Thursday, June 25, 2015

'Three Squared' is Finished...

Yesterday I shared with you the wonderful weekend workshop I participated in with Alice Vander Vennen (see it here). So I'm just quickly popping in to show you this piece, which I've called 'Three Squared', finished and framed.

The first shot shows it with the mat, and the second after it's signed and framed (but sadly with terrible reflections...how do you photograph art behind glass?).



Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekend Workshop with Alice Vander Vennen...

I just spent the most wonderful weekend with my Group of Eight friends and the incredibly talented Alice Vander Vennen. It was a fun filled workshop and the work that was produced was fabulous. Here are the pieces I have come away with...

We started with a couple of small exercises to get us warmed up. These were intended to be used for cards so we mounted them on card blanks.

The next exercise was a little larger, but we were still working quickly and loosely. I love the juxtaposition of the various fibres and textures combined with the minimal hand stitch.




















This small square piece, framed in a 10" square frame, started out as a card, but I worked back into it a bit and decided to frame it.
These two photos are close ups of individual components of a larger piece. 


There is still a little more work that will go into this piece before it's ready to be framed.

This piece is the start of a work in progress. I honestly don't know where this will take me, but I love the relatively fast, intuitive manner in which it's coming together. Time will tell where it goes and what it becomes ;)




Wafer was a most wonderful companion during the weekend. Although she loves little silk scraps and thinks of them a bit like chewing gum, for a six month old (today's her half birthday) she did very well during the two day workshop. I'm proud of my silly girl!






Thursday, June 18, 2015

Amanda McCavour Workshop: Culminating Project...

After creating several samples while working on exercises in Amanda McCavour's workshop (see them here and here), it was time to start work on our 'big' project.










I decided that I wanted to use a range of neutral colours. I've included a couple of in process shots of the piece at the sewing machine. Because you work with the fibres trapped between layers of water soluble stabilizer, it's very easy to stitch...no threads and bits to get caught on as you sew!



I put the piece up on the design wall (stabilizer still in place) for a while to decide where I wanted to go next. Then, after adding a little more machine stitch using the ivory coloured thread, I rinsed out the stabilizer and hung it to dry.












In this final shot, I'm auditioning it on a loosely woven piece of fabric that I may use as the backing fabric for the piece. I plan to add some hand stitch and possibly some beading or other embellishments and then mount it on a stretched canvas frame.





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

More Thread Lace Exploration...

After making many of my sample pieces during the Amanda McCavour workshop, I decided to play around with a realistic thread lace version of Wafer, my future dog guide puppy.
I had this picture of Wafer on my iPhone, so I put a piece of Fabri Solvy over the screen on my phone and traced it with a black pen.

Working from light to dark, I started stitching the foundation of the piece. At this point, the black lines you see are only drawn onto the water soluble stabilizer.
Shading was added using the darker thread, and then the black thread was added to outline the piece and add the facial features, etc.

I didn't get pictures, but when I washed out the solvy I lost an eye, and part of the shoulder area had a hole...not enough connecting threads (which you can see if you look carefully).

After some additional stitching to repair as needed, I again rinsed
out the Solvy and this time I had a cute little puppy to hang from my rear view mirror in the car. A fun little exercise that taught me a few things and now makes me smile whenever I'm in my car.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DLP Week 24: Recording Memories...

With all the craze over adult colouring books these days, I decided to do this week's Documented Life Project page as a black and white doodled drawing that I can come back to and colour at my leisure. It loosely records memories from our road trip along the east coast of the U.S. last fall, the favourite being camping among the wild horses of Assateague!

DLP Week 23: Travel Inspired...


The week 23 DLP theme is about travel, with a "Take me away" prompt, so I just had to create a page about my upcoming trip to Amorgos Island in Greece!

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Week With Amanda McCavour!

I spent the first week of June in a fabulous week long workshop with the incredibly talented Amanda McCavour.  If you ever get a chance to take a workshop with Amanda I highly recommend it.  In addition to being a talented artist, Amanda is a lovely person and a great teacher!

The workshop was all about using water soluble stabilizer to create thread lace. What fun!

This sample piece was a bit of an experiment gone wrong...I was not intending to make a creepy, very dense spider web. But, when cut up and reworked I created a fun flower that I quite like.










I really like where these random, free form doodled leaves are going, and I have plans to continue with them to create a larger piece with that in the future. My thoughts right now are for some sort of a vessel, but we'll see...












This is another piece that was reworked a couple of times. The first shot shows me stitching in the thread grid to support the pieces I had cut up from the original piece (sorry, I forgot to get a picture of it).

You can see the rinsing process and I wash out the water soluble stabilizer once the thread work was finished.
 

I then added some scrim bits and the text...perhaps to be used as an embellishment on a journal cover.

This leaf was another sample, this time to experiment with just how minimal I could go with the thread and still have the piece work.

I just love the incredible shadow that was cast in the late afternoon sun!
 For this sample I was playing around with laying down interesting bits of yarn before machine doodling connecting circles to create the structure that would hold it together. Again, the second shot shows the wonderful shadow cast later in the day.
This final sample was done using Japanese rice paper. I love the pattern in the paper, and because of the long fibres in this type of paper, it sews well. The exercise was to cut holes into the piece and then sew connecting threads within the spaces. I can see some interesting potential for using this technique in future work!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Catching up on DLP...Weeks 21 and 22...

I've had a wonderful week away at an Amanda McCavour workshop (I'll post about that soon), so I thought I'd just pop in and post another couple of pages in my Documented Life Project calendar journal.

Week 21:


And Week 22:



Friday, May 29, 2015

Excitement Returns...

I've got to confess, it's been a long time since I've been excited about a piece of fibre art. I seem to have been in some sort of a slump and I just couldn't seem to find motivation or excitement to produce.

Yesterday I showed you the beginnings of this challenge piece and I was initially pleased with how the brick wall was progressing. However, on further reflection I wasn't happy with how flat it looked. Out came the Inktense pencils and my water brush, as well as some music to listen too...I literally spent hours doodling and shading and I am so excited about how this is working out that I just had to pop in and show you the wall I've 'built'.


I started out with a lot of thread sketching/doodling, using a variegated gray/brown thread.











Using Derwent Inktense pencils* I began to add some shading to give my bricks more dimension.

*If you don't have these in your art supplies, you really must get some!







All that remains is a crazy amount of hand stitching...I can't wait to show you the finished piece after our group reveal on June 10th!


!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Street Art Challenge...

The next challenge for our Group of Eight Fibre Arts group is 'Street Art'. It seems this is an especially challenging challenge for the members of our group! After several false starts, I have finally found something that is going to make me happy, and I've come to the conclusion that if every street artist first had to 'build a wall', there might be a lot less graffiti around. LOL
So far I have killed a few spools of thread in the making of this art quilt, from the brick wall to the lettering, there is a lot of thread sketching/doodling going on! 
The reveal for this challenge is at our June 10th meeting, so I've got to get busy finishing this piece before I head off for a week long workshop with Amanda McCavour next week. Fingers crossed (you cross yours for me please...I have a lot of hand stitching to do) I get finished!
I'll tell you about the Amanda McCavour workshop when I get back, but until then, enjoy visiting her website.