Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trying Some Freeform Crochet... And A Bit Of Mixed Media work

I learned basic crochet from my grandmother, embroidery too, but didn't really take to either of them as a child.  I preferred knitting and needlepoint.  Many years later when my aunt and I had a Knit shop we both taught knitting, she taught crochet.  I still wasn't to taken with it though I did have her give me some lessons so I could help customers who had a problem.

A few years ago I saw a piece of freeform crochet and thought that was something I would like to do, definately not my grandmother's crocheting.  However, I didn't do anything about it since my skill was limited. I could do your basic single, double, triple and make a granny square.  In fact I have a lovely ruana that I made back when we had the shop and I still love it.  I've also made a couple granny square lap robes and given them away.  

Recently I saw a class on the internet.... Freeform Crochet.  Guess it was time to learn  I was suppose to get all the same yarn in 5 or 6 colors.  I think I once posted about giving up sewing but still buying fabric.  Well I still have a stash of yarn too even though I no longer knit anything more than a scarf. So I'm using what I have and already knowing I like doing this and I have some ideas for other things.  What we are suppose to be working toward now is a purse.  I've also discovered that crocheting doesn't cause my hand to go numb as knitting did.  The numbness is the reason I quit knitting.  The pieces I've done so far aren't blocked because I still plan to add more color and stitches to some of them. 

A plus to taking up something new... again. This time I really don't have to go out and buy all of the equipment.  I already have most of what I need.

I've also been doing a bit more in my studio.  In the process of clearning piles I came across some monoprints that were waiting for me to go in with the collage elements.  This one is a start.  I don't like the dark blue and I think I'd like more green, partly in the bush on the left.

 Photoshop lets me play a bit and see what would happen if I lighten and add... here is that version

Now I need to see if I can do it on the actual piece.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Some Things Revisited

It's no secret I've been clearing some clutter from my studio and unearthing things I had forgotten.  I did this in 2014.  I have a sketchbook almost full of these images called Zendangles.  Something similar to Zentangle but to me, much more fun

One of the Dangles in the sketchbook was a start, not much to it.  So I decided to add more.  I haven't done any color yet, maybe later today or tonight.  Last night I taught my class the basics, they had a good time with it and some of them will probably do more.  It's addictive.

The other thing I did yesterday was pick up the sampler my mother started.  I should have blocked it myself before having it framed because they didn't get it straight.  She would not like that which is the only reason I think it should be straight.  For now it will hang in my sewing room, above her machine.  It is a reminder to me that while there are many ways we are alike... note unfinished sketchbook above and unfinished sampler.... there are also many ways we are different and that's okay.

I inherited her talent (she was an artist) and her love of fiber and fashion though you wouldn't know that to see me now, jeans and sweatshirts are my go to wardrobe. She liked perfect seams and stitches, I don't like staying in the lines nor do I feel compelled to have straight seams.  If they are that's fine, if not that's okay too.  But for the things she liked to sew it was important... fashion, clothes, she was a fashion designer through and through.  I prefer sewing art quilts and other just plain fun things like wonky dolls and angels.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Two Today

My Tuesday Painters group painted at our museum today, this set up was in the pioneer kitchen.  I love old crocks and wooden bowls.  This crock is a bit off, one side is curved, the other not.  Oh well, it's just a sketch.

Back home I went back to some experimenting with the acrylics... I did my daily drawing on a 7"x7" piece of watercolor paper and then did the painting in acrylics.  I've used acrylics for non-representational work but never to do  something real so I'm considering this another experiment... for me anyway.
I kind of like it, think I may try more. This is from my Valentine's tulips, tomorrow they will be more open so I'll try again.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Last Time For The Pear

It will be poached for dessert tonight.  This one was done with one of my XL Graphite sticks.  You can't really see the color but it's a deep burgundy.  The box of sticks is new and this is one I hadn't used, it looked like a dark grey, almost black as I was drawing.  I was surprised when I added the water and saw the rich burgundy

I'll have to find another something to draw from different angles, it was a fun challenge.  Nothing more done on the WIPs,  I will get back to them later today.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

One WIP Is A Mess But I Love The Ginger Jar, Pears Too

My daily yesterday, a ginger jar done with gel pens.  I do like these things, one of these days I'm going to buy one.  

