Monday, September 1, 2014

September with Mags Ramsay - working with acrylic paints

 
 
Way back in January I volunteered to do a month's posting on using acrylics paints  in September. Well here we are and hasn't the time gone really quickly!
As an introduction, I thought I'd re-run that post to give you an overview of what I'll be covering.
If you have a technique  using acrylic paints that you'd like to share, do leave a comment - I know I've only scratched the surface  of their versatility.
 
'Dry Valley' - Mixed media on watercolour paper  
 

 
I have always painted, drawn and sewn, and many of my quilts are based on the sketches and photographs from my travels both at home and abroad.  I was introduced to using acrylic paints on a mixed media course with Yorkshire artist Katherine Holmes, combining them with watercolour and pastels, attempting to capture the atmosphere of the hills –and the weather. It  got me thinking about how I might capture some of the immediacy of sketches directly in my textile pieces.
Test sample - wild fabrics give interesting results!
So on my return using machine quilting test pieces and failed projects I practiced using acrylic paints in different ways on fabric until I was confident enough to design a quilt ‘(Strindberg Shore’) with acrylic painting at its core.
 
'August' (Strindberg Shore sample) before and after painting with palette knife
 

I’ve since used this technique in many quilts and as I taught myself mainly through trial and errors ( lots of those!) I thought I’d share what I’d learnt along the way so hopefully readers   will have the confidence to give it a go.

The 3 main techniques I use are:

1)      applying thick opaque  acrylic paints with palette knife/dry brush  after quilting/ stitching

2)      painting with fluid transparent acrylics  on fabric surfaces primed with gesso

3)      using masking tape stencils to create shibori effects.  
 'Rich as Honesty ' primed with gesso,  ready to paint  
 
'Nautical Dawn' masking tape shibori effect




For each method I’ll describe step by step what fabrics you might use, how to prepare them for painting and some tricks of the trade I’ve picked up along the way.

Acrylic paints are quick drying which can be a blessing (and a curse!) so I’ll start  in my next post with an introduction to their properties and tips on their use. 

 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Free For All Friday - week 4

This month has gone so quickly. Here it is our last Free For All Friday.

Let's start off with a piece from Marjee!

This was done using garbanzo bean and corn starch paste. I ironed the backside when it was nearly dry and that made the paste really hard so the cracks were sharp. The whole process was an experiment. The areas were blocked out using washable gel glue to wall in--or out--different colors of dye. Enjoying the blog. --
Marjee 


And Ann Scott added in the comment section yesterday but I wanted to also post it here so no one would miss it. It is worth going back and seeing her piece posted yesterday after reading this additional comment.

One thing I forgot to mention about my piece is that the golden bits toward the bottom are painted fusible...another fun technique I like to use.  -- Ann

Here are a couple of pieces sent in by Elaine Ross

We had a challenge in guild to do a quilt based on a book. I chose "Butterflies and Bottlecaps" which is about a young girl with butterflies for hair, who hates her hair and wishes she was normal. Her mother kept telling her "One day you will see how beautiful you are". So the girl met another girl with Bottlecaps for hair, each wished for the others hair...hence realizing they were beautiful in their own right. I say all that to show you I collected beer bottlecaps for months to use as embellishment. (My husband was only too glad to help.) I painted them to give a representation of hair color! --Elaine



Judy Sall sent in some examples as well this week

These are fiber collages I made last year, and they are hung on pieces of juniper wood I rescued from the wood pile.  They are made using water soluble stabilizer to hold everything together while I stitched them to the backing.  Great way to use many textures! -- Judy


And after some e-mail system issues, I was finally able to get examples from Wil Opio Oguta on the art piece she made using buffalo teeth. Mulberry bark I think is another texture element in this one. The title is "Treasures In The Sand". When doing a monochrome piece, often texture plays such an important role.



And here it is...one is a column of buffalo teeth!!

So...in recap...creating texture is an almost limitless method of adding interest and depth to your works of art. I hope this month has inspired you and gotten your creative brains to think even farther outside the box than most of them already do!

