Sunday, May 27, 2012

Studio Sunday and Paper Cutting

I stayed up late last night trying to finish cutting a stencil I made from a paper cut shape.  So this morning, at 6:30 a.m., I run down to the studio to play with the stencil.  (I'll probably need a nap later LOL)  This is all for Creating Personal Imagery 101, so here is a sneak peek:

Random paper cut

digital layout from Photoshop Elements printed to transparency

sprayed transparency stencil on paper

left over acrylic paint (kind of looks like a rubbing??) I love this!!!

same design in Photoshop Elements

 same image overlapped and repeated for full-page layout
(I don't think I will have the patience to cut this one LOL)

and finally finished cutting the leaf stencil from last week
(spray over stenciled Gesso on paper)

So, once again, the purpose of Creating Personal Imagery 101 is to show you easy ways to create your personal imagery!  Still inspired???  I promise it will be worth the wait!!!  


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Catch Up!

My studio windows are wide open this morning as I begin pulling things together to finish the videos for Creating Personal Imagery 101.  This has been a much longer process than I ever thought it would take, but soon it will be up and ready!

I am so excited because I just received word that the digital download version of my new workshop DVD, Digital Design for Screen Printing: Creating Mini Canvas Screens for Surface Design, that I just taped with Quilting Arts/Interweave will be available June 15th!!!  Talk about a fast turnaround.  The film crew must have been working wonders cutting up and pasting video with so many starts and stops!  I can't wait to see how it came out!

This week was challenging as I was away from my studio in Newport, RI for my department's global team meeting.  Last one was four years ago so it is always good to see everyone, welcome new members and say goodbye and thanks to others who are moving on.  Working globally is truly a challenge due to time zones (Japan, China, India, Germany, France, UK, US).  Everyone does their best to stay flexible but we can't spend all of our time working.  We were in meetings every day and in the afternoons we got to visit and tour The Breakers (Vanderbilt mansion), go on a schooner tour of the harbor and then go to dinner at night.  We were so lucky that the sky cleared just before our schooner ride and we couldn't have wished for bluer skies.

I can't remember all the statistics, but the mansion itself sits on a footprint of an entire acre!  One of my favorite pictures was of the front gate.  Just gorgeous!  We were not allowed to take pictures inside of the mansion so I purchased a couple of postcards to remind me of the amazing details inside.

Last night, I took my time coming home from work and stopped at Joann Fabrics for some inspiration.  I came home with a number of new patterns (even though I have not made any clothes for quite a while and my closet is full with patterns I have not yet used LOL).  I wanted to share this one because of the simple design lines and huge potential for art-to-wear!  I'm thinking screen-printed fabrics, of course!  Checkout Butterick BB5503 and I bet you start coming up with a few ideas of your own.  I'm really liking View A.

I also wanted to tell you about this adorable self-published book that I purchased from Blurb titled "Stitchworks" by Jacqueline Bowcutt (2010).  It is a luscious bite of eye candy with up close photos of her stitch work that dimensionally jumps off the pages at you.  I was surprised at its size, just about 7" x 7", but the content is fabulous!  I love seeing other artists' work up close and this little book delivered!  You can go to the Stitchworks blog and click on the link to purchase the book.  Nice job, Jackie!!!

I'm going to take advantage of this huge block of peaceful time to really get things done here in the studio.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and that you get a chance to be creative as well as enjoy the fantastic weather!  Check back for Studio Sunday!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Studio Sunday and Somerset Studio Gallery!

Good morning on this bright and sunny Sunday morning!!!  I have so much to share this morning, I don't know where to start!  I reached one of my 2012 goals by being published in one of Stampington's publications!!!  This is the Somerset Studio Gallery Summer 2012 issue.  The only other time I was published was in Art Doll Quarterly back in 2004.  Of course it helps if you are consistently submitting artwork for consideration LOL.

So here it is, the first of I hope many more opportunities to spread my artwork around!  YAY!!!!

Next on the list, as I continue developing my Creating Personal Imagery 101 workshop, I have to stop here and there to explore ideas that pop up that definitely play into creating personal imagery.  First thing out of bed this morning, I fly into the studio and draw a leaf.

