Saturday, April 24, 2010
Tonight was the opening of the annual juried art show at the Pickens Museum of Art & History. There were four fiber art pieces juried into the show. Our area in the western part of SC is very receptive to fiber art.
This particular museum held an exhibit about ten years ago of my fiber art group "Focus Fiber Art" so fiber is not new to them.
Many areas of the country are not as progressive and we are thankful to have the curators in our area who are front runners.
There were a lot of portraits represented in this exhibit, a little unusual in my limited experience, but nice.
I took one of my new portraits, Uncle Dave, to enter into the show. We could enter two pieces so as I looked at my work my eye fell on the portrait of my granddaughter, Sydney. As an after thought I decided to take it in as well. Uncle Dave was rejected and Sydney was accepted. We never know, do we?
Various shots of the galleries.
This was one of the most varied shows I have ever seen. Everything from a beautifully crafted rocker, wooden bowl, stone, metal and clay sculptures, Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pen and ink and prints, photographs a piece of beautiful jewelry, a table made of wood and a hanging clay sculpture and fiber. A very varied show
Friday, April 23, 2010
When I decided to draw Sydney's face instead of using the method I've used for other portraits I decided I had better control with watercolor pencils. So I got out my new 72 set of InkTense pencils by DeWert. This was really my first experience with these pencils and I probably should have experimented a little before tackling such a big job as drawing a portrait.
The drawing on the right is the first one I drew using InkTense watercolor pencils. The pencils had nothing to do with the problems of the drawing but I found them to be too intense for the face.
Yesterday when I decided to draw the face over I used a combination of Prismacolor Watercolor pencils and Staedtler watercolor pencils. Each brand of pencil has a different feel and texture to the mark and each worked for different needs. I have not yet added water as an element.
I'm still not happy with this but think it is better than the first one. I'm going to keep trying until I come up with one that makes me happy. I think the next time I will try paint.
One of the reason I decided to draw rather than make from fabric, as I do my other portraits, is a very soft photograph. The photo is of Sydney taken on a camping trip in the CA mountains. The photo is quite beautiful as it show the mountains in the distance with Sydney up close. By the time I crop her head to make it large enough for my wall hanging the photo of just the head is not real clear. I couldn't get enough detail for the fabric faces and I am having trouble with the eyes and seeing where her chin stops and neck begins for the drawing.
In this photo I lay the drawing and the photo of Sydney together. I laid her hair over the face to get a better idea of how close I came.
The eyes still aren't right and I may have to do this over one more time. This time I may try drawing it upside down as Betty Edwards author of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", suggest.
Among the many things I did wrong on this portrait was to draw her eyes to large. If you don't have the eyes right the drawing really doesn't look like the person you are trying to represent. I was able to make them a little smaller and they do look better but not quite there yet.
In trying to get Sydney's chin and neck to look right I ended up with her looking like she had a really long chin. She actually has her head tilted back and it's difficult to see where her chin ends and her neck begins. I was able to change that a little and it shows in the first photo.
Monday, April 19, 2010
These two photos may look the same to you however, if you look closely at the little girls shoulder you will see that the first one has a little line of fabric. This fabric separates her face from her sleeve and gives the portrait more depth. This is just one of the little added elements that makes an alright portrait into a good portrait.
Each time I make a new portrait I learn so many different ways to make the portrait better. I am making this piece for someone and she has had a little preview on my camera. I haven't met these two cuties and wanted to make sure I was capturing them to her satisfaction. She was very pleased.
It is more difficult to put two people together with this technique since you make each one separate. I had to quit when I got to the joining of the two and it wasn't quite obvious what I need to do. I know that I will figure it out but it may take a mistake or two. Below is a photo of the little boy, I know he's beautiful isn't he, I didn't take a photo of the girl before I put them together. However, you can see how he is without his sister.
I worked on each portrait as if it would be a single portrait. I knew I was going to have to do something separate for his shirt and vest so I left it all blank. You can see in the photos above that I haven't figured out quite what to do yet. Maybe tomorrow.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
These trillium were the reason my DH and I took a hike today. I had been on the East Fork Trail in Sumter National Forrest in Oconee County about seven years ago. It was in late June or July. While the trillium flowers had died the leaves were out everywhere. I made a mental note to try this hike again when the trillium were in bloom. We have been having such beautiful weather and since I am lucky enough to have a few trillium in my garden I knew there was a possibility that they were in bloom.