A special thanks to my three guest artists (and friends) Ann, Francie and Wil. You guys ROCK!! and made this month especially interesting for me and for all those who popped in for a visit. I can't thank you guys enough!

This has been a fun month for me! I hope it has been for you as well. This will be the last post and with it, I am wishing all of you to whom it means anything......a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!! And I will leave you with this link for your Moment of Texture.  Click HERE to go to my Pinterest board entitled Tantalizing Texture.  ENJOY!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Creating Texture with Mixed Media and Fun Bits - part 4

Today I have another beautiful example of creating texture for this week from Ann Scott.

It started as a small painted whole cloth, to that I stitched cut up canvas and quilted it on (used gel medium too), then painted cheese cloth and stitched it on. The entire piece is attached to a canvas.  I really love the piece and think it is one of my best abstracts… so far! -- Ann



Ann, I love the ethereal floating feel of this piece. Awesome!!

One last thing from me today. Although it's not in the theme of this week.

Yesterday I had one of those "need to experiment" days. A while ago I learned a technique on paper that suddenly hit me that needed to be tried out on fabric! So, I'm going to let you in on what went on in my brain for this one - scary prospect though that may be! First....thinking, thinking, thinking....how on earth would I go about this? Then decided the best first steps to take and got busy. I say first steps because as often happens, experiments trigger perhaps a better way to do something. So, today you are my guinea pigs. I hope if it inspires you to try it another way you will let me know!!

The technique that intrigued me was a method for making a peeling paint look. On paper, you take vaseline and brush it on in random strokes. Then you paint over it with acrylic paint. When the paint has dried, you can wipe off the page and all the areas masked by vaseline reveal the paint underneath the overcoat! I LOVE the look of it.  So......I wondered what would happen if.........

I got out the vaseline and brushed it on with a very old and abused paint brush. (this is the upper right corner of the fabric. I was so excited about what was might happen, I almost forgot to take a process photo!)

Then I picked out a light blue acrylic and with a sponge brush, painted it over the whole piece. I did dilute the acrylic but ever so little (sorry....I hardly ever measure)

When the paint was dry, I place a couple of layers of newsprint paper over it and ironed it to "soak up" the vaseline and the paint on top of it. This was part of the thinking that went on. I figured that on fabric, it would be difficult to wipe off the vaseline effectively and most probably would smear the covering paint. (although some time I will have to try it just to see what happens.) It worked very much like removing soy wax from fabric. (hmmmmmm would soy wax give the results as well as vaseline....a future experiment)

That worked well I think! Here is the results after all the vaseline has been absorbed (which didn't take long at all)  Very much a peeling paint look on fabric using vaseline and acrylic paint!!!

Then, as I've learned often to do these days, I checked out the backside of the piece. Wow! Now I wish I had done this on a larger piece so I could cut it in half and use both sides!! 

Already have some idea spinning in my head about what to do with this piece of fabric. Now the dilemma is -- which side of it to use!

So, thanks for wandering around in my brain for a minute and indulge my departure from this weeks theme. Hope it somehow inspires you!

Tomorrow is Free For All Friday! One has already shared one of their pieces. Hopefully today and into tonight I will receive more!

Kelly@KellyLHendrickson.com



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Creating Texture with Mixed Media and Fun Bits - part 3

Today I have an example for you of a piece that incorporates a few techniques for creating texture. It is one of my favorite pieces.

This piece was born from a challenge to create art that would engage more than the sense of sight. For some reason I knew I wanted to make an attempt at including the sense of taste. One thing I knew of that involved taste without actually putting anything in your mouth was how even the look of a juicy lemon can make your mouth water. So I set of on that experiment.  And this is how it went.

I knew I wanted this "lemon" to be squeezed so I had to figure out the form I needed to do that. After several drawings on paper and cutting them out, I came up with the shape needed. Now all I had to do was fill in the blanks.

Don't you just love serendipity? I had been gathering various shades and textures of yellow fabrics in anticipation of creating this piece. When it got right down to time to pick out the final choices, I noticed that one of the fabrics had a slightly random dotted look. PERFECT for a lemon peel! Then I used my white mulberry bark for the rind.

