Thursday, August 30, 2012

Free-motion Stitched Clothesline

Free-motion Stitched Clothesline -Sold
Watercolour: Clothesline
Clotheslines are works of art as far as I am concerned. A few years back I completed a watercolour painting series about clotheslines because I like them so much and to encourage people to use clotheslines when they can. Clothes dryers are such energy hogs.
The free-motion stitched 4 1/2 X 6" clothesline was completed recently when I found just the right background piece in my hand dyed fabrics.  Likely it will be made into a card but I have made purses and embellished T-shirts too with these small gems.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Watercolour 'Summer Study'

'Summer Study' 10"X14"
What fun these watercolour compilations are. All are painted from life which for me seems to breathe life into the paintings. The two flowers flanking the composition are from a bouquet given to me from a friend's garden. These are flowers I don't have in my garden so they were interesting to study through sketching. I chose a wet-in-wet technique for the one and botanical detail for the other.
The bottom right watercolour is a close up of the trellising for the scarlet runner pole beans in our garden. "Will there be orange blossoms on the beans?", I was asked. "Well no, I had to use artistic license with the colour to fit in with the rest of the sketches." There was a sigh. Perhaps I best complete a painting including oranges.
The centre landscape was chosen for a size change to complete the composition and for me personally, as I had recently hiked the saddle between those two mountains.
For those that like to sketch or paint or perhaps even do textile work, I would encourage you to try a similar format as it allows for use of small bits of time and results in a painting about a certain time in the artist's life.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Colour Assessment of Fabric Stash

24 Colour Assessment
Using 2 1/2" squares, I cut samples from all the fabrics in my stash that showed primarily as one colour. Using Joen Wolfrom's 3 in 1 Color Tool, I separated the fabric into 24 piles. The tool or a colour wheel really is necessary to identify the subtle colour variances. For instance, from the cool reds to the warm reds there is a range of 4 colours. Then each fabric pile was arranged from light to dark.

No surprise that there could be more lights and darks in my personal fabric stash. However, a couple of other very interesting things were identified. The blue, red and yellow colours were very limited. However there were lots of samples of blue-violet, magenta and the warm yellows.

Any ideas what I should do with the sampler now?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Watercolour Sketch in my Travel Sketchbook

Plein Aire Painting at over 7000 feet - 'Glacier Lake Jewel'
I strive to capture the essence of the feeling associated in being at a place at a particular time. Is it easier to attain when plein aire (on location) painting? Yes, I believe it is.
For this painting, the day was beautifully warm, I was sitting in on an alpine slope, there were bugs buzzing around, the vista was overwhelmingly beautiful (I wept at the sight of it) and the mountain goats were laying up on the glacier. Let me know if you think I captured any of that.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Free-motion Stitched Mtn Goat on Hand Dyed Fabric
In keeping up with the Mountain Goat theme of the last several posts, here is a stitched image. This is a textile card face 4 1/2" X 6 1/2". It is difficult to see when free-motion stitching with the sewing machine on something so small but I find if I can be looking at a sketch while I am sewing my hands follow allow fairly well.
What is most important to do, is to simplify your image. Look for the least amount of lines that will convey what you want to say. I often ask myself, "Do I need this in the picture?"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mountain Goat Kid

Mountain Goat Kid
Reference material is best when it comes from your own photos. The photos I took of mountain goats while on a hiking trip will show up in my art work somewhere or perhaps several places: sketching; watercolour painting; or free-motion stitching.
This little one was so cute I just wanted to pet it but of course I did not. The nannies looked very protective of their young.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Uma's Fawn Sketch

Uma's Fawn Sketch while Camping
These delightful little sketches were shown to me by a 6 year old budding artist. A fellow painter and myself had a chance meeting with Uma and her family while hiking in the wilds of British Columbia. We three artists viewed each others' art work and as all artists do, talked about our art supplies.
A doe and her fawn were frequenting their campsite and Uma captured the white spotted fawn perfectly!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sketching Mountain Goats

Mountain Goat Sketch while
Hiking in British Columbia
Mountain Goat Watercolour
Sketch while Hiking in British
My hiking friend, Margret summed up a recent hiking trek when her son came to pick her up after the trip. "Luke, we've just been to Paradise and back." My feelings exactly!
Sketching on location creates an emotional high for me. I strive to capture the essence of my experience in my paintings and sometimes that requires being prepared for those special moments. Sketching this male goat was accomplished by being prepared the night before and waiting for a sighting in the early morning at 5:30. It was chilly but worth every bit of discomfort!

Free-motion Stitching

4 1/2" X 6 1/2" Textile Card
Eileen Gidman
With the open beak of the bird I feel like I can almost hear him singing.
What a way to practice your free motion stitching on these small cards. I remember how confusing it was just to set up your machine for free-motion stitching? Now my hands slide over the dials and I no longer have to look at my written reference material when the thread tension isn't right.
One of the most memorable things from that first free-motion stitching lesson was finding out that my left hand was not coordinated to work with moving the material in the same way my right hand was. "Practice, practice, practice", I was told will correct that and it really does. You don't need to consciously think about it, but the non dominant hand just naturally learns to coordinate with the right. Writing my name, well........ I still haven't mastered that adequately but then again I haven't practised it either.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Red Geraniums
Look what a wonderful quilter is doing with one of my hand (dye) painted fabrics! Could I have ever gotten those red inserts so perfectly straight and even? Not likely. What an accomplished sewer Margret is! The piece has gone back to Alberta to be completed with embellishments and quilting. Beading might be a possibility. It may be months before I see it again but I will certainly post a picture of it when it is completed.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Assessing Your Fabric Colours

Assessing Your Fabric Colours
Have you ever assessed your 'fabric stash'? Perhaps you gravitate to certain colours at the Quilt Store. What an eye opener it was to formally organize and assess my fabrics using Joen Wolfroem's 3 in 1 Color Tool.

To do this, I cut swatches of all the fabrics I have that show mainly as one colour. Using the colour tool, I identified which of the 24 colours each fabric belonged to. There are either a lot of blue-violet materials available or I gravitate to that colour as I had a lot of  that colour. I found it more challenging to assess the fabrics that are greyed but the Color Tool can help with that.

This exercise I did once before with my quilt guild's collection of scraps and I noted similar things. The lights and darks of almost every colour were very limited. If you are like me you might benefit from purchasing not only the visually appealing mid tones but  also light and dark fabrics in their same colour family.