Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Winter Solitude

The Southern Highland Craft Guild has several exhibits each year in the main gallery at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. At least one exhibit features the members of the Southern Highland Guild. This year, we were given the challenge of a collaboration of teams - with 2 or more members working on the same piece. My good friend and incredibly talented quilt artist - Barbara Swinea and I paired up for the challenge. We first listed our strengths, both being very different, which makes for a good marriage. Barbara is a piecer extraordinaire - I AM NOT....and I like appliqué and surface design. We clicked and were off and running.
 We thought it would be fun to make a triptych using 3 panels - each 8" x 24". We also decided on a fall theme with Barbara creating a pieced background and sky.
 The ground was beautifully pieced but the color did not work so good old Dye na Flow came to the rescue. I held my breathe as I applied this very watery, transparent "paint" knowing once it was down, it WAS DOWN and no turning back. I wasn't pleased at first, but then went back and added some gold - much better.
 Barbara also made the sky which was beautiful; I especially loved the touch of pink.
 Some of the pieces, I would not have thought to use, but they worked so well together.
 Next came the trees and it was my turn. Barbara had perfect fabric from years ago.
 So you can see the finished tree on the left and the fabric from whence it came.
 I had to doctor it up a bit with Lumiere metallic textile paint, decorative thread and markers.
 I also outlined each tree to give them more definition....
 The branches were to have leaves on them but wound up looking better without. I added the background moutains out of painted silk organza. Their transparent quality gave them a sense of distance.
 This is taking on a very wintery look, not our first intent but one we both liked.
And the finished piece which became a winter scene and appropriately titled "Winter Solitude". The exhibit - "Fellowship" opens August 13 and runs through November 6. Please stop by and see it if you're in the area. There will be a lovely mix of mediums and think very exciting to see.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Autumn on the Blue Ridge"

 I've been working on pieces for an upcoming show at the Focus Gallery at the Folk Art Center in Asheville. I developed this technique many years ago; it was well received and thought since the exhibit will be up during the fall, might be nice to bring it back with some changes.
I started with Stonehenge fabric to use as a background; I wanted more veining to give it a more "rock-like" appearance.  I marbled with metallic gold which was quite subtle but then went back and free motioned quilted around the lines and filled in with a paintstick.
I marbled on many different fabrics in the Stonehenge line but found I liked the navy the best as it was very dramatic and showed the leaves well. I also marbled in different sizes which would eventually be wrapped around frames my husband made. It's the same thing as a museum wrap only no canvas is used. I really like the canvas wrapped pieces you can buy, but their sizes are so specific and didn't always work for me. The above piece is a 10" x 17".

 Here is a detail of the piece right above it. I start with real leaves which are photocopied so I have a permanent record. They are transferred to a special paper and then to silk. I also wire them with a fine wire to give them more dimension and allows them to pop out from the background.
The fun thing about this technique is if you put the real leaf up against the silk one, you cannot tell them apart - pretty cool. Being July I didn't have access to any fall leaves but have a notebook full of copies. The 2 above are an 8" square and a 6" x 10" on right.

This was my other favorite Stonehenge - a beige and grayish color. The marbling did well. I also did some silk screening on some which included old family recipes as I like the writing and you often find writing on rocks (well, maybe not a recipe, but artistic license here) The above pieces are 8 x 10.

 And a detail.
Fall leaves are the most popular but also wanted to do a few using other types of leaves - the Birch tree leaf transferred well and some ivy below. Both have some silk screening on them for additional interest. I have called this series - "Autumn on the Blue Ridge" as riding along the parkway in the fall is glorious with color.  

The backs are screened with pictures of trees I took along the Blue Ridge Parkway and made into screens. I'm still working furiously to get more done, also have a big piece in mind using a water wheel I photographed while at the John C. Campbell school last fall.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth

 Happy Fourth of July. We are flying our flag all weekend and wishing you all a safe and wonderful holiday weekend.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Fiber Junkies - doing our own thing

 Fiber Junkies met this past week at Val's home for a day of fun and "working on individual projects".
Sometimes we don't have a group plan in mind and having an unstructured day to play catch up with projects and friends is a lot of fun.
 I'm working on a large piece which features a water wheel which I want to be red. I also want it to have a weathered look, like it's been painted over many times with chips and peeling paint in areas. This is my start....ugh! I know it will get better, just need to keep plugging.
 Val was working with fabric already dyed and beautiful in and of itself.
 She decided to do some foiling, applying the adhesive through a syringe and a silk screen.
And the results - beautiful....no surprise there.

 Gen is on a roll to use up some of her enormous fabric stash. She may be downsizing so she's getting a head start. She's making kits for herself and sewing beautiful tops like crazy.
 Kate is always in the market to take a piece which needs "some help" and make it beautiful. I've given her many of my hopeless pieces which turn out quite wonderful  - she is working with thickened dyes and silkscreens.
 Denny is working with transfer dyes used on blended fabrics. She gets some beautiful results and we hope to do this at one of our FJ meetings.
 And another one of her images.
 Mary loves to work in wool. This day she is using a stencil held in place with a blank silk screen and acrylic paint to squeegee through to make the image.
 She is having some good results.
 During lunch which is on Val's beautiful deck which overlooks the city of Asheville. We shared our accomplishments since the last meeting. This is one of Gens...
 and another......
 and another...each prettier than the last.
 Denny has been working with kits, usually not a Denny thing as she designs all her pieces, but sometimes it's just nice to sew without having to put much thought into it. I often say I just want to sew...just to enjoy the process....for myself and probably all of us quilters...it's so relaxing.
 This is the back to Denny's quilt which is a Denny design. I love the jean fabric.
 Kate's quilts are always so happy, she has a lovely sense of color. This is one she made at retreat last year...
 and the back is painted fabric made at one of our FJ meetings. This is for her niece.
 And this quilt Kate made for her nephew who goes to the U of Nebraska school colors.

 It was a great day to be with such a very special group of friends.