Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Although the miracle of the Twelve by Twelve group is that we have gelled together as a family, it is perhaps inevitable that within the larger group some more closer connections will be forged based on geography or personality. I have been priveledged to spend more time with Diane Hock than any of the others so far, wth two visits to California and a recent three week period hosting Diane and her family in the UK. We have found that we have much in common, not least a love of taking unrealsitically large baskets of books and journals ( and ipads and kindles and pencil boxes) to coffee shops and just hanging out enjoying tea and solitude.
I took it as one of the greatest compliments possilble when, after one such shared session Diane said to me "Being with you is as good as being alone."
Although we like to be in the same space when we are both engrossed in or own thoughts we found that we also enjoyed sharing a pot of tea (preferably with cream scones) and discussing creative matters. It was in my local cafe Bocboc, whilst lamenting the fact that we would soon be separated by the Atlantic that we came up with the idea of continuing the conversation by blog and letting you all eavesdrop from a neighbourng table
So we invite you to come on over and join us at www.teaandtalkfortwo.blogspot.com where we plan to post about once a week each on whatever topics pertaining to creativity and the creative process are on our minds. The idea is that the blog will be a dialogue between us. Comments very welcome.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Terry and I went to Tacoma, WA on the train to attend the APWQ show. We were so excited to have Nikki come down and hang out with us for awhile. We were having so much fun chatting, that we did not take a photo of the three of us. Sorry!! We also got to see Del Thomas and got to introduce her to Nikki.
We saw our book in one of the booths, and we had several people recognize us and tell us how much they enjoyed our blog and our book.
This morning, we went to the Tacoma Art Museum. In the lounge area, I noticed the orange pillow and the orange rug!
After the frustration of my last two posts here and here, I am happy to report that the sun came out -- both literally and figuratively.
The sun appeared and I was able to burn another EZ Screen (interesting product, but a bit finicky regarding exposure times). It's not perfect, but was sufficient for what I wanted to do. I also brought out my new orange Inkodye and Inkodye resist, which I am happy to say I like. It's fun to watch the color develop in the sun. Next time I want to do some fabric painting I think I will be willing to invest in more colors. I also fell back on my old standby Setacolor Transparent. I'm close to stating that these are all I need in my surface design toolbox.
Anyway, I did some "serendipitous screen printing" from the 10th anniversary issue of Quilting Arts magazine, and painted some orange-crate-inspired graphics with the help of freezer paper stencils, my EZ Screens, and some net clementine bags. None of the pieces are finished in and of themselves, but that's OK since I've wanted to layer some elements from the beginning. Now I'm off to the comfort of my sewing machine, scissors and commercial fabrics to really pull all these pieces together!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Yesterday I messed about with textile paints and some thermofax screens I got at Festival of Quilts (from the Committed to Cloth booth). I had a grand time and you might be seeing some orange printing in my final orange piece.
But the best success happened when I decided to experiment with some rather ugly fabric (which was the result of dying gone astray for the "gray" challenge"). I screened with the plain DeColourant and then set the fabric out in the sun for the afternoon. And now I actually like the fabric!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Alas, monoprinting went OK at best. In some cases the paint dried too fast (retarder helped, but...), in others I just didn't like the look.
I was very excited about using water soluble crayons on my silk screen and transferring the color to my masked fabric with a gel medium. However, my pastels were oil based, as was the kids' set; and my fabric crayons apparently are too. My watercolor pencils didn't work well at all, and on top of that, the mediums I had make the fabric feel all weird and plasticy. I got what I could at the art supply store here, but they didn't have any of the products suggested in the article I was following. I could try the craft store, or mail order, but I'm tired of shopping for this project.
On top of all of that disappointment, my ever present sun disappeared behind rainclouds and my second sun print didn't turn out. At least the color of the paint is nice, even if it doesn't have the intended leaf pattern on it.
I had some success making thermofax style screens with a product called EZ screen, so my plan now is to make one more screen and try my hand at some modified silkscreening.
I must say though, as disappointed and frustrated as I am right now, it's not permanent, it's not brain surgery, and I can't blame the how-to articles that inspired me. No -- it's all just part of the work that needs to be done to find out what works for us, and what works for each individual piece. Everything isn't going to be predictable or perfect. It's all a process.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Midsomer Quilting remarked over how different they looked on a white background than on black. Not better, not worse, they added, just different -- different quilts came forward, I think.
