Sunday, August 30, 2009

Poppy Paper Quilt Two

This original watercolor Poppy paper quilt is actually pretty large and would be 10 x 20 framed--if I framed it. I am getting so many paper quilts now that I need to decide what will be framed for the show. What I probably should do is print these three squares on inkjet white cotton, punch up the color if needed, find some material for the background and make a wall hanging quilt. I was a little afraid to do some thread painting on the original but I can try is when I print it on cotton.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This is Way cool ,Yall!

This is Carol Sloan's Calligra-Fun letters!

How cool is this!!?? I love how my students have taken this fun fun letterform and made it their own. Way to go Carol! I love it!

I made this, y'all!!!

The size is 10 L x 3W x 4H
Well, I just had to post this because I just got back from my sewing class and can you believe it...??? I put in a zipper---of all things--put in a zipper!!! And I made a button hole (actually the teacher had to practically do that one for me). And we embellished the ribbon and did a gusset and ----I am impressed with myself as you can see!  Could I do it again?---probably not because I don't have all the feet involved and Sherry, thanks so much for that button hole foot because I needed it!   You need feet for everything and actually my Bernina fund is drained for now.  I really wanted that zipper foot but I asked myself, "how many times are you gonna put in a zipper?" Not too many at this point. Oh, and we quilted it too--but do not---I repeat---do not zoom in to this picture unless all my quilter buddies might want a good laugh. I actually quilted it on the wrong side so the bobbin thread quilted it---then I went back and free motioned it on the right side so it is pretty much a mess. But that's ok--it was fun and I love to sew.  I had a hard time cutting my fabric and now I know why I didn't sew as a child.  I never have been a good measurer---even measuring twice and cutting once. I measured 5 or 6 times and still cut it wrong. But the teacher was patient with me and came over and cut my fabric for me. I'm learning.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Birds of a Feather and Tea Cups

Just a couple of little watercolor painting---stitched. Fun! * I love birds. The birds are 5x8 and the tea cups are 41/2 x 6.
Also here is my good buddy, Julie, and her Calligra-FUN practice. I am so proud of all my students. They have all caught on very quickly and turned out some very impressive work!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just practicing...

I have been doing some practicing. This has been scanned and a gradient overlay added in Photoshop. This distorts the integrity of the thicks and thins somewhat but that's ok. There are so many gradients to choose from---each more fabulous than the other and finally you just have to settle on one.  Ok getting closer to filming...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Stencil Painting

Here are two more stencil paintings with calligraphy and stitching.

Again, when I spray more paintings I will mask off the black for a cleaner painting but I like the colors. These two are fairly large--10 x 20. It's fun! I love to spray paint. :) It's really just too hot though. When fall comes I can hopefully spray more.

Triptic Stencil Painting

These three panels were cut from a large sheet that I spray painted yesterday. I bought some new paints so I like the brighter colors. There are a few tweeks I will do for my next spraying, one being masking the outside edges of the stencil while I spray the black paint. I think that will make for a cleaner image. I have to spray fast because the mosquitoes will carry me off if I am there too long and the fumes are really bad even with the door wide open and with my mask on. I did a little bit of calligraphy on it and sewed it on. Bernie wasn't very cooperative this time at first but I realized that she wanted a new needle but not before she came unthreaded several times and just refused to move the paper with her feet. This was our first little spat in our new relationship. The middle lettering is upside down---yes it is---on purpose---???---well of course!

(not really!---but it's creative!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All Clean!

Pots of Flowers Paper Quilts

These are little 3x3 images of some watercolor pots of flowers I have painted in the past and I was thinking that maybe I can make a series of paper quilts with them. These turned out to be about 8x8 and I would frame them for that "Piece by Piece" Show that is coming up. It's not until January but I am into the paper quilt thing so I thought I better go with it while I am in the zone. I would frame with white mat and plain black frame. I am into the plain black frame thing for art. My new found framer can frame these at an affordable price and if they don't sell then I could swap them out and put something else in them. Most of the pieces will end up being about 12 x 12 framed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just practicing...

