Friday, February 17, 2017

Getting There, getting there....

For me, happiness is a few hours in the studio....this week I was able to get over the hump with a new piece in my Burrard series, after a few false starts. Mostly the challenges that I mentioned in my blog post of January 30th:

I had decided to paint the sky with diluted white textile paint to tone down the contrast of the black and white fabrics. As I was doing this, I though....gee, I should have put a plastic sheet over the print table....because I watched the damp fabrics wick up some dye residue from the table, red, blue, green and some bright orange.....!!!! Gosh Darn was the polite term!

So, thinking through what I should do, I waited for the paint to dry and rinsed out the fabrics with a bit of Oxy-Clean......then hung it to dry. After it was dry I ironed it thoroughly, hoping that I could get it all to lay flat! I painted the fabrics again (this time with plastic underneath) let them dry and heat set! Most of the dye had come out and the remainder blended into the the over all fabric collage. Lesson Learned!

I added the fabrics at the bottom in a collage format as well and began adding the torn strips for the steel girders....with three packs of 1/4" Steam a Seam tape!

I was all set to begin pressing in place and double checked my photo reference......

Ooooppps, the girders do not reach to the top....they are set at an angle

Well, good thing they're not fused down.....some re-positioning and its making more sense:

Now its ready to come off the design wall, get a heavy dose of steam and some additional pieces fused in place. The remaining girder lines will be done with stitching heavier black threads. Then onto the quilting stage.

I had an art consultant visit the studio this morning and she mentioned a gallery space in town that might be interested in my work.....

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mark Making with a Print Roller

In my previous post about mark Making we looked at a simple, everyday tool to create texture and pattern onto fabric. This time we'll open some kitchen or studio drawers to find another tool to again create those exciting images on fabric!

You can use simple cardboard tubes, sturdy, thicker ones are best, with elastic bands or sticky shapes. Try different widths of elastic bands, string, rick rack or anything with a flat surface that you can adhere to the tube.

Rolling pins that have been carved in patterns are also an option as are foam rollers, used as is or with elastic bands or string pulled tightly to make an interesting surface.

Remember that I'm usually cutting out areas from the fabric, rather than using it as an entire piece, perhaps even cutting it on the diagonal....

These are all simple but so can probably think of many options!

Here's my latest Mark Making video!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Ice Dyeing Revealed - Open for Registration!

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...

Next session starts February 23rd and Registration is open NOW!

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

So how does this work? Here's a bit about the 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....


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!

But wait there's more! Just in case you're not totally sure about this, visit my Pinterest Board and see more of those Ice Dyed Revealed Fabrics!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mark Making with a Straight Edge

Yesterday I made a short video on Mark Making using a straight edge such as a credit card or scraper. It was the start of a series that I hope will illustrate the simple yet effective ways to incorporate line, pattern and texture into our work.

You can view the video here: 

And I've used similar ideas in these art pieces:

 Appia - 12" x 24"
Naissus 27" x 27"

Friday, February 3, 2017

Etsy Updates....or how an idea happens!

I've actually been spending some time in the dye room, getting more Ice Dyes and Thermofax screens made and updating some items in my Etsy shop....

First I designed this thermofax screen from some fabric that I had stitched up and painted -

After the paint was dry, I unpicked the threads and ironed the fabric flat

 It reminded me of little people figures doing semaphore....if you're not sure what that is....Google it!

So then I made a thermofax screen:

Which you can buy here:

And I tested it on some print was good, so I did a whole bunch:

And I like the fabric so much that now it's for sale here:

 And that's the story of what happens when you have an idea.....what's your idea???? I'll bet it would make beautiful fabric!

Monday, January 30, 2017

What Am I Afraid Of?

Or maybe it should read "what I am afraid of".....a little like confession but it's been 3 months since my last blog post. It's not that I've not had anything to say, or that I didn't think of or I forgot to write any blog posts, but its more that I just kept putting it off....and off...and off until it became an embarrassment to even come to my blog and start writing.
But I'm back and ready to get to work, my goal it to write consistently and share my current work with you and hopefully keep myself accountable!

Last week I sent entries into the National Juried Show for the Canadian Quilters Association, this time I had three quilts to enter, a record for me. I missed last years entry by 2 days so I made certain that these were sent in plenty of time.

"Burrard" is one of them, I can publish this photo because its already been in a US show....

 Another quilt just got finished in time to take the photos, so I'll only show a little detail.

This one took a lot of quilting so I had time to think about ideas for my next piece. I'd already decided to continue with my "Structures" series and chose a photo to work on:

I like to get started right away on new work and on this one I saw a lot of sky behind the ironwork, almost 2/3 of the picture. I wanted to use a collage of pieced fabrics for the sky and made this:

who says sky has to be blue?

I thought I'd audition some of the iron work in bright colours:

And I put the photos on Facebook, asking if anyone thought the sky was a little intense....:)

Some suggested putting tulle over top to calm it down a bit, but that's not really practical as its about 36" square. I though I'd try painting a dilute white wash over top so I made a small sample and auditioned it in a couple places:

I like the texture of the paint roller and that it's a less than even application. So I think it's a go to paint over it and I think I might make this piece more of  monochromatic with black/grey ironwork and touches of bright..... for the Desert Island Designs in the previous blogpost from so long ago...... it's still going ahead, I'm going to be planning it for March, care to join me?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Desert Island Designs....

