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!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Art Every Day, Monday, Sept 30, 2013,
Good Afternoon,
Here is today's new piece.  It began with two fabrics that I painted with thickened dyes.  I absolutely love making colorful marks on fabric.  It's the most creative freedom I've ever experienced.  It's a real kick to make art with them too.  Something amazing occurs when no other artist is included.  
Anyway, I chose the fabric on the right because of it's color and movement.  I love the combo of bright white with bold red, reserved blue green and happy yellow.  The dark gray bits lend it a sense of maturity that it wouldn't have otherwise.  I chose the piece for the left side because it picked up the blue green of the swirls and I chose the dark gray for the tightly coiled circles to continue with my desire to bring something other than total playfulness to the picture.
The multicolored print is quilted in white, outlining the major players and nothing more.  The blue green strip is quilted in matching thread and close set horizontal lines.  The tight gray swirls sit on the line where the two fabrics meet and act to simultaneously bring them together and separate them.  
I love the bold color and the depth as well as the fabulous movement of this piece.  It makes me smile.
Till tomorrow,

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Art for Two Days Ago, Friday, Sept 27, 2013
Good Afternoon Yet Again,
Here is another piece that began with dye painted fabric.  I ripped the piece to fit and had a bit of highly frayed selvedge edge to use on top along with some ripped black linen and black batting as well as a nice piece of red violet dyed embroidered cotton.
The quilting on this one is sort of counter intuitive.  I used long wavy lines to form a cross hatch in the swirly, multicolored background fabric and a pale gray thread.  I simply outlined the black linen and the circles in the red violet fabric then added the zigzag in the white strips, all using red violet thread.
Again, this piece is quite simple, but it lets the printed fabric do all of the work. I like how the swirls in the background meld into the circles in the red violet fabric.  I also like the high contract between the black and the white and bold colors.
Thanks all for today,
Art for Yesterday, Saturday, Sept 28, 2013
Hey there again,
Here is another piece I made today.  Two weeks ago I demonstrated dye painting with thickened dyes in the Quilter's Studio at the Denver Art Museum.  I painted about 20 pieces over the two days that I was there so you'll be seeing a lot of them in may daily pieces for a while.
This piece went together very quickly.  I simply wanted to use this fabulous warm colored fabric filled with yellows, oranges and red violets.  I topped it with some ripped strips of black linen and set it all down on black batting.
The quilting in the black sections alternates between linked swirls and straight lines and is done in red violet.  The quilting in the gorgeous background features lines, lots of lines, moving in every direction and stitched in yellow, yellow orange, orange and red violet.
This piece is quite simple, but the two elements; the color/texture of the background and the black strips of stitched foreground play off of each other very well and tell an elegant, energetic story.
I'll be right back,

Art Every Day, Sunday, Sept 29, 2013
Good Afternoon,
Hope this finds you well dear reader. I have to apologize for my lack of entries this past week, but I've been rather ill with a sinus infection and walking pneumonia.  I've had to work right through it with little time to rest - the joys of being a small business owner - which slows the recovery time down, but I've got some good drugs on board now so it shouldn't be long till I'm all well.  I managed to get several pieces done this morning and here is the first.
It began with a lovely piece of pale red violet, yellow and gray that I had dye painted with thickened dyes.  I puled out a dark, toned piece of silk noil in oranges and red violets along with some yellow and some gray to coordinate with the painted piece.  I covered a piece of red dye painted batting with the multi-colored piece then ripped the other fabric into the shapes you see.  I decided on a diagonal setting for more interest and used twisted strips of the gray as well as some dyed bits of lace flowers to raise the surface.
The quilting is rather straight forward, largish stippling in gray thread in the negative space and just the stitched flowers holding down the yellow squares and couching atop the gray strips which also secures the orange rectangle.  
I really like the soft color way at play here and the interest that the gray grid brings.  It's a very gentle piece but it's not boring.
I've got a few more coming, so see you in a bit,

