Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Organic shapes are everywhere - here they are in two very different basket designs, along with other photos. Designs are 'in progress' as I write...
copyright Pat Dolan

More cellular images...yet to be fully explored and morphed into fiber art...
copyright Pat Dolan

These photos and drawings formed the basis of designs I painted on the silk scarves below.
copyright Pat Dolan

As you can see, I'm fascinated by organic shapes. These are microsopic images from various web pages that have inspired me more than once!
copyright Pat Dolan

Artist Notebook

After taking a course in fiber arts where keeping an art journal was required, I re-discovered the value of keeping such a notebook. I often clip out things that have caught my eye and interest from newspapers and magazines - things that might lead me in a new direction or help me perfect a technique. Usually, the clippings end up in manilla folders in a file drawer, out of sight and out of mind. However, when an art notebook is 'required' by a teacher, it's amazing how the assignment disciplines me to do what I know is helpful!

A notebook lays around in plain view for easy access. And when I'm ready for a new project but at a loss for inspiration, the notebook is a wonderful resource. It's a great place to tuck those arty postcards announcing art events, that tiny article from the newspaper on one artists style I like, and those little tidbits from the craft magazines that show up in my mailbox from time to time.

Our class assignment required one page for photos, etc. with a blank page opposite for doodling my concepts arising from the bits on the facing page. I like alternating the photo pages so they are back to back - that leaves the drawing pages less distorted for easier drawing when inspiration strikes. I'll put several photos on the blog to give you an idea of my art journal. Maybe you'll decide it's something that would spark your creativity as it has mine.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

My Dharma Order Arrived Today!!!

After taking Rayna Gillman's class last Saturday, I'm more than ever into dying, painting, and otherwise 'marking' my fabrics in some (or many) ways to make them my own. Last Sunday night, I placed an order with Dharma for Jacquard Silk dyes & dye fixative and they showed up today on my doorstep...oh, now I won't get another thing done in the house today or tomorrow, for that matter... More later!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

An Oriole tugging on the threads & hemp for nesting materials. c2005
copyright Pat Dolan

She's got a tangled mess! Familiar, isn't it?!
copyright Pat Dolan

Gathering her materials...
copyright Pat Dolan

Fiber Artist Extraordinaire!

For the past several days a Baltimore Oriole has been coming regularly to our hemp flower basket gathering supplies for her nest. Orioles work as a couple to create intricately woven hanging nests for their brood, using natural plant fibers as their primary material. Since I had several antique spools of cotton and silk thread no longer useful for sewing, I added some colorful threads to the hemp basket to see if the Oriole would take them, too. Slowly, they have disappeared – not nearly as quickly as the hemp basket seems to be experiencing its losses!

In Native American traditions, the Oriole is associated with the weaving of new sunshine into one’s life. The bird is black and gold symbolizing night and day, among many other things. The Oriole reminds us to connect with our own inner light/glow and to reflect our personal sunshine out into our environment. As a weaver, the Oriole invites us to weave our lives along new, more satisfying lines – to create greater joy for ourselves and others. (Ted Andrews: Animal Speak)

I hope you enjoy my slight diversion into ‘new joy’ in life!

Basket weaver gathering materials...
copyright Pat Dolan

Oriole with collecting her weaving supplies.
copyright Pat Dolan

Sunday, May 15, 2005

To View Photos Below...

Since Hello is still a problem, I switched to Flickr to upload my photos. For a larger image, click on the photo - you will also find a description of the process on the page with the enlargement. Next time I'll try to upload the description with the photo...

Hey, I'm learning!!!

Firey Feathers c2005

Firey Feathers
Originally uploaded by patpaints.

Red Hot Feathers c2005

Red Hot Feathers sm file
Originally uploaded by patpaints.

Silk Scarf - Multi - full view

Silk Scarf - Multi - full view
Originally uploaded by patpaints.
Full view of my "organic" scarf - hand-painted silk using silk paints with wax resist.

Multi silk scarf - detail

Multi silk scarf - detail
Originally uploaded by patpaints.
Here's a detail of a multi-colored, silk paint painted scarf I did using wax resist. I love the organic shapes, the many colors, shades, tones, hues...

Shapes Scarf after gutta - detail

Shapes Silk Scarf - before gutta - detail

I've found a way around Hello by using Flickr - here come the photos!

Still Having Problems!!!

Sorry, but even the Picasa/Hello support team seem to be having trouble with this one. I've uninstalled Hello, restarted the computer, opened Picasa as told, downloaded a new version of Hello, only to get the same message. We're still working on it!

Meanwhile, I took a class last Saturday from Rayna Gillman (from our Artful Quilter's web-ring) - printmaking on fabric in different ways. It's got me all inspired & I have even MORE photos to share! Some of the samples I made yesterday in class, some of the over-dying with water-soluable CrayPas on some old stuff I had previously printed. Having A GREAT time! Will show & tell ASAP - with the help of Picasa/Hello support teams, no doubt!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Photo upload problems!!!