Now for the "meat" of the lemon. This took a bit of trial and error in fabric manipulation, I used a yellow satin with a bit of sheen so it would look wet. I just scrunched it and stitched in wavy lines as I kept scrunching.

And so it began. This was going to be a different piece because it was not a quiltlet as usual. The whole quilt part was the lemon...no borders or bindings.  Here is how it looked all laid out. The backing is just an unbleached muslin.

Things are going the way I want them to go. Now for the "sizzle".  The shine of the satin was working but it needed to "feel" wetter.  I added a BUNCH of round crystal beads of varying sizes, hand-sewn into the folds of the yellow satin.

Now, for the big finish...I stitched the lemon quiltlet to an already painted canvas. Then I hand-stitched more beads to create the look of a squirting lemon. And the final "sell"...a very large crystal bead for a drop of luscious lemon juice! (This is another serendipity. I had planned on a large teardrop bead. None were large enough. So as I'm wandering the aisles of beads, it called out to me! This very large and irregular crystal bead!! And the irregular shape fit SO much better than a teardrop would have!)

Here is the completed 18" X 24" piece. And the question I always ask...."Does it make your mouth water?" I hope so, because then I would have completed my mission successfully!  So....stitching, fabric manipulation, paint and fun bits all in one piece. Hope you like it.

OK now, let's see some of your art that includes fun bits to create texture! Please e-mail me your photos at:

Kelly@KellyLHendrickson.com






Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Creating Texture with Mixed Media and Fun Bits - part 2

I just feel that now I need to clarify something. This week is not a heavy tutorial week. I might refer to other tutorial posts I've done on this blog (I mean, why repeat them, right?) My main goal is to get people to think outside the usual "box" and begin to see all kinds of things as possibilities for their art.

One question I often get is just how to attach some of the bits and things to the fabric pieces. Well, that is a long answer. To be totally vague....that depends!  Below are some of the techniques that I use. If you have others, please let me know and I will add them to the list on Friday.

Stitching - There are many things you can attach just by stitching. For example, just about any small object that has a hole through it. Or sometimes you can stitch across an object if it is flat enough and can be contained by hand stitches.  Here are a few examples:

This is a piece that will be put into a larger piece someday. It is in my head...just not on the design wall yet.

There are several examples of stitching in this small piece. The heart is a special set that I got at an office supply store. It is stitched down at the point and where the two swirls meet. For this I just used several stitches with my regular thread. The bit of card that describes the photo is contained in a fabric pocket that is hand stitched on. The metal label that says "Reflections" is also hand stitched to attach it. 

The watch part I chose is rather large and a bit heavy. Too heavy to rely on just stitching. It is glued on (more about gluing later) But if you look closely, I used the small holes in the bit to also stitch in on for extra security.

Another example of attaching bits involves stitching but also something a bit more unexpected. This piece will also be in the larger one with the piece above....someday.

As you can see, I used a decorative stitch on my machine to attach the "road" and a zig-zag stitch to attach the patch. Nothing new about that. But in this close-up you will see how I attached the keys.  I stitched on a belly button ring which held the keys. 

I have also stitched with wire. I unwound a piece of picture hanging wire and with one of the "threads" I stitched a watch mainspring onto this piece. Regular thread kept getting frayed and cut. And that thin wire is barely visible even up close. I used a needle nose pliers to pull the needle through.



Adhesives - There are several ways to use adhesives and many different ones on the market. Here are three that are my "go-to" adhesives for all my art pieces. The glue sticks I use often to position fabrics to keep them in place until I take the piece to the sewing machine. Of these three, perhaps my most favorite is the E6000. It will hold just about anything to anything. 

The motocycle above was attached with the Super77 (and I have used several other brands of permanent spray adhesive with great success) But for heavier bits, like the watch part in the first set above, E6000 is a wonder. The watch gears in the "Spring Forward" piece above were all glued carefully with E6000. (I am not paid or in any other way compensated by the makers of E6000 or any other product I mention in this blog.) I just love the stuff!!

The motorcycle charm was glued on with E6000 with no stitching involved.