The forest is at a much higher elevation than our home but I was hoping we wouldn't be to early. We did see many but many were yet to open. We also saw Solomon's Seal, Bird foot violets, Trout Lily, Meadow Rue, wild azalea and in a few months a riot of Rhododendron blossoms will delight the eye.
There were some groups of leaves that we think might be some type or orchid but no flowers. My knowledge of wildflowers is limited and while I recognize most flowers I'm no good at recognizing the leaves.
Unfortunately this is a scene all to often seen in the park near the trail head we hiked on today. The Hemlock trees are being devastated by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the Eastern part of the US. If you are interested in learning more you can go to http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/pest_al/hemlock/hwa05.htm
I was in this area about seven years ago and the amount of destruction since then is dramatic.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Yesterday I drove to Pickens, SC a little town in the foothills of SC. My mission was to pick up a piece of artwork that I had taken over to the Pickens Museum to be judged for a juried show that opens April 24. I entered two pieces, one was accepted the other wasn't. More on that later.
However, my post tonight is not about the exhibit but about the beautiful drive through several small Southern towns in Spring. I wish I had taken the time to stop take a few photographs and savor the beauty.
While I didn't stop for photos I did savor the beauty. I found myself almost in tears as I looked at the wisteria vine tangled in trees, the wonderful wild Southern dogwood trees, the magnificent green that is only seen in Spring.
Azalea's in shades of pink that only can be found in nature dotted many yards in of these small town gardens. Red, and yellow tulips clumped together provided other little feast for the eyes.
For some reason Spring has really had a special hold on me this year. Perhaps it was the cold rough Winter, unusual for us in the South. Perhaps the fact that we celebrated out 50th wedding anniversary this year and we look back and wonder where the time has gone. What ever the reason it is a magical time of year here.
I am ever amazed at the color this time of year. I try every year to capture the green of leaves as they unfold in early Spring. One late afternoon I was in my garden the sun was low in the West and these iris leaves caught my attention. The photo is beautiful but I don't see the amazing color of green that caught my eye that afternoon.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Dianne brought the finished piece from one of our past projects. We had seen its beginning but it is so nice to see the finished product. For the birds nest Dianne used thread and Angelina Fibers sewed them all together to get this colorful nest.
Marge brought a project she has been working on for a challenge but we are not showing it just yet. I can say it is an AMAZING design with piecing that only Marge has the patience to pursue.
I also brought the piece I am working on that was in the last post. Don't want to bore you with it again just yet.
Last week several members of High Fiber went to a workshop given by Mary Ellen Kranz. Donna worked on a photograph she had taken of her cat's water dish. During one of our very cold days this Winter the water had frozen in a circular pattern. Donna was really intrigued by the design.
We had to crop the photo to 6" sq. in order to fit the pattern we were working on and Donna lost some of the image that really appealed to her and that was the circle. She is hoping to use fabric to capture that look.
Since High Fiber began working in the book Fabric Art Workshop by Susan Stein, Dianne has made a block with the same theme. Apple. She put this together this past month using a wonky crazy patch block. We will be exhibiting these projects at The Loft in Seneca, in Sept.
This month's technique to try was image to fabric sheet transfer. Dianne chose a lovely verse from a card her Mother sent to her upon her wedding. Dianne fussy cut flowers out of the fabric to make them 3-D. Dianne is one of the group who always comes through with our projects. This month she and Shirley were the only ones who actually followed through.
Shirley is a new member of High Fiber. You may remember that we have been working out of a book titled "Fabric Art Workshop" by Susann Stein. The technique this month was Image to Fabric Sheet Transfer. Shirley chose a quote overlaying an ocean scene.
Months ago Barbara brought a purse she had knitted in wool. It was HUGE! She planned to boil it so it would shrink and felt. It is gorgeous and worked so well. I remember when she brought it to the meeting thinking "that can not possibly shrink that much", well it did.
Friday, April 9, 2010
I still have lots of work to do on the landscape part of this quilt. I am building it as a sample for my class at J.C. Campbell April 24. I ran out of Super Sulky, the product I was using to make the the pine boughs for my trees, so I decided to start on the portrait.
I have enjoyed making the portrait and clothing this week. It is so stimulating for me to see a piece come together as this one is. Can you imagine getting a kick out of building clothing? When I am in this process I am on a creative high. I love what I'm doing.
The jacket and hands were my project for today and it took almost all day to complete them. Photos are in the next post with the progression of the jacket and hand.
Hope you enjoy.