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 made my first fabric postcard today. It is done, in the envelope and addressed, ready to be sent to Sacred Threads Postcard Project. Fabric Postcards, expressing one’s greatest Hopes and Dreams, are to be sent anonymously to be displayed in the Floris United Methodist Church outside Washington D.C. July 7 through July 23 in conjunction with the Sacred Threads biennial Quilt Show. My wish, hope and prayer is for our national leaders to practice Wisdom, Compassion, Selflessness, Insight, Cooperation, Tolerance, Morality, Courage, and Humility. The postcard is 4″ x 6″.
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’m not yet done with my quilt that I’m trying to finish before the end of December. I’ve finished quilting on it. This is the second day it has been drying, spread out on the living room floor. I rinsed it in the bathtub in cold water to wash out the blue marker and to dampen it for blocking. To block the quilt, I squeezed out excess water without wringing, laid the quilt on a clean sheet and stretched and scrunched it to be a more accurate rectangle. The stretching and scrunching were aimed to get each of three sets of measurements to be the same: three measurements side to side, two measurements top to bottom, and both diagonals. I directed a fan on the quilt to hasten drying. This process does occupy most of the center of the living room, so I’m grateful for spousal cooperation for this venture.
While the quilt was drying, I cut fabric for the binding and hanging sleeve. I also cleared my design wall so it can become my photo backdrop. This involved putting away several projects that were on the wall. This was useful to organize my workspace and update my current projects list. I’ve finished one project on my list, but added three more. There are now 24 on the list. My definition of a Current Project: A project that is named, has a sketch or actual-size cartoon, materials have been gathered, and some work has begun. Current Projects do not include ideas or unnamed sketches; they have their own files.
blocking the quilt
projects in bags and project list
I have a moderate-sized art quilt that I had assembled before deciding on the quilting design. I auditioned ideas for quilting by drawing with a dry erase marker on acetate laid on top of the quilt top…my usual method.
Because the batting and backing was already on the quilt, I could not do my usual next step — use the light table to trace markings from the acetate onto the front of the quilt.
After a bit of pondering, I decided to make a single-use paper stencil. I taped acetate, then newsprint paper, to the sliding glass door and traced the design onto the paper with pencil. I refined the stencil design, making bridges so the paper would not fall apart when I cut the shapes. I used an Olfa cutting blade and my largest rotary cutting mat to cut the stencil. I pinned the paper stencil to the top of the quilt and finally could use blue washout marker to mark the design.
Art-making is a problem solving activity. I added four steps to my process with this work-around, but it solved the dilemma. Yay.
quilting design with dry erase marker on acetate
tracing design in pencil on paper from acetate
cutting paper stencil
stencil pinned to quilt top
design on quilt with wash out marker