Yay! My first 30 day challenge is complete. And I don't have any images for you today because I have been working diligently on my digital papers (printables) that will be coming soon to the shop. Themes are being used in each package. Today I worked on Trees I, as I'm sure I'll do more than one package with a tree theme. So I just want to thank everyone that stopped by during this 30 day challenge. Your support is very much appreciated. So stay tuned for the next challenge. In the mean time I'll have more to post about the digital papers and art journals coming soon. Thanks Peeps.
Shibori and Discharged Fabrics found in my stash
As this experiment of 30 days of stitching is coming to a close and I'm thinking about it; I would have to say that it really worked. It got me to my computer so I would blog regularly. I just needed a self imposed push, a goal, a little discipline was in order. I'm going to continue with this 30 days of.... there is still many things I want to explore and having a 30 day concentration really works. It's not about a finished work of art it's about freedom to explore and play and see what happens.
It can help you freshen up your perspective and hone your approach to making. Also small time blocks can be used very effectively. And there is something to be said about repetition. A daily practice is very important to a self employed person. I work every day pretty much, I think all artist do because you really can't shut it off. It's wired into you. But I can withdraw into the studio and I'm finding that this ritual of blogging daily (if I can) is helping me connect more. Even if a post doesn't get read by tons of people which was never really the goal.
The goal was about getting me to talk/blog more about my work and process and what is the point of having a blog if you don't use it. Right. And thru that process of writing and just talking you can discover and discovery is always a good thing. So I'm feeling good about it and getting ready for the next go. What will the topic be? I'm still adding to my list and deciding what will be next.
Today I found some more of that yummy discharged fabric and discharged shibori. Little bits but enough to work with. Also some black rayon hand stitched with linen that I forgot about. Pairing these with some digital papers I made and coffee dyed papers. I'm lovin this palette.
Working on more Digital Papers
On my table today. Tea and coffee dyed papers and some print outs of my photography and digital papers. Just testing the waters printing out on my inkjet printer on card stock and regular printer paper. Also testing watercolor paper tomorrow. I found out today that I have to get an add on application to offer pdfs in my Big Cartel shop so that will be next on my list so I can offer digital papers in my shop. There will be themes. Asemic, old barns, peeling paint, splatters etc. Still working it all out. I'm going to make the pages for standard printers so 8.5" x 11" so anyone can print them out. My printer will do larger but I think I should stick with what most people have. Anyway, I have a lot more to do but they are coming along. Wabi-Sabi love. And that is my hand print on the right. A little bit of me in there.
Making continues, on my work table today.
On my table today....stitching and painting on Japanese paper. Collage with tea bags and waxed handwoven fabric, some little tapestry weavings that I hope to use in a mixed media piece. Those are a series I'm working on.... working name is "Remnants" still figuring that all out. Some of this may end up in an art journal. That black discharge fabric is from my sash and I need to do more. I love that fabric but I have not found another black rayon that discharges this same wonderful creamy color. Still looking. I got that black in Savannah years ago when I was doing my grad studies at SCAD. Those were fun times. A great school. Only three days left in this challenge and then a bit of a break while I think about my next 30 day challenge. I have a long list of ideas for that. Here are some the ideas I have on my list. These are things that I want to work on more in a daily proactice.
1. 30 days of... Mark Making
2. Print Making
4. Book Making(bookarts)
5. Paper Making
6. Eco Dyeing
That is my short list for now. I have many more on the list to think about.
A couple more pics for you and I'm off to get dinner and get back to the studio tonight. Ta Ta Peeps.
So much on my work table today.
Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday and I decided to take a break from the Studio and we went for a lovely country drive in the Pa. mountains. It was very relaxing and just what I needed to help me recharge my batteries. Hubby was driving so I could just relax and look out the window in a dreamy haze. I love doing that. I just let my mind go and observe nature. A walk in the park does the same thing for me. Probably even more so. The Japanese call it "Forest Bathing"
Goggle says: Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is simply spending time outdoors under the canopy of trees. In Japanese, “shinrin” means forest and “yoku” means bath, or immersing oneself in the forest and soaking in the atmosphere through the senses.
