Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Date for Gelling Class

We will be postponing the gelling class until January 1, 2017.  Please watch out for it then or check it out now online at The Fiber Art Connection Session Two.  I just finished a lampshade using this technique!!!  You can cover lots of different things.  Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New Class - Gelling with Lenore Crawford!

I will be having a new class I know everyone will be excited to take!  It covers how to use a gel medium to create realistic fiber art projects on canvas and including how to make those beautiful shoes I was doing last year!  The place you will register is at this link  I will show you how to make a pattern from a photo and then use it with your fabrics to design a gelled product!  It's a very simple way to make a very detailed realistic looking art project!  Just like your photo!  You know my work.  This is a way to make the same type of designs but not having to sew them afterward!  I always wanted to figure that issue out because for me the work part was always the sewing!  Here are a couple of examples.

These pieces were created on a stretched canvas 11"H X 14"W.  I used a little fabric paint on them after gelling was done to add more detail.  

This project of the crocuses is the one we will be creating in the class from a photo I took in my yard!  You can make the background any color you like but it's nice to use something that contrasts with the flowers so they stand out!  As a bonus class we will be covering some shoes with wonderful bright Kaffe Fassett fabrics!  I love them!  

I covered white tennis shoes with yellow and orange Kaffe Fassett fabrics and loved this combination the best!  They are my favorites!  Of course you can use any fabrics you like and even make them less complex than I did.  You will have the option to do them however you want.   So much fabric, so little time!!!  I hope you will sign up to take the class and have a great time with us in September!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Contemplations

Now is basically a slower time for me.  I do have a few trips coming up but nothing like the past few months!  I have slowed down and am working on our yard which is looking fabulous.  I will post pictures soon on it.  It's time to get re-inspired to create a new piece.  When I want to design a project with lots of detail from a photo, I like to make it large.  My largest size is generally around 55" X 55".  It's a good size for top-stitching too, my max!  Right now I am working on a light weight bed spread for our bed using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I have never made a quilt this big before.  It scares me to put it together.  I have the top and back finished and am ready to put the batting in and stitch it.  Too big!!  It's a queen size bedspread basically. 

You get the general idea!  It's very bright colors, oranges, magentas, yellows, limes.  I want to finish it and get onto something new.  I really need to finish my DVD on fabric painting!  Anyway I will keep searching for my next project and let you know when I find it. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Judgments in Shows

It's always interesting to me what judges say about work in shows.  Each one has his/her own opinion about the work so it's very subjective even if they say it isn't.  It has to be.  We are all influenced by different things:  our background, our family, our beliefs, our friends, our environment, our culture.  And on and on.  These influences affect our outlook and thereby our judging views. 

When I first started entering shows and teaching, I was always affected by the judgments of others.  Sometimes they seemed to be very nice and sometimes I thought totally off the wall.  I started realizing that it was their opinion and that was it.  Why be sad or mad or whatever about the comments made as long as I was happy with my work?  It didn't really matter.  I could take it as constructive criticism or not.  I could ignore it or cry in my beer for days.  It was my choice.  So I decided to not pay that much attention to them.  They were judging my work with the best perspective they had at that moment.  I really wouldn't want to be in their position.  Judging is so Judgemental! 

Anyway that brings me to the AQS Show in Paducah last week.  My piece Enter My Sanctuary was accepted in it which is always exciting!  I wasn't very happy about the way it was displayed on a side wall.  It's better seen directly head on.  I received it back home yesterday with the judges' comments.  One was "Perspective is problematic" which I think is the weirdest statement I could have received.  I created this from a pattern I made from a photo I had taken in France.  Maybe the balance of the earth that day was off and the judges saw it.  They may be more intuned to the Earth's rotation than I am.  Here are the photo and my piece.  I don't see any difference in them really.  The perspective is that the picture was taken head-on.  I don't get it.  I guess this is definitely where you have to take the judge's opinion with a grain of salt.  They were grasping at straws. 

Enter My Sanctuary 2013
My Photo for Enter My Sanctuary
So now you see the two.  This piece was a real challenge for me.  I didn't have very good foliage fabrics so I had to be creative with the ones I had.  I created the leaves individually and made the hydrangeas fresh and alive instead of the over-the-hill flowers of the original photo.  Maybe the judges didn't realize my shadow was a shadow.  I was very happy with my result and still am.  Here are some detail shots. 

I worked on this piece after my sister died and my daughter got married two days later.  It was a difficult time, and I needed a distraction.  I still love this piece and will always be happy with the way it came out no matter what any judges say. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Empty Spools Seminar Last Week

Last week I was once again at the Empty Spools Seminar in Pacific Grove, California, near Monterey.  It is always fun and the students create wonderful designs.  They spend five days creating a fused design from their own photos. 

