Friday, June 15, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 06/15

Block #7 is partial pieced in units. It is
on a piece of space shuttle felt I can carry
from my sewing table to my ironing station
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Organization is the key. At least that is what I find works best for me when I am creating, especially when I am making yet another piece in my shifting value series. All the fabrics I might use are selected and divided by value. I have 7 value levels with my current piece, from barely a whisper of blue through to that inky blue seen just as the sky is switching from night to day. The stacks of fabric are laid out on my work table, in order, and labeled 1 - 7. Before I had a work table I would store them in file folders. I use EQ 8 to create the blue print, or piecing diagram. Note, I do not take advantage of EQ 8's ability to color the quilt. Why? That takes all the fun out of doing the work. Years of working in this way gives me the reassurance I need to know there is no need to pre-color. 

One distraction is our screened
porch. This is Lola's favorite
hanging out to keep tabs on the
local wildlife.
I'm just as organized when it comes to piecing the individual blocks. I layout the individual pieces on a 16" x 20" piece of space shuttle felt. (Yes, you read that right. My husband's company invented the felt for the space shuttle and my piece is scrap he brought home.) The advantage is that the felt is stiff AND the fibers keep the fabric from sliding off easily, as cotton clings, but does not adhere to it. If I wanted to I could iron right on it at the hottest setting. 

Moving into a new home, means a new studio layout, and learning about a new area of the country. I'm still not back to a point where I work in the studio for hours at a time, several days a week. However, by being, some would say, obsessively organized, I know just what I need to do next and can zip in for 30 minutes or several hours, a few days a week. Progress is being made. This week I finished piecing several more blocks. Six done, twenty-nine more to go. 

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 06/08

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

This is block #2. I had it partially pieced
last week.

A comment I frequently hear when someone learns I am a fiber artist and sees my work is, "I would never have the patience to do that." This surprises me. I don't think of myself as impatient. Nor do I think of myself as a particularly patient person.

Block #3 is done
Today my husband and I spent the morning (from 8:55 am until 11:30) at the DMV. Clearly we weren't the only bright ones who thought getting there before the doors opened at 9 am was a wise idea. Our mission was to convert our driver's licenses from Wisconsin to Massachusetts and do the same for our car's registration. Although we sat quietly, waiting for our number to be called, I can't say I wasn't frustrated. I couldn't help but think of what I would rather being doing instead - working in my studio, of course. The good news is we now have Massachusetts driver's licenses, the car is registered, and miracle of miracles, our 20 year old car even passed inspection. Hurrah!

Here are all three in order.
I did manage to spend a few days earlier in the week working in my studio. I finished piecing the second and third block of my current project, Cohasset Sunrise.

Lola has the best view in the house. From
here she can watch me work, see my husband
in his office below, and watch the front door
in case we have visitors. 

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, June 1, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 06/01

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

First block out of 35 done.
Baby steps, that is what I keep telling myself. I spent most of last week's creative time procrastinating or educating myself as I made my way through a backlog of EQ 8 lessons. I like to keep my skills up using this application. There are shortcuts that are not intuitive. 

Second block with its units ready to be joined.
It was my hope that as I worked through the lessons inspiration would strike for the next project to turn my attention to. It didn't or maybe it did. I have decided to begin how I have started many artworks in the past, with block blending and value shifting. Why not take it all the way back to beginning and choose a black and white palette? Turns out I was short on mid value black and whites. I've gone with blues instead. 

I'm working in my studio again. That is the primary goal. Hurrah!

I like to be surrounded by color. Check out
my mouse pad. Apparently, Lola approves,
since she is my constant companion when
I work at the computer.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, May 25, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 05/25

 Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

My last posting was February 2, 2018. The subject was my Appleton, WI studio swan song. Since then I have been busy doing anything but working on my art. We officially moved into our new home in Cohasset, MA on May 7th. Once the the basics of master suite, kitchen, shared living space, and office were set up, it was time to focus on the studio. Although I don't have one large room this time, I do have the second story of our home. To quote our realtor when we looked at this house, "You do realize this is a quirky home, Gwyned, don't you?" To which I replied without missing a beat, "Yes, that's its appeal." As you will see the aesthetic details are quirky, and so is the layout.

My office and studio space were originally designed to be a guest suite. They include a full bath, guest bedroom (my office), a sitting area (hand sewing), loft (studio), and galley kitchen (wet studio). 

This is the sink in the guest, now studio, bathroom. I can access it from my office, via the walk in closet where I store my fabric, or directly from the studio sewing area. The guest bathroom on the main floor also has a decorative sink. That one has a gnome couple in a woodland setting. The prior owners used this couple as their personal talisman/logo. 

This is my commercial fabric stash. Catty corner to this, in a similar open shelving cabinet, are the fabrics I have dyed, painted, stenciled or altered with a variety of surface design techniques. 

My reference library of fiber art books, computer manuals, and few office supplies are in the office. 

Turning right after exiting the double glass paned doors into my office is the sitting area. I have several cabinets in here to store tools, supplies, and embellishments. One cabinet makes a nice stand for my thread collection.

