Friday, January 1, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 1/01

Still playing with Tsukineko inks
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

It came to me this morning. I know just the word to choose as my word for the year. It is OPEN. I plan on this word subtly guiding me throughout the year, especially with staying open to new ideas and what life throws at me.

I printed a public use line drawing found on
to see if I could "paint" with Tsukineko inks.
The answer was a resounding NO. I attempted
to "fix" the mess with Jacquard Lumiere  paints.
Better, but still a disaster. The ink, even a single
drop on a tiny, dry brush rapidly leeched through
the cotton fabric. The paint covers that up, but you
can see what happens with the ink outside
the rim of the circle.
Last year I recall how energized I felt at committing to just showing up in the studio for 126 days. It felt like a very reasonable goal, considering I had managed 120 days in 2013. I was so excited to have a year devoted to just doing the work. I knew I could do it because I had already developed the habit of being in the studio three days a week. Then, only four weeks into 2015 I was asked to act as interim Chair of SAQA's Exhibition Committee. I agreed and ultimately made the decision to become The Chair vs. interim chair. It is an amazing experience. I am fortunate to have the support of sixteen committee members (volunteers, SAQA staff and SAQA Board members) on the committee as well as the assistance of others throughout the SAQA organization. For those of you reading this blog who are unfamiliar with SAQA and/or the scope of SAQA's exhibition this should put it prospective. In 2016 SAQA will have 16 active exhibitions touring the United States and beyond, showing at 34 separate venues, with approximately 35 different artworks in each exhibit. The reality of keeping on top of all that comes across my desk (computer - it is a virtual job, with the occasional phone call) means I spend time, at least a full studio day worth of time, each week with my Chair hat on. 

What would have happened last year if I hadn't committed to working 126 days in my studio? My guess, and I can only conjecture here, is that I wouldn't have worked as hard at finding time to both be in the studio and fulfill my obligation as Chair. 

Deconstructed Sunrise #3 was
accepted into My Corner of the World (Int'l.)!!
The experience of such an abrupt change in my life, was a good reminder that life is unpredictable. Just as art, can be unpredictable. I find this especially true when working in my wet studio on surface design projects. So, this is why staying OPEN just feels right as I begin the new year.

This past week was both humbling and extremely gratifying. It was humbling, because one of my Tsukineko ink experiments was a disaster. It was gratifying because Deconstructed Sunrise #3 was accepted into My Corner of the Word (Int'l.) a SAQA touring exhibit. This is my first SAQA acceptance in nine years and I have applied to multiple SAQA exhibits over the years, always getting the slim envelope. Before you ask, I have zero advantage as Chair, all of our exhibitions are juried blind, in other words the juror bases her selection solely on the work and her vision for the exhibition, not on who made it.

When I managed to scrape myself off the ceiling from being accepted and focus in on the work at hand, this is where I turned my attention.

1)   Deconstructed Sunrise #3 - Add sleeves and label - At least this week I can report that the sleeves are done. I should be able to add the label now that I know what must be included on it.

2)  Work on Sea Fever - (Due March 15) - Done!

Much of what I am doing on Sea Fever is experimental or involves techniques that I have used rarely and when I did it was many years ago. I have lots to brush up on.
Creating sea foam for Sea Fever has meant relearning
how to do a pillow case facing.

3) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

I've been working on different motifs for Sea Fever

4) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 111/126

I fell 15 days short of my goal. This wasn't what I expected as a year end result back in January 2015, but it is much better than I expected when I took stock halfway through 2015. 

5) Experiment with Tsukineko ink - Done!

Not all the Tsukineko ink experiments ended in disaster.
I'm rather partial to this piece.
My attempt to paint directly (no shaving cream) with Tsukineko ink was a nightmare. Boy, does it bleed. I may try again, but saturate shaving cream with color and paint with that in order to eliminate or reduce bleeding. If that doesn't work, then it is time to investigate other media for detail painting. This is a disappointment, because what I love, love, love about the inks are that they can be blended to make new colors. I've tried Inktense pencils and don't like the feel of them - I want something that glides along the cloth when I paint/draw. 

6) Perform a random act of kindness - Done!

What will I need to be open to next week? Who knows? What I do know is that I have a plan which is:

1)   Deconstructed Sunrise #3 - Add  label

2)  Work on Sea Fever - (Due March 15)

3) Free motion quilting practice.

4) Do some surface design work

5) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open.

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.


  1. What a year. Congratulations on My Corner of the World. And thank you for serving as SAQA's Exhibition Chair. I know it takes a lot of work and it makes a difference in the art world as well as for individual artists.

  2. You were very productive in 2015, even with all your SAQA duties. I love that bottom ink piece that looks like a sky or water. And how in the world did you do the edge for sea fever? It's all curvy. I must have missed a lost or two. I don't remember reading about it. Good word by the way :-)

  3. great post. You're a thinking person, open to life and learning. Nice to get to know you G.

  4. Congratulations on your acceptance into MCOTW! Knowing what it takes to be Exhibition Chair, it's a mark of your dedication as an artist to even have a piece to enter, let alone having it accepted. Bravo!

  5. Kudos on getting accepted into the SAQA exhibit and for meeting your goals. I really like that sea foam piece and you certainly have mastered the pillow casing technique.

  6. Congratulations on getting into the exhibit! As you know I didn't, but I'm pretty sure I know and understand why, so I'll be back at it again soon. Thanks for the time and energy you put into the volunteer work you do at SAQA! I appreciate it. Have a great 2016!

  7. Congratulations on your acceptance into MCOTW! A good start of 2016!! Happy New Year.