Posts

Sumac

Sumac is such a stately, regal plant and I think that certainly shows here in this print. I started this piece before I started Maples which I shared here. I dove back into my supply of fabrics that I created and added two silk pieces that I painted with acrylic paints in a surface design class in 2015. I am loving how these fabrics are finding their way together.

Again I turned to some hand-dyed variegated thread I purchased from Elin Noble many years ago.

I like to create one step at a time, making decisions about what I will use and how I’ll use it as each new step presents itself.  Here is thread painting done. Now — how to quilt the background surrounding the sumac.

I’ve been doing this a while. I have a lot of thread. And yet, I did not have the thread I wanted for this portion of the project.  It just arrived this week. Stay tuned.

Inspiration and Hand Work

I’m still getting things just so in our new condo in Portland. Just this week I brought out my collection of foot-square art quilts purchased through SAQA’s annual on-line benefit auction. (This year’s auction begins September 16th but you can view some of the art that will be available and read about how the auction works here.) I think they make a nice statement hung in the dining and living rooms. (Click on images for larger view.)

05-08-16 Foot square collection

 

This is not my entire collection; more will find homes elsewhere.

Spring has arrived in our neighborhood and I’m enjoying all that goes with that! Morning walks along the Willamette River are lively and filled with many surprises. For instance, here’s a foxglove in bloom on the edge of the river, probably planted by a bird.

05-10-16 foxglove

Dogwood trees of many varieties are everywhere in Portland and most of them are white, my favorite color for this tree. There are 10 of this variety planted just outside our condo buildings — all are in a riot of bloom right now.

05-10-16 dogwood

 

Honey bees and bumble bees are getting their fill of nectar on a variety of plants on the edge of the river.

05-10-16 bees

This Great Blue Heron seemed to be truly posing for this photo! He held this posture for quite a while, groomed a bit and then returned to it. Those are blackberry vines in full bloom — promising berries for June. Yum.

05-10-16 heron and berry vines

 

I’m doing a bit of slow stitching on the last small notebook cover I have readied. This one will be for me since I am just about finished with the commercial notebook I purchased last year. This one uses stabilizer fabric that I’ve painted with acrylic paints and added a bit of machine stitching.

05-10-16 slow stitching notebook cover

The fast2fuse is a bit curled here but it will be in the right shape once I’ve completed the cover.

I’ve begun a new foot-square piece inspired by a photograph of some gorgeous tulips I had. I’ll share my progress on that next time.

Hand Work and Junk Mail

I’m still working on a small piece I shared with you earlier here. I’ve added quite a bit to this but I still don’t feel quite done.

01-27-work-in-progress-1Decisions, decisions!

01-27-work-in-progress-2While I pondered the seeming endless possibilities open to me, I realized that my stack of junk mail postcards is almost gone. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity to refill the supply and — more importantly — feel a sense of completion.

In no time at all I had mail painted with gesso drying. Then I pulled out a set of rubbing plates recently gifted to me and I rolled acrylic paint on, using the plates like stamps. This fern plate got a second color of paint and a rotation; finally I used some watercolor paints and a two-inch brush and had fun dabbling it on.

01-27-junk-mail-3I used a ginkgo rubbing plate in the same way and with the same color scheme. Why not?

01-27-junk-mail-2 01-27-junk-mail-1In a very short time I created 25 postcards. Very satisfying!

If you’re just learning about my junk mail frenzies, read back from here about other projects where I turned recycle into something fun and useful.

van Gogh Inspired

Postmark’d Art, the international group of artists I trade fabric postcards with, just completed a trade with the theme Vincent van Gogh.  I now have a fabulous collection of eight pieces of fabric art inspired by a master painter. Here are four of them.

Meta Heemskerk of the Netherlands created two thermofax screens, one from a Dutch postage stamp and a second screen using Dutch words that she associates with van Gogh. She used the screens to print fabric which she then stitched.

Sarah Ann Smith of Maine was inspired by Willows at Sunset. For her, van Gogh is all about color, spontaneity and line.  In the fall of 1888 he completed the painting and wrote to his brother

My dear Theo, . . . Everywhere and all over the vault of heaven is a marvelous blue and the sun sheds a radiance of pale sulphur, and it is soft and lovely as the combination of heavenly blues and yellows in a Van der Meer of Delft. I cannot paint it as beautifully as that, but it absorbs me so much that I let myself go.

Suzanna Bond of California painted an old linen tablecloth using acrylic paints. She then  cut it up, stitched it and mailed what she called “A Piece of Art.” Here is the full painting before cutting

and here is the piece of art I received

Even here you can see the thick strokes of paint she applied. Can you make out which slice of the portrait I have?

I created a single piece inspired by Starry Night which I cut up as well. I kept #1 of the nine pieces. I wrote about the process here and here. This was actually the second time I have felted a large piece and then cut it up for postcards. I reminisced about the first project — also inspired by van Gogh — here.

I am so fortunate to be a part of this thrilling art community. Postmark’d Art has been going strong since 2004 and, frankly, I think we’re getting better with each trade.

This poem appeared as the daily reading on the Writer’s Almanac May 14th.

On Mondays

by Marilyn Donnelly

On Mondays when the museums are closed
and a handful of guards
look the other way
or read their newspapers
all of the figures
step out of golden frames
to stroll the quiet halls
or visit among old friends.
Picasso’s twisted ladies
rearrange themselves
to trade secrets
with the languid odalisques of Matisse
while sturdy Rembrandt men
shake the dust
from their velvet tams
and talk shop.
Voluptuous Renoir women
take their rosy children by the hand
to the water fountains
where they gossip
while eating Cezanne’s luscious red apples.
Even Van Gogh
in his tattered yellow straw hat
seems almost happy
on Mondays when the museums are closed.

I’ll share the remaining four postcards next week.