I have tried to stay away from politics during my last 8 years of blogging but I can't do this any more. My world has been turned up-side-down and now, I have to do something about it. My apologies to my followers who voted from Trump and please feel free to unsubscribe to my blog and Facebook page. No hard feelings. Or, maybe stay with me and we can have a conversation. I'd like that.
I started marching in 1968 when I lived in Greenwich Village in NYC. I was a hippie, attending NYU. The Vietnam War was raging and every night, they would show how many boys were killed on the nightly news. I was horrified. So I marched against the war believing it would make the "powers that be in Washington" listen and change the course of our country's aggression. It didn't work.
Over the last (almost 50!) years, I have worked to promote women's rights. As a "boss" I promoted women into positions of authority in the companies I worked for. As a "consultant" I coached women to help them acquire the courage and skills they needed to advance in their careers. As an artist and teacher, I have encouraged women to take risks, go for success, and not let other people determine their future.
So when I saw the misogyny displayed by Donald Trump, I was appalled. And to think he is our President makes me ill.
Today, I marched again. Because I had to do something. Will it make a difference, perhaps not. But it made me feel better and now, I am forced to become an activist again. My cousin told me she is hand-writing a letter to every Senator. I haven't decided what I will do after this march but a friend just sent me this link and I will start doing something over the coming weeks.
If you are of like mind, perhaps you can join me. I know in the big picture, we are inconsequential but I saw a sign at the march that really encouraged me. It said " Tiny Snowflakes can cause Major Avalanches". I wish I took a photo of that!
I want you to know I really trust my blog readers. Showing artwork that is not expertly done is a big risk. But I'm just learning how to paint with watercolor and want to share my journey with you.
I'm pretty well-known as an accomplished fiber artist but when you leave that media and try to expand your knowledge in another media, it can be scary, frustrating, and at times, discouraging.
This begins the third year of my quest to become a watercolor artist. I have taken lessons from 4 different watercolor artists and have learned something different from all of them. I'm still struggling to develop my "perfect" palette but am getting closer to my "must have" colors. So far, my list is Hansa Yellow, New Gamboge, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Sienna, Permanent Rose, French Ultramarine Blue, Phalo Blue, Cobolt Blue, Green Gold, Sap Green, Windsor Violet and Neutral.
My new teacher is Kathleen Lanzoni. I've only had one class with her but I like her teaching style. This class is all about landscapes so the first lesson we had was developing a field of grasses and flowers. My take-away was how to paint trees! She demonstrated such an easy way to attack this image that I was confident in doing it myself.
I was happy with how this painting turned out. It's not always easy to create in a class situation but this time, it worked.
I'll keep you posted on my progress and in the meantime, I hope you will continue to explore your creative side without judgment about the outcome......
For the past 2 years, I've been obsessed with adding words to my art.
The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum has moved into new digs and their first exhibit was called "Patchwork Pundits Take on Politics" and nearly all the pieces had words on them, made in a myriad of ways, from applique, fusing, painting, stenciling, spraying, handwriting, commercial lettering, beading, free motion stitching, and hand embroidery.
The most interesting piece for me was a piece where the artist created a tree on whilte fabric, hand embroidering the words into the roots, trunk and branches. Thids is a detail of that piece so you can see how she arranged her lettering. Sure, the tree as aa nice piece of art and the hand quilting stitching around it was amazing and technically excellent but the real attraction to his piece was the meaning she put into her work. I could have stood there all day just to read her words.
This exhibition ends on January 21st so if you are in the Golden, CO area, don't miss it!
I made this design using my watercolor crayons and adding some watercolor paint. Loved it so much, I scanned it and uploaded it to Spoonflower to see how it would translate to fabric. Got my FQ (Fat Quarter) today and it's fabulous. Just ordered some wrapping paper. How wonderful is it that we can make art and then reproduce it to use it everyday instead of commercial stuff. So cool!
I've always admired and been intrigued by artist's sketchbooks but have never used this method for myself. My creative process has always been to have an idea in my head and just go to my stash, select the fabrics, and stitch.
But now that I'm working in different mediums, I find having a place to try new things is a great idea!
