Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Quilt: "Fictional Animal: White Bird of Legend"

This long-necked bird ended up being my first ever whole-cloth quilt.  The background fabric is heavily disguised with textural elements, but it started out as a sleeve from a green plaid button-down shirt (you can see the cuff opening with button hole on the quilt's bottom right).

To make the outline for the bird, I traced one of my drawings onto the fabric using the "Look Ma, I Invented Carbon Paper!" technique (tutorial coming soon!), then painted inside the lines with white fabric paint.  The painting process took FOR EVER, and I am going to have to look for quicker, easier methods to fill in an outline on textured fabric with a flat, opaque color.

After the bird was painted, I had fun adding random cross-hatching using regular Crayola crayons, and even did a little bit of rubbing using a colander for texture.  You can see that part right above the bird's knobbly knees.  I also added black fabric paint to the bottom of the quilt with a roller.

I chose a very high-loft polyester batting to accentuate the quilted texture, and finished off the design by adding a small amount of white, blue and gold oil paint stick on the raised areas. 
Fictional Animal: White Bird of Legend
"Fictional Animal: White Bird of Legend"
Title: "Fictional Animal: White Bird of Legend" 
Materials: cotton shirt fabric, oil paint stick, fabric paint, crayon
Dimensions: 11.25" by 12.75"
Date: 2012


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Meet the Supplies" #4: Shrinky Dinks

When I first started planning my "Meet the Supplies" series, I was particularly excited to do a post about my collection of Shrinky Dinks.  Yes, they still make Shrinky Dinks!  And they are even cooler than I remember from when I was a kid! You can buy bulk packages of blank sheets, and at 50 sheets for 22 bucks, it's a fairly cheap art material especially since you can literally use every last scrap.

Okay, enough shameless shilling!  Once I was reintroduced to them, I found that Shrinky Dinks are a perfect mixed media quilting element for one important reason.  Oh, they're fantastic on a number of levels, but the thing that makes them IDEAL for attaching to quilts is that you can use a 1/8" hole punch to create holes which will shrink during the curing process to be just the right size for stitching the piece to a quilt by hand.  I imagine you could also use your machine to attach them using the same stitch you'd use to attach a button.

Sadly, I have actually been prevented from making new shrunken artwork for the past two years by the fact that the oven in my new apartment does not have a window in its door.  It's been super annoying, but fortunately I was able to make a whole lot of tiny beautiful objects before moving.  Here they all are!

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Leaves traced from a book called "Kbach: A Study of Khmer Ornament," which I got for free and which has proven to be a wonderful visual resource when I'm trying to come up with patterns
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I keep them in this box, which as room for SO MANY more!  Time to get a toaster oven just so I can shrink more art?
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Teeny tiny stars.  These things are about 1/4" across
Here are a few of the stars that have already made it into a quilt.

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Shield designs in various shades of blue and purple
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More leaves traced from the Khmer Ornament book.  These were outlined in silver, which didn't look quite as nice once it shrunk - turns out silver pen can lose its sheen in the oven.
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Star buttons
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Little petals or leaves - I haven't figured out yet what to use these for.
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Fun pastel buttons with red leafy designs in red Sharpie
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This is an example of the cool effects you can get when you use a pair of decorative scissors to cut out your Shrinky Dinks before shrinking them.
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Bold buttons in red and yellow

Some striped Shrinky Dink buttons in a quilt, arranged to form six-pointed stars

Two of the Khmer leaf designs ended up in my SAQA donation quilt.

And, the best thing in my collection, MONSTERS!  I spent an enjoyable several evenings while visiting my parents drawing all kinds of little monsters.

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So Many Monsters!
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MORE Monsters!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Donation for the 2012 SAQA Benefit Auction

"The Art of Inclusion #1"
"The Art of Inclusion #1"

Title: "The Art of Inclusion #1"
Materials: commercial cottons and sheer fabrics, hand-dyed cotton, inkjet printed cotton, wood, fabric pen, embroidery floss, beads, acrylic paint, polymer clay, laminated images and text, postage stamp, 6B pencil, metal eyelets, piece of a gold-leafed book cover, plastic parts, Shrinky Dinks
Dimensions: 12" by 12"
Date: 2012

This year, as part of my progress towards actually trying to sell my work, I joined the Studio Art Quilt Associates, which, for anyone not familiar with it, is a large professional organization for art quilters.  I was thrilled to see that I had joined literally just in time to make a quilt for inclusion in their annual Benefit Auction. The rules for this auction are simple: Make one original 12" square art quilt, and get it to the auction folks by the first of June 2012.  I immediately swung into action! 

