Last September I took a workshop with Deborah Fell. The workshop was a blast, and while I'm not sure I learned anything new in terms of technique, I did seem to get a lot of inspiration and I came away feeling like I had "permission" to do some of the work I've always wanted to do. At the workshop I got started on several different pieces, but no where near finished on any of them. When I got home I continued to work with one piece in particular. I mostly took apart what I had begun at the workshop and revamped the whole thing. Something about this process really spoke to me and I completed this piece in record time. I began with color washes on a piece of canvas. Then I collaged papers and fabrics on top with glue. These collage items were created in a frenzy of mark making and painting until I had two tons of materials that I began randomly tearing up. So fun! When I had a collage I was happy with I added batting and backing and began stitching. There is more paper in this "quilt" than fabric, and quite a few layers in some places but I had no trouble stitching it. I love everything about this process and I'm thrilled with the result, although not so thrilled with the photo, LOL! Here is the final piece.
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.
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!
I can't believe I didn't blog about this earlier! I have two pieces of art in this wonderful show! As a new member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates I was thrilled to have an opportunity to enter something in a local exhibit. This is by far the best art exhibit I've had the privilege of being a part of, but I do happen to be partial to textile art. There are pieces from some well known and professional artist in this show so I felt like I was in somewhat exhalted company. The artwork included everything from pieced quilting to wholecloth quilting, mixed media work and thread painting. There are even some three dimensional textile pieces. The only discordant note was that they spelled my name wrong on the labels next to my pieces. Honestly I wonder sometimes if I should just change the way I spell my name, because no one ever gets it right. LOL!