Saturday, December 19, 2009

Silk Painting Winning piece

Most artists seem to go through cycles of confidence, self-doubt, angst, elation, inspiration, intense creative energy periods, etc. Maybe because I was tired from all the holiday activities and end of classes rush, not winning the Mini Cooper from my son's school fundraising event (well, I can wish!), but I was sliding into the self-doubt part of the cycle.
So I took a 3 hour nap (didn't mean to) and had to do dinner take out it was so late. Upon returning as I sat eating dinner and checking on emails, I received an email from one of the coordinators of The Silk Painter's International show being held at the US District Courthouse in MD saying I had won first place! I didn't even know it was being judged, but what a surprise and honor it is! My confidence is returning.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silk Scarves

silk scarves - before steaming
I've been working hard making silk scarves for the holiday season. The problem is....I love every one of them and have a hard time letting them go! But I will send them out into the world and make others happy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

WIP another peony pillow

After trying to get my email, my website, my computer to fix for hours I gave up, ate dinner, and worked on this piece to de-stress. It's almost done, just the background needs dye. It's a 14"x14" tiny little pillow cushion. I've been painting it for maybe over 4 hours. That's not including the time I spent applying the gutta resist. Hmmm.....these take a long time, but it was so much fun. Much more fun than trying to get my computer to work.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Classes started and Instructor's Show

Classes at Chastain Arts Center have begun and I am teaching two silk dye painting classes this time. I am seeing some really nice work coming from my students and feel like a proud "mother!" I also have two pieces in the Chastain Instructor's Show in the Gallery at Chastain Arts Center, so if you have a moment this weekend (Oct 17-18), come by and see my pieces and enjoy the other instructors' art.

I am having the "advance" students try their hand at shading on some star lily designs. It's time consuming but they are doing great with their petal shading. The picture is a demo piece I used to show them how to do shading. We will be using other techniques to put in the details later.

Friday, October 9, 2009

White Squares and Crow paintings

Two paintings in acrylic. One 12"x24" and the Crow 8"x10"
The Crow is silk fused on canvas board with acrylic paints.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Building an ark...

......not really.......but Atlanta has been experiencing unbelievable amounts of rainfall recently. We've had a nice few sunny days, but the rains are returning again. It's starting to feel like a rainforest and I've given up fighting the weeds until next Spring.

We took down the Fiber Art Fusion show today where I had my sea creature pieces and scarf and now I am preparing two silk pieces for a show outside the Washington DC area for silk painters.

I will also have 3 pieces in the Instructor's Show at Chastain Arts Center in Atlanta in a few weeks. One of the pieces that will be there is the Wisteria Kimono.

Fall Classes in Silk Dye Painting will start in early October for a long 9-10 weeks depending on the day. It's just the right amount of time to immerse onself in learning how to silk dye. There are way too many techniques to cover it all in 10 weeks, though. For classes please go to or call the Chastain Arts Center at (404) 252-2927.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Coral Reef Sea Creatures finished!

Finally they are done. I'm refusing to ever go into the sea/ocean again after watching too many nature shows on TV. So these will have to do. Made of wool roving (needlefelted), hand dye painted silk, porcelain clay, acrylic paint, embroidery thread.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This is what happens when I let 15 people paint "my scarf."

I was invited to the East Cobb Quilter's Guild tonight to do a silk dye painting demo and trunk show. After the trunk show they dye painted a silk scarf that I had applied gutta resist to the night before. The end result is amazing! A very lucky person in the group won the scarf and will be receiving it as soon as I steam set and remove the gutta resist.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Missing in action?

No, just needed to rest after the summer camp week, clean the house (lots of clay everywhere), do volunteer work, clean, clean, clean to switch the table over to silk dye painting, and a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. Sea creatures are soooo strange but soooo inspiring for art. My favorite? CUTTLEFISH! And giant squid. And giant octupus. And cod. Finally touched a starfish. Yuk. The ray was much nicer to "pet."

I have been carving tiny round clay pieces while sitting in front of the TV and "resting." I'm loving these little clay pieces, all inspired by one student's roundish "bead" she made in camp. The plan is to make them into necklaces or combine them with fiber.
Back to cleaning and decluttering so I can get back to work.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sign up now for SUMMER silk classes!

In less than two weeks starting July 7, you have two choices: Tuesday mornings or Thursday evenings for 6 weeks to take silk dye painting. Click here:

and scroll down to Silk Dye Painting.

