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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Continuing Creativity While Away from Home

As I mentioned in last weeks blog, I brought some pre-packaged supplies along on my trip. In little sandwich bags I placed some fabric cards that I had started. At home,I planned how I wanted to embellish them and included the embellishments, thread, and some small scissors that I was able to get through security at airport. I had plans to work on them in the plane but I had forgotten to include needles. So this week I worked on them at my daughter's apartment.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Inspired in Whitehorse

I'm a little late with this blog once again. This time it's due to the fact that I had to fly out suddenly to Whitehorse, Yukon because my daughter was having a difficult labour having her first child. I spent four days in hospital with her and her husband after my grandson was finally born. My daughter had to recuperate from a 5 day labour and a Caesarian Section. So there was lot of sitting around and watching her sleep.

I had thrown a few art supplies such as pencils, watercolour pencils, sketchbooks, and some pre-packaged fabric card supplies. So while my daughter rested, I did some sketches in her hospital room. I was actually inspired by a book I received from my nephew. It is called "Drawing Your Life" and gives tips on how to document life with sketches.

Here's a few photos of the new parents and baby.

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions

I am not normally one who makes New Year's Resolutions. It's not because I don't think I can keep them but more the fact that I just let life happen and go for the ride. Lately, however, I have come to see the benefit of setting goals and formulating plans to get me to those goals. When I was a young mom and wife, I didn't have the time to set goals and try to meet them. I was busy working at our business, raising 3 children and caring for my home. Now that I am an empty nester, I have some extra time on my hands which allows me to pursue my art and improve my skills at it.

A few years ago, I set the very achievable goal of making more art and was successful in doing so. The next goal was to try to get my art into some shows. I also achieved that this past year. So as this new year begins, I'm thinking of what the next goals would be. Where do I want to go with my art? Do I want to try to enter shows in other countries? Do I want to pursue gallery representation? Do I want to work at fabric art predominantly or continue to hone my painting skills as well? Should I enroll in more courses? Or do I just want to make art for the sake of making art or to give away? Do I want to teach art to others? Should I volunteer somewhere sharing my art with others? So many questions and possibilities!

It is rather exciting but also a bit scary to put yourself "out there". What if I get rejected? What if my art is not as good as I think it is? What if I give a piece of art to someone and they really don't like it?
Our inner critic starts to "nadder" in our heads. We artists have been calling this our monkey on our back and we all have had to contend with it. I answer my "monkey" by telling him, it doesn't matter what others think of my art. It's how it makes me feel and what I think that is important. It is the joy I get from creating and giving. When I make art for others, it is not so much the art but the heart that I put into it that means the most to me and hopefully the recipient sees it this way too. I also find when I am making art for someone else, I strive to do the best I can.

I have decided that one goal for this year will be that I will do more drawing and sketching. I started that this past year with my enrollment in Sketchbook Skool. I've seen that it is possible to do a drawing every day. I will draw what is in front of me, whatever that will be; the beautiful, the ordinary, the mundane, the funny.....whatever I find. I'm not sure how successful I will be at this, but I'm going to try.

Sketchbook Skool also gave me the idea of putting together a book with just drawings I've done of our business. I was hoping I'd have the book before Christmas to present to my husband but it didn't arrive until a few days after Christmas. I am really pleased with it and I think my husband is too.

Do you make New Year's Resolutions or Goals for the coming year?  What types of things do you resolve to do or what are your goals?

Friday, 26 December 2014

Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!

As it was Christmas Day yesterday, I am a day late with this post. However, I still hope all my blog friends enjoyed a wonderful day and I wish you all a Blessed and Prosperous New Year.

I just wanted to post a couple of photos showing my progress on the leaf art quilt.

You can slowly see the leaf forms, dimension, and colour developing. So far there is no detail on the leaves and that will be added after all the leaves have been placed. I'll be predominantly using my sewing machine to add stitched details such as veins grades of colour and outlines to enhance the leaves. So far I am pleased with the way it is shaping up.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Work on the Leaf Art Quilt Has Begun

As most of my Christmas projects are complete (a week before Christmas) I can finally put some attention to my next project. It has been percolating in my head for about a month as I make decisions on how it will be done, which fabrics to use, how large it will be etc.