I Managed Today's Every Day Art,
Monday, Sept 23, 2013

Good Afternoon Again,
Here is today's new piece.  Part of it was done while filming DVD's last week.  Since then I've gotten continually sicker with a nasty summer cold, got it all; sore throat, ear ache, snot, cough, body aches and fever.  But I managed to do my artist studio duties at the Denver Art Museum this weekend.  It almost killed me, but no luck!
So, I had to get some of these dailies done.  They haunt me and when I don't get them done some of you scold me (mostly good hearted niggling, but.....).  This one began with the layered piece in the middle.  It started with a layer of sheer paper, topped with melted dryer sheet topped with ripped decorative papers in red, gold and blue violet, all held together with a light brushing of fabric sculpting medium.  Once it was all dry, I stitched the feather down the center with gold thread and added some stitched circles.
Then, I set it down on a piece of blue violet paper which I in turn set on top of some red dye painted batting.  Then I added the inlining and outlining of the feather, some blue circles and a bit of perimeter stitching.  I kinda like this one, not too fond of the color way, but like the layers a lot. It's busy, but I'll do more with the paper/dryer sheet layering and learn how to keep it more harmonious.
Till then,

Monday, September 23, 2013

Art When Ever the Hell I Can Get to It!,
For Sunday, Sept 22, 2013

Good Afternoon,
Here is a new piece that took be several days of working a bit here, a bit there to finish.  I think it looks as thought the cat ate a bunch of colorful bits and pieces of fabric, fibers and beads and barfed them all up.
In actuality it is a piece of stitched fusion set down on velvet, set on batting.  The fusion has very little quilting, most of the stitching that you see was done while it was formed.  The velvet is heavily stitched with circles/stones and the beads are glued down to look as though they were thrown across the surface.  Three days for this? All I can say is yuk.
I'll be right back,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Art Every Day, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013

Good Evening,
I made this one this morning but it's taken me until now to find the time to upload it.  I was trying to accomplish two things at once with this one.  I needed another example of  faux trapunto for a video that I'm shooting tomorrow. Unfortunately the technique doesn't really show well in the photo which means it probably wont show well on camera tomorrow either. Damn.
I began by layering the green fabric on top of the black batting then I added wool batting under just half of the green fabric, the right hand side.
I quilted the leaf then added it's details and then quilted the background with close set straight, horizontal lines.  I didn't add too much stitching inside the leaf so that the stitching wouldn't flatten the interior of the leaf.  In person, the right side of the leaf is much puffier than the left hand side. I added some tiny circles inside some of the lines along the bottom of the leaf because the piece was a bit unbalanced because I set the leaf a little high in the rectangle.
Once all of the stitching was done I found the piece a bit lacking in interest so I added the iron-on crystals.  Now it looks a bit Christmassy which is not my thing.
It rarely works when I try to kill two birds with one stone!
Till tomorrow,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Art Every Day, Tuesday, Sept 17, 2013

Good Morning,
Done before noon, two days in a row, woo hoo! 
This piece began with the bit of black/gray silk gauze which led me to select the strip of very frayed cotton jute, the strips of light gray silk and a large piece of hand dyed brown cotton and some brown dye painted batting.  I guess you could say that I'm in an all neutral mood.
I set the jute down and stitched along it's perimeter then stitched big swirls to the right of the jute and tight lines moving back and forth along the narrow left side.  Then I added the twisted gray swirls.  I knew that I was going to add the silk gauze on top of the jute, but I thought that I would twist it up like the light gray silk and add a big bead at the intersection of the top end of the gray swirls where they all meet.  But then, I wondered what the gauze might look like with a knot tied in it rather than twisting it and I loved the result. So, I placed the knot where I thought I would put a bead and sort of spread out the rest of the gauze and stitched it down along the long edges to finish it.
I love the movement  the piece has from both the quilting and the twisted swirls as well as all of the dimensionality derived by the fabric manipulations.
Till tomorrow,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Art Every Day, Monday Sept 16, 2013

Good Morning,
Boy it's been a long time since I've started a post with that salutation! Feels good to be done with today's piece so early in the day. Here she is, I began with a bunch of warm colored squares which I set on the only battingish thing I had here at home, a piece of dyed bamboo felt in a light, light red orange.  Then I grabbed the cool colored square in a square block that was left over from some other project.
Prior to adding the pieced square, I stitched down all of the warm colored squares of fabric using dark orange thread and a small stipple.  Then I positioned the pieced square and stitched it down using a bright turquoise color of thread.  I added four stitched squares for a total of five squares.  
I really like the cascading movement of the squares from upper left toward the lower right as well as the warm/cool, dull/bright contrasts.  
Now I'm going to do a quickie house cleaning then enjoy an afternoon out with a good friend,
Till tomorrow,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

