This is the archive for the ‘design’ Category

Catching up…

June 1st, 2021

Here it is June, and I haven’t posted here for a while. I started a new Visual Journal with which I’m having much fun. It began as an old diary which belonged to my Gram – she didn’t really use it for much more than a folder of news clippings etc. so I decided to use its pages as a surface for mixed media/visual entries – I call it a daily journal and it is but I never said the days were consecutive… I’ve been posting pages on social media – it gives me a good start to the day to get working. Each day I try to use media and imagery with out planning and just react to it as it goes along.

Image of journal page Image of soaking tea bags Image of journal page
Three of my pages

I’m excited to have entered a painting, Tinicum Marsh” in the Da Vinci Art Alliance group exhibition. It will run from June 3 to the 22nd with a zoom opening on the 9th. It is open by appointment if anyone wants to stop by in person. After this last year it’s so good to be able to show work in the real world!

Image of Tinicum Marsh
Tinicum Marsh Ready to Wrap

I’ve also been busy making books and starting some paintings – continuing the theme of painting where I wish I could go. But now I can start going so that’s good!

And today I’ve gotten back to weaving on my found treasures – “found objects as Tapestry Looms”.

Never Ending Story Book

March 12th, 2021

The final book in the project (from the previous post) is a “Never Ending Book” in that it can double back on itself in a circular fashion, thus “Never Ending”. Constructed like the others, only with seven sections rather than eight, the paper pages are then covered with fabric in a crazy quilt fashion using bold stitches, resulting in a very textured piece.

Image of handmade book Image of handmade book
Fabric and spines in place

Two sections have enlarged spines to accommodate extra pages (I may have enlarged mine a bit much) and the front and back covers are slightly padded. Once the stitching is finished the book is filled with the additional paper pages (not sewn in at this point) and is stuffed with leaves and/or onion skins – I added rusty objects as well, and the whole bundle is compressed between two tiles, tied and placed in a dye pot with boiling water.

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Before and After

I used an iron pot and added tea bags. The hardest part is leaving it alone for several days with out peeking. This morning I lifted the bundle out and removed the tiles.

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Unveiling

Then the unwrapping begins carefully, opening each page to remove the dye materials and setting the book and loose pages aside to dry.

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Drying (The dark bit in the first image is the main book structure. More pages in the second.)

All is currently pretty soggy but I’m excited with the results. Some of these pages were tests and I will now dye some additional pages and then assemble the finish project! That will take awhile and will be in a future post! This has been a very fun project with lots of fodder for future projects.

A Winter Diversion

February 18th, 2021

As a break from all the cold and snow of February, I’m taking an online workshop with Australian artist, India Flint. Titled “February Project 2021” it’s basically making folded books from found materials, dyeing them, adding pages and just generally having fun with people all over the world. Her gentle way of explaining things warms up the coldest day.

Here are a few of my early books.

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The first red book used a mixed media experiment I had done on watercolor paper. The paper was much too thick to fold as shown so it turned into an accordion book with added fabric to reinforce the folds. It has been put aside for now.

In the second picture, the top left book was also a bit thick for the suggested folding but I was able to open it up and expand the spine. Pages of color have had extra blank pages sewn in creating a small journal/sketchbook. The remaining books are similar but without the need to increase the spine. Some additional pages are in signatures, some fold out to make larger areas to work with. The small bundle includes the books shown in the video below.


These have been dried and are waiting to be finished.

Other artists have stitched fabric to their pages before dyeing them or have added pages from previous dye experiments resulting in a most wonderful range of books —all so different, interesting, and inspiring.

This simple structure is addictive to the point that a solicitation that arrived in the mail yesterday is currently being pressed into a small book. Best use I can think of for junk mail!

And… there are still lectures and video, unavailable until the scheduled week, but listed as a tease of things to come.

A wonderful winter break from all that’s going on. Thank you, India!

Onward!

January 25th, 2021

Well 2020 is finished with and 2021 has been off to a rocky start although the inauguration is hopeful—feels as though adults are back in the room. December was a rough month, couldn’t get into a holiday spirit, although I did put lights in our windows, one batch of cookies, and made our card.

Image of Christmas card
My previous Christmas cards can be seen HERE.

Wasn’t in a mood for a fancy tree and came up with this.
Image of Christmas tree
Started as a joke but we kind of liked it so, tree it was!

Missed our family and friends. Did several zoom gatherings—one with “The Garden Gals” and one with “The Rudes”—two groups of friends that mean the world to me. And Facetime with Kevan, Erin and the boys. Great to touch base, but I can’t wait to give and get real hugs! The pandemic has gotten old… and I know I’m one of the lucky ones, fairly healthy, can work from home, family grown so I’m not worried about virtual school, food delivered, etc.

