Thursday, August 13, 2015

Throwback Thursday - The Four Corners

My younger sister, older brother and me, at The Four Corners
(Colorodo, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona),
it looks like around 1955.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Boerne, Beautiful Boerne

I just spent a lovely day in a sweet little town just north of San Antonio that I had been neglecting to visit since my move here from Houston 5 years ago. Boerne, Texas was founded by German "Free Thinkers" and still has that independent flavor.

The beautiful 1870 courthouse. I couldn't get a clear picture myself today,
so I cadged this one from the internet.
A street sign in Boerne ... duck crossing!
The Dodging Duck Restaurant,
where I had lunch with an old friend today.
Judy is one of my oldest friends ... she reminded me that it's been
over 40 years that we've known each other! (She gamely came
along, despite her broken shoulder. Happy Birthday, Judy!)
We spotted this tiny little well-house, and stopped to take a picture.
(This image is the result of quite a bit of Photoshopping, for clarity
and color. I may use it in a future art quilt.)
Boerne is gold-mine of photographic opportunities ... I'll be back!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Creepy Critter Messenger Bag

I had this little canvas messenger bag, useful but very plain. I also had some sketches of a creepy critter in my art journal, inspired by something I had seen in an art magazine some time ago. Creepy Critter plus messenger bag = New Favorite Bag.

As usual, I neglected to photograph the bag "before", but here is the "after".

Creepy Critter Bag - front
Creepy Critter Bag - back

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cat As Trump

I know a lot of people are doing this, and wondered how they got their cats to sit still for a "Donald Trump Makeover". After giving my boy his nightly brushing, I thought I'd try it. I was amazed that he didn't even notice the little "wig" on his head, although he did look a little grumpy about it!

Grump Trump

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Remember Ben Clayton" - book review

This was recommended to me by two different well-read friends. After putting it off for several months, I finally dived in, and then ended up rationing my reading time over more nights than usual, wanting to stretch out the enjoyment.

Set just after World War I, the gist of the story is about a cantankerous Texas rancher who wants a sculpture made of his son who died in the war. He hires an equally "difficult" sculptor, who brings his adult daughter (who is also his sculpting assistant) to the ranch outside of San Antonio to gather images and information about the young man for the artwork.

Each of the characters is carefully, even lovingly teased out of their shells, to reveal the kinds of inner lives that most of us never reveal to the outside world. Some are the every-day joys and pains that we nevertheless experience alone, and some are devastating secrets that must be held closely, sometimes even from ourselves.

Besides the individuals, there is quite a bit of descriptive narrative about the Texas landscape, as well as about the process of creating a bronze sculpture, which I found fascinating but not too detailed or overwhelming.

These are beautiful character studies of a few individuals who are very different from each other, but in whom we might find familiar traits. Some are understandable, even forgivable, while others I found harder to understand and forgive. By the end of the book I was actually feeling proud of two of the characters. Ultimately, a worthy and fascinating read.

Monday, July 20, 2015

"Peas 'n Honey" goes to Festival

I'm thrilled to have been accepted into the juried invitational exhibit, "Affinity", hosted by Leslie Tucker Jenison's and Jamie Fingal's Dinner at Eight Artists for the 2015 International Quilt Festival. According the rules for entry, the theme of "Affinity" could be interpreted by the artist in any way he or she chose, and I decided to portray my affinity for humor in art.

I've always loved the inclusion of humor, whether overt or subtle, in any form of art. Much of my own artwork reflects my sense of humor, even if it is sometimes apparent only to myself.

For this submission, I wanted to use a favorite old poem by Ogden Nash. It became slightly mangled over the years of oral repetition by my family since its original printing in 1944, but it remains essentially the same ...

I eats my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps 'em on my knife.

Peas 'n Honey, 40" x 40", Silk Charmeuse

Peas 'n Honey, detail
I feel honored to be in the company of these fine fiber artists for this exhibit:

Frances Holliday Alford
Linda C. Anderson
Sue Bleiweiss
Loris Bogue
Deborah Boschert
Cindy Cooksey
Lauretta K. Crites
Diane R. Doran
Jane E. Dunnewold
Robbi Joy Eklow
Suzan Engler
Barb Forrister
Lyric M. Kinard
Susan Fletcher King
Karol Kusmaul
Cathie I. Hoover
Stacy Hurt
Susan Brubaker Knapp
Sandra E. Lauterbach
Jeannie P. Moore
Susie Monday
Rachel K. Parris
Andi Perejda
Judy Coates Perez
Yvonne Porcella
Heather Pregger
Wen Redmond
Cynthia St. Charles
Julie Schlueter
Gayle Simpson
Sarah Ann Smith
Virginia A. Spiegel
Terri Stegmiller
Ann E. Turley
Larkin Jean Van Horn
Valerie C. White
Kathy York
and, of course,
Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Photoshopping for Fiber Art

I often use Photoshop Elements to manipulate my photos before using them in my fiber art. Here are some examples.

