Tuesday, December 9, 2014

City Of Las Vegas 360 Art Space ~ Juried In

What a wonderful honor to have three pieces of my work accepted into City of Las Vegas 360 Art Space.  I am thrilled to have my art out in the world.  The juried showing within City Hall will run from 2015 to 2016.

The pieces accepted are "Moon Over Bourbon Street" ~ digital mixed media, "Bring On The Night" ~ digital mixed media, and "Enso" ~ original design professionally quilted by Linda Natale.

Moon Over Bourbon Street
Bring On The Night

Friday, December 5, 2014

City Of Las Vegas 360 Call for Entries

I have been bitten by the entry bug.  This weekend I am entering three pieces into the City of Las Vegas 360 juried show.  The very best thing about entering art work is having the structure of a deadline pushes me to complete things that are almost ready.  "Bring on the Night" was part of a series that included "Moon Over Bourbon Street". 

The piece I just completed is called "Bring On The Night."  This piece is mixed media that combines digital images, textiles, gels, ink and oil.  The final step incorporates free motion quilting using a variety of different threads (cotton, poly, metallic) for color and texture. 

Wish me luck!

Bring on the Night ~ 21 by 16

Detail #1

Detail #2

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Community College Juried Exhibition ~ 2014

The Department of Fine Arts at the Community College of Southern Nevada will present the annual Student Art Exhibit on Cheyenne Campus starting December 12th.  This year I took several oil painting classes and was able to combine stitch and painted canvases.  My goals were to learn more about layering color and creating texture.  Developing oil painting techniques added to my skill set as well as challenged new ways to see and apply color.

Here are the four pieces I have entered into this year's exhibition.  I love having a venue to share my work.  College art classes are a great place to gain functional application techniques using different media.  The fun always comes in the experimentation.

The Darkest Hour ~ 31 by 26

This pieced is called "The Darkest Hour", the hour before the dawn when everything is the darkest in that one moment of time.  It is oil paint on canvas.  The first drip of paint was a mistake, but because I liked the look it created more drips were added. The picture under glass is difficult to photograph; you can see all kinds of reflections in the photo ... even without the glass I had a hard time getting a photo that captured the paint textures.  Anyway, it is a very dense piece and a bit different from the type of work I usually do; this one is more dark and moody than most the others that are warm and colorful. 

Las Cruces ~ 16 by 13
Las Cruces ~ Step One
Las Cruces ~ Completed

Las Cruces ~ Detail

"Las Cruces" was constructed using oil paint and small rectangles of fused fabric onto a canvas grid.  Once all the color was down using paint or fabric in rectangle units, the grid was stitched.  Then a second layer of oil was painted this time more loosely without the confines of the grid structure.  I wanted to see how the paint would take to the different fabrics used.  A mesh fabric was placed over the entire canvas and more stitch was added.  The paint flaked when sewn, so adding the mesh on top mitigated the problem. More paint stayed on the canvas and less flecks of paint found their way into the lower carriage of the sewing machine.
I enjoyed experimenting with the processes used to create this piece.  The total design while interesting, is not the best composition. Yet the details speak more loudly and seem to work better on their own than the entire piece works as a whole.  This is all good because I learned so much from the process and can always improve the design in future pieces.  Interesting enough I am not always happy with each and every piece of work I complete.  I believe failed attempts are one of the best ways to learn and grow.  The textures created are amazing and the design can be improved! 

Water Lillies Revisited ~ 24 by 18
Water Lillies Revisited
Water Lilllies ~ Detail #2

Water Lillies ~ Detail #1
"Water Lillies Revisited" was named for a painting done by Claude Monet the founder of the French Impressionist painting.  The piece was created on canvas board using oil paint.  The paint was painted onto the canvas then a squeegee was pulled across the wet paint.  After the first layer was dry more paint was added this time using paint sticks.  All in all a completely fun method of playing with layers of color.

Thirst ~ 36 by 24
Thirst Detail
 "Thirst" was created using an old paper back atlas.  Using the atlas for collage paper presented a color challenge because the color pallet was limited to four basic colors all in the same value range. 
Once the paper was down then photo transfers and acrylic paint were applied. Thirst is a social commentary on dwindling water resources which eventually will have economical and political impacts on a global scale.

Well I hope you enjoyed viewing this year's summary of course work.   Now back to incorporating what I have learned into more fiber pieces.  Yea!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Art Quilts, Etc. 12 x 12 Challenge

I belong to an active Art Quilt group in Las Vegas, NV.  The group has been ongoing for nine years, provides a safe haven to share ideas, and is directly affiliated with the quilt guild, Desert Quilters of Southern Nevada.  One of our members challenged our art circle to create 12 x 12 blocks using a randomly assigned color and your choice of techniques.  The challenge was inspired by the Twelve by Twelve International group. The color blocks will be grouped and displayed together for our annual quilt show, Quilt Las Vegas, in March 2015.

Below are the completed blocks for the challenge colors I was given.  Although very different techniques were used in constructing each block, I am happy with the final results.  As always it it fun to play and experiment.

