Posts Tagged ‘Process’

Life Drawing

January 26, 2017

This fall in order to try to stretch my creative chops, I took a semester long Life Drawing class. The last time I did this was a hundred years ago in college and it took some time to get used to the messiness and loveliness of working with charcoal again. Each week we had a different model, all shapes and sizes and drew for over 2 hours.


I loved it. I’d leave each class covered in charcoal dust. I do think it was helpful for me to do something away from fabric and get back to looking and drawing again.

I have some ideas brewing on how to integrate elements of these drawings into my next fiber piece…we’ll see.


Taking shape-literally

May 13, 2016

 convexI’ve decided that these new seed creations would each have a gentle convex shape that would emphasis it’s design and structure.

I toyed with the idea of using wire mesh underneath to create the form but I felt I wanted to keep things soft. So using wool batt, a form was made. Then came the (for me) tough problem of how to  insure this form would push out the front and not the back! I mickey moused a solution. I’m sure there’s some professional way to do this (if you know please clue me in!).

I’m in the process of dyeing a piece of background charmeuse silk for each seed. A color is auditioning to the left. I’m planning on heavily stitching each background piece and then hand sewing the seed on.

And I have sketches for the third seed shape.

On a roll!

Construction Zone

April 21, 2016
big seed 2 detail

big seed 2 detail

I’m on to working on the second large “dreaming seed” and really enjoying the process. I’m hoping to have at least three ready for my upcoming solo show at Mitchell-Giddings Fine Arts (in August-stay tuned for details!).

Each seed has a unique interior dream going on but they will all share a similar color pallette. I’ve never before attempted to create individual pieces that also have a close connection with each other and that will (hopefully) together have a larger visual impact.

Lots of decisions looming, though, about how to mount and hang these. So I’m completing each seed first.
Will I mount each one on stitched fabric or on rigid frames or plexiglass or perhaps bowed out on mesh armatures or…lots of ideas! The  brilliant folks in my Art Crit group and in my Fiber Crit group (yes, I’m blessed with two!) all have showered me with a dazzling amount of wild ideas! It’s all percolating and I find myself trying out ideas in my head at odd times during my days-my usual laboriously slow decision process.

The latest Seed Dreaming

February 21, 2016

I’m working on a continuation of my Seed Dreaming series with some new twists. These will be large stand alone seeds which will then be mounted (somehow…working on lots of options at the moment) on a fixed silk covered frame for hanging. I’m hoping to have at least 3 or 4 done for my upcoming solo show at Mitchell Giddings Fine Art in August.

Here’s a detail of the first completed seed:

new seed- detail

new seed- detail


Under Construction

January 19, 2016

It seems I often grumble about how difficult it is for me to gather enough clarity and confidence to actually jump in and start a new piece. So for a change, I thought I’d focus on the sweet place of being in the middle.

seed construction zone

seed construction zone

Lots of ideas a poppin’. Every time I walk past my design wall (which is in my bedroom!), I want to try a new placement or color or fabric or juxtaposition. Nothing linear here… Just lovely chaos!

And though I will still have moments of doubt, the general feeling is one of excited possibility.

This is why I keep at this art thing.

Regrets…I’ve Had a Few…

December 27, 2015

…but unlike Frank, I have way too many to mention!

Sometimes, when looking at a stunning work of art, I am amazed at the sureness of hand and clarity of vision of the artist. My (hopefully wrong) assumption is that she or he moved forward step by step in an enviably linear fashion to arrive at this balance of line, color and composition in front of me.

My process is messy. Full of confident, full of beans decisions that result, days later, in ripped out stitches and frayed fabric (and confidence). These false starts often do result in new ideas that I’m happier with but I rarely remember that as I’m ripping those stitches out. Years later, I can look at one of my pieces and still see places where I should have headed in some other direction.

A highly valued tool!

A highly valued tool!


Scott Adams (of Dilbert) said:
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”


That second part’s a bear sometimes. Am I right?



Glimpses of breath

October 19, 2015

During this past summer, due to other obligations, my artmaking was fairly fallow. Periods of time like that leave me uneasy and both eager to get back to it and anxious that it won’t come easily. Though I wasn’t dyeing and stitching much, my mind was playing with an unformed, vague idea that I wanted to do something about Breath. This connects to my (mostly) daily meditation practice and the role  breath plays. It also fired up my curiousity to understand more about respiration both in us and in plants and how the miraculously efficient and rapid exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. And this (of course, to me!) lead to thoughts about the interconnectedness of our world.

I get excited about making art when the seeds of an idea are connected on multiple levels like this! I felt a series coming on…and about a month ago, I got to work!

There are several new-to-me materials I knew I wanted to include one being silk organza (lovely but tricky) as well as attempting to sew bombyx silk directly onto fabric and felt. Many mistakes were made! A lot to learn! Here are a few glimpses-close up detail shots-of the workpiece in process on my design wall right now.

glimpse 1

glimpse 1

glimpse 2

glimpse 2

glimpse 3

glimpse 3


Hmmm…hard to believe these are all coexisting in the same piece! Hopefully I’ll finish it and post a photo soon.

Roots of Rhythm X-Part 4

July 1, 2015
Roots of Rhythm X

Roots of Rhythm X

The finished piece.
So I’m pretty happy with it! Especially the way the colors work together and the textures. The blues sing to me.
I still need to get a more professional photo so it’s not even up on my website yet.
Thoughts? Feedback?

Roots of Rhythm X-Part 3

June 28, 2015

If you’re late to this party, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.
Now that the lower left and upper right cellular sections were mostly complete, I needed make some choices about how to use the  large space between them where I wanted to somehow show a flow happening. This took time-with  lots of ideas tried and rejected. This is the stage in the process where a lot of self doubt creeps in. I had a pile of felted “elements” which I had separately stitched to add shape and sculptural lines .  I knew I wanted to incorporate them but there were endless possibilities as to how. I considered color, balance and line as well as the abstract “story” in my head of what moment of change/transformation was happening. After weeks (really!), I found a direction, I was happy with.

Roots of Rhythm X-step 6

Roots of Rhythm X-step 6


some of the felt elements looking for a home

some of the felt elements looking for a home

Lines were couched to carve the space into flowing sections. I had known all along that including the blue felt was critical, but wasn’t happy till I stumbled on the “ladder” possibility.
This now defined the basic structure of the space so I was more sure of myself and confident I was moving in the right direction. It was then much clearer to see how to show movement and flow with stitching,the felt pieces and some lovingly placed french knots.



Next time: the whole enchilada done.

Roots of Rhythm X-Part 2

June 26, 2015

If you missed it, here’s the previous post about this process.
Once the underlying structure was complete, things got much more interesting for me. I selected a piece of silk I had dyed over a year ago that had a beautifully complex and intricate texture. This was cut and fused to each cellular section.

Roots of Rhythm X: step 4

Roots of Rhythm X: step 4

…until all were filled.

Roots of Rhythm X: step 5

Roots of Rhythm X: step 5

…and I happily free motion stitched each one. I love this part-podcasts and stitching!
Here’s a close up:

Roots of Rhythm X: step 5 detail

Roots of Rhythm X: step 5 detail

More to come…