Wednesday, November 12, 2014

play time

I honestly don't remember the last time I did any surface design. I don't consider Photoshop manipulation surface design, my hands don't get dirty and that's just a whole other world...

But the other day, lo and behold, I was actually inspired to do some surface design! And it's all Sue's fault. Sue Reno that is. And her Quilting Arts Workshop Video Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt. She asked me to review and participate in the blog hop, and I thought - I'll be happy to, I'll just watch the video, write the review and post. Easy peasy! Nope. Not so easy peasy.... I watched the video and my hands started itching. Itching to do some surface design. I wanted to play with it all!
I wanted to play with the cyanotype process, the heliographic sun printing, the thermofax screens and the collagraph techinique. I wanted to do it all and I wanted to do it now.  The sunny days were not in my favor for the cyanotype or the heliographic.... and much too windy outside lately too. The collagraph was thoroughly intriguing, but the prep time issue was a factor, as I wanted instant gratification. And then I remembered that long ago, in a galaxy far away, a friend made me some thermofax screens during a playdate. Shamefully I have never used those screens. But they don't have an expiration date and here was my chance to try some instant surface design NOW!

So I rummaged around for a substrate in my recyclables box and came up with a bunch of color catcher sheets. A quick iron to smooth them out, flip over my portable ironing board to the hard side for an instant printing surface and I was ready to go! Here are pics of my instant gratification surface design session:
pinned down used color catcher sheets
first thermofax prints in gold (oh the torture of waiting for it to dry!)
second layer in silver
the finished product
now to find a way to use it in my artwork!
I highly recommend Sue's DVD, every technique is clearly explained, the samples are perfectly illustrating the process and her finished artworks are lovely and are great example of how to combine the techniques, the free-motion quilting and sharp design sense.

Tomorrow’s blogger is Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

Blog tour schedule
11/5/14: Sue Reno http://suereno.blogspot.com/
11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
11/7/14: Allie Aller http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com/
11/8/14: Diane Doran http://www.oohprettycolors.blogspot.com/
11/9/14: Vivien Zepf http://sevenpinesdesigns.blogspot.com/
11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/blog/
11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles http://cynthia-stcharles.blogspot.com/
11/12/14: Natalya Aikens http://artbynatalya.blogspot.com/
11/13/14: Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

wordless wednesday

11-12-14

Monday, November 10, 2014

experimenting

I have been wanting to do some hand stitching experiments on plastic. I've hand stitched on plastic plenty times before, but never experimented with heavy duty, multi-layered hand stitching. I had a few bits left over from this project and figured they would be perfect for the experiment.

I cut them up into little squares and they became my portable hand stitching project. Perfect for dance class waiting rooms. Still many more stitches to go here, but the sunlight streaming onto the worktable in my studio was perfect this morning for a mini photo shoot and I thought I'd share....
street signs outlines
cross walk
turn this way
I'll have an update after several more dance class waiting sessions. And perhaps I'll even get these done in time to get them into my Etsy shop for holiday shopping! there is a worthy goal....

Friday, November 7, 2014

kings and queens...

Yup. It's that time again. Time to design and make costumes for the annual Russian school play in January. I took the last year off, but this year I'm back for another round...

This years story is The Tale of Tzar Saltan, of His Son the Renowned and Mighty Bogatyr Prince Gvidon Saltanovich, and of the Beautiful Princess-Swan. What do you say that we'll call it Tzar Saltan for short? If you click on that link you'll read the wikipedia entry about the poem by Alexander Pushkin. The whole poem is here, translated to English of course. And the famed composer Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov wrote the opera for the tale, here's the most famous bit of music from it. Of course if you'd like to see the cartoon version, that's here....

As one can see the tale is pretty famous, been done very famous people. We, the Russian school volunteers humbly accept the challenge....

Here are the sketches that I drew of the costumes. They are really more of an idea, an inspiration for the kids to see while they are rehearsing. The actual costumes will depend greatly on the fabrics and clothing available to us and may not closely resemble the sketches. But I'll try...
The Swan Princess and Prince Gvidon
The kite bird and Chernomor the leader of the sea bogatyrs
The three trouble makers

Prince Gvidon as a bumblebee and the magical squirrel
Tzar Saltan and his Queen
Wish us luck! The sewing marathon is about to begin!

Friday, October 31, 2014

back on the farm

I have been dithering... Shall I do this? Shall I do that? Couldn't make up my mind for quite a while. I am talking about the progress on the latest home portrait commission that I have been working on. Which picture should I use? I printed out two versions and made tracings of both. I put ephemera out in different combinations and put it all away. And took it back out again.
playing with tracings of layouts
And then... it happened.
I decided on the witches window layout
I started in with the scissors, there was no stopping now
an actual collage at the top for the sky
seeing how it works with the tracing on top
That was it, I made a commitment and stitched my outlines in white silk thread.
a bit of the sky view
the front porch view
Now I have to decide how to hand stitch it... I think I'll let it rest over the weekend....
  
this is the picture I decided to use



Monday, October 27, 2014

photogenic

Playing in Photoshop is something I enjoy doing. So when the opportunity comes up and it's a commission too, how could I resist?

The client liked the dryer sheet prints in my Etsy store, but wanted something a bit different. You want images from two of of the most photogenic cities in the world? That I have a special connection to? And you want me to play with Photoshop and dryer sheets? Where do I sign up?

I thought I'd share a few of the images that I have been playing with. These are Photoshopped creations from my own photographs. This is the mid stage of the project as they will now be printed on the dryer sheets and will look very different in the end.

a detail of St. Basil's in Moscow
one of the towers of the Kremlin
detail of the Choir Singers bridge in St. Petersburg
The Mariinsky theater
A side entrance to the Hermitage
Hopefully next week I'll be able to share the final project. Now back to the studio!