Create A Space For Creating

My fabric career spans decades, serving clients from Hawaii to Puerto Rico.  I have worked on the dining table, in a spacious bedroom, down in the basement, and from the kitchen counter. Soon I will practice in a studio made just for me! 
Originally a two-part wooden door opened to the work bench / potting shed of my garage. I like the above view of layered solutions. The craftsmen who integrated the block wall were a delight to watch. Photograph below shows the new door and windows.  The mammoth piece of equipment signals that soon water will be piped in and out of the space.

 Each one of the spaces in which I have worked has evolved my skill and craftsmanship.  Clients have evoked ever-widening artistry.  It is my goal that the new studio will support larger inventory, more complex work patterns, and greater focus on increasingly authentic art.

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Hone: Knowing And Maintaining A Tool

I use different scissors for different tasks in the studio just as I use a variety of knives in the kitchen. Practice informs me which tool works best for a particular task.  Experimentation increases the scope of usefulness for each tool I own.

Recently, I have begun to regard my screen images as tools.  This set of little suns was designed for a custom project.  Before I use it for its intended purpose, I want to know more about how it works when repeated, when worked in multiple colors, when overlapped or spaced irregularly on the background.

A morning’s play with screen and paint introduced the potential of this simple design; I think I would like it in multiple sizes.

Origins Of A Crisp Finish

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

The conversion of garage to art studio began this week.  I tiptoed upstairs to see the progress during lunch.  The framing confirms that I like my plans; it assures me that the end results will work.  The craftsmanship also informs … Continue reading

3 Patterns, 7 Colors, and 10 Women

I led my first dyeing workshop this month.

10 good women braved a cold night to gather in a pottery studio to put their hands and minds to dyeing silk scarves.  After I demonstrated three fold and tie patterns, each participant received a scarf to manipulate and then color.  Here are their results.

Photo Jan 20, 1 18 33 PM

I discovered anew how much a teacher learns from the students.  Color and pattern are a universal delight!

The Beginning is Not The Starting Point

Quilt1

In the beginning…….God created…….In the beginning……..was the Word……

In the beginning of 2016, I stalled out. In the midst of stacks of fabrics, committed projects, commissioned work, beckoning ideas, and pots of paint, I struggled to create a plan and to write a schedule that would contain and direct all these good things.  The elements of a blessed beginning were drowning me through my own inaction.

The inner coach screamed: cut, stitch, paint. Madeleine L’Engle’s words whispered in my head, “Inspiration come in the midst of work.”   Studio action created 31 little art tags this morning.  My happy hands cut, stitched, and painted,  completing one of the elements for a presentation next week.

Cleaning picture files yesterday, I discovered the included photograph of Genesis, a privately owned piece.  I like the swirling, undulating energy in it.  The contrast of the oranges and blues creates both friction and clarity.  It was made by cutting, stitching, and painting. Beginnings are complex. A starting point is not.

 

 

A Fresh Silk Scarf

“This feels good! What is it?”

“Raw silk.”

“But it is not slippery. It feels so soft.”

This conversation was repeated at every 2014 craft market where I sold my L-shaped wraps.  This week the light came on in the connection closet of my brain. Why am I not making scarves from raw silk? And here they are! Prototypes with colorful dye and paint and also an elegant interpretation with black paint on the neutral silk.

I use a small 1 inch fringed hem on the short ends to create a soft edge without fussiness; the long sides are double turned and stitched. They measure approximately 17 by 70″.  A raw silk scarf can become an all season star: tucked under a coat collar, tossed over shoulders as a wrap, or twirled to create a spectacular neckline.

They are not yet on the market, but will appear early in January 2016.  Look for them at Seeking Stars Art.

Bring On The Heat


The sewing machine or a pair of scissors are often the tools first associated with my art practice.  But it is the iron that is used most frequently and consistently. When I am working well, focused on what is before me and its purpose, it is the iron that guides me into good evaluation.

Fabric new to inventory is often washed, and always pressed. The sole plate glides over the surface.  My eyes check for flaws.  My hands absorb the quality of the texture.

After dyeing and painting, during applique and piecing projects return to press board. Heat smooths out the rough places.  The iron’s point leads my eyes to fresh views of the work.  I prefer to schedule this work early in the day.  The closer scrutiny frequently suggests next steps for the fabric.

When the work is complete, each project gets a final press with the iron. Seams are checked and hems measured. Labels are attached and small threads are snipped clear. Bring the heat.  Begin and end.

Choose The Perspective

Today’s task: make a game for two.  This is a game of cooperation inspired by my friend and fellow artist, Diane.

Move the circular frame until you both agree on a pleasing composition within it.  Best played while drinking tea.

Hold In Reverence

“Ask a friend for help,” Creative Sprint assigns today.

We had a wonderful catching up about art and books and family and the pursuit of dreams.  I departed energized and affirmed.  I had been in the sacred space of friendship.  Today a bit of visual and verbal creativity:

Practicing creativity,

I reach the pause

before the swirl zone.

It is here, dear friend,

where I hold you in thought,

where I hold you in reverence.

Practice And Collaboration

Today marks the 2/3 point of CreativeSprint.  I agreed to try this practice because my assertive younger sister told me I needed to loosen up about sharing work that is either incomplete or just nor very good.  Ouch.  It does take the magic out of the practice of art.  It also makes me more aware of the mystery.

Today’s task is to make a pie chart or a Venn diagram.  What happens when the gray-haired girl and the red-haired sister get creative together (as we often do)?  The light and the heat show up!  Fire!

The best part of today’s activity was discovering that the daily inspirational quotation was from my sister Beth Nyland!  Here are her words: “Through daily practice, I strengthened my creative muscles. And those muscles have memory. Now I’m quicker to think of solutions to problems, new angles on writing projects, even suggestions for my children when they’re bored. I’m seldom “stuck” or at a loss for ideas. “