My Day In The Sun ~ 2014
My Day ~ Detail
Turquoise ~ Detail

The techniques used to create "My Day In The Sun" are original art photocopied and transferred to fabric, stitched using poly thread, inserted into hand dyed light canvas and then quilted with cotton thread.  I love the colors of this piece and it represents the color ...
Orange, which I will admit may be a stretch and is definitely an artist's prerogative.


I like the turquoise piece better it's detail than in it's whole part.  And certainly it did not photograph as well as the orange 12 x 12 piece.  Still the mark of the hand stitching is always rewarding.  I extended the stitched line from the main block into the background block.  Keeping the thread color of the lines the same color way as the background block helped incorporated the two blocks without taking the eye away from the focal turquoise block.

All in all is was a fun challenge. The level of accomplished pieces was truly extraordinary and the final groupings should be phenomenal. I will show more photos of the group's final pieces once they are readied for our quilt show.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Art Quilt Tahoe 2014

Well I still like going to camp and have found the experience even more joyful when surrounded by like minded souls ... the community energy of talented artists pushes and pulls one to new inspiration.

The camp experience at Zephyr Point located at the literal edge of beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA included instruction in creating art through wax resist, dyeing on paper and fabric, meeting other artists from around the world, sharing creation stories and spending time with friends.  Our instructor, Isl van Baale, is a long honored textile artist and teacher from the Netherlands.  The students she drew together was a rich community of ten talented artists of varying media backgrounds.  I was in workshop heaven !!!

Inspiration from Zephyr Point Conference Center:
View from Dobbins Hall where class was held.
Fall Color which inspired values of Flower Organics design
 Main Work In Progress:
Wax being applied to pre-dyed fabric
Color added with dye ~ detail
Karen Garth, a good friend and fellow art quilter, and I traveled to the conference together.  Karen's insightful questions always help me become more articulate about my art processes.  It is great to create, but understanding the evolution is even better.

As you can see, the color of the changing fall leaves definitely inspired dye choices of the Flower with Progressive Organics. The techniques used were simple: pre-dye the fabric to create a background color using warm yellows and oranges, incorporate the random dye patterns on the fabric into the design which is established with a tjanting tool to apply the hot soy wax, and finish by painting the second layer of dye onto the design.   The process took two days of concentrated effort which was more meditative than anything else I had experienced previously.

And There's More:
Dobbin Hall
Dyed silk, cotton, paper, and canvas

Stair color and pattern inspiration

Stamped, painted and dyed
I hope you enjoyed viewing the vignettes of my art camp experience as much as I did in creating them.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

More Travels ~ It's All In The Details

 Seifried Home, Oysterville, WA
Details ~ Portland Quilt Show
Fencing ~ Genoa, NV
Apartment Piping ~ Charleston, SC
Reflection ~ Las Vegas, NV
This last September's  days of travel were filled with friends, family and many places of interest.  There seems to be art in abundance, especially in the detail of the everyday.  Hope you enjoy the smaller sites of our world. All were simply captured via an iphone!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Summer Vacation ~ Charleston, South Carolina

This summer I traveled by auto and plane to Northern California, Northern Nevada, Charleston South Carolina, Savannah Georgia, Washington State, and Portland Oregon.  Each place holds it's own magic and I was able to catch up with friends and family not seen for a while.

Charleston is filled with restored homes and gated court yards, a large number of churches with historic cemeteries and delicious fried green tomatoes. The historic homes hold architectural interest and textured surprises.  One of the most interesting aspects of these city homes are their center gardens, sometimes seen through ornate gates and sometimes hidden from view.

A noted blacksmith and recognized artist, Philip Simmons, created many of the gated and fence work that can still be seen throughout the city.  My friend, Janet, and I ventured to his original home.  Then we toured the downtown areas seeking some of his original iron work.

Philip Simmons ~ South Carolina Artist

Mr. Simmons' House
Walkway to Simmons' Property
Church Gate ~ Philip Simmons

Images of Charleston, South Carolina

Church Door
Church Cemetery

The next blog will include more photos of my travels and a peek at the latest work.  Hope you can join me there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Map #1 ~ Collage, Paint, Photo Transferr

Map #1 is an other piece completed in my summer studies at CSN.  Our summers in Las Vegas are extreme, and it takes a bit of scheduled time to keep the creative process moving forward. 

Map #1 is an experiment with collage on canvas.  Other materials used were oil pastels, acrylic paint, and photo transfers.

Map #1 - Stage one
Map #1 ~ Complete

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Oil, Acrilic, Cloth and Stitch

What I like most about the creative process is the endless opportunity to experiment with materials.
I am just completing a six week oil painting class at CSN, our local community college ... given the concentration of time of four days a week and six hours a day, a sequence of related work developed ... some better than others ... the process of experimentation was the most important to realizing the art.

