Another Wednesday painting result: I made a drawing on watercolor paper of the same view from my window that I did last week. This time I simplified and abstracted the scene. I spent my Wednesday painting time applying color with my Derwent Inktense pencils. Working with one small segment at a time, I applied washes using color pulled from the pencil tip with a wet paintbrush. With the wash still damp, I added textured using either the brush or the tip of the pencil. I am really enjoying the easy portability of this medium and the versatility. Here is Neighbors, Abstracted and the photo of the source scene.
I received a lovely gift on Sunday. A member of my art quilt group, who loves making 4” x 6” fabric postcards, gave two postcards to each person at the meeting. How generous. The signed one, I will send to a friend. An unsigned one I chose from the box had a nice teal and white print of a bird on a branch.
I could not stop myself when I got home. I took the print postcard apart and pieced it with fabrics that were meaningful to me and which coordinated in color: a hand-dye I had made, the waistband of a skirt and collar of a shirt that I had salvaged from my mother’s closet, some charm squares given to me as a gift. The bird image on the print was indistinct, so I searched my bird identification books for a species of appropriate body shape. A Northern Parula, the smallest warbler whose terrain includes Ohio, fit perfectly in both color and body shape.
I ironed fusible to the back of pale blue fabric, drew the perky little warbler with inktense pencils and a fine line Sharpie, and ironed him in place. My finished quiltlet, is 10 1/2” x 12 1/4”. Because it has a lot of hand-quilting, it was a four-day diversion from my backlog of unfinished projects. But making it was fun.
I’ve been painting with a group of local artists on Wednesdays. This week I’m playing with my new Derwent Inktense products, a set of 36 pencils and 36 blocks. I keep Wednesday’s appointment for art time as faithfully as life permits. I’ve discovered that I stay motivated even after our meeting. After both the painting and I rest overnight, I can see the work with a fresh viewpoint. I revise or finish my effort done in the meeting and hope I don’t overwork it. A simple still life was yesterday’s effort. After tinkering with the still life for about an hour, I called it done and signed it. After I photographed it, I tinkered some more. New ideas came to mind. Since I had my supplies out, I taped a small piece of watercolor paper on a clipboard and drew the view from my kitchen window. Another hour of painting and the small work “Neighbors” is the result. I love how concentration on art creation drives all other worries from mind.
source for Neighbors
I tried a new technique at our SAQA OH meeting yesterday. Jacqueline Sullivan, a Golden Products instructor, showed samples of her mixed media art made on fabric by using black gesso, diluted white gesso, light modeling paste with stencils, and gel medium. We did a hands-on session transferring ink jet prints from paper to fabric with acrylic medium. She warned us that we could not paint on these.
So now that my three samples are home, I’m experimenting with coloring them and painting them. The photo is the black and white prints, drawn on with a fine line black Sharpie marker and colored with Derwent Inktense colored pencils. I’ll try painting over these by using an isolation layer. This painting technique is the application of a thin layer of matte gel medium over an image you don’t wish to disturb. Once that layer is dry, you can put additional paint on top.
gel medium transfers
“Free” is my mother’s spirit. We lost my mother to cancer a few years ago. The cancer made her very jaundiced in the last two weeks of her life, hence the yellow woman. Her red hair is symbolic of all the stereotyped attributes of that physical feature: willfulness, courage, temper, and an eagerness to undertake adventure. Mom was “horse crazy” since her childhood. At her first opportunity to be on her own, while a college student in Texas, she bought her first horse. Over her lifetime, she owned dozens of horses and rode thousands of miles. She defined herself as a horsewoman. I envision her spirit riding free in an existence beyond this world.
My primary reference for the work is a bookplate my mother used to label her books, the books I knew from a very early age. Reading was another of Mom’s passions. Here’s the bookplate.
“Free” uses inktense in the background sky
I try to learn something new with each fiber art project. This work used a inktense water soluble colored pencils. At our SAQA meeting June 20, one of the members shared a realistic work done by drawing with these pencils on fabric and shared the knowledge that the colors become permanent on fabric when wetted, dried, then heat set. The gradations in the sky are inktense on solid grey fabric. I’ll do more experimentation with Derwent Inktense pencils when colors in the project are not limited as they are in this Paint Chip Challenge. I’m also redoing and refining the “Free” concept in more fiber artworks.
I’m still refining my goal of 50 works for the year. First question…Why am I setting the goal? (a) For the discipline and time management that daily attention to art production will make? (b) for improvement of skills? (c) to create more works that I can sell? (d) as fodder for my blog? (e) for marketing myself as an artist? (f) all of the above? Second question…”What artistic activities qualify as one of the 50 and how finished or significant must the work be? (a) new ideas taken from concept to completion? (b) completion or rework of projects that were abandoned for some reason? (c) sketches preparatory to more complex works? (d) small plein air pieces? (e) projects done for charity? (f) gifts for others? (g) items to barter with others?
I am asking myself these questions because the past two days my artistic activities have been a rework, a charity item, and a small plein air sketch.
What I learned…the camera is a wonderful tool to help evaluate a work. Much like standing back, allowing time to pass, or using a reducing glass, the camera gives me a fresh look at a piece to see corrections that should be made.
Here’s the dogface rework I did: