Archive for the ‘marbling’ Category

Applying for a Grant

I am working on applying for an “emerging artist” grant. I determined last weekend that I would make this an extremely productive art summer, as I really would like to not only create more art, but also make some money while doing it. So as I was preparing this application, I came upon my past successes.

“Fish Follies,” juried show, Cordova Art Museum, Cordova, Alaska. “Whales” (digital marbled art); “Swimming Upstream” (digital marbled art), with Suzan Drury, June 2008. I THINK I FORGOT TO BRAG ABOUT THIS!!!!!

“Art of the Sixth Extinction,” WomanKraft Gallery, Tucson, AZ. “Pond;” “Road Not Taken;” “Mandala 1: Core;” “Nature 4: Alaskan Waters.” February 2005. Fiber art.

“Expressions in Textiles” juried show, New Haven, CT, August 2004. “Nature 1: Rock Garden.” Fiber art.

“Fish Follies,” juried show, Cordova, Alaska, August 2004. “Nature 4: Alaskan Waters.” Fiber art.

“Fabric of Legacies” juried show, Fort Collins, CO, July 2004. “Mandala 1: Core.” Fiber art.

Leandro Fabrics Gallery, Tucson, AZ, May 2004, September 2004

Textures Gallery and Studio, Scottsdale, Arizona, November 2004. Solo show.

My World in Black and White, online exhibition, 2003-2004. “Black and White with a Hint.” Fiber art.

My World in Black and White, Ontario Museum of Art and History, California, 2003 – 2004. “Black and White with a Hint.” Fiber art.

Schullenberger Gallery, Jericho, Vermont. Artists’ Showcase, December 2003

There is a gap, and those are the years when the marbling just went to hell – couldn’t marble for anything, and we even had trouble with remnants for eBay. But we are back, and going in different directions. So here’s to adding more to the list!

Back to Marbling

We marbled this past weekend in the big tray – first time in almost two months, what with the move, setting up the studio, and the end of school. There are wrinkles in the new system that we will need to work out – we have more room for marbling, but not necessarily for my sewing – which has decreased with the coming of the digital marbling – now a domain name for us.

The bath was really thick, and turned out uneven – we will need to work on that. We can redo the studio so Dean can mix everything in there, rather than making dozens of trips to the kitchen. We’ve gone back to the newspaper for drying pieces, so the rinsing is much easier, and of course our own dryer now, so that makes the heat-setting lots easier.

I anticipate, now that vacation is here, we will be able to marble a lot for fall and the holidays before school starts again. That said, we turned out a great piece of silk from the bottom of the tray again. We have started saving a piece of fabric for the end of the tray, once we have started to clean the tray – we are getting very organic pieces – looks much like topographical maps. Here’s the original and a digital reworking of the piece – called Lava.

What I particularly like about Lava is the use of the straight lines to contrast with the natural curves. I think this makes a nice finished piece, with the different layered squares just making a hint of structure to the piece.

A Solo Show

I have an incredibly talented student in art class this semester, and I want to do right by him. Most of the types of assignments I am doing are for students who have had no exposure to art. I offered him a solo show at the art show in May – he would need to create 20 pieces of art. I wanted him to think about it.

He asked me on Friday if the pieces all needed to be pencil drawings, and I said no. It never occurred to me they would all be pencil, but evidently it did to him. So I am thinking now about some ways to expand his range – like getting him markers for a different medium, having him study an artist and try and create a work in that style, getting out paints, India ink and pens, oils – maybe even clay and other three-dimensional tools. I want him to experiment and really grow in what he does.

The other piece of news – we may have our first major teaching gig – in Hawaii! It would be so cool to get back there, and have our expenses paid! The logistics would be amazing, and we would have to start planning now, but I would love the opportunity. I have also offered to do a presentation on marbling – historical, as well as the new digital direction we are going. I wouldn’t be surprised if we know something by the end of January, in which case we start making fabric! Yee-hah!

A Busy First Day

A very busy morning – did lots of shredding of old IRS stuff, old business stuff – several bags for recycling. Did some cleaning (still have a very long way to go….) And I got a walk in – the weather is nice and breezy. We burned sage in several of the spots around the house – get the good energy flowing.

As I reflect back on 2007, it was a good art year. Not so much in terms of actual fiber created, but we were able to finally solve our marbling problems, I started on Photoshop, and I finally got into doing digital work from the marbled fabrics. We sold an art piece (Night Eyes, from some of our first framed attempts), had some good ebay custom orders, and felt like we had momentum with Marble T. Now it’s time to look at the coming year and what we would like to accomplish. Which I think will be our goals for this week – we definitely want to reactivate our Preferred list, so we get more hits on the website, as well as add more fiber work. I want to get a fiber portfolio completed, and I would like to enter a minimum of five different shows this year.

Lots to think about, and trying to balance the momentum with school with be interesting – as usual. I completed most of my art plans today – looked through standards, sketched out the semester projects, and developed the rules for art class – which I think are pretty good. One of the things that amazed me as I was working with the art standards is how much my kids were actually in the intermediate set of standards, between the various discussions and projects. I feel really good about that.