Well, I've been trying for days now & Picasa2 works fine, but when I ask it to send it to BLOG, Blog refuses to accept me!!! Says my Ul failed to initialize. If there are no other running copies you should reinstall. That leaves me uninstalling, installing, uninstalling...lots of stalling!!! When I get all this sorted out, I'll really WILL have photos up here!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Old Project Completions...

Last semester I took an undergrad course in Crafts taught by a locally well-known art critic and artist Geraldine Velasquez, PhD. Dr. V led the class through various fabric dying methods, including batik, marbling, and silk painting - it was a WONDERFUL experience. I fully enjoyed learning the new techniques, of course, and I'm even using some of those techniques in my artquilts. But it's the art/design journal we were required to keep that has been most helpful in the long term. It re-opened my eyes to the amazing beauty all around, to the elements of design in the simplest things, to the color combinations that "work" and those that don't. Keeping my art journal is like having a fabric stash - it's a place to go for inspiration where something in it will somehow jump-start my creative juices and develop with my help.

Back to the class, I had several painted silk scarves on which I had used a gold gutta which I thought would remain following the dry-cleaning. Alas, the beautiful metallic gold disappeared at the cleaners and the scarves suddenly looked dull and boring to me. I put them away in December, but happened upon them this week. They really didn't look that bad, after all, but the gold gutta WOULD add the sparkle that I felt was missing. The photos show the 'before' and 'after' for one scarf, and only the 'after' for the others. I'll also add the one scarf I like best - that didn't loose it's gold gutta: Autumn Leaves.

And so I'm putting all the supplies away & packing up the supplies for Saturday's class with Rayna Gillman entitled Words & Images: Personal Mark-Making. It sounds like a great course in surface design using text. I'll let you know next week how it turns out!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Happy Dance!

Today I was told that all 3 of the FabriQuilts I made last month from their line of fabrics (see April 10 + 11 blog) were purchased by the FabriQuilt company! They were made to hang in the company booth at the recent Kansas City Quilt Market. Their booth won SECOND PLACE at Quilt Market, and they were thrilled with all the quilts and the attention that their booth received!

The quilts were fun to make, serendipitous, + playful - lots of bright colors and geometric shapes...and the fabric was FREE!!! My thanks to the Kansas Art Quilters and especially to Linda Frost for arranging this opportunity for our membership. Here are pictures of the booth - although my quilts are not showing, you'll get to see how the booth was decorated.

The one remaining quilt - part of the Kansas Art Quilter Exhibition at Quilt Market - Signs of Life III, will be returned to me in time for the State Quilt Guild of NJ Convention, A Garden Party, June 9-11 at the NJ Expo Center in Edison, NJ.

So I'm dancing a happy dance today!!! And I celebrated by signing up for Rayna Gillman's class next Saturday in Rahway! Happy dancing indeed!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Hand-painted fusible interfacing layered withy feathers & wispy yarn held in place with Angelina Fibers.
copyright Pat Dolan

Hand-painted Steam-A-Seam mounted on sheer organza for background fabric.
copyright Pat Dolan

Hand-painted fusible interfacing mounted on background sheet with Angelina fibers.
copyright Pat Dolan

Trying Something New...

After reading the Spring 2005 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine, I found an article by a fellow classmate of mine from way back 40+ years ago - in undergrad school. Back then, she was a home ec major while I was majoring in art. Now SHE is a well established, well-known textile designer and I’m teaching spirituality and healing arts. We’ve both come a long way!

So reading the Artist Profile on Marcy Tilton brought back many happy college memories & I even recalled Marcy as having one heck of a good sense of design. I don’t even recall which class we took together – probably Interior Design – but I remember her artistic flair. She, on the other hand, didn’t recognize her own giftedness in art and was amazed to think that I even remembered who she was. Interesting, isn’t it? How we think others do not notice us if we’re in another field of study. Marcy tells me her sister was a class or two behind us, and an art major. She figured I just got the names mixed up. But I don’t recall her sister. Only Marcy – I always loved her name & admired her flair. Never told her, though. Until I read the article & looked up her e-mail address...

And so I decided to try the technique this “textile adventuress” demonstrated in Quilting Arts Magazine: painting on fusible web. I spent a full day in the studio trying out her methods, mixing in some of my own ideas, and creating some interesting backgrounds for new art projects. It was a great day full of fun, as you can see from the accompanying photos!

Then it was off to Vermont to welcome our 16 year old granddaughter back from a month in Inner Mongolia as part of the VT Cultural Arts Exchange Program. She had transformed into a dramatic actress and confident singer while she was away – out little girl grew up very quickly! Now she and the other 23 students are presenting the program they wrote, created, designed, costumed, and performed throughout the state of Vermont. This after giving nearly a dozen performances in China and Inner Mongolia to as many as 2000 attendees! That’s Michelle in the photo below performing last Saturday at Leland & Gray High School in West Townshend, Vermont.

And now we’re moving into the final two weeks of graduate study so I’m listening to my students' presentations & grading. I’m looking forward to the summer “off” – from teaching. The summer brings each grandchild for at least one week of one-on-one Granny & GramPa time. They all are in their teens, but still love coming for their yearly visit. Yeah!!!!

copyright Pat Dolan
Michelle Dolan performing in VT following her Cultural Exchange visit to China.
copyright Pat Dolan