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!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Art Every Day, Friday, May 31, 2013

Good Evening,

Here is today's new piece.  I call her "The Tale of the Lazy Eyed Woman".  
 But seriously, I took a class today at Wild Heather, taught by Robin Sruoginis all about painting faces on fabric.  I have never claimed to be any good at drawing and realism is something I've never been very interested in achieving. But, I enjoyed this process quite a bit.  It is always fun to try something that is new to you and this portrait drawing was very new to me.  
 I figured that it made total sense to include one of my drawn images to my daily piece today and I didn't have much time, so I layered her on top of some red hand dye and added the bits of warm colored fabrics in front of her.  The quilting in the rouched up fabrics is a large stipple and the quilting in the background is long vertical wavy lines.  The only quilting I did in her face is along the sides of the nose, the lips and her eyebrows.  My favorite thing about this piece is her hair.  I stitched it with a "herky jerky" free motion zig-zag which was perfect.  She may be a little crooked around the eyes but I still like her and loved the experience of bringing her into being.

Till tomorrow,

Hey Christa, it was fun playing with you today at the studio!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Art Every Day, Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good Evening,

Here is today's new piece.  It began with a piece of fabric that I painted last week.  I layered the painted piece on a hand dyed deep blue green cotton voile then tucked in a couple of strips of hand dyed pineapple silk in a deep orange. 
I frayed the hell out of the silk then using a pale tint of yellow thread I stitched around the painted orange circles and blue green spikes then quilted long wavy lines in all of the white background that are about 1/8" apart.  The heavy quilting in the background really pushed the circles and spikes forward.  I stitched small circles in the orange pineapple silk using a variegated brown thread.  I finished the piece off with some simple wavy lines stitched in the blue green and some twisted blue green strips of fabric couched along the two edges with the orange fabric.
I really like the piece.  It's got such great depth, the swirls in the background are a nice play off of the spikes and circles and I like the little bit of black paint that is repeated along the edge with the black batting.
Till tomorrow,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Art Every Day, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Here is today's new piece.  The background is one of the fabrics that I painted this past weekend.  I simply added some layers of solid fabrics; black, red, blue and a strip of yellow green.  Then I top stitched them down with black thread and added some more straight line quilting hear and there in the background.
I really like the over the top energy this one has.  I also like the complexity of the painted fabric playing with the simplicity and repetition of the solid fabrics.  I don't often use this simple of quilting, but it's nice when simple is all that is needed.

Till tomorrow,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Art Every Day, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Well, as much as I loved yesterday's piece, I'm not in love with today's.  I do like the painted fabric and it's bold lines and colors, and I like the angled strips of fabric too.  But I took a big ol' risk with my choices in the black negative space.  I should have left well enough alone and just stitched it with a small stipple in black thread, but I want to push the limits so, I added more straight lines and a contrasting thread color; blue green.
Now, I'm left with three areas of interest and no place for the eye to rest.  The best I can say is that the three planes of depth are interesting, but unfortunately it's just too much.

Live and learn, till tomorrow,

Monday, May 27, 2013

Art Every Day, Monday, May 27, 2013

Good Afternoon,

Here is today's new piece.  I had painted the flower many months ago for a web clip that I was shooting and the swirly fabric on the left I painted yesterday.   The turquoise fabric is one of my hand dyes.  
I really like the effect of leaving some of the white fabric all the way around the flower it really helps to isolate it against the backgrounds.  I thread sketched it rather heavily using two different colored thread in the petals and another one in the center.  Even though it is heavily quilted, it''s warm color and the white surround keeps it floating in the foreground. The basket weave quilting in the blue green is just yummy if I say so myself and even though it's color is light and bright, it's cool temperature keeps it back in the negative space.  The painted fabric with it's white background was topped with a fine brush of black and gentle swirls in a multitude of colors.  It is sitting in the mid ground.  I quilted it in gray and stitched around each of the swirls and stippled in the spaces in between. 
Though there are only three distinct areas of interest, it really is a statement piece, with just enough going on to keep you interested but not so much that it overwhelms.

