Last year, I joined Sketchbook Revival — a free 2 week course introducing me to many different artists all over the world.
I diligently, tried each and every project and found it exhausting. This year, I'm just viewing the videos, getting some new ideas, and trying out some (but not all) the techniques.
This one encouraged me to work with one color in watercolor and then to draw on top of the shapes. This was fun and challenging. I'm sure I will get some new ideas over the next week.
Check it out at https://www.karenabend.com/sketchbook-revival-2022/
Lately, I've been making these art books that are really fun to make and flip through.
There are lots of steps involved in creating these but every step is something I like to do! It starts with Gelli printing on both sides of white card stock. You can get so many different textures using acrylic paints and texture tools I make myself. Sometimes, I emboss on the surface. Other times, I use stencils. When the pages are dry, I cut them into 2" x 3-1/2" rectangles and then the fun begins.
I trim them into different shapes and use a Posca pen to draw around the edges. I also gelli print a piece of mixed media paper, cut to 6" x 24" and fold to create the "spine" of the book. Then I glue in all the small pieces, add a cover and it's done.
Every artist book I make is unique. Perhaps that's why I'm drawn to this art form. It's never boring!
Even though I've been writing books and designing and making art quilts thoughout my life, I have never made a bed sized quilt. Until now. And here it is.
My granddaughter asked me to make her one so what to do? Of course, I made her one.
This design is from the late 1800's and is called "broken dishes". I just picked it up from a long-armer today and she did a great job in adding the quilting, squaring it up and doing the binding. I also pieced together some shams that I will finish myself tomorrow.
Even though it's a very old pattern, it is also very contemporary-looking. Just goes to show "what's old is new again". I hope my granddaughter likes it because I had a good time making it, thinking of her for days while cutting and piecing the top. These are the family heirlooms that are the most meaningful.
.If you know me from my work in fiber, you have heard me say "More Is Better".
When I create my Stupendous Stitching pieces, I like to cover the entire surface with couching, decorative stitches and embroidery. This technique creates amazing texture and interest.
But,, when I'm painting, this technique doesn't work as well.
So I started restricting myself to seven "mark making" steps to created these small 10 x 10 works of mixed media. This one uses two colors of acrylic paint, a water soluble black pencil, charcoal, black acrylic applied with a cardboard tube, some black acrylic paint applied over a punchinella stencil, lines drawn with a Posca pen, and two circles cut out from a gel plate print.
It seems like a lot but the white background really makes this painting stand out.. But what made me think it was good was when my 26 year old nephew saw them and asked if I would give him a couple to hang in his apartment.
I don't make art to please other people but having a "hip" young person living in Chicago with roommates and wanting to hang my art on his walls, made this 73 year old artist "cool". I think I will explore working larger and seeing where this leads me on to my next adventure.