Art is determined by the composition, not the materials used.  It is freeing to have a plethora of techniques and media to make art.  I found a pod cast discussing "The Future of Fiber Art" to be of interest in defining what art is.   Recorded June 7, 2014 at Helikon Gallery and Studios in Denver's River North Art District: https://soundcloud.com/helikon-gallery/future-of-fiber-artist-panel

So on to the work completed.

Painted Rectangles #1

Painted Rectangles #2

Painted Rectangles #3

The process began by combining oil painted and silk rectangles onto one canvas (#1).  Top stitching was applied to the canvas to hold the pieces in place and to create a resist pattern for the next process.  The rectangles were coated with a sealer and then painted with oil paints.  The resin darkened the fabric, but did not create a base coat as I had hoped it would.  Instead most the oil paint soaked in to the fiber.  The most interesting textures were the paint on paint rectangles that developed during this second phase (#2).  I was able to scrap off extra paint so shadows of the first colors bled through the second coat of paint.  The technique did not work the same on the fiber rectangles.  Unexpected visual interest was created when where the paint covered the fiber rectangle and where it did not. The contrast in color was dramatic.

Using my trusty Iphone, I photographed the completed second step and then tweaked the colors using photoshop (#3). The colors and textures are more interesting now. The plan is to go back and replicate the color and lastly repeat color through top stitching.

Keep experimenting ... it is so much fun and good things seem to happen when you let go and enjoy the process!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Creating Layers, Creating Abstract Art

I am often asked how I create designs for my more abstract work.  We all design differently, yet I have found that I have a preferred method.  I usually start with a concept, that can be a technique I want to try or an image I'd like to make.  So I move from an idea (the large overview) to details (the parts that go together). To kick the brain into over drive, I sometimes choose to work opposite my norm and start with the details then move to the larger idea.

My love for experimenting, adding different materials, and using different techniques can be seen in the majority of my fiber art work. I love to create depth and interest with layers when constructing and designing. 

Keep reading and you will find a mini tutorial about creating layers in an abstract piece.  Included are some experimentation with materials, and construction instructions, and a few design tips.  I hope you enjoy the mini tutorial, Creating Layers, Creating Abstract Art.

Shear silk, 5 by 7 inches
Batting 5 by 7 inches
Backing, cotton approximately 7 by 9 inches
Wine bottle tin tops, two or more
Thread, various colors and types
Nickle plated sequin pins
Fiber board, 5 x 7 inches
Fabric (any type), 8.5 by 11 inches
Misty fuse, 8.5 by 11 inches

Sewing machine, straight stitch
Straight pins
Rotary Cutter
Seam Riper
Teflon sheet or parchment paper

Layering Instructions

1. Remove the tin wrapping found on most wine bottles.  The tin adds color, texture and is easy to sewing through.  The sewn stitches create beautiful textures and movement.

# 1 & 2
2. Make a semi quilt sandwich by placing the batting on top of the backing material. Place the collected tin pieces on top of the batting in an interesting design.  The shapes I used were randomly torn pieces of tin.  I choose different colors of tin to create contrast between each shape. Once you have a pleasing design pin down the tin.  To hold the tin in place, I pin from one side to the other side.
# 3

3. Sew each tin shape down.  The larger the needle and the larger the stitch the more visible the created texture.  Once the shapes are secured onto the batting, create an other layer of texture by free motion sewing secondary lines.  In this piece, I stitched free flowing lines radiating from the tin circle shape to create a sense of movement.

# 4
4. Next, select a piece of shear silk and place it on top of your base layer of stitched tin and batting, creating a three layer quilt sandwich (backing, batting, and silk top).  For the top layer I choose silk organza which allowed the tin shapes to shadow through.  Then I echo stitched the radiating lines which were added at the third step in construction.  I also stitched around the tin shapes to enhance the shape and repeat the pattern.
# 5

5.  Use a seam riper to cut out sections of the stitched silk. This simple step creates an other visual layer and can be utilized to repeat shapes used in the design. Repetition in a piece is an important element which often helps to solidify the design.  You can create repetition through color, texture, shape and line. I am a switcher at heart and find this to be one of the most satisfying aspects of creating a piece.  Incorporating stitch into a design creates a subtle layer of texture, color and line.  While top stitching (quilting) may not pop as a design element, it is the thing that pulls a piece together artistically.  Details create interest. 

6. After you are satisfied with stitching, mount the completed work onto a 5 by 7 piece of fiber board. I cut the board to size and pin the complete piece starting from the center of the four parameters.

# 6 & 7
7. I finished my piece by attaching it to a background fabric which was fused onto a fabric wrapped artist canvas.  

Last Words
I am a stitcher at heart and find this to be one of the most satisfying aspects of creating a piece of work.  Incorporating stitch into a design creates a subtle layer of texture, color and line.  While top stitching (quilting) may not pop as a design element from a distance, it is the thing that pulls a piece together artistically.  Details create interest.   And the eye enjoys seeing something more as it moves in to have a closer look.

Keep layering, experimenting, creating and having fun!
If you have any questions, email them to rickieseifried@yahoo.com.