Living This Creative Life

I have two favorite quotes. The first one is by Emile Zola, "If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I would tell you that I came to live out loud". I don't know who the second one is by, but it goes like this, "If you're not living on the edge then you might as well jump". Both of these sentiments sum up my personal philosophy of this experience we call life on earth. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hi All,
I've been making vessels in one form or another for more than a decade.  I love doing them because they are somewhat instant gratification.  These three sided vessels are new for me and boy are they fun to make.  With them I get to quilt fun stuff, cut it up and embellish it and put it back together again.  I have a show here at the gallery in November of this year and I plan on having at least 40 quilted vessels for it, along with art for the walls too.  So, I'll be showing you lots of previews here over the next several months. The blue vessel is two feet tall and the orange one is about 10".  
Till next time,
Heather

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Giving This Another Try


Hi All,
I haven't been posting on this blog much, I've got another one if you would like to check it out; wildheatherfiftyweeksofart.blogspot.com.  I've been writing on it this year.  It is a blog that I'm sharing with a bunch of other artists who are all trying to make a piece of art every week. 

This piece is not from that blog.  It is a new experiment that I'm trying out.  I'm calling it quilt sculpting.  It's done on a some of my hand dyed silk/rayon velvet.  Essentially what I'm doing is quilting the holy hell out of it in the negative space.  Any area that looks sandy brown is thread.  All of the colored areas are places where there is no stitch so the fabric blossoms up to the surface.  I've used three layers of batting; two wool and one cotton, so that I can achieve this Trapunto like effect.

I've dyed several larger pieces of velvet so that I can move on to bigger pieces.  However, this little piece which is 11" x 16" took me almost 10 hours to stitch and about 1500 yards of thread!

Talk to you again soon, I hope,
Heather

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013,
Good Morning,
My apologies once again for not keeping up here on the blog.  I realized a few weeks ago that even though the year was not over, I was emotionally finished doing my daily art work.  There are lots of reasons for feeling that way, but mostly it was a feeling of being overwhelmed by the rest of my creative/work/home life and being totally bored by the format of the daily pieces.  I really just felt that I was going through the motions and not putting in enough effort to put out good work.
But, I have been quite busy with other creative things.  The photo above is of two Arashi Shibori silk velvet scarves.  I've developed a technique to do these beauties in two simple steps with no processing in between.  They are pure joy to make!  
So, over the next few weeks as we move into remodeling our store front, gallery & teaching space, I will upload some more of the dye work that I've been doing.  It's really where I'm getting the most creative bang for my buck.
Please keep your eye out for more info about the show we're putting up in the gallery for the month of January, 2014.  It will feature all of my daily pieces.  They will be for sale beginning Jan 3, (our 1st Friday opening) here in the gallery and on line on my website.
Till next time,
Heather

Monday, November 18, 2013


\Art For Several Day, Nov 16, 17 &18,
Good Evening,
Here is the piece I made on Saturday, Nov 16th and got so busy I forgot to put up! It features a stamped flower design with really cool wavy lines surrounding the flower all in a dull black on white fabric.  I placed it on top of some really bold dye painted fabric that is filled with color and movement.
I quilted the flower lightly inside the petals with red thread and heavily around the outside edge with the same thread then added a think line of yellow quilting in the center.  The background around the flower is stitched with blue green in the white lines.  The white border around the flower is quilted with wavy yellow lines. The colorful background fabric is quilted in a pale yellow which surrounds the shapes and moves throughout the negative, white space.
I sort of like the piece,  but the quilting looks rushed and I wish I had taken more care when doing it.


