Earlier this year I painted a portrait of Red Bird, or Zitkala-sa, an activist for women's rights in the early twentieth century. She fought for the right to vote, and after 1920 she continued to fight because minority women did not win this right. She was operative in helping pass many bills to help American Indians.
I sent it to Spoonflower and had them print it on cotton.That was a story in itself, because of Covid 19 there was little customer service to help me with sizing and I finally gave up with trying to get help from them and sent it on with the sizing that I "guessed" would work. Plus it took 4 weeks instead of the usual 1 to one and half weeks. But I understand that... But the top row of diagonals was bisected so I had to make a new top row for the fiber version.
Right now in the U.S., and in fact the whole world, we are still dealing with the Covid 19 virus. It is a part of every aspect of daily life, from ordering groceries at Wal Mart and picking them up in the parking lot, to contact-less pizza delivered to your home to social distancing. Florida is leading the pack with the most new cases daily, taking over from New York; they have gotten their problem under control. Here I am waiting for hubby after his surgery in the VA hospital...
We also have the gigantic dust storm cloud from the Sahara Desert coming over to America and affecting the weather. Rain is in the air but the dry Sahara air sucks it up so there is no rain, a drought like condition with temperatures in the high nineties. Here is a typical morning sky...
Love these fabrics. Finished this quilt for a special person. The colors are so feminine and the patterns tell a story. I love the bunnies appearing throughout it. They add a sweet whimsy!
Saw a great episode of The Quilt Show featuring Eileen Williams; she makes landscape and seascape quilts that are right up my alley. Quite admirable. Her show on the The Quilt Show is show number 1811 from 2016. Check out her nice tutorials.
I started my quilt tribute to George Floyd a week or so ago. I am not sure how much "writing" I will include and how to do it, I don't want anything that fades! I love Susan Shie's work so I reached out to her for any ideas, tips or tricks she could share with me and she did. Very gracious! Here is what she said:
For many years I put black fabric paint through an airpen, a small gizmo with a syringe and surgical needle on it, with a tiny air pump, and wrote with that. It's NOT an airbrush, and it made the most marvelous rich, crispy black lines. I've switched lately to using my airbrush for a little bigger lines, and some acrylic paint markers by Posca, for a more controllable line.
The trade off is that markers cost a lot more to use, and then you throw them out. Airbrush is reusable but has a LOT Of cleaning involved, besides the learning curve and cost of buying it in the first place. The airpen is not cheap either and very hard to learn to use and clean. I no longer teach any of that stuff. I only teach freehand drawing on paper now.
So my advice is to look at the Posca paint markers on Amazon or elsewhere. The fine line ones are what you can get a somewhat small line with, but nothing like the lines you mentioned, with ultra-fine Sharpies. Which fade and look terrible on cloth! They are not meant for cloth anyhow.
I used to write with Rub-a-Dub Sharpie markers, but would embroider over those lines. Rub-a-Dub is the only Sharpie pen meant for use on cloth, except for those Stains things, which are transparent and pitiful!
Rub-a-Dubs are great on paper, but they quit making them, so you pay a lot for them now.
Oh, I forgot to say that the Posca Markers are opaque, and that makes them more substantial looking on fabric. AND I always, always headset my paints, markers, etc, with a hot, dry iron, working slowly and ironing on the back, wearing my respirator and using a big exhaust fan in the window across the ironing board from me. Everything gets heat set at each stage of making my work. So there you are!
I have long been a fan of Chawne Kimber's quilt work. It is all fabulous but her "Political speak" quilts really grab me. That's not her term, its mine, just an attempt to explain how I see them.
A few of my favorites. But the interview! it's great. The Schweinfurth Art Center is doing "Quarantine Visits" with artists. Director Davana Robedee interviews Chawne right from the comfort of her kitchen!
Discovered a beautiful description of MIksang on Robert and Sara Genn's website this afternoon:
A traditional art form has been greatly facilitated by the advent of the digital camera. The art of Miksang was begun as a meditational tool by Shambhala Buddhists, but it has implications for painters and other creative people. The idea is to find joy and awareness by attending to the minor and seemingly insignificant — the colours, patterns and textures that exist in the close-up world. Miksang is a Tibetan word that means “good eye.” Shambhalas think widespread use might lead to more compassionate and enlightened societies.
Artists have been going in this direction for centuries. Leonardo recommended seeing beauty and finding motifs in the texture of walls.
These days Buddhist instructors in several countries are handing digital cameras to kids. Children seem to take to it faster than adults and, according to some, get better results. Instructors need to be certified by the Toronto-based ” Miksang Society for Contemplative Photography.” Part of the Miksang philosophy is that subjects must be found and collected “as is” and not moved or adjusted to improve composition. Subjects can be man-made or from the natural world.
What value does Miksang have for creative folks? Obviously, Miksang makes for pause, reflection and quiet centering. By increasing awareness, one builds a feeling of wonder and kinship with the overlooked. But its real value is in seeing design and the subtlety of colour. To the discriminating eye the macro world is a minor symphony. Looking through a viewfinder and making decisions hone the ability to find the larger compositions. It’s all about the acquired skills of looking and seeing. Buddhist or not, this art can be performed at any time and any place.
I think I practiced that this morning, capturing some nice close-ups of trees, bark and lichen. I can see zeroing in even closer on these and getting some really great abstract images that can be translated to fiber or paint.
Found this great Flag quilt! I love flags, this is really beautiful....
Check this out on Amy Smart's Diary of a Quilter. I love her quilts!!!!!!!!!!! she is a great teacher too. In case you don't know, here is the link: https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2020/06/flying-flags-quilt-tutorial.html
Here is a cute kid quilt I completed for my quilt ministry and turned in last weekend. I had fun with those dinosaurs, everyone probably thinks boy quilt for this design, but I would have loved to have gotten it when I was young. The back was a quilt top (wintery) I made because I loved the snowy owl fabrics and wanted to show them off, but it looked too boring to be the front of a quilt so I let it be the back. I guess you could say the lush greenery on the front fed the dinosaurs but when the Ice Age came that was the end of them. (the snowy back)
Learned how to make a repeat design by hand today. Next lesson should be how to make it on the computer, which should be easier! I painted this in watercolor and as usual, learned a lot of things not to do. Don't just cut a square of paper, make sure it is absolutely square. Number the four cuts on the back to help you keep up with them. Take care making the four piece cuts!! I was not too careful about it. But I am sure it gets easier! This could be a great blender fabric, as well as sort of abstract, organic and vegetative.
Here it is as a fabric on Spoonflower. Its for sale! Check it out: https://www.spoonflower.com/designs/10160548-mixed-lettuce-by-worldinaraindrop
I have always been an artist and with art quilts I have found a way to combine my two loves of painting and textiles.