Posted in drawing

#inktober 2019 Week 4

Here are my drawings from the Inktober prompts for Days 21 through 26. This week I wanted to work on improving my technique.

The prompt was Treasure. I thought about the great treasures of our material culture, specifically art and the artists that created it. My portrait comes from Georgia O’Keeffe’s autobiography. In this scene she is blind and over 90 years old. The techniques I worked on here were ink washes, shadows and stippling. Also, this image allowed me to practice drawing faces and hands – both are considered challenging subjects for artists of all kinds.

After working on the O’Keeffe, my mind was lingering on Santa Fe. For the next prompt, I drew a ghost in the Loretto Chapel. Lots of line work here, as I focus on rendering architectural detail and dim lighting.

More artwork: sculptures from ancient times. I practiced stippling and the night sky.

The prompt was dizzy. As one who suffers occasional episodes of acrophobia, I chose to face my fear and draw from the dizzying perspective of a high overlook. It was a challenge to get the perspectives right on the suspension bridges.

I was keen to draw some more birds. So I took advantage of the prompt Tasty and drew a momma bird feeding her chicks.

That’s all for now. Only a few days left in Inktober. I am looking forward to getting back to fiber arts, especially sewing. I have many ideas for quilted gifts.

Posted in drawing

More Inktober: More Experiments

Since I am basically a beginner at this, I consider all of my drawing experiments. But this week, I decided to adopt a more playful approach.

Overgrown: Playing around with ink wash.

Legend: Nessie show herself.

The paper is seriously rippled. I learned that I must use a stronger paper for ink wash.

Wild: Drawing the young jaguar that I appliqued earlier this year.

Colored paper as a background.

Ornament: Comic book style.

Misfit: Who invited that bird into our flock?

Sling: The challenge of drawing a fishing net.

More fun next week.

Posted in crochet, drawing

A New Addiction

Alright. Almost no fiber objects were created this week. I will share the one thing I did make with yarn for my crochet in the round workshop. It is a teaching aid.

The six stages of starting a round crochet object

Instead I spent multiple hours on sketching from the Inktober prompts.

Day 7: Enchanted

Day 8: Frail

Day 9: Swing

Day 10: Pattern

Day 11: Snow

Day 12: Dragon (fly)

You may have noticed a few insects have shown up. I find them fun to draw.

And finally, this: why is the act of sketching on ink and paper so addictive?

Posted in drawing

Practicing my drawing – Inktober

Okay, I have been enticed by The Frugal Crafter into making some ink drawings in conjunction with #Inktober2019. While these efforts have nothing to do with fiber arts, I decided to share them in this space, since so many of my WordPress blogger friends are sharing their drawings. Here are the first five days.

Thank you for your patience. We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

Posted in drawing, hand embroidery, painting, sewing

Welcome to Summer, Farewell to Gloria

It’s my desire to note each season as it arrives with a fiber project that celebrates the specialness of the season. When I learned of the passing of Gloria Vanderbilt, I decided to include a small tribute to her in today’s celebration of summer.

I remember Gloria Vanderbilt best from her television adverts, promoting her line of jeans. She promised to make jeans designed to fit women’s curves. That promise was fulfilled – those jeans did fit us! She branded her product by signing her name on the hip pocket. Soon, all the designers were catering to women’s shape and placing their logos on the pockets.

So, thank you, Gloria. You made us feel good about our bodies, at a time in our lives when we needed a boost to our self image.

Today’s fiber object shows a woman contemplating the sun while lying on a beach. In tribute to Ms. Vanderbilt, my lady is dressed in a pair of cut-off jeans. Here is the sketch I made with the design’s basic elements.

I toyed with the idea of inserting the Gloria Vanderbilt logo somewhere in the design, but ultimately decided not to. Here is the finished object.

Hello Summer, Goodbye Gloria

I’m happy with all the elements of this piece. First of all, my ability to draw is getting better. It only took me two tries to sketch this slightly stylized female body. I am also getting better control of the fabric paint while using the wash technique. And finally, both my hand and machine embroidery are improved.

Posted in colorwork, drawing, hand embroidery, sewing

Inspired by O’Keefe

My fiber efforts have been rather uninspired over the last two days, so no new posts. Then I picked up this book written by Georgia O’Keefe. It is an autobiography told in her own words and in beautifully reproduced images of her paintings. It got my creative thoughts moving again.