One of the few times I can get my cat to sit still for a picture.
Just a quick camera-phone shot.

This Photoshopped version brings out details of his fur,
as well as adding more vivid colors ... fun!

This was a small (2x3") 1913 photo of my maternal grandmother, working as a telephone operator.
I had already done some painstaking clean-up of surface dust motes, scratches, etc. at this point.

Here is the final Photoshopped version that I made to look as if
oil-painted. I then sent it off to be printed in enlarged form (18x24")
as a gift for my 92-year-old mother.

A dear friend whose beloved dog had passed away
gave me this photo to use as a basis for a thread painting.

Here is the finished piece. I chose to place him on a
background of Texas bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush
flowers before thread painting. He was such a
sweet little guy.

The 4 kids in my family, ca. 1957
(that's me on the right)

I wanted to see how would all have looked
as a family of cats! Just having fun. Each cat face
was chosen with a view for the personality of each child.

Small Works

Small fiber artworks are almost a "vacation" for me, created between larger art quilts. These are a few of my favorites.

Joy in the Morning
4x6" framed thread painting (sold)

Kiwi Bird
4x6" framed thread painting (sold)

Kiwi Fruit
4x6" framed thread painting (sold)

4x6" postcard (private collection)

Mr. Oziapus
4x6 thread painting

Vintage Toys
3 4x6" postcard sized thread sketches

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Medley of Mixed Media

This is why I need pictures of everything I do! Some of these I had completely forgotten about.

Fresco (sold)
This was an early mixed-media piece featuring quilting, gesso,
impasto, paint, and strategic ripping.

"Generations", 24x36 (sold)
Inspired by Fran Skiles

In Vino Veritas (sold)
Highly textured and embellished drawing on stitched paper.
Inspired by a friend's refrigerator magnet!

The Quiet Hunter (sold)
small art quilt

Heat Source (private collection)

Traveling Companions (private collection)
The Wanderer (sold)

Make new friends but keep the old ...

One is silver and the other, gold.  Remember that song?  Here are some of my oldest friends ...

Annie, Darleen, and Judy

There's Me, Darleen, Annie, and Judy

Judy knitted this beautiful cowl for me!

We are all scattered now, but still try to get together at least once a year. I miss you guys!

Hallie in Africa

My grandmother, at age 84, decided to go to Africa on safari with her older sister. It was typical of her that she simply neglected to tell anyone where she was going until after she had returned. She told her son (my Dad) afterwards, "Well, I knew you wouldn't approve," and then laughed.

Nothing ever stopped Hallie from doing what she wanted to do.  I admired her tremendously and miss her immensely.

Hallie at age 84 in Africa, 1988

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mixed Media Assemblage

Shuffling through photos, old and new, is both daunting and exciting! I had all but forgotten about these little bits and pieces, and now I'm inspired to drag out my boxes and boxes of assemblage parts, tools and glues. What do you think?

TV Madame

"There Were Never More Devoted Sisters"
(I guess this might be considered more mixed media than assemblage.)

Dr. Feelgood

Dr. Feelgood - detail.

Mystery Assemblage; Photo Manipulation.

Art Dolls

As a mixed-media artist, I often switch back and forth among art quilts, surface design, sketching and painting, assemblage, and hand-stitching.  (In other words, I have a short attention span.)

In a recent effort to bring some order to pictures of my various art-forms, I came across these images of some of my art dolls.

Red Hot Alien Mama

Red Hot Alien Mama - detail

"Gloria" ... a birthday doll for a friend.

Circus Baby (aka Creepy Baby)

Doll pin (purse embellishment)

The Fisherman's Wife, 2006
These next dolls were made for my FiberVoices art group, as "studio muses" or "art witches". They were so much fun to make from recycled men's shirts, bits of hand-dyed velvet, buttons and other embellishments I had around the house.

Studio Muse With Deer
Studio Muse, Hugging Doll

Studio Muse With Puffy Pink Nose

Studio Muse With Lizard

Studio Muse With Pocket Doll