Happy Creative New Year

My last posting was on Christmas Day. From there daily events took over and I missed my usual schedule of posting. It happens. I’m over it.

I’m on to the new year now. I know it’s official because I just took the first images of 2015 and created a folder for them. Here is a peek at what is moving and shaking in my world.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the revision that I made to Hand of the Artist. I’m a member of a critique group which meets monthly. I shared this piece with them and one of the members suggested a slight change in arranging some of the beads. I played with the idea and liked it a lot. Click on image for a larger view.

Hand of the artist, changesThe change is rather subtle: a number of the turquoise beads have been moved to form small clusters. You can see the original design by clicking on the link above.

I put the final touches on Black Oak and printed a label for it.

Black Oak label

And just in time, too, because it goes to the photographer tomorrow (along with Hand of the Artist).

I’m working on a piece that was begun in Lorie McCown‘s class in Tahoe. I removed the original straight-line stitching (you can see the white marking line which is not permanent) and stitched large free-motion loops over the surface. Then I started cutting out circles.

Work in progress

Right now I don’t know which end is up on this piece — literally. I’m simply putting down one thing, then the next, making decisions as I go about color and stitches. I’m enjoying hand stitching and the go-with-the-flow approach I’ve adopted for this small piece. I’m keeping the stitches simple

Work in progress, detail 2

and will let the work tell me what it needs.

Work in progress, detail 1

I have been seriously missing sketching and watercolor work. Somehow I let the time for that creative pleasure vanish. I’m resuming the on-line class with Val Webb for sketching cats and dogs later this month (I had to drop out of it because I was over committed. I know that doesn’t happen to you!). I’m so looking forward to her instruction and getting back into a regular habit of sketching.

I have also signed up for an on-line class on blogging with WordPress. Yes, I’ve been doing this for a while but I know that I’ll learn from the class and it will also help me get back into the swing of regularly writing.

Some of the artists that I follow have a practice of adopting a single word as a mantra for the year — an interesting prompt. I’m not sure that I’m ready to do that, but if I did, my word (at least for now) would be DAILY. I am a person who thrives on order and schedules. The kind of habit I seek is not only good for my psychic well-being, it means that I am productive in the creative areas I choose.

New lessons don’t begin for a few days though, but there is no reason not to pick up a pencil and paint brush now. This charming teacup was a gift from a dear friend many years ago.


I’m off to sketch!

What are you doing to get 2015 off to its creative start?

14 replies
  1. Lorie
    Lorie says:

    I love them both! I’m so happy you are going forward with the piece. And of course, I love your title of ‘hand of the artist’. Blessings for 2015. xo

  2. Sherry Boram
    Sherry Boram says:

    You are an art blogging champ, Franki!!! I love seeing your work and learning from what you are doing…now to find some time to do it myself.

    I am off the art group board this year, so I should have more time though we bought another old house Friday. This one will be Leigh’s as she needs something in her retirement scheme and she’s served an impressive “apprenticeship” fixing up old houses for a Virginia investor. BUT, we will surely get to help out, so there will go some of my time.

    I love the colonial knot!!

    HNY to the whole Kohler family…love, Sherry

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Sherry, It’s always lovely to hear from you. Thanks for the kind remarks. I’m glad to hear that you are free from the art board . . . now to find you those bits of time to get creative again. Think small, think Colonial knot — you’re bound to find something with that.

  3. 379christy
    379christy says:

    So far this year my creative endeavors have been more in line with the one word ‘workshop,’ as in: There would be more work if there was less shop. But, sales are so prevalent this time of year and I really feel I should contribute to the local economy.

    Keep up the good work, Franki. I love seeing your sketches. The Lennox tea cup is a great subject.


    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      I’m sure this cup will be quite a challenge since I haven’t done any sketching since October (I checked my sketchbook)! Too sad. But I’m up for it. Stay tuned.

  4. denisemiller657134026
    denisemiller657134026 says:

    Franki – Congrats on being at the Harrington. I bet your quilts look gorgeous there. I am working with Julie on a SAQA show for 2016. Hopefully, everything will go well with this process. – Denise

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Thanks Denise — I’m thrilled to be at the Firehouse Art Center. My work will actually be hanging in the entryway and the hallways — the Harrington gallery will be filled with the CA Society of Watercolor works. I’m betting you’ll be part of that exhibit!

  5. slbenton
    slbenton says:

    Oh boy! You make me want to get out my embroidery floss and needles and beads! Hand of the Artist is just wonderful – I love the texture and the flow and organic feel of the piece. Your work continues to amaze and inspire me…as do your blog posts. I love getting an insider’s look at “the workings of Franki’s mind” 🙂

  6. slbenton
    slbenton says:

    Just LOVE this piece and am feeling inspired.

    Can you do me a favor and present me with a challenge? I am itching to do something by hand, but cannot settle on a theme or inspiration. I work well with constraints and actually feel more creative. I guess it’s like problem solving.

    If you are game, I ask you to present me with: A theme A color I must include A technique I must include An element I must include (beads, embroidery, paint, etc) Any other fun stuff you can think of 🙂

    Oh – BTW – I am applying for the Membership Services Manager position at Modern Quilt Guild. Do you know of this organization? The position is 20 hours a week, telelcomutting, maintaining the membership database and customer service. Sounds perfect for me!!

    Happy New Year to you and David and Taylor!! Sharon (and Bruce and Ellie)

  7. Franki Kohler
    Franki Kohler says:

    Aha! You’re on Sharon. I’ll come up with something and email you. I’m so happy that this has inspired you to pick up the needle and thread once again. Good luck with the MQG spot. Yes, I’m aware of who they are and they need you!

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