I do know that to be a good teacher of calligraphy I need to be practiced up before I start. It has been interesting for me because my Italic "go to" calligraphy that I use most frequently is a variation so I have had to hunker down and practice the classic Italic shape all over again.  I haven't started filming any classes yet but I think I am getting there. My goal is to teach people the correct letterform and to try to guide them into learning these letterforms with patience, determination and with a critical eye for holding on to always keeping the integrity of the Italic letterform. In other words, learn the rules first---then make it your own.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He's Home!

Well, I must say that I am a happy mama! Zach, our 26 year old, son just got back from his trip to Peru---the last hurrah before he shaves the beard, puts on his suit and heads downtown to be a lawyer. He won't hear from the bar exam for another month--eeeek. I think Bucky was just about as excited as his Dad and I were to see him. It'll be nice to have him here in town. He's living just a few blocks from us. Not to be close to us, mine you, it is just a very cool neighborhood for young people to live in. But never fear, I can lure him with food!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spirit Paper Quilt

This one is about 5x5 and it is made from some squares of paper painted with stripes of acrylic. 
These are some stitches that I wouldn't use again but once you start---you're committed so I had to go with it. I am finding that some stitches do great on paper, other stitches get all bunched up and drills a hole in the paper. That's not fun---but I am learning as I go. The center Spirit is much more silver than in the scan so in person, it looks better although I might just cut the squares out and start again without the center Spirit. And I am trying to turn a better corner with the blanket stitch. I getting a little better.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Stitch Flower and a Paper Quilt

I had to turn the image so you could see the silver hope. I am making some paper quilts to put in an upcoming show called "Piece By Piece" and actually they chose this to use for their advertisement promotion. That was nice. I might put in some of the flowers too. The only bad thing---I need to frame them. $$$$
As you know I have been having fun dyeing fabric and I have some Lutradur--(the tag says Pellon) and I painted some stripes of color directly from the Dye-na-flow dye jar that I am using. This fabric has an interesting organic texture to it but you can't tear it. I cut the Lutradur in pedal and leaf shapes and made a cone flower, stitched and added some calligraphy lettering. These little flowers are fun and easy and Bernie does a great job too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Babies Don't Keep Quilt

Well, if you quilters had seen me put this thing together you would have either laughed or cringed --probably cringed. I had all sorts of problems pop up that I didn't know how to solve so I am the queen of camouflage. I surely won't show you the back even thought it does have a fabric backing. I tried to use my new walking foot so the fabric wouldn't move and apparently I don't know how to use that because it wasn't walking. I guess that will be trip to the quilt store for instructions. I had such fun making this though. I did the lettering then printed it on inkjet fabric by Jacquard. This is for daughter, Macaulay.

Calligra-FUN UPDATE!!  I love posting my students Calligra-FUN pieces. This is Jane at Painted Heart Studio and I love it!  Good work, Jane!!

More from Calligra-Fun class!

More pieces from all my wonderful and talented students!!!
This is Debbie. Good job!  :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ok, I can do that!

If you know me by my blog you have probably figured out that I will surely try anything once and my last several posts have shown that. I should have a special blog category called, "I'll Try Anything Once!" My daughter sent me an email today showing me some darling ribbon flowers and that lead me to this.  This is just a pink tee shirt that I bought for $1.49 at Walgreens ---actually I bought two--and followed the simple instructions to make this precious tee shirt.  This is a youth XS so I will give this to my grand niece, Jane Lowry.

It's just a heart stitched on---SEW EASY!!  Even I can do it!!!