While she spent most of her life living in and painting the American Southwest, in the early stages of her career O’Keefe was best known for her large-scale paintings of flowers. Here is what she has to say about these works:

Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. If I could paint the flower exactly as I see it no one would see what I see because I would paint it small like the flower is small. So I said to myself – I’ll paint what I see – what the flower is to me but I’ll paint is big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it.

Exhibition catalog, An American Place, 1939

So I decided to create a fiber flower, because I want to look closely at a flower. I chose to make a Moonflower, partly because of its star-like shape, and partly because I don’t see them growing around here. When I lived in Texas, I grew some moonflowers. It was way too hot to enjoy the garden during the day. Instead I sat outside at dusk, when I could watch the moonflowers swirl open.

Here is a pencil sketch I made of my moonflower:

I plan to use white poplin for the flower, with fabric paint on the shaded areas and embroidery on the bright areas. Here are some green fabrics I have chosen for the background and the flower shape I will cut from the white poplin.

The next steps are to piece together and sew the background.

Background with paper template showing flower placement

Tomorrow I paint.

Posted in collage, drawing

Kente Kat

Paper Tiger prowls the jungles of Ghana

Here is my little collage, inspired by the Kente cloth of West Africa. I learned about this form of weaving while doing research for my fiber classes. It has captured my imagination. The Asante weavers work in narrow bands on a horizontal loom. The finished weave is under five inches wide. To make the cloth, long strips are sewn together, giving the artist much scope for juxtaposition of colors and patterns. I had the naïve idea that I could learn to make this cloth for myself. Ha! After reading about the process and watching videos, it is clear that Kente can only be mastered by years of practice under the guidance of a master weaver. So I have confined my enjoyment of the medium to collaging (is that a word?) with photographs of Kente.

If you would to learn more about Kente cloth, check out this site:

This cat appears to be floating in mid-air, but I assure you she is solidly on the ground. The jungle is dark, but shimmers with heat and light. A sassy bird perches above her head. To make this image I used photographs of my color wash fabrics, adding black and silver markers, and sequins for eyes. Here is a nice close-up:

Posted in drawing, sewing

Newsflash – It’s Paper Week!

Newspapers, and nearly all sorts of other papers, are made from fiber. So it is fair game for the Daily Fiber manipulations. The invention of paper can be described as one of the great technologic leaps forward for humankind. As far as I can tell, it was invented multiple times independently around the world. The ancient Egyptians made a sort of paper out of the sedge plant Cyperus papyrus. The type of wood-pulp paper we use today was invented by the Chinese around 2nd century BCE.

Thanks to fellow WordPress writer Jill Kuhn for encouraging me to explore stitching on paper. In no particular order, here are the objects out of paper I propose to make this week.

  1. Paper weaving of portraits
  2. Paper beads
  3. Rice paper Bento Box collage
  4. Collage with sheet music and old maps
  5. Quilling with paper
  6. Origami art installation

As a warm-up, I machine-stitched on some Sumi ink drawings that I did many years ago, when I had an interest in painting Chinese characters. The first is a bamboo image done on newsprint. I stitched the central veins on the leaves.

Wishy-washy looking.

It worked okay. The paper is quite brittle, and the beginnings and endings of the stitch lines tend to pull out of the paper. I’m considering reinforcing them with clear tape on the back of the paper. The next image is painted on rice paper. While this paper is quite thin, it seems a little more resilient than the newsprint paper.

This piece is better than the bamboo, but still a little tentative.

I have high hopes that the rest of the week will bring interesting results using paper.

Posted in drawing, quilting

In the Mood to Doodle

For no apparent reason, I woke up this morning with the urge to doodle. Well, really, I was thinking about a project to offer my young fiber artists. The older group is working hard on their mini string quilts. But the five to eight year old students aren’t ready, skill-wise for such a complex task. In the spirit of quilt-making, I decided to let them design 4-square blocks using fabric markers. Hence the desire to try it out for myself. I started by cutting a 9 by 9 inch square of muslin, then ironed in creases to divide the block into four 4-inch squares (plus seam allowance.) So here I am, staring at a blank canvas. I found the experience slightly unnerving. Ultimately, I let the sights of nature in spring-time inspire my doodles.

Here is what I came up with.

Tall Grass Prairie in Spring
Postage-stamp Flowers
Strawberry Fields
Cold Water Game Fish

I have to admit that sharing these drawings is not easy for me. I am still such a novice at it. But I’m told that to improve drawing skills one must practice daily. I struggled with the markers bleeding a bit. The fish were the most fun to draw.