30 Jan

Figure Friday

This week’s drawing session was only OK. The model was great, but my drawings were meh. But that’s OK, because what I’d much rather share is stitched versions of drawings from the last year or so.

I’m starting with drawings like this one and scanning or tracing them at the size I’d like to make my stitched art.

Kitchen Superhero.sm

 

First, I used the copies as templates to stitch onto canvas, adding some background fabrics as I went. I worked up three because I didn’t really know where I was going with these and I wanted to let them talk to me as I progressed.

 

Sassy Housewives WIP1

I added some more fabrics, now using the stitched figures as my guide and paying much closer attention to the placement of motifs, and thinking about how I’d proceed with hand and machine stitching.

Sassy Housewives WIP2

This one spoke to me first. I like the way she dangles the jug, so I decided to focus on it by “coloring” it in with embroidery floss. I continued stitching sketchy highlights using my original drawing as a reference.

Nice Jug WIP1

Blech, the hand stitching was too heavy and it detracted from the jug. So I cut it all out.

Nice Jug WIP2

I stitched highlights and shadows again, this time with my sewing machine. I like it much better. But the nipples are too dark. It could use a little more hand stitching too.

Nice Jug WIP3

 

When I was satisfied, I dampened the work and stretched it around a canvas. Once dry, I think she looks quite nice. I finished her just in time to hopefully be included in the annual Figure Drawing: Theme and Variation show at McGuffey Art Center along with a Jilted Lover drawing and a few more from our weekly drawing sessions.

Nice Jug sm

Nice Jug, 2015, 11″x 14″ by Kristin La Flamme

 

Nice Jug det web

Nice Jug (detail), 2015, 11″x 14″ by Kristin La Flamme

 

27 Jan

Hale’aina

I finished another one! This one started as one idea about four years ago, got abandoned, and then came back to life last year in this form:

Haleainasm

Hale’aina (ha-lay aye-nah) is hawaiian. Hale means house and aina means “of the land.” In the old days, the hale’aina was the house where the women ate. Today, it usually refers to a restaurant. But as most hawaiian language also contains a “secret” meaning, it could be interpreted as “the house that nourishes.” Hale’aina also happens to be the name of the street we live on.

Women, home, nourishment, where we live — how could I not do something inspired by this? I already had the houses (appliqued to a duvet cover — more comforts of home) with collaged floral roots, so I decided to just take it further. I added food themed fabrics, and once I found one with a spam musubi the whole thing shifted into whimsical and allowed me to add other things like a pizza button, a pumpkin bead, two flounder, and a cocktail olive. It’s a house chock full of food, love, hope, fun, and dreams.

On the technical, or construction side, this is all about the contrast between the plain corduroy areas and the richly embellished house and roots area. I had fun laying it on. Every time I thought I could stop, I found another place to add something. This one is very rewarding up close, and I dare anyone not to be tempted to touch it.

The quilt is 25″x37.” Hale’aina is the working title. I’m going to ask a hawaiian speaking acquaintance if it calls for something more poetic. It’s obviously not a hawaiian quilt, so maybe I’m pushing the boundaries already, but that’s at least where the inspiration came from.

30 Jul

Heart House

I put this collage up on Flickr, so I figured I should share it here too. When I re-mounted “Pink House,” I consoled myself by immediately starting in on another collage stitched directly to the canvas. It was a complete coincidence that the only appropriate house I had left was pink-ish too.

heart-house-sm

This was also a great opportunity to work with my new screen printed house fabric from Ink & Spindle. It’s a bit more sparse than my usual, but it didn’t want or need any more. I like it.

Heart House, 12″x12″ Painted fabric house by me and hand printed house fabric from Ink & Spindle, further colored by me, stitched to gallery wrapped unprimed linen canvas, with a few other fabrics and fibers too.

27 Jul

Canvas is fabric too

As I was making “Fairytale Forest” it seemed less like a quilt and more like a painting that happened to be of fabric, yarn, and beads. It called out to be mounted on stretcher bars like a painting. I’ve also been seeing lots of small quilts mounted on gallery wrapped canvas of late. I’ve done it as well, to give postcard sized work more of the presence it deserves. That got me to thinking about using the canvas as less of an afterthought, and more of an integral part of the artwork (again, like a painting). “Cloud House” was my first foray, with the canvas more like a mat, but the fabric collage really worked for me. After making “Pink House,” I considered writing an article about stitching fabric collages directly onto stretched canvas (even though it’s now mounted on another canvas). pink-housesm   I gathered up a variety of canvases and have tried more collages — experimenting with primed canvas, unprimed linen, and plain bars (I even found round canvas, but have yet to make anything with it). canvases As I was working on the latest piece I realized that I wasn’t ready to let go of this. Obviously I don’t have the market on fabric collages on stretched canvas — and I do think everyone with the inclination should try something like this. But try it with birds, mushrooms, abstracts, figures, flowers, trees, and yes, houses. I’m afraid that if I write an article (and it’s published) with only houses as samples, it will limit how others see the technique. I’m enjoying the houses too much to branch out into other imagery, so I’ve decided for now to share what I’ve been working on, but not to write any sort of how-to.  rooted-canvases2 Enjoy and stitch amongst yourselves.