And just an extra note....if by any chance you happen to be very tired and in a hurry and attach something in the wrong place (not like I would personally know anything about this  ;-)) with some patience and delicacy, it can be removed with those products like goo-gone, etc. It just takes a bit of time and there was no residue remaining. 

I often use the Super77 and similar spray adhesives when I have a delicate piece to attach...like a skeleton leaf.  I place the leaf in the spray box and lightly spray it. After you attach it to the piece, let it dry thoroughly as the adhesive will still be active through the leaf for a bit. (The gar scales were attached with E6000)

Capturing - Another way to add fun bits to your piece is to capture them. This involves stitches or sheer fabrics mostly.  This is where objects are not actually stitched through or adhered to the piece but rather captured by something else that is. Here are a couple of examples on a piece that has been finished just yesterday. Both types of capturing are used in this piece. It's just not bound yet because I'm not sure what I want to do...but the piece is completed otherwise.

These are capiz shell discs that are captured by random stitches. They are too fragile to punch a hole through but these stitches hold them in place very well. To keep the stitching from showing on the back of the quilt, I take care to keep my needle moving from one place to another in the batting level of the quilt.

I found out that real starfish are VERY fragile! But I wanted them in this piece. I used a piece of sheer with some large glitter bits and hand stitched it on three sides over a rectangle that was already on the piece. I then VERY CAREFULLY scooted the starfish into position and hand stitched the sheer down between then to form little pockets for each individual starfish. Gluing them into place would not have worked well since they are not absolutely flat. I like having them "free" inside the pocket but still protected from snagging, etc.  (I'm not sure these little guys would have survived anywhere near a sewing machine.)

Hope you enjoyed these examples of adding fun bits to your art works.

Have you found any interesting things to photograph that you plan to or have attached to your pieces? OR...do you have some examples of ways to attach bits to your art work? Don't forget to send them to me!  Kelly@KellyLHendrickson.com

Monday, August 25, 2014

Creating Texture with Mixed Media and Fun Bits - part 1

This is one of my favorite subjects.

First, because I LOVE finding stray or lost items and using them in my art.

Second, because I ENJOY the creative process in incorporating items originally designed for other uses.

This will be a session that easily comes under the heading of Actual Texture. These pieces are very tactile and even though one can't reach out and touch them, the eye can comprehend what it must feel like. (Just as an aside, I've often thought about having an exhibit that says Please Touch The Art! Only downside would be....they would be difficult to sell after that I would imagine.)

Anyway, back to the present.  Over the years I have accumulated bits and things from beads, buttons, charms, etc to rattlesnake bones, porcupine quills, buffalo teeth, etc. They lie there in their little drawers just waiting for the time when they can jump onto the fabric or canvas and become part of a work of art. Some wait for years, others are used almost right away. Sometimes I purchase new items and give them an aged patina because I need them NOW!  But I have to admit...the most fun is finding a rusted washer in the driveway of a friend's house (just happened last month), or on a walk, or a gift from a friend (all my friends know I collect stuff and will usually ask me before throwing thing out! I have trained them well!!) Several of my prized possessions have been found for me by my grandchildren.  All are awaiting their moment to shine!

Sometimes I use the items so that they are themselves, other times I use them to represent something else.

For example:

When I designed "It's About Time" I used a lot of watch parts like they were falling out of a pocket watch. They are watch parts and were used to display parts of a watch.


detail

Another piece where I used watch parts but they represented something else...in this case flowers...in this piece entitled "Spring Forward"


So your porcupine quills don't have to be part of an art quilt about porcupines...they can be a MILLION things!! Your imagination is the only limit.

As I showed you the first week...I have used crushed pecan shells and bark cloth from Uganda to add texture to a tree.


One of the pieces I'm working on is a stitched quiltlet which will be stitched onto canvas. But the quiltlet has used a lino print for the design on the manhole cover, metallic foil for the rim of the cover. The "bricks" are created with paint and stitching in the "mortar" to create depth. All of these techniques create the texture of the manhole cover in the bricks. Here is the quiltlet. Depending on when I get my sewing machine back from the shop (needed a GOOD cleaning!) perhaps I will have the completed project to show you by the end of this week.



