Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Preview of Quilter's Connection Article

Much to my pleasure, I received via email, an invitation to contribute an article to a new Canadian magazine called Quilter's Connection.  It was to be their "green" issue, concentrating on re-purposing, re-cycling and re-using.  I agreed and decided I would feature Art Trading Cards, wonderful little tableaus for experimental artwork. 

Fitting in with the "Green" theme, I have been picking up bits and pieces around the grounds of the high school where I work for  quite some time now.  I bring them home, run them through the dishwasher, and if they survive, save them in a basket for mixed media art "in the future".  The variety of items I have found is amazing.  Pop can tabs, broken earrings, plastic buttons, flattened bottle caps with unique designs on them, bits of rusty metal...the list goes on and on.  My co-worker has even joined in and brought me little things she has found! 

So with this invitation from Quilter's Connection, I suddenly had an incentive (and a deadline) to put together the things I'd been percolating in the back of my mind for a while!  Here are the results.  The complete article will be in the spring issue of the magazine so I can even add that to my list of where I've been "published"! 

These are a sneak preview of what will be in the magazine.  You can play a sort of "Where's Waldo" game and see if you can see the things I used below in the picture above!  They ARE there! 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

An ATC Exchange

In the fall of 2009, the Richmond Art Gallery (RAG) sponsored an exchange of Art Trading Cards.  I decided I would like to enhance my collection by taking part in this exchange.  The guidelines were that each participant sent in 9 trading cards in a "trading card" page with a self-addressed stamped envelope for returning the cards received in exchange.  There was no theme, no regulations, and all forms of art were welcomed.  This meant the ATC's would be photography, painting, paper art, mixed media, and mine...textile art.  Any medium was ok. 

Here is a sampling of the ones I sent in.  The orange ones were made with the trimmings from a dye experiment where I quilted the sandwich of fabric first and then lay it in a tray and poured dye over it.  I have a quilt on the design wall from this technique, but it's not finished yet.  I couldn't bear to throw out the pieces....they were so bright and colorful! 

And one day in the mail, an envelope arrived, printed with my own handwriting, and it contained these!  They are a combination of paper art, mixed media, and two fabric ones.  The one of the box jellyfish reminds me of the movie "Seven" with Will Smith.  A thought provoking movie I watched one evening by myself.  I can't say I loved it but I did enjoy it! 

I especially like the one of the leaf in the bottom left.  I "think" the leaf is paper but am not positive about that.  The bird one is velvet on paper, and there's one that is First Nations buttonwork.  They are all beautiful and have added nicely my collection.  The best part was receiving these in the mail after I'd forgotten all about the exchange! 

Monday, February 01, 2010

Liquitex Inks, Derwent Inktense Pencils & Author Ambassadors

The publisher of my first book, C&T Publishing, is now handling more art quilting supplies.  They asked several months ago if any of their authors would be interested in being an "Author Ambassador".  I happily jumped into the experiment with enthusiasm. (I do have trouble sitting on my hands at meetings!)  A package soon arrived in the mail containing a very generous and exciting bundle of goodies.  Liquitex Inks in primary colors, a selection of Derwent Inktense Pencils, some fabric medium and some Liquitex paints.  Enough to make someone like me salivate and instantly start hatching new ideas. 

I set out to play with the products and to sketch out what I wanted to produce.  I wanted to try the inks since I had not used them before.  I've used lots of fabric paints, but not inks.  So I tried painting with the inks, using a quill pen with the inks, using a rubber stamp and a brayer with the inks, darkening areas with the Inktense pencils, and just generally played around happily.  Then I drew out my design on paper, put it on my tracing surface and got going with the inks and the real thing.  It turned out beautifully.  I was really pleased with the way the inks performed, both as a color medium, and as a resist when a second coat was added.  The Inktense Pencils were really wonderful.  They colored in spaces, they darkened lines, they shaded cheeks.....all depending on the wetness and size of the paintbrush used.  In essence, I LOVED the products. 

And then the inevitable (at least in my life) happened.  I was beading away on a finished piece and spilled a glass of red wine on it. (There's a lesson in it about drinking wine while beading?  Is it about drinking white instead of  red wine?  Those are the only two options I'll consider OK?)  Since the project was done on a very sensitive fabric, it lost it's glamour when it was rinsed, and in the end became unusable.....except perhaps as bits cut up and add to an Art Trading Card.  Not to be deterred, I started over, albeit too late for my deadline by now! But, now it's finished.  This project was done on polyester satin, with Liquitex Inks, Liquitex Fabric Medium and Derwent Inktense pencils......and a lot of hand beading.  I'm not as happy with it as I was with the first one, but in the end I learned more about the product by trying to reproduce what I had done on the first round!  I will definitely be using the products again, AND ordering more from C&T! 

And this project, done with the same supplies except on plain muslin with the polyester satin background is one I consider to be successful.  I love the intensity of the color achieved on muslin.  The freckles are done by using very watered down ink on the Fast-2-Fuse before pressing the layers together.  I was happy with where they fell in the composition.  This is an idea I'd like to work on some more and into a bigger piece I think!