.  I haven't worked in a square format before, so this was kind of fun!
(hmmmm....clearly I'm losing it....I believe the first one is 8 x 8 and the second 8 x 10.  And the size of my brain?... questionable...)
And finally I added more paint to try and bring the pieces all together. (This last piece is 8 x 12.) I've done another and have one more to work on tomorrow.  I'll post them when I'm done... so...
I'll be back.....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Golden GAC 900 versus Jacquard fabric paints

I am working on a new piece.  Pears again.  Second in the series.  Yesterday I painted the pears using Jacquard fabric paints.  I'm not displeased with the results at all.  I heat set the piece last night and was ready to go ahead and apply it to the background when I thought 'why not try the GAC 900, which is the Golden version of a fabric painting medium'.  The idea is that you mix the medium in a one to one ratio with Golden acrylic colour, gels or mediums.  I found it to be very runny.  Also I hate to waste paint.  So I gave this a try:  instead of mixing each colour with the medium, I painted the medium, straight from the bottle, onto my fabric.    I got it quite wet.  I then painted the acrylic paint, straight from the jar, onto the fabric.  I used Golden fluid acrylics.  At first I didn't like how it went on because there were lots of hard lines (hard lines, but remember that the fabric was wet).  I was worried I wouldn't be able to mix the colours satisfactorily or get rid of the hard lines.  But in the end, I don't think it turned out too badly at all!
The fabric paints are on the left and the piece using the acrylic paints plus the fabric medium is on the right.  There is a tendency for the colour to run a bit, since the whole thing is wet all at once, but that didn't seem to be too much of a problem as I went on.   I was pleased I was able to get so much definition in the leaf on the right, for instance.  I also mixed transparent and opaque paints (yellow ochre and quinacridone nickel azo gold, for example); I think that worked out all right.  It is also worth noting that I am not planning on wearing this so the final hand of the fabric wasn't an issue.  In fact, I imagine I could have simply used the acrylic paints on the fabric without the fabric medium, since I'm not wearing it, but I wanted to experiment a bit with the medium.  I still have to press it....and the fabric medium 'releases formaldehyde upon pressing'.  OK, I don't like the sound of that.  And it's winter and stormy beyond words so I won't go outside to press it, but I think I'll press it in my laundry room with the door open.  And then not breathe for 5 minutes....shouldn't be a problem!

Anyway, I'll let you know which one I decide to use on the finished piece.

As an aside, whilst painting the pears, I placed them on top of a sheet of paper from my sketchbook.  A nice  bonus, I got this rather abstract piece from where the paint went through the fabric onto the paper.  I like it too!
It's fun playing around with all these things.
What's next.?....I'll be back...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Extreme Composition with Jane Davies

This is the third small piece I did for one of the lessons with Jane Davies.  I like it this way, but also flipped upside down.  I think I'd like to try one of these three (I'm favouring the magenta one at this point) in felt and fibre on the needle felting machine.  Maybe over the holidays.  What am I thinking, I'm's always a holiday!!!  Maybe soon.....but then I'm still working on the last two lessons, so we'll see.  At any rate,
I'll be back....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stockings, and more with Jane Davies

I completed the two little stockings for the two little grandsons.  I happened to have some fabric that I had dyed a couple of months ago and so used it for the stockings.  I scanned a picture from a favourite bedtime book (thought it would be all right since it's to be given as a gift, in terms of copyrights) and the other pic is of my cat since my grandson thinks she is pretty special.  I printed both pics out onto fabric and then applied them to the stockings....not terribly exciting, but terribly simple!!!

These next pics are from the Jane Davies class Extreme Composition.  They were fun to do.  I keep thinking about how I can apply these designs to fabric using various surface design techniques.  It will happen at some point I am sure.

Hmmmm, I did a third one.  I guess I haven't processed it yet.
I'll be back.....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jane Davies' Extreme Composition class

I'm making my way through the lessons for this class.  I started really late but Jane has been kind enough to keep the class open for those of us that are struggling and straggling along at the end.  There are 6 lessons for the class and they each build on the previous lesson.  It is a well organized class and well structured.  I am out of my comfort zone but as I creep up on each new lesson they definitely seem do-able.  Here are some pics from the fourth lesson.
 We have learned quite a lot of different ways to make marks....
and to connect the various bits and pieces.....
And while I can't say I'm doing it all correctly (what is THAT anyway?), I am having fun.  I think that's important as well!!!  Jane gives great feedback on every post and there is tons to be learned from reading the feedback on other classmates' work, not just my own.  I am constantly thinking of ways to apply what I'm learning to my own work, most especially to my stitched pieces.  I am taking another class with Jane in the new year as well as a couple of on-line class that are more textile related with Dionne Swift.  I can't wait to see where it is all going.  And you'll see too!
I'll be back...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pen and Watersoluble Inks

I am really enjoying the watercolour class I am taking at the moment.  Last night we worked with watersoluble inks and fine (very fine) nibbed pens.  It was such a lot of fun and our instructor kindly gave me one of her very wonderful generous.  I really like the way you can go back into the drawing and wet out and then move around the inks.  I'll definitely be doing more of these.  These are my first attempts ever (no pencil first, scary is that!) so they are a bit simple, but such fun.
 In this first one the ink bottle is totally wonky, but who cares!!! I was also playing around with drawing some lychee nuts (? are they nuts) and some primroses.  And no, that's not a worm, I was just playing around with wetting out the ink!!
 These were some ivy leaves that were available for drawing as well.  I added some watercolour to the leaf on the left but I think I prefer to just wet out the ink.  I have to get this colour for's olive lovely for this exercise
I finished the Christmas stockings I was working on.  I'll load the pictures from my camera and show you next time.
I'll be back....