More Every Day Art, For Yesterday, Saturday, Sept 14, 2013

Good Evening Again,
Here is yesterday's piece and I really like its brisk contrasts in color, line, shape and texture.  
I began with the black and white stamped square then chose yellow green and bright white along with black batting to show the block print off.  I  wanted the two white borders to be wide so that I could add the twisted yellow green strips.  I made the yellow green rectangle of background area just large enough to support the block print.
The design of the block print was outlined with white thread then echo stitching was added.  The yellow green background is heavily stitched with pebbles and the white is stitched with a small stipple.  The final addition was the strips of yellow green, twisted and couched down in curvy lines along the center of the two white borders.
Art For Today, Sunday, Sept 15, 2013

Here is today's new piece.  It began with the block printed, wavy cross hatched, black and white fabric and the little bit of black and white with the leaf print.  I chose some white linen and some red silk noil along with some red batting to show off the block prints. 
The leaf block print is outlined twice then top stitched around the inner edge.  The red square is top stitched and short, curvy lines were added in alternating directions on the two wider sides of the square.  Both the narrow and wide, white lined sections are stitched with leaves and vines then the black and white wavy cross hatch print was stitched in the long horizontal black lines. 
I really like this piece.  It's bold yet  pretty, architectural yet natural.  It has a wonderful undulating rhythm too.
Well, till tomorrow,

Art When Ever I Can,
For Thursday, Sept 12, 2013

Good Evening,
Here is a new piece that I'm trying to catch up with.  I've used some more of the dye painted silk that I've used before along the bottom and added some silk noil along the top.  then I added a strip of gray waffle weave fabric, a ripped strip of osnaberg and a twisted strip of canvas.
The stripey silk on the bottom was quilted with long zigzaggy vertical lines with yellow thread in the yellow areas and dark gray thread in the gray areas.  There is no quilting in the red areas.  The yellow silk noil on the top is quilted with one big feather set horizontally.  The gray strip is quilted with a big zig zag.
To finish the whole thing off I added a big, button dyed in a tone of read on the upper right and four strands of yellow pearl cotton tied with various dyed beads in red, yellow and dark gray.  I like the piece with it's bold stripes in the bottom silk fabric and the repeat of those verticals with the dangling
And for Friday, Sept 13,

This piece began with the darkish blue green, dye painted fabric.  I quilted it to a black batting following the darker areas using long vertical lines with zig zags used to change directions.  After the quilting was done I added the four swirls along the left hand side using blue, green, red violet and violet strips of fabric.  I then added long lines of twisted fabric along the right hand side, repeating the colors.
In person, the colors on top of the dark blue green are much more noticeable. I like the piece well enough but don't find it very exciting.  The dark areas in the background do add a nice bit on drama and more interest than a plain fabric would have.
I'll be back in just a moment with a couple more pieces.
Till then,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

 Art Every Day, Wednesday Sept 11, 2013
Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece.  I threw it together at the studio just before closing and just finished stitching it here at home.  It was a crazy, nutty day at work and I think it shows in the piece.
I saw the black and white dotted block print and knew it would look great with some bright colors so I grabbed the bold yellow and slightly toned red violet along with some black batting and layered it all up.
At first I planned to quilt it all in black but after I finished the pink strips I realized that the high contrast of black on the yellow would screw it all up and that I should stick with the contrasts I already had and not add any more.  So, the dots are outlined and the white background is heavily stippled then i used an overlapping, triangular design to quilt back all that yellow background.
Though the yellow is doing it's yellow thing of vying for all of the attention I think that the high contrast areas or black & white and black & pink are holding their own against it. Sometimes you just can't fight actualities.  The things that are on top are staying forward and the things that are farthest behind are staying back.  Good ol' physics.  
Till tomorrow,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Art Every Day, Tuesday, Sept 10, 2013
Good Afternoon,
Here is today's new piece and it's a bit over the top! I began with wanting to do something with some silk carrier rods, so I grabbed a handful of violet ones and then chose a red violet/brown hand dye to play as backdrop along with a pale violet bamboo felt for a base.
I pulled the rods into thin layers and ripped each one in half to yield a bunch of pieces that were about 2 1/2" long by an inch or so wide.  I laid them out, slightly overlapping in a gentle "S" curve along the left hand side of the piece and stitched them down the center to stabilize them. Then I quilted the holy hell out of the background with a really messy overlapping circular design.  I finished off the quilting by sewing around the felt a couple of times with a wavy line.
Then, the over the top fun part started. I found this weird knitted silver wire tube stuff that I had and stuffed three silk cocoons down into it, inadvertently ripping it as I did so. I stitched that down between each cocoon and on the ends.  Then I ran some lengths of deep red wire under the wire tube stuff and twisted the ends of the wires into swirls and stitched those down with may machine too and viola!, this fabulous little thing emerged. Makes me think of a big, fuzzy caterpillar with it's weird sophistication and lovely color.
Well, that's all for today,
Till tomorrow,

