Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Colour Blocking - Registration is Open!

Do you love dyeing fabric? Are you looking for a new way of creating luscious colour that changes across the surface, almost by magic? Curious about screen printing?
Then sign up for my Colour Blocking Online Workshop that begins on August 4th. In this workshop you will learn all the necessary steps to make amazing fabrics that will inspire you to create wonderful art.

In this workshop you will have a 45 minute video lesson (that you can download and watch forever), a printable PDF with all dye recipes and step by step instructions. In addition you'll be able to leave questions and comments on the password protected webpage. There is a private Facebook group to join, if you wish where other students share photos of their work and talk about their Colour Blocking projects.
 So what is Colour Blocking? Its a way to use thickened dyes as a base for printing with a silk screen. Thickened dyes do not change the hand of the fabric, allowing the fabric to remain soft and supple despite repeated applications, plus thickened dyes are transparent, so layers of dye will change intensity, value and colours, giving the artist a wide range of possible uses for their created cloth.

  I’ve been using thickened dyes for several years and love to screen print with them in a technique I call “colour blocking”. By using an open screen, with no images masked on the screen, I can achieve large areas of one or several colors that can mix and combine on the fabric.

 Students sometimes ask about fabrics....they wonderful part about Colour Blocking is its versatility1 You can use any fabric that works with Fibre Reactive dyes, so think of cotton, linen, hemp and silk. In fact any natural cellulose based fabric is perfect! Can't decide? Then why not layer some fabrics on top of one another! There's so many great effects that you can create with this technique, its not surprising its one of my favourites!

 Are you thinking this is for you? After you register for the workshop, then check out my free video on making a print table, you'll need one for the workshop. You can get the video here:

Can't wait to get started? If you are a Quilting Arts magazine subscriber, then my article about Colour Blocking appears in the October/November 2014 issue!

I'd love to have you in my workshop, so sign up now and be one of the first to learn Colour Blocking!
You can get the supply list when you register and be ready!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What Do You Think?

I'm just finishing a piece that I want to enter into the Quilts=Art=Quilts Exhibition http://www.schweinfurthartcenter.org/, just need to take out some basting and get it photographed. The deadline is July 25th so I've got masses of time, right? I'll post a photo of it once I know if its been accepted.
So here's my dilemma: I want to continue working with the theme  that began with the first piece, an abstraction of an abandoned shipyard in North Vancouver. I took several photos years ago that I keep coming back to as design inspiration.
But I can't decide which one I should work with....so you get to vote! I like them all and will probably create a piece from each of them, but I just want to get started!
In no particular order, should it be Photo#1:
 Photo #2
 Or Photo #3
You can leave your vote in the comments below.... and in case you are wondering, here's link to some history of the site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burrard_Dry_Dock

Monday, July 4, 2016

In Between Times....

Right now my life seems to be lived in 30 minute increments, there's a lot going on in our house and with our family....all of it good, just busy. So I grab what time I can and go with the flow!

I've managed to do some more ice dyed for my Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FabricImagery and I think they are gorgeous!

 Cinnamon Hearts

 Crocodile Rock

 Red Hot

 Midnight Eyes

My Old Blue Jeans

Monday, June 27, 2016

Thinking It Through - Line

I just returned from two weeks holiday spent exploring the northwestern part of British Columbia - this is our year staying closer to home..... when traveling I've been know to take different kinds of holiday snaps. Texture, line, shape are the elements that interest me, mountains and water falls are nice, too.....My DH has even suggested that I might consider having people in the photos....why, I asked?

We visited the North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site http://www.northpacificcannery.ca/ and thoroughly enjoyed learning about some early BC history, the impact that the fisheries had on the economy and the diversity of people who worked at such places. I snapped away with my IPhone (they take good photos!) and have come home to edit and play around to see what I could do with the images.....messing about in PhotoShop!

So think about canned salmon and the process:

these are the lids used on cans when they were soldered with lead to seal them.....

using a colour filter

rotating the image - those lines are wonderful

repeating the image in an irregular grid

cropping the image and turning into indigo with another colour filter

repeating the image several times

cropping the image and rotating it again. Does this say Shibori?

Now you might ask, why do this? As you know I work with fabric but this kind of work/play in PhotoShop gives me more ideas to explore the next time I want to work in an indigo vat, cut fabric, plan a new Thermofax screen or design in my sketchbook. The editing didn't take long, if something doesn't appeal to me then there is always the "undo" button and its another way of working and seeing.
Are you developing designs this way? Tell us about it.....

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Are You Wondering If It's For You?

I thought it was time to explain a bit more about my Online Workshops and in particular, my upcoming Ice Dyeing Revealed. I've been asked to elaborate......

