Friday, October 17, 2014

Bonsai in Fiber

This is a photo of a framed watercolor painting that I did several years ago. I painted this from a photograph of a bonsai plant at the Getty Museum in LA. It was a large, very old bonsai and it looked incredibly stately in that setting.

I always wanted to do this as a fiber art piece, and now I have. Here is the fiber art version of this bonsai:

This fiber art piece is on display in Temecula as part of the Textures show at the Merc Gallery. The Merc is located at 42051 Main Street, and the phone number is 866-653-8696.  The Textures show be on display until November 2nd.  I'm going to describe the making of this quilt on my blog next. And I hope you have a chance to catch the Textures show before it closes. 

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Moon Shadows - Using Derwent Intense Pencils

As I have described before on this blog, I used oil paint sticks for the majority of the painting on this piece. But, for the owl and the rabbits I used a white Derwent Inktense pencil. These are my pencils.

I switched to the Inktense pencil because I thought the large size of the oil paint stick would not fill the smaller area that the owl and rabbit shapes took up. The pencil point also gave me more control for the tighter curves and crevices on these animals.

To apply the Inktense pencil I poured a small amount of liquid painting medium on a dish, swirled the pencil in the medium and then stroked the pencil on the fabric. The medium I used is shown here:

I stroked in the direction that the moonlight illuminate the area of the animal to give it shape. I added more of the white pencil to those areas that are closer to the moon or that had more girth. Here is a photo of me applying the pencil:  

I let the pencil/paint dry and then pressed the area to set it.
It’s was as simple as that!

 Here are finished animals. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, October 6, 2014

SAQA Poway Show Reminder

I hope you will be able to see the Southern California SAQA member show, "Shades of Passion".  I  have two of my city-scapes in this show, "A Slice of the OC" and "It was a Cold and Stormy Night".

This exhibit runs October 2 -31.  There is an artist's reception on Friday, October 10, from 5 to 8 pm.  The show location information is listed below the postcard. I hope to see you there.

Poway Center for the Performing Arts
15498 Espola Road
Poway, CA 92064

Friday, October 3, 2014

Moon Shadows – A few more oil paint stick tips!

Moon Shadows

My last post talked about applying the oil paint stick to this art quilt. Today I’m going to give a couple more tips about this process.

Preventing oil paint from getting where you don’t want it to be:

I like to keep a shallow plastic container to rest my oil sticks in while in use. I place the business end into the bottom of the container. This prevents the bar from rolling around and getting paint on other things.

shallow plastic container

As mentioned in my last post, after removing the skin, I put the scrapings into a trash can right away to prevent them from falling onto the carpet (it’s happened) or getting flecks all over.

Protective gloves:

I try to use gloves when applying paint stick to keep my hands clean. I’m not always good about this, but it does help.


Storage of Paint Sticks:

Before storing the paint stick I wrap it in plastic wrap,

plastic wrap
zip lock bag

After wrapping them I place them in a zip lock plastic bag. This helps prevent excessive drying out.

Clean up brushes:

I use Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean up my brushes. I always keep a 50% water, 50% Murphy’s Oil Soap solution handy in a small plastic bottle. I squirt a bit in a coffee mug and place the brush in the solution for a couple hours.

clean up brushes

Then I wipe the brush clean with a soft dry cloth or paper towel. The amount in the coffee mug is just enough to cover the hairs on the brush. I don’t like to soak more of the brush because it degrades the ferrule area and the brush falls apart faster. It can also cause the wood in the brush to expand.

brush soaking

And that’s it for today. Next post will talk about Derwent Inktense Pencils, which I also used on this piece. 

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Textures Show is Next Weekend!

I'm so glad I joined this great group of fiber artists based in the Temecula area. Their work is very impressive and inspirational. The Textures big annual show is this weekend. I'll be at the reception on Friday night and I hope to see you there!

The Gallery at the Merc Presents:

Textures – Fiber Arts

Contemporary Fiber Art Exhibit in a Gallery Setting

October 3, 2014 through November 2, 2014

Artist’s Reception

Friday, October 3rd, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Gallery at the Merc
42051 Main Street, Temecula, Ca. 92590
Gallery hours are subject to change. Call 866-653-8696 for information and times.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Hop!!!!

Well this is my first foray into the Blog Hop-o-sphere, and I have Deborah Stanley to thank for inviting me. The blog hop theme is “sharing our art and creative process”. I am an artist whose primary media is fiber, but I also do watercolor painting and mixed media work. I am a member of several fiber art groups including Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists, SAQA, Textures, and Quilts on the Wall. I use my blog to show the fiber art pieces I make and how I make them. I believe in giving useful technique information to the blog reader so they get a benefit from reading my blog.