Punching the colors a-la Kelli Nina

For this post I surely want to give credit where credit is due. The top image you might recognize from my post from yesterday and today I printed it out again and punched the colors and stitched. The 2nd image is one of Kelli's images and I only printed it just to see how the colors would punch on it. Those envelopes are very cute so this is what I learned from this fun exercise---Kelli uses fun everyday objects that are more simple in design when allows for fun punchy colors to be used. I love this fun colorful look. I also think it is very cute stitched so maybe I will try to fine some fun and simple things like shoes or pocketbooks or maybe even a fun chair. She says in her blog that she takes images from magazines and modifies and simplifies them to make them her own. I actually used Hydrus watercolors because they are so bright. Fun! Well...hummmm...I wonder where the art du jour will travel next???

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Watercolor Photo Painting

I have taken several pictures of things from the studio and plan to turn them into line drawings to paint some simple watercolors from the photographs. I printed these two line drawings on Arches 140 LB paper. It's fun and quick. My goal was actually to paint them more whimsical-like such as Kelli Nina Perkins does (she has a great DVD). But they always end up with fairly realistic colors.  Maybe I will paint them again with bright and outrageous colors and see what happens.  I just love the yummy colors she uses. It takes courage to use those bright colors and I must try and see if I can overcome my fear!!!  Just do it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I've been dying fabric!

I just dyed the scarf.  It is actually really pretty. No special expertise here--just painted stripes with the dye. Then I did a few spatters.  I think I really will wear it. I also had to go online a buy some more scarves. Now if I just learn to quilt---then I might be able to use all my newly dyed fabrics.   I am trying to follow Chrissie Grace's blog on making an easy quilt so maybe I will learn. 
Why did I do this? I really don't know...Do I know what I am doing---no,not really...and was it fun?---yes! and very messy!  I have been thinking about dying some fabric for fibers to go in books and maybe for sewing a little wall hanging or something. (when I learn how to do that...)  I used a very old sheer tablecloth and that turn out pretty good but the best and brightest was the cotton muslin.  I did buy a silk white scarf for painting so maybe I will just put some color on it and wear it!  Scarves are very "in" now---and my neck is quickly going down so maybe I should make several!

A few nighttime backgrounds

Sometimes I just have to put some color on paper and create---something---and who knows what it will turn out to be. I love to try to do no-think intuitive painting because sometimes you get and gem and sometimes you don't. The ones that don't can be torn up and sometimes then the torn pieces turn into gems. The urge to do this usually hits me about 10:30 pm and I go into my "Closet of Creation" where everything is right at my finger tips but not much room at all. But I do create some fun things in this small space here at home.  This is a big closet for a closet but a small space for a studio. Our next door neighbors have installed a wine cellar in their closet area. We live in a condo and our neighbors have the same layout except opposite. His wine cellar is fantastic and it's mind boggling how he has figures out how to catalogue all the wines and go right to it. I should let him come over and catalogue my art supplies!  I'm sure I'd never find a thing ever again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Check this out!!

Carol Sloan has posted some great Calligra-FUN letters!!!  Good work, Carol!! You really ispire me!!!!  :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

She's a model from a catalogue

I haven't painted a face in a while and decided I'd better do one before I forgot how.
 She is fashioned after a model from a Chico's catalog. Anytime the face is turned a bit and not straight on I find it much more difficult to get the face right---the nose, the cheeks but she's ok. She has high cheek bones. That's why she is a model I guess. There is collage in the background.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Having fun at the grocery store

Here's my little cutie -patootie.

You just have to see this!!!

This is Sherry Carrigan's Calligra-FUN letters in stitches!!!  
How fabulous is this?!
 I am drooling!  That's the next level, I'd say!  Great work, Sherry. I am just so proud of my students. I have learned so much from them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chunky Arts Book ll

 These books are really fun to make.  As the snippets and the little pieces of art pile up it's fun to put it all together. One of these days, maybe for the next one I will attempt to sew one together.  The only bad thing is that the colors just don't come through on the video as bright or true as they really are---but it is what it is!!! 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Little bagette

