Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hat Season

Hats hats hats. I've been madly building hats for the holiday selling season. I used to create these one of a kind garments (hats, vests, jackets) a few years ago and sell them at the Norwich Farmer's Market but I took a hiatus for a couple of years due to illness. Now I'm making them again.

Art to Wear is another seasonal activity, like my kirigami papercuttings. In another month I will have enough for the season and I'll go back to painting and illustration.
Shown here is a sampler of what's new. These are for sale in my little "shop" on Route 4, West Woodstock, at Something Old Something New. Check them out!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Remembering Summer....

Now that snow has fallen here on Vulture Mountain, this is a happy memory of summer.  It was painted on a sunny July morning standing in a churchyard in Randolph.

"July Field, Randolph"  oil  8"x10"

It is a small plein air painting that attempts to capture the feeling of that warm summer day.  It is lovely to have such a view of nature available as the days are becoming gloomy and cold...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Making Ribbonwork Hat Ornaments

Once a year I spend time building one of a kind art-to-wear. This year, instead of decorating my hats with the same material they are made from, I decided to create detachable ribbonwork hat ornaments. Here are some I've been working on:

I mostly make these in the evening...

After all, at the end of the day, I want to sit down in my "night studio," put my feet up and watch a movie while working on handwork of some kind. My portable setup, consisting of a basket and several trays of flower parts is a bit cramped but it works.

Now to sew some more hats.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just in time for chilly days

This past week a scarf of many hues has come together on my workbench. I've combined different types of tea bags in some new ways and have stayed with a light (plus red!) palette. I've used the sewing machine in combination with hand sewing.

The only part remaining will best the most tedious......sewing and tying hundreds of tea strings for the fringe. Since I'm heading out to the west coast to visit family I decided it would be a perfect airport/plane project. The end pieces, strings and needles are packed and ready to go.....I wonder if it will make the hours fly by!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Collaging Experiment II

Here are the completed four flower paintings....

I watercolored some bright yellow and orange paper and cut it into geometric shapes to add my human intrusion into the little flower paintings.  I intuited what I thought they needed to become complete....  It's difficult to see it in these photos but the yellow and orange pieces add a third dimensionality to the paintings since they warp nicely.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Experimental II

This is the second series of four little watercolors.  The inspiration comes from flowers I have been drawing recently in conjunction with making a series of soft cut linoleum prints.  

I wanted to use simple brush strokes to carry the meaning and speak the reality of iris, sunflower, etc. without being too representational.  So, quirky and humorous though they may be, I think they capture the feel of joy that flowers bring to me. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tea Bag

Creating the Tea Bag has been a very fun challenge. It took a while to figure out how to sew full tea bags without ripping them....then to assemble the two major parts and make the binding and handles. The buttons I had previously made for "Earl Grey's Vest" and didn't end up using were perfect for attaching the purse handles. Then I coated the entire bag with semi-gloss matt medium to both give the bag greater strength and to add some sheen to the surface.

My next project, which I am well into, is a scarf made of all different kinds of tea bags. I'm trying to create patterns within different stripes of the scarf.

Last night a new gallery called Artis Tree, which will feature local artists, had its inaugural show. I exhibited three tea bag pieces and a four piece work I completed last year called Furrows. It was a wonderful opening, with excellent and varied work, and it was so nice to know most of the artists and the crowd who showed up!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Hats & Adornments

Here's my first hat of the season. This one is #101011 and is sans ornament. I had forgotten how much preparation is involved with all of this. I definitely need to organize my sewing workshop better. So much junk to spread all over the place!

Below is the second one I've made this week, #101012. It is a similar color, but with a large flower made from ribbon. In a few days I will be bringing them to my new shop where Something Old Something New is in Woodstock on Route 4 west.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Last week I finished the vest, which I've titled "Earl Grey's Vest." I made buttons out of the tea bag material, but they seemed to detract from the patterns in the piece itself, so the vest is buttonless.

I also began a new tryptic. I stretched 3 canvases, each 8" by 48". Rather loooooong. I completed the first piece, so 2 remain. It will be interesting to see how these pieces will work together. I imagine that they will hang on top of each other, but it might be possible to create a skinny piece that is 12 feet long......

I also have been working on a tea "bag" or handbag. This has really been fun....I decided to leave the tea bags as they are (not emptying them), so the piece has weight and a lot of texture with the tea inside. I'll post photos next time......

Monday, October 4, 2010

Being Experimental....

I've been enjoying making some small watercolors with a calligraphic feel to them.  Poking around in the library, I came upon a book of sketches and studies by Robert Motherwell and I realized that his Abstract Expressionist work has an spontaneous, calligraphic feel to it.   Then, I looked at several books on Asian art and experimental watercolor and thought about my experience teaching a bit of Chinese brush painting to my Painting One students years ago.  This all led me to create the four 5"x7" watercolors below.  I used a mixture of indigo and ultramarine blues and a soft, wide, flat brush to paint them.

These remind me also of the storyboards I used to put together when working on computer graphics for Colony Video.  I decided that it would be fun to add some collage images to the paintings.  So, I painted some deep red paper and cut it into shapes that I attached to the paper with acrylic medium.  The shapes are not flat but rather curved and make for an interesting low relief.

I am not sure what the story is that they are telling and I am not sure where these are going but I do have more on my drawing board at the studio....