Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rubber, Rubber, Where Do I Get my Rubber?

Really, it should be carving blocks because none of it is actually rubber....

Nasco is the site for softoleum which I got in 1/4 x 3 x 4" blocks. order #9719193 (A)
Softoleum 1/4 x 4 x 6" order #9719193 (B)
Mastercarve classroom Pack 1 1/2" square #9719940
and Safety-kut circle 2" #9725792

They also have carving tools and other sizes available.

The Mastercarve blocks that I got from Dick Blick. Once at their site, go to printing supplies or look up under their search for Mastercarve blocks.

Came back from three days on the road going to Road 2 California. Drove down Thursday which is a six hour drive but longer with potty stops and a lunch break. Went to one quilt store that had tons of Moda fabric and in fact they will be a Moda University. Moda fabric is just not my thing...

Had a great dinner out of steak to satisfy my beef craving and then hit the sack.

Spent the next day at the show and looked and shopped. The show is primarily traditional and contemporary quilts with few real art quilts....most of the art quilts were figurative or landscapes. But everything was really well done. Tons of vendors, but so many of them had all those Moda strip rolls...just not my thing. Very few hand dyes (only 4) but it was fun looking and I did manage to spend some money.

Met Jamie Fingal and bought her new book Embellished Mini-Quilts.. Also met Elin Noble and bought a bunch of her embroidery threads. Jamie's book is really nice and has lots of good ideas.

Drove home the next day and this time I was wiser and let my buddies drive part of the way. Got home, changed clothes and went off to a night of Robert Burns music and Scottish food. Boy did I sleep well last night. Today has been relaxing after church, reading the Sunday paper, watching Comedy Club without doing any hand work and just enjoying doing not much.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Rubber!

Oh Boy!!!! A big box of carving blocks came today! Two inch circles, 1.5 " squares, 2 x 4" and 4 x 6". Not enough time to do them all....

so...out of a 2 " circle:

and againn:
and out of a 1.5 inch a little crow which is even smaller...
and a ginko leaf out of 1.5"
and just some more little lines in a 1.5 "
Tomorrow I head off for Road2CA show...a fun drive down with good friends and lots of snacking food for on the road!

The computer goes with me so I can keep up with my students coming on line!

Monday, January 14, 2008

What A Difference A Day Makes!

jTaking Sundays off from work is the best thing to do....however, it seems that by the evening somehow I have slipped back in to working but then I feel okay about it...

A couple of months ago I purchased Jane Dunnewold's book "Finding Your Own Visual Language.

She has pages of suggestions for finding your own voice which are a lot of fun to do. I have done the exploding shapes which gets really neat! But she also suggested carving a stamp a day to get lots of stamps made. I took a workshop from her at ArtQuiltClaremont in April, 2006. She introduced me to carving Dick Blick 1 x 1 and 1 x 2" erasers. I have gone through lots and lots of onesies and twosies and have frequently used them in some of my work.

Well, I ordered 30 new carving blocks from Dick Blick and they arrived mid December so I have been carving since. I am only going to show you five that I have done...I think I have done about 15 of these so far. It is so soothing to do these....lots of times I do it when I need to do something but I don't know what. These are all 4 x 4" blocks...the images are not stamped well as I just used an old stamp pad and did it on hard sketch book. The blue ones are done with paint but just quickly to check the image.

I have a collection of geometric shapes I have done and more based on circles.

Elin Waterston has been carving stamps also. This very gifted artist has been doing a number of animals which are just wonderful. But she also provided a source for round carving blocks and she has been using a different manufacturer so, not to be left out in the cold, off I went on line to order more carving blocks....can't have enough of those things...especially since I don't knit!

My class is getting all set up and I think I know what I am doing! What an adventure!

And then, later this week I am heading down south to the Road 2 California show in Ontario. Three of us will drive down on Thursday and return Saturday. That will be fun. And then, I anticipate being able to do a little bit of my art! What a concept!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm Tired

I'm tired of the computer...I have been on it for days without end. All I want to do is to do a little art. Well, I did do a little art, about 8 x12" but right now I am not going to show anyone.

I have spend big bucks to get my Adobe PDF program so now I can post my lessons in PDF. I have spent days in Word creating little pictures to illustrate what I am discussing and trying to find just the right color among however many colors the computer can generate. I sure am learning a lot but I think right now I would rather be a little stupid.