Math – that’s another thing to think about over the next few days. I’m avoiding it because teaching to the test really is morally and ethically against everything I believe that makes a good education for a child. Heard from Kathy in Vermont that the new principal is even thinking about doing away with their exploratory classes in favor of more academics. Who was it who said a society is judged by its art? The Bush years have not been good ones for civilization…..

I’m working on another piece off a freeform pattern – here it is in original, black and white lines, and then as the genesis of a Rainforest piece.

I Think This Will Work…..

I created my DVD and burned it to disk – it’s winding its way to Suzan today. I woke up during the night thinking about putting it online so we can see it and discuss it easier. I just created a slideshow in iPhoto, saved it to the desktop, and now I am going to attempt to add it to this blog……

Okay – first attempt didn’t work…..error….I’ll try again…..okay – I tried through Contribute, and still nothing- I suppose after this time I can do the eUpLoads that I used for my little banner. Hmmmm…

Okay – nothing works, but I do have a great screen saver – so much detail shows that you don’t normally see in the actual jpgs. I think I’ve stopped to look at it at least three times already today. This is good stuff – and I was able to tell one of them definitely needs more work, as it is flat, doesn’t have the texture that the others do.

So tomorrow I will set myself some artistic goals, especially since stuff came for a show at the Phoenix Art Museum. It has overall been a really good creative year. One of my goals for so many years was to learn Photoshop, and while I am no expert, I sure know a lot more than I did a year ago! I feel momentum – now I have to plan for it to continue…..Happy New Year!

Creating a Portfolio

I have been putting off doing a portfolio, because I figure with the internet and all the available technology, I need to have a digital portfolio. Which I didn’t know how to do, so I figured Suzan would tackle that. But then I was thinking – it really isn’t anything more than a slideshow, so why couldn’t I do it as part of a DVD?

And voila’! Once I figured the program out – and started saving, since the program wanted to keep quitting on me – we now have a digital portfolio ready for burning. The only thing still missing are the sizes, which we can add later. And I’m realizing that I can very easily add the fiber piece to the portfolio – just set up another submenu. Sometimes I amaze even myself…..

So I was productive today – I didn’t let the continuing cold and cough get me down. We did loads of shredding as part of our New Year’s cleaning and getting ready to burn more sage as the year begins. I did a partial cleaning of my bathroom, and even found the old cough drops, which I am going to need. I forced myself to stay with the cleaning, rather than bagging and trying for a nap, since afternoon naps are keeping me awake at night. Who knows what I’ll accomplish tomorrow?

Before I forget – a really incredible graphic artist from Africa, now residing in the US – I want to use his work (some of it) to show the kids that art can be a movement for change, as a way of motivating them. Check out Chaz Maviyane-Davies.

The Challenge This Time of Year….

Every year I go through the same thing, and I thought perhaps this year if I put the problem in writing, that maybe I will gain some insights into a better way. With the holiday break, I seem to do lots of lists, want to be very productive, and try to get zillions of things done. I always end up starting the new semester depressed, on a roll with my art, and then nothing happens again till summer – if I’m lucky. There’s got to be a better way.

One thing I think will help is this blog. This is by far the first time I have been able to journal for a whole year, even as much as I like writing. Part is that I can do it on the computer – I hate long-hand. I have had a number of insights this year, and I have been productive. Looking back at the early entries, I can see how far I have come with Photoshop, even though I am still quite the novice. I need to keep writing, and probably I need to start a blog that will be strictly my education thoughts – so I can be the wonderfully sarcastic person that I am….or maybe not. Maybe I just write here and then delete, once I have my thoughts down.

Right now I am avoiding making a list of things I want to get accomplished this weekend. What I have done this fall on Sundays is just jot down the really critical stuff for Sunday and then again for Monday mornings. I feel freer to do my own work, yet I don’t have to worry about remembering all the things I still need to do for school. I seem to be torn by wanting to be productive, screwing myself up by putting too many things on the list, and then freeing my mind.

I think because of the blog and a couple of self-imposed deadlines for shows that I won’t lose momentum in art come January. That has always been the problem for the last couple of years. Now I have been leaving as much work as possible at school and freeing my nights for Photoshop. And – turning out some pretty good work, if I say so myself.

So what do I do for this weekend? I check on the iBook to see what happened to it, I do an artist statement for me and Suzan, I find the jurying information for Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery, and I marble. Should be plenty……

Some New Ones

We are headed to Phoenix for our first monthly artist date to create some new digital work. Suzan’s coming down from Sedona – not a great day for traveling – cold and windy on our end – will be worse coming down to Camp Verde and then Black Canyon City.

Last night I did some more work. I like the circles effect – I am interested now in adding additional shapes to pieces and see what happens with them. You can see the initial fabric in the background on this one.

I started applying some gradients and using masks more.

I am particularly fond of the copper gradient – seems to work really well on the marbled fabrics.

I don’t know what I did, but every now and then I get a really interesting effect with one final gradient…..