Hard to get into my studio. I so envy artists who have been able to keep painting and get their work out there. I try but the results are forced. I have been sketching and reading, some fiber work, and designed a shop page for my site but even that doesn’t have my heart in it.

But today for the first time in months I’m feeling like painting. So, this is good!

What Summer?

September 11th, 2020

Well that was June, and this is Sept. Haven’t been anywhere—3 times to a friend’s—outside— brought our own wine—and 2 normal Dr’s visits—since March!!! Hard to paint but I have done some. Images of places where I wish I was. And one lockdown portrait!

Image of Mask
Vision of 2020

I did finish the long, dyed piece with hand twisted silk cordage – added some slow seed stitching.(10.5 x71 inches)
See detail on Fiber Page.

Image of Life/Twists and Turns
Life Takes Twists and Turns

When I first did the cordage twisting, I made some using tea bag paper and got the idea of using the paper as a support for designing stamps and printing. The result is a series of 12 works called, collectively, “Tea Bag Tales” More can be seen on my Works on Paper page. This one is titled, “Beach Dreams”.

Image of Tea Bag Tales
“Beach Dreams”

Then there is always a book needing to be done and this one uses tea bag paper – some dyed, some not – and with ink. Bound with cordage made of dandelion stems and a dandelion cordage bookmark. More images of this may be seen on My Books Page.

Image of Tea Bag Book
Tea Bag Book Spread with Book Mark

I had dried the dandelions this spring and finally got around to twisting them. Some I dyed with rusty tea, some were half dyed so the twist is half dyed and half natural. Some the twist loosened a bit up as they dried, and some I weighted as they dried to try and keep their twist, and some stayed tight as they dried on their own. I love the different personalities they have.

Image of dandelion cordage
Twisted Single Dandelion Stem

I’d only picked and dried a few stems, so I’ve used my stash and can’t wait till next spring to dry more. (I’ll probably still be here locked down…)

Each project leads to another and I feel I’m ready to begin painting in earnest (if the world doesn’t get worse and spiral me into a deeper funk.) I’ve been reading a lot and enjoying the many artist interviews appearing on social media. So wonderful to see what people are doing all over the world. As I’m locked up it really helps to see others in the same situation and how they are dealing with canceled exhibitions, workshops, and lack of travel. Don’t feel quite so isolated. A life line.

2020, so much crazy

June 28th, 2020

It’s been a while—said that before but this time—Been really hard to post things—positive things—about my work. My exhibition at Imperfect Gallery was postponed until October— hopefully. So I have piles of framed paintings etc all over—waiting. But many others have much worse interruptions to their lives.
We’ve been thankful that we mainly work from home and for our yard and garden which kept us busy and outside this spring. We are able to get food delivered or have curb side pick up and I made masks, 2 different kinds.

We voted by mail—that was a first but seems to have worked out fine. Let’s hope it’s all ok for Nov as I’m not to excited about standing in lines…And, a very nice thing happened, my photograph, “Haven” won best in Show!

Image of me with mask
On my way to mail ballot!

It’s been hard to get down to painting. I have a canvas started but it sits on my easel and stares at me! I have been able to work in fiber as it seems to be calming and I have completed several projects and have ideas for more.

The long strip of wool shown in my last post has turned into 3 long strips, each about 6.5 feet x 2 in, and each dyed with tea and iron but differently. Each strip has simple hand stitching running its length and the last two are embellished with buttons or beads. The fourth strip, (not shown here) is becoming small individual works.)

Image of long strip
Working title: “On the Surface””
Image of seconf long strip
Working title: “We can Do This”
Image of third long strip
Working Title: “We Can Dream”

I took a small online workshop with India Flint on twisting cordage out of various materials. Took awhile for my fingers to get the hang of it but finally it clicked and I had a ball with this—still am.
I had picked up a stick from the Wissahickon last summer and had soaked it in water to be able to pull the long fibers apart. This turned out to be perfect for making “wooden cordage” Next I needed some silk fabric and having none during lock down, I raided (with permission) my husband’s ties for a red and white one that he never wore and twisted that. Next up was ordering some silk on line and dyeing it with bright dyes. Some of that was twisted with the wood fibers and some just twisted with the joy of playing with the bright colors.

Image of wooden cordage
Cordage made from Wissahickon Stick
Image of cordage from silk tie
Cordage from silk tie
Image of dyed silk
Image of brightly dyed silk cordage

The red and white has been used in a project with a working title of “Life Twists and Turns”. It consists of a long dyed fabric with the cordage “couched” down it’s length as it twists and turns.

Image of process
Cordage laid out on dyed fabric, ready for couching.

I have ideas for other projects using the cordage but I really want to get back to my painting. I have been sketching-trying for every day, (the idea of a daily journal/practice of stitching didn’t work out). And, I’m exploring gouache in some small studies but my plan is get back to my easel and to explore painting places I’d rather be this summer than locked in my house. We’ll see.