Monday, September 9, 2013

 Art Every Day: Yesterday  and Today, Sept 8 & 9, 2013
 Good Evening Again,
I worked really hard on getting somewhat caught up today.  Though it was my one day off today, I didn't have anything more pressing so I spent the better part of my day at the studio sewing.  It felt spending some time alone with all of the art and beautiful fabric.
So here is a piece for yesterday.  A few weeks ago in the last session of the Surface Design class that I teach, one of my students, Darcy VanPelt cut a stencil to use while screen printing.  Just before she left I asked her  if I could pull a few prints from her design.  I thought the flower would look great at the two ends of a light violet scarf that I had dyed, but, one should never really rush through screen printing.  The prints were both quite messy and really just ruined the scarf.  So, I threw it into the scrap boxes that I do my daily pieces with.  This morning I figured was as good a time as any to use it. 
I simply Misty Fused it to a piece of light red violet bamboo felt then stitched just inside all of the petals and added some long, thin veins then I stitched the center with swirls.  I switched to a pale lavender thread and stitched the background with a micro stipple to push it back.  Because it's silk, the piece is really lustrous in person, the photo just doesn't do it justice. I like the stripy dye job that I did when screen printing, it adds some nice visual interest and Darcy's flower design is fabulous.  

This is my favorite piece of the day.  It began with a piece of fabric that I had hand dyed then discharged and over dyed using Decolourant Plus in two colors; primary blue and avocado which is really brown.  I really liked the fabric so I didn't want to cut it up.  I simply placed it on top of some dark gray batting that is streaked with blue metallic paint.
I  quilted the whole thing i a pale green rayon and stitched around all of the small brown circles and diagonal lines.  I also stitched around the perimeter of the small blue circles and the large blue circles.  The I quilted tight cross hatches inside each of the four large circles.  Finally, I stitched a stipple in the background in an attempt to push it back.  
I love how all of the circles come forward and how far back the centers of the large circle are. I like it's weird, freaky balance with the one complete large, blue circles and the three partial ones, but mostly I like how all of the smaller brown circles look.  Though it doesn't show well in the photo, they really pop out and almost look stuffed in person.
Till tomorrow,


 Art Every Day, Make up for Sept 6 & 7, 2013
Good Evening,
I have really been struggling with my hand. When it hurts like it has been I have a hard time wanting to anything creative.  In fact I have a hard time doing anything other than feeling sorry for myself.  So, I went to see my doctor again today and insisted on getting a cortisone shot.  My insistence didn't work, so I went home with pain killers to get me through the interim until they find out what's going on.  So, pain meds on board, I managed to get several things done today.  Here is the first one.
It began with the piece of metallic lacy stuff which I stitched out of metallic thread onto black dye painted Lutradur.  I heated away the bulk of the Lutradur then laid it on top of some beautiful, blue silk velvet which I in turn laid on top of a fabric that I had dye painted dull blue then topped with various metallic paints and a sponge.
I quilted around the lacy thread bit then around the blue velvet.  Then I continued stitching with the silver metallic on the background using a rather large swirly motif. The piece is very "Game of Thrones" like and regal in person.  It looses quite a bit of it's grandeur in the photo. Can't say that I like it all that much, you would think with such interesting products and techniques it would be a bit more fancy, but I find it a bit boring.

Now, this one I like a lot more. I don't know why, but I'm really diggin this blue and brown color combo and I like the quilting too.
It began with the osnaburg fabric rectangle then I chose two different sections of the same hand dyed fabric for the two background sections.  I laid all three sections down on a dark gray batting with blue metallic streaks.
I stitched a fancy feather in the small rectangle then sections of close set wavy lines alternating with rows of circles in the upper background section then stitched straight lines with varied distances in the lower background along with one line of large circles. 
In addition to really liking the color, I also love the sense of movement in the upper portion  which is augmented by the stillness of the straight, horizontal lines in the lower background section. The whole piece is moody and somewhat masculine.
Well I've got two more done, so I'll be right back!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Art Every Day, Thursday, Sept 5, 2013
Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece.  Didn't think I'd get 'er done, but here she is.  Better late, than really late.
As I drove home from teaching this evening in Colorado Springs I pretty much decided that I was going to play with high contrasts for this piece.  So when I got home, I grabbed all of the solid white and solid black fabric that I had on hand in my itty bitty home studio and threw them on top of the last piece of batting that I have at home which happened to be red, so I went with red thread for the quilting to add even more contrasts.
I jumped right in and stitched swirls of various sizes on the white and straight lines on the black.  Then I added circles on the larger sections of batting that weren't covered up by fabric.  The piece wasn't as energetic as I had hoped for so I threw the red square on there and stitched it with black thread and it added that final tasty bit of energy that the piece needed.  
Who says I can't make a pretty good piece in about a half hour?
Till tomorrow, another crazy busy day, 

