Sunday, June 24, 2012

WIP Wednesday - On the Rocks - Fibre Art - About the Work

My show PATHWAYS opened Saturday at the Textile Museum in Almonte.  I was pleased with the turnout and the many comments and questions about my work ( I will post some pictures soon).  Since every piece of work has a story attached to it,  I've decided to post information throughout the summer about the individual pieces in this exhibit.  A member of my online quilting group attended my opening and was interested in how I constructed the waves in my mermaid piece -"On the Rocks: Sometimes You Just Need to Get Away" - since our online group is currently working on a waterfall challenge (   So I have decided it might be helpful to start with this one - it's one of my favourites anyway.

Several years ago the choir I was in sang a song by Connie Kaldor called 'Wanderlust'.  It was about women needing to get away once in a while.  I think we can all relate to that feeling.   Last year I wanted to enter pieces into a juried exhibit called "The Sea".  I started thinking about mermaids perched on the rocks as the ultimate getaway, which  brought me to thinking about that song.  And this was the result (btw, it wasn't accepted into the exhibition).

 I painted the background fabric for the sky and water, then appliqued the figures and embroidered the details.  I painted the skin tones then covered it with very fine organza to give her a sparkly look.  The rocks are patterned organza with swirls that reminded me of snails.   I embroidered the swirls and added the octopus with fan, seaweed (including some in her hair), starfish, a book entitled "A Woman's Guide to Travel Escapes", and sunglasses (lenses painted with 'rose coloured' pearlized paints).  The rockhopper penguin (what else?) carries a tray of embroidered food as our mermaid sips a martini "on the rocks".   Talk about getting away from it all.  In the distance is a tiny fishing boat...... The whole piece was stitched and quilted by hand.

Now the waves....
Using some of my own painted water fabric, I cut individual waves and placed them along the bottom of the piece.   I stuffed some of the waves with loose batting to give more depth, then finished stitching them on and painted the white caps with pebeo setacolour shimmer pearl fabric paint.  (The blue 'water' fabric had been painted with setacolours too then sprinkled with salt crystals while the paint was still wet to give that mottled effect).

This technique could also work for a waterfall, by stuffing some sections of the falls as they fall vertically then stitching randomly around the falling water (could use sparkly thread too).   Pearlized paint could be used to highlight the falling water as well as the splash at the bottom (which could also be three dimensional).  I hope this is helpful.

Check out the Needle and Thread Network for their WIP Wednesdays where bloggers can link up their own blogs - and lots of other interesting stuff!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

PATHWAYS Exhibition at Mississippi Valley Textile Museum/More miniatures/singing with Shout Sister

Autumn in Stoney Swamp from PATHWAYS Exhibit

Everything is completed for my upcoming exhibition, I have delivered my work to the museum, completed price lists etc and now I just need to sit back and wait till the exhibition opens next Saturday (see Exhibitions page).  It will be a thrill to see all my hard work displayed in the Gallery.

The last couple of weeks was spent preparing some small items for the gift shop at the textile museum, a variety of art cards -printed, photo and fabric ones - and bookmarks.

 I also spent some time completing some small works for a show I took part in on Thursday at the Rideau Tennis Club in Ottawa.  It was a wine and art show.  It was quite a novelty to have servers coming round with platters of appetizers throughout the evening.  A little wine was drunk as well.    A show with a difference. 

 Here are some of the fused miniatures I have been working on - quite a break from sewing.   The pieces are tiny - 3" x 5" matted and framed to 5" x 7".  Starting at the sky, I cut the pieces from fused fabric and place them onto light interfacing.   When I am satisfied, I iron them down, cover with a backing, then mat and frame them.   Sometimes the scenes are made up ones but these were inspired by photos.  The first two were scenes from Parc de la Gaspesie.  I believe the third was from a photo taken near the Tablelands in NL, and the fourth was inspired by Salmon Pool in Cape Breton.   The tree trunks were cut from fabric that a friend and I 'rusted' one summer.  In fact there is a post on this blog describing the process (July 31, 2010).   The fabric art cards were completed in much the same manner as these miniatures but were inserted into window cards instead of mats and frames.

I have also taken time out for a wonderful choir experience with my SHOUT SISTER choir.   We had our annual concert last night to a sold out audience and it was just great! We were 100 women singing together.   What an awesome experience for us!  It was very hot but the enthusiastic audience didn't seem to mind too much and gave us a standing ovation.   The concert raised money for Harmony House, a second stage shelter for women and their children.   Shout Sister choirs exist all over Ontario and are the creation of musician Georgette Fry.    Our chapter of the choir is directed by Jody Benjamin (from Ball and Chain).  We sing wonderfully uplifting music (from Carole King and Mary Chapin Carpenter to Bob Dylan and Billy Joel) in several parts.   This summer all chapters of the choir are having a picnic get together in Kingston Ontario where we will be over 600 strong.  We were wondering what is the biggest choir in the Guinness Book of Records.  Maybe it could be a goal of Shout Sister.......

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Birds and Ducks and Geese and Butterflies and Turtle - Spring

Splish Splash

I'm takin' a bath

The longest bath ever

My Turn (I thought he'd never finish!)
You're not planning to drink that bathwater are you?
Yummy fresh spring flowers!

Did you hear something?
Duck (mallard)

Duck (momma)

Duck (eating feathers)

Goose! (and gosling)
Isn't this the cutest little fluff ball?

Posing for the camera
Butterflies have invaded us this spring, yeah!

Can anyone identify this one - maybe a Myrtle's warbler?
This very social goose accompanied us down the trail
My favourite sighting - a colourful wood duck
Must not forget - many, many painted turtles

More from the back yard

Lots of white crowned and white throated sparrows in my backyard this spring

Fresh buds in April

View through my bevelled glass door- trees would make a fun fractured quilt
In case you think that all I do is make quilts here are some photos of spring in the swamp, the forest and my back yard.   Birds do the darndest things.  Like the goose following us down the trail, the grackle who was mesmerized by the purple flowers in my backyard and then there is the story behind the duck eating feathers.  A few minutes earlier there was a confrontation and one goose took a bite out of another leaving a clump of feathers on the the wooden bridge. This duck sauntered over and ate them. Hmmm.  I'm sure there's a reason for everything that happens in nature.    A few of the photos are not perfectly clear but were interesting sightings nevertheless.   The ones that got away - two rose breasted grosbeaks in my backyard and several gigantic wild turkeys out on the trail.  Next time.......