I've started 3 different sketchbooks and this is my latest. Playing with crayons. Yes, I'm regressing to my kindergarden days but why not! This was when I was the most creative. Here, I'm playing with water-resistant crayons covered with water color paint. I love how the crayons are picking up the texture of the cold press paper. I might try printing this on fabric and adding stitch.
Hmmmm. Maybe I'm getting my mojo back!
I have a confession. Ever since moving into my new studio, I have been creatively challenged. Perhaps its because I finished a major sereies of work that took me a year to complete. Maybe its the blinding sunlight in the afternoon that changes the way I see color now. Perhaps its just overall distraction as I settle into my new environment. I don't know.
But I do have a strategy for dealing with this lack of inspiration.
Work in another media.
I have a new "sketchbook" that I'm having fun with. I'm spraying water-soluable inks through stencils and then adding water with a brush. On the left page, you can see he spray pattern and on the right, you can see what happens when you add some water.
It's fun, brainless, and poduces some surprising results. Maybe inspiration will come if I continue this process over the next week. I'll keep you posted!
I've been studying watercolor painting for the past year and have purchased at least 8 different palettes to try to come up with something that works no matter what instructor I'm learning from. Each instructor has their "favorites" and specific paints they require for their classes and NONE of them is the same!
Paints are expensive and palettes are limiting. And once you squeeze the paint into your palette, you really can't remove it.
So one day, I saw these small plastic rectangles in my art store and thought "perfect!" I'll just squeeze my paints into one of these and move them around within my palette. That way I can mix and match colors to my class or needs. But I couldn't find a commercial palette that would fit these small boxes.
I love shopping at my local art store since most of the people there are artists and have come up with innovative and inexpensive solutions to solve problems that commercial companies have yet to figure out!
The woman in the watercolor department said "I have the perfect solution!. Buy this student watercolor set (metal) and buy these thin small but powerful magnets. Attach the magnets to the bottom of the plastic rectangles with super glue and fill the pans with paint. Then put them into your metal water color set and you are ready to go!"
I wrote the name of the color with a Sharpie so I know which color I'm using. You can see my first one, I wrote it upsidedown! Don't do that! Also, I have two pans labeled as "rose" but one is "permanent rose" and one is "opera rose" so make sure you can differentiate each color.
Now, I can mix up a palette for every class and situation. YES!
Every February, my friend Judith Cassel-Mamet and I co-teach a 3 day art retreat. We strongly believe that every participant needs to take home a finished piece of beautiful mixed media art as well as a reference notebook full of information that can help them become better artists. It's always a challenge to design a retreat that doesn't depend upon using sewing machines because we want our participants to come without having to lug heavy equipment or buy any supplies.
For our 2017 retreat, Judith and I are working with a new material that neither one of us have used before but functions like paper AND fabric. This satisfies both of us since I can add stitch and Judith can add paint!
Here is a glimpse on the piece I'm working on now. So far, I have sewn some decorative lines using my machine, sprayed some acrylic inks, stamped with archival ink, stenciled with metallic acrylics, enhanced with water color pencils, and just painted over the surface with more watercolor.
I love how this layering process results in amazing textures and patterns. Now, I shall start adding hand stitching.
Sigh. I'm in a happy place!
I have always been a creative person. Mostly, that expressed itself by breaking rules and many times, that got me in trouble. But many times, it led me to thinking about new ways of doing things and being viewed as "unique".
This weekend, I drove to Salida, CO where my nephew, Scott Bouldin, opened his new venture -- HUBBUB Brewery. More than 1,000 people came to sample his 8 beers and hang out to listen to wonderful music.
The next morning, he took me on a behind the scenes tour of how he creates his unique beer.
What an education! So many times, we think creating something unique is easy. Just "do it" as Nike says. But as artists, we know thats really not the case. Creating something unique takes years of practice, understanding and learning new and old techniques, trying something new without worrying about the outcome, and just going where no one has gone before.
I salute my nephew for his courage and hard work in creating a brewery unlike any other. I am inspired by him and see that creativity happens in all industries and we, as fine artists, can take these ideas and incorporate them in our own work.
I'd like another glass of Fresco Y Seco, please!