Monday, July 29, 2013

Starting a New Art Quilt

Last week I started to cut and piece together a new quilt using some hand-dyed and silkscreened fabrics made some time ago.

The focus fabric in the center was low immersion dyed, then thickened dye was screened over dried weeds on part of the fabric.  The lower, swirly part of the fabric, was made with a screen with a dried Elmers glue design. I plan on doing some detailed drawing of the weeds inside the negative areas, either with machine quilting or a fabric markers.  I'm enjoying doing innovative, improvisational piecing with fun commercial and hand-made fabrics.

Here's a picture of  my design wall, where I audition different fabrics prior to cutting and piece them.  I'm using different color combinations than I usually use, but am enjoying the challenge.

  Here are a couple other screened blocks I hope to incorporate into the art quilt somewhere.  We'll see.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Art Museum Visit

My husband and I got away this last weekend for a short trip to San Jose.  We really enjoyed seeing the exhibits at the San Jose Art Museum.  There was hardly anyone there during our visit, which meant you could get up close up to the artwork and look for as long as you desired.  Although I love to go to the big shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles, I really don't like moving with a throng of people and feeling rushed to look quickly at a masterpiece and move on. It was a really delightful experience.  One  exhibit we enjoyed seeing was by  Hung Lui,  It was pretty incredible.  She was born in China in the 40's and lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution, which provides a lot of inspiration for her work. A few of her pieces were video paintings that just have to be experienced in person.  A still picture would not do it justice.

Hung Lui, Profile II, 1998, oil paint

Hung Liu painting her mural installation for "Questions from the Sky"
Visit to see more of her work and Annie Liebovitz's work and others.

Annie Leibovitz's Photo of Niagara Falls. 

 Her exhibit, "Pilgrimage" features fabulous photos of places and objects belonging to a rather eclectic group of people, including Darwin, Elvis, Emily Dickinson, etc.  The photographs give you a unique glimpse into their lives. 

This is Leibovitz's photo of a blouse of Emily Dickinson's

Each of her photos are wonderful  displays of texture and values.

Hope you can enjoy these exhibits in person or if not, by visiting the links above.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Itajime over Arashi

This is the story of the evolution of one piece of complex cloth.  Here it is after it's first treatment, which was arashi (wrapped around PVC pipe with string, squished down and dye applied).  I liked it, but wanted it to have more depth.

Stage 2:    Discharged dye using arashi method and bleach/water mix.  I left it in too long and it removed more than I wanted.

Stage 3- Wrapped fabric with string tightly and applied dye, still not what I was looking for.

Final Stage - (I think)

This time I used itajime techniques as you can see in the upper picture.  I accordion folded the fabric, clamping ceramic coasters and wooden sticks on either side and then squirted on the dyes.  What do you think?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Marbling Fabric Again

I bought the Marbling DVD by Jo Fitsell, which is very informative and had a more successful marbling session Tuesday. The major differerence between this session and my prior ones was using the Golden acryllics as recommended by Fitsell. They have a higher pigment content and once diluted with water, float well on the carrageenan surface.  I also let the carrageenan sit overnight and did the drying and washing as Fitsell recommends in her DVD.  Here are some in process photos.

Here is a piece just printed and placed on newspaper.

Here's another.

Here's the bath of floating concentric circles ready
 for the fabric to be laid on top to capture the print.

Here is the resulting print.

Fabrics need to sit flat and dry for at least 24 hours before getting washed out gently by hand.  Here they are drying after their bath.  Hope to get them ironed and post more photos soon.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Too Hot to Do Much of Anything

It's been about 111 in the shade where I live for the last four days or so.  It's just been too hot to do much of anything.  We used to have an above ground pool that we took down last November.  I'm trying to  get grass growing in part of the area and then the plan is to have a couple raised garden beds with hardware cloth under, so those pesky gophers can't gobble up all the plants. So, I've been making  the first raised garden box, working on it in the early morning and after 6 in the evening, when it's a little cooler.  I built it using cedar fencing.  It has a few inches of composted leaves and branches with lots of dirt.  I still need to add more dirt and some good, stinky chicken manure and then the fun starts with putting in my plants.  Looking forward to that part.

Here's our cat Pharaoh, otherwise known as Killer for the lovely gopher and bird gifts he gives us almost daily.  He's stalking and trying to stay cool in the heat.

Hoping to get some more marbling done later today, so stay tuned for photos later this week.