This piece was created by Sandy of a photo she took at Lake Michigan at St. Joseph, MI.  She found the gradient fabric and used it also for the water.  It's always fun to watch the pieces grow as the days go by.  The students learn about value, texture, and color making their project come to life.  This workshop focuses on realistic design using a photo as a guide, what to leave in and what to take out, how to create a certain look with fabric. 

These are Sally's swans.  She used lots of Northcott Stonehenge prints which are very textural and have a lot of variation of value.  When the design is finished being fused, we go in and add detail and shading with fabric paints, anything too small to fuse is painted.  Finding the perfect fabric to do a job is always exciting! 

This magnolia is coming along great and will be even better whent the detail painting is finished.  Students work for nearly five days creating their designs.  We design in class and talk about how to finish the pieces with stitching when they are home.  The background on this piece is a dark purple making the flower and leaves pop even more off of it.  Learning about value is crucial to designing these realistic pieces!  Next year I will be teaching two sessions back to back.  If you would also like to try a project from your own photos, please join us!  Here is the link to their website.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Creating My Latest Piece - Spanish Port

After going to Spain last year near Girona in the north near Barcelona I was inspired to create this latest piece.  It was a port village near the home of Salvadore Dali.  On a stormy day I took this picture giving the light an interesting glow.  The sky was very dark in the distance, but where we were was much brighter lighting up the boats in the harbor and the houses on the hills.  It's always fun to find the perfect fabrics to do a job like the one I used in the largest boat in the foreground.  I couldn't find a fabric the perfect color for the water though.  So I dyed two pieces of muslin and fortunately the second one was exactly what I was looking for.  A lot more boats were lined up together so I eliminated a couple of rows because it was too confusing to fuse with too many little pieces that would have been very difficult to create. 

Some pieces were very tiny in this design and some were very large.  It is now ready to stitch which I will be doing in the next few days.  Right now I am getting ready to film my DVDs on several techniques like fabric painting my wallhangings which will be the first since many of my students are asking for more information on this.  I love to create these larger pieces because much more detail can be added to a large design than a small one.  Finding the perfect fabrics and watching out for their value make the design have depth and life!  Go to my Tools Page to on this blog to see how to create your own fused/fabric painted design!  Here is my photo I used to create this design.  My water is a bit brighter and the sky a little bit darker, but those are the choices we make.  They don't always come out EXACTLY the same.  That's what makes it an art quilt and not a photograph!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Evolution of My Art

In the SAQA email list the topic of different art quilting styles has come up.  It is very interesting to me since I was not a traditional quilter ever.  Coming from a general art background I have tried many different kinds of art media.  When I was young, I used to draw my parents' hands when they played cards at my grandmother's house.  I loved to draw realistically.  When in high school I tried lots of different media and really liked painting and drawing, not sculpture so much. When I was in my 20's, I only did pen and ink portraits in pointillism style.  I loved to draw people with lots of character (and wrinkles). 
This is one of my pen and ink pieces.  I did lots of American Natives.  I once had several pieces in a gallery in Alaska when I lived there.  The gallery manager stole all of them plus other people's pieces and I never saw them again.  The piece below I created for a competition on our local radio station for the Statue of Liberty bicentennial.  It's a pen and ink pointillism piece too.  I was sure I wouldn't win but did when only a hand-full of others also entered.  I won a trip to New York City for two for a weekend plus saw Cats on Broadway, plus a concert of Tommy James and the Shondelles and a New York City boat tour, plus all airfare, hotel, and food for the weekend.  It was amazing! 

After spending many years doing this style of art, I decided to try other things.  My mom and I made these cute little houses out of lichens we found in the woods like the one below.  That was fun.  When my kids were little, I crocheted many afghans.  I always needed something creative to do. 

Then when I got older like in the late 90's I discovered fabric as an art medium.  I saw what others were doing and I wanted to try it too.  So I used 2" squares to create impressionistic designs. 

I really loved doing this and did so for 10 years, then had to try something else.  That's when I started fusing.  What is wrong with doing that?  There are hundreds, probably thousands or more ways to manipulate a medium and why not use fusible web to keep your fabric together until it's stitched?  I don't agree with people who say that just because it looks realistic or it was stuck together with fusible it's not art.  I work from my own photos that I took which isn't an easy thing to do.  Then I use fabrics I buy to recreate them.  Finding fabric that works, using it make whatever you want it to be, having the right value, color and texture, all are a complicated process that make the piece work or not.  My piece, Capturing Brittany shown here, just won Outstanding Art Quilt.  Does that mean that the people who chose it don't know what they are talking about?  I think they just liked it. 

Jurors comments were good use of color and great perspective.  It's great to hear things like that.  It makes you think someone besides you is enjoying your art which is the most rewarding part of doing it.  I am also happy to make it a living.