Saturday, June 28, 2014

Experiments in Malachite

Working on some nummies with watercolors, inks, and golden's fluid acrylic paints.  Crow is from my stencil collection through StencilGirl Products!

As I said earlier I totally forgot that I had the watercolor crayons so I broke them out and started making some color palettes with the various crayons to see what colors will work in an upcoming series of one offs.  I'm loving the blues and greens for sure with malachite being my favorite thus far.

Junkin in June

More washi tape, from my favorite source Pixi's in Gilbert, IA. I have to admit that keeping a personal journal has become a lot more fun now that I've started incorporating all of those elements I've been collecting, but had no place in my regular artwork!  

Picked these up from one of the vendors at JB Knacker in Gilbert, IA this afternoon during their annual Junkin in June event!  

My watercolor issue resolved now that I've been reminded that I own sets of Caran D'Ache's Aquarelle watercolor crayons as I wasn't looking forward to replacing 20 year old dried up tubes of watercolor paints anytime soon!  Now that I'm using my aquarelle's again I can take my time and buy the colors I need preferably on sale as sets or as single tubes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pepper Files: Hiding from the Dog

Pepper blending in with my natural dyed fabrics in a basket in my studio, hoping Oliver won't notice him.

Patternless Skirt

Almost finished, the waste band and hem are next.

Natural, Indigo, and Rust dyed cotton muslin fabric.

It should have taken 45 minutes to construct from start to finish but since I accidentally sewed it together (wrong sides) twice it took about two hours!  So I decided I'll finish the waste band tomorrow and think about how I want to finish the hem.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Journal Pages and Stencils

From this...

To this...

I played around in a handmade journal this evening with my new paints, oil bars, and inks and my Black Birds in Tree and Three Crows Stencils.  Tomorrow I will finish out these pages after the oil bar dries.

Paints used:
Matisse Flow
Golden Fluid Acrylics

Inks used:
Daler-Rowney FW inks
Liquidtex inks

Oil bars used:
Shiva Paintstiks
Shiva Paintstiks Metallics

Thoughts on Eco-Dyeing

Today I shared some thoughts on my other blog about why I do not consider myself an eco-dyer.  The studio purge continues and I will share photos and updates throughout the month. It's a great feeling to know that the materials I no longer need to create art with are going to studios where they will be utilized!

Why I don't Eco-Dye My Fabric

Why I don’t Eco-Dye Fabric
I do, however, dye, paint, and print, my fabric with natural dyes.

Photo courtesy of the Main Street Cultural District Ames, Iowa.

I participated in a local art walk last Friday and after three hours of questions about my natural dyed scarves, artwork, etc., I am once again reminded as to why I don’t call myself an eco-dyer, for the most part nobody is interested in the craft of eco-dyeing! 
While most people play lip service to protecting the environment, sustainability, fair trade practices, and all things “green” the fact of the matter is when most people found out that I was using tree bark, mushrooms, leaves, bugs, and other stuff to dye my art cloth the response was an overwhelming “that’s nice” or “that’s really cool”.  "That’s nice" is the kiss of death, it's the Mid westerners version of “so what” or “who cares”!

The whole experience solidified in my mind what I already knew, while there are some that are truly concerned about the environment and sustainability, the majority only cares if it saves them a buck or two.  Which leads me back to why I don’t eco-dye my fabric, fibers, and threads, but in fact dye them with Natural Dyes, to me it’s about the process and the relationships I form with other dyer’s, and most importantly with nature that surrounds and inspires me. 

Natural dyed silk scarves.

For me the process is not about immediate gratification, but about discovery, learning, exploring, and most importantly relationships.  Unless a local woodworker gifts me a bag of wood chips from their dust collection system or from their lathe turnings, the wood, barks, and roots I use to create my designs are collected over a period of years, often time’s decades. 

My finished artwork was a hit with everyone with plenty of people telling me they’d love to be able to stitch and sew like I do and do I teach classes?  The evening wasn't a total bust, I got plenty of hits from women of all ages that are interested attending a stitching party; the older women of course were very excited about the wine aspect of said parties. 

Click here to learn more about eClasses, Workshops, and my newest offering Out of the Box Art Parties!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Crushed Egg Shells for Compost

Crushed eggshells, approximately one a half gallons worth, I dare say my compost pile is going to be so happy!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Done is Betther than Perfect?

Lynn Krawczyk asked this question on her blog this morning and my response was:

"Perfection is an addiction to disappointment"

I used to get myself wound up and pretty tightly over my work an wanting it to be perfect, now not so much.  One of the things I've come to realize is that once a piece is done if I don't like it a year later it's ok to change the work or even destroy it, but by striving for perfection I would never finish the piece. 

We can remain stuck and live with continual disappointment or we can move forward declare it done and create more works of art.