Saturday, August 01, 2015

Printed Fabric Bee Reveal: Insects!

Jane Davila was the "queen bee" this month. She chose insects as her theme. Her color palette request was "artist's choice" with a touch of black. 

I printed fabric for this theme at the printing making workshop I attended in May. 

I began with this sketch. 

I used the printing technique known as "drypoint." I placed a sheet of plexi over my drawing and used a metal tool to scratch the design into the plexi.

Then I used this rolled up paper towel to work the ink into the grooves.

Then I wiped off the paint from the surface.

I put the fabric on top of the plexi and ran it through the table top press we had for the workshop. Ta Da! This is the 6x6 inch piece of fabric which will be included in our monthly Printed Bee give-away.

This is a pretty decent detail. I like the lines I added to the wings. That added some much needed depth or at least a darker area.

Jane requested a 12x12 piece of fabric. I was able to print my plate four times on this piece of fabric.

I was excited when I found this piece of hand dyed fabric in my stash. I had the 12x12 piece and an additional piece that could be used for the 6x6. It made me think of the amazingly bright colors sometimes seen on beetles or the irredescent wings of a dragonfly.

But, I think the fabric fights with the image. The drypoint lines are just too thin and subtle to compete with the mottled fabric is strong orange and purple.

As I do with all my process posts for The Printed Fabric Bee, here's what I thought was successful and less than successful.

  • The grid design with the four different insect sketches.
  • The striped areas of the fly's wings, ant's body and beetle's head.
  • Brightly colored fabric.
  • Trying something new!

Less Than Successful:
  • Images are too faint and weak.
  • The butterfly really doesn't match the other insects. He lacks finesse of any kind.
  • I wasn't able to get very precise lines with the drypoint technique. It feels jagged and lacks control.
  • Edges of the plate made severe creases in the fabric.
Remember, you can win a collection of all the insect fabrics from the artists of The Printed Fabric Bee. Comment on Jane's blog or on the Printed Fabric Bee blog. Jane will draw on winner on August 15.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chance Landscapes with Kristin Cochran

I took a workshop at the Dallas Museum of Art last week.
C3 stands for Center for Creative Connections. It used to be the "kids" area of the museum with a play area like you might see at the mall. Now it's a beautiful fully interactive, multi generational area with real art mounted throughout the space, a big make-and-take area, digital programming and two fully stocked art labs for special events.

The workshop was called "Chance Landscapes" with Kristin Cochran. Kristin works with all kinds of techniques and materials.

We started with a color copy of an inspiring landscape at each work area.

I chose this rocky stream running through a forest.

The first exercise was layered mono printing. We placed a sheet of plexi over the print and painted on the plexi with watered down acrylic paint. We could do several layers of printing beginning with the lightest or furthest away layers of the landscape.

Here's my print of what could be the sky, clouds, and reflection in the water.

A second print of what could be the water, covering some of the reflection.

Another layer of the ground and the leafy canopy with sky peeking through.

Finally tree trunks and rocks in the stream.

Here you see the layered mono print and the inspirational photo.

I liked the idea of using a piece of plexi as a mono printing plate with an image under the plexi to "follow." I also like the idea of building layers of prints on top of each other.

I did another mono print with this landscape. Just one layer of paint and one print.

Classroom full of people and creative energy.

Next we did blind contour drawings from a hunk of clay that we molded into a "landform."
I usually hate blind contour drawings. But, I like these results because they are unpredictable and interesting. If I wanted to create a "pattern" to stitch or a filler that wasn't necessarily a recognizable image, this might be a technique I could use.

The last technique we explored was line drawing with ball point pen. I "copied" the waterfall from the second landscape. We used both blue and blank ink.

I can't resist some stitch-like hatching.

Then we dripped isopropyl alcohol on the drawing to see how the ink would run and create another layer of design.

Here's the view walking back to my car with a stack of prints under my arm.

Oh by the way... this workshop was completely FREE for me because I've been gathering points on my DMA Friends account. I posted about the DMA Friends program here. (Every time you visit the museum, you can text various codes to get points. Codes and points for visiting various galleries, attending events, solving the murder mystery, bringing friends to the museum, etc.) I redeemed some of my points for registration to the workshop. How amazingly awesome is that?! Thank you Kristin Cochran and DMA!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Shopping with Warhol

Jeff needed some new shoes, so we went to the mall this weekend. He scouted shoe inventory and decided we should to to North Park Center. Hooray! It's a beautiful facility full of world class sculpture.

A tiny glimpse of Ad Astra by Mark Di Suvero. 

A broader view of the same piece.
I should have taken an even wide shot of the musician singing children's songs and all the little kids dancing nearby, and moms and dads leaning on the sculpture. Truly living with art.

