Process on my New Works

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.

2 Responses to “Process on my New Works”

  1. PaMdora Says:

    Hi Kim, A lot of this sounds familar, except for the silk-screen and long arm. I recently spent a lot a time looking at jam jars in the grocery store an on the internet. Short or tall, round or cylinderical? Oh there are infinite variations of jam jars….ha ha

  2. Kim Says:

    We need to do a joint show, I also have drawn the Jam Jar when trying to figure out my take on gridlock. I always figured that would be another to go with my “Conflicting Signals” quilt