For the May TIF challenge, I wrote an artist statement. So my answer to Sharon's question "What do you call yourself?" is fiber artist. I wanted to upload the whole document so you could see the layout and photos with the statement but I couldn't figure it out. It seems that you can upload a file from MSWord but you need more computer skills than I possess. So I have just included the written part below. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about this question and writing the statement. I think it was a good exercise as it made me realize what I like doing best and the direction I would like to continue on my fiber journey. Sorry about the lack of photos.
Permutations in Fiber
When I discovered felting, I finally found the creative outlet for which I had been searching. As a self taught fiber artist, the versatility of fiber allows me to “play” with a wide variety of materials including wool, silk, fabrics, yarns and threads. Creating one of a kind fiber art pieces to share with the world fulfills my creative passion.
One technique that I especially enjoy is the ancient technique of felt making. Traditionally to make felt, raw or dyed wool was dampened with soapy water and agitated (usually by stomping or rolling) to “felt” the wool. I use this traditional method of wet felting as well as dry felting with needles, either by hand or machine. I then embellish the felt with free motion machine embroidery, hand stitching and other techniques to develop a unique design.
As I continue my journey into fiber art, I am learning to look at the world more closely. I am inspired by the beauty of the natural world, be it an “ordinary” piece of grass, a tiny bit of lichen or the gorgeous Montana landscapes. When you look at my work, I want you to be drawn into the layers and details of the rich, textural surface and to “feel” the joy of its creation.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I made four postcards. One is going to the Cyber Fiber exhibition by Susan Lenz. Can you pick which one I'm sending? These are made with the same technique as the iris. I did add some hand stitching this time though.
Here's close ups of each of them.
The thread I used for the hand stitching was one that I received from Sharon B. that she hand dyed.
They matched so nicely with the colors I had used.
And here's the last one. If you'd like to trade for one of the postcards that isn't going to Cyber Fiber just let me know.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Meet Slime, the swamp monster. He is needle felted sculpture that has been a WISP since last October. He was supposed to be completed for a Halloween challenge but perhaps he only wanted to come out for Memorial Day.
He's all wool which I dyed. He thinks he's on a calendar for all those lonely female swamp monsters. So he's posing in a provocative way.
Here's a closeup of his face.
Here's my finished iris piece. This isn't the best of photos. I stitched the silk iris on the background and did some stitching highlights. I didn't think the iris were highlighted enough so I added a little pearlescent white paint to high light the iris.
Here is a closeup of the iris with the bud.
And the other iris. I needle felted the stems in place. Now I have to decide how to hang/frame. Perhaps a shadow box.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here is my fabric collage after a bit more work. I've free motion embroidered around the edges of all the fabric pieces. Also added more stitching in the middle of some of the larger pieces.
Here is a closeup of the upper left corner
And another closeup. Now for adding the focal point of the iris. More later.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Here is a beautiful book that I won from Sue B's blog give away. It is really lovely. Thanks Sue!
Here's the back.
The inside front cover.
And a page with a library pocket.
Here is my latest project.
Sorry about the crazy posting of photos. Blogger is not behaving. Anyways... The first photo is before wet felting. I used hand dyed wool roving for the backing which I embellished on my needle felting machine. I used a variety of fibers and yarns. Then I sewed on the appropriate color of fabric collage pieces. There are closeups of before and after wet felting. This is the background and I am going to add more fibers, stitching and three iris that I made from dyed silk hankies. More later after it dries! And if you haven't checked it out yet, go check out Sharon B's stitchin fingers group. Anyone interested in the fiber arts can join.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I finished the purple bag that I'm planning to use for my workbook. I end up not taking the workbook with me because I don't carry a purse. Then I'm sorry I didn't take it because inspiration seems to pop up at the oddest moments. I need to make a pencil case now so my pencils won't poke through the felt.
I tried a different FME pattern this time. It's leaves which you can see in this close up.
