Archive for September, 2007

The Art Car Begins

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

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Now that the cancer center project is finished, I am going to go full blast on my art car.

Here is the first sketch of a block I am going to use.

It is called “Piece by Peace”

Bizarre Dog Story

Monday, September 10th, 2007

There are some things that happen in a person’s life that are just downright confusing. Unlike fiction, the message is not always clear.

When I was in college I was Earth Woman… I grew slews of plants and had a menagerie of animals. At one point I had 7 salt and 3 fresh water aquariums, 3 birds ( a cockatiel and 2 budgies) three cats and two dogs. My live in boyfriend actually owned one of the dogs and half the aquariums (…we have been married 27 years now)
My father was upset about the continued growth of my menagerie and often would post me articles about how much each pet would cost me (him) in it’s life time.
My dog Arwen (okay LOTR fans you know where that name came from) was an escape artist.
 She was constantly digging out or climbing over our fence and running around the neighborhood. When she heard us calling, she would run away because she knew she was supposed to stay home. The mailman complained more than once that she had jumped into his open truck and licked his face madly.  She once jumped off the end of a moving ski boat in pursuit of a bird, and then swam off into the deep blue when she realized she was not supposed to jump off the end of a moving boat.
 I took her to a boarding place for dogs once when I went out of town and owner freaked out when I came to get her.
He couldn’t find her in the kennel. He was muttering under his breathe “damn dog, escaped from every pen I had, dug out, climbed out, squeezed out….” Then the light dawns
Oh, I took her home to my kids to watch, she is sitting on the couch watching TV right now I bet!” And so she was.
Then one day the unthinkable happened. She was hit by a car during one of her escapades. I emptied my checking account to have her left rear leg amputated. But she developed complications and I took to the kindly vet I used to have her put “down” as they say in the south.
I cried for months literally every day. Finally I bought a new puppy and took it to the kindly vet for shots. Kindly vet got a strange look on his face and said “I just couldn’t do it. The truck for the bodies doesn’t come til Friday and you brought her here on Monday. She looked up at me with those big brown eyes and I just could not do it!”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Wait here….”
Around the corner comes Arwen resurrected
” I knew you could NOT afford it, what I had to do, but I just had try…do you still want her?”
“Yes. yes…”
So Arwen and the new puppy went home with me to the menagerie. People would play with her in the park without realizing the amazing Frizbee dog had only three legs.

Edit this entry.

Spirit Horses: Dreams is finished!

Monday, September 10th, 2007

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Process on my New Works

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

My newest works (which are not all up on the website) are all made with the same process. I begin by brainstorming the  phrases and images that fit in the series I am currently working on, followed by some research. For example “Garden Plots” took me to the gardening magazines to get ideas of what people actually do in gardens (no green thumb here, I always tell the plants coming to my house to hope my husband likes them, because I won’t remember to water them) what tools are used and so on.

This is followed by several days of sketching on laser paper with a fine Sharpie. These are fast and furious, often done at the kitchen table and are so rough I wouldn’t recognize some of  them if I didn’t label the thought. These are gesture drawings mostly. These go in the tub I call “The Well” while I mull over them. 

Next I choose a sketch. Now there are days and days of refining the drawing. I use a tracing table to keep what I like and audition other parts. I sometime make copies of parts of the drawing and collage those into the scene. For example I spent weeks drawing screwdrivers, vise grips and other tools for the Handy Women series. I can scale them on my copier to fit into the drawing I am making. Then I have a finished line drawing.

Next I make copious copies of the line drawing and start coloring. This takes a few days as well. As I finish one colored version I scan it  into the computer and use Corel Photo Paint to crop the edges and  create a set size. Sometime I change  a rectagular drawing into a square or vise versa. I play with the colors until I get them the way I want. I copy the image and paste it into Corel Draw.

Once in Corel Draw I convert the image into a bitmap and start playing with different repeat patterns, mirrors, glides, translations and rotations. I make tons of laser copies of each possiblity and lay them all out on the floor and start pestering my family and everyone who comes to the house…”which one do you like and why?” “got any ideas for a title?”. My son and husband groan when they see the copies all over the living room floor.

Now back to mulling.

Finally I choose a layout and scale part or all to fit my paper backed cotton that is loaded into my 24″ Espon printer. The pieces roll out. This takes a day or two if I run into printing problems. If I have to stitch them together I do so and iron the fabric to be nice and flat and set the inks even more.

Next come the backing fabric which is dyed and usually silkscreened or stamped. I use a Thermofax machine to create stencils using drawings already made in earlier process. Or I cut stamps from Fun Foam. I use Setacolor or Lumiere paint to screen the back and iron it to heat set it. This is a day or two  process also.

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I load it into the Gammill long arm quilting machine in my second room of my studio. Now comes maybe a week or two of quilting interspersed with any of the steps above.

Then a day or two to make and apply binding and sleeve.Then I followup with one  day to photograph. A day to measure, write an artist statement, crop amd create pictures in Photoshop and load onto my website completes the process

I currently have over 100 sketches in The Well, 6 large and three medium quilt tops printed and sewn together, backing dyed but not printed yet.