Well, this is surely a first for me. I painted the flower and printed it on cotton fabric for ink jet by Jacquard. It works really well and only fades out a bit. But I decided to punch up the colors on the printed fabric with very concentrated liquid watercolors. Then I stitched around the flower and stitched it onto the upholstery fabric. I think I could have actually at this point sewed it onto the bag ( bought from Hobby Lobby) but I glued it. I couldn't quite figure out how to do that and I liked the frayed edges so I guess the sewing would only be functional rather than decorative.  Anyway, it was fun and new for me. Oh also, I used a script stamp in the original watercolor background and I found out that if you use a chalk ink pad it makes a more dreamy-like image and not so sharp as with the pigment or dye ink pads. I never have liked those chalk ink pads until now! Thanks goodness because I have quite a few of them.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

From the drawing class...

I went back into my sketchbook from our Friday drawing class and pulled out some still life sketches from the class so I could scan and paint some of them. Since the shadows were already drawn in with the pen this was actually very easy and quick to paint.  I have scanned a few more so maybe I will blog some of the painted ones along the way. These are fun---the sketching is what is hard---at least for me it is. But drawing is an exercise that strengthens your art muscles and therefore---necessary.

Calligraphy is ART!!

I am planning, God willing of course, to start filming an online "Calligraphy One--The Right Foundation" class which will be hosted by Gail Schmidt at creative workshops.  I am so very passionate about this wonderful art. It grabs you and sinks into your artistic bones and you are off on this wonderful lifetime journey in search of beautiful quotes and Scripture that you can put into beautiful handwriting. That's what calligraphy is, "the art of beautiful handwriting."  It is an art that can truly be --the agony and the ecstasy.  Calligraphy is not for sissies for sure---but it will be the most rewarding thing you have ever done in your life.  It takes hard work---but the hard work is rewarding because you can see yourself evolving and improving daily. You can combine calligraphy with all sorts of collage and mixed media---and making that combination successfully is an art all in itself. But it is do-able for anyone who is willing to learn.  Calligraphy is an art form--not just handwriting---and I should mention this also--your messy handwriting --or beautiful handwriting for that matter has nothing to do with learning it at all.

This was written with  Zig Calligraphy marker, outlined and embellished in black and shadowed with a Platinum Brushable marker.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Drawing class

Actually this is an addition to this post---I painted it again (I had the line drawing scanned and saved) and I think I like this background better. The image below has a bit of a muddied background. These things happen to me sometimes. I was thinking I would have a goldish background then decided it would be better blue so I changed in mid-wash---this idea is just fine if the colors don't muddy. 

We had fun in our drawing class yesterday with Stephanie, our drawing teacher.  She urges us to push through it and  draw it and usually it will pay off if you just hang in there and persevere.  I drew this first from a still life, inked it in then added watercolor. I love watercolor and this one was fun--after I got the drawing done!  Fun exercise.  Books aren't the easiest thing to draw---angles---yikes---angles!! Everyone in the class is getting pretty good at drawing now and we started a year ago whining and moaning  that we couldn't draw.

Potato Chip Love

I love potato chips and apparently they love me too!  I almost ate this one and I saw it out of the corner of my eye just before I crunched. It's a miracle!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Calligra-Fun Marker Double Load Update

This is just a little quickie Calligra-FUN update. This is a neat double load trick with the zigs.  If you try it you will see the subtle variations in the color and it's pretty cool since the video can't really pick up the variations as clearly.  I hear that the Brushables Markers are now in at  I just heard that--I haven't checked yet but I know that they were coming in so hopefully we will have a good supply now that is easy to get. 