Next step, scan it to the computer into Photoshop Elements, create a brush and lay the brush out to create a stencil pattern.  I found a source that will make stencils and I'm thinking about how my images related to a layout like a stencil  (thanks Terri!).  Stencils really are very versatile but I tend to shy away from them because you cannot capture the fine details as you would in a Thermofax screen.  Each tool has its own great qualities.

So after creating my layout, I inverted it, printed it to 3M transparencies using a draft print setting so I would not waste a lot of toner.

 Of course, for the same reason I don't regularly explore imagery on hand cut stamps, I tend to get impatient and cutting out all the little stencil holes is a slow process.  The hot tool I am using works really well with the 3M transparencies and it really does cut easily.  I'll need to make another pot of coffee to finish this off.  I did a few rows and used the Adirondack Color Wash sprays through it to see if there was enough pattern created by the design and I am fairly happy with it.  The stencil is not as messy as the spray ink print is but you get the idea.

So while I was at it, I decided to create a couple of free-form designs.  It's getting the blood flowing and inspiration is brewing!  Stay tuned!

The last thing I wanted to share was a workshop that I took yesterday afternoon at Ink About It in Westford, MA.  Fred Mullett was teaching a series of workshops there, "The Elegant Mess", and I signed up for one so I could get the flavor of his creations and techniques, "The Rest of the Mess".  Very funny man, Mr. Mullett, and a great artist!

It was a great class based on printing/monoprinting using a small foam block.  His binder filled with all his work was AMAZING.  He creates the most unusual images in a 2.5 x 3.75 inch format.  I highly recommend if you can catch a class by Fred, it will be totally worth your time.  

Back to work!  I can open up my slider and let the warmth and sunshine in today.  What could be better??!!  This coming week, my department at work heads to Newport, RI for a 3-day offsite meeting.  It will be good to see everyone from Asia and the UK who I work with.  It will make for a long week, though, and I'm not happy about being away from the studio :(  I will be able to write and plan though, which will be good.



Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!


I couldn't have reached this place in my life
without your unconditional support,
the fierce independence you instilled in me,
all the lessons learned, good and bad,
the perseverance you passed on to me,
your "do unto others" approach, and
your endless examples of helping other people.

I am who I am today
because of your love.
Thank you.

Happy Mother's Day to all of my friends, family, followers and those I haven't met yet!  I hope you all have a wonderful day!!!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Colorado and Home Again

What a journey!  My outbound flight was perfect as was the timing of everything else from Boston to Colorado.  I arrived in Loveland early afternoon in my bright yellow Chevy Camaro rental to find such a quaint and adorable downtown.  The temperatures had increased 30 degrees from Boston and after missing some rain earlier in the week, Loveland was a beautiful and sunny 80 degrees.   

The drive from the airport was an easy one and the Rockies were on my left as I drove north.  Most of the landscape consisted of farms, RV sales locations, groupings of residential life and lots of highway with a 75 mph speed limit!!!  Perfect for the Camaro as I found myself comfortably cruising at 80 mph with an annoying beep coming from the dashboard telling me I was above the speed limit.  I didn’t dare risk trying to figure out the cruise control going that fast.  As it was, trying to figure out the A/C was just as risky.  

Helen and Vivika were busy taping Barbara Schneider’s DVD when I finally found them in the basement studio of the building across the street from the Interweave offices.  Wen Redmond had taped the morning time slot and unfortunately I didn’t get to see her taping.  (Little did I know she was staying in the hotel room right across from me.)   I did run into her with Vivika the next morning on the way to my taping and am so glad I got to meet her.  Wen lives in New Hampshire, just a hop, skip and a jump away and I’m hoping to get up to her studio for a workshop!  Wen was so friendly and had a lot of great information regarding SAQA and of course creates some of the most beautiful fiber art I’ve seen! 

I was super hungry as I was two hours off from East Coast time so I went in search of food!  I settled into a great little pub called the Pourhouse on the main drag.  If there had been a lunch rush hour here, there were certainly no signs of it.  I ordered up a very tasty dish with capers (my favs), lemon and chicken and an abundance of garlic.  I knew I had enough gum to last me a month so I took the risk. LOL  This restaurant was fabulous with a really interesting offering of dishes and sandwiches with flavors I hadn’t thought of pairing together.  Great quality and a nice refreshing change from the norm.

