Monday, March 31, 2008

Birds on Fabric

Early in March I took a class from Tracie Lyn and Mary Lin Huskamp. I could not resist this class. I love all things about birds and this class was all about painting birds on fabric. And what a great class it turned out to be! Tracie and Mary Lin are the most gracious and patient of teachers. You feel at home with them immediately and they impart their knowledge with humor and diligence to their subject. They demonstrated the use of several mediums on fabric and were very generous with their materials. Everything they brought was decorated and wrapped like a present and it was clear their students were important to them. Everyone left their class with a great piece of art. They showed us how to cut out the piece and use it in a collage, as well, but I just couldn't bear to cut mine up. I hope to use it in a quilt or piece of altered clothing to wear. I have posted two of the pieces I completed. Be sure to check their blogs (linked above). Take a peek at Tracie's ongoing journal project. It is inspiring.
I leave for Asilomar soon and can hardly wait. I'll be taking classes from Albie Smith and Dan Essig while I am there and hope to wander the beaches and come back with photos and sketches. But best of all , I will be able to meet up with my sister afterwards, who I haven't seen in six years and spend some time catching up on our lives.
May you all have sunny spring days to warm your bones and the scent of flowers and first cut grass to inpire your continued journey in art in the month ahead.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Best of Show

I entered my "Bird on a Wire" piece that I will be teaching at Portland Art and Soul in October 2008 in the Battle Ground, Washington Art Alliance show over the weekend. It is a juried show with a multitude of prizes and I was hoping to maybe snag one of the insignificant ones - a free massage, a day at the spa - you know, those things you long to do on a cloudy, rainy day that you can't always afford to do. When I dropped off my piece, I looked around and saw the quantity and high quality of the other pieces entered in the show and gave up any hope of winning - in fact, completely forgot about it I was so engrossed at looking at the other entries. So imagine my surprise and total amazement when I received a call that I had won "Best of Show"!! I attended the awards ceremony last night and had my photo taken with the mayor and everything. What was even better was sharing that moment with other members of the gallery I belong to, who also attended the ceremony. It made my year....and maybe then some.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Daffodils and Rainbows

What a beautiful day for March to begin on ! Rain, followed by rainbows, fluffy white clouds and sunshine. Who could ask for more? And right after I asked myself that I saw a big bunch of daffodils in full bloom alongside the freeway - perfect! We are blessed to be surrounded by and walk in such beauty.
I spent the evening trying out L.K. Ludwig's gelating printing method she describes in her book, Mixed Media Nature Journals. I have never tried this before. You buy unflavored gelatin, mix it to make fruit cubes using water instead of fruit juice and wait for the gelatin to set. Then you can ink the gelatin, put natural objects on the paint and press the paper on top of both to make a print. You can also make additional prints by printing the object, after lifting it off the painted gelatin and pushing it into another piece of paper, as well as making a second print on the gelatin. I found when printing feathers, the second print was better than the first. It's a fun technique and I hope to embellish the prints with pen and ink to emphasize the object I printed or to just use it as background paper. The photos give you an idea of how the prints look, with a close up of a feather print. I used Golden fluid acrylics to do these prints. I also tried watercolor on the gelatin, but the resulting print did not keep an edge, although the color mix was beautiful. I'll be doing more of this!