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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Inspiration Found on French River Canoe Trip

This past weekend nine women and myself went on our annual Women's Canoe Trip. This year we headed up to the French River, Ontario. The scenery in this part of Ontario is also very inspiring. Clear, blue and green lakes and rivers, great variety of trees and multi-coloured rocks are everywhere. Of course, I brought along my sketch book and paint and was able to do a couple of sketches when we had finished paddling and had time to relax. I also took along my camera to capture inspiration for future art. As I am still using photographs from past trips, I know I will also produce some wonderful art from these photos.

One of the photos I took on our trip. Taking a much needed break
from paddling several hours into the wind.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Starting the Rock Reflection Art Quilt

We are almost through July which means September will soon be here. It is time for me to start planning out my next Landscape Quilt which I told you last week is a large rock with pine trees growing on it and in the lake water in front it casts its reflection. It is a very plain and common scene in Ontario's North so I plan to make it interesting with the colours of fabric I choose. Those of us who have had the pleasure of spending vacation time up north, know that the rocks can be full of different colours if you pay attention. I see pinks and peaches, purples and greens, blues and grays. Rocks are not totally gray and black. The rock will be set off by all the variations of green found in the trees and shrubs that surround it. Since reflections are darker than the real object, the water will have all those variations but in a slightly darker tone. I will further create interest in the way I position the main seams of the quilt so as to lead the viewer's eyes to the focal point.

This is the first part of the design; the marking out of the major seams.

Here, I've started planning the more intricate parts of the pattern and assigning colours.

I also thought you'd like to see the cards I made with the dyed teabags I blogged about a few weeks ago. You can see how wonderfully transparent they are. The bottom card was made on a vintage linen napkin that I found at an antique show. It has a really nice detail of embroidered flowers that adds to the card. The words on the cards are free motion stitched with my sewing machine. I also embellished them with a few beads.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

A New Call for Entry

The Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) that I belong to issues several calls for entry each year. A call for entry is an announcement that they will be curating an art quilt show. There are several of these shows currently travelling around the world. I haven't yet entered any of my work into these shows, first of all because I'm not sure I can compete with what is being produced, and secondly because I can't produce anything very quickly, and thirdly because some of the themes of these shows do not interest me.

This new call for entry is due anytime in September and the theme is "Concrete and Grassland". In the write up it is described like this; "Concrete and Grasslands will explore the juxtaposition of the natural landscape and the human constructed cityscape. It asks artists to submit works that explore either the soft lines of nature or the hard lines of urban structures -- or a combination of both." As I love the Northern Ontario landscape, I am planning to use one of my canoe trip photos to design this art quilt. I will have to get started in order to have it done by September.

The photo I'm using is one of large rocks covered with pines which is reflected in the water below. I have already done a drawing of this photo, so I used the drawing to trace a design from it.


I will have to decide how large I want to make it. It may have to travel to several venues if it is accepted, the first one being the Grant's Pass Museum of Art in Grant's Pass, Oregon. And if it does travel, I won't get it back until December 2018. I've never done anything like this before and it makes me a bit nervous...but it's also exciting.

Tea Bags: Not Just for Tea

I do love a good cup of tea around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. There are many varieties that I like; peppermint tea, Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe, Raspberry Thriller, Sleepy Time Tea and a few more. At that time of day, I'm getting a little hungry and I'm usually on my computer and getting a little tired of staring into that glowing light. So a cup of tea just gives me a lift and a little more energy to finish off the last of my work before I begin to make dinner.

But there is another reason I like tea. Once I'm finished with the tea bag, I don't throw it in the green bin. Oh no! I will let it cool off and then carefully open it up and rinse all the tea leaves out of it. I get really excited if the tea leaves have actually dyed the bag slightly. Some of you know that I like to use tea bags in my art. I am always looking for ways to use them because I love the delicateness of the bag when it is dry.

I have been using paint on them or fabric dye. When the paint or the dye is dry there appear gradations of colour on the bag and that give it such interest. Due to the delicate nature of these bags, they are wonderful to use for depicting flowers. They mimic the delicate petals and when you overlap pieces of the bag you can see through it to the shape beneath it.

Once I have dyed or painted a few bags, I'll iron some "Heat n Bond" to the backs of them and this makes it easier to form them into shapes and adhere them to another piece of fabric. Last week I used some pink dyed tea bags to make a card with tree blossoms on it.

Because the day lilies are out at the moment, this morning I dyed a few bags yellow orange and orange hoping to make a card with day lilies on it.

Above is the neighbourhood sketch for this week, although I didn't have to walk far to capture these beautiful blooms. Perhaps I'll use the day lilies here to make my tea bag card. Keep those tea bags coming! I have ideas percolating in my head of doing a large tea bag art quilt of a flower garden.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

My Inspiration Cup Over Floweth

Just arrived back from the Yukon and Alaska. What a wonderful trip! Besides being able to spend time with my daughter, her husband and my youngest grandson, I was able to see so much of the landscape. It is just not something we see in Ontario and I was just awe struck! Needless to say, I brought lots of photographs home but I also had lots of opportunity to sketch as you saw in last week's post. Today, I've posted some more of my sketches.  It is so awesome to sit under the mountains and listen to rushing water, the wind and the birds, smelling the outdoor air, and feeling the sun on your skin as you document the scenery by sketching. I was in heaven!

Sketched in the Mountains of Alaska

This one was a little hastily sketched

I still have to add colour to these two sketches which will bring them alive but you still see the vastness and beauty of the location.

Sketched at Kathleen Lake on the edge of Kluane National Park

Another sketch of the Yukon River in Whitehorse

This trip also gave me time to read some great magazines, The Artist, Watercolour and Quilting Arts. I was also able to pick up some wonderful fabrics in Whitehorse and Haines, Alaska.

Also found this piece that resembles Northern Lights.
I have so many ideas now, I just don't know what to begin with. It's a great problem to have!