Sunday, July 31, 2011

Some of My Long Beach Favs

I had little time to look through the quilts but a few caught my eye. The first very fresh "Wake Patt Up"quilt is bright and beautiful. I'll just post the pics with their artists statement plaques. I couldn't possibly say it all better than the artist already has.
The Story Behind It...
The next 2 pieces are from an exhibit titled Text on Textiles and include words in the design:

There's deep meaning in this one... It's worth the read.

Isn't this the truth?
... the back story

Friday, July 29, 2011

Long Beach Show opens today!!

EEK... no pics yet. The International Association Long Beach Calif. Show opens today. Hope I can show you some pics tomorrow. Info available at I'm outta here on the road! ;-)
To and from drives totaled almost 5 hours this first day so no pics til later. WHY didn't I get a hotel? DUH!? Patt

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Nice Honor from IQA

I've been working with the publishing group at The International Quilt Association ( host of the international shows at Houston, Long Beach, etc.) They have ask for quilt photos and info from me to include in their upcoming quarterly journal / newsletter. Wow.. am I honored.
Egads... this pic is too big. My apologies. I don't exactly know which quilts will appear in their published piece, but I hope this one makes it.... "Endangered"(41" x 41") is now permanently in the hands of fellow artist and friend Judy Greenwood in British Columbia, Canada.

Blog followers pretty much know most of my quilts but there will be several quilt photos included plus some 'stuff' about my quilt journey. I am humbled and lucky!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beaumont Guild Workshop

On Thursday last I was lucky to spend a whole workshop day with 18 members of the Beaumont, Ca Guild. Here are but a few of the works in progress. There is a serious love connection with this doggie.
and a kitty of another sort..
plus a lovely start of a dragonfly...
and this sweet lady is originally from Transylvania.. really... I finally met someone from there at last.
and this work is interpreted from royalty free clip art! YEAH Lynette.... It will be adorable when done.
Darn.. I couldn't get pics of everyones piece but they all looked great! Thanks Beaumont and particularly Marilyn Simone, their program chairperson.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What a great GRANDPA!

Grandpa Ray ( my hubby) is likewise an artist and has recently painted portraits of many of our grand children. This is a sweet to bottom left to right
Granpa Ray, Morgan, Kaley, Leo, and Max
Forgive us our ham up!
Leo Up Close!!!
and twin brother Max
Morgan loves the hat!
Kaley and the horse.. that was a great day.

Millicent .. The last of 12 Victorian Ladies

As a work trade gesture for friend Laurie, I painted and embroidered the final block needed for her future quilt. The painting begins here. Ultimately, the hat brim will be black.
All 12 ladies used the same neutral facial colors(but I couldn't stand it... I changed her lip color to go with her bright red hat). I may be in a bit of trouble, but I just 'had to do it."
Here she is after many days of embroidered hand work...
You can click on any photos for a closer view.. but I'll post a couple more detail shots today. I like to use 2 similar colors/slightly different value threads in hair. It seems more interesting to me.
The real inspiration for this dramatic color scheme was this piece of commercial embroidery I added as adornment to the hat.
Thank goodness the sewing kit in my resort bathroom had some white thread to add the eye highlight. The original pattern doesn't call for one but I think it makes all those ladies look sad rather than beautiful which I believe the inspiration for this pattern surely was!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Laying Bricks

Almost there! ... Between the stone wall and window pains will be bricks that are somewhat subdued.... thus a bit like the stone work previously done, I blocked in brickwork in a somewhat loose mixture of neutral colors. I lightly suggested the mortar between bricks so as not to draw attention away from the central figure.
This just about does it for painting. One last photo as she lies atop a resort table. I will have to wait til I return home to the U.S. to get to the quilting part. Given my normal statistics of 1 week of quilting for every 24 hour painting period... this looks like about 5 weeks of quilting work. EEK! We'll see.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Window Dressing

This was one of those time consuming, less exciting efforts only because it was so straight forward. I originally considered a light value blueish window pane might be the ticket...
I won't bore you with details but basically found a darker background placed greater importance to her face. here's the end result though the fabric is wrinkled a bit. The window pane boards ARE straight. Really!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Background planning

