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December 15, 2015

Making More Christmas Tree Ornaments

I just finished making my second group of Christmas Tree Ornaments, these were for adults in our family and a few friends.  During the summer I stamped many pieces of hand dyed fabric with a wood stamp, my first experience with a stamp of that kind. I used Jacquard Lumiere Textile paints, a sponge, and a stamping pad to get clear images.  The irregularities in the paint are actually gold flcecks!



I didn't think about the design for an ornament until last week, but I knew I wanted it to be even more sparkly.  The tree was stitched to a dark green fabric with small gold metallic stars, right sides together, and then turned.   I had several spools of YLI Kaleidoscope green metallic thread in my stash, and decided to stitch around the branches.  This was the only tedious part of the process, but I actually liked the challenge!  This picture hopefully shows the metallic thread stitches.



Here are the final ornaments, and one already hanging on our tree.    




Now that the 2015 ornaments are finished, I need to set up my Santa Workshop for gifts for our grandchildren.  A few of them outgrew their minky blankets from several years ago, so now they requested BIG ones.   No one in my family starts to think about Christmas until December - or maybe I wouldn't be sewing so much now!


December 12, 2015

Return to the Society of Illustrators

I love figure drawing sessions at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.  It is a drop in program - 3 hours of drawing/painting two models who pose simultaneously.  There is also live music and a bar to buy a glass of wine.  From May through October I usually go to figure drawing weekly in Battery Park City - an outdoor venue that is hard to resist.  But I used to go to Society of Illustrators faithfully once a month and this year my last visit was in June!  On Tuesday night I went with my friend Casey who was visiting from France.  I met Casey in 2007 through the Everyday Matters Yahoo Group and see her most often during NYC visits.  The last time I saw her was a year ago in Paris. 

One of the models was new to me and I found her short poses to be challenging and fun.  Here are two of her two minute poses.  



I sketched two 5 minute poses on the same large sheet of watercolor paper and then squeezed in another drawing.  I love the challenge of trying to figure out the spacing and relationship among them. I used a sketch and wash pencil and shaded the figures with my waterbrush and clear water. 




These are two of the 20 minute poses.  I get bored easily, and probably finished these in 15 minutes and then looked over at the sketchpads of those sitting around me.  We had a great evening and 19 sketches by the end!   This page was too large for scanning, thus the gray-blue background from my camera.



December 8, 2015

Copying the Masters

There are lots of great gallery exhibits in New York City and my artist friends and I usually put together a list and then spend a day in a specific neighborhood.  On November 18th we met at Penn Station and walked to Chelsea.  My personal favorites for the day were the Max Ernst sculptures at Paul Kasmin, the Robert Rauchenberg at Pace, and the Giorgio Morandi at David Zwirner.  The bunny was street graffiti!  I sketched in the Galleries and painted the pages at home.


There are also many terrific Museum Exhibits which opened this Fall and we've been scheduling at least 2 visits each week.  Last Friday we started at "Berlin Metropolis 1918-1933" at the Neue Gallerie  and then went to the Morgan Library and Museum to see "Graphic Passion:  Matisse and Book Arts."  I walk through the exhibits with my sketchbook open and quickly draw images that I like.  Here is one page of drawings from each museum.





I could copy Matisse ink drawings and prints endlessly.  They captured so much in so few lines. 

December 4, 2015

Stamping a Multicolor Santa

I was pulling out a set of fun foam stamps for the Santa image shown below, and thought my tutorial from December 2010 should be reposted this month.  I have a few gift tags to make and this time will try to use F&W acrylic inks - based on my workshop this year with Judy Coates Perez.  In our workshop we used some of Judy's fun foam stamps on fabric and paper.


I used these stamps in 2010 for gift tags, and for the cover of small watercolor pamphlet-style books.  Here are  some of the practice images on various papers, including newspaper.






I wrote a tutorial for making these very inexpensive stamps - really one stamp for each color.  Here is a reposting of that blog post from December 2010. 


I will post some images made with the acrylic inks when I try them - although I used the ink on paper with a fun foam stamp in the workshop this November and it looked fine. 

The blue bee was messily stamped on my sketchbook page at the workshop.






December 1, 2015

A Pathway From One Creative Idea to Another

Fabio Consoli, one of the faculty from the Sketchbook Skoolhouse Stretching online class, wanted us to explore "child's play," combining a child's drawing with ours.  My grandson Zach made the figure on the right and I completed the picture with figures from my own imagination.  Here is the original blog post about this homework assignment.




I was doing a 100 day challenge at the same time - drawing from my imagination - and eventually Axel (the figure on the left) was featured in many of my drawings, and he even acquired a girl friend.  I asked Zach to help me create a back story and he said that Axel and Alice were from the moon and their head shapes were determined by the phase of the moon at their birth.  They were playing in Axel's Mother's space ship and accidently started it.  They are very confused by Earth.


I sketched Axel and Alice many times over the next months, eventually leading me to "draw" Axel on Fabric. 

During July I spent part of every day dying fabric and one of my projects was to create Axel and Alice on fabric by drawing and painting the fabric with Procion MX dyes. 



I make many Christmas ornaments for family and friends, an annual project since my own 3 children were born more than 40 years ago.  Now I'm making Axel ornaments for our 8 grandchildren + one for our tree.

I scanned the dye painting of Axel and resized him (6 inches long) in Photoshop.  The JPEG was transferred to a piece of fabric on a plastic support (EQ Printed Treasure Premium Cotton Satin) and 9 copies were made using an Epson Artisan 50 Photo Ink Jet Printer.



Each Axel was then sewn to a backing and lightly stuffed to hang on our family Christmas trees.  Here is a finished ornament. 



And here are all 9 that I made - for 8 grandchildren + our tree. 



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