24 Nov

Around The World Blog Hop

My buddy Deborah Boschert tagged me in an Around the World Blog hop in which we answer four questions about our creative process and then tag two more bloggers to do the same. Check out Deborah’s blog post to read her answers and follow her links to read back through many other fascinating blog hoppers.

 

1. What am I working on?
I’ve usually got several things going on at once which each appeal to different moods and need.
• Right now I’m working on the next in my series of Security Blankets. This one has to do with the TSA and incorporates those blue figures I was working on a while ago, plus floral weaponry.
• I’m also working on a piece, or collection of pieces, for my Army Wife series. Inspired by eye momentos, either photographs or miniature paintings set into jewelry as a reminder of absent loved ones, I have transferred images of my husband’s eye (at specific time periods) onto hankies and am now in the process of embroidering the dates and locations of his corresponding deployments onto the hankies.
• And, in the background, I am working on creating a business in which I make stylish lap quilts from military uniforms. It will be called Modern Military Quilts and I hope to have more to say about it soon.

Star Quilt sm
 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a tough question for me because I’m not entirely sure what my genre is. I love to draw on the history of traditional quilts, but my work is definitely not traditional. I suppose I could categorize my work with improvisational quilters, but mine has narrative underpinnings. Of course, every quilt has a story, so it’s really just a matter of how far that story goes. I call myself an art quilter, and I suppose my work differs from many in that genre in that I don’t stick to just the quilt form, but work in other fiber techniques as the concept of the individual work dictates. But, already I can think of many artists who work in various fiber traditions simultaneously, so I’m not so different in that way. My work is definitely concept driven, but there is a precedent for that both in the art quilt crowd and in the greater art world. In fact, I worry that if I call my work conceptual I’ll be too readily compared to others who are far smarter than I in their artwork. Maybe my work is different in that it doesn’t easily fit into a genre, but that’s a little too self-important for my tastes. We all like to think we’re different in our own ways.
Momento of an absent loved one

 

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I make art because I am, and always have been, compelled to do so. I love working with my hands and there is no lack of ideas in my head to fuel those hands.
 
Floral Weaponry

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
I start with an idea, of course. Then I go to my sketchbook, which is more like a diary or log book some days; I write the basic idea and then a conversation with myself about ways I could interpret said idea. Sometimes things flow, sometimes I let it percolate for a while and add notes a day, or a week, or on occasion a year, later. At some point, it’s time to get to the making, so I gather my supplies — which may be fabric from my stash, but recently has meant deconstructing a flag, culling photos from our albums, or experimenting with methods of sun printing human bodies. If I need to prepare a cartoon or grid to follow, as in Zeitgeist, Selfie, or Temporary Safety, now is the time for that and it includes some time at my computer working with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Click on the link to Selfie for a nice blog post about the process of creating that particular artwork. Of course, each piece is different, so for example, the process of actually making Selfie is very different than the making of embroidered hankies. I almost always have an idea in my head of what I want the finished artwork to looks like, generally, but it really takes form in the making. I never know exactly how each fabric or element is going to affect the others until I see it in the cloth. That keeps the process fresh for me. There is always room for adjustment, surprise, and serendipity while I’m making something. A piece is finished when I feel like I can walk away from it.

 

I tagged my local friend Lotta Helleberg to join the blog hop next. Be sure to check out her post next Monday, November 31st. Since tagging a second person was confounded by our good friend Murphy and his laws, my friend Terry Grant graciously offered the post she wrote only a little while ago. You can read her answers and follow her links right now.
03 Apr

Intentional Printing Blog Hop

I first “met” Lynn Krawczyk through a mixed media exhibit she organized and curated about five years ago. Since then we’ve followed each other’s blogs and she’s even purchased several of my smaller artworks. Last year, Lynn invited me and a half dozen fiber artists with very different styles and approaches to contribute to her first book. I was impressed and intrigued by the variety, so of course I said yes!

Intentional Printing - jacket art

Now the book is out, and I may be a bit biased, but I think it is a treat. Intentional Printing is an easy read, but by no means simple. Lynn’s convivial tone belies tons of tips, techniques, projects, and best of all, encouragement. As the title suggests  it’s all about intention. She gets right to the point and leads the reader through her favorite printing techniques with purpose and focus in mind. It’s a book about printing on fabric, but it’s also so much more with insight into creative temperaments, strategies to avoid piles of ugly fabric you won’t ever use, and projects as a jumping off point. Plus, each chapter is introduced with something one of the invited artists made which Lynn custom printed with each of us in mind.

Grandmother’s Hospitality Book project
My contribution was this pillow featuring a swirly, root-like fabric from Lynn and a subtle organic line grid fabric.

For a little fun and insight, I asked Lynn a few questions about the book and her inspiration.

1.  I like the way you guide readers to associate color with feelings. Do you find that your own color choices change with seasons or moods?

Good question! For the most part my colors are consistent but I can easily track certain periods of my life in my artwork. Things get a little darker during harder times and I experiment more with brights that I don’t normally use when things are more upbeat. I think it’s unavoidable, that fluctuation. Our work is bound to reflect our feelings because we are so closely bound to it.

