Fiber Fusions at The Whistler

Fiber Fusions at The Whistler

Got to Lowell on Saturday with Sue Colozzi who’s been so gracious to take me on as a passenger on various excursions – thank you Sue! We visited a number of galleries having great exhibitions. Today I’ll share some pics from the Fiber Fusions exhibition at The Whistler House. More to come.

A signature of excellence and originality by Sue Colozizi
Taormina. Lena Meszaros, France is the winner of the  Viewer’s Choice Award . Congratulations Lena! I have to say that it was also my favorite!
Detail of the exquisite artistry so well executed and so original of Taormina by Lena Meszaros.
Growing Unseen by Bobbi Baugh won the Juror’s Award. Congratulations Bobbi! So well deserved!

I wish I could include them all but it was so well attended I couldn’t get a decent photo of many of them because there was always a group of people blocking the sightline.

The Artists – all among the best in the field

A fabulous day seeing such art and getting to see lots of good people!

Finished in the Nick of Time!

Finished in the Nick of Time!

Yesterday, I thought I was done and rushed to shoot and upload what I thought would be the final piece.  I wanted to take the picture outdoors and so I rigged something to hang it on by tipping my new folding table to stand upright on end but the table bends slightly in the middle. I applied a length of  1 x ? 16 or something to push it further frontward and it was functional but not quite straight up and down, There was still enough of a tilt to throw it slightly off.

How I rigged a photo shoot wall !?**!?#?

But then, I wasn’t happy with it at all – way too wonky and the light and colors were off. I also found that those flapping leaves were a real problem to lay down and roll onto pool noodles. It was going to be a nightmare for anyone hanging it and taking it down.

There was also a glaring spot that I wanted to cover but had forgotten about it, so first I took it back to the sewing machine when I suddenly realized I had used one of the leaves that I had previously rejected as not good at all. so I replaced that one. I had a couple more leaves I hadn’t used and found the perfect one to cover up the spot that was bothering me. I also  and tacked all the leaves down in key places so they would lay flatter and roll up without being damaged.

The thing is that people who don’t do this sort of madness have no idea how much time this all takes! Even for some of us who do this all the time, we fool ourselves into thinking it’ll only take minutes until the hours roll by! Finally I crashed once again and finally got an actual 5 hours of sleep! So, coasting in the lap of such luxury, I finished the stitching and then tweaked my set up in my outdoor studio to stand a bit more upright. Not perfect –  because of how it slanted backward a slight bit.  It still threw the perspective off so it appears a little wonky still, but we all have our wonky moments so I drew the cut-off line of being fussy and went with it. The goddess was also on my side with an overcast sky so I had a more even light source. I also chose to use my cell phone camera because I don’t have the right lens for this kind of shoot and I just get into a frenzy trying to make it do something it isn’t meant to do. And here it is!  terminé   rinneadh   完了    Selesai   farita



Into the Home Stretch

Into the Home Stretch

Another day to improve the saturation of some yellow dyes for willow buds. When I originally began to see this piece in my mind, way before the SAQA MARI call for art that turned into this project, I only saw willows in the summer and fall, so I thought that I would be highlighting the green leaves.  But, after this project was already on its way into existence, Spring arrived and I was shocked to see (for what may have been the first time I ever noticed) that there were no green leaves – the tree was covered in yellow blossoms! So, artistic license being mine – I have decided to use both leaves and buds.

When I tested out a few cuts of the pale, yellow dyes I did, they hardly showed up. While I may want these for some choices, I need some more that will rise above the background and hold their own.

The first two were a surprise! They were previously either mordanted in titanium oxalate or dyed in weld – unfortunately, they were not marked. I very quickly dipped them in a batch of last year’s birch and sumac tannin and they instantly went to a deep orange color, which ignites a fire for further investigation. These are already washed and dry enough to take off the line to iron.

The others were a fresh dye in a mixture of weld and osage, and the other an over-dye of the same colors. There is no difference in those that were alum mordanted and those that had no mordant. But the over-dyes are a nice and deeper yellow. Although these are hopefully good enough for my purpose, I was wishing I had saved more yellow dye from last year’s goldenrod. I’m not sure if it would have kept well refrigerated or not. I’ll have to test that out this year. But I could have saved a bunch of the goldenrod to make new dye from. I may have to make another, stronger batch of dye, though, because the small amount that I used became quickly spent.

I finished off the construction phase of the art quilt with the last panel on the bottom to represent the pond section and sewed it straight across to read as the horizon line. The color in the photo is not as good as in real life but I couldn’t seem to get it right without a properly functioning Photoshop program. It’s more of the same seafoam green as in the rest of the piece.

I added in the contours of the reflections of the land on the water.

Photo of the actual scene I am referencing here.

Since I’m doing a more abstract rendition, I won’t be trying to represent the details of my photo but adding in my own vision that was also inspired by these photos:

Embellishment Begins!

It was a challenge to cut the branches out so that they had the right curves in them from a limited supply of fabrics that could work. I wanted the branches that were further in the background to recede yet not disappear, so I used previously printed silk organza that I had on hand. I could not buy any more silk! Fortunately, it just worked out and I can play with that, some, using thread when I start stitching. For the branches that are more in the foreground, I used a batch of previously printed fabric that I don’t know for sure what it is, some synthetic, that was the perfect color and value that I needed. If it’s not quite perfect, again I can alter it with thread. The branches are now fused onto the foundation. I’ve also taken some of the yellow dyed fabric and ironed it to some misty fuse. As much as I wish I had a Cricut Machine, I cannot spring for it right now, so I’ve begun to cut out, by hand, the buds and leaves that will move the project along way toward completion. I’ll begin the free motion stitching next.

What do you think? Can you see it taking shape? Now, I know that some of you live for color, but we each have our own various senses of and preferences for color. But color is only one aspect of any art. I happen to love soft and monochromatic earth tones. Value is far more significant to creating a good piece of art. If this was to be a stand alone piece without overall embellishment, I would have increased the value contrasts in my selections, but I figured on superimposing another important component on top of it as I was drawing closer to my final selections. I eliminated some beautiful and colorful prints because, in the end, they would be too jarring for the final look I was after. It’s usually easier to see the value contrasts in black and white because we often mistake color for value and because, even when we know this, our eyes can deceive. In the color pic, see that patch of gold just over half way down and to the right of center? You  might mistake that for a more intense value contrast but if you look at the black and white version, it disappears. There is value distinction throughout the piece, but high contrast values are small and few. I think there’s enough contrast to be interesting but not enough to distract you from what’s to come.

This is why I went back and dyed some bolder yellows! What seemed to be saturated yellows on their own, were not strong enough when placed on top of this arrangement. I will be paying closer attention to value as I stitch and embellish.