Happy Mother's Day to everyone. I'm not a mother but I count my two dogs as children (sad isn't it?). Anyway - I hope you had a grand day.
Sharon B. raised an interesting question on her blog about women wanting to break all the rules when doing artwork. I know that for myself I think that fiber art is freeing because I feel able to break the rules. One reason I think I don't like regular quilting is due to having to follow all the patterns and rules etc. My creativity is much more stimulated by doing things that don't have so many rules. I think that everyone has creativity but so many "rules" are put on them by society, their jobs, their parents etc. that many people never allow that side of themselves to be free. That is sad and what are we losing as a society by stifling all that creativity?
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Here's the bag I'm working on for my niece's graduation present. It's not sewn together yet - just waiting for the strap to dry after felting it this afternoon.
Here's the purple piece that I'm going to make a bag for me. It has silk on the top that you can barely see in this photo.
Here are some experiments with oil pastels. I started by doing a color chart. Then I used masking tape and used different colors in the yellow to red color range. I washed it with watered down red dye.
Here is a small sketch of a pomegranate in oil pastels and then a wash of brown acrylic paint.
This last one is done with a stencil and then a wash of yellow watercolor. It was fun experimenting.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Here's the final rendition of my April TIF which is called "Transformed". I sewed the piece to the green mat. See earlier posts for how this was made. I worked today on two pieces of felt to make a couple of bags as well as playing with some oil pastels. So hopefully more updates this weekend. I have also been working on my artist's statement for May TIF. I have a first draft and I'm trying to decide if I want to do a logo or just use photos of my work. More later...
Friday, May 2, 2008
I'm a bit late with my April TIF. I have sewn all the parts together and went around all the edges again to give the edge a bit more definition.
I then cut out a mat board to size and painted it green. I haven't attached the piece to the mat board yet. I am still trying to decide if I want to do more with the mat board. I was thinking of mottling the paint and adding some pieces of green papers to match the technique I started with but was unsure if it would take away from the work on the piece. So what do you think, should the backing just be plain or more collaged? A note on May TIF - aaaaaaaaahhhhh.... What do you call yourself and why? I think I may work on an artist statement and business cards etc. for this month. Currently, I don't really have anything that explains what I do and it would certainly be more professional to have all this done. So that's what I'll be doing for the May TIF.
I started working on improving my drawing techniques about 6 weeks ago with the help of a drawing book. I haven't had a whole lot of time to draw and sketch but I've been trying to do 1-2 sketches per week. I got up to the portrait drawing part of the book and it suggests you do a self portrait thus allowing you lots of time to stare at your model. So here it is - my sketched self portrait. When I showed it to DH, he said "Oh, you drew a picture of yourself". So I guess it looks like me. The nose is a bit off and there seem to be fewer wrinkles in the drawing than are really on my face - I guess that's artistic license. ;0)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Here's the final journal in Sue B's course. I used more of the faux leather since I made such a large piece. I have enough for at least one more journal. I embellished with pipe cleaners wrapped with novelty yarn and similar beads.
Here's a side view of the spine.
and a blurry photo of the back.
Here's the lining of red hand made paper. This journal has three signatures.
A short note on my Vegas trip. We went to see Spamalot which was great fun. It is in the Wynn. I was quite surprised by the decor in the Wynn. Most Vegas hotel/casinos are very glitzy. The Wynn was decorated with thousands of tassels in all sizes and colors. Tassels were everywhere. Then in the hallways and alcoves, there were large framed embroideries. I was going in and out of all the side hallways and little cubbies to see all of them. Then by the convention center they had two huge panels that were made up of wooden printing blocks. They were gorgeous and there was unconcealed larceny in my heart! But I couldn't quite fit two 15 by 5 foot panels in my luggage. And of course I didn't take my camera because who wants another Vegas photo? The wholesale trade show for the store was disappointing. I'm not sure we'll go back next year. But if you're in Las Vegas, do stop in at the Wynn and take a look at the fantastic fiber art on display.