I recently saw a movie about trees and they had a segment on Forest Bathing. That was the first time I heard the term and I loved it. Does it count if your in the car in the mountains surrounded by trees with the window down, and your head hanging out like a dog with a big shit eating grin on your face?
I think that might count. And speaking of counting. I'm counting down the days on this challenge and the days until Fall arrives. Then I will do a great deal of Forest Bathing in the Autumn leaves. Come on Autumn! So yesterday was a mental health day and today I'm hoping to get back to work with a refreshed feeling. Off to the studio I go and you don't even have to wait.....I'll be back with pics.
Why is there a stick in this image? Good question. I have been picking up sticks for a really long time. I don't know why. I'm compelled to do it. I've always had hopes of finding a way to use them. Maybe for a handwoven wall hanging or maybe a book bound with a stick spine. Or maybe to carve a crochet hook....who knows. Well, at least I have a good stash of them so maybe something will come of it.
So on my work table today... some art journal pages, some drawing, stitching on a weaving sample maybe could become a bookmark etc. Some free motion stitching I think will become a journal cover. Still thinking... A little stitched pocket with a printed photo of wood from my outside table. In the pocket, a tea dyed recipe page, a seed pod, a little bit of linen. I thought that might be fun to put in a journal.
These recipes are from an old southern country style cook book that is yummy. I don't cook from it anymore because it will make you fat! Or in my case fatter! But I still love to read the mouth watering recipes. So I thought I would dye a few pages and use them in journals. Ok it's time for dinner. I'm off. Later Peeps.
Art Journal pages in the making.
Just playing....on my work table today. What will these become? Collage? Art Journal pages? Maybe a little of both? Not sure yet but I have a few ideas swimming around in my head. It's a nice quiet Saturday afternoon and it feels good to just play with my materials. Little bits and pieces, I'm all about that lately. Finding little scraps here and there; that is perfect for collage and art journals and it feels good knowing that I'm going to use some of these bits. The journey continues and I'm on my path. Really the goal is the path don't you think? Ok, just throwing that out there into the Abyss. Going back to my play for now. Ta Ta Peeps.
Day 22 I didn't get a post up because I was so busy with the Shop Update. Now that I have that done it's time to get back on track and finish up this challenge and get going on the next push for my shop. The Art Journals and Digital Papers are coming soon. So you will be seeing some work in progress on that front. Some stitching will be going on for sure. I'll be back with pics soon.
I finished these two Tree Studies for the shop update. Painting with free motion stitching and hand stitching. With little bits of metallic stitching, it's very subtle but when the light hits it just right you can see a little bling.
Free Motion Stitching
This lady may look familiar to you. She was a study that I started for a work called "The Messenger" that became a tapestry. In the tapestry there is a door and a crow also. Here I was working only on the lady and I decided to weave the image instead. Today I decided to finish this study and if all goes well she may make it to my shop but not this Thursday. Maybe next week. I'm working on a new way to present them without a Mat and frame. Fingers crossed that my idea works.
Here is another that I've been working on. Not finished yet but I'm happy with her so far.
Mixed Media Painting with weaving and stitch
This mixed media painting will be in the Shop Update, August 6th. Not a lot of stitching in this piece but just enough to do the trick. I'm very happy with the results. The tiny weaving was done with silk/wool warp and woven with paper text strips, wool, metallic thread, and a bit of tea over dye. The metallic gold is hard to capture in a straight on shot so I've shown it at an angle so you can see the bling.
Today was about cleaning up the studio and doing some maintenance on my Singer Featherweight. I had some new parts delivered months ago and just now got around to putting them on. She got a new needle throat plate with seam markings. The new one is not of the same quality as the original but I think it will be ok. I wanted the seam lines but if it doesn't perform as well as the original I will change it back. The little hooks underneath were loose and one of the tiny screws seemed a bit stripped out. I got it tightened up as much as possible. New parts these days are never like the originals made back when manufacturing in the US was supreme. I also got the new thread holder for spools that perform best with a horizontal feed. And she got new lubrication and new rubber feet underneath. The old ones were completely flat and disintegrating. So now she is sitting on my table nice and even and proud. What a beauty she is. I love her!