I usually plan better than this but since the portrait photo is quite recent and I was rushing off on a painting trip, I had created a drawing only of the important female image as the background in the real photo was basically a blank plastered wall (boring). So here I am figuring out what might frame her image. One of the things I found fascinating in the Baltic region was the thick wall stonework and interesting windows... So I added that to my drawing. Thank goodness I had a ruler with me for the window elements. I started painting the stonework by "messing up the stones using the misted fabric and light value inks of slightly varied coloration.
Addition of filler material between the stones...
Finally texture to the filler for interest.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

When Magic Escapes

Well I mentioned earlier things don't always go smoothly for me and this was a definite case in point. This woman had been out in the mid day sun and deep shadows had shaded her eyes. Here is the important learning of the day.. never do dangerous things when you are tired ( like.. late at night) This is the same lesson as with tired snow skiers. Our body tells us when we've taken our last ski run of the day. To do one more sets the stage for high risk of bodily injure. It's the same thing with painting. If we are tired, we should STOP painting. I DIDN'T STOP and I'm unhappy. Sometimes, we know better and just get carried away.

As I began to shade her eyes as in the photo, I noted she started to look really angry. DANG! I hate that. I hadn't yet fully shaded the side of her face either, but I knew I'd done a bad thing.

Some corrections can be made with ink, but not all so I have to remember that "THREAD IS MY FRIEND"...a lesson learned long ago from Hollis Chatelain. I'll do what I can here to somewhat soften her look. The rest will come in the quilting. Out with the grayed skin tones when I am done using thread. I HOPE!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Adding Darks

I noted in an earlier posting that as the painting gets nearer completion, I see it likely that 'some' once darks are no longer dark enough and a darker contrast addition is warranted. This was definitely the case on her right side scarf so a soft dry brush transparent black was added as intuitively called for.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Foreshortened Hand

EEK... I had to let the creepiness of this go. The hand coming toward the viewer looks plain wierd. AND the thumb looks longer than normal because it wasn't coming forward. I wasn't certain my camera lense caught the woman's hand image correctly (a depth of field concern) so I photographed my own hand similarly outstretched forward in a mirror and decided.. yep... that looks wierd too.
As a painter, I have serious talks with myself, repeatedly reminding myself to " just paint what you see" and not worry about the distortion that comes with foreshortening. I did find it interesting to note that the soft underside of the fingers and palm help the viewer understand what is happening here. The light edges, pink fingertips, were interesting to paint in contrast to the shadowed back side.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Seeking A Uniform Stitch Length

Can you believe it..? Painting stitches! This woman wore a jean jacket with white stitching across shoulders, on collar and cuff edges. The obvious first thought might be to stitch them in by machine, but dang... this gal is a wee bit larger than life so that would seem kind of funky to me. I started painting stitch by stitch then figured out, there's got to be a better way. In to be 'stitched' areas, I first did a light value dry brush 'wash of color likened to the jean jacket. I know from experience that if I left them completely white, the would be in your face as a viewer. Then, using a dark blue marker, I began systematically spacing stitches painting in the negative space.
After that, the inking of the jacket was painted to 'meet' the stitch lines and I think it looks okay.

Last Hurray In cabo

One can't go to Cabo San Lucas and NOT go the "The Office" restaurant on Medano Beach on the Sea of Cortez. The whole vending world walks by as children and adults play in the calm waters. Food is great too. Here, The Office "Rambo" gives mi hija (my daughter) a hug.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Really Complicated Neck Scarf Too

I'm such a sucker for things that look difficult to paint. This woman's neck scarf was equally as interesting as her head scarf though it was a much different fabric... more like a limp linen ( who knows?, I wasn't that close). It draped softly across and down her shoulders and frankly seemed massive... more like a linen tablecloth than a scarf.
This felt like "puttering painting" though required much attention to photo detail. The right side of her scarf (what you see part of thus far) was full of subtle stripes and color. Shadows were added though it is likely that greater contrast of darker areas will be enhanced as I get closer to the end of the figure painting. I say this because I've come to learn that shadows that look significant when surrounded still by lots of white/unpainted fabric, will look weaker when the entire area is painted. So I accept I'll be back in several areas adding greater contrast here and there.

