Posts Tagged ‘artist’

Work in Progress Wednesday….The Commission, Part 2

Two weeks ago I showed the start of a commission here, and I am almost to the end of it. Lots of interesting decisions to make along the way – I am really enjoying the decisions in the design process, especially as they relate to using marbled fabrics. My biggest problem is trying to photograph the colors so they are true.

The quilting of the marbled fabric went really well – I emphasized the white area with bubbles, as though it were a stream working its way through the rocks. Went through two different colors of threads before I decided which one I liked. That’s different for me…in the past I would just let it go.

The first border is a very soft corduroy, and I left it a little “puffed,” rather than pulled straight. I liked that it played off the roundness of the pebbles. I love the batik for the outer border, and I also used it for the backing. I realized again why I’m not fond of mitered corners (but that’s what this piece needed), as I took two of them out several times. I still need to trim the outer border by an inch so that it seems better balanced, but I decided to quilt the outside first. Again, a struggle with what I wanted to use for thread, as well as how I quilted it. I wasn’t happy with following the pattern of the batik, as it looked too crooked. So I opted to play off the idea of the frame, and I’m quite pleased. What faces me tomorrow is making sure the piece is completely square, which I need to worry about, as it is a commission. Thank heavens I know about the diagonal to check for a square.

I’m going to use the Alzheimer Quilt hanging system – the little triangles in the corners, as I think this will help the quilt lay flat on the wall. I also plan a label for the back with all the information about the quilt, including care. I found a “certificate” on line to use for the new owner of the artwork with all the official details.

Here’s the large shot, still untrimmed:

I am really loving this piece, which is actually more true brown and copper than in the picture. Still thinking about some seed beads……see what happens next week…..

Staying Sane with Zentangles

The last couple of months have been difficult, with virtually no art getting accomplished, much to my dismay, and no doubt added significantly to feeling bummed and sad. About the only thing I was able to attempt was some zentangling. The April theme in the Sketchbook Challenge was to “go out on a limb.” I interpreted that to attempting to use more color in my zentangles, which met with a small amount of success. The second one that I did brought back to mind all the attempts at art over the years that didn’t succeed. I was faced again with my internal need to have everything “look good” when I try it. It is very difficult for me to “try” and see what happens – it still needs to “look good.” So I spent some time pondering that lesson, which didn’t help my mood much at all.

So April was pretty darn dry. I admired the zentangles of my friend, who is branching out and developing her own patterns. I was really feeling jealous, and by the beginning of May I was ready to pick up pen again. I have no idea what the theme was for May, but I did get productive…some pieces took about 90 minutes to finish, and some went really quickly. I still want to experiment with color to see what I can do.

The other thing that has been keeping me sane throughout the past month was looking on line at lots of new patterns. I knew I needed to increase my repertoire of patterns, and once I got started with new ones, I could see myself making progress with new tangles.With that bit of intro, here goes:

The thing I liked originally with this, before the color, was the way the paradox pattern worked with the two triangles. I thought color would enhance the pattern, and I found it just the opposite – I lost the twisting that I so love in this particular pattern.

Lots of new patterns in this one.

A Life-Changing Few Months

To say that it has been a while is an understatement. My last posts dealt with the Tucson shootings, and the aftermath for the community has been ongoing. Many in the community have been dealing with personal issues surrounding the events, from getting updates on Gabby Giffords and coping with the weird Arizona legislature to trying to understand our roles as humans working together.

For me, it has meant two months of a pretty severe depression, trying to cope with understanding so many of the historical aspects of this country coming in to play, trying to manage what the economy is doing to individuals, and getting ready to retire from a career of 40 years in education. I had to remove myself from almost everything extra in my life beyond the day-to-day coping within the classroom. I did a lot of sleeping and a lot of being sad. I didn’t even do a Fish Follies entry this year.

At Christmas we decided to move the retirement date to June of 2012. Hubby had some major health issues in January that will eventually lead to major surgery, and all I could think about was not having time together. His next CT scan will be in August, right when school starts again. That was probably the tipping point to look at retirement this May. I made the final decision the end of February to retire after working all the numbers with the retirement folks, and then a month ago applied for SSI.

Gotta tell ya, when I made the decision, it was like a weight had lifted. I started packing my classroom the next day – and it took the three months to get it all finished. Most of my math manipulatives, books, and supplies went to an organization called Treasures4Teachers – will be a nice tax deduction, and they were very grateful for all the goodies and posters.

In April, during spring break, we spent time with our friends up north who now have a place in Cornville, AZ, just south of Sedona right along Oak Creek. It is a gorgeous, restful spot. I was admiring all of my friend’s storage, and the conversation turned to the fact that maybe one of the problems getting back into the studio was the need to reorganize. Which got me thinking, and over the next month I started cleaning and organizing, and looking for new storage that would work. We’re about half-way through at this point, and the place looks great – and even better – feels great. Two more sets of shelves and we should be just about done. But I don’t think I’ll be waiting to get in there to sew.

So I’m recovering slowly from the depression, starting the rest of my life on my terms, planning on a nice run of happiness. And I’ll be back to blogging and creating and marbling and reading and writing and Photoshop and traveling and being with people and working for peace….

Monday Marketing….So Many Outlets, So Little Time

This has been my latest project. Rachel of Rayela Art does an amazing job, having only started this in February. Members include working artists, textile businesses, galleries, suppliers and other fiber/textile people. All have an established web presence. Our common connection weaves us together: a love for textiles and fiber art. Getting this together was not an easy task…biographies, store links – there is a LOT of thought put into developing this, and the site is getting a lot of viewers.

I’ve been analyzing all the various areas where I have a presence – some stronger than others. There will be an Etsy group on the Textile and Fiber Art list, and I am looking forward to being mentored, as I need assistance in creating a good Etsy shop. My current shop has a dozen items (as of tomorrow night), and part of what I was stressing over was creating new work just for my Etsy store. Well, duh – it occurred to me that I could list some of the work from our website that gets admired, but no one thinks to buy. So we shall see……

Now along with this was getting the connections to Twitter and Facebook and the Facebook fan page…all of which require time. It’s a good thing I have some basic computer knowledge and can find my way around the web and individual sites. Some just aren’t as intuitive as they could be……But I think Facebook is now linked to my blog, my networked blog, my Etsy…..

I’ve just begun to look at ArtFire as another outlet, but I need to read about that more. I can’t add widgets for Cafe Press and Ebay because I am still using just the free listings for Cafe Press (limited items) and weekly auctions for Ebay. I know you have to spend money to make money, but a store on Cafe Press and Ebay costs additional….need to make good use of marketing dollars, as we still need to buy supplies to continue to make art to sell in these various outlets.

I did enjoy yesterday – spent the majority of the day at the computer, working with Photoshop on some new images, writing bios, and looking for a pic of hubby and moi for the TAFA site. Those of you who know me know it’s not really a current picture, but it is a good one!

Had a great time doing all this yesterday, and then it’s always coming down to reality when Monday morning hits and it’s back into the classroom. I also got the new newsletter out – special on Sampler Package 1 – 20% off….check it out – perfect for collage, mixed media, small quilt projects….

Didn’t get to read my blogs this weekend, and I miss knowing what people are up to. But I do have some good stuff for tomorrow’s post on the Top Ten on the web this week. Stay tuned for Wednesday with unveiling of two pieces that are either home from shows or aren’t traveling to any at this point.

Make art this week! Tell me what you’re working on!

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