Thank you both Sybil and Meg for your comments.  For those of you who don't know how to comment, just click on the icon below that says "no comments"  once you've commented it will then say "1 comment" and so on.  I'd love to hear from you, especially those of you who are far away.  I'd love to know who's reading me!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Art Every Day, Wednesday, Sept 4, 2013
Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece and you can probably see, it is very similar to yesterday's piece.  This one has the focal point on the horizon line too, however, the horizon line has been shifted to encompass the lower two axis of thirds and the piece has a horizontal rather than vertical orientation.  I really just wanted to see how the energy, weight and depth change depending upon where the perceived horizon line is and where that line is in association with any focal point.
For today's piece, I kept the warm reds for the focal point using squares of fabric rather than wild threads and I changed the background to a warm brown instead of the cooler gray from yesterday.
I also changed up the quilting style, but kept the contrasting thread color.  For this piece, I made the quilted shapes larger in the portion of brown background along the bottom (so it could appear closer to the viewer and then I stitched the same type of design in the upper portion of background, but made it smaller in scale and added additional wavy lines.
I think it's interesting how much heavier the focal point is.  It could be because there is physically more of it; it's fabric rather than thread and the line of it is longer. Or, it could be because it is closer to the bottom of the piece, where we perceive things to be closer to us and of greater import. 
Either way, it makes for a great comparison to yesterdays work, but I find yesterday's piece more interesting.
Till tomorrow,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

 Art Every Day, Tuesday, August 3, 2013
Good Evening Again,
Dinner wasn't quite ready so I figured I'd quickly throw this one on. I really like the simplicity of this little guy.  The two gray backgrounds, darker on top with hints of brown and lighter on the bottom with darker vertical lines and a herringbone texture are the perfect setting for the bold textural color of the thread bits from the washer.
I decided to try a composition with a high horizon line which is why I made the two gray's the size they are and overlapped them up on the top two axis of thirds.  I kept the quilting simple, but did it in a contrasting color; hot pink.  I stitched down all of the threads with a loose stipple then added the long, pointy designs in the negative space.
I love the quite energy with the explosion of color and texture.  It was both quick and fun to do and though it is quite modern stylistically, it is warm and inviting too.
Till tomorrow,

Art For Last Weekend, August 31, 2013,
Good Evening,
In addition to tons of other stuff, like beginning to organize my office at the gallery, I managed to get two daily pieces done this afternoon.  I'll keep this short though 'cause the typing hurts my hands.
This piece features a large and a small portion of a stamped black and white design set on solid white on a black batting.  
The quilting began with the three red squares, followed by pebble stitching in the dark gray/black areas which was followed with stitching in the white areas of the block print and the background with white.  The piece is very graphic and bold.  The large amount of white tries, lamely, to overwhelm both the block print and the red, but I got the best of it with a tiny stipple.
Now, I'll eat dinner then be back with today's piece,
Till then,

Monday, September 2, 2013

Art Every Day, Monday, Sept 2, 2013

Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece.  It is needle felted with silk hankies and silk carrier rods with a bit of wool fibers for the tree and yarn for the fence.  The leaves are stitched with silk ribbon using a chain stitch. 
I rarely do representational work any more, but I needed a sample for hand felting and figured I kill two birds.... yada yada yada.  What I did instead was kill my right hand a make it curl up in a tight ball of agony once again.  It took me three days to get this done.  Now, no hand work again till I figure out what the hell is happening with this hand.
Also, I've got to say that I'm feeling a bit lonely here on the blog.  I really miss my constant commenter, Christa and though feedback from you guys isn't why I do this whole art every day thing, it really helps when I feel uninspired or overwhelmed to know that there is someone out there who's interested in taking a few steps of this journey with me.
Guess I'm feeling sorry for myself tonight so,
Till tomorrow,