Sunday, February 26, 2012

Studio Sunday and Collaboration WIP

Welcome to Sunday once again.  The intense winds from yesterday have blown east and it is bright, sunny and cold here in Massachusetts.  I look at the pictures that Holly McLean posted on her blog and can't believe we are not also covered in layers of snow.  I have missed the picture perfect views of fresh layers of snow here this year, but winter isn't gone yet!

Yesterday afternoon, I finally got to work on my collaboration fabric that Holly McLean sent me.  You can see the whole piece of fabric on this post.  One of the ideas that I had for Holly's beautiful ice-dyed fabric was related to winter and wings.  I put my pencil to paper yesterday (not without a ton of erasing) and drew out a beautiful wing that I'm really happy with (do I see a Thermofax screen?) and used an enlarged section of that image for my art quilt.   Just by chance, I found a beautiful piece of fabric with similar hues which I used as the background fabric then layered sections of Holly's fabric over it. 

To highlight the wings, I have brushed white paint over the feathers.  Here it is beside the hand-drawn image.  My ideas are continuing to develop as I now hang this piece above my work table.  I had wanted to draw out some wings and Holly's fabric definitely inspired me to get to it!

Last night I stayed up until almost midnight playing on my journal pages.  Some are done and some still need more.  Again, it's a great time for me to just play at the end of the day.  I feel looser and more open to just see what happens.

Back to my workshop for some serious work.  Before I know it, dinner will be approaching fast and I will need to make a grocery store run before that.  I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Turtles and Journal Pages

"Our creativity is only limited by time"

When I think about how much time I have had this week in the studio, it is so obvious how much more I could accomplish with large blocks of uninterrupted time to focus.  I feel like I could be a full-time studio artist at this point, but the "real world" job is very necessary still.  Someday......

Turtle Crossing???  When I moved out to the area I live in now, I started seeing these street signs for the first time!

Being an animal LOVER, I started immediately thinking about spring and the road being completely covered with baby turtles trying to cross!  I started freaking out thinking about how I could NEVER drive across the road taking the chance of flatening baby turtles across the road.  Well, I've now made this sign for the back of my car letting people know behind me that I BRAKE FOR TURTLES!!!!!!  

Yes, I will be the person who pulls over and physically crosses those turtles to the other side of the road so none perish at the mercy of my tires!  I can now sleep better at night! LOL

So when you are too tired to play on the computer on a Friday night, you make the best use of your time!  I played with sprays and Thermofax screens last night as I fought bedtime.  This is a great time to just play with paint, being messy, and experimenting!  FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

There are a few new little screens thrown into the mix on these pages, like my little butterfly strip at the bottom of the page above. 

Among everything else I am currently working on, I want to develop a series of Thermofax screens specifically for art journaling.    My ideas for projects keep coming fast and furious and I have to give each idea a little thought as they come.

Now back to my priority projects!!!  I will check back tomorrow for Studio Sunday!!!  Have a great weekend filled with family, friends, and ART!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yellow House

Sometimes it is hard to stay on track with what you need to get done. LOL  It's all good and it is never a waste of time.  I have been working hard today on my workshop development and article submissions.  Then....I started playing with my brushes in Photoshop Elements and I built a house!!!!  Couldn't help myself it was so darn cute!

I hope you are having a great week and create lots of art!!!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Studio Sunday, Custom Screen Design and Giveaway!

Waking up this morning, I knew exactly how I wanted to develop Holly's ice-dyed fabric.  I love it when ideas form first thing in the morning.  I see that happening a lot.  It's like as soon as your brain starts powering up, overnight subconscious thought processing starts revealing itself.  If I lie in bed and let those messages start coming, they are beautifully clear.  Now I have to write my ideas down before they totally get lost in the daily shuffle. 

I spent some time yesterday posting information on my new design services.  You asked for it and I am providing it.  I have created a couple of options for Custom Thermofax Screens.  You can send me your images and I will touch them up for you at no additional cost to prepare them for the final screen. 

The other option is you can send me your images and with a small design charge ($8.00 intro price) built into the overall price (based on size).  I will combine your images and create a screen design for you.  The design service at this price is light so if you know what you would like to create but you just don't have the time or knowledge to create it, send me your images, ideas, and inspiration as to what you are looking for and I will work it out with you to create a pleasing design for you.  (All custom prices include shipping.)

