Artist Highlight: BB Henry
I have been following BB Henry for many months on YouTube and love her approach to creating art. She has given me lots of techniques and ideas to incorporate into my own art works.
Today, I found out she's been following me too! I am taking an online workshop called Virtual Art Summit and she is one of the instructors. So I couldn't wait to watch her new class. I commented and asked her a question about her dying techniques and she responded, telling me her grandmother took one of my classes and made a quilt that was her favorite.
I'm not into social media but this connection was really special. If you need some ideas about collage or just loosening up, BB Henry is the artist you should check out.
Connecting with other artists is a special gift for me so today is a good day!
I love hand stitching. It makes me happy.
After taking the Making Zen course last month, I got excited to try Sashiko stitching — a traditional Japanese art used to mend clothing. But since then, it has evolved.
I knew I needed a loosely woven fabric (nothing like this in my stash of quilting cottons!) so I ordered African mud cotton cloth to see if that would work. It was too thick. So I ended up working on some linen and this fabric was perfect. I had to back it with some freezer paper so I could mark a grid without the fabric moving.
I used a Frixion pen to make the marks since it disappeared when I ironed it (it doesn't say that in the package instructions but believe me, it worked!)
I used a combination of traditional Sashiko cotton thread and pearl cotton. Both worked well.
What am I going to do with these samples? Have no idea but I'm just loving the process. Knowing how I work, I need to make many of these before an idea forms in my head. In the meantime, I'm enjoying hand stitching on linen!
I've been working in a grid format lately and the challenge I gave myself was to pick one of the small 2" x 2" compositions and enlarge it to a 4" x 6" size. I quickly found out I didn't like that idea since copying something (even my own work) was not fun for me.
But I DID have fun looking at all the ideas from my grid art and making a new composition in the new format. I like the way this came out. It has a lot more energy because it is larger. I might continue working on this idea by taking it even larger. But finding the right collage papers is always a challenge for me since my collection includes papers I've made 2-3 years ago and I won't remember exactly how to replicate them again.
Another challenge to contemplate!
Happy Mother's Day
Working in a Grid Format
The "Grid" is a well established artistic form for artists of all mediums.
I started a new series of mixed media works based on this format and I am filling a sketchbook (8 x 10 Stillman & Birn Zeta series) with lots of grids to test out color and composition using a variety of materials from pens, pencils, paint, sprays, stencils, washi tape, and collage papers I have made over the years.
This has been so much fun, I can't stop making more every day.
Working small (these squares are 2 inches) allows me to quickly try out different ideas using the same color palette and some of the same materials. I've always liked working in a series and find with paints, working on several pieces at the same time allows for some drying time between layers.
I love this process but my ultimate goal is to see if a particular composition would work bigger so I just bought a 5 x 8 Sketchbook to experiment in turning one of these small squares into a larger piece. This will be challenging since I will be changing the dimensions of the composition. (Perhaps I should have purchased a square journal!)
Oh well, art is always challenging and I've just given myself another one!
All I can say is WOW.
Tamara Kostianovsky's exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens blew me away. Her pieces are all made from fabric but as a fiber artist myself, I couldn't figure out how she made them. I could see her hand stitching around the edges but how she arranged the fabrics to create the textures, eluded me completely.
I especially loved this piece. The stump of a tree became a birthday cake with a slice cut out of it. At last that's how it appeared to me.
This exhibit is at the The Freyer – Newman Center gallery and will be on display though June 18th. If you love fiber and sculpture, don't miss this one!
Spent the weekend with my artist sister-in-law and she turned me on to printmaking. She works BIG but I started small.
I had these "pink rubber carving sheets" I bought years go from Amazon and set of carving tools from Speedball.
I don't know how I will use these stamps in the future but making them was fun. Regardless, these stamps are mine and no one will make them exactly like I did. So the marks they make are unique.
Here are 4 cards from one of my "Roladex Art Book" Series. I was thinking of entering a juried exhibit for paper artists but missed the deadline. (too much going on in my life right now)
That got me thinking. One of the reason I hate entering juried exhibits are all the requirements for submitting an artist statement. So, I decided to generate one from Chat GPT instead. I think it did a pretty good job. What do you think? (No one reads it anyway!)
"As a mixed media artist, I am fascinated by the process of transforming disparate materials into cohesive and captivating works of art. My work is a testament to the power of experimentation, as I constantly seek out new techniques and mediums to incorporate into my pieces.
For me, the act of creation is a deeply personal and cathartic experience. Each piece I create is a reflection of my own inner world, a tangible representation of the emotions and ideas that swirl within me. Through my art, I strive to connect with viewers on a visceral level, sparking an emotional response that transcends language and culture.
My artistic style is heavily influenced by the natural world, and I draw inspiration from the colors, textures, and patterns found in the environment around me. I am particularly drawn to the rugged beauty of the American West, and many of my pieces incorporate elements of the landscape and wildlife that inhabit this region.
In my mixed media work, I aim to create a sense of depth and complexity, incorporating layers of texture, color, and meaning into each piece. By combining materials like fabric, paper, and found objects, I create a rich tapestry of visual and tactile experiences that invite viewers to explore and engage with my art on multiple levels.
Ultimately, my goal as an artist is to create work that resonates with viewers, evoking a sense of wonder, joy, and introspection. Whether through bold, colorful abstracts or intricately detailed collages, I strive to create art that speaks to the heart and soul of those who experience it."
This year, I participated in an ephemera challenge, hosted by The Book Arts League in Lafayette, CO. I received my package of art from 30 different artists and had a great time looking through everyone's contributions.
There were several small "booklets" included this year so I decided to start making my own booklets for next year's challenge.
I started out with some blank playing cards that I had in my stash. I attached them together with some paper tape into an 8 page accordion book. I scribbled black lines all over the surface and then, added 4 different acrylic paints with a small piece of credit card. I stenciled some black dots using sequin waste and stamped some small circles using a cardboard tube. On the back, I stenciled the word "Art Book" and then cut some black paper and wrote "art book" with a gold pen for the belly band that held the book together.
I really like how this turned out and the process was fun. Good thing since I needed to make 30 of them for my contribution for 2024!
As you probably know, I like making things in series so this was satisfying. Working out all the details is challenging but once done, making more of them is mindless!
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
We have a wonderful Quilt museum here in Colorado and I support it every year by donating sewing related supplies to their annual garage sale as well as donating one of my original, one-of-a-kind fiber art pieces to their annual fundraiser "Fabric & Friends". This is the donated piece that will be auctioned off during their event.
There will be an online auction from April 10-21, 2023. All the items up for auction will be on display in the museum gallery. There should be a good selection of miniature quilts available to bid on as well as gift baskets and certificates.
The live auction will occur at the Friday night GALA on April 21st from 6-9pm at the museum. Advance tickets to this event are $30 and $55 at the door.
Hope you can support this worthwhile charity and ensure that future generations can have access to the wonderful collection they have accumulated over so many years.
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a mixed media artist and love color and texture!