Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ben Heading to Cowboy Country

My Gentle Giant "Ben" is headed to the International Quilt Festival in Texas. Nice honor to have been accepted. I'm packing him up for shipment today. I will miss him hanging around my studio but glad he's getting this honored trip. Here's a Closeup Detail ... I'll be teaching there this year so hope I see some of you.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Anyone passing through a Southern California Airport may have seen this picture from Los Angeles Zoo. I was blown away.
PENCILS..... !!!!!!!!!!!
Thus the title UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Rest of The Mt. Rushmore Story

Visiting family dominated the computer yesterday so am 1 day later than intended posting this cleverly created story board about the monuments creation. Carol created each story-line using handwritten text and her pen 'n' ink drawings. Impressive.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Permission To Brag

...About my dear friend and painter Carol Culbert of Orange, California. Flying Guess Quilt Guild sponsored a challenge to it's members to create a quilt including a history lesson, some number of "flying guess" and use of a challenge fabric. Carol created every bit of this .. no hired quilter.. all her( we talked a bit on the quilting plan and thread choices and how to face her quilt) but she did every bit of the work. I'm impressed. Here's an overview of the result telling Mt Rushmore's story...
Little lessons about the creation of this monument are present and bordered by the "required" challenge fabric Carol purposely coffee stained. I'll post some of the stories soon but today the picture upload time is really s l o w.

Friday, July 20, 2012

One Lucky Friend About To Get This

While I'm vacationing, friend and student Rachel Sawyer Perkins was busy finishing a gift for her friend and owner of these 2 adorable bulldogs.
I am really proud of Rachel... Her painting skills are escalating quickly and SHE GOT IT QUILTED!! I know artists new to whole cloth paintings might be intimidated by how to quilt. The most important thing... just get it quilted. Rachel used monofilament to secure the bodies of the animals... Visible thread wasn't really needed anyway.... the painting speaks well for itself. It's okay to just Love The Paint!! Then Rachel chose more simple filler stitching to secure the couch pillows. She kept the stitching fairly open since she didn't heavily quilt the dogs. Good choice. I think this looks great.
Rachel leaves today to drive north to her friend and present this as a gift. Lucky Friend!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lunch OUT

A trip to Cabo always includes a trip to the Shrimp Factory for 'anything shrimp and oversized Shirley Temple drinks for the kids. Young Max seems to e saying...LOOK Ma.. no hands. Gotta giggle.
and ofcourse signing their wall is always part of the fun.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beautiful Cabo San Lucas

Somebody has to vacation here so it might as well be me... ;-) My family is here too.. What could be better than that?! We took a boat cruise out to the famous arch where the Pacific Ocean meets The Sea of Cortez. Rough waters, big waves, and a good bit of fun.
And of course we snapped a photo of lovers beach... the only known beach that connects to 2 oceans.
The evening before hubby Ray took me to dine on the shore. A view from your table doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Using a similar process as previously addressed on bricks, I have added light and darker concrete colors on the stoop on which these 2 sit. I've now got the "big picture" complete and can begin a critical review process to determine 'tweaks' needed here and there.
(c) image copyright ... Remember that I was by circumstances painting this piece on a round table with a smaller diameter than the width of this piece??? That means I couldn't ( as I painted) see both brick walls at the same time. NOW...The first thing I can see when I get this laid out completely flat is that the brick values on either side of the door would better serve the central image if a little darker. I even think a more brown... slightly muddier look might be good. I think they look fine as walls alone.. but they aren't there to be the image of note.. they are there to frame the young girls... so a darker value would keep pushing your eye inward to the center where the young girls rest.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Brick By Brick

I do begin each rocky adobe brick by blocking in a base color avoiding ink in areas where lighter rocks or pebbles will be represented in the brick. I am photographing one small brick fairly close up and admittedly on a vertical rather than as it actually will be viewed horizontal. This will be clear later.
Then. since the brick surface is truly irregular, I've done a rubbing of an uneven textured surface laid underneath the fabric. In this case I used a rubbing plate but I have been known to use the texture from real life walls, fences, trees... whatever. In fact as I sit in mexico right now as I write, I recall doing a rubbing the very first time on the exterior walls of my dwelling... very rough stucco... PERFECT for adding texture to a piece.
You may also note the inference now of different colors than from when we began. Nature isn't really all one color... so to keep it interesting, other neutral colors ( now gray tones) get added and pebbles and shadows more refined.
The wall builds upward.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Adobe Adobe

Most of walls surrounding the entry door are rough adobe bricks.. seemingly more dirt than anything else and really interesting stuff. There are a few red bricks on one side of the portal. They get blocked in first then the long process of 'laying' bricks and rocks.
This is where the transparency of working with inks comes in handy. There will likely be several layers of different colors/shades of ink to get this right.
This area is a true journey. A kind of relaxing meandering.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Worn and Colorful Door

The lower half of the entry door, in front of which the girls sit, seems a good representation of their village life. The door is worn but brightly colored. I love the colors of the Mexican culture. This will be a challenge to interpret and I'm already thinking about how to quilt a WORN DOOR. Oh joy! I have often said, after the big picture idea and the start of a piece, art is largely problem solving. So be it... it's kind of like life.
This will take some time to paint and I suspect even more to quilt with the 'perfect threads' yet to be found/purchased.
You've likely noticed I am painting this larger than the table piece on a round tabletop. I'm out of the country in an uncontrolled environment , so we just manage. ;-) I brought a large light plastic tablecloth with me, taped the underneath drawing and the top fabric to it. This way I can move the overall project around without disturbing any layer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Second Half

This young girl will be more of a challenge as her head is in a strange position as well as less clear in the reference photo.. but begin I will... I'll figure it out as I move along.
I enjoy painting things that are 'almost seen." The dress skirt/edges in the shadows are a mystery, even to me. My goal is just to suggest their presence. This young girl has her foot outstretched in a foreshortened position I've never painted but it was surely fun to paint.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sweet Friends

These 2 young girls hail from a small village in Mexico. What they don't have in tangible wealth, they make up for in a more meaningful wealth of friendship.
The beginnings of the first young friend is now down.. not perfected, but I never worry about too many details til I get the BIG picture down.
I'll get the next young friend on fabric soon.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A New Journey Begins

Over the years I have become attracted to the work of a well known photographer from the U.S. Through a mutual financial arrangement, the photographer has given me permission to create an art quilt interpretation of one of his photos. His original image is copy written so won't be seen here but my piece will and will also be considered under copyright protection. I begin with a contour black and white drawing laid underneath my fabric. I am in Mexico ( as were these 2 young subjects) and I am on the shore with some humidity... so I will begin with a 'base' coat of light value skin tone which when good and dry will be overpainted with warm hispanic skin values/colors. Let's go! It doesn't look like much today... but tomorrow will start to reveal their hearts.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hola Mexico

I am at last here in beautiful Cabo San Lucas for my annual art and family time. Week 1 is private art time. Week 2 "mi familia" arrives.
This is assuredly the best ever towel fold which awaited me in the bath area. I shall NOT undo this baby. Such a cute little penguin.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finishing up

Final finishes include sky,trees, bushes and assuring all around the little girl looked good down to her Mary Jane shoes.
I think we can call this done.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Little Carolyn and Her Surroundings

A few graceful curved lines in the shadows of the hair...
Securing her dress but NOT heavily quilting it seemed the right approach. This quilt and the area of the dress is not terribly large or this light quilting approach next to heavy quilting would likely ill shape the quilt. This is fine though.