Stay tuned as more design services will be added!

All images provided to me are considered your artwork and Margaret Applin Designs will not replicate or use your designs without permission.

To celebrate my custom designed Thermofax screen service,
here is a new FREE GIVEAWAY!!!

Leave a comment on this posting if you are interested in a FREE Large (8 x 10 inch) custom Thermofax screen that includes the $8.00 intro light design services and shipping!
So, if you have an idea for a screen you are excited to explore, get your images ready and on MARCH 1st I will select a winner from the postings using a Random Number Generator!

 To order these new custom screens, go to my website Margaret Applin Designs and order them from the Custom Design page or click on the image on the right side of my blog.  If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me before ordering anything.

In the studio today, I am working really hard on my first on-line workshop, Creating Personal Imagery 101.  Yay!!!!  Of course no studio day feels complete without a little "hands on" play!  Above and below are screen-printed art journal pages in the making.  I've got more ideas brewing and these are somewhat experimental ones - very important to work through the process LOL.

Have a great weekend and President's Day if you have it off (not me).  Stay creative and definitely "sleep on it"!!!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Sunshine and Collaboration

Yay!!!  The weekend is off to a beautiful sunny start!  I'm going to ignore the weather report for snow tonight and just soak in the beautiful rays coming through my studio windows.  I'm working hard on my on-line workshop!  I am really, really getting excited to be able to present the first workshop as I have already got great ideas for mini-workshops based off of the first.  I bought my display easel so I can begin filming my videos (LOL).  Good lighting might be a problem, but we will work with what we have.  I really wish that I had ten people in front of me right now to teach to.  Trying to put it all down on paper is twice the work, but I know it will be worth it in the end!!!  Most important is my desire to help others easily create their own personal imagery and it is what continues to drive this creation and fuel me with energy. 

I wanted to share the piece of fabric that Holly McLean sent me.  I was so excited for Holly and her article in Quilting Arts!  We had been chatting before her article came out and we both share the love of nature and organic shapes in our artwork.  We thought it would be fun to swap a piece of fabric to use as a background for a piece of fiber art that we would create.  A fun little collaboration between internet friends and fiber art souls.

I have Holly's fabric hung up on my design board and turn it every day to take a different look at it.  This is a gorgeous piece of ice-dyed fabric that Holly made and she added stencils using discharge dye.  I am especially drawn to the ice-dyed fabrics because of their unique lines and color intensity.  This piece speaks of winter and angels to me on one hand and the promise of spring flowers and colors melting through winter's iced blanket.  I'm still thinking.....

I think collaborating one-on-one with another artist is a fabulous way to stretch your creativity and step outside of your normal process. I have collaborated on a few different projects from art dolls to wearable art and journalling. This piece below was created by 8 fiber artists and myself following a workshop in Oregon with Nancy Shriber on Sashiko stitching back in 2004. The collaboration (or "round robin") lasted for 9 months, included a write up by each artist on each person's garment and their inspiration for adding their personal touch and the reasons why they chose the pattern or embellishment that they did.  All of the garments as a group eventually went on tour with the Sewing and Quilting Expo in 2006.  Nancy had ties with Threads Magazine.  We were all thrilled to say the least!

Here is my write-up that accompanied my garment on it's journey.


Round Robin
The white walls of my new house and the various shades of green in the trees that surround my new environment have probably had some impact on my inspiration for my Sashiko project.

This truly is a project of trust since I have already formulated in my mind how I would like my finished garment to look and I realize that it won’t necessarily come back to me looking that way. But that’s the amazing part of sharing a piece of ourselves with each other. I know that when my garment returns to me, it will not just be a mix of different ingredients. It will be a savory stew with a touch of spices, exotic vegetables cautiously watched over as its flavor builds and the time is right to taste the magic.

Although we may all find some part of this project that doesn’t appeal to us, we will all find something in each person’s garment that speaks somehow only to us. That’s the magic we will taste in the end.