Helen, and Francoise, ready to talk about the quilts and sell books. It was lovely to have 3 twelves together (so I guess that made us 36!) and I really enjoyed my first in-person meeting with Francoise. (Sorry, but I just can't get the cedilla on the blog drafting page!) And Dennis was so great at talking about the quilts and selling books that I think he should be made an honorary Twelve. Perhaps we can call him "Thirteen?" (and doesn't that sound like a James Bondish sort of nickname?)
Monday, August 15, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I've been thinking about my own artistic comfort zones. Usually I'm up for any style or technique that suits the message I want to convey, so I was thinking that maybe I didn't have a comfort zone in the sense of preferred colors, styles, or techniques.
But I am procrastinating like crazy on this orange piece. It's not teh color, it's what I want to do with it. I decided that I needed to try a collage-y, printed, layered look that I so admire in other artists' work. I made notes in my magazines, gathered supplies, bought more supplies, made silkscreens, cut masks, and am still not sure where I am going with this.
I am finding that I enjoy starting with a pile of already colored and patterned fabrics. I like that I can add and subtract with sewing and cutting. I am comfortable in my process of piecing and occasionally painting or dying fabrics to be pieced. I feed my stash and my stash feeds me.
What I am not comfortable with is the planning by way of cutting masks or making screens, combined with the element of serendipity that comes with the unconventional use of those tools like using wet media to transfer crayon color, or dried dye, or newspaper clippings. I'm annoyed that I need to prepare my fabrics with soda ash if I'm going to use dyes, and that I need to make only as much as I plan to use before they spoil. I don't like that I need to seal my silk screen with duct tape and I don't have any at home, or that I have water soluble crayons for one technique but not the soft gel medium with which to disperse them. There's so much to plan and purchase for. I know that if I try these techniques and like them, then I will have the supplies on hand and not be so frustrated, but right now all the prep work is engendering procrastination.
I've come to the realization that my comfort zone is my boxes of fabric that I can reach into at a moment's notice and combine in any way that my thread and needle allow. I like the direct. Pencil on paper, blade on fabric or paper, hook to yarn. Much more than that -- preparing the ground, mixing the pigments, determining layers and masks -- is generally outside of my box.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
In fact, this turned out to be a great way to hang them. Diane and Francoise did a sterling job of sticking on some 1500 individual sticky dots while I stuck most of them up. They look good we think and we are delighted to have such a wide gallery for people to spend time in.
We are now looking forward to seeing it populated with people.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I've pulled out some orange fabrics and I've been thinking about how to represent the celebration I feel as we complete our ColorPlay series.
Monday, August 8, 2011
These red-orange ones are pretty great too.
I really haven't even begun my orange piece. I have a stack of fabrics I am thinking of using and a few ideas in my head, but things have been way too busy around here. One of my priorities right now is to try to finish a quilt for my grandson, Marco's first birthday, which is only a week away. I don't think I'm going to make that deadline, but he will get it soon enough. It's too hot for sleeping with a quilt right now anyway. But I am loving the way it is coming together. It occurred to me today that I could throw a few of these blocks together and have my 12 x 12 orange quilt done!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
- Dymocks - this photo was snapped at the George Street store in Sydney this weekend;
- Abbeys Bookshop; and
- Can Do Books (Hawthorn, Melbourne) selling at the Craft & Quilt Fairs throughout Australia in 2011 with a book signing with Brenda at the Canberra show at 1pm this Sunday, 14 August.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
This blue silk seemed the like a great background, so I started stitching away, using three different thicknesses of thread to emphasize and diminish certain areas.
The fact that you are seeing it now tells you I'm not crazy about it. Probably this blue silk is to rich looking, and then there's the possibility I don't usually work literally, so it's back to thinking about orange, abstractly this time.
Monday, August 1, 2011
cobalt/blue combos shown by Terry in her earlier post exemplify the calming power of blue. Pair orange and green and a different dynamic emerges.
Canton Village Quilt Works blog, you can view some high energy orange quilt blocks.