I spent the weekend taking a workshop from Amity Parks. A wonderful, sharing instructor that teaches all her tricks without reservation. She gave everyone lots of personal instruction, wonderful handouts, a palette and inks we needed so we could continue working with her alphabet when we got back to our studios. Sponsored by the Colorado Calligrapher's Guild, this workshop as affordable and a great value.
Over the past several years, I have been interested in incorporating text into my work — first with fabric and now with books. But there is a big difference between the kind of hand lettering I've been doing and calligraphy.
I'm not a person who likes "rules" or following specific instructions so I didn't know if I was going to like learning this precise art. Turns out, I was in a class with 10 "Calligraphy Experts" — some who are known world-wide. Intimidating! But I confessed to my beginner status and then just had fun experimenting with pens, inks, and letters.
The hardest part was coming up with a quote. I don't use other people's words in my work and my husband suggested "Impeach the SOB!" but I thought that might be a little harsh. So I settled on something supportive of women, a cause I have been working for all my life.
I have often taken workshops that are a reach for me and every time I do it, I am happy with how it expands my thinking and art-making. I highly recommend you do the same if you want to get re-energized, look at your work from a new perspective, or just have fun being a beginner again!
They say we learn more by failing than succeeding.
I tried to layer more than 20 layers of paint, paper, marks, sprays, anything I could find in my studio, onto a 12" wooden panel. My idea was to use a scraper to peel off some of the areas to create something that looked like old, faded, distressed graffiti. I should have stopped at this layer but didn't. After all the layers were dry, I tried to remove some of the surface with a scrapper but it was much too hard to dig through.
I ended up trashing it all together but it's still on my mind. I just have to think differently about how to achieve the texture I'm creating in my mind. Problem solving is the essence of being an artist!
Who knew paper folding could be so satisfying.
I remember making paper airplanes and fortune-telling finger things when I was a kid. And, I taught these to my grandkids who loved making them too.
But lately, with my interest in book-making, I've also been exploring origami.
This is a box I made with fun top, that opens up to enclose/hide small, flat things. I love the look and have gifted these boxes to friends and I filled them with candy. There are only two kids in our apartment building so each of them will get a special Halloween treat when they knock on our door this year!
I will put a small piece of art in the top and hope they find it!
After making all these deli papers, I decided to use them to make artful accordion books and I love the way the transparency and patterns really made these little books a small piece of art.
A friend of mine gave me some large 300# watercolor sheets of paper and I tore them into 3" x 24" strips. I then used pastels to cover the background with color and sprayed on a fixative. After folding them into an accordion structure, I painted rectangle with metallic acrylic paints, used a Pitt pen to add a black line border, and then tore my deli papers into irregular shapes and glued them on with mat gel medium.
I added a cover and closed the books with elastic hair ties. I'm happy with the result!
I have a stack of deli paper that has been sitting on my shelf so I've decided to explore ways to create color and pattern, using the paints, stamps and stencils in my stash.
I started with alcohol inks and then used stencils to add metallic acrylic paints. After they dried, I started adding pattern with stamps I made myself, using StazOn stamp inks (because they are permanent).
I love the way these turned out and will now find ways to use these transparent papers in my art.
Sometimes, we see art and think we know what it means. At least, we know if we like it or hate it. But knowing the real stories behind the artist's motivation can change our views and experience.
I loved this piece since it dealt with text. But after meeting the artist, Shannon Galpin, I saw this in a different light. When I asked her to talk about her piece, she told me that she was stalked for several years. the person stalking her sent her letters. Some threatening, some filled with rage, and some filled with professed love. She decided to take some words from the "love" letters and pasted them on a wall during Denver's annual CRUSH event where artists come from all over the country to paint the buildings and alleys of the RiNo area.
Shannon is a fascinating person with many interests and passions. I encourage you to visit her website and read about her. She is a person I wish I knew better.
My good friend, Diana Fox, has a solo exhibit at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado.
I attended her opening reception and was amazed at the power of seeing many of her pieces exhibited together. Diana dyes all her own fabrics and the colors were subtle, her compositions bold, and her artistic expression clear.
In fact, I bought a small piece I loved called Tweet Storm. Not only for it's contemporary name in today's environment, but for the energy and colors that made my heart sing. I wanted to acquire the large piece shown in this photo but it was already sold! ;-(
If you live in Colorado or are coming to visit, don't miss this exhibit! Her are the details:
Foothills Art Center
809 15th St
September 12-October 20, 2019
Every year, Denver hosts an art event called CRUSH. This event allows artists to paint buildings all through the RiNo art district. this year, the artists were even PAID! Yeah!
One of my friends applied and was accepted and here is a photo of the fabric flowers she made and attached throughout all the streets and alleys in the RiNo district.
Susan Dillon constantly amazes me with her creativity, innovative approach to fiber art, and upbeat attitude towards life.
Check out her website here.
I wonder what the penalty would be for one of these fabulous flowers to somehow fall into my tote bag. Just asking!
Every year, on the first Tuesday of September, artists participate in "Art Drop Day" all over the world. I believe this is the 5th year I've been participating but honestly, have lost count.
This is a fun event for me, the artist, and people who discover my art as a gift.
Let's face it. I make a LOT of art. And now that I'm making books and journals instead of 5' x 6' fiber art, it's a lot easier to give away!
Recently, I've been fooling around with making journals from file folders and having fun with paints, sprays, and surface texture mediums. For this one, I added some coordinated tags to fit into the pockets.
If you live in Denver (or nearby), I will be giving you the exact places where my art will be tomorrow so you can get a head start!
All my pieces will be in Cheesman Park. I like to sleep in late on most days so I won't be delivering my packages until 10am. Here's where I will stash my art, starting at the Pavilion, then dropping in the rose garden, children's play ground, round bench near the 12th Ave bus stop, and the bus stop bench.
If you don't find any of my pieces, keep your eyes open and check out the Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArtDropDenver/ to see where other artist gems can be found. Happy Hunting!
I have taken several workshops with Susan Brooks. I've learned a lot from her as she is an excellent and thorough instructor on many dyeing techniques.
This is the book I made from the papers I made from her eco-dyeing workshops and I love it.
Susan just published a book titled "Eco-Dyed Art Journals" and it is fabulous! Besides giving all her comprehensive tips and recipes, the photographs are the most inspiring I've ever seen in a book of this kind. If you are interested in bringing nature into your art work, I highly recommend buying her book.
Here's her website.
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a fiber artist and love color and texture!