New work and a new app

I am still organizing my studio — really, an endless task when you think about it. The only way to find the best place for everything in that space is to get to work. So here I go.

This is my first attempt at new work in over a year and I am feeling a strong pull for something familiar and small. I see this piece as an exercise in getting started again, not necessarily as anything that could be meaningful to my portfolio. I’ve chosen the small challenge of working in a color scheme not familiar to me, purple. After pulling out a hand-full of fabrics that looked compatible, I hand-ripped strips of fabric and started laying them atop an 18″ x 18″ backing-and-batting stack. Here they are pinned in place with netting to the right.

02-07-16 background ready to stitch

The fabrics are a mix of hand-painted, hand-dyed, discharged and commercial. It is fun to see these ‘old friends’ once again.

And here it is stitched:

02-12-16 background stitched

I have no clear idea about where this is going. I have a couple ideas that are floating about including using fused applique, thread painting and/or handwork. I may use some of those techniques or all, but let’s just say you shouldn’t be surprised to see some old themes used here.

Meanwhile, inspired by friends who have an iPhone app for converting photographs to watercolor-like images, I have located a similar app for my android phone. I’ve even figured out how to use it — can we say I’m not an early adopter? — though I’m far from proficient. Here is a recent photo of my favorite tug on the Willamette River positioning a barge.


And here is the same photo after running it through my new app:


Pretty cool! Stay tuned as I work my plan for creating art on a more regular basis.

What are your challenges lately? What new thing(s) have you tried?