So...some homework for tonight!! (Oh I actually heard all those cheers!!!) Look around your studio, yard, driveway, mall parking lot, kitchen, workshop....the list of resources goes on and on. Also, have a look around your thrift store! They are sometimes a gold mine of bits. Photograph groups of them (or just one) and e-mail them to me (Kelly@KellyLHendrickson.com) if you have plans for these bits, please share that with us. Showing them to others will no doubt inspire creativity in all of us!

Until tomorrow then.......


Friday, August 22, 2014

FREE FOR ALL FRIDAY!! - week 3

Well, another week completed and getting ready for the weekend!

Before I post a couple of things from you guys, there is one more texture circle from Wil and her final composition into a quilt that I want to give you.

Trapunto - A little differently

This is the last sample I am going to show you. I know that there are more ways of manipulating fabric to create texture, but by now my quilt was about ready J.
This sample is a version of trapunto. I started with a square of blue fabric and a plain white one and placed 
these on top of each other.


With a twin needle I stitched wavy lines on it. To get a circle I pinned a piece of paper on it and cut the circle out of the fabric.

To create the trapunto effect I pulled 2 pearl cotton threads through each tunnel. As the stitched lines could unravel I had to do this carefully. If I had stitched the circle before I did this, I would have had trouble getting the pearl cotton through.


After I got the texture I wanted I could stitch the fabric close to the edge and cut away the visible pearl cotton thread. This is how the circle turned out:



This is the last sample I made for my texture quilt. I am a member of Stitched Art Textiles group  and my theme this year is circles. When Kelly invited me to help her with the texture theme I knew that I had to make a quilt for this group. Here is the result:

The blue fabrics I used are my own hand dyed ones plus a sunprinted one. The background is a green snow dyed fabric.


I hope you had fun creating your own texture pieces.

And thanks, Wil, for sharing your process and results with us!

LET  THE  FREE  FOR  ALL  BEGIN!!!

To end up this week, I will also add a couple of my own pieces just as examples of using techniques in your work.

First is a piece I did entitled "Limbo". This was in a series called "Who I Am".  Limbo seems to be a constant state of being in my life so it seemed appropriate to express that in my art. Lush green out of reach, a cliff at my back, balanced on only one rock over the looming abyss.  The challenge was...how to give the feel of the seemingly bottomless and churning abyss. I chose a synthetic organza and stitched purposefully in a very random manner. Then I zapped it with the heat gun creating wrinkles and holes. Here is the result. (There is black cloth behind it just for the photograph, in reality it is just open)


One of my favorites was a shibori technique taught by Nienke last year (here is the link: http://andthenwesetitonfire.blogspot.com/2012/10/3d-shibori-on-polyester.html). I used coins to create the flat "bubbles" in synthetic organza (Actually, the same one I used above). It found a home in this Intuitive Creativity experiment. I had such fun hearing from others about what all it reminded them of that I just settled on "Deep Purple" and let everyone make up their own meaning!

Bonus Texture note: The bottom right is melted through Angelina and the three objects are from yarn-wrapped, melted Tyvek "beads"

Ann Scott sent in these photos of some arashi shibori. I love how this technique creates such a wonderfully textural feel!

 
detail

And also from Ann, a 3-D Fern piece she did which was inspired by a photo taken by her son.



detail

I just love how fabric manipulation and stitching can be used for so many feels...from abstract to a more exact representation!!

For those of you who might wonder about what the Canal House wall hanging might look like when completed....Wil sent a photo of her completed piece:


Eileen Gidman sent in these photos:

Photo 1: Orange Poppies - Was hand painted with dyes onto a very fine cotton fabric (lawn) to create the ethereal look when sewn.

Photo 2: Three Roses - Hand painted with dyes 3 times. The first time painted, it was painted with very light colors brushed on without an image in mind. The second and third time I added the roses details and negative painting for the leave. The textural sewing really bought this piece to life. 




Thanks everyone for sharing!!

Next week we will be looking at Creating Texture with Mixed Media and Fun Bits. See you on Monday!

And now, as this week fades away....your Moment of Texture