First I want to acknowledge Deborah Stanley who has been a wonderful artistic friend whose support has helped me improve as a fiber artist. She is extremely generous in her support of other artists. I’m lucky to know her. Deborah does beautiful work and I find her human forms and portraiture exceptional. You can see it for yourself by visiting her blog:

What am I working on? These last few months have been extremely busy creatively. It seems like every group has a deadline in September or October this year. I have been working on several fiber art works simultaneously. Projects I have been working on include:

Moon Shadows” for Quilts on the Wall’s “Shadows” exhibit, shown here:

A “Bonsai” piece for the Texture’s Fiber Arts Merc show. This piece is based on a water color painting I have done. The painting is shown here:

And, a piece for Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists exhibit called “My Inner Self Portrait” (detail shown here):

Sorry to be coy by only showing a detail shot or the water color painting, but I’m not permitted to display the entire pieces until the shows. The "Bonsai" will debut at the Merc show which is the first weekend in October, so I’ll be showing that one soon on my blog. The “My Inner Self Portrait” Exhibit will debut at Road to California 2015. I will show it in late January.

I am also working on a piece for the City of Temecula through the Textures group. It is a group project, and the part I am working on involves a depiction of the City Hall buildings. This will be presented in December. Here is a photo of the City Hall buildings that I am working from:

How does my work differ?   It's made by me! Its the only work out there that is made by me! That plus, I have many nature and fishing themed pieces, and I use more than one approach to making quilts, so my quilts don’t all look alike. I have some that are fabric collage, some that are painted and have a watercolor look, and some that are a combination of techniques.

Why do I create? Because I am a creative person and I can’t stop myself. If you are creative you know what I mean. I have ants in my pants to go and work on a creative project. It’s just who I am!

My process is? I show this regularly on my blog and it’s too long to describe here. So I will put in a simplified description: 1) create a sketch; 2) enlarge the sketch to the desired size; 3) put the sketch on the background fabric; 4) use paint or fabric to create the image on the background. For more details please see my past and future posts!

Next blogger in the hop: I am inviting Nicole Morris and Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists to be next in the blog hopping.

Nicole Morris is  a good friend and blogger. She does very stunning quilts and always seems to have a creative approach to her quilt making. She often comes up with unique methods to simplify a technique. She is also a teacher and great techie! She has taught me many tricks on the computer! You can see Nicole’s blog by clicking on this link:
Nicole's blog

Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists is a group I belong to. They are a group of fiber artists whose work is stunning. You can check them out by clicking on this link: Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Moon Shadows - Applying Oil Paint Stick

This is a photo of the finished Quilt I am calling "Moon Shadows". 

Moon Shadows

I've been talking about how I made this quilt in my last few posts. My last post described the machine quilting. Today I am going to talk about applying the oil paint stick.

You can apply oil paint stick to the quilt top before quilting, or you can apply it to the sandwiched quilt top after the machine quilting is done. You get different appearances with each technique. If you apply it before quilting the oil paint stick covers the area you apply it to entirely and gives a smooth coloration look. 

before quiting

If you apply it after the machine quilting is done the oil paint stick adheres to the “high” part of the fabric that sticks up around the stitching lines. The fabric at the stitching lines doesn’t get as much of the oil paint stick, and the background fabric peeks through. This method accentuates the machine quilting more, in my opinion.

after quilting

For this quilt I chose the latter method of stitching first and then applying the oil paint stick.

Oil paint sticks dry on the surface and get a “skin” that must be removed before using. I use a utility knife to cut the surface skin off, revealing the soft oil paint stick beneath it. I try to remove enough to expose about a nickel or quarter size part of the top of the stick. I cut off the dry skin onto a plate and then dump the plate contents in the trash. This helps prevent oil paint from the soft side of the skin getting on anything. Trust me, it happens.

removing the skin

To apply the paint, you can rub a brush across the exposed paint stick and then brush the paint on the fabric, or you can rub the stick directly on the fabric. If you are applying to a small area a brush is a better choice. For larger areas I use the whole stick. 

The brushes that I have found work best are very stiff stencil brushes. Here are the brushes in my collection.


I use a thin brush for applying the oil paint close to the edge of a shape to prevent it from getting in an area I don’t want the paint. I use a round brush for other areas.

If I apply the paint stick directly to the fabric I blend it in with a wide brush. This also works well if you have two colors near each other that you want to transition to.


Here are a couple things to be aware of:

Oil paint stick can take about three days to dry. During those three days I don’t let a painted area touch any other part of the top. So if I fold the quilt, its front side out. I usually place a piece of scrap fabric over the top of the painted area to protect everything. The paint is not truly “wet”, but it has the potential to get color on a place you don’t want it to be. It feels a tiny bit tacky to the touch.

After three days I press the painted area. I place a piece of scrap cloth or paper over the painted area while pressing. Very little if any color comes off after three days.

There is an odor during the drying or curing process. It can take a couple weeks for the odor to go away completely. It is not a strong odor, but if you are sensitive to odors you should ventilate your working area.

The oil paint dries soft. The fabric is not stiff after drying and will not crack. At least not in my experience, which is a few years of using it.

The oil paint sticks I use include Shiva sticks and those made by Winsor Newton, called Oil Bars. The Shiva sticks have a pearlescent quality which I love. The oil bar is more of a matte appearance.

oil bars I use

That’s all for today. My next post will talk about clean up and storage of the oil paint sticks. 

As always, thanks for visiting my blog!