The house is a contemporary (8 years old) victorian style with two turrets, resulting in 3 half hexagonal areas, 2 on the main floor, and this one on the upper floor. I will use this for hand sewing. It overlooks the marsh across the street. Remember my swan song in Appleton? There are swans who come to this marsh.

Exiting the sitting area across from the office is a the galley kitchen/wet studio. Here is just one of the cabinets filled with paints and other surface design equipment. Although I am determined to keep purchases to a minimum, I knew I must have an electric kettle. Every studio needs a way to provide a nice hot beverage right?

This is the same paint cabinet closed. Aren't the knobs fabulous?

Finally, the studio itself. There is just enough room to line up my ironing table, Bernina table and George. The two sewing stations are on casters so I can move them around as needed. The palladian window is over the main entrance and overlooks the back yard. It provides natural light to what would otherwise be an interior room with no windows. Check out the lavender ceiling. 

I still have a few more things to set up with my husband's help. The design wall will be in the studio where I stood to take the picture. There will also be a pegboard to hang scissors, rulers and other everyday essentials in the hallway leading out to the sitting area. 

For those of you who read my blog for Lola, my studio cat, sitings, never fear. She has a cat condo located just to the left of the ironing table and another one in the office. 

Lola opted to hide while I unpacked and organized the studio. Do you think she was trying to get out of helping?

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, February 2, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 02/02

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Can you have more than one swan song? The definition is so final the answer seems to be no. However, I conjecture life is a series of swan songs. Just as the conclusion of years of schooling, such as graduation from high school, doesn't mean one will not go on to attend college and from there pursue post graduate degrees, can't artist's careers be seen the same way? Picasso's blue period proceeded his cubism period. He must have made a final "blue" painting, perhaps overlapping or blending into his cubism period. Would this final blue painting be Picasso's blue period swan song?
Sunrise Over Little Lake Butte des Morts
4.5" x 6.5"

I see my own work this way, on a continuum with both clear and misty periods. This week has been bittersweet, as I made my SAQA Spotlight Auction piece. It is likely the last artwork I will make in my Appleton studio. It is my studio swan song, and perhaps my last homage to the view from our condo. It will not be my final artwork. Once we settle into our new home in Cohasset, Massachusetts, I expect new inspiration will fuel my work.

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 01/26

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

The sleeves are attached to 2017's quilts.
Next job is to add the labels.
I've recently begun listening to Driving Miss Norma, by Tim Bauerschmidt and Rami Liddle. It is the memoir of Tim and Rami's RV road trip with his mother, Norma. She is 90, recently widowed, diagnosed with uterine cancer, when she chooses to eschew treatment in favor of seeing places in the US she had only imagined going to. It's a testament to never being too old to say yes or be open to new adventures. 
There was a time in my life when I needed to learn to say no. Now I find myself needing an internal nudge to say yes. It is easy to become complacent and settle for the tried and successful. Why take a chance on something new? Yet isn't that what making art is all about? Constantly challenging oneself and pushing the boundaries?

Love my new designated hand stitching spot.
Saying yes doesn't have to be something big or unsettling. It can be a tiny step. Recently I  moved from my standard hand stitching spot, on the family room sofa, to one of our reclining chairs overlooking the lake. What a treat to watch the eagles vie for the best fishing spot at the frozen lake edge.

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Weekly Report 2018 - 01/19

Nothing like the dawn to jumpstart my day.
View from our master bedroom. 
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Yesterday, we went to lunch with fellow retirees from my husband's work. There were six of us, all in our sixties The conversation began with a medical roundup. In other words talking about ailments of either the attendee or someone they were caring for. Although I listened, I could have easily piped in. My optometrist has being watching my cataracts for years. They are slow to change, but have resulted in night driving no longer being safe, especially in the rain. Part of me is fascinated by my change in vision. For example, bright lights such as a full moon in the night sky, headlights, or even traffic signals, are no longer singular objects. Instead I might see a headlight like a totem pole, the actual light brightly lit at the bottom, another two less brightly lit lights stacked above. A full moon, however, looks more like a Venn Diagram, with the actual moon in the center, and three lighter moons forming an equilateral triangle shape, overlapping, but not covering the central moon. The triangle always balances on its point. Part of me is terrified that this change in vision means that time is running out for me to make art. I understand this is more feeling than reality, at least for the moment. I have no doubt cataract surgery is in my future.  
One of the pieces from 2017 I worked on.
It's final title is Forest Floora

Today, when I should have been buckling down and writing this post, I couldn't resist reading an article brought to my attention through an eNewsletter I subscribe to. The article by Patricia Corrigan is titled, "Don't Let Eye Problems Keep You From Painting or Drawing". If you, like me, harbor a fear of ending your creative self due to aging eyes, I highly recommend giving it a read. 

Maybe, I will turn my attention to a series I have been contemplating focused on art as seen through my older eyes. This week I focused on finishing up, or least moving forward, many nearly there pieces I started, but put aside in 2017.

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.