This piece was done this morning as was the next piece.  It features a piece of silk that I mono-printed on glass plate using Silks acrylic glaze and Jacquard screen printing ink.  It is the ghost print from the original print used in the piece below.  I used a piece of plastic from a paper plate holder that one of the studio students, Rochelle, brought in for me as well as a comb.  
I cut the fabric into several pieces and added them to a piece of blue green/yellow green silk noil.  I heavily quilted the noil with three, fancy feathers.  Then  I quilted the hell out of all of the white negative space around the portions of blue wheels.  I kept the stitching about 1/8" apart to really push back the white and bring the wheels out which worked great.  The grid portion in the lower left is quilted following the light lines.
This piece is way better looking in person.  It's rather abstract and funky and I like it a lot. 

This piece is the original two layers of print from the glass plate.  It too is on silk.  I printed the light green portion first, painting a layer of green Silks acrylic glaze on the plate then pulling off some of the paint using a hand carved feather stamp.  Next, I painted the plate with a sparkly, dark blue green Jacquard silk screening ink and ran a comb through it several times.  Then I laid the spokey wheel down on the plate, laid down the fabric and pulled the print.
I like both the color combo and the imagery combo.  The movement of the combed lines really help to support the bold wheel.  I quilted the negative space between the spokes of the wheel about every 1/16" then quilted all of the negative space about every 1/4" in all of the light lines made by the comb.
I like this piece.  It's simple and straight forward yet interesting and such a luscious mix of colors.  
Well, hopefully I'll get another piece or two pumped out tomorrow.  
Till then,
Heather







Friday, November 15, 2013

Art Every Day, For Oct 16, 2013
Good Afternoon Again,
Here is another new piece.  I really enjoyed working with this big ass flower.  Here, I made the flower with solid black as the petals and white as the center and I laid it down on a busy dye painted background that features bold red, blue green and yellow on a white field.  The batting is green which is a color that is not in the multicolored print so it makes a nice contrasting edge.  
I kept the quilting in the flower rather simple but did it in a contrasting red thread.  Then I inlined the blue green swirls in the background with matching thread, stitched a tiny stipple in the red portions of the background then finished it off with loop d'loops in the yellow/white areas.  All in all, I really like it.  It feels so much different from the black and white flower from earlier today and I'm amazed how well the bold black flower is holding up against the very busy, brightly colored background.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Art Every Day, For Oct 13, 2013
Hi Again,
Here is another piece that I did several days ago but didn't find the time to write up.  It's a weird one, a failure you might say.  I had this nice piece of discharged hand dye that I used in the background. with the wavy lines moving across the diagonal. I then added a large triangle of embroidered cotton in a yellow orange that repeated the color of the batting.  I topped that triangle with a portion of the background fabric that has the wavy lines moving in the opposite diagonal to how the lines are set in the background.  It was my home that off setting the wavy lines would look cool. But alas, it is not working very well.  I think the problem is that I don't have enough of the yellow orange fabric around three of the sides of the top most wavy line fabric.  If I had more of the yellow orange it would isolate the fabric more which would make it contrast better with it's self in the negative space.  Live and learn!
I do like how the tiny stippling in the red violet allows all of the dirty white lines to show up really well.  At least that portion was a success.
Till next time,
Heather

Art Every Day, Friday November 15, 2013,
Good Afternoon,
Here is another new piece.  With it I wanted to play with the strong contrast of light & dark by using black and white.  I added a deep yellow for the accent, using it as the flower center and batting.  I began with two pieces of white fabrics that I had been stamped with black designs.  I used the print that was mostly white in the larger left side background area and the print that was mostly black in the smaller right side background area.  Then I layered up some solid white and solid black and cut all six flower petals at the same time.  I then cut the flower center and set it where I wanted it and surrounded it with the petals, using the black petals on the whiter background and the white petals on the blacker background.
I then quilted the flower using a deep yellow thread.  After it was stitched then I heavily quilted the white background with a small stipple and the black background following the black lines in the wavy grid.
I like the piece well enough.  It was fun to do a little applique even if it was really simple.  What I like the most is the optical illusion of how much larger the white petals seem even though they are the exact same size as the black petals.
What fun it is to control color and value!
Till next time,
Heather