April 29, 2016 1 comments

On the worktable...

Truth be told, my worktable is a bit messy right now!

I have workups on 5 pieces laid out, piles of sketches and reference photographs, fabrics from my class last week, boxes of beads, embroidery threads and rovings, 3 different sewing machines and a couple of watercolour paintings resting on my desktop easel. It is MESS-Y!
But this one is calling my name, asking to be finished already.
"June, baby, June. I'll get to you in June!"
Meanwhile, it's back to those layouts for me. :)
April 27, 2016 2 comments

Water color on fabric

Ever since I worked with "fugitive media" when I was a contributor for awhile to And Then We Set It On Fire a few years back, I have been very interested in the possibilities of using water color on fabric.
I took an intermediate class in water colors on Saturday (I took the beginners class in November), and this was the main piece I worked on, using Aquarelles crayons, Winsor & Newton water colour sticks and the Cotman Watercolours pan (that BSP bought me a couple of weeks ago).
I'm pretty pleased with it! Much will be done to it in the future with stitch, and possibly beading, and once I put it on stretcher bars, I expect it will straighten out; but I have to put it away for now in order to concentrate on my commissions, which I have been doing since Monday night. :)
This piece of fabric was hand dyed and then enhanced with Aquarelles (the pencils, not the crayons) back in 2011.

And this one, called "Erosion" also completed in 2011, which was done with watercolor paint on fabric.  (I suggest you click on this one so you can see it full size)
I'm taking another class in watercolour at the end of May and looking forward to seeing what I can do!

April 22, 2016 5 comments

This situation is not so good...

...and is a unique twist on a common "problem" I have.

After I've painted my backgrounds with brushes, I tend to get in there with my fingers to rub in/out things, stroke through the paint; or sometimes I pounce my whole hand on it, depending on the effect I want.
I'm sure a lot of other artists do the same. And like many other artists, I *did* try using gloves when painting/dyeing, everything from medical latex gloves to kitchen gloves through some kind of industrial type glove.

The only ones that give me the feel, and therefore, control, I want are latex. But they tend to rip and tear without you realizing, so you end up with paint on your hands.
Since the end result is still "paint on hands", I gave up on using gloves years ago. A good scrub afterwards will lift paint, and soaking in a bleach solution will lift dye if I need to go to day job the next day.*
So I did like I do last night.
As you may remember, earlier, I had been working on building frames. After I was done painting my backgrounds, I had a look at them, and there were spots that could be filled with construction glue, and I did so, using my bare fingers to smooth it in the cracks.
The glue adhered to my hands somewhat, but I wasn't concerned, I just rubbed my hands with acetone** to remove the glue. And uh, it *didn't* remove the glue, it just smeared the glue, and the PAINT all over my hands!

I tried everything I could think of last night to remove the glue/paint mixture, but nothing worked (which means yay! those frames are going to be SOLID). But uh... I now have to go to work with these filthy looking hands.

And now I have to be at day job with these!
So, consider this the latest episode in the "Kit Did Something She Shouldn't Oughta" . Live and learn!
*, ** NEVER do what I do. I totally do things that are dangerous to my health (dyeing without gloves/masks, rubbing chemicals all over my hands, etc.) Don't do it!
April 20, 2016 0 comments

Tools of the trade

Check it out! I have a thing! A thing which makes perfect mitered corners!

So now, I can make my own stretcher bars. :)

April 19, 2016 0 comments

Watercolour printing

This year, because of the popularity of a certain piece (more on that later); I have been very lucky to have been commissioned to make a number of pieces - 7 so far!

These requests have kept me busy in the studio since January - and thankfully, have coincided with an uptick in my desire to work in the studio and an increased interest in developing my art.

But it also means that a new-to-me-technique that I've become very interested in, has had to sit on the backburner.

But this week, I've taken a break, and I've had a little play.  :)

April 17, 2016 0 comments

Sometimes a little help

Is all you need.
April 14, 2016 1 comments

About that background...

Yesterday, Erin posted a comment saying that the background didn't seem like my style.

So I thought I'd post a "behind the scenes". The collector had asked for "something like your birch trees", particularly liking "Winter Birches" and "Winter Birches with Bird"


I sent him some quick mock ups of birches on backgrounds (done out of paper, collage style)

(unfortunately, I didn't save a completed one - so this is just one of my own experiments.)

However, the collector wanted a background he described as pinky, purply, or maybe green.

So I sent him pictures of samples painted on tiny canvases (5 x 7")

And then mock ups on the samples:

He eventually chose a *really* pink background.  (You can see the original sample on the top right and the painted full-sized background on the left).

However, once I started laying it out, I plead with the collector to tone down the background. I just didn't like it!


And so the final pic I showed you yesterday, was our compromise. (As was the evergreen - I really didn't want to put it in there!)

And that's how we ended up with "Winter Song". :)


April 13, 2016 3 comments

Winter Song

Hello everyone. :)  I just thought I'd pop in and show you a commission I just finished.

It's 40 x 24", mounted on stretcher bars, using a variety of commercial fabrics, which have all been painted on or manipulated in some way.  The background is painted cotton muslin.

I worked closely with the collector on this one, so it isn't fully my vision, but I still had to put a bird on it!

Similarly, although the client had requested red leaves, this peachy background (also at the request of the client) clashed with red, so in the end, these gold-y leaves worked best.
As with the other pieces in the "Winter Birches" series,  "Winter Song" was borne out of my desire to convey my memories of winters in Northern Ontario: rounded blankets of snow several feet deep, topped by crunchy silvery white ice crusts underfoot; crystals of snow and ice contrasted on the black branches of stands of white Paper Birches.
A palette of white on white on white, interspersed with occasional evergreens, the varied colours of the sky, and the fauna of the North.
I'm currently working on five more commissioned pieces for the Black Lives Matter movement - I'm very excited about those. And Angelique has been very busy too - I've got loads to tell you about that.
If only I could find the time!
I hope you're all doing well - tell me what you're up to in the comments!
Until next time.