I’m a little hesitant to write about my new work since it is in the “infant” stage but I wanted to share it with a few people who read my blog and get your opinion. I’m also not sure of how I will finish this piece but I am happy with it so far and I am planning on making 4 more, same size, different years.
I’ve been thinking about this idea for more than 5 years but until now, didn’t know how to combine the writing with color and composition. My concept was to take words and phrases from a particular year and use them to create a dialogue. I think that’s really what makes art “art”. Moving people’s emotions. Creating feelings and reactions to the work. I already do that through my fiber work (I see how people react when I hang my work at my gallery) but I wanted to be more provocative and relevant to the world.
So I came up with a list of words and phrases that reflected last year — 2014. A lot happened that year. I also decided to use only hand-dyed fabric from Cherrywood Fabrics. That gave me a consistent background palette and surface. I used a grid to provide consistency between the five pieces I will be making. And I relied on my color sense to provide some excitement to the placement of the words.
A work in process for sure. I will keep you posted when I finish the first piece. I’m thinking of the following years to add to the series:
1948 — The year of my birth
2000 — The year before 9/11
I need 2 more. What years would you suggest and why?
Jane Jones paints amazing floral still lifes and I am so happy to call her a friend. I met Jane at the Art Students League of Denver when I took a color mixing class from her and painted my first color wheel using complimentary colors.
Besides being a fine artist, she is also a wonderful teacher and mentor. She is a generous and committed artist with an amazing eye for color and composition.
Take a look at her paintings and I know you too, will be inspired and maybe think about your own art in a new, color-infused way!
One of my favorite quilting magazines is Machine Quilting Unlimited. Kit Robinson and Vicki Anderson are two of the nicest people I know and their support of all types of quilters, traditional, modern, and art quilters is well shown in their magazines. I was honored to be asked to contribute to their March/April 2015 issue — on newsstands now. My article starts on page 66 and runs through page 72. It shows many photos of my most current pieces and I talk about my inspirations and processes for three of my series. I hope you can pick up a copy soon!
One of my friends is a fantastic artist who works in encaustic. I love her eye for composition and her excellent techniques with working with wax. Victoria Eubanks and I met for a brainstorming session last week and we have decided to put together a workshop for fiber artists wishing to explore encaustics and encaustic artists wishing to explore fiber! Victoria lent me some encaustic supplies and I had a lot of fun playing with this new medium. I gave her some “fibers” to play with and we will be meeting again this week to share our ideas, techniques and results. We will be offering a 2 day workshop in my Denver gallery in May so we have lots of time to really explore this unusual combination and teach some unique ways to combine these two mediums.
Here’s a sneak peek at what I’m working on now!
This morning, I woke up to a world devoid of color. This is a color photo of a tree, close to my house. For a colorist, this was rather shocking to my eye!
But it made me think about how important values are to creating a successful art piece.
This is something I really struggle with because like many artists, I am drawn to medium values rather than to the very lightest and darkest values. If you evaluate the “stashes” of many fiber artists, you will see that a majority of their fibers lie in the middle values as well.
When you take color (hue) off the table, you realize that intensity (or value) is what really separates the good from the excellent. I have made dozens of value studies, trying to replicate a 7 step “value chart” and this is much harder than you would expect. In watercolor, I can barely get to 4 values. Colored pencil is a little easier and acrylics are, by far, the easiest to get that tonal difference. At least for me.
It’s sometimes hard to see the values in a piece because the color often interferes with seeing that. So waking up to a black/white/grey world helps clarify those value differences. Taking a photo of your work and then printing it in black & white is another useful tool. A red film viewer also helps! Just remember, the more value changes you put into your artwork, the more your art will progress from good to great!