Friday, January 23, 2015

Face Book's challenges

Five days ago Nancy Herman invited me to participate in
 the Face Book Challenge. 
This meant one must put up three images a day for five days
 and each day name and challenge another to add his or her three images.
I decided to repeat the five days of this week
 after talking to a good friend who said she is not on Face book
 and would like to see the work.
For those who saw the five days as well as 
many other artist's work do not continue reading.
 On Day one I added three images of Hands from paintings created on the iPad
 These were created two years ago.
 Each was created on a different iPad App.
 The second day I added three figurative paintings. 
This and the third are oil paintings. 
 This group of three is stitched but taken from three oil paintings 
I had created many years ago.
 I believe all three were painted in the late 1960's from live models.
 The third day I showed colored pencil drawings. 
This of peppers is on vellum.
 I drew from live subjects even though I also took photos.
 This third lily from Dominie Nash's garden.
It appears that I like red in all its nuances.
 The fourth day again went back into my sketch books...
... to find still-life subjects. All are taken from pottery we use.
 Often I drew with colored pencil, first and then created 
with thread on fabric. 
Going from white to black backgrounds makes a big difference 
in the vibrancy of the color.
 The fifth or last day, today, I decided to show three
 very old free-motion machine embroidered wall hangings
that were seen only once, in a gallery in New Jersey.
 They were then lost, stolen, or disappeared in transit 
between the gallery and my home.
From the top of Day Five the first is HIGH-TECH ANTIQUE,
the second is A SUREAL PORTRAIT, and the bottom one is titled,
REASONABLE RATIOS.
This week has been a kind of trip through nostalgia.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Drawing, colored pencil still-life

Choosing to do a drawing for a Christmas gift 
I began by buying an unusual little vase, about 9 inches high, 
from the Glen Echo Potters 
when they had their holiday sale at the Lab School.
 I took several photos trying to decide on a small grouping

 It shouldn't be but it is always surprising, 
for me to see how much colors change 
with different backgrounds. 
I wanted to work from life and I knew I would not have constant light
 during the day and probably not at night, as well. 
 I decided to use the darker background and a white base 
so there would be some reflected white on the objects

 I was using a high texture heavy substrate so a lot of white
 came through even though I kept my pencils very sharp.
 It is quite evident, here, with the texture of the paper showing through.
 Even after using some blending much of the papers texture was evident.
 I didn't want to fill the background with dark gray so just gave a hint of that color.
The title is Red, Yellow, and Blue.
 Since I was unhappy with the substrate's texture
in that first drawing, 
I decide to try the same still life on a smoother surface. 
Using Bristol Board this time, thinking it was a lot smoother, 
I began drawing. 
Soon I saw that it, too had a texture that I didn't want for my colored pencils. 
At this point I decided I liked the first drawing better 
so gave it as the gift along with the vase.
During the second drawing,
I had to switch apples as the first one had become
 soft over the week or two I was drawing. 
For all, but the apples I used Prismacolor pencils.  
I used Polychromos only on both apples and today used
mineral oil to blend the pencil lines on this apple.
 I still see so much of the paper's texture in the rest of the drawing. 
This image appears brighter in this photo than it really is. 
Now I want to go back to my favorite drawing paper
and try another still life.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving, jungle style 2014

Our annual Thanksgiving dinner had a room change. 
Vicky suggested we put the tables in the living room 
and move all of the living room furniture toward the fireplace. 
 It worked and made comfortable space for all 13 people.
 Seen from either end. I used 3 matching table clothes.
 The centerpiece, which I always think is more important than the food,
 used cabbages and kale and yellow chrysanthemums, plus....
 Alexandra's unusual place cards. 
She placed the dinosaurs, each carrying a sign, 
into the jungle of vegetables.
 We each had a candle as well 
since it became dark before we finished eating.
My special dinosaur! 
 When dark we needed the candles as there was no chandelier
above the tables in the living room.
 There were also purple and white striped eggplants 
hiding in the jungle vegetables.
 Again this year we designed our dinner plates 
with an artist's name or style or landscape or feeling, 
what ever the diner desired so here are a few.
This first one above is a rainbow created by Vicky.
 This plate has a face planned and created by Jill.
 Our graphic designer, Alex named her plate,
 "Potatochu....An Evolution of Thanksgivings Past 
in the style of the Anime Animator, Ken Sugimori
Caroline decided to honor Gene Davis with her stripes plate
I was thinking Sol Lewitt but somehow it did not work.
 Ashley gave an asymmetric design to her plate.
Julia said hers is "A Julia Original"
There were more and although I took several more pictures 
of plates I have not connected them to their owners, yet.

It was a good group of young and old. 
Dinner was followed by some fun games 
in which everyone took part.
That was Thanksgiving 2014 missing one person. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Progression through a baby quilt

Using our son, Clark's shirts, including his logos for a baby quilt was the 
suggestion and request of his daughter, Lindsey Adams Fieldsted. 
Lindsey and Brandon's first child, Clark and Jill's first grandchild  is due soon.
Clark's wife,  Jill, sent me a couple of boxes of Clark's shirts
to begin designing the quilt for Lindsey. 
There were a variety of types of fabrics and the colors you see above.
 Seeing this variety and the colors of fabric along with Clark's logos
made me rethink the idea of a traditional pattern or even 
a completely geometric design.
 Taking the shirts apart and looking at the pockets, 
cuffs and collars gave me some different ideas to work on.
Wanting to incorporate the Clark Adams Company, 
Doors and Windows logos gave me the final idea.
 Starting to play with this idea of a quaint story book village 
that would incorporate windows and doors, 
since that was so much a part of Clark's life, 
I began to put individual buildings together.
 When I had completed many little buildings I started assembling them 
on a background. A lot of the time was spent arranging and rearranging 
the various little buildings keeping in mind a 36 inches square size. 
Each element's color and size determined where it would 
finally be placed as I was trying to work from 
larger in the foreground to smaller buildings in the distance.
 Pinning the village and then hanging it without sewing it 
gave me a chance to see where more windows or doors were needed and 
where some fabrics or buildings had to be eliminated.
 The sewing to the background and then final quilting began. 
However, at this stage I kept finding places where 
more was needed or deleted.
The shirts and logos were washed along with a thin matt and 
soft flannel backing so the whole quilt can be thrown in a washer.
 Knowing that I wanted to bind with a satin blanket binding 
I tried three different colors. I was not happy with any of them
but felt this color did blend and would be a better fit for a baby.
The finished baby quilt is approximately 38 by 36 inches.
This detail shows a bit of the green better. 
Some of the buildings that look black are really a forest green.
This quilt is now ready for a baby to lay on or play with. 
I imagine it will be a bit like a story telling quilt about 
a wonderful grandfather he will hear stories about.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silver Line with Artistic License

While the new Silver Line metro was being constructed I drove 
through the area several times occasionally taking pictures.
These 4 represent my taking liberty with color and design 
of a couple of the resulting stations.
 Each of the panels above are 8 inches square.
 Toward the end of the lengthy construction.
 And, during the lengthy construction.
 Inside one station.
 My embroidered interpretation of one station.
(Free-motion machine embroidery on canvas over cradled boards)
 I thought even though the stations were well designed, 
color should be added.
 The light does change the color on some stations,
or I am imagining it does.
Inside one station.
I have yet to ride the new Metro Line to check
on how I have been taking liberties with the designs.
Possibly many passengers would take umbrage 
with what I have abstracted from the Silver Line.
However..........