I quite like it.
Till tomorrow,

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Art Every Day, Sunday, May 26, 2013

Good Evening,

Here is today's new piece and what fun it was to do!  I began with white fabric which I painted using "Silks" paints and a bevy of unusual brushes.  My goal was to get to know some of the different styles of paint brushes as I created.  I really like this breezy yet bold color way and quilting the designs was a load of fun.  I decided to go with sort of a scribbled look and like it best in the square stitched around the square.  I used black thread in the black area, red violet in the red and pale yellow thread as well as contrasty red violet thread in the whiter area.  All in all in was just a bunch of fun and I look forward to stitching more of the fabrics that I painted yesterday and this morning.

Till tomorrow,

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Not My Art Every Day, But Art Anyway.....

I don't have a new piece for today, the gallery was quite busy then I got caught up in rinsing dyed fabric, then I thought that I would paint some fabric, then I decided to finish this baby that I've been working on for quite some time now.  So, here it is finished.  Dyed and painted canvas topped with various layers of stuff including painted Lutradur, dyed cheesecloth, dyed silk hankies and tons of thread.  Here's a close up of one of the larger circles.
To make the larger circles, I would rip into the topmost layer of cheesecloth and pull it into a circular shape then push the silk underneath it to the side of the circle and quilt the hell out of the circle outline.  Once all of the quilting was done then I melted the Lutradur with a heat gun and added some painted highlights. 

This technique will be my newest series.  I'll continue working on both of my other series'; sculpted quilts and quilt & color and just add this to the journey.

I'll be sure to fit in a one a day tomorrow,
Till then,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Art Every Day, Friday, May 24, 2013

Good Afternoon,

Here is today's new piece.  I wanted to use some washing machine thread smoosh left behind by one of our dyeing customer friends, Anne Hagey and I wanted to use some hand dyed Polish lace gifted us by Pamela the Gypsy woman.  So here they are, used together.

I began by layering some yummy red violet dye painted bating with some dark yellow green hand dye with the lace laid out along the bottom.  I topped them both with layers of deep and medium red violet along with a mid valued bit of yellow green and a bit of red violet/yellow green that had been resist dyed. I like the layering with it's subtle texture and value changes and the simple quilting in the negative spaces allows the lace to show off.  I repeated the flower that is in the lace in the quilting in the center most fabric.  The last thing I added was the thread smoosh which really raised the surface.

I really like the quilted flower and the stitched circles but mostly I just love the bold direct complements.

Till tomorrow,

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Art Every Day, Thursday, May 23, 2013

Good Afternoon,

Here is today's new piece.  It is a continuation of yesterday's experience.  After not getting the differentiation between the stars and the background yesterday, I made some changes in my color/stitch design choices for today's piece. 

Though I'm not at all pleased with the shape of the heart - hurry does not always yield what you want it to - I am happy with the differentiation that I achieved.  By quilting the entire inside of the heart with inline swirls that echoed the shapes and using all warmer colors of thread, the heart stands out better in the busy background which is stitched minutely with coolish colors  (what looks yellow in the photo is really a yellow green). 

Outlining the heart shape with the narrow row of circles in a temperature neutral color helped to separate the heart too.  I don't really like the colors on the white background either.  Yesterday's black background was much more rich and interesting.

Well, till tomorrow,

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Art Every Day, Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Good Evening,

Here is today's new piece, just messin' around with thread color.  It has a layer of black cotton on top of white cotton on top of black batting.  I began by stitching the three stars and separating the background areas, all with hot pink thread.  Then I quilted each of the stars in a different color using a straight inline inside each star tip and tiny circles in the centers.  Then I used a different curve based stitch out in each background section.  I was trying to see if keeping all of the sections of the stars stitched in one color and all of them done with the same style of stitch would help them hold their own against all of the colorful and decorative stitching in the negative spaces.  

I believe that they are holding their own, but their hold is tenuous at best. I believe that I should have used purer hues in the stars and duller hues in the negative space.

Till tomorrow,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Art Every Day, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Good Afternoon,

Here is today's new piece.  What fun it was to do!  I began by layering blue violet on violet batting which was topped with a blue green square which was topped with a strip of light blue canvas.  I finished it off by tucking the edge of a vintage napkin under part of the canvas.  

It's pretty easy to see the quilting with the tight crosshatch in the background, swirly flourishes in the mid ground and the leaves stitched up the light blue canvas.  I completed it by coloring in the leaves "Quilt & Color" style using fabric markers then added miniscule dots around the leaves and vine to amp it up just a notch.

