Thursday, December 30, 2010

How I see

Husb and I went to Balboa Park this week, and visited the San Diego Museum of Art. When I go places, these are the kinds of photos I take:
space between pink
buds column

chinese window
As I was preparing this post, I thought the photos would be one post, and my latest stitched monotype would be another post. Then I realized how similar my inspiration photos are to my work. Funny how something that should be obvious occurs to you, isn't it?

orange sherbet
Orange Sherbet ~9x9 inches
orange sherbet~detail
I've stitched on this for weeks and it just didn't seem finished till I added these tiny cut out appliques.
orange sherbet~detail

orange sherbet~detail

orange sherbet~detail
It's going to my JaneVille Etsy shop now.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Teabags in artwork

Judy Coates Perez is a friend of mine, and an incredibly talented and innovative artist. I've been inspired by her use of teabags and thought I'd ask her about how she got started using them in her artworkl

Me: How and when did you think to use teabags in your art?
Judy Coates Perez: The first time I used tea bags was when I made Illustrated Document No. 1 for the Quilting Arts true colors paper quilt challenge. All the illustrated imagery was drawn on individual tea bags, adhered to the fabric.

Illustrated Document No. 1 by Judy Coates Perez
Me: How do you use teabags?
JCP: I have drawn on them with a permanent marker, then added color with paints and colored pencils, put them through my toner printer and printed illustrations and vintage photos on them and I have adhered plain tea stained ones to fabric to make a textured background that I have painted on top of.
Take These Broken Wings by Judy Coates Perez
Me: How do you adhere them?
JCP: I use acrylic matte medium and gel medium to glue them to the fabric, but they could also be attached to fabric with fusible web.
Me: Any other pearls you want to add.
JCP: I like using tea bags because they are a thin, strong fibrous paper and they have a lovely stained patina from the tea. When tea bags are glued to fabric they do not add the bulk and stiffness of regular paper making them ideal for combining with fabric. I have also discovered that abaca paper, which can be bought in large sheets, is often used to make tea bags. That's pretty cool because I can put a sheet of abaca in my printer with less likelihood of loosing it, like occasionally happens with a tea bag, lol. I have recently used abaca in a few projects and see some nice potential for more exploration.

Inspired by Judy, here are my teabag works:
teabag xo 14x8in
and detail shots:
teabag xo detail 2 teabag xo detail 1
teabag xo detail 3 teabag xo detail 4

industry 12.75 x 9
and detail shots:
industry detail 4 industry detail 3
industry detail 2industry detail 1

Jazzed? inspired? ready to drink tea 24/7 and then make art with the bags? Use the process below and you'll have a supply of teabags to print on, glue on, draw on and some lovely tea dyed fabric too.
  1  2
I just get the big box of iced tea bags (they're larger) and brew them all at once.
  3 4
Tie them together and stick them in a big heat resistant bowl. Add boiling water and steep.
6 7
You'll what to have two pieces of fabric. (I use white muslin.) One piece I put in a container and put the used teabags on the fabric to dry. The teabags will stain the fabric and the fabric will soak up some of the moisture left in the used teabags. The teabags can take a couple of days to dry.
5 8
The other piece, you'll put in the brewed tea, after you remove the teabags (previous step). Let the fabric sit in the tea for an hour or two. Wring out, and put in the clothes dryer. Iron for lovely tea-stained fabric.
9 10
Once the teabags are dry (they don't need to be bone dry) disassemble them. Use a staple remover, or Xacto or fingers to remove the staple.
1112
Unwrap carefully, discard tea grounds or put them in your garden.
13
Flatten the teabag paper. Each will be softly and uniquely stained.
14
Iron the teabags.

Now you've got your stash of teabags prepared, look at Judy's tutorial on how she applied them to cloth and painted on them.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

from sketchbook to art quilt ~ work in progress

drawing to stitching
I'm finally getting the hang of free motion stitching (it truly just takes practice, lots of practice) and I love the idea of using the imagery from my sketchbook in my art quilts.
drawing to stitching drawing to stitching
On the left was the journal page from awhile back. On the right, I removed the text and flipped the image in photoshop. (This step wasn't really neccessary, in this case.)
drawing to stitching
Then, I printed the image onto sandwich/deli wrap (you could use tracing paper, or any light weight paper) and pinned it to the BACK of my quilt (fabric and batting.) I free motioned stitched the outline of my drawing. (I used green thread in the bobbin, in part because I'm not yet confident in bobbin tension and frankly, I was playing it safe.)
drawing to stitching

drawing to stitching
And the front of the fabric (soywax mono printed fabric by yours truly in Melly Testa's workshop 2009.) You can't see the green thread very well, but I'm okay with that, because now I'm going to stitch from the top, using black thread.

drawing to stitching
Below is the work in progress, I'm hand stitching now.
drawing to stitch
drawing to stitch
Work in progress. I consider this another piece in my nostaligia series. The white linen cocktail napkin is a transfer from another of my drawings using Susie's Monday's technique
Just a reminder I teach art quilts and "sketching and watercolor: journal style" and you can find my teaching schedule here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ready for the Sketchbook Challenge!

ready for the sketchbook challenge
I'm officially ready for the Sketchbook Challenge!  (Disclaimer, anyone can join the sketchbook challenge and all you need is a surface (paper or cloth) and a mark making tool. I, however, wanted to make a box for my 5x7 pages, and then I made some tiny journals and well, got carried away.)

step 1  step 2
I created a box pattern that would hold my 5x7" watercolor pages. (email me and I'll send you the pdf of the pattern.) I wanted it plenty deep, cuz the challenge is a year long! I used rosin paper for the box, gessoed it and painted it with acrylics.

step 3
I used a couple of stencils and spray gesso 
step 4
One of my hand carved stamps, and added some color.

step 5
I collaged the other side of the paper, and added color and then spray gesso again.
Cut and fold to assemble

step 6
I glued the sides with heavy gel medium and paper clipped them to hold in place while drying.

step 7
I reinforced the lid by using an awl to punch holes, and used hemp string.

step 8
Stitched up the four sides on the lid.
little book (front) little book back
Then, I made some little accordian fold books, using my unfinished artwork as covers and painted watercolor paper as pages. I was inspired  by Diana Trout's book, Journal Spilling (page 108,  what she calls field guides.)

ready for the sketchbook challenge
Everything fits in my Sketchbook Challege box!
ready for the sketchbook challenge
Interiors of the little books, painted with watercolor.
ready for the sketchbook challenge
My 5x7 watercolor paper fit just fine!

ready for the sketchbook challenge
The first prompt will be announced January 1. Are you ready? 
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