I was able to see most of Barbara’s taping as I returned to the studio after lunch.  Barbara’s friend, Cheryl, had come along to view the taping and I enjoyed the afternoon chatting with her and marveling at Barbara’s sculptural leaves that adorned the two walls of the studio.  She was demonstrating how she created her layered leaves wall sculptures and I was fascinated!  I was so excited to meet her in person being familiar with her work.  She was a total sweetheart as was Cheryl.

Watching Barbara’s taping and being able to hear her presentation was extremely helpful before going in the next morning to tape my own Mini Canvas Thermofax Screens for Surface Design, but it wasn’t enough to prepare me for the challenge of my own taping.  I think I could have basically thrown my script away as I couldn’t completely get on track with it.  I was surprised at how much I blanked out on when it finally came time to roll.  I feel like I was a total challenge for the two guys running the cameras as I had to start and stop, regroup and deliver again.  The good thing was that they were taping from 3 different cameras all at the same time so there is plenty of footage to cut and paste LOL.  Garrett was amazing in directing me and helping me get the important stuff out in smaller blocks relieving the pressure of trying to deliver the exact words from start to finish.  I know that when I see the final DVD, it will all come together because of their skills and expertise.

Vivika and Helen were equally so supportive, encouraging me to keep going and helping me lay all the materials out and providing their recommendations.  They were a fantastic team and I couldn’t have done this without their special handling and extraordinary patience.  I felt like I was the problem child and required lots of extra help LOL.  They were very happy with the delivery as once I got going on a roll, I exuded confidence and delivered a clear and meaningful instructions.  Phew!!!!

I am not a drinker and once in a blue moon go for a Margarita or two, but I ran straight for the Pourhouse for a great lunch and a great drink to celebrate my making it through.  This was so much harder than I thought it was going to be!  I kept thinking that it would be better to lead on my own without the prompts of an interview-type setting like it was in Cleveland on QA TV.  This was not the case.  I think that I had so many expectations for myself to deliver all the important points that I began to feel sort of helpless as the clock was ticking away.  That didn’t help the blank mind problem.

After my celebratory drink and sandwich (cranberry Aioli is sooooo yummy) I went back to the studio to watch Cynthia St. Charles tape her DVD.  Can I tell you, to see these amazing works of art in person, up close, is like nothing else!  Cynthia created a whole-cloth art quilt using her own cut block prints and I must have been drooling the entire time they were filming just hoping to get a chance to see her beautiful quilts up close!   I was so glad I had the chance to meet Cynthia as she is such a nice person and an amazing artist! 

All in all, it was a great experience!!!  I would do it again, if asked, and I would do it better!!!!  It’s always easier the second time around.  I’m writing this post from the airplane as I cruise at 35,000 feet.  My Jet Blue flights have been awesome and I’m anxious to get back home, sleep deeply in my own bed and wake up thoroughly refreshed to begin finishing the pieces for Creating Personal Imagery 101.  Hang in there, it will be worth it, I promise!  Thanks for standing by!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Studio Sunday and Countdown to Colorado

When I look at my last post date being April, I freak!  I really, really try to be very consistent in my blog posts but all the preparation for my DVD taping in Colorado has taken each and every moment that I have available. Am I ready?  Not yet, but I will be!  All new, related artwork is finished accept for a couple of small details.  Today, I lay out all the tools, materials and step-outs to prepare for my final presentation practices and for packing.  After today, I only have Monday and Tuesday nights after work to get everything else together as I fly out Wednesday morning.

NEW BOOK - If you haven't already added Rebekah Meier's new book called "More Fabric Art Collage" to your wish list, you should definitely take a look at this one.  I received her book a week ago and I can't tell you how much inspiration I already have gained from it.  Her techniques and colors and textures are A++.  See it on Amazon here.

I decided to print my mini canvas screens to dyed batting and I'm loving the results.  You can still build out color on top of these but the added texture is soooo yummy!  I almost don't want to paint over the print because it looks ghostly and soft and the colors from the dye come through so subtlely that I just like looking at it this way. 

Dyed some batting and car wash paper towels and then screen printed on them and can't wait to play more with this technique when I get back from my trip.  Now it is time to get back to work!

At least we finally have some sun here in Massachusetts but I hear the rain is moving in again.  Maybe by June it will begin to look like summer!  As soon as I return, I will finish up my videos for Creating Personal Imagery 101 and finally get it up and running!  I can't wait as I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head and want to make this a super fantastic workshop!!!