I did spend some time coasting through the web looking at various collage artists and mixed media artists. I love collage and I love fiber and I am looking for my own way to combine the two and also to include paint, in a way that is all mine. I also love surface design and have purchased 30 4 x 4" carving blocks to make stamps and also gasket rubber to make bigger ones. It is so soothing to sit down and carve stamps...just abstract shapes, etc. Organic or geometric, it doesn't matter, they are both interesting to do.

So I have lots of images of other people's work to look at and study and figure out just why I like their work. I like to put the image in my sketch book and then write about it for future thought...if it is the color that draws me in, the texture, the composition, whatever. I will even make little thumbnails of the composition to consider for future use in some way. The trick is to learn from other artists but to not do their work. so I like to collect the stuff, write and draw about it and then let it sink in until I filter it through my processes.

The problem that I have is that I have so many images floating through my head but not the time to start doing them right now. So, I am really trying to be a good artist and jot down notes or thumbnails in my sketch book of the ideas I want to paint two layers of color and scratch through the top layer to bring out some of the bottom layer...this works on stretched canvas or board, I have got to figure out just how to process it for fabric. I have started doing painting on raw canvas using acrylic paints, not necessarily textile paints. My plan is to do these and then cut them up and use them in collages....

Now you know all my the time I get around to doing it, everyone else will have jumped on it and figured it out and did it well...then I won't have to do it.

In this last batch of postcards I started incorporating curved lines with satin stitching which echoes the painted lines on some of the fabric. I really like the way it looks. I am starting to see my wiggly satin stitch now in other work so I will not be using that so much...not that I feel I started it, but it is interesting to see elements that one has used frequently but hasn't seen around in other work start to all of a sudden pop up in different work! Just keeps me on my toes. I know there is nothing original in this world but how we put it all together speaks of us and who we are. So we just keep struggling to find the next step up the ladder and to explore more and more to keep those creative juices flowing.

I think I am currently spending about 10 hours a day or maybe more on my art career...either reading about art, keeping in touch with artists, studying art, writing about art and maybe once in a while, creating art...and then there is the business part of it like spending an hour to down load Adobe software, another hour getting it all set up, registered, etc. Not the fun stuff.

Oh well, back to writing my lessons...thanks for listening to least I hope someone besides Gerrie listens to me...what would I do without Gerrie? She keeps me going and makes me feel so good...speaking of Gerrie, it has been really fun to watch her develop her art skills over the past four or five years that I have known her...way to go, Gerrie!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Two Weeks of Activity

I have been really busy for the past two weeks. I've been working on getting my postcards done for the 2007 round of exchanges with my Art2Mail group. I finally have more than enough so thought I would share some of those...I've been working on the background fabrics for sometime but have also combined my fabrics with some of Sherril Kahn's fabrics.

I have also started using some of my upholstery fabric from my huge sample stash...last posting I showed you some of the collages I have done with them. I love the texture they have.
On Jan 2 we went up to our cabin in the Sierra. It is at about 3700 feet and we knew that several big storms were coming in which is the main reason our son-in-law, Dave, wanted to go. The first two days were really nice and my husband did a lot of burning of pine needles and downed branches in our constant effort to reduce the fire load.

I tried to get work done on my lessons for my class which starts up on Jan 21. However, when the snows started it was really hard to work since Jacob was inside a lot and likes to go full tilt and at full volume most of the time. So he was put to work cleaning snow off his father's truck!
I took lots of pictures throughout the six days we were there. This is a picture of manzanita branches covered in snow.
I love the beautiful red of the tree as the bark starts to peel off. And with the white snow, it just doesn't get any better than this!
And looking off in to the distance from the cabin.
and more branches in snow
Up close and personal branch
A California girl's concession to the snow...fuzzy lined red crocks (with warm socks)
And snow depth measure #1 after the first snow
And snow depth measure #2 after the third day of snow...with one day in between with sun so the snow melted and crashed down on top of us from the tree branches above.
Well, I am making great progress on the lessons for the online class. Finally, once I got home and was able to work in my own space. I think I will take a few hours off tomorrow and go down to the studio and work on quilting my California Dreams 3 piece.

It feels good to be back in the saddle again! Or....back at the sewing machine again.