Friday, May 22, 2015

Movie Review - Ex Machina

Movie Review - Ex Machina, 3.75/5

This is another movie about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the moral quandaries/risks we take when go down that road. In this movie a computer programmer "wins" a visit to the secluded home of the founder of the giant Google-like computer company he works for. Quickly discovers he has been brought there to evaluate the "AI" the founder created. The AI is a she, and the programmer finds her very alluring. Before long he wants to do more than just evaluate her. The movie does a good job creating a tense, uneasy dynamic between the founder and programmer. The story is told in an understated fashion which adds to the tension. It's got a good ending, which left me thinking about it for a couple days. I recommend it.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Urban Graffiti - Next Steps

Photograph by Alexandra Sloan
I'm continuing my posting about the Urban Graffiti Fiber Art piece today. This is the photo I'll be using for the piece. I need to get it transferred to fabric, and that is what this post is about.

Rather than draw out each kid, I decided to make a line drawing of the photo using an APP on my IPhone called “Sketch”.  This line drawing of the photos is saved as a jpeg. Here is the Sketch version of this photo:

My next step was to have the sketch jpeg printed on fabric by Spoonflower. The desired finished size of the piece is 24”high  x 36”wide, so I had it printed to fit those dimensions. I’ve wanted to try this technique for a while and it will save me time, which I am short of for this entry. 

Next steps that I will post about are adding Graffiti to the wall. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Urban Graffiti!

I belong to Quilts on the Wall, and they are having a call for a juried exhibit entitled “Urban Graffiti”. Truth be told, I am not a fan of graffiti. It’s always been defacement of public property to me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to try to enter a piece in this exhibit or not. I decided I would only do it if I came up with an idea that really inspired me and allowed me to get past my graffiti "issue".

Alexandra Sloan is a photographic artist and she is a very good friend of mine. A few years ago she took her son and some of his classmates on a field trip to Washington D.C. to see the Capitol. The kids were probably 13 or 14 at the time. While there she had several of them pose as “tough guys” against a cinder block wall with candy cigarettes, and she shot a few photos of them. She sent me one of these on a greeting card and I always remembered it and loved the subtle humor it conveyed.
I got her permission to use these photos as a basis for a fiber art piece for this exhibit. Here are the photos she sent me:

photograph by Alexandra Sloan

photograph by Alexandra Sloan

I decided to use the photo of the five kids instead of the nine kids. Each kid is larger and I liked the simpler feel of it.

So I guess I’m going to try to get a piece in this exhibit. Hopefully I can get it done before the mid-July deadline! I’ll show you the steps of my progress in future posts. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Movie Review - Woman in Gold

Movie review- "Woman in Gold", 3.5/4.  Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds star in this movie about the legal battle over the return of a famous painting taken from a Jewish family by the Nazis. Helen Mirren's character is the Niece of the "Woman in Gold" and the rightful owner of the painting. The movie does a very good job depicting the personal importance of the painting to her. I also liked Ryan Reynolds as the attorney and his evolution as a result of this case. I recommend it. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Adding Embroidery Stitches to a Fiber Art Piece

Embellishments can add a wonderful additional layer of artistry on a quilt, and one option is to use embroidery stitches. They pop off the top giving texture, and three dimensionality (is that a word?). You don’t need to know a bunch of different embroidery stitches.  In fact, a straight line (running stitch or back stitch) goes a long way.

For the Circle of Life piece I used embroidery stitches on the foliage, bird claws, and tree branch. I think those stitches really improved an otherwise “ok” area. Here are some photos of the embroidery on this piece:


tree french knots 

plant stems

The other nice thing about embroidery stitching is its' portability. You can do it while watching TV, or at a friend's house. 

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Variety in Quilting Stitches

I've noticed that some quilt artists use a lot of straight lines or echo quilting in the background. I love the way that looks. It is restful and focuses attention on the subject. I wish I could do that more. For better or worse, I like to use a variety of quilting stitches in my background areas on my art quilts. This is partly because I get bored doing the same stitch over and over again, but also because for me it's more interesting to look at. 

For the Circle of Life piece, I took advantage of the print on the background and stitched around the squares in the checkerboard area. I really liked the way that looked when it was done. It made them pop out, especially the orange colored squares. In other areas I did echo quilting, wavy lines, curlicues, circles, and whatever came to my mind. On the tree trunk I put some leaf shapes. Here are some photos of the quilting:


circles and curlicues

echo in diamond areas

horizontal lines in sun

foliage and tree trunk area

The quilting spacing was fairly close, which I am liking more and more these day.   Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Circle of Life - Foliage

Circle of Life

Today’s post is about the foliage that I added to the lower left and right of this piece. This section was fairly simple. Leaf shapes were cut from some purchased print fabric that had palm leaves on it. I also cut similar shapes from the dark red used for the tree trunk and sun, and leaf shapes were cut from the polka dot fabric used for the birds. I arranged in a way that looked pleasing to my eye. To add some further interest I added rick-rack leaf shapes and then embroidered some plant growth to the area. Here are some up close looks at the foliage:

Before Quilting

Before Quilting

After Quilting

Thanks for visiting my blog!