Margaret Applin

When providing my feelings on the collaboration, I answered:

What was your favorite part of the round robin and why?
The round robin experience within any format is a lot of fun. Each month (or whatever the schedule mailing period is) you receive a new project. You open this package like it was your birthday gift, set it out so you can breath in all the fabulous techniques and colors of the current piece and immediately the creative sparks start flying. It is not only the starting point for some great idea building, but a learning experience as well. Every new project you receive is filled with new ideas and techniques, different personal styles and directions. This was my favorite part of the round robin; knowing that not only would I be adding my own ideas and techniques and personal style to this project, but also learning from everyone else's.

Have a fabulous and creative day and I will check back tomorrow!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Studio Sunday

We expected snow here in the northeast but most of us saw none.  It's really weird how little snow we have received this winter but it's been great for driving so I'm not complaining.  Looking out the window at the bare ground makes me think spring will be coming soon LOL.

I hope your weekend has been going great and you have been doing some fun and creative things.  My head is buried pretty deep in my computer this morning as I am working hard on my on-line workshop.  Last night I was doing some screen-printing on paper and fabric.  I'm really loving my new "Background Funk" screens.  I plan on developing more of these very soon.  Here are some shots from my journals and fabric.

For the heart page above, I cut a heart out of paper and screen-printed through the open heart area.  I think there is a lot of opportunity to explore these types of masks in screen-printing.

I'm thinking this page above might be the cover of one of my journals.  I took a stack of pages to Staples and had them GBC bound last weekend.  It's easier for me to work on pages separately than in a journal.  I can creatively bind them together later on when I am ready.

Like on my accordian-style journal that I made using my glue gun!  This one is almost finished and I will be submitting this with an article. (big grin)

I went back and intensified some of these pages that are mounted already within the journal.

This is a shot of two edges of the screen print coming together.  I like how it almost looks like it was meant to be that way without actually creating a "repeat" design.  I'm going to print white on colored backgrounds next.

Back to the computer to put my nose to the grindstone!  Have a great day and remainder of your weekend and Create, Create, Create!!!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Somerset Studio Gallery June 2012

Yay!!  Yahoo!!!  Wooohooo!  Yes, I'm doing a happy dance today as I was notified yesterday that some of my mini-canvas screen-printed collages would appear in the June 2012 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery!!!!!  I am totally excited about this as I hope it will be the beginning of more accepted submissions in the future.  This is one of my 2012 goals - to be published in at least one of the many magazines that Stampington publishes.

So today I will be finishing the write-up to get that going and will be back to my big To Do list that is getting longer every day!  This is good, though, because nothing makes me happier than taking one more step forward in my long-term goal to live a life filled with art, creativity, teaching, and sharing with others who want the same things from their own lives.

See you tomorrow in the Studio!!!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Studio Sunday and New Screens!

Superbowl Sunday here in New England with the Patriots!  Of course, that isn't until much later today leaving lots of time here for creativity in my studio.  First, I just added a few new screens to my Etsy shop.  A little explanation on them, I was designing to create texture, lots of texture!  So the backgrounds are patched, messy and distressed for that reason.  I wanted to create a foundation-like print on fabric that could be torn up or re-stitched but yet create a kind of mystery to draw the viewer in.  Here is one of them applied digitally in blue.  I really love this look!

You can obtain the same effect by using a variety of paints shades when you screen print to fabric.  Of course, doing the layering digitally means that I can now print this beauty to fabric and use it like it is (hint hint).

In my digital play, I also designed this image of the three girls (me and my two sisters) from images I cut from a magazine, then layered the image with other digital brushes in my stash.  It's a very easy thing to do when you have built up a number of images in your brush library.  I made this into a screen but I did not put it up for sale.  If anyone is interested in it, please e-mail me.

This is another screen that I made that I also did not add to my Etsy.  If you are interested, please e-mail me.  I printed this one to one of my journal pages for more development.

The fiber art piece I started last weekend has evolved slightly but I haven't added any more embellishments other than a little paint.  Again, this was a digital image layered in Photoshop Elements using one of my newly designed screen images that I printed out on Jacquard Ink Jet Fabric Sheets (cotton) and incorporated into a journal art quilt.

I'm working on lots of stuff...probably too today including my upcoming on-line workshop!  Stay tuned!  I hope you have a super creative day!