Friday, March 30, 2012

Chroma Studies

The yellow piece I posted last week is the second of the studies for what I hope will be a series of panels in conversation with one of my favorite things: color. Here are the first and third studies as well. The first is hand embroidered on black felt. The third looks quite a bit like the second but is actually entirely different. It is not on Timtex so is not stiff. It's cotton bonded to felt and then embroidered, appliqued and painted. It is the technique I've settled upon for the first actual panel. I need to get a couple of large pieces of insulation to use as a design wall up in the annex before I start - hoping for next week.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Really done this time!

Here are a couple of items I've posted previously but this time they really are done! The red quilt is called Gram Hava, one more in my Fierce Wind series - this one from the Indian subcontinent. The yellow piece is one of the trials I've been developing for the start of the Chroma series. I am now doing the fourth of these and will be ready to begin the actual piece as I have resolved a lot of questions about how to proceed. Much more on that anon!

Best of Artists' latest book NOW Available

I was approached about 6 months ago by this publisher about having two pieces of my work included in their next Worldwide Abstract and Mixed Media volume. I checked to be sure they were legit - they are and are a serious art publishing company. Well the book drops in a couple of weeks. Lots of variety in the book including some great tapestry weaving! Sorry about how long this address is. I'm on pages 140-142. Please check it out:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Almost Done

This panel is really taking shape. I'll do a bit more gilding and burning but the paint is pretty much as I want it. Can't wait to try something similar on a lighter more flexible ground.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Adding Color

I've added a variety of yellow paints trapping and integrating the tissue and kozo more thoroughly. The white is some additional gesso - still wet - used to secure fibers.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Adding Texture

Another experiment with some of Maggie Grey's techniques. This time I'm following her suggestion of adding soaked kozo (pounded mulberry bark) at the gesso stage. I've thrown on a bit of kosher salt to pock it up a bit more. I am also going to try using abaca paper, burlap and dry wall tape as they each offer a slightly different texture. I used a lot less gesso this time and thicker tissue paper. It's based on Timtex which is very thick though easily needled. Next time I'm going to use a lighter ground.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Bed Quilt

Who said quilts are just for hanging on walls??? They actually can be lain across beds for warmth - both visual and physical. I dyed the fabric in the bathtub and took it to the local long arm quilter. We're going to sleep under it tonight for the first time. There's wool batting so it is light weight but should be warm enough for a blustery 70 degree southern CA March day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Watts Towers

Besides seeing The Rock being delivered to the LA County Museum of Art and visiting the Chen Gallery's monumental collection of ancient Chinese art at the SunRider Headquarters this weekend, we went to the Watts Towers built by Simon Rodia early in the 20th Century. It is in a lovely little park with a great info center, a sweet tour guide and a youth art complex. The houses across the street have mostly been decorated in artsy ways to reflect the neighborhood vibe. The tiled complex is constructed in the shape of a sailing vessel headed due east back to Rodia's youth in southern Italy. All done by hand by one driven man. Highly recommended for next time you're in LA.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Here's Cynthia Catlin modeling my coat. I wove the wool fabric in the Theo Mormon technique so I could include shots of other colors, and I hooked the pockets. June Hiatt stitched it all together. I wore it last weekend in Philadelphia - something I almost never get to do in Southern CA. Cynthia will be wearing it this weekend when she goes for a surprise visit for her dad's 80th birthday in Ohio.


As yet unnamed, the piece is done. I have done more burning, stitched and couched yarns and floss, and done some final painting to integrate it all. Any suggestions for a title??

Thursday, March 1, 2012


It's starting to take on real character. I have painted the piece with many different blue, green and metallic acrylic paints. You will notice the edges have been burnt and a bit of the interior has also been burnt away with the heat tool. Because there are so many layers built up on the already very stiff Timtex the overall piece is quite hard, not flexible at all. I selected these colors because I'm still looking for the ideal way to represent both the Chihuly glass and glaciers. This is getting a bit closer than anything else I've attempted so far.

With First Layer of Color

I used various inks to put in the first color and dissolve the salt to pock the surface. I think the cement medium was not such a good idea though I can get a needle through it. Next time I'll use the heavy body gesso as she recommends.