Ronni Hunter Studios

"Experiments"

Award of Excellence!!

"40 West Arts", "Experiments", "art exhibits", "art", "awards", "collage", "flowers", "graffiti", "paint"Ronni HunterComment

Graffiti Lilies

I entered this piece in the 2013 Inspire show being put on by 40W Arts here in Lakewood, CO.  This year the shows theme is recycled art or vivid color.  Happily for me I had this piece in the works.  This is made on recycled inter office envelopes, with newspaper, paint, tissue paper, various pens and grease pencils.  I mounted the collage onto a black fabric background that I pieced out of fragments of cloth leftover from some other project.  The background is quilted and trimmed with black satin ribbon.  I think it fits both of the shows themes!  Much to my delight I was asked if they could use my artwork for some of their outreach efforts and I won an Award of Excellence at the show.  My very first award!

Here is the thing about this piece..... it came together rather intuitively.  This never happens to me and finding that inner voice has been such a struggle.  I just wanted to play around with techniques one day so I started layering paint and newspaper on these envelopes and then tearing the paper back off to reveal layers.  When I decided I was done I had a background that I really liked.  But as usual I had no idea what to do with it.  It hung around on my design wall for several weeks while this teeny tiny little voice in my head kept whispering " add lilies made of more inter office envelopes".  I resisted.  Resistance is my specialty.  But I kept getting the same message and eventually I caved in and went for it.  This is the first pieces I've made that my husband genuinely likes.  The first piece that won an award.  Hmmmm.  I'm guessing that that intuitive voice in my head knows what its doing.  Now I just need to learn to hear it better.

Sue Benner Workshop

"Experiments", "art quilt", "art", "fabric", "quilting", "wall hanging"Ronni HunterComment

Well hey there, I'm back!  My life got rather busy for a while but I'm here now to explain some of what was going on.  First of all, I got promoted to a new position at work.  Yea me!  However, I still have to do my old job at the same time until they get someone hired to replace me.  So I'm a bit overwhelmed at work.  I am lucky, in that I don't have to bring my work home with me, but at the end of a workday or a workweek, I'm pretty pooped.

On top of that I have been taking art workshops.  I'm here to tell you that it is totally worth spending the money!  The first workshop I took was in April, with the fabulous art quilter

Sue Benner.  She has been my art quilting hero for a long time and I was so thrilled to get a chance to take a class with her.  The class was put on by the Front Range Contemporary Quilters, of which I am a member.  This workshop was about abstract art.  Sue was incredibly knowledgeable about fine art in general and showed us a lot of great stuff about the development of abstract art.  We focused on the ways in which artists of the past and present have used other artists work as inspiration for their own art.  It was fascinating to see how the other workshop participants approached this idea.  I soon realized that I was taking a much to literal approach to using an image of something as inspiration for an abstract piece of my own.  The results of our first exercise stunk so bad that I won't even show it.  I learned so much from looking at other peoples work.  In the end I started making progress on the piece above but soon realized that I wanted to work with sheers and that Wonder Under fusible just wasn't going to give me the results I was looking for with sheer fabrics.  I decided to put this aside to work on at home, where I have some Misty Fuse.  Here is a detail shot of the part I worked on for a while:

Since I didn't want to continue with the piece above right then and there I started another one (below).  I'm really happy with where this is going.  I plan to make two or three along the same lines so I can try out some different techniques on it, including monoprinting.  I may even print this to both paper and fabric so I can play with it some more.

The rectangles with the black lines are actually paint covered paper towel with black fabric lines fused to it.  I so love to combine paper and fabric!  I took a monumental amount of stuff to this workshop.  Getting ready for it took me two weeks!  When I got home I put away a few things but mostly I just piled the stuff up in a corner and got on with preparing for the next workshop.  I'll talk about that in a separate blog post.

This was my first workshop with the Front Range Contemporary Quilters group.  One of the things I enjoyed most was meeting the other participants.  Everyone was so friendly and helpful.  Some of these women are very experienced and accomplished artists.  We had lovely conversations while working and while sitting together for meals.  A couple of other women on my side of the room were also relatively new to the group and we all got along really well.  We decided to try forming a critique group that will meet once a month.  I've been longing for connection to other people working in textiles and mixed media so I am so happy to have met these people.  Now I feel like I am part of the group and going to monthly FRCQ meetings will be twice as fun.