Call and sign up today! You won't regret it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Getting ready to teach summer camp

I'm making clay samples for my one week summer camp in mid-June. Cleaning and putting away the silk teaching stuff until July when classes start back up at Chastain Arts Center. The basic exercise stationary bike got assembled. Lots of drapery fabric getting aired out and washed and made into drapes. Blinds collect way too much dust and drapes are easier to clean. And the house is getting decluttered again, well, just for two days. As soon as the clay samples are done, the table gets transformed into the silk painting studio again!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Manhattan Skyline for AIDS Quilt for Ron Sharkey

Our Fiber Art Fusion group is making an AIDS Quilt panel. Our group is doing Ron Sharkey, an actor best known for his role as Sonny Steelgrave in the TV series Wiseguy. He was a Broadway actor and also did many movies and television shows. This is the middle section of the 3'x6' vertical panel I am doing for him. It is supposed to be the Manhattan skyline and the top portion's building-lines will be cut out once it is attached to the other piece. The bottom section has theatre and movie icons and the Golden Globe award he won for his performance in The Idolmaker. The top portion are like search light/sun rays and his name will be put there. The bottom will have the names of his movies listed. Both Sharon and Ginny have done an amazing job. We're not finished yet but getting there.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Knock, knock. Who's there? Your paintings...

Thinking that these "swirls" paintings on silk were just a phase I went through after my mother's death, lately they have been calling to me. But I have no clue where to go with them and wait for it to become clear. And one of these, the one with the yellow curling line going across the center horizontally, calls to me more than the others. It reminds me of when I was around 2-3, I'd close my eyes to go to sleep and see a mass of grey snakes moving, moving, and there would always be one white snake in the center, like the yellow line.

The past week and a half it has been difficult to find the time to work. And I stepped on some Chinese hooks that went into my foot about 1/2", gave myself a deep cut on my finger after accidentally hitting the brand new rotary blade against it, and somehow managed to stick a heavy duty pushpin into my thumb deep enough it took some effort to pull it out. It is time to stop, rest, and regroup my energies. And get a tetanus shot.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No art....stuff needs to be done

It's difficult to go a day or more without painting, doing something creative. But things that need to be done need to be done. So here's a collage painting I did a while back. It is a collage of silk pieces, acrylic paint, and textured medium on canvas. A small 12" x 24" painting.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Silk dyed peony pillow

I don't know why but I've suddenly started doing peonies. Maybe it's because the peony plant I had for several years seems like it's not going to come out of the ground this year due to my neglect. I saw some at the plant nursery, was tempted to get one, but decided I should wait until I read up on how to care for one first. This was a fun little pillow to silk dye paint, and a "happy" one. Seems like I had been doing some darker colors and needed to do some brighter colors, such as the wisteria kimono jacket. Maybe I need to lay off the black dye for a bit.

The yellow large silk crepe de chine scarf work in progress has peonies, also. This time the background was dyed a brilliant yellow (for some reason--who knows why I paint certain colors. It's usually what mood or feeling I'm in at the moment.) and the subsequent colors I put on the silk mix with the yellow dye. At this point I'm not sure if I'll fill in more of the background or not. You can faintly see more leaves that have been drawn with gutta resist. It's another bright "happy" scarf.

Wisteria silk dyed kimono

This is the back view of the silk dyed wisteria kimono. It's done on crepe de chine, outlined with gutta, dyed and steam set. These larger silk fabric pieces required new PVC pipe frames to be made and moving around furniture to make room for the frames. During the process, although time consuming, it was just fun to dye the silk and I couldn't wait to finish the four pieces of fabric that make up this garment. I sewed and lined it with purchased silk habotai in a light bronze-ish color. Tinfix acid silk dye was used for this piece. To my eyes, the Tinfix dyes seem to be more brilliant than the Jacquard dyes even though Tinfix requires at least 3 hours of steaming. (Jacquard requires much less). I am looking forward to creating more wearable art garments of the silk dyed type in the near future, but first, I think I'll get rid of some more furniture to make room for the frames. As of now, the dining room and dining table is not for eating anymore, and I may have to take over the carport which I use for wax resist. The deck already gets used for background dyeing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Parts of a garment being silk dye painted

These are the front/back and left/front sides of a short kimono in crepe de chine. The sleeves will be done next, along with the front collar pieces. Then steamed, etc, etc. Hope it turns out! Never have done a large garment piece before. Two plastic sawhorses with wooden stretchers taped to them are holding up the larger frame. It's taking up my entire living room at the moment. I'm running out of space in the house, so I think I'll throw out more furniture :)
If you click on the pics, they will enlarge. Once I get the main wisteria blooms painted, and then the vines and leaves, I'll probably add more to these panels. The background was mottle-dyed in a very light dusty lavender color so that my gutta lines wouldn't be stark white.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More sample testing

Sorry about the crease lines, but the top one was a practice piece using only black dye and water. The bottom one was done watching 4 hours of Miss Marple on PBS.

Testing design possibilities

Just seeing how far I can layer the gingko leaf before I lose its image.

Something old

Here's a recycled table I painted a sea turtle on with acrylics. It was about 12 years ago I did this.
I painted this from a photo and I have no idea why the back legs don't show, but this is what the photo looked like. The painting is holding up still because of several coats of clear coat.

What I've been working on.

I finally had a moment to load the camera software, so here are some pics of a few things I've been working on. The first is a test for a little pouch, hoping the patterns will match if I did it right. It'll get sewn up with a lining. Then a throw pillow that hasn't been sewn up yet and a yellow peony scarf. All the beautiful greens and flowers blooming right now is obviously influencing my color choices.