I love it; cool, simple, fun,
Till tomorrow,

Monday, May 20, 2013

Art Every Day, Monday, May 20, 2013,

Here is today's piece.  I'm still struggling, (because I keep forgetting to bring it home), with not having all of my tools/fabrics/stuff at home to make art with on my days off.  So I threw this little beast together with whatever I could find and hoped for the best.  I will probably go back and add the twisted yellow fabric all the way around the perimeter cause I like it, but I didn't have enough.  I like the quilting in the reddish area and how it echos not only the black stitched designs, but also the black and white stamped swirls.  The orange is a bit of vintage hankie.  The piece is noisy and a bit obnoxious, but I like it anyway because of it's friendly boldness.

Till tomorrow,

Art (Almost) Every Day, Sunday, May 19, 2013

Well, here is yesterday's piece.  I made it last night but found that I had forgotten my camera at the gallery and was not in the mood to go get it at 10:00 p.m.  So, here it is today.

It's a very simple piece; a layer of blue violet hand dyed cotton on top of black batting topped with a hand dyed piece of vintage crochet.  I dyed the crocheted piece from yellow to red from the center out and simply stitched it down as I quilted.  Easy, peasy.  I love how the light is glowing from the center and is quieter and softer around the edges.  Leave it to high contrast to turn on the energy!

and now, today's piece.....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Art Every Day, Saturday, May 18, 2013

Good Evening,

Here is today's newest piece.  I had one student in a Quilt & Color class today so I made a piece myself.  This started out a piece of white fabric layered with batting and backing.  I free form stitched the fish first then added all of the sections in the tail, body and fins.  Finally I stitched the sea plants and coral in the background along with the sand floor.

After the quilting was completed I used Fabrico markers to color in the bulk of the designs with a little bit of Tsukineko ink used in the background and some of the larger portions of the motifs.  When it was all done I found it way too bright so I did a wash of pale, sandy brown ink over the entire surface to quiet the whole thing down.

I love this technique.  It's possible to do just abut anything and it's just pure fun too.
Till tomorrow,

Friday, May 17, 2013

Art Every Day, Friday, May 17, 2013

Good Evening,

I'm trying to get this written before our 3rd Friday event starts. So here goes....

I began with the only dye painted batting I had at home (I took the morning off from the gallery and don't really have my mini home studio set up yet).  I grabbed the large black piece of fabric that has the discharged, filigree design on it along with a piece of mottled gray canvas and dark gray jute.  I stitched the hell out of the negative space of the discharged piece so that the filigrees would stand out then I stitched the jute in a miniscule crosshatch.  I stitched the elaborate design on the mottled gray piece then colored it in using a fabric marker.  Lastly, I added the three beads to repeat the batting color.

I'm not sure how much I like it.  I know that I don't "not" like it, but the scale and proportion of the two swirly designs are a bit weird. The smaller design is physically in front of the larger design which is a bit confusing to the eye because our sensibility says it should be the other way around.  

Ah well,
Tomorrow is another day for art making, till then,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Art Every Day, Thursday, May 16, 2013

Good Afternoon,

Here is today's new piece.  I wanted to play with red and black and the really pretty batting you see underneath these fabrics.  So, I ripped the base red fabric so that I had about 3/4" of batting showing on all sides then I ripped the dark gray strips and laid them down.  I then laid down the piece of light red and folded the ends of the dark gray strips up over it then folded pleats into gray strips and pinned them down.  Finally, I ripped some squares from a dyed black and started stitching.  

I wont explain the stitching, you can see it for yourself, but I love how the layers look and how the stitching is effecting the depth.  I also really like the dimensionality of the pleated up bits and I really, really like the color combo.

I also spent quite some time in the past two days working on the open/closed signs for my gallery.  They are pictured below.  They were fun, but really ate up the time.  They were quilted first on the bright yellow green using black thread then I painted them using Silks paints.

Till tomorrow,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Art Every Day, Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Good Afternoon,
Here is today's new piece.  I wanted to have fun with contrasting stitch and textural embellishments.
I began with a piece of yellow, heavy canvas and topped with bits of orange, red violet and more yellow.  I stitched the background in yellow thread using a mix of straight lines moving in every direction with swirls thrown in every so often.  I stitched the orange with red violet thread and swirls.  It was really orange until I stitched it, now it's pretending to be red violet.  The red violet square was stitched with straight lines and matching thread and the yellow pineapple silk in the middle was stitched with red violet thread to really accentuate the stitching.  I topped it all with a knot of ribbons, threads and torn fabrics.  It looks like a present! I like how the stitching has allowed each layer to act independently from each other. 
Now, I'm off to paint the vest I'm going to wear to the opening reception of the show "Spun" at the Denver Art Museum tonight - fun, fun.
Till tomorrow,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Art Every Day, Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good Evening,

Despite fighting with my machine most of the afternoon, here is today's new piece. 

