Friday, November 23, 2012

Ink, paint, color pencils, pens and stiching

Taking a college level art class this Fall, Color Theory, has bumped my creative ideas to a new level.  In class we are working with color pencils, pens, and water color inks.  Experimentation using these materials and techniques taught in class is encouraged.  I am in creative heaven.  I even stiched a few pieces to add an other element and texture.
Spiral Moon - painted and stitched on fabric
Spiral Sun - water color ink, pens, and thread
 on paper

White Paper and color pencils

Beginning pictures were created using color pencils on a white and a black background.  Technique used was layering color.  Fun exercises.
Black Paper and color pencils

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shelia of the Desert ...

  Wow, where has the summer gone?  With Fall just around the corner, I am very glad the hot and humid days of our Las Vegas summer are now turning to cool evenings and brisk mornings.  The days are still hot in the higher 90s, but the humidity is back to it's low normal.  Based on this summer's weather, my most recent art piece seems to be reflective of my state of mind.

  From mid-August to mid-September, I have been working on a landscape picture.  For interest I added Shelia, a bearded dragon lizard which I thread painted.  Shelia's relatives can be found in the central deserts of Australia where temperatures and climate vary dramatically depending upon the time of year and rain fall. 

  Quilting Shelia and the desert landscape was a delight.  I learned more about the formation of mountain and rock contours by viewing photos on the web. Surprisingly, the inner frame created using half square triangles was the most laborious to construct.  I like the look of the traditional squares juxtaposed to the semi-realistic landscape and the personified lizard smiling in the quilt.  Click the pics below to see an enlarged version.

  I am taking a color class at the community college.  Having enjoyed a five day Color Class with Hollis Chatelain in June, I returned home wanting to learn more.  The depth of a twice a week semester class is remarkable.  It is just what I needed.

Shelia 20 by 21

Shelia - Detail

Mountain Detail

Monday, July 16, 2012

Luke - Color Study in Portrait

  Yes, I have not posted for over two weeks now.  Time is passing and I have done every other thing than spend time in the studio.  After taking the color class with Hollis in June, I have been poring over books about color theory. 
  This next piece started with a holiday card of the subject, Luke, the grandson of a friend.  I placed the image into photo shop elements, creating a gray scale and four color way prints from the original.
  The four color way used complementary colors of blue (2 shades, dark and light), red/orange and yellow.  I then found four pieces of fabric from my stash that closely matched the chosen palette.
Photo of Luke
Photoshop Elements Print - 4 color

The Quilt of Luke is small, about 8 by 10 inches.  It is a sketch from which I will make a larger quilt.  I like the composition and will experiment with a different color palette.  The next step: explore how to quilt the image.
4 Color Quilt

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hollis Chatelain' Color Class

By looking at recent blogs, you'll see photographs instead of textile art work.  What have I been doing? I just returned from a 10 year master's art class I am taking from Award Winning Quilt Artist Hollis Chatelain. I have taken three of her courses, dyeing, use of thread, and composition and color.  While the class expanded my knowledge of color and design, I was equally inspired by fellow artists.  What a blessing to work with and learn from like minded souls!

Kayla Herrington Jacket Design
Back of Silk Jacket

I am excited about incorporating the lessons and color challenges from the master's color class and am ready to get back into my studio.

Color on White vs Black background
Transparacy - Not quite right, worth reworking:
Looks more like Luminosity

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Aircraft ~ Patterns in Light and Texture

While traveling in California we stopped to view the Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles.  The photos taken are of planes in their original condition without restoration.  The camera captures the amazing patterns in the aircraft structures; interesting to see the differences between the vertical to the horizontal formats.  The photos are full frame.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Great Northwest

I spent several weeks traveling, taking a five day color class with Hollis Chatelain (more about this in a later blog), and visiting my brother and sister-in-law in the great Northwest.  I had the opportunity and pleasure to meet many people and to reconnect with old friends.

While in Oysterville Washinton, I met a generational family of oyster growers.  Their love and dedication to keeping the bay safe for oyster growth is inspiring. A documentary film describing the Oyster Industry on Willapa Bay, Washington is worth viewing.

Water surrounds and seems to be an essential part of the landscape visually as well as in the hearts of the people who make their living from the land, the sea and the bay.

We hiked and explored Point Disappointment and two light houses.  The weathered structures were great to photograph ~ patterns and shadows of light.

    Click on photos to see enlarged versions.

Friday, May 25, 2012

  San Luis Obispo, CA is a magical place where flora and color abound.  This time of year the colors of everything seem especially vibrant.  I visited the San Luis Obispo California Mission (5th in a series) and then the San Luis Obispo Art Museum where a current exhibit by Sha Sha Higby is displayed.  She works in three demensions with fibers, metals, clay and other objects.  Her pieces are stunning.
  Entrance to the museum is free.  I love finding new sources of inspiration and the museum is now on the list.

Mission San Luis
Mission Window
Mission Wall - Detail

The mission was fun to photograph because of all the texture and contrasts.  Having left my camera at home, these photos were taken with an iphone.

Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist
Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist

Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist
The expressions on these works as well as the details to each piece are astoundingly beautiful.

Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist

Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist

Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist

To view more detail click on the photo for a larger format.  You can tell I am in love with her work. I hope you enjoy them, too.

Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist
Back of face ~Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist
Sha Sha Higby ~ Artist

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ghost Owl ~ re-worked

  Below is a re-working of a quilt called Ghost Owl.  The owl was outlined in white embroidery thread.  The quilt lacked a focal point which was to be the owl.  While the hand work on the owl is interesting, the lack of contrast caused the owl to fade into oblivion.
  I re-worked the owl by adding bits of painted tightly woven mesh material.  The bits were cut into feather shapes, outlines and shadows then either sewn or fused onto the quilt.  This fabric addition gave the owl more definition and greater texture.
  I knew I was not finished with the piece months ago, but was unsure about what it needed.  So it hung in my closet until the inspiration in shape of a piece of material arrived at my doorstep.  Thank goodness for the divine in the creative process.  There is more to come.
  Click on the photos to see the thread work and added materials in greater detail.

Owl - Original - Detail

Owl - Re-worked - Detail

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus

Salon at Rue de Fleurus, Paris
  In the times of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, parisian avant-gardes of the early 20th century, artists fleurished at the Salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus.  Wouldn't it be exciting to join them for an evening?
  The May challenge for Art Quilts, Etc. was to design a piece depicting a time in the past or a time in the future.  I choose the salon at the Stein's apartment in Paris.  The Steins, Gertrude and her brother, Leo, were instrumental in supporting such artist as Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, HonorĂ© Daumier, Henri Matisse, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
    I am drawn to the colors and the techniques of the early 1900 painters in Paris.  Salon at Rue de Fleurus, Paris uses the colors of Matisse's paintings (1943-1953).  The background blue and orange fabrics were machine pieced.   Matisse's women were quilted and then appliqued onto the background.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


  In memory of Sam (Kamuela) is a quilt made for a dear friend in Hawaii.  Sam passed peacefully at home on the Big Island this year.
Sam - Sharon's Photo
  The quilt uses a photo (taken by Sharon) and printed onto white cotton treated with digital ground clear (Golden) to enhance print quality.  Sam's photo was manipulated in Photshop Elements to give a painterly effect.  I fused purple tulle and black organza silk to make the hat and shirt.  To continue the painted elements of the quilt, the background was quilted and then painted with Lumiere pearlescent blues (brand: Jacquard).  The flowers for the lei are fussy cut, fused and dot glued to hold until they can be sewn onto the quilt. I was planning to add beads to the lei, but the flowers seem to stand on their own.
  Next I will finish the quilt by hand quilting in the boarders.

Sam ~ 2012
Sam _ Detail

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Enchantment (Sunny Flower and Friends)

  Enchantment was originally called Sunny Flower and Friends.  This title did not seem to fit the magic I found in the piece.  Well, here it is in it's final version.  A wider boarder was added along with crystals and some beads.
Enchantment 2012
Enchantment - Detail
Enchantment - Detail
The inspiration for this quilt came from a hand painted greeting card of an intertwining sun flower and iris. The quilt is designed to be enchanted and whimsical. It depicts an imagined sun flower species spied by an enchanted frog. When I create a quilt my goals are to draw the viewer into the work with high contrast and color and then keep the interest through creative detail.
 This is an original design.

Basic Colors: Beige, orange, yellow, brown, white, green, blue and purple.
Techniques: Machine applique, fussy cut, fused pieces, machine quilted, free motion quilted, hand stitched.
Materials: Commercial fabrics, tulle, pearl cotton yarn, cotton and poly threads.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Windows of a sort ...

I was going through some of my photographs and noticed several images taken, the eye of the camera seeing through them.  The three pictures I want to share are all of windows, very similar in function, but very different in style.  Take a look.  I hope you enjoy.

Rhyolite - a ghost town in Nye County, NV
Native American Ruins
Guestroom view in Hume, Virginia

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oops, I Did It Again

  The girl with the hammer quilt reflects a bit of my humor.  In 2011, I took a class from Fiber Artist, Annette Kennedy.  Annette's work is inspirational (
  She taught controlled painting techniques for creating details and depth.  The class used Setacolor fabric paints. A pattern was provided.  The success of the piece was largely due to choosing the correct fabric for the desert scene. Batics were used for the mountains and the road.
  Once the class project was complete (stitched, painted, quilted), I wanted to change it up a bit. I added a touch of irony by placing something unexpected in the piece, the girl with the hammer.  The girl with the hammer, the road runner, and the desert bird were appliqued to the desert scene.  The 3-D grass was added last.
  Someone said, "she looks quite guilty to me."

Oops, I Did It Again ~ 2011

Free Motion Exercise

Backside Detail 2
Free Motion Exercise
Backside Detail 1

  This mini quilt is an exercise in free motion quilting introduced by Linda Natale, a member of the Art Quilt group.  A print is chosen by motifs (large is better), selectively cut to exclude some of it's elements, boarded by a contrasting fabric, and then boarded again with a white or beige fabric.  Add batting and backing to make a quilt sandwich.
  The objective is to quilt, using free motion, the printed patterns echoing out into the boarders. With this exercise, I tended to do more thread painting than free motion quilting.  The backside of the quilt is great for showing how the stitches are forming.  Great way to practice ... little piece, small investment in time and materials.  It is one way to get over the need to free motion perfectly and just practice.