As you know I did various paintings of curled up Fall leaves so I chose one of them to make into an art quilt. I traced the original painting and then enlarged it on my photocopier. I have decided to make it about 24"X 24" so it wasn't a big deal to enlarge that way. If I had planned to make it larger, I would have gone to Staples and had them print a copy off on their large format printer.

Tracing and design enlarged

I've decided to put together this quilt with applique, which is a different method than I normally use for my art quilts. Applique is when pieces of fabric are put on top of a background fabric. These pieces of fabric can be sewn on by hand or machine or, as I have decided to do, ironed on with a special adhesive. I am using Heat N Bond and ironing it onto the back of my fabric before cutting out the pieces. Once the pieces are cut out, I remove the backing paper and iron the piece onto my background fabric.

So once I have my enlarged pattern, I tape several pieces of tracing paper together and retrace the enlarged pattern onto it.

Tracing paper on top of original enlargement

I chose my background fabric knowing I wanted it to look somewhat like the ground but not so dark as to lose the leaves on it. I ended up with an ecru fabric with spatters on it. It looks like a sun-drenched sandy ground. I cut the background fabric to size and placed the enlarged tracing on it.

marked each leaf with a different colour so I could see which leaf had to be completed first.

The code letters and symbols in each shape indicate the colour of fabric to use for that shape.

Using my original painting I chose the colours of fabric I wanted to use.

Enlarged tracing is placed on top of the background fabric so I can determine where each piece needs to be placed.

Then I use more tracing paper and trace each piece separately. I then cut that piece out and place it on the corresponding fabric and cut that shape out of fabric.

Tracing paper patterns

Once the piece is cut out of fabric, I place it under the large pattern tracing and position it on the background fabric and then iron it on. I started with the shadows because the are the farthest part of the leaf away from me and everything else overlaps them.

I use sharp nail scissors to cut the pieces out.

This shows you how I use the tracing to help me position my pieces.

This is as far as I got today. With the shadows in place, it will help me to position the rest of the leaves properly.

I'm hoping I'll have more time over the Christmas holidays to work on it, so stay tuned for updates.
To all my blog friends, I wish you a Wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Inspired By All Things Christmas

Well, it so happens that I'm snowed in today. We're having a snowstorm and it's the perfect day for that because it is my art day and I don't have to go anywhere but downstairs to my studio. Yay!
Due to the fact that I'm working on lots of things for Christmas, I can't really blog about them yet and post pictures so I've decided to blog about the Christmas cards I've created over the years.

I don't often send store bought Christmas cards. I make them myself. Sometimes they are fabric, sometimes they are done with watercolour pencils and sometimes they are painted. When I've finished creating the image, I take a photograph of it and load it into my computer and crop the photo. Then I either print the images off on my own printer or take them to Staples and have colour copies made or I send the photo file to Shutterfly or Mixbooks via my computer and have them printed into cards which are then shipped to me. Once I have coloured copies I cut them out and glue them to cardstock that is folded into a card. I love to give something I've spent some time on to create and comes from my heart.

This Cardinal was done in fabric.
This one was done with watercolour pencils.
This one was also watercolour pencils.
Watercolour pencils
Another fabric creation with star bead embellishments
and a cancelled Christmas postage stamp.
These last three were also done with watercolour pencil
and were printed by Mixbooks. They are a series of
paintings I did from photographs taken when I visited
my daughter in the Yukon Territories a few years ago.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Southern Vacations and Christmas Inspiration

I missed blogging last week due to the fact that I was in the Dominican on vacation. I am inspired by the different plants that grow there: palms, bougainvillea, hibiscus, cactus, flowering trees, and also by the beaches and water. We were only there for a few days but I did manage to do a couple of sketches while sitting on the beach.

I have also been working on this year's Christmas card. This year I set up a still life display and drew and painted it with watercolour. I wasn't really happy with the first one I did so I rearranged the set up and did another one. Below are some sections of the first painting I did to give you an idea of what the card will look like.