This is where I took a walk this week — the Denver Botanic Gardens. My first in-person "visit" with my friend Karen in 3 months.
I can see the gardens from my apartment balcony and very few people are walking around. That made me feel better about going there and seeing they required everyone wear a mask made me feel even safer. Staying 6 feet away from other people was easy and just seeing all the beautiful flowers in full bloom raised my spirits.
I took lots of photos in preparation for an online nature journaling class I am taking from my friend Judith Cassel-Mamet in July. The class is full but she will launch this class on Teachable soon. Check out her schedule at https://www.jcmamet.net
I'm not into drawing/painting from nature but I know I will learn something I can apply to my artistic expression. And, I'm interested to see what it's like learning on a platform like Zoom instead of in person. So many changes in our lives, so quickly!
When I decided to end my "mask factory" I had a list of things I wanted to do when I returned to making art.
The funny thing is, I wanted to make masks! I didn't connect the two ideas until today.
So, in mixed media art, there are "stencils" and "masks". If you have a stencil, the areas that will print are cut out. With masks, the area you print will be the outline of the image. I had this photo of my nephew who was wearing a cowboy hat and his shadow was projected on the ground. I loved the image. So I printed out the photo and traced it on a sheet of overhead transparency plastic I had in my stash. (you could use anything -- mylar, etc). I cut it out and painted the edges with acrylic black paint.
The image on the left is the mask, on the right is what it looked like on a journal page.
Simple, easy to do and fun. So look through your photos and make some original masks for your self. A fun day of art-making.
My new friend, Annemarie from the Netherlands, sent me some elastic she gathered from her friends and her own stash so I could continue to make masks for my friends, family and charities that I support. My supply had run out and there was no elastic to be had in the US.
Then, she sent me this photo of her own mask that used my Stupendous Stitching techniques!
I just had to share since I was so impressed with her artistic expression (not to mention her generosity).
She also customized her masks to reflect the interests of her friends and family by making masks from soccer images for her husband and son-in-law and "Americana" images for her friends planning a trip to the USA this summer.
Love this idea and now, am searching for some Yankee fabric from my husband who is missing baseball a LOT!
My weekly blogs are going to be boring now. I am on a mission to make beautiful masks for people who need them. And give them away for free.
Besides making masks for my family and friends and all the people who live in our apartment building (and their friends and families!) I am also adopting some personal causes like a senior center in NJ that a sister of one of my best friends works in, a local cafe that serves the homeless that a friend of mine serves on the board of directors, and a local a food store where we shop several times a week.
But almost everyone who receives one of my masks, is offering me financial support, which I decline with thanks, since I'm just using my (extensive!) fabric stash and my friends are sending me elastic, which is in short supply! We are all sharing fabric, thread, needles, wire, whatever we need.
My hope is that even though I can only affect a tiny portion of my community, it will be enough to help stop the spread of this deadly virus. This is what makes me happy to go to my studio every day.
Since most of us are house bound and wanting to do something positive for preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, I thought I'd spend my day making face masks. So here is the pattern I came up with. I'm now trying to find places who need these so I can donate my time and materials to make them. I need to do my part! Stay safe everyone!
UPDATE: I will be donating some masks to a senior center in New Jersey. Seems these centers have NO protective equipment so are happy to receive anything. My friend also found a connection to a local hospital so I will be giving her masks to take there. There is also a website here in Colorado that has established connections to local hospitals (they use a different pattern) but I will also be making masks for them.
Also, I made one for my husband to wear to the grocery store and today, he did and got lots of compliments and questions like "Where did you buy that!" Now I'm thinking that supermarket checkers and stockers would also appreciate some masks.
Free Face Mask Pattern
IMPORTANT NOTE: Face masks made at home are not made of medical fabric. Home-made masks are made from tightly woven polyester fabrics and cannot protect the wearer from being infected from the COVID 19 virus. But these masks are better than no masks in a pandemic. Perhaps these home-made masks can be utilized by hospitals and senior care facilities as ways to prevent healthy people from spreading colds and flu while medical masks can be used by nurses and doctors. Before making these masks, find a place to donate them. That will save you time and materials if they are not needed.