I'm always extra pleased when I can manipulate color to my will, which is exactly what took place here.

I began with this yummy, blue/brown color way, throwing it on a bright white ground that was set on top of a delicious blue green tinted batting.  I really just wanted to push the envelope with texture then bully the white and make it bend my way. 

So, I layered everything up and stitched down the blues with simple blue lines and the brown with some biggish stippling.  The nubby bits that run down just left of center and the brown bits along the edge of the cheesecloth are some of the strings/threads that come out of our washing machine during the dyeing process - it was the cluster of those fibers that made me choose the blue/brown color combo.  Anyway, they were stitched down with blue thread too.

It's what I did to the white that excites me.  Because a pure, crisp white like this one always tries to rise to the surface above most colors sometimes even pure hues, I quilted the hell out of it with a minute 1/8", straightish crosshatch grid and viola! back it goes into negative space - take that you overbearing white! I win.

At least until tomorrow,

Monday, May 13, 2013

Art Every Day, Monday, May 13, 2013

Good Afternoon,
I got up this morning and immediately started "Spring Cleaning". With all of the moving from one studio to another on the tails of a teaching trip as well as trying to keep up with wholesale orders, my house has been bordering on mayhem for quite some time.  So, I'm spending my two days off from the new gallery/studio, getting my home space in order - it's  really a gross mess!
I threw this piece together first thing then forgot to upload it - so here it is now.  It began with some finger painted/over dyed linen in tones of red violet and orange with some hints of yellow orange.  I topped it with the black square which I had stamped with red violet De-Colourant some months ago.  I played around with adding more black to quiet down the negative space and came up with the placement you see above.  The quilting is somewhat simple, lots of black stitching in the negative space of the stamped design then some decorative stitching with two threads through the needle, one yellow orange and one hot pink. Then some simple wavy lines in the negative spaces with the same two threads and to finish it off I added some knarley knotted up bits of fibers to the center of the stamped square and the lower geometric black shape.  
I'm rather pleased with this little one, I find it fun to work with some of my older exploratory bits and pieces.  There's always a risk when adding stitch in contrasting thread but I think it's working rather well here.
Hope you have a glorious day, till tomorrow,

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Art Every Day; Sunday, May 12, 2013

Good Evening and Happy Mother's Day,
Here is today's new piece.  It is made entirely from dye painted batting.  Everything is free form cut with scissors (I inadvertently took all of my rotary cutting tools to my new studio). I began by cutting the gray batting sections to place on the two opposing corners.  Then I topped the gray sections with little flourishes in two more colors.  Next, I cut the stems, leaves and flowers. I laid everything out to make sure I liked the layout then removed everything so that I could stipple the background.  Then I put the corner pieces back in place and quilted them.  Next, I repositioned the stems and stitched them down along both edges.  Next I stitched on the long narrow leaves, right up the center only.  Then I added the lower flowers by stitching down the centers only.  I stitched on the upper flowers using a sloppy, swirly stitch to make them look like lilacs.  The smaller leaves are stitched up the center with veins added to make them curl up a bit.
I love how the batting responds to stitch, it curls up along the edges and shows the slightly lighter color of the backside.  It is of course quite a bit thicker than fabric so there is a whole bunch of physical depth too. It was a fun little experiment.
Till tomorrow,

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Art Every Day, Saturday, May 22, 2013

Well, after a few weeks hiatus, and opening a new gallery and studio, I'm back with a vengeance! This is the piece I created today.  It took me a lot longer than an hour or so, in fact, it took about 4 hours.  I just wanted to sit and create so I started with a dark blue green dye painted piece of batting and needle felted the hell out of it.
I added silk hankies in violet and yellow green. Silk throwster waste in yellow green, medium blue and a soft red violet and silk carrier rods in light blue then I outlined it all using some silk and wool yarns.  Once it was all needle felted and I had broken every felting needle that I had (felted by hand, I don't have one of those machines) I quilted it.  It was kind of yummy after the felting but it became fricken fabulous after the quilting.
It's great to be back baby, it's great to be back!
Till tomorrow,