There was a visiting exhibit that was previously shown in Madison Square Park in NYC.

Three water tower structures as metaphors for the experience of immigrtion.

Viewers could walk under and view up into the structures. Each had a different neon design which was reflected in a mirror so it appear to go on and on and on...

I really loved this ladder.

My favorite sculpture at North Park: Fiver Hammering Men by Jonathon Borofsky.

Last time we went to North Park this exhibit was not on display. I'm happy the men are back at work hammering.

The plantings throughout the center are also world class. Some of quite odd, but beautiful.

Here's Claire viewing Andy Warhol's Ads...

...while most shoppers seem unaware.

There are more Warhol silk screens above the Macy's sign.

The art is from the collection of Nasher family. Nasher was a developer and much of his fortune came from building North Park Mall. He later built the Nasher Sculpture Center which is across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art and may be my favorite museum experience in Dallas.

I will say that going to North Park is like a little micro-experience of life in Dallas. There are lots of really inspiring things to see and do, but you are always surrounded by commercialism and crowds. Maybe that's sort of true in any big city.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Beloved Blue Stripe

There's this blue striped fabric that I love. You probably know the one. I only have a tiny bit left. So, I thought it would be fun to review the art quilts I've created using the beloved blue stripe.

This is just a tiny piece I made for the SAQA conference auction.

Here's Indigo Garden which is traveling with the Living Colour exhibit. Notice the stripe is placed vertically!

I think this was the SAQA auction donation for last year's conference.

Waning Crescent Endeavor will soon be shipped off to be part of SAQA's Balancing Act exhibit.

Another tiny piece... just 6x6, I think. This was made for a special gift exchange with my local artist friends.

Two more... it's likely I cut that wavy strip down the middle of a strip of the fabric then flipped one side over so I had two wavy hillsides for these landscapes.

I purchased the stripe in about five color ways and configurations about four years ago. I have used some of the other colors. The red is in my new quilt, Green Bowl.

I used the yellow in this quilt I created for Sue Bleiweiss's book.

But the blue is still my favorite.

You can see the whole beautiful collection here. I should probably order more blue, right?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Working on the Book

Yep... I'm spending tons of time working on my book! It's a super exciting project... with so many pieces and parts. Images, sketches, diagrams, quilts, side bars, tips, resources.... My head is spinning a big.

I'm making a mess of the thread on my sewing table -- now in the dining room since the studio is full of other stuff.

I'm working on several small art quilts to illustrate various ideas and technique.

I'm making lots of notes to myself.

I recently printed out the whole manuscript so I could make notes and flip around from chapter to chapter and page to page. You can't do that on a computer monitor. Apparently, I was thinking about dominos.

I'm doing lots of stitching too. This color from from Sublime Floss has it's own unique name and catch phrase on the labels. This just cracks me up. (Green Day is a famous punk band known for their album American Idiot.)

I definitely need some humor to keep me from feeling too overwhelmed.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Museum High Jinx

We love the Dallas Museum of Art. Every month, they have a "late night" event with all kinds of special programming. It's always packed and full of such great energy.

I've seen this installation exhibit by Chosil Kil many times over the past several months. It's not my favorite, but I do love this picture of Benjamin and Jeff.
It's in an individual gallery within the museum -- it's own room. There is a guard that greets you as you go in and controls the number of people in the room. The first time I saw the exhibit she said, "Please be careful not to touch the artwork. And by artwork I mean everything, including the coins on the floor."

Last month, one of the special events was the DMAmazing Race. These bags include challenges and clues that each team had to complete.

Here's Team Boschert recreating a sculpture from the Asian gallery.

We actually won! The theme of the night was "Super Heroes" so our prize was this awesome bag of goodies.

We also walked through the exhibit "Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Montonaga" again. That's the beauty of visiting a museum regularly. You can look at things again and appreciate them in new ways.

I was struck by Montonaga's painting Treasure which is an abstraction of lights flickering in the distance on top of Mount Maya.

Just this past Friday we went to the July "Late Night" for their annual Murder Mystery event. Hundreds and hundreds of people waited in line to get clues for the challenge.  We wandered the museum and eventually found this outline of the dead body...

Oh No! Victory was murdered.

Then we wandered further through the galleries (with hundreds of other "investigators") to interrogate seven suspects (actors dressed as works of art and posing in front of their art works). Super fun!

I wish I had pictures of the actors dressed like their artworks because it's such an impressive concept, well written and designed, thoughtfully acted, intricate and exciting. But it was crazy crowded. 

The DMA is doing so many things to bring people into the museum and exposed to artwork. I'm already looking forward to our next visit.