Mixed Media Collage on my work table.
I'm pretty busy working on the shop update but I did mange to get a few mixed media collages with stitch started. I also got a little time to work in my sketchbook today. I love stitching into paper so I just keep a needle in the pages of my sketchbooks so I'll have it at hand when the mood strikes me. Also working on some slow stitching pieces that I want to find a home for. I have a basket full of bits and pieces of stitching that I do usually in the morning with a cup of tea or in the evening while watching a movie. Just stitching as a meditative practice. It calms me. It helps me think or sometimes it helps me "not to think" to clear my mind of all the crazy in the world right now.
Here are a couple of pics from my work table. I was just able to catch some light from the window. The light in that room is best in the morning but hey I don't have anything done and ready to shoot in the morning. Just making due with what light I can find. I'm a light chaser. Ha Ha
I'm trying to find a way to implement some of my hand stitched patches into some collaged works. Still working on this idea.
Free Form Stitching Machine Embroidery
Today I've been thinking about free motion/form stitching and drawing with thread on my sewing machine. A couple of years ago I did a lot of free motion stitching or what some call machine thread painting.
It has many names:
Free motion embroidery
Free motion thread painting
Free style machine embroidery
Thread painting (this usually means by hand)
Google says, "Thread painting, also called needle painting, is an approach that uses a combination of long and short stitches and a variety of colors to produce embroidery that has the same qualities of a painting".
There are probably other names as well. I often just say "free motion stitching" or "stitch art" I really haven't decided on the perfect name for it yet. Mixed Media with Stitch is where I'm at now. That covers all the different materials I use and the stitching. So I guess that is the term I'll be using for these pieces.
When describing how the stitching is done the term "free motion" is used just because you have dropped the feed dogs on your machine so you can freely draw with the needle. Funny thing is some machines do well with the dogs dropped and others not so much. I always test out machines both ways; with the feed dogs dropped and then with them up. But the constant in the situation is you must have your stitch length set to Zero. Give it a try both ways you may be surprised.
Ok enough about that, let's get to todays image. I got the second one stretched today and finished. Here are some pics. This piece will also be in Thursday Shop Update Aug. 6th at 7pm Eastern. I love how the linen looks stretched to canvas. So much more complete. And I love complete.
My background is casting purple. Not sure why. I'll reshoot tomorrow with better light. But for now you get the idea.
When is a piece of artwork done?
Today's topic....when is a piece of artwork done? Good question. Sometimes it just hits you over the head. This is done! Other times not so much. I hate the other times. All the questions that start to arise. Should I add more or take away perhaps or what? All artist I think go thru this to some degree. I have to put the work aside and work on something else when this happens. I have to just stop! If I don't then it can go the wrong way and feel overworked to me. But this is just me. I've had pieces that I felt were not my best and they sold. And other works that I loved and they didn't sell. It has always been that way; even with the yarn dyeing business years ago.
There were colors that I adored and they didn't move as fast as I thought they would. And others I didn't even want to list and I did it anyway and they sold out fast; leaving me scratching my head in wonder. This is the way of the world. Everyone has different taste and you can't really predict it, so as an artist you just have to keep on doing what you love and what feels right for you and it will find the right person and a forever home.
So today I was working and that feeling of "Is this done or not"? was really bugging me so I walked away for a hot cup of tea and some time to rest my eyes and my mind from it. So here I am talking about it sipping my tea and getting my mind right before I go back into the studio to dive back in. Some days everything falls into place beautifully and others well, they require more tea and thought. So I'm heading back to the Studio to look and think and see if I really begin to see not just look if you know what I mean. Hopefully, I'll be back with pics later.
Ok back with some pics from yesterdays stretched canvas. She's done. This piece will be in the shop update next Thursday. Aug.6th. Time for dinner. Ta Ta for now.
