Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Priceless Sketch book

zentangle sketch book
I keep this one in my purse.
OK, so I've always sketched. Not every day, mind you, but often, especially when traveling,  or when waiting for a ferry or some such thing. And yet, I've never really understood the value of keeping a sketch book until today.

So, why keep a sketch book?
We know it is a record of what you've seen and where you've been.
Angelwing Begonia done with ball point pen
It's a good way to take notes about something you've seen, to refer to later.
A place to doodle, to while away the time.

But more. Much more.

It is a place in which to develop ideas and dreams. A place where the seed of an idea can sprout and grow until it is ready to blossom.  It is a living, breathing -- not just a record, but a tool, a....growing, changing, and very individual companion where your work and life can develop before it is ready for other eyes.

Angel wing Begonia
detail with brush and pen
Take a look at the sketch books of some very accomplished artists here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beatrice Alemagna

 Here's a new love: Beatrice Alemanga.
And here are some treats from her work.
Her work really sets me free to try some new things, as does the work of Priscilla Jones.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Celia Birtwell Designer

This little lady really inspires me! She is such a dear! A British designer with gray hair and wrinkles--older than I am, even--she is still going strong.

Oh, and here is a really delightful designer!! Libby McMullen's work really inspires me! (It's the wanna be children's book illustrator in me).

W09 copy.jpg

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Circles, Circles, and more Circles!!

Our assignment in Surface Pattern and Design was to find and photograph a shape: circles, triangles, squares, or rectangles. What I found was circles. And more circles. I had no idea I had so many circles in my house!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Angel Wing Begonia

After days and days of rain and dark skies, my angel wing begonia glows in the morning sun!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

the art and business of Surface Pattern Design

I think I shall still be signing up for classes when I'm 103. I really LOVE how easy it is on the internet! Tomarrow (This is not spelled wrong. This is an old way of spelling this word; just look in any good dictionary!) I start a 4 week class: module 1 of the Art and Business of Surface Design and Pattern with Beth Nichols and Rachael Taylor.

I am absolutely blown away by the other people in the class! People from England, Australia, Canada, Sweden, SOUTH AFRICA! ESTONIA and more! I've gone from knowing no one else who was an artist to knowing artists from around the world!

(I wish I could figure out how to put a button for this class in my sidebar)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Welcoming the storm

Qi Gong on the beach this morning before the predicted storm--how can I describe it? Three human friends, some crows, two seagulls, and several ducks enjoying the morning light. How very blessed I am!!

We welcomed the storm, thinking about how it will wash away debris. Do the storms in our lives have the same cleansing effect?

Another joyful thing; on Monday I hung several of my silk paintings in the office of a friend, Dr. Pamela Smith,  of Sundance Natural Medicine, in Kenmore, WA. She painted her walls yellow to bring cheer to everyone who enters, and I think my paintings on her walls express that joy as well.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Serti Sorti: painting on silk using resist

We produced some amazing work in my class Sunday November 6th, using the Serti technique to paint on silk. Serti is French, meaning fence; the resist line makes a fence to keep the dye in. Ideally, the dye goes up to the resist line and stops, making a sharply defined image. Without the resist, the line is soft, and if there is a hole in your resist fence, the dye will escape!

 Sharpie permanent pens can provide a resist effect, though not as effectively as the Pebeo resist that comes in tubes from Dharma Trading. In this piece, Maya did the roses and butterfly first, using the Sharpie to outline before applying the rose colors with a brush. Then she outlined them with the Pebeo resist before painting in the black background color. The effect is stunning!

Ariel's Rainbow Dragon, done with the Sharpie pen for resist, is wonderfully enhanced by using salt to give texture to the background. Ariel and Maya both used Jaquard Red Label dyes, which are quite wet and wick through the silk quite a ways before "striking"--that is, stopping the onward march of color through the fabric.

The Sharpie pen is permanent; it will not wash out.

Dharma Pigment Dye seems to work better with the Sharpie pens as resist than the Jaquard dyes do,  I think because of the solid pigments in it; it doesn't wick through the fabric as quickly. Even so, the Sharpie doesn't hold as well as the Pepeo resists do.

The white lines in this piece are the Pebeo resist. I use the clear, and it washes out easily in water. If you look closely, you can see where the dye escaped my fence! (hint--the green water lilies pads in front)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shibori Joy

We started with pure white scarves,
such as the one Ariel is modeling.
Such fun teaching shibori to lovers of silk and beauty!  Classes October 30 and November 6th
were very much enjoyed by all participants.

Shibori is a way of folding and twisting silk, then dropping dye onto the fabric to create wonderful patterns. We use the vibrant Jaquard Red Label dyes from Dharma Trading Company.

By the way, Bruce Goff has an interesting story about how and why he started Dharma Trading Company here. Seems he was way ahead of me with the idea that business can be grounded in a spiritual practice!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Flora Bowley

Wow, what an incredible artist! Flora Bowley's vibrant colors, the way her shapes and colors fade in and out with each other--I don't know how to describe it! Do take a look! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Cat

I do love Halloween. Even though no one comes to my door. Even though I am too old to trick or treat--and too lazy to dress up. Even though my kids are grown.

This pumpkin is 4 feet in diameter!
Last night I went uptown to Vashon, where most of the parents of young children and teenagers gathered--in costume and not-- to trick or treat at the local businesses.

 Oh the wonderful costumes! Oh the haunted houses, the pumpkin carvings, the feeling of celebration and community.

Some people dressed as role models.  There was an old wise woman, some princesses and some brides. One girl of about 6 or 8 years rode dressed as a prairie girl in a covered wagon pulled by her pony.

My grand daughter was Amelia Erheart. Her grandfather made her a bi-wing airplane that fit on her wagon so that she could fly from treat to treat.

Some people dressed as mythical creatures. fairies, star wars characters, and such. There was even a satyr, with  long horns, on tall springy legs, leaping across the street!

Some were scary! Witches in black or purple. zombies. A headless bride. Scariest was a couple of ghouls with a wheelbarrow full of bloody brains (cauliflowers)!

What did you do last night?