In parting I have to apologize for the crappy photos.  Since these are "before" photos I didn't worry about setting up optimal photo conditions.  If I wait to have perfect pictures I will never get another blog post done!  When I finish these projects I will work a little harder at photographing them.  LOL!

Quirky Little Collages

"Experiments", "art", "collage"Ronni HunterComment

These two small collages (6"x6") were inspired by The Collage Workbook  by Randel Plowman.  I've spent the last several weeks just trying new things, playing with techniques and trying my hand at the styles I admire.  I'm not really sure if I'm learning anything, and sometimes I'm not even sure I'm having fun.  This sort of random practice can be difficult.  I guess I'm learning that I'm kind of a project oriented sort of girl!  At any rate, these two little collages were fun and I enjoy the quirky implications of them.  One thing that Randel Plowman mentions in his book is the concept of background, foreground, and middle ground.  Now I've heard this idea before but somehow it has never stuck.  I would never really have thought of the layers Mr. Plowman uses in his collages in this way if he hadn't spelled it out.  At this point I haven't really tried to work with this concept but it is rattling around in my brain and will hopefully be of use to me.

Learning this way is like giving birth to a huge litter of puppies!  Painful pushing and squeezing and then POP! suddenly you have a small squishy, wiggly bundle and you don't even know what you've got until you clean it off and really look at it.  A few days later all the "puppies" are running around in different directions and are impossible to keep track of or control.  Cute, but maddening!

I don't know why people don't consider being and artist a "real" job.  Its certainly hard enough!  LOL!

"Experiments", "art", "graffiti", "mixed-media"Ronni HunterComment

A couple of weeks ago I posted a slightly different picture of this woven paper thingy.  It was made from leftover painted wonder under backing paper and newspaper.  I've continued to work with it and I'm almost done with the completed piece.  I added text using t-shirt transfer paper and then monoprinted a brushstroke effect with pearlized white paint.  Finally I splattered it with more white paint.  After a couple of coats collage pauge I ended up with this really cook graffiti style background.


I just had to take some pictures of this before I started adding elements on top.  Someday (yeah, that) I want to take time to learn more about making art digitally and I think this background could be really cool.  Or I could print it onto fabric and stitch it, or......

I've been super busy in the studio lately.  The ideas just keep on coming.  Its a rare and wonderful state to be in.  Don't get me wrong, each piece goes through its stubborn stage.  Sometimes I spend hours just looking at a piece trying to figure out what it wants me to do next.  A friend of mine once suggested I try working on more than one piece at a time.  I was resistant to that idea because my studio is small and I don't have room for multiple pieces.  In spite of that I decided to try it and it seems to have freed me up in some way.  I'm into the fifth piece in this series that started with the disastrous attempt at making a quilt for a local art show.  I've been challenging myself to work with the same set of fabrics and corresponding paint colors.  Like every artist I have a ton of stuff and like too many people I have a lack of money.  It is an ongoing challenge to try and use what I already have.  My favorite source of art inspiration is other artists.  I spend a lot of time reading books and magazines and perusing art blogs and as a result I'm always finding techniques I want to try.  But all that inspiration means that there is always a reason to keep every last scrap and blob.  You know..... surely I can do something cool with that!  LOL!  At some point this series has to end.  I'm beginning to feel the stirring of boredom with the materials and color scheme.  Not quite done yet, but its coming.  Right now I've got some quilting to do, and I need to go buy a canvas to mount the above piece on and I wanted to try that thing with those scraps, and..........

Stacked Journaling Experiments

"Experiments"Ronni Hunter1 Comment
I'm working on a project right now that I thought would be interesting with some kind of text so I decided to get out various tools and try Stacked Journaling.  I had some left over copy paper with faint marks on it that I used for practice sheets so you can see some strange marks hidden in there too.  I tried writing with skewers, brushes, pens, Fantastix etc.  My favorites are the one on top of the page above which I did with a long liner brush, and the one in bright blue below which was fabric paint squeezed out of a bottle and then mono printed.
This is probably the only way I'm ever going to like my own handwriting! LOL! Once I got started I realized there are dozens of options to explore.  Not only the materials involved but also trying things like writing in all caps, using long ascenders and descenders or using short ones.  Printing or cursive.  Now I want to experiment with trying to get my SJ onto something that will be very transparent.  I plan to scan in a nice large block and then print it out onto silk organza, tissue paper, t-shirt transfer paper and ink jet transparency.

This isn't great art but it was fun to play and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of looks that came out of it.  I will add these to my art journal so I can refer back to them again.