I'm revisiting some work that got put on hold when my health issues took me out of the studio. I had a stack of mixed media free form embroidery that I was working on and they got put on hold. So I'm looking at them with fresh eyes now. The framing was bugging me. I didn't want to put a mat on them and I thought maybe I would stretch them to canvas. Or go with a raw edge and attach them to canvas. Well, today I will take a look and see how it goes. Off to the studio to work on those.
I'm back from the Studio and it's been a long day. I did get one of those mixed media with stitch pieces stretched to canvas. It looks good pulled tight on the canvas and I let the stitching and painting run over the edges. I'm happy with it. So it will be in the shop update on Aug. 6th at 7pm Eastern time. I hope to stretch the other one tomorrow. No pics yet. I got so busy working on shop update stuff that I didn't get too much experimentation done today. So got to keep this short and I'll have pics for you tomorrow. Ta Ta for now.
Moving right along on this 30 day challenge. Today I'm working on adding stitch and a tiny weaving to a mixed media painting. The last layer of the painting is finally dry. Oil and coldwax. Oil takes much longer to dry but it's worth it. I love the blending I can get with oils. That buttery effect is addictive.
Beginning layers are often done in acrylic which drys super fast. You can add oil to an acrylic base but you can't go back to acrylic once you add oils. So when you ready to go to oils you have to commit to it. I have found some water based oils that I like and they make clean up easier. I'm just starting to experiment with those.
Having stitching and weaving elements on an oil painting you might think they could rot over time but using the coldwax as a top layer similar to a varnish helps prevent that. Oil works great with coldwax and with Encaustic(hot wax). I have a little corner sit up upstairs for Encaustic work next to a window with a fan for exhaust. But it is just too hot to fire up the wax right now. So I'm waiting for Autumn(my most favorite season) for working in Encaustic wax. Well, it's my most favorite season for anything. I love it! I'm super productive in the Fall because the weather is perfect and my brain feels like it is firing on all cylinders. The cool air, the beautiful Fall colors and the sweet smell of falling leaves and wood smoke fires just makes me so happy. Can't wait. I'm drooling all over myself just thinking about it. As you can tell summer is not my thing. Ugh! Ok enough of that....back to the work.
So below are a couple of pics, this piece will be in my next shop update. That is looking like it will be Thursday August 6th, at 7pm eastern time. If that changes I'll let you know. That is the date I'm pushing for. It's time for dinner so catch ya later Peeps.
Yesterday when l was looking thru older pieces of work that are still not done; I found some bits and pieces of some collaged and stitched works that I did a few years ago. (Some left over bits). Both of those pieces sold and I really enjoyed making them. See pics below. The backgrounds where worked on paper in watercolor then collaged with papers. The figures were painted on cloth and then collaged and stitched. I'm still using some of these methods in newer works but if the background is done on a stretched canvas you really can't put it under the machine. So hand stitching is required.
It's good to look back at older work and sometimes revisit it. You never know. Maybe I'll be moved to do a few more in a similar fashion. Well, back to work and I'll be back with more later.
I'm back and I don't have any new photos for you today. I had to run to Philly and when I got back the light was fading so my pics didn't look very good. So pics tomorrow. I was working on paintings with stitch and weaving embellishments etc. So I'll leave you for now. More tomorrow. Ta Ta Peeps.
It's Sunday, should that be a day of rest? Not for me really. I'm a little more chill on Sunday but I still go into the Studio and work. I never really take a day off because the studio is in my house and that makes it sort of hard to walk away from it. It's everywhere. Nooks and crannies are all over the house. Even on Holidays when I'm suppose to be off I'm doing something usually. Living an artful life. I love it. The only time I really stop is if I'm sick. So if I stay well then all is good but I still have some days that are far more productive than others.
Today I got a lot done but not stitching related. Working on my website and shop don't qualify for this challenge but it has to be done. So I'll leave you with this. A piece of stitched work on cloth that I started years ago and I keep cutting it down and down and now I want to cut her nose off too. I cropped it out in one of the photos and I prefer it that way. This was one of my digital paintings printed on cloth and hand stitched. Then did a little painting over with asemic writing etc. I will probably mount it to a collaged canvas or something of the sort. I still feel like it is going to change even more in the process of finishing. Not sure yet. I don't know. What do you think about it? Nose or no nose? I think I have been looking at it too long and my judgement is not so great right now. Hubby says, No nose." With that thought I leave you because it's dinner time and I'm starving. Later Peeps.