I've been thinking....and I have a PLAN building up in my mind and I need your help. I have this shoe box:

and it's empty.

And I'm thinking that I'm going to be stuck on a desert island. I can take any art or fabric supplies I want but they all have to fit into a shoe box. Just a regular shoe box.....

OK, I'm not going to a desert island but my idea is that we often make excuses for not making art - we don't have the right supplies - we don't have the right colour - we don't have time - we don't have this and we don't have that. I am so guilty of that very complaint and I don't really need to be. I have everything, absolutely everything I need to make art. I may not have exactly the right fabric, thread, paper or paint but I can make art with what I have, right now at this very moment!

So I want you to help me fill my shoe box ( I have a plan, but it's a secret for now, shhh!) I want you to tell me what I can take in my shoe box - OMG, this is risky!

Can I take some paint:

A thermofax screen:

Coloured markers:
 A colour wheel:
 Black markers:
 Some frames for editing:

 Please let me take fabric:

 And perhaps a paint box:

So I'd like to hear from you! Over the next month, I'll be assembling the shoe box (and if there's room in it, I'll add a couple things, like needle and thread!)
Then I can tell you about my PLAN! I think it'll be fun and I want you to be part of it! So please let me know what I'm allowed to put into my shoe box for Desert Island Designs.....

Sunday, September 18, 2016

About that Task.....

Why is it sometimes the simplest tasks that would take just a few minutes become those huge mountains that seem insurmountable? Such as regular blogging? Its not as though you, dear readers want long, lengthy, pithy, you want the visual, right? After all we are artists, so we want art....
OK: here are some pieces that I finished in time for a show....that happened a while back. OK, it was January! But they are photographed and on my Etsy Shop:

Etsy doesn't show the work at its best, so here they are:

Considered View #1

Considered View #2

Considered View #4

The backgrounds are screen printed images of an abandoned shipyard and the overlay is textured and painted fabrics that have been cut away to expose a grid style. They are then mounted onto black felt and a 1" deep painted canvas board.

Here's a couple photos of the shipyard to show inspiration:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Screen, Print and Stitch - Online Workshop is Open!

Screen, Print and Stitch

Are you looking to build your skills as a surface design artist? Do you want to learn specific techniques that will help you to create beautiful fabrics for your art? Perhaps you are new to the world of mono printing, thickened dyes, screen printing and stamping and would like a solid foundation of knowledge that you can refer to again and again?

Then “Screen, Print and Stitch” is made just for you! In the past, these lessons have been separate workshops, but since so many of my students enroll in more than one of my surface design workshops it made sense to build a special group package with tons of value-added information. So now “Screen, Print and Stitch” is a more extensive journey into helping you build those skills that you’ve been wanting for your textile art!

Early Bird Registration
Sign up NOW for only $120.00

In this nine session workshop you will learn:
• to make your own “homemade” gelatin plate. You will use stencils, doilies, kitchen tools and more with textile paints and explore all the possible ways to get colour onto cloth.
• to make your own hand carved stamps as well as using found objects for more layers of colour.
• different ways of creating roller prints with cardboard tubes, texture and sponge rollers for amazing effects, take out the rolling pins!
• to make simple, basic silk screens that will meet all your needs and the appropriate paints and tools to use.
• to use freezer paper stencils and other masks, then move on to using soy wax on the screens with thickened dyes.
• other screen printing techniques will be demonstrated including Thermofax screens, using gel mediums for foil and special effects and how regular “blue gel glue” can be used as a resist!
• creative ways you can make pattern and colour on fabric using resist techniques such as PVC pipe and other tubes with painted and immersion dye baths
• and one lesson will be focused on the exciting results that can be achieved with stitched resists

Does this sound like a lot? Remember each lesson is paced so that you can learn at your own speed, you can download the video to watch anytime and to keep forever! With “Print, Screen and Stitch” you will get:
• all nine videos with over 5 hours of information packed value
• two Thermofax screens mailed directly to you with a creative design for printing
• a bonus lesson on compiling your creations into a unique and special fabric journal
• pages of written notes with all the dye recipes, resources, tips and hints that you’ll find so valuable for future reference!
• 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!

Sign Up Now and get a Bonus!

A Private One-on-One Surface Design Mentoring Session – just for you!

30 minutes of conversation, advice and more….that will move you along your Surface Design journey! I’ll work with you to decide the best way to spend those 30 minutes together….it might be Skype, email, phone or ??

I’ve been a dyer and surface design artist for over 15 years. I’ve taken loads of workshops, I have advanced diplomas in textiles and art. Name a technique, I’ve tried it. Sometimes it takes lots of skill and practice to achieve success. And I get that….its part of being an artist!
Now, I want the same for you! I don’t keep anything back, I’m willing to share everything I know and I want you to have the value of what I’ve learned.

All of this is just for you because I know that colour and beauty is what we crave and having it on fabric just makes life so much better, right?
Be part of the fun and learn all about the new ways to create those gorgeous fabrics!

Learn More and Register HERE