Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation!

Most of my time this last week has been spent preparing backgrounds for my upcoming community projects.  I use a medium weight canvas & then add a wash of acrylic paint, giving me a nice sturdy cloth which does not require hooping or further stabilisation before I add all my free machine stitching.  I add further details with stitch, paint & applique, slowly building up layers until I'm happy with the composition.  It's a slow process but I love working this way & I'm looking forward to adding the final elements - the public's own drawings.  The scenes look rather empty at the moment..
Look for me at Redmond Town Center Arts Festival July 12th - 14th where I'm featured artist and will be leading a creative community mapping activity. 
Saturday July 13th I'll be heading over to Derby Days where I've been invited by the Arts Commission to be their featured artist for the day.
Please come & see me if you are heading to either of these events!


Sunday, 16 June 2013

On the sewing machine this week....

Redmond Arts Commission have invited me to be their featured artist at this year's celebratory Derby Days in July - I'm thrilled, it's the biggest event run by the City & a huge opportunity for me.  I've designed a community arts activity which still draws upon the general 'mapping' theme I'm using this year, this time I'm asking participants to put themselves on the trail which runs alongside the Sammamish River.  I've painted two background canvases & will stitch a basic outline of the trail - trees, river, bridges etc - participants will draw themselves on a separate piece of cloth, pin to the canvas & after the event I'll stitch everything together.  With a little bit of my magic, a whole heap of the public's creativity & a dash of fairy dust we'll have a wonderful piece of community art to display!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Image Transfer

For a while now I've wanted to experiment with a couple of ways of transfering image onto cloth - using acrylic matte medium & digital printing.  I've known & read alot about both but just never had the right project to use either technique.  I'm working on pieces inspired by the historical walk & sketch tour I organised a few weeks back & since I did more photography than sketching it seems apt that I integrate at least some of the photos into my work.
Using acrylic medium to transfer images is a well known technique amongst the mixed-media crowd.  I used the techniques as described in the book 'Paper & Metal Leaf Lamination' by Claire Benn, Jane Dunnewold & Leslie Morgan which is full of wonderful inspirational images.  However, I didn't enjoy the process at all, I found it laborious, messy & really just 'not my thing.'  This was the result...
The images are soft rather than crisp, which I don't mind but I'm just not sure what to do with it now.  Of course my husband spotted the piece on the ironing board and said 'Oh I like that, I'll have it in my office when it's finished' so I now have to complete it! 
The second method I tried was using Spoonflower to digitally print cloth - I have been longing to try this!  In my work I want to really highlight the contrast between all the new construction work & the lovely old brick buildings which are quickly being crowded out.  I manipulated one of my photos, uploaded it on Spoonflower & a week later - whoosh! - a wonderful, vibrant piece of cloth arrived on my doorstep.
I love this method!  BUT, again, I don't really know what to do with it!  If I didn't have a deadline coming up I would simply use it as cushion fabric.  I'm thinking of adding some very graphic stencilling with minimal, if any, stitching and then wrapping it around a large canvas.  Keep checking in to see how it looks!
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