Judith and I just finished teaching our annual art Media Adventures Retreat in Golden, CO. What a fabulous weekend!
24 creative people arrived on Friday to start this adventure with us and we couldn't be more proud of the art they created. This is just one of the wonderful art banners that we loved.
We will be coming up with a totally new retreat in 2018. While the project/content will be different, the excitement and enthusiasm will be the same! More details to follow at www.mixedmediaadventures.com.
One of the many joys of my artistic life is to have been invited into this amazing group of artists. Mary Williams put us together and we are now known as the "To Expand" group.
We have been exhibiting together for many years and our latest venture is at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts — housed at Arapahoe Community College (5900 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, CO). This is a huge art gallery and we all had to bring a lot of work to fill the space. Our new exhibit is called "Media Mixed" and runs from February 13 through March 8, 2017.
The reception is this Wednesday from 5-7pm. I'll be showing five of my large pieces in the Decades series. But all the art is worth a visit! Hope to see you there!
I spent a couple of hours at the Colorado Stock show this year. I haven't been there in over 20 years so it was fun going back to seeing what rural Colorado is really like. It's a world away from the hip, urban lifestyle of Denver.
I spent some time sketching men in cowboy hats, farm equipment, and cattle. And thinking about the cultural divide. It is vast.
But one of the funny "duh" moments was when I went into the shopping area and saw fabulous Cowboy Boots for sale. Just look at this stitching! It's what made every boot special. Sewing on leather takes different skills than I possess but I think I will start looking at these designs to see how I can incorporate a little "western" look and feel into my pieces. Fun!
I think there is always a tendency to compare one's art with someone else's. Is their composition better? Are the colors clearer? Are the brush strokes freer?
I'm in a watercolor class with 18 people this winter/spring and I would say, in comparison, I'm about in the middle of the pack. A comfortable place to be since I know I have SOME skills but I know I can achieve more.
This is actually a painting I did with a Craftsy teacher online. I'm happy with the petals because of the different values I was able to paint, giving it a 3-D feeling. Less happy with the yellow middle -- I think I used too much pigment! One should ALWAYS be careful using yellow!
The painting I did in my in-person class this week, I threw away. I really find it hard to paint in a 3 hour class. So much pressure! But as a beginner, I also find it hard to paint without a coach by my side.
Lesson learned? Just keep at it, no matter what!
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!