Playing Around on a Sunday

School work is done for today – including getting reports on how my kids all did on the benchmark tests last week. Don’t get me started on those – nothing like having to teach to the test….rather than for genuine understanding, as Howard Gardner would call it.

But I digress. It’s time to play. I think I have another potential. Remember the camouflage from the last entry? Here it is with some blurring.

Then I looked at playing around with some lighting and a gradient – I have come to really love gradients.

The piece, at this point, looks very much like a primeval forest, so I wanted to add a shape, and decided on bear paws, my spirit animal (I collect fetishes of bears). Then I played around with the embossing, trying to maintain the original camouflage idea. I like the final result.

A New Direction in Marbling

We marbled again on Saturday, and lately we have been trying something new…using leftover fabric and marbling on the bottom of the tray. We first tried this about eight years ago, when the bottom of the tray, as we were cleaning it, looked to have a really interesting pattern. We laid a piece of cotton to see what would print, and we got a great “geologic” design. Three weeks ago we tried the same thing on some left-over 16 mm silk and got two great pieces. In fact, one of the pieces became the basis of our first try at serious digital art.

This is the piece we tried a couple of weeks ago:

The colors are soft and muted, with just hints of some of the complex patterns and colors – the color comes from scraping the bottom of the tray as we start to bail the liquid and scrub the tray. Lately we have been trying silk, which gives a great feel to the finished product. I still want to try and quilt the finished design, but haven’t had any inspiration yet.

And this is it after some serious manipulation with Photoshop (flower by Dean)……

This is not what we submitted for the digital show, but it gives a good idea of what we are after. This is another piece from yesterday’s session, left-over camouflage colors, after working on a gift for our great-nephew.

Now on to lesson plans for the week before I can play again…..

Playing Around……

So I’m talking about what we’re doing, and if you have been following the blog, you know how this has been progressing. What follows is a sample from one piece – we have been saving pieces as we like them, even while we continue playing around with more filters and such. This one reminds me of a cold winter morning looking through ice crystals as the sun is rising.

Now here’s the original piece of fabric – can’t even tell the design is from this piece.

Here are two more variations of the same fabric – Rebirth and Rock Candy.

The Whims of Marbling

Today was a marbling session, as we needed to finish off pieces for a custom order for Australia. Now, when we did the 400 pieces for Houston, everything worked wonderfully, and we had a ball. Two weeks ago we made a larger bath, and had loads of bubble problems and couldn’t get the Autralia order finished – and didn’t really enjoy ourselves. So we went back to our original mix, and today we couldn’t seem to get paint to float. Lots of colors – expecially the dark ones, weren’t gong well at all – usually it’s the light ones that we will have trouble with. But – no bubbles!

Speaking of whims, about 12 years ago we did a professional photo shoot and brochure for designers. Money spent that we could have used, but we were younger and foolish. The stuff looked great then – and I think when I see those photos just how far our work has come. That stuff was pretty bad.

Playing with Ink…

I’m taking a break from ironing all those pieces, which is really going quite well. We set them in piles of ten, so we can see a definite decrease in the number, rather than just looking at a piece at a time!

I wanted to do some more with the ink setting in Photoshop, so I pulled up a piece of marbled fabric, just to see what whould happen. Here is the original, before sharpening and smart blur.

Now here’s the piece before inverting…

…and after inverting. Two different effects, the first looking very much like a forest, and the second like the forest through a thick early morning fog. It would be interesting to see what I could do with a light “wash” of color….

A Productive Session…

We had an extremely productive marbling session today – we have an order for 400 pieces in time to be repackaged for the Houston International Quilt Festival. We did 200 today in a whole lot less time than we planned on it taking. Now, at 11:30 in the morning, we are starting the ironing portion of the process. We’ll only need to marble one more time to complete this order, and then we have another large order for Australia to complete.

It certainly is nice getting business again. Dean has been burning sage on a regular basis – I need to do more house cleaning to add my part to the feng shui. But most of all it is great to be able to marble again like we used to. I miss the chiffon, but I can live without it, since we can do fabulous cotton and silks again. Our crazy quilt remnant bags sell well, so whenever we have mixed fabrics, we put up a couple of those.

The lady in Texas who is getitng all these pieces will be hard-pressed not to keep a bunch of them – the reds this time around worked really well, and I had good luck with some really nice autumn groupings. Now if I can just get back to some quilting. I HAVE to finish my Mesa presentation this weekend…..

Glacier 3

I started doing a lot of the quilting last night. I wasn’t totally happy with one of the threads, so today I went to Joanne’s and bought the multi-blue Sulky I had pulled – I just didn’t have enough left from another project. This thread worked much better – I changed the tension a little and lengthened the stitch length. Everything started to smooth out, and the piece began to take on a lot of depth. Here’s a small section.

This will take a lot longer than I had originally thought, as I am quilting most of the lines. But I like how the piece is looking, with that amount of quilting. I don’t normally use the walking foot; in the past it really hasn’t seemed to help, but with the gentle curves in this piece, it has been a great help. I can handle the fabric more easily through the machine. It will be interesting to see how the various stones will work as we progress.

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