I love the transparency and contrast in this piece. I wish I knew how I did it so I could do it again.
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.
Since I am a full time studio artist, I have to make art every day. Sometimes, I work in fabric, sometime I paint, and sometimes I work in my collage artist book.
I find collage very challenging since it's all about composition and value. So some days, it comes easy and other days, not so much. But I force myself to complete at least one 2-page spread in my collage book every day. I find this makes me hone my skills and eventually, I come out with a spread I like.
I also work throughout the book, adding bits and pieces, without an idea of what the finished spread will look like. It's kind of like not facing a blank page when you start.
I don't know if this spread is finished but I'm liking it so far.
If you want to discover how to make collage papers and also to compose in your own sketchbook, I highly recommend Robyn McClendon's YouTube videos. She is a wonderful teacher and so generous about teaching her techniques.
Remember, not every day is a good day for making art but making art every day is essential for your spirit and growth. As Nike says "just do it"!
I love making these books.
The base is a file folder but when you add papers, card stock, and lots of inserts, they become little interactive art journals. Great for gifts and just having fun making them.
When I first started making art quilts, I experimented with sewing on top of a printed photo on fabric. It was a great way to practice freehand machine quilting and precision. I choose a photo of a beautiful window that I took when visiting my friend in Charleston, SC where flower boxes are abundant. When I finished it, I sent it to my friend as a reminder of our visit and so she would have a piece of me in her home.
A couple of years ago, her house flooded and, long story short, my quilted photo was lost.
The good thing about using a photo is that a work of art can be re-created. (Not so with any of my other fiber art pieces). So I found the photo and spent the day free hand machine quilting to re-create this piece again for my friend. Luckily, over the years I've become much better at this so she will receive a piece that is more polished and professional. And, I hope it will still remind her of our friendship.
When I got a "text" from my 15 year-old granddaughter asking me to make her a quilt, I was shocked.
She had no idea that I have never made a bed-sized quit in my life. As a fiber artist, my work is made to hang on the wall, not on a bed. But, how could I say no?
Gulp! She sent me some photos of fabrics she liked and they were easy -- greens, blues and browns. I sent a couple of designs to her and she chose an antique design made in the late 1880's. Broken Dishes. Today, a contemporary pattern as well as a traditional pattern.
I finished the top this week and gave it to a long-armer to quilt and bind. Too large for me to manage and I know she will do a good job. I will share a photo of the entire quilt in March. Meanwhile, here is a snippet.
Making a bed-size quilt for my Granddaughter was challenging but fulfilling. I wish my grandmother did the same for me.
I find making books/booklets addictive.