Enjoy the double load ditty. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Possible Upcoming Calligraphy Class Demo

I have just been thinking about all the wonderful results from my students in the Calligra-Fun class and it has spurred me on to think about an online calligraphy class. I would go into this with some trepidation wondering if people would think it was too hard, too much practice, not fun enough, not what they expected---all those things keep rolling around in my mind. And also with me not right there to tweak little strokes and to give constructive advice. But I have a  passion for calligraphy and teaching people to catch the spirit of this wonderful ancient and historical art that has been around really from the beginning of written history. Like I said in the video, calligraphy is a journey, it is a marathon and not a sprint but, oh!,  the rewards for those who condition themselves, persevere and stay in the race. It will change your artistic life. And the journey is fun and exciting! It never gets old, and there is always something else to learn.

So below is a little vlog with some thoughts and examples I have about filming a class and the progression that I am planning to take. I want it to be fun along the way with color and a stopover for some embellishments and doodlings.  So here is a little demo.

UPDATE :  I just found out from Jane Farr, a wonderful calligrapher and blog buddy, informed me that these Parallel Pens (shown in the video) can actually be filled with archival and lightfast fluids and can be used for just about every calligraphy project you might have. Yea!!! I will study up on this one!

Update #2--Check out Sue Krei today. What a great Journal page and some great Calligra-FUN letters!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Let your life lightly dance...

I have been putting pieces together for The Chunky Artsy Book ll that I will vlog on Thursday. Here is another snippet bit of calligraphy combined with a  stray watercolor background and sewn on that I put into the Chunky Artsy Book.  I am loving the stitching and really enjoyed my first sewing class which really was just the first class to get to know your Bernina. Well, Bernie and I were fairly well acquainted but I learned lots of new things about Bernie that I certainly didn't know. Actually, I better go over all those new things before I forget them--and one thing I need to learn---the sewing and quilting lingo!

...the duty of the artist.

I have been assembling another Artsy Stuff chunky book like the other one I did which is filled with bits and pieces of artsy stuff; paintings, calligraphy, etc.  I like to create these books because it gives a purpose to all the little bits that I have that are not ready for the Etsy shop or for framing. All of the pieces are originals. These are two separate pieces that encountered serendipity. Neither were created for the other but sometimes it's fun to combine pieces. And it's so fun to stitch around the pieces. 
 It's 5 x81/2 on Arches Text Wove watercolor paper. The background is paste paper.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mystery Flowers

These are painted over collage although the collage and if you come in close you see can a bit of the collage peeking through. The top image you will se some distress crackle paste that I thought was almost dried up but crackled very quickly and I guess I should go ahead and use it up before it completely dried out. I like using this crackle paste from Ranger. It gave the top image an interesting texture. Both of these are on a 5 x7 canvas and I am planning to put them into Etsy later today.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Acrylic on Watercolor Wash

I love to disperse colorwashes on watercolor paper--I guess you could say it calls to me---"Martha, Martha, come disperse us---we're waiting for you!"... and I have to jump up at that moment and go disperse!!  Yes, my paints call to me and talk to me. Sometimes they say, "no, no don't put us here in the mud--we don't want to get dirty," and sometimes they say, "ahhhh...that's better..."
I could never be lonely--if I have my paints--and I always encourage people to start to paint even if it is just putting some color on paper--it doesn't have t0 be anything--just color...any color. It's therapeutic.

I had dispersed some watercolors on paper last night and decided to try some acrylic "dry-ish" brush and see what happened. I probably should have added mat medium first so the paint would go on better. Actually the second image of the Tulips is not dry brush only the first image. I like the top one better. The orange and the pink don't go that well together but all in all it was fun and I do like the combination of soft watercolors in the background and harder images in the front.  

Calligra-FUN--student update!  Check out Debbie Goering. Scroll on down and you will see some great practice pages.
Great job, Debbie!  All my students are doing so well and having fun and... oh, how happy that makes me!!

Beautiful Quilt!

It's hard to see in these pictures how beautiful this quilt is. We couldn't get a good picture of it, first because it's so big, and second, it was at night and the lighting was not good. But my daughter, Macaulay, did such a good job on this. Quilting and sewing are her creative outlets and she also makes the most adorable outfits for little Marc and monograms his name. Darling!


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