Saturday, January 12, 2019

A New Dawn, A New Day, A New Year

A cardinal drawing on Arches 300# watercolor paper awaiting water and paint...

It seems that chaos is joining us all in this New Year, however, the flip side of chaos is opportunity, according to the ancient Chinese teachings. So I'm looking at the opportunities that about today and will reveal themselves as we go forward in time.

My artistic brain is on over-drive - which most of us know can be both exhilarating and demanding. And on the other side of that is all the obligations that go with daily living competing for attention. So far, I'm managing to shift gears back and forth without TOO much difficulty, however it is frustrating going either direction because our attention is so divided!

As you know, my sewing studio is in the lower level of our home. Thankfully, with my newly replaced knees I am able to move between the two floors with confidence and little pain. My leg muscles are still weak from so little use over the past number of years, but they are growing stronger with each flight of stairs!

So in the sewing arena, my mind is awhirl with so many new ideas (new to me, at any rate) that I'm almost overwhelmed with inspiration. IF only one could bottle up such enthusiasm and inspiration for those times when there is little of either in our present moment! Mostly, I'm keeping the bird/fiber art on hold as other obligations demand attention. But the fibers, laces, ribbons, threads and birds are flitting through my mind quite insistently!

Various pieces in progress...

In the studio, on the main level of our home, are watercolor paintings in various stages. Two are commissioned pieces - one nearly done and the other at the beginning with only the drawings on the paper. Then there's the Loose Watercolor competition on the Paint My Photo - a bird in flight and a bird feather (both favorite subjects of mine!). The deadline is the end of the month...

Paint My Photo: loose watercolor challenge - drawings are ready, just not the time available!

And another artist's blog has a monthly challenge for keeping an art journal... that one I'll probably miss out on. But the bird in flight and the feather are already drawn on watercolor paper, begging for attention!

Cat portraits to be... on the page

Adding to the complexity of life is the upcoming, much anticipated visit of our granddaughter and her twin 6 year old daughters coming for a 3 day visit! This month! As in, next weekend! Monday is our Fibers Unlimited Artists group meeting for lunch and sharing... At least all the eye and dental appointments were LAST week! And there isn't currently a Homeowner's Association Board Meeting scheduled, so that's good. But the Bellefonte Art Museum's PR takes a few hours at the beginning of each week to create and schedule the postings. They are mostly designed, but must be written and posted. Those change monthly, of course! Then there's the dogs nail appointment...and her yearly exam. Oh my, stop with the listing, girlfriend. Get over the list and settle on today, here and now!

Do you ever feel swamped with duties and responsibilities, etc.? My creativity is one of the ways I move out of time/space/worry and into the space outside time/space. It's always renewing, and that's just what I'm going to do. Tackle one of the many art projects at my disposal and immerse myself in creativity.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last Quilt of 2018

"Afternoon Tea" (c)Pat Dolan - gift to granddaughter for Christmas

Now that I have two new shoulders to use in sewing and two new knees so I can go downstairs and back up again from my sewing studio, I've been at my sewing machine. This is a wall hanging that I made for our youngest granddaughter's new apartment. Alyssa is a great tea lover, she collects tea pots, tea cups, and various tea varieties as well as serves as hostess for regular tea parties for her friends. So this quilt was designed just with her in mind!

The tea pot resembles my maternal grandmother's tea pot. The cup and saucer were as close as I could come to an antique cup and saucer (I used Prisma-colored pencils to shade the cup and saucer). The lace doily is from my collection of laces - my paternal grandmother made many lace doilies in her lifetime. The napkin is actually a handkerchief from my mother's belongings. It is embroidered with a "G" for her married name of Gangl. I believe that either she or her mother did the embroidery, as both were adept.

The bluebirds are symbols of happiness in many traditions and I feed them and photograph them regularly, so they are part of the ensemble. I printed the photos on silk, then fused them to the quilt top and did machine embroidery to make them stand out from the background.

Since Alyssa has been an organic farmer and is very much a farmer at heart, as well as a nature lover in all ways, the background of lush leaves provides a relaxing atmosphere for a tea party. For the table I used rusted fabric that I did many years ago back when we were still in New Jersey. I love the rusted fabrics and still have a nice collection of them, but they are somewhat difficult to quilt and worse for embroidery! Machine needles need replacing often as then dull quickly from the rust. But it makes a perfect table top for this quilt!

I did the "pillowcase" method for backing to eliminate binding - I'm not very good at corners of the bindings and find the pillowcase a great solution! Here is the back of the quilt - hopefully you can see the machine embroidering and quilting in it. Click on the image for a better look!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas to All!

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas full of love, joy, friends and family! From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2018

And Now I'm Doing Textile Art!

Watercolor Painting on Fabric! And MORE!

My creative drive has taken on a whole new life - and it's an odd time of year to suddenly want to be alone in the studio with music and a ton of art supplies! Thankfully, just before this latest creative splurge of energy, I finished all the shopping, wrapping and mailing of Christmas gifts to various family members!

I began by drawing a series of very simple birds, making cardboard templates, and tracing them onto fabric. Next, I painted the birds - having paper towels under the fabric to absorb the excess paint - don't want watercolor permanently adhering to my art table, if I can prevent it! Then, downstairs to the sewing room where I ironed each bird to make the watercolor paint permanent. And finally, I drew on each with black thread on my sewing machine, leaving the threads dangling - I rather like that, for some reason!

Then it was time to select fabrics to compliment each bird. These two fabrics were donated to me from fellow fiber artist, MaryLou Pepe. She gave me a whole bag of natural fibers for these upcoming projects! Thank you, MaryLou!!!

Below, I'm testing several fabrics for these two little Tufted Titmice.

Here are a few of the others I'm working on.

These two little lace-winged birds are made with Angelina Fibers - I have to be super careful not to iron them or they will melt!!!

I'm not so sure about the composition below - the birds need more embroidery to make them pop out of the background of trees. It's a work in progress.

Last, but not least - and also incomplete...

Some of the artists who have inspired me are: Emma Siedle-Collins, Cas Holmes, Debbie Irving, and Tara Badcock. Look them up, if you are also interested in this type of free-form embroidery/quilting/artistry!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Finally Painting Again!

This is "Lily" a 12x16" cat portrait for a friend

And here is the step-by-step process over several days time. Some of the changes are subtle, others are not!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

New Website! Fine Art America

I've joined thousands of other artists on the Fine Art America website. The site is currently having a special sale of all items, although different things are offered on different days. Here's the list of sales for the coming days. Click on the image to see enlarged.

Below are a few of the options for purchasing my art in a variety of formats, from framed, to metal, to canvas, to tote bags, and more. You have your choice of frames, matting, and sizes, of course. Go to my web page to see all my paintings, quilts, and more:

As you can see, options abound when it comes to using art on clothing, tote-bags, and so much more. Unique gifts for those special people on your gift list. And the prices for merchandise are much cheaper than obtaining the original art pieces. I do have a few of the originals for sale on the site, but not many

I hope you explore my website and find just what you are looking for!