Friday, November 23, 2012

Surprise, two more in the mail box today

The California Art Girls swap brought in two more post cards today with fabric used on them.    The first one is from Beth, with the four photos and the words They Came t Stay stitched on.    It seems to tell a story - a story of two young men, two young women from a year book, I'd guess circa late 1950s.    What became of these people?    we'll never know. 

The second card that arrived has four trees on it. Terrie did not sew anything but used glues to attach the pieces.    It's adorable.    Another collage with layers and old fashioned writing mostly hidden with the fabric strips.    Very intriguing.    

Thanks gals, this is one of  my favorite swaps with our group.   I've loved every card that comes in.   

Critique Group

Critiques are such an important part of being an artist.   Learning from them.   Learning to give them.    Learning to ask questions.  Show your weaknesses.  Show your strengths.   

I have met for many years with a very small select cirtique group in Sacramento.  we all work in different mediums and have very diverse styles.   But, the group works.     Recently Roberta was asked to join the group as we had never invited anyone to replace our dear friend Jackie.   But it was a good thing.      And Roberta was the right person to bring some new energy and youth into the group.   Years ago, she invited Jackie, Sally and myself to join her in Ann Baldwiins' studio workshop.   It was the first workshop I had taken and  the first and last for Jackie, who usually preferred exploring art at her own pace in her home space.   We came away having learned so much and also enjoying the critique portion of the day, which Ann did so beautifully and thoughtfully.   This month we had a temporary vacancy, so we invited on old friend to come along, not to explore her art as her life has taken different turns and she is not active artistically right now, but because we enjoy her company and she can seldom get out to see these gals.    She also has some good insight during critiques as her creativity springs up from the depths.

We met at Le Bou in Elk Grove, which is kind of mid point between those coming down from Sacramento and those of us coming North from Stockton.     So, over teas and coffees in the morning, we caught up with each other and shared some new art, some still in progress.    Suzanne Ventura is getting works ready for her gallery showing.    All about books in one form or another.   Some are constructed, some are destructed, some are portions only.    Very interesting the things that come out of her brain.   I won't show pics because they are saved for her opening.     If they have an online gallery, I'll post a link later, because you really should see her  amazing works.     Roberta brought paintings  in progress for feedback,  she is always open to hearing opinions and it does generate some interesting discussions.    She also showed us some recent things she's done.     Pat did not have work to share, except part of a new novel she's working on.     That generated a discussion on writing and poetry.      All of us occasionally dabble in poetry or written words in our works whether they be in fabric, or paper, or on the web.        Pat was an English professor and is a book reviewer, so she's always up on what to read.        Sally is busy making samples of invitations and announcements for her granddaughters upcoming wedding.   So, other art has taken a back seat.     It was interesting to hear later that the GD liked our favorite sample.      I took some things I have not shared here yet.    Only because I have not photographed them yet.     Maybe this week I can get them online too.

Mid November

It's November 23rd.   Black Friday.    Who's out there shopping?   Not me, for sure.      I thought I'd take today to finish up some things and also to update this blog.      I've been in another swap with the CA art girls, and this time the one requirement is that there is at least a little bit of fabric on our post cards, or they can be totally fabric.    No other theme.    So, I think the variety will be great.    So far, I had one card from Roberta, who does not sew, but is game to try using fabric scraps.    This one has a piece of one of her husband's neckties.     Interesting in itself, as she does not even have a stash of fabrics like so many of us.   So, she used what she had.   Good for you Roberta.     The fabric and collage elements all work so well together, it's a really nice card.

Debbie sent this lovely card on which she used a fabric background, a stamped leaf image with copper paint on another bit of fabric, a piece of yarn/ribbon, and stitched it all together with turquoise thread.    This is very lovely.   It only had to come less than 50 miles, and it took $1.95 worth of postage according to her post office.   