Today it was that pear again, from the top
And from the bottom/  Both done with the Derwent XL Graphite.
I'm happy with the dailies; the WIP not so much.  I used alcohol to rub back a bit and went back further than I had planned.  I have no idea where this is going to end up, Right now it resembles a road map.  I didn't do anything with it today, just thinking about it.  Maybe tomorrow...

Friday, February 10, 2017

Wondering & Another Pear

A third layer, well it's really taking off rather than putting on but it's the third bite at the apple so to speak.  I kind of like this and the one below so I'm going to have to live with them awhile to see where to go next if at all.

 Meanwhile, I really need to do a lot more work on this one.  I did get rid of the spot dead center, now I have a different something there.   This one is a long way from done.
 And ... another pear.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Progress and A Pear

First the pear, done in my sketchbook using  Derwent XL graphite sticks.  A quick one to start the day.

Yesterday I made some progress on one of the starts. Here are all of the stages so far....

Step one, just putting down color and collage elements.  Center top is gold from a piece of Joss Paper.
 Next, three coats of white covers everything, well almost covers.  I can still see the Joss Paper.
Next step is to spray with a bit of alcohol and scrap with a single edge razor and scratch with an exacto knife.  The gold on the Joss Paper is gone.  Now I know that doesn't work.
 The next step is a coat of Quinacrodone Gold, one of my new favorite colors, The white is from my camera, it is the same light gold as everywhere else.
 Once that was dry I added black and rubbed it off.  I like the combination of black and gold.
.Last step yesterday was to add a bit of Cerulean blue and then rub it away.  Some of the black came away with it and now I have a spot dead center.... a problem to solve.  That will be my task today.
And maybe another version of the pear in the morning...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

More Work On The WIPs and Tuesday Painters

Tuesday Painters went to Loutit Library yesterday, to paint and to see the Jim Crow exhibit.  A very interesting exhibit, if you are in the area, go see.

Back home I added three coats of white to WIPs 2, 3 and 4....
I used a white that I don't normally use because I was out of the better paint.  It took 3 coats and though you can't see it in the photo, the top one still isn't covered.  Next step is to see what happens with alcohol and scratching or rubbing.  I'll do that this afternoon.  These are 6"x 6".

Meanwhile, one that I thought might be cut up to make postcards I decided to do 4" x 4" pieces instead.  I had done a series of 40 4x4s a couple years ago, maybe it's time to do that again.  Once again, not a good photo.  I do have to do something about a camera.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Finding My Way

This is the 4th layer of the dark one from yesterday, you can see it here.
I just covered everything with a combination of white, veridian, and quinacridone gold.  I let that dry then added more white and let that dry.  
The last two steps, wipe on a bit of alcohol and use an exacto knife and a single edge razor blade to get back down to the colors.  Final step, spatter a bit of red.  I don't know if it's done or not, have to live with it awhile before I decide.  Meanwhile....

I am in the process of clearing clutter from my studio.  I have piles of stuff everywhere from that long drought when my muse was off visiting someone else.  One of the things I unearthed was a start...  I could tell there were many layers under the coat I was seeing so I picked up that exacto knife, sprayed a bit of alcohol on the piece and did some scratching.  Here is it...

Another one that will sit for awhile before I decide if it's done.  The white on this has a warmer tone that the photo shows.  I had to use my phone for the photo as my camera wasn't working.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Wondering Where These Are Going

This is a piece I did some time back.  I'm starting a new series of experimental pieces and the following starts are much like what this was in the beginning.  There's hope....

These three I started today....

This one has three layers on it already

Stay tuned for the next layer.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Just Playing

Time to just play a bit and see what happens if....  That's what today's daily is, just a lot of experimenting with paint, alcohol and some scratching tools.  The scratching tools, a single edge razor blade, an exacto knife and thanks to my niece, Megan, some dental tools.

This made me think of a collection of photos I have that I may use for a new series... maybe.  The photos.... sidewalk cracks and tree trunks.  For years I've taken photos of them on my walks, maybe it's time to do something with them.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Creativity Class at Church of the Dunes

At my church I lead a class called Creativity, the Arts, and God.  My goal is to help them to let go and let God help with the creative works they do.  Last night the project was to think outside the lines. They had a square of black paper and a sheet of white paper.  The directions, whatever you cut out of the black paper you turn over and place it on the white paper, don't think, just do it.  The piece above is mine, the sample I showed them.  They came up with some excellent pieces.  Here are some examples

Betty Roberts

Connie Farell

Cydni Whipkey

Sally Springfield