As a surface design artist, I know you love colour and pattern…don’t we all! We understand the importance of subtle value shifts, repeating imagery and glorious contrasts….that’s why you are so creative! But maybe you are looking for a new method to add to your toolbox? Something that helps you move beyond anything you could imagine…..
I have a method of dyeing that is almost like Forrest Gump…..a surprise every time! By using ice as the carrier for dye powders you will achieve the most incredibly amazing patterns and textures, like nothing you’ve done before…

After this workshop you can build up a fabric inventory like no one else, each piece of fabric will be a new creation, ready for your artistic skills! You will be able to:
• create yardage, not just small pieces but long lengths of gorgeous fabrics
• dye coordinating patterns in different colour ways
• make home decor items, cushions wall hangings and more
• have a ready stash of fabrics for whenever you feel inspired
Doesn’t this sound wonderfully exciting? You bet! there’s a lot to be excited about!

So how does this work? Here’s a bit about Ice Dyeing Revealed workshop:
• First, you will have access to a password protected webpage that’s just for you. I’ll send out the password and all the tidbits the day before the workshop begins.
• There’s a place on the webpage for you to post questions and comments and to chat with all your fellow students.
• The webpage will also have the PDF of all the class notes – download it, print it and use it as a handy reference and reminder, it’s that simple!
• You have the option to join a private Facebook group that’s just for you to post pictures, see others inspiring fabrics and much more. It’s the best and most immediate way to get together!
• You’ll be able to download the video from the webpage, it’s yours to keep forever and ever, and ever….

Wondering about the whole “online” thing? Here’s some of those Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to sign in or be at my computer at a certain time?
      Nope, its all recorded before hand, you can watch it whenever you want….in your jammies with a cuppa!
When does the workshop start and finish?
      Ice Dyeing Revealed begins on the date on the webpage. I generally close off registration one week later so that all students get the maximum benefit from interacting with each other in the workshop and the Facebook page.
      I’ll give you a heads up when I am closing that session of the workshop, usually 2 months from the start date. That gives you time to download the video, just in case you haven’t. But you’ll always be part of the Facebook group, able to see the work from previous and future students
How do I know what supplies I’ll need?
      There’s a supply list ready for you just below, just print off and get ready.
Where can I buy the supplies?
      I’ve got a great resource list on the PDF with links to the major dye houses around the world
Do I need previous dyeing experience?
      Heck no! It’s all easy and I’ll be there to guide you through all the steps to beautiful fabrics.
What about safety? I don’t know what I’ll need?
      All the dyes and chemicals you’ll be using are safe when used in a responsible manner. I’ll spend time showing you how to set up your workspace and using some simple safety equipment.

What’s this Ice Dyeing about, anyway? All fibre reactive dyes need two things….well actually, three. First they need fabric, well yeah! Then they need a dye activator, that’s the stuff that make the dye permanent on the fabric. Then they need water/snow/ice to dissolve the dye and move it onto the fabric. If you’ve dyed fabric before, then you probably used water, right? Well, I live in Canada….the home of eternal snows, not! My climate in southwestern British Columbia is decidedly Mediterranean…no snow. So I have turned to ice as the next best thing…actually I think it’s the BEST thing. The ice acts both as a carrier of the dye powder as it melts but it also slows down and changes the reaction time so that the dye reaches different parts of the fabric at different times and that’s the MAGIC, folks!

In Ice Dyeing Revealed here’s what we’ll cover:
• the dyes and chemicals that you will use
• safe studio practices, how to set up your dyeing area
• equipment such as measuring cups, colanders and more
• getting the fabric ready for dyeing
• the “magic” folding patterns – it’s all in the folding!
• dye colour choices
• setting up the fabric, the ice and the dye
• batching time – be patient, young Luke…..
• rinsing and washing your fabrics
• getting excited!

Are you ready? What's keeping you back? Just let me know....
Or SIGN UP here:  http://susanpm.com/online-workshops/

I'd love to see you in class!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Shifting into Neutral - Online Workshop

When we think of neutral colours we often put grey and all the lighter values that black gradation might give us. But did you know there is so much more than just those?

Think of all the soft and delicate sherbet colours, gentle taupes and browns, plus light and pale colours of the wonderful spring we are enjoying right now. Have you wondered how to get those values into your palette of dyed fabrics?

In colour theory, a neutral is  a colour that is neither warm nor cool. Neutral colors result from the combination of two complementary colours (e.g., red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple) or by mixing the three primaries together.
Neutrals play an important role in bringing our art to life, they are used to emphasis the structure or form and give the eye a place to rest so that we can return the the art again and see or appreciate more.

Another way of considering a neutral is "minimalistic", that is often why we decorate our homes with neutrals, so that "pops" of colour will show up more, plus neutral colors are easier to match with patterns and many other colors.

Now, do I have your interest? Would you like to learn more about mixing neutrals for your fabric palette? Join me as we explore together different ways of creating wonderful colours in a fun and creative online workshop. The workshop begins April 14th, there is extensive video and print learning, plus an opportunity to meet your fellow classmates and share your experiences.
You can find out more and register here: http://susanpm.com/online-workshops/

Just got a little promo video set up!


Monday, March 21, 2016

When You Don't Have Time!

In my last newsletter I talked about what I was packing art and quilt-wise for a quiet vacation...
One response tugged at my heart strings because the subscriber said that her job and other obligations kept her away from doing what she loved.

Sometimes that just happens....stuff gets in the way....I get it!

I'm not going to write about how to get more into your day....there's dozens of books, web sites, planners and stuff to tell you how to do that!
And now we've heard that "multi-tasking" just doesn't work....in fact it can be down right unhealthy!

So when life happens, can we fit in the "good" stuff? 
Maybe not ....now. 
So then what?

First, don't heap another burden on your back - dump the guilt and leave it alone. There will always be wonderful art, just not today, OK?
If you can't create right now, then enjoy the sunset or the opportunity to breathe.....
And dreaming is good, right?

Celebrate other things...or find the art that's in your life today!  It's Daffodil Madness in Victoria right now - 

And its always fun to find art in our food......or food in our art!

And its always a good idea to cuddle with a nice warm someone!
So chill....and know that there will be a time for you!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ice Dyeing Revealed! - Registration is OPEN!

Did you miss out on the first chance to take part in my Ice Dyeing Revealed Online Workshop? Well, it's back again, so don't miss out this time!

 In this workshop you will learn:
  • all the supplies that you'll need to make beautiful, one-of-a-kind patterns
  • step by step instructions, both in video and PDF to follow along
  • safe studio habits while working
  • special folding patterns to create amazing designs

You will also have:
  •  access to the classroom for three months 
  • passowrds to download the video
  • sharing opportunity in a private Facebook group
In Ice Dyeing Revealed you can:
  • meet other like-minded dyers from around the world
  • post pictures of your wonderful fabrics
  • ask questions and share ideas
Why wait? Sign up NOW! Space is limited!
Go to:  http://susanpm.com/online-workshops/ and look for the Ice Dyeing Revealed section.

I am looking forward to seeing YOU in the workshop!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Surprise! - It's Been a Busy Month

There are days when I look back and think...what on earth have I accomplished today? It seems as though the day gets chopped up into tiny pieces and nothing much got finished. Do you have times like that? When I've sat for hours at the computer and never got to my sewing machine, even though I had promised myself that I would!

But if I look at the bigger picture, for the past month, actually quite a lot has been done!
  • I finished up [Insert Here] my first solo show
  • I submitted two pieces to the Coast Collective "Spring Showcase" and was accepted, those are hanging until March 6th, if you get a chance to stop by
  • I'm sending in an application for a Personal Development Grant
  • I'm teaching an online workshop right now
  • I'm in the midst of "Shifting into Neutral" a new studio workshop

  • I sent out two newsletters during February
  • I've got the courses selected for a new teaching opportunity at the Vancouver Island School of Art - more about that later
  • I taught and lectured to a great guild in Bellingham

  • I've been doing more ice dyeing
  • I've submitted a new article to Quilting Arts magazine
  • I've been hanging out with my grandsons - we've been planning a fairy garden
  • I taught one grandson to use Pinterest - that might come back to bite me!
  • I have a wonderful reunion with the "old" staff and teachers that used to work with me at Satin Moon Quilt Shop!
  • I've Skyped twice with my Accountability Partner
  • I've set up and new Budget and Expenses system - with some help from the invaluable Val!
  • I've been using Instagram a lot more this month
  • And the best part of the month was getting the first copies of my new DVD - Fabric Embellishments with Colour, Surface Design and More! 
 So really, why do I think I didn't get much done? Why not try listing everything you've done this month? I think you might surprise yourself!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Art Every Day!

Are you like me and have far better intnetions than actually happen? Do you want to get into a regular habit of sketching, drawing, creating? When I go into my studio, I want to make something, but often I gravititate towards my computer.....and then time passes and the art doesnt get done!

Well, I thought i might share my frustrations with others and see what happens! So I started a Facebook Group titled Art Every Day! Its been great to see others share their art and be enthusiastic about what we are creating...

OK, so I'm still at the computer, not making art but at least I'm learning about art, right???

So I also checked out a couple of websites about Art Every Day and found this one: http://www.dailyartfixx.com/

Daily Art Fixx began in April 2009 as a way to share art – for education and inspiration. Since then DAF has grown beyond expectations to include artist profiles (both historical and current), most visual art genres, and themes such as Women in the Arts, Art-e-Facts, E-Learning, videos, and more.

Plus the site is by two Canadian women! Cool! They have featured artists, a bit of history, lots of great visuals and a wide variety of mediums shown. There's not much fibre, so will have to work on that! I've signed up for their newsletter, lets see what happens!

In the meantime, why not trot on by to the Art Every Day Facebook Group and see what's happening? Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1668316073423495/

Here's one of my latest Ice Dyed fabrics, because every post has to have a picture, right? Now I'm off to my sewing machine.