The next card is one from an online group challenge.  It had to come all the way from Canada , and it cost Mary Lou Curry $1.05 to mail it from there.     The theme here was two colors plus a button.    I'm particularly fond of her color choices, and all the different things she used to create this quilted card.    She mailed it in a clear envelope so none of the attached yarns snagged in the postal machinery.    

This next card with the line up of women, is the one I sent to Roberta.   I made 8 of them for the swap and didn't make an extra for myself.  Wish I had.   I guess I"ll have to dig out that special fabric again and do it later.      I've saved the fabric for several years, waiting for the right thing to use it on.  It seemed like a good opportunity to share it with some artist friends by using it on post cards.  

I made a fabric envelope to house a birthday present I made for my granddaughter in Boston.   I thought the fabric was so lovely I could not resist.   One the other side I stitched on the address labels, and a piece of paper where the postal stamp would be attached.     I wonder if she'll recycle the fabric?  

The next sample I'd like to share with you is a stitched piece of fabric which was done with a layer of paper napkin stitched to the front, then dampened and the paper napkin rubbed away except for close to the stitches.   I loved the sampled I'd seen of this technique online, but am not really happy with my results.   I'll be trying it again soon, and maybe I'l use a double stitch with the machine from Rosemary.    I think the lines would be more dramatic.    I'm showing the front and back so you can see the process better.      

The last one is using the same technique over fabric with a collaged paper element over it placed with gel medium, and then the whole piece was coated with a diluted white glue,, so it's sort of plasticized.

These are a few of the things I've been up to or have received.    Enough for one post.     More to come.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mail art In box

I've had some nice things come into my mail box recently.   Some from swaps, some from friends.   Here are a few pics. The blue button is from Pam Crawford, the leaf is from Mary Szot, Halloween girl is from Nancy Sadoyama, Find Out is from MicheleAttaway, and the one with the little car is from Margaret.  Thanks gals.   I love the new additions to my collection.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

End of October

Goodness Gracious.  Another month sped by.       I'm busy working on the brochure proposal for the art center, and have been serving on the Small Works Show committee.    The show is up now, having een hung earlier this week.     On the first day of taking in the art for the show, I was encouraged/badgered into brining in some work the following day, to enter in the show.   So, first thing in the morning I reframed the fabric face collage, and did some changes in the background of the matted version of my great grandparent's farm   I needed some color and found an old hectograph pencil with green lead in it.   I don't know where it came from, I must have inherited it from either my mom, or my aunt.    It worked perfectly by tapping it lightly with a damp qtip to add another layer of trees behind the farm, and I used it very faintly in the  foreground to tie it together.    I was much  happier with it, and found a frame and popped it in before it was even dry.   Then thinking I should enter something dimensional because the first day, there had not been many entries.  I chose my little asian inspired fabric book, called Wisdom.    It has Charlie Chan quotes in it, and some embellishments handed down from my mom and my aunt.    It is meant to show the wisdom passed on through families and other sources.

   The glass popped out of the top of the frame on the larger piece and the Jean Justeau, chair of the show, fixed it because she said she really wanted it in the show.    Thanks Jean.   That can happen when we use cheap narrow frames.     Note to self.     Dont' do that again!

Now the show has been judged and I'm so glad I did enter because I took first place in mixed media wall art with the little farm scene, and a third place for the fabric collage face.     The little asian inspired book took first place in the 3 dimensional mixed media category.     Opening reception is Friday night.      Francis took a third in 3D MM, Patti took a 2nd.      The big winner was Janet Hayden's Best of Show, a MM piece done with Citrasolv.     Janet and Patti each took other ribbons as well.   Our mixed media artists did well at this show.   It was judged by Susan Richardson, of   I think she's from Tracy.   The show was hung by Richard Bepristis who took an honorable mention for an acrylic painting.    He's a fabulous painter and another judge probably would have given him higher awards.     Judges have their own preferences and this one favored mixed media.    She will come to our next membership meeting and give a critique of the works.      That is always an interesting experience, I learn a lot from them.

Halloween has come and gone.  Here is a pic of Candis all grundged up.