I then block in the scarf's end on her left side... very little color here, mostly massive draping. It made me a bit crazy even looking at her in real life... I wanted to see the piece of textile out flat... It remains ofcourse a mystery.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Nice Day On The Town

We left the resort today for a favorite lunch place... The Shrimp Factory where people are encouraged to sign the walls. Kaley and Max complied.

The Head Scarf Begins

Part of what was special about this woman was her wardrobe... The colorful and complicated head scarf was intriguing so I had to do this. I noted that head scarfs were quite common in Estonia, even amongst small children though their scarfs were more like small bandanas and this woman's scarf was something spectacular. Since I am in Cabo San Lucas (on the shore) with significant humidity, I'm waiting a while longer for the skin tone to really dry before I work atop the peachy/beige. This seemed a good time to start a detailed inking of the scarf florals/ graphics using both bottled and marker inks. This was a slow, almost doodling process which I found relaxing. After this dries, transparent shadow wrinkles will come.
I added the beginnings of eyes, just because I "had to" to further engage this image emotionally. It's kid of creepy working on shadowing a face without eyes... so I didn't!
Sorry, this womans chin looks enormous only because she is lying flat on a table and the camera shot is NOT straight on.
When the skin base is dry, I can begin adding some shadows and lip color.
I do my best to sneak up on the correct shadow values. It's magical when it gets 'right.' I remember a line from a 'vintage' Dustin Hoffman movie (Little Big Man) where an old indian chief had been unsuccessful in his quest to pass over into the next life ..."Sometimes the magic works... sometimes it doesn't!" he exclaimed. I feel the same way about portraits.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beautiful Beaches

You have likely picked up that I am staying on the beach in Cabo San Lucas... a lovely resort on a private beach. It's so rare that one sees such a clean sparsely populated beach, I wanted to post this one here showing a man on his morning run along the shore ( you have to look for him on the far right). The treat for Cabo... pending rain storm clouds. They need the rain. A beautiful sight!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Challenging Portrait

While in Tallinn, Estonia is May, we visited and did a walkabout the medieval old town. I did alot of people watching in the town square... so many lovely children and their young parents, out for a weekend outing where in the middle of this ancient city a childrens music festival was underway. As I sat 'watching' on the steps of city hall, a older white van pulled up to my right, several adults spilled out, opened the back and begin pulling out tables and chairs, art supplies, games and mats and within 5 minutes an arts/crafts/ game area was set up for preteens that would arrive within minutes. The leader/organizer of this group is featured here, as "The Woman From Tallinn." This colorful confident middle-aged woman engaged young parents and children alike. It was exciting to watch, and I could see her beautiful spirit... THUS.... the painting. So I began with the drawing enlarged to desired size. This drawing is heavily drawn as I plan to use a heavier fabric than normal and I need to be able to see through the fabric.

I've chosen and placed a heavier Kaufman PFD atop the drawing. I've chosen this fabric over my normal favorite because the heavier textile weave in the fabric I think might be more effective in the head and neck scarfs worn by this woman. We'll see!

I begin this late one evening so that I could apply a base skin color and allow overnight drying. Kind of scary, huh? The base color is no. 95 of Tsukineko Craft Inks ( Tuscan Beige). It's not beige at all and looks in the bottle and on fabric when wet ( as seen here) as a peach color. I warn students when they first put this down, they will consider quitting as this looks sooooo wrong. I promise it will get better when the ink dries and shadows are added.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Somebody has too much money!

I've been coming to Cabo ever year since 1990. I've seen many changes and additions to the marina, but this yacht topped all. It's own helicopter and pad! REALLY!?! I couldn't get close enough to see it's port of origin or name. I'll need to take my long lense camera next walkabout and see what I can learn (if it's still in port anyway).
This display of wealth required me to soothe my tummy with an order of Ceviche De Camaron(shrimp) at Playa Grande's poolside cafe. It's edible art. Delicioso!!!