Detail showing hand embroidery, free motion quilting, Shrinky Dinks (!), and pieces from pinball-style party favor games I had picked up years ago at a dollar store

For my very first donation to the SAQA auction, I decided to jump in and make the debut quilt in a series I have been thinking about for a while. The quilts in this series will actually all share the title of my blog, because they will hopefully be the best possible expression of my dedication to the Art of Inclusion.  The goal is to make a very large series of quilts, sized either 12" or 15" square, that will be created purely to provide homes for the zillions of little details and bits and pieces I am always creating.

In the bottom left corner, a my drawing of a numbat, inkjet printed onto fabric, plus a laminated postage stamp

In addition to my main goal of Include-All-The-Things, this series will have two other interesting elements.  First, my approach to the design of these quilts will not be based on a landscape or portrait based way of working with my available space, but instead on the concept of filling in the space with existing elements as I go along, and creating small custom pieces to fill in gaps.  This is probably the way I work best, and has always produced beautiful results. A great example of the fill-it-in approach is this quilt from 2008.

"Filling Spaces: Eye, Tomatoes, Patterns"

The second idea behind the "Art of Inclusion" series is that these quilts, because they are square, will be able to work either separately or together as "blocks" in a larger wall installation.  I have always worked small, and that is not likely to change, but most quilt shows would prefer larger work, and I do like the idea of my quilts being able to command a room.

A photograph of some kelp from an old science textbook, glued onto plywood and cut out on my scroll saw, plus laminated random lines of text and a monster

I've included a number of juicy details in this first Art of Inclusion quilt, and many of them have been with me, waiting patiently, for years! There's the painted polymer clay monster mask with the broken ear, the free motion quilting sample of leaves stitched onto a scrap of plaid shirt, the laminated postage stamp, the traced Shrinky Dink leaves from the book of Khmer Ornament, and the drawing of a numbat inkjet printed onto fabric.  There's the scan of a marble I found on the street, the chunks of an unfinished cross stitch project my mother donated to my efforts, the random laminated lines of text from long-forgotten books, and the plastic covers from dollar store party favor games that used to be filled with ball bearings and now contain piles of beads.... And that's not even a fraction of my stash!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Art All Night 2012 (post 3 of 3!)

Here is the final installment of my photos, taken of people's artwork during Art All Night 2012.  I would welcome any comments if anyone has anything they'd like to say about the work, though of course since I am not the artist I can't actually answer any complex questions about these pieces!

First off, my work!  These were actually on display in the first room, so hopefully lots of people saw them before becoming totally exhausted.  Nobody bought them, though - oh well!

AAN 018 Fotographia by Jason Striner - photography
"Fotographia" by Jason Striner, Photography

AAN 019 Battling Bones by Brayden Mason Age 10 - pen & ink
"Battling Bones" by Brayden - Age 10, Pen & ink

AAN 020 Poet Dennis Brutus by Bob Ziller - print
"Poet Dennis Brutus" by Bob Ziller, Print

AAN 021 Jungle Fever by Coleen Rush - dyed silk & stitching
"Jungle Fever" by Coleen Rush, Dyed silk & stitching

AAN 021 Jungle Fever by Coleen Rush - dyed silk & stitching DETAIL
"Jungle Fever" by Coleen Rush, Detail

AAN 022 Gypsy Summer by Una Sincyr - wood wire & Fabric
"Gypsy Summer" by Una Sincyr, Wood, wire & fabric

AAN 022 Gypsy Summer by Una Sincyr - wood wire & Fabric DETAIL
"Gypsy Summer" by Una Sincyr, Detail

AAN 023 Old Bill by Anthony Purcell - acrylic on wood panel
"Old Bill" by Anthony Purcell, Acrylic on wood panel

