Saturday, March 30, 2013

People & Portraits

Recently on a dreary, rainy day while my husband watch basketball games all day, I had the time to spend looking at my newly acquired book People & Portraits by Martha Sielman.

Normally I would have been working in my studio but I was away visiting my daughter.  I spent most of the day lying on the couch, covered in a quilt, drinking coffee and reading from front to back this beautiful new book.

It is rare that I read what I might call a book for the eyes, but I read every word written by Martha and the featured artist of this interesting and informative book.

Martha says in introduction that when she began considering the images for this book that she thought she might use age or gender to organize the book. However, she soon realized that those categories missed the feeling of the art.  She ended up using the emotional truth of the portraits: happiness, contemplation, Icons, family and friends, work and play.

A little self promotion here, on page 34 in the section on Happiness, you will find Connor by yours truly.  Martha couldn't have chosen a better section for this piece.  My husband and I decided that we would celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary by taking our whole family on a trip to Costa Rica.  It was the best time, best money we ever spent.  One of true happiness.

Recently I put together a power point presentation titled The Many Ways to Fabricate Faces.  During the compiling of information and photos for this presentation I emailed artist who's work I knew or had seen somewhere on the internet.  Everyone of these talented artist agreed for me to post photos and some even send more information and photos for me to use.  Almost all of them are in this book.
Kati by Aniko Feher

When I saw this piece on the internet I did not know who Aniko was nor had I seen any of her work.  The graphics of this piece is what caught my eye.  I loved the fact that she used stripes and polka dots as her border. When I saw this piece in Martha's book I was so excited.  It is the lead in for the section Contemplation.

Homeless Love by Mary Pal
Mary is one of the twenty-one featured artist. While I have many portrait artist who's work I love, Mary is at the top of my list.

It is amazing to me that she can accomplish a piece of art that looks like this using white cheese cloth, glue and a piece of black fabric as the background.

I met Mary in Houston two years ago at the awards ceremony for IQA Festival.  I had just barely made it to the auditorium before the ceremony began.  After I sat down she introduced herself and I did the same.  I have quite a hearing problem and all I got was Mary.  When they called her name for her award and I saw her piece come up on stage I almost fell out of my chair.  I couldn't believe I was sitting next to her. Do I sound a little star struck?

What never ceases to amaze me when I meet these fabulously talented artist is, they are so normal.  So sharing and modest. I could go on with other stories about the artist in the book and share more photos but,
I'm going to stop and suggest that you find your way to a book store or order off the interne, this beautiful book.

This post is linked to  
Off the Wall Friday

Friday, March 22, 2013

Looking for Spring

The last two weeks have been busy doing a little of this and a little of that, leaving me very little time in the studio. However, I have been able to sneak in, every now and then, to finish this small thread painted piece.

 When I make a small piece I like to mat and frame the finished art work.  I feel that it often looks lost on the wall unless you have a grouping of like-size pieces.  My original idea was to place the finished piece in a shadowbox.  Like this.

After I had the piece pinned to the background I placed it on my design wall.  As I passed the piece I kept looking and wondering what it would look like if I cut out the light background and just leave the bird and tree.  So I took a photo of the piece. Cut it out and pinned it to the black background.  This is what it looked like.

Now the question is which do I choose.  I think I've made up my mind but I would like to hear what you have to say.

I am linking this post to   
Off the Wall Friday.  Lots of wonderful blogs to view right from this web site.  As I look at Nina Marie's blog and see the photographs of snow it makes me very thankful I live in the South.  Did my dues in NW PA for many years.  Been there done that.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spirit of the Kiva finaly finished

 Spirit of the Kiva
49" X 42"

I just spent an hour writing this post and lost the whole post.  This one may not be as detailed but I'll give it another go.

I started this piece about a year and a half ago.  After making all the design decisions, I began the quilting.  Machine quilting is, by far, my weakest suit.

Usually I have trouble decided what type of quilting I want to do on my work but this time I knew exactly how I wanted to quilt it.  Since the child is the spirit I wanted the Kiva to stand out.  During the quilting, about three-fourths of the way through the panel, the piece began to warp.  The lines of the boarder were distorting and I was concerned that if I finished, with the hope that it would quilt out, it might not.

I made the decision to take the panel out have it reprinted, and ask for help.  That help came from Gail Sexton.  Gail is in my quilt guild and does wonderful machine quilting.  I asked her if she would be interested in collaborating with me and she graciously said yes.  We spent an afternoon together brainstorming about designs to use, etc.  I had specific ideas on the panel and had thought that petroglyps would enhance the boarder but other than that Gail chose what she wanted to do.  I was delighted when I saw the finished piece.

The creation began with this photograph I took while in Copper Canyon, Mexico about six years ago.

   Soon after that trip I began making portraits using Maria Elkins technique of four values of fabric  I was so happy with this portrait that I wanted to use it in another piece. 

After taking a photo of the portrait, I chose a photograph I took in TX of an American Indian Kiva and using Photo Shop Elements I merged the two.

  This was the results. I then sent it to, no affiliation, to be printed.

When I received the piece I then had to make design decisions about how to finish the piece.  I had quite a few false starts as there were many things I had in mind to use.  Finally I decided that less is sometimes more and to go simple.

The foundation pieced borders are the American Indian symbol for Kiva Steps.  I am a big believer in asymmetry design so I chose to put the pieced blocks on the top and right sides only.  I hope you enjoy reading about my process as much as I enjoyed creating it.

I am linking this post to Nina Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Fridays.  There are lots of wonderful post to check out on her site.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Unvailing of New Studio

Finally I have my new studio together and have been able to work some this week.  The sign on my door was given to me by my son and granddaughter.   They purchased one for me and one for my husband when they were in Bali a few years ago.

This is part of the East Wall.  It holds one of my design walls.  The table to the left has one end for my pressing board and iron while my cutting mat covers the rest of the table.

This is the rest of the East Wall which holds a hutch that I re-purposed.  It holds my 3 in 1 printer. and other misc. equipment.

The South wall has my wide-format printer and sewing machine.  I am lucky enough to have a wonderful view of the lake from these windows. 

The rest of the South wall and the beginning of the East wall.  Behind those doors are baskets that hold my stash.  Well, part of it.

My very organized closet, at least for now.

The rest of the East wall.  It holds another design wall.  The neat stool you see against the wall was made for my husband and me for our 50th anniversary by our friend, Tom Hanewald.  Some how it got in my room and has never left.  We were suppose to share.   I have a very loving husband.

Just around the corner from the door is a book shelf unit we purchased at IKEA.  It holds my stash of threads, tools and files.  We plan on purchasing another one just like this to place again the South wall where I have my Wide Format  Printer.  That will give me a little more storage space.

The North Wall holds my peg board loaded with tools, etc.   The cutting table runs parallel to the design wall when I am creating.

But can be pushed up against the peg board when I am not.  this gives me so much more space in the center of my room.

This photo shows the floors better than the others.  We had tile floors in the downstairs but had some problem with cracking.   We decided to replace the tile with a laminated wood product.  Love it!

This is the peg board wall before the redo.  The yellow paint looks pale here but it was far from pale.  I do love bright colors but I find the blue to be so much more soothing.

I love how the studio has turned out and look forward to spending many days creating in it.

I am linking this post to  Nina host Off The Wall Friday.  Take a look there are lots of great blogs to view.