Cut 2 pieces of cotton fabric to 9” x 7”
Cut 1 piece of 22 Gauge wire to 11” (pipe cleaner will also work)
Cut 2 pieces of 2mm round elastic cord (6.5" long for women, 7.5" long for men)
It's not often I get a gift that has meant so much to me as this one I received from my brother Greg.
I know that all my markers need to be stored horizontally but nothing I saw in the stores would hold as many markers/pens/pencils as I had. I was lamenting this to my sister-in-law who suggested I email my brother (who is a wonderful wood-worker) to see if he could make me something that would not only be practical, but become a work of art on my studio wall.
Greg said "of course!" and sent me this fabulous wooden display unit that I now have on my wall. Easy access to everything I need and also a work of art. I smile every day as I see this above my desk.
Getting a gift, made by hand, is something so special. In these uncertain times, perhaps this is something we can all do as we self-quarantine.
When I checked in for the Rauschenberg exhibit at the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood, CO, the woman, looked at my outfit and said "You will be right at home!" I had no idea what she met until I came across these two large prints. And I thought I was the only artist that would pair these two colors! Wrong!
This exhibit shows 50 years of art from this influential artist and is fascinating. If you have a chance, go visit! you won't be disappointed.
I love exploring mark-making.
To me, it shows the hand and gesture of the artist so when you view the art, you get a sense of what the artist was doing when she created it.
But I also LOVE making marks with non-traditional implements. So when I discovered the "Cola Pen" I had to make some. It got it's name from using a Coca-Cola can as the metal base, but you could use any soda can as long as the metal is easy to cut with a scissor.
Here's how to make your own.
Cut the top and bottom off of a soda can. Cut the tube in half so you have a flat piece to work with. Cut a 2 " piece of the metal and wrap it around a flat stick (like a tongue depressor) leaving bout 1" of metal overlapping the top of the wooden stick. Secure with duct tape. Cut the top of the stick into aa triangle shape so the pen has a point at the top.
Dip into ink and make marks!
The image at the top shows the kind of marks I made with my Cola Pen. I love not having control and I love the random look. I hope you try it!
There are many many YouTube videos showing you how to make your Cola Pens and each artist has their own method but here is a quick one that shows you the process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5OPuE2zlFI
Lately, I've been obsessed with this idea. Making a "book" out of Rolodex cards. I stumbled on Robyn McClendon's YouTube channel where she demos how she made her "book" and I have found the process so satisfying. Gelli printing has always been a favorite of mine but collage has not. Working on this tiny scale (2-1/4 x 4) has enable me to experiment with a lot of ideas quickly. Making art takes a lot of practice and now, I've found a way to hone my skills and have fun in the process.
I'm also making cards that re-use my existing art but also including commercials products like Washi tape, stencils and stamps. And, I've added to my paper collection a lot of transparent materials and love working with these as well.
I bought my "Roladex Tray" on eBay since I couldn't find any on Amazon or at the Office Supply stores. Perhaps it's been discontinued. I bought the cards but returned them since they were so flimsy. I find the old cards are better.
If you ned some inspiration, just subscribe to her channel. You'll have a lot of fun, I promise.
A friend of mine sent me this photo of an exhibit she saw at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Boston. I wanted to learn more about the artist and this work so I wrote to the museum and they responded immediately with the information I requested.
The artist is Yinka Shonibare MBE and this installation is a celebration of the diversity of the American population.
The books are covered in the artist's signature Dutch wax printed cotton textiles and on many of the spines, printed in gold, are the names of people who immigrated to America. Also included are descendants of immigrants who have made major contributions to America including: W. E. B. Du Bois, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Steve Jobs, Bruce Lee, Ana Mendieta, Joni Mitchell, Toni Morrison, Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Carl Stokes, Donald Trump and Tiger Woods.
I wonder what Donald Trump would think, being included in this list given his anti-immigrant policies!
Unfortunately, this exhibit has closed in Boston but will be traveling to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Cantor Arts Center at Stamford University.
I wish it would come to Denver!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a fiber artist and love color and texture!