AAN 024 Untitled by Jerome Schmeltz - mixed media
Untitled by Jerome Schmeltz, Mixed media

AAN 025 Untitled by Chloe Cummings Age 10 - crayon & marker
Untitled by Chloe - Age 10, Crayon & marker

AAN 026 Clown Interrogation by Brian Kaldorf - photography
"Clown Interrogation" by Brian Kaldorf, Photography

AAN 027 Wysteria by Milicent Nolan - mosaic glass
"Wysteria" by Milicent Nolan, Mosaic glass

AAN 028 Jerk by Kacyn Keys - felt on canvas
"Jerk" by Kacyn Keys, Felt on canvas

AAN 029 Spotted in the Deep by Kate Graves - ink and acid free paper
"Spotted in the Deep" by Kate Graves, Ink and acid free paper

AAN 030 Color Picker (Photoshop CS3) by Jim Rugg - ballpoint pen on notebook paper
"Color Picker (Photoshop CS3)" by Jim Rugg, Ballpoint pen on notebook paper (I thought this was one of the most clever pieces in the show! Exactly my kind of thing, especially the fact that the entire notebook is included in the piece)

AAN 031 Untitled by Jennifer Rogers - recycled materials
Untitled by Jennifer Rogers, Recycled materials

AAN 032 Kevin by Victoria Carr - mosaic on wood
"Kevin" by Victoria Carr, Mosaic on wood

AAN 033 I Love Lucy by Richard Boniker - etch-a-sketch
"I Love Lucy" by Richard Boniker, etch-a-sketch

AAN 034 Flying Gets Old by Nicole Adams - Digital
"Flying Gets Old" by Nicole Adams, Digital

AAN 035 Polyburgh by Thomas Soltis - Digital
"Ponyburgh" by Thomas Soltis, Digital - this year's Art All Night included a whole lot of My Little Pony themed artwork - this one was my favorite in that category!

Art All Night 2012 was fabulous, hope to see some of you there next year!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Art All Night (post 2 of 3!)

We now return to our coverage of Art All Night 2012 with more photos of artwork in every possible medium, plus the crazy factory space where it was all displayed.

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Live music being performed when we visited during the evening

AAN 009 McKees Morning by Brian Bennett - acrylic
"McKees Morning" by Brian Bennett, Acrylic

AAN 010 Not So Empty Lot by Martha Ressler - Art Quilt
"Not So Empty Lot" by Martha Ressler, Art Quilt

AAN 011 Salvador DalA by Marya Pendro-Thomson - scratch board with Pen & ink
"Salvador DalA" by Marya Pendro-Thomson, Scratch board with Pen & ink. There should be an accent over the A in DalA, but I couldn't find that character.

AAN 012 Return to Nature by Lorne Zeman - mixed media on wooden door
"Return to Nature" by Lorne Zeman, Mixed media on wooden door

AAN 013 Spanning the Country by Paul Nosa - thread sewn into fabric
"Spanning the Country" by Paul Nosa, Thread sewn into fabric

AAN 013 Spanning the Country by Paul Nosa - DETAIL
"Spanning the Country" by Paul Nosa, Detail

AAN 014 Hairy by Jennifer Hitchcock - mixed media
"Hairy" by Jennifer Hitchcock, Mixed media

AAN 015 Swallowed by Casey Skiles - Duct Tape
"Swallowed" by Casey Skiles, Duct Tape

AAN 015 Swallowed by Casey Skiles - Duct Tape DETAIL
"Swallowed" by Casey Skiles, view inside fish!

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Another shot showing the hugeness and awesomeness of this factory building

AAN 016 I Was A Child Actor by Kristen Ervin - pen & ink with foam core
"I Was A Child Actor" by Kristen Ervin, Pen & ink with foam core

AAN 017 Avarice by Leslie Klasterka - fabric & mixed media
"Avarice" by Leslie Klasterka, Fabric & mixed media

AAN 017 Avarice by Leslie Klasterka - fabric & mixed media DETAIL
"Avarice" by Leslie Klasterka, Detail

I was impressed with the wide variety of media, sizes and subject matter chosen by this year's Art All Night participants.  Back tomorrow with the final installment!