Stitching Into Paintings
Stitching into a painting can be a little nerve racking because you can ruin it if not careful. So why do it? Because I can't help myself. I want the texture, the contrast of materials, the relief effect from the raised stitch and more. It's a personal preference. I don't do it to all my paintings but there are some that call to me and I reply. I stitch them and even add small sections of weaving to them. It took me a while to get to this point. "I thought it's a painting you can't do that to it." How silly was that! I can do whatever I want to it. I'm in control. Once you say that to yourself then the sky opens up and you are free.
It's the same with tapestry probably even more so. It can begin to feel precious because of the time involved in the weaving. And then there are rules and more rules and "the traditionalist would never do that." Forget all that. If I want to stitch into a tapestry or even add elements to it to take it where it needs to go; then so be it. There are no tapestry police coming to my door. Once you accept this as the truth you will be amazed at how freeing it feels. Art should never box you in! Never!
That defeats the purpose of art in the first place. Freedom of expression.
So what do you have in the end? You have a mixed media painting or a mixed media tapestry. Simple. Some tapestry shows don't accept mixed media tapestry but many do depending on the level from which you deviated. If the base structure is still weft faced tapestry weave and you have just added to that then your usually ok to enter that show.
Below are some small mixed media paintings (wips) that I'm working on for the shop update. Looks like that will be in about 2 weeks. I'm going to try and start adding items and doing updates biweekly. I'll post more about all of that on the shop site and update to Instagram as well.
These small paintings work well in a grid formation but I think I'm going to offer them individually so you can mix and match if you buy more than one. There are several more in the works so there will be a nice selection to choose from.
It's Friday already. This week flew by. So here I am back at the computer and thinking about todays work at hand. I'm going to be continuing with a lot of the items I already started working on, but I can't seem to stop thinking about those Chapbooks that I stumbled on the other day. I think it would be fun to do some with little paintings or block prints with poetry or my favorite Haiku. Little free form embroideries in small format could work as well. So many possibilities.
This brings me to something I've been thinking about a great deal. Art you can touch. Something you can hold and use. Art that isn't just for the wall. Of course I'm still making art to hang but I've been longing to do something more tactile for the owner or user. More interactive. That is why I've started working on these art journals.
And the famous words from the Bauhaus are ringing in my ears "Form follows function" that phrase just popped into my head the other day when I was working on a book idea. I was thinking about the size of a journal that fits perfectly in my hand and what it feels like to hold a really beautiful book in your hands. I thought about coptic stitch and how it works perfectly to make a book or journal lay open for the user to write or paint in etc. At that moment I thought that was a perfectly simple example of "form follows function". What do you think?
What does this have to do with "Stitching" well, stitching a book together is a massive subject. So many ways to do it. There are many methods of sewing book signatures so I'm sure that is going to be popping up here and there in this 30 day stitching challenge of mine. Just sayin....
Ok it's time to get to work. I'm off to the studio to see what I can get into. As always I'll be back with pics later. Which is no time for you....Just keep reading.
Ok just like that...the magic of the internet. I'm back from the studio with a couple of pics. What did I do today? As follows:
1. I made an Accordion style book. Very small and cute. Thought it might be a great way to do those Chapbooks I've been dreaming about. Covers are in my digital papers.
2. I made a small bookcover in black fabric with discharged rayon and paper collage. Still need to do some topstitching etc. on that and put in digital papers on the inside.
3. I had a piece of painted canvas that I collaged with discharge fabric, linen, my favorite Japanese poems etc. and stitched it all down.
4, Worded on little bits to go in art journals.
5. Printed out some of my digital art for papers in art journals. FYI I'm going to be putting those together in Pdf format for download purchases in my shop. More about that when they get listed.
Overall a pretty productive day. Hope your doing well and ready for the weekend. Later Peeps.
Artist and maker living and working in the beautiful state of Pa.