Friday, February 19, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 2/19

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

EQ 7 design that will guide me
through the piecing of
Sunrise Abstraction.
There are times when I find myself coasting. Maybe this isn't such a bad thing. I can only push myself hard for so long. Coasting doesn't mean coming to a grinding halt. Instead, for me it is a time to do work I am comfortable with that doesn't present major challenges. Even writing this post - I am opting to make it short and to the point.

I do have work to share. All the work was enjoyable. None felt pressured. A good week really. My coasting resulted in the following:

1)  Finish Deep Waters  - (Due March 15)

a) Finish attaching the sleeve; - Done

b) Create and attach the label;  I have opted to table this until the label is absolutely needed since I prefer to print two labels at once when I can.

c) Add it to my website. - Done! 

If you follow the link to my website you may note that I have renamed this piece. It is officially Reflection #2.
The piecing of Sunrise Abstraction has begun.
2) Work on Sunrise Abstraction - Done!

Mini stippling surrounds Hari Walner's
Teddy Bear FMQ motif.
I had the sunrise section  cut and set to piece but didn't like some of the hand dyed fabrics I had chosen. The value was right - but the hue felt off. It is for times like this I am grateful that I love learning new skills. I simply pulled out the orange and yellow dye and created a six fabric range of pale orange to a paler still golden orange. Much better. You will have to trust me, since I neglected to take pictures of the less satisfactory fabric choices.

3) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

I doodled for a bit, but eventually decided what I really wanted to do was whip out one of my Hari Walner designs purchased nearly 20 years ago. Isn't that teddy bear beyond precious?

4 Do some surface design work - Done!

Playing with mini gel plates.
I treated myself to some Mini Gel Printing Plates that I was eager to experiment with. What I love about the mini plates is that they adhere to an acrylic stamp plate. This way I can use them as stamps. It gives me more control of what I am printing where and I can print on as large a piece of fabric as I can layout and reach. Years ago I picked up some stunning wooden Batik stamps with leaf designs. I used several of these to create the patterns on the gel plate after the ink was applied. It was far more time consuming of a process than I expected, even after I developed rhythm. I printed on white PFD Kona Cotton. The effect was too stark. So, when I was dyeing the orange fabric for Sunrise Abstraction I tossed my printed fabric in the dye bath with a nothing ventured, nothing gained attitude. I much prefer the over-dyed look.

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

Not everything I choose to pursue in my studio results in something that delights me. In fact it seems those moments are rare. It might be easier to stop making art. Why put myself through so much angst and second guessing? Doing the work - good, bad and ugly - is essential to grow. I have to give myself regular pep talks to stay open to the fact that growth in art is not linear for me. My progress is more like a series of mountain ranges with peaks and valleys. The difference now versus 30 years ago is that the mountains are much more substantial and the plunge, because of those brief moments at the top, feels deeper than before. 
I will continue to make art, because for all the angst, it is as essential to my life as breathing. Here is the plan for making art next week:

1)  Finish Reflection #2  - Create and attach the label either when needed or when I have a second label to print at the same time.

2) Work on Sunrise Abstraction

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. Love the way Deep Waters turned out, Gwyned. And, how wonderful that you allowed yourself to play. Those mini gel plates really remind me that I want to do more surface techniques! As always, I am in admiration of your productivity!

  2. Coasting?? You?? Not possible!! However, I hear what you are saying.....I've been so darn tied up with my car AZ girlfriend trip, and now 2 12 hr. days at a Bluegrass Festival.....not complaining.....just feeling like I need some quiet time in the studio...... How nice that we can whine or even vent to our friends!

  3. Reflections 2 is indeed lovely -- and very tranquil. I think the new title suits it well! And I understand completely about the idea of "coasting" -- which doesn't mean "doing nothing"; it's more like "doing something with ease and flow". Have a great week!

  4. Hello Gwyned,

    The teddy is just too sweet for words!

    I love your experiments with colour. The green gel plate printing is really effective, and interesting to hear that the initial effect was a bit harsh. You have balanced out the colours beautifully.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv