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December 30, 2014

Progress Toward My Art Goals in 2014

REFLECTIONS ON 2014 -  My main goal is: To develop better drawing/painting skills on paper and with dye painting/surface design on fabric.

My specific goals for 2014 and my reflections on my progress:

Sketch everyday and blog twice each week: Although I didn’t sketch every day, I probably averaged one drawing per day based on some long drawing sessions. I attend many art exhibits with my friends here in New York City and always draw from the Masters. My blog is really important to me, and my group of online friends helps me remain inspired. I think I only missed my blog goal once in 2014!

Take More Classes

1. Senior Scholar Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT):  Spring 2014 - Dye Painting on Silk 3 hrs weekly for 15 weeks

2. One day Paste-Paper class at Center for Book Arts in NYC; an Artist Transfer Paper Class by Lesley Riley and a Thermofax Screen Printing class at Quilt Festival-Houston.

3. Online classes - as a means to remain inspired and continue to learn on my own schedule, I took 5 online art classes, 1 online surface design class, and 2 online university classes on "Creativity" last year and learned something from everyone of them.

Studying Under the Masters with Jeanne Oliver. Each week I copied a Master Artist painting, usually converting their oil technique to watercolor, and then developed a second painting "inspired by" the specific artist we were studying. There is a category which includes each week of the 8 week course on my blog. I LOVED the challenge of this class!

Sketchbook Skool - Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene - Semesters 2 and 3: I chose these semesters of Sketchbook Skool because of the 6 artists that were included and was both inspired and educated by each one of them. I look forward to news about Semester 4!

Strathmore Workshop with Gaye Kraeger - My initial sketchbook drawings and paintings were inspired by Gaye in 2005 and led to my awareness of and participation in the Everyday Matters Group several months later. I’d love to spend a week painting with her!

Beautiful Watercolor Bouquet - a Craftsy class by Mary Murphy. I did this online class with my painting friend Sara when we were at the beach during the summer. We did lots of Wet-into-Wet painting which I love.

The Art of Dying - a Craftsy class by Jane Dunnewold. My first surface design classes were at Southwest Craft Center when Jane was the Chair of the Surface Design section. And I still learn something from her every time I meet up with her - in person or online.

My two classes on Creativity were offered free by Coursera, with faculty from Penn State for one and University of MN for the other. I remain interested in this broad topic and learned some skills to increase creativity and innovation from each of them.

Learn More Bookbinding Techniques - As a self-taught bookbinder I was thrilled to take a Basic Bookbinding class at FIT during Fall Semester (3 hours/week for 15 weeks), and made 9 different book structures and 2 books that I also wrote or sketched all of the content. This was an amazing experience and can be seen in blog posts within the category "bookbinding" on my blog.

Maintain a Community of Artist Friends: Lastly, I look forward to many more art "playdays" with my friends Teri, Pat, and Benedicte and will continue to attend the Central Park and Art Meet-up Group, the weekday New York City chapter of Urban Sketchers, and at least monthly figure drawing sessions at one of several locations. My friends make all of this even more fun.

December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays!

About 25 years ago, while we were still living in San Antonio, Tx, my Quilting Friends and I made many Christmas ornaments for each other.  We made one for each member of our group, and then my dearest friend's husband made us all these Swedish Wooden Christmas Trees.  We put it up in our dining room in New York City each year, and I love all the special memories associated with those friends.  My grand daughter Sydney puts all the ornaments on each year and someday it will move to her home at Christmas.

I hope you have wonderful holidays and a very happy and creative 2015.  As I finish preparations for our family gathering, I'm already reflecting on what creative things I did in 2014 and what I'd like to do in 2015. 


December 16, 2014

Christmas Ornaments - 2014

Each year I make Christmas ornaments for family and friends.  After doing this since 1975, we have a full tree, as do our children. 

This year my daughter-in-law asked me to make more angels, and ordered fabric from the San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball team to make Good-Luck angels for another Championship year.  We raised our children in San Antonio where my husband and I were on the University of Texas Medical School Faculty and created genuine fans.




I also made many Thermofax screen evergreen trees while in a class at Quilt Festival in Houston and made them into ornaments with lots of sewing with green and gold metallic threads.  These are some of the color combinations.



I played with different color paints on the screens and liked the effects. 



Here are more as I hung them in the studio as I made them. 



I love my teensy studio - and it is fun for me to have a reminder of how much stuff can fit in one room that is 6 by 9 feet!




November 4, 2014

International Quilt Festival - Houston

I started quilting in 1980 - fulfilling a long term creative wish.  The hand piecing, applique, and hand quilting were wonderful ways to be creative and make things for my husband and growing children, in the process keeping me mentally balanced between a very demanding career and a family.  This past week was my 30th annual Quilt Festival and these are my sketchbook pages.

The George Brown Convention Center from our hotel window - looking lots like the Pompidou Museum in Paris:



A gecko painting from the Thermofax screen I used in Sharon Wagner's Class.  The image was too big to make a silk screen print on a sketchbook page, so I sketched and painted it.



A quick sketch of Lesley Riley who was moving in front of our class as we started the process of learning how to use Transfer Artist Paper:



A Field Mouse and Rider made as part of the "Celebration of the Doll" exhibit:



A "reportage" drawing in about 5 minutes - capturing 3 quilters waiting to be allowed on the down escalator when the doors to the Exhibit/Vendors opened on Saturday morning.  This was part of my Sketchbook Skool homework from Veronica Lawlor - week 5 of Storytelling.  



May 23, 2014

Art on Silk

Our final project for my Fashion Institute of Technology class was a dye painting on a silk scarf.  The design was our choice - and we could use any of the many techniques we learned to execute it.  We needed to create our possible design as homework and bring several thumbnail sketches to class for discussion.  We then completed the scarf over the last few weeks of the semester.

I discovered and fell in love with a very large wall clock when my daughter and her family were living in London.  It was high in a stairwell at Michael Hoppen Gallery on Jubilee Place, off King's Road, in Chelsea.  This is the clock on a wall full of posters and photographs.




I painted the clock in watercolors for my London sketchbooks in 2007.



And then created several thumbnail sketches in which the image was cropped.


We prepared a 36 x 36" cartoon of our designs, transferred them to the silk scarf, and painted them with Sennelier dyes - mixing all of our colors from the 3 primary colors plus black.  I used several different techniques to dye paint the image and here is my finished scarf - hanging on white paper on our classroom wall in our final class. 


My original experience dye painting silk was in 1991-2 - and I made each of my 3 children a 6 foot square, quilted, dye painted, silk wedding canopy (chuppah) - in 1999, 2004, and 2005. 

Here are pictures of the 3 chuppahs: 

I LOVED spending 4 hours per week, in a well equipped surface design classroom this semester and learned new techniques from a professor who worked as a textile designer in the industry.  Now what??



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