2. You say that you try to be aware and to create with intent – that you usually have use in mind for your fabric. Do you also have a favorite artist or inspiration?

That’s a toughie because there are so many artists I admire. One artist at the very top of my favorites list is Lee Krasner. I’m a huge fan of abstraction (obviously) and she was pretty regular at consuming completed artwork by recycling it into new projects. That’s something I do all the time as well and her strength and determination really speak to me. Just find her energy inspiring all around.

3.  My favorite project is the table runner. What is yours?

I have to say that I am a sucker for the desk weights/beanbags. They are an instant gratification kind of project – print the fabric, assemble, do a little stitching and boom – done! I actually use beanbags a lot and honestly? They’re cute! Can’t help myself!

4. Reading your book is like having a friend come and spend the day with you, encouraging, guiding, coaching you through your artmaking. Have you had a friend or mentor who guided you? Or, if you were to come to my house in real life, what would we work on or do if we had an art day together?

Studio time together! Yes! I LOVE working alongside other artists. There is a definite shift in work environment when more than one creative is kicking around.

I can guarantee that I would be super nosy and want to see all of your artwork. I’m borderline compulsive about holding work in my hands, love that connection. I think the biggest thing we would do is share as we work – meaning nothing would be off limits. I’m open about sharing how I do things because I believe that there is room for everyone in the art world. We all have our own spin.

There would also be chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

5.  One of the techniques in your book is to stamp with box lids. I would have never thought of doing that. Besides lids, what is the strangest thing you have tried to print with (successfully or unsuccessfully)?

My feet. Yeah, that was a great move. I got this idea in my head for a piece I was making that I could print footprints on it. So I set about painting the bottom of my feet but I didn’t pay attention to how far away I was from the piece of fabric I intended to walk on.

There was scooting across the floor on my bum and then an incredibly ungraceful shimmy to my feet. By the time I made I finally had my feet where they needed to be, the paint was mostly dry and unwilling to transfer to the fabric.

Needless to say, I’ve since decided to stick with inanimate objects for print tools!

6.   I know you love love love your coffee. Have you ever printed with it?

Yes – on purpose and sometimes by accident!

Coffee is a great way to tone down or antique colors. I don’t find it to be something that I like to use on it’s own because it’s hard to get really bold color with it. But it’s certainly useful. (And smells great too!)

Funny story – I haul a coffee cup around with me constantly and have the bad habit of leaving them everywhere, even on my print table. Once I ended up dipping a sponge brush in one without realizing it until I swiped it across the fabric!

 7.  The book seems to be geared mainly to art quilters, but you mention that printed cloth is also great for modern or traditional piecing.  I think paper and mixed media artists could get a lot out of the book too. Have you seen anyone who’s done something really unexpected with your printing techniques?

Honestly? Not yet so far but now that the book is heading out into the big world, I know someone will really goes for it!

The techniques can definitely be used on paper and mixed media art. That’s because they are all paint based and paint will stick to nearly anything!

I’ve been selling Thermofax screens for years and have made screens for all kinds of projects – fundraisers, beer clubs, underpants, baby onesies, invitations. I’m always in awe of the things that people think of to make.

What a Home Needs
With my leftover fabric, I made this little piece of wall art, repeating my favorite house with roots (and wings) theme.

Draw, stamp, screen print and more to create gorgeous art cloth with the help of surface design artist Lynn Krawczyk’s new book from Interweave/F+W Media, Intentional Printing: Simple Techniques for Inspired Art Fabric .

Leave a comment by April 25th and I will pick a random commenter to win a free copy of Lynn’s book.

Take part in our blog tour with more stops along the way at:

09 Sep

Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop

Today is Day one of The Sketchbook Challenge big blog hop!

sketchbookbadge

My date to post is on September 13th but there’s something to see every day. Because there are so many of us, it’s a long hop and many are offering tutorials and giveaways.

Here are the full details:

The Sketchbook Challenge Hosts have a surprise for you – for the next 21 days we are celebrating September’s theme of Houses and Hideaways with a blog hop! Each day, beginning on September 9th, you’ll find a new post on The Sketchbook Challenge blog related to this month’s theme that will also include a link to the artist’s own blog, where you’ll find tutorials, videos, studio tours, exciting giveaways and more!

On each day start by swinging by The Sketchbook Challenge blog and then follow the link to the Host’s personal blog for extra goodness. Here is the blog hop schedule and enjoy!

** On each day start at The Sketchbook Challenge blog!**

September 9 – Gina Lee Kim

September 10 – Jacqueline Newbold

September 11 – Sue Bleiwess

September 12 – Jackie Bowcutt

September 13 – Me!

September 14 – Jane Davies

September 15 – Lyric Kinard

September 16 – Terry Grant

September 17 – Carol Sloan

September 18 – Leslie Tucker Jenison

September 19 – Lesley Riley

September 20 – Traci Bunkers

September 21 – Lynn Krawczyk

September 22 – Desiree Habicht

September 23 – Jamie Fingal

September 24 – Mary Beth Shaw

September 25 – Kari McKnight-Holbrook

September 26 – Deborah Boschert

September 27 – Susan Brubaker Knapp

September 28 – Laura Cater Woods

September 29 – Jane LaFazio