Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Western US Teaching Tour!

This coming fall John and I will be doing a four week tour of the west! During this time, from September 16th through October 10th, I have several workshops scheduled, if you would like to host me for a one to three day workshop during this time please let me know as I would love to add your guild, organization, school, etc., to my schedule!

I can be reached at or 515-232-0912 for additional information regarding classes, workshops, or speaking engagements, etc.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring is here!

Spring is here and now is the time to start digging out those old dye vats from last fall that have been hibernating in the basement. First up for this Springs Dye-In will be an Indigo Fermentation Vat. If you've never tried an indigo vat before now is a great time to do so! I'll be posting how to instructions along with video and more.
If you haven't checked out the Natural Surfaces Forum please do so We've been gaining members daily and natural dyeing discussions are picking up speed again now that the warmer temps have arrived

Studio Newsletter

Just catching up to let everyone know that I now have a newsletter once again. If you were a subscriber in the past you will have to sign up for the newsletter again as the previous subscriber's listed vanished into thin air.

The subscription box is in the right hand column.


If you'd like to recieve a newsletter about upcoming shows, classes, workshops, and more from me click on the subscription box to the right and subscribe.  Would love to have you! 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Image Transfer Workshop and Faux Polaroid Transfers

The image transfer workshop went off without any glitches today and fun was had by all!  Some of the transparencies were slick on both sides, the Staples Transparencies (I didn't purchase these so have no idea which ones they were as I didn't see the orignal packaging).  When the students printed onto the Staples transparencies it had a really runny effect and at first glance looked like a Polaroid Transfer.  The image above was one printed off by a student, since she had the original photo (of an angel in one of the local cemetaries) she sent this sample home with me!  Needless to say I'll be making a stop at Staples tomorrow to see about purchasing some of those transparencies as the achieved effect was really exciting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Image Transfer Class

I'm teaching an Image Transfer Class at the Fisher Art Center, Marshalltown Iowa, this coming Saturday.  I've been making samples for the class.  This particular book is about my garden!

Watercolors over Ink, Rives BFK Paper
6x30 inches


Went to Aldi's tonight they had pineapples on sale for $1.49 each.  I'm planning to put up another batch of pineapple sauce.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Image Transfers - Hand Sanitizer Method

I have to say by and large I love love the hand sanitizer method over the CitraSolv (concentrate) method and for one reason - it doesn't stink to high heaven like the CitraSolv does!  Hence no instant migraines. 

Soooo thank you to everyone on the Image Transfer List for discovering and then discussing the hand sanitizer technique!  This is a terrific technique to use that is quick and works everytime, just one more to add to my growing library of image transfers - yes this is a longggggggggggg way from the acetone transfers I was doing back in the early 90's!

Off to paint some papers, do more transfers using paint, my favorite method of all because of the serendipity of the technique, and assemble some books for this coming weekends workshop.

Image Transfers onto Canvas

Left: Plain cotton canvas that is untreated
Right: Mini Stretched Canvas primed with Gesso

Two words:  Colossal Failure!

Image Transfer onto Fabric

Image Transfer using the hand sanitizer method on fabric.

While the transfer was ok, it's a tad bit blurry, I'm thinking this would be a great technique to use with bold lines and less detail.  The transfer onto canvas was NOT successful in my mind as it was a  big blurry blob with no details.

Gel Medium Image Transfer

Ginko Leaf Image Transfer onto cotton canvas using Liquidtex Gel Medium and HP Transparency Sheets.

Image Transfers with Hand Sanitizer

Image transfers using the hand sanitizer (alcohol) method.  The hand sanitizer I used was the Sam's Club, Members Mark, sanitizer as I was out of Purell.  I didn't notice any difference between it and the Purell Brand.  I printed the transfers onto Hammermill Transparencies and did the transfer onto 90# watercolor paper. The color was applied with Caran D'Ache NeoColor II watersoluble crayons.

Print your image onto the transparency sheet.
Liberally apply hand sanitizer to the watercolor paper NOT the transparency sheet, using a cotton ball.
Flip your image onto the soaked paper.
Using a spoon or burnisher rub the image onto the paper below.
NOTE:  If your paper is fairly wet and your image fresh you won't have to do much rubbing to transfer the image.

Clip Art Imagery

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Epson NX415 All in One Printer

Just wanted to give y'all an update I purchased this all in one printer yesterday from Staples ($59) and have been putting it through the paces ever since, hope I'm not wearing out the scannner ;-)

Anyway... it prints fine on transparencies. In order to print on transparencies you need to go into prefernaces and click on glossy photo paper, I also backed mine with a piece of typing paper which may or may not have been overkill?

Just thought everyone would like to know, I'm off to print on tyvek now. The only thing I have against this machine is it doesn't have a rear feed as well, if it did it'd be perfect.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Image Transfer Workshop Prep

WIP - Samples of journal covers students will be making in the Image Transfer Workshop that I'm teaching on the 27th.  I used Tsukineko All Purpose inks to paint the canvas duck with and wrote on the canvas using the Zig Opaque Writers (Millenium).

Image Transfer Workshop

Image Transfer Workshop

When: March 27th 12:00-3:00 pm
Where: Fisher Art Center, Marshalltown, IA

What:  Students will learn some simple image transfer and photo emulsion techniques.

Students will create a simple journal using these techniques.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I spent 15 minutes or so outside picking up trash out of the front and side yards, it was great to be out in the sun.  Parts of my yard are still wet, as in mud hole wet, the front yard, however, is drying out nicely.  Looks like it's going to be a beautiful week, am hoping my one garden spot is dry and warm enough by the weekend to put in some cold crops.


Growth - 2010
8.25x11 inches
Rust Dyed Cotton Fabric (Fabric was Rust Dyed in 2004ish)
Machine Stitched.  Wool Quilt Batting.  Cotton Backing.

Currently hanging in my "Prairie" exhibit at Cafe Diem, Ames, Iowa

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Crow Field

Crow Field
12x24 inches
Rust Dyed, Natural Dyed, and Digital Printed Silk Fabrics, Cotton Sear Sucker Fabric, and Interfacing.
Machine Stitched
Backed with cotton duck canvas.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prairie No. 1 - No. 8

Praire No. 1

Praire No. 2

Praire No. 3

Praire No. 4

Praire No. 5

Praire No. 6

Praire No. 7

Praire No. 8

WIP - Prairie

WIP - Prairie
8x8 inches
machine stitched/sketched natural dyed fabrics on canvas

Exhibition Update - 6 of 8 pieces almost finished, these will be matted and framed. John is making the deep frames for me out of poplar which will then be painted black.

Triptych Update

I was all set to quit working on this particular piece, the triptych that is, and decided to try backing the panels with canvas in hopes that doing so would make stitching the interfacing easier.  I was correct, it did I have yet to have to clean a goober off of my needle, I'm not sure if it's the coarseness of the canvas or what but WOW what a difference it is making.  I'm hoping to have the core stitching done tonight so I can apply the rest the paint tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Bump in the Road

I encountered a bump in the road last night, on my journey to churn out 21 new works for a show we are haning on Sunday.  Last night, while attempting to cook dinner, I managed to get my finger jammed into a drawer, thusly crushing my right index finger tip -  yeah I was in a LOT of pain!

I'm feeling a little better today just not using this finger, which is not only slowing me down but is now causing me to become more inventive, innovative maybe, in finishing my works.  Stitching isn't working out so well today, maybe tomorrow. 

So now I'm "what iffing" what if I try just glueing my fabrics directly to the canvas, w/o stitching, instead of stitching them, applying matte medium and the whole process.  Is the meaning and intent the same?  What does the image say?  Is the story now different somehow, and if so then how?  More tomorrow.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Prairie at Dawn - WIP

Painted Interfacing
Machine Stitched
3 Panels 48x20 inches

Pushing a Deadline

It would not be natural for me if I wasn't pushing a deadline!  Seems that my ah ha moments are lot richer, and more frequent the closer I approach the deadline, well at first blush this is what it would appear to be.  I think the reality, that is far more likely, is instead of entertaining a multitude of ideas I'm more brutal in my choices, rejecting everything but the strongest of ideas for a piece.

In this current bout of decison making I've decided that stitching fabrics that have been treated with matte medium is far more exciting, and a whole lot easier, than stitching painted interfacing. There's less glue gobbers, from the manufacturing process for making interfacing, to remove from the needle etc.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Change of Color

Was contemplating my new color palette today and was questioning myself as to WHY I'd ever want to go back to working with bold or primary colors.

And then I remembered what my work looked like hanging at the Fisher Art Center last summer, how each piece blended perfectly into the natural red brick wall.  And then it dawned on me subconciously I automatically started working on a bold primary color palette for this new body because the walls at Cafe Diem are also a natural red brick!   There's no sense making 24 new pieces that will simply disappear into the brick wall, or is there?

Will share WIP photos as I work this issue out!