I have a bag full of fabric, sketches and some small quilt blocks that have been languishing in my closet for too long. The time has come to start working in earnest on this quilt. The tipping point came when I decided to organize the blocks around a medallion center. I chose this photograph as the feature image.
After making a sketch,
……. yesterday I grabbed my last piece of white fabric and painted it a sea green color with Dye-na-flow paint. I used a “mask’ and some stones on top of the fabric while it dried in the sun to reserve a turtle-like shape.
Now I can select some fabrics to applique on top of the base fabric. Here is a selection that will be used to make the sea turtle.
Once I get the shapes cut and fused to the base fabric, I will hand paint any needed details.
This is a short post. I’m keen to keep my momentum going. More details will be revealed soon.
Another view of travel knitting, this time on the way home. While on vacation I was too busy to finish this sock. However I do have a few things fibery and artsy to share.
When visiting one of my favorite yarn/book stores, I snagged this pretty ball of Berroco Sox yarn and 1000 yards of Plymonth Encore in a heathery mahogany color.
My grandson agreed to accept a pair of socks from me, and approved of this yarn. I plan to use the Plymouth yarn to knit myself a loose cardigan for lounging around the house on cool winter nights.
I got the sketch book out during the vacation just once. Here is a view of Shell Lake.
It was so fun introducing my 2-year-old granddaughter to water color paint. First I made an assortment of paint puddles, taped down a piece of drawing paper and handed her a cotton swab. Following my example, she dabbled with lines and dots.
She also grabbed a small sponge, stroked it over the red paint then applied it to the paper. When she ran out of space on the paper, she wiped the sponge vigorously over her belly.
FYI: Red watercolor paint on a baby’s body looks very much like a bruise. Gramps had a moment of concern upon viewing her body art, which he quickly overcame after I wiped her clean.
Today marks the last day of WorldWatercolorMonth. Despite being gone for twelve days this month, I was able to complete fifteen of the 31 challenges. Here is my final one. The prompt is Pose. I chose this little cedar waxwing, who was posing for the camera by cocking his head to one side.
It’s nice to be back in my studio. I look forward to digging in to my stash of UFOs and dreaming up some interesting new projects.
My poor sewing machine has been relegated to the bookshelf while my paintbrushes are getting quite a work-out. I am making a painting everyday in conjunction with WorldWatercolorMonth.
Here is a selection of paintings completed this week. Each one is headed with the daily prompt that directed the painting’s subject matter.
7-13-20 Twisted. This gray-haired yogi is from an older generation, and she is flexible and strong.
7-14-20 Green. The reference photo is a Japanese painted fern, a cool, grey-green.
7-15-20 Forgotten. I’m told that umbrellas are the items most often left behind at museums. This sad blue umbrella was left at the terrace cafe.
7-16-20 Machine. All I could think of was Leonardo da Vici’s marvelous drawings. Here are two of da Vici’s machines done in pencil with color wash on top. I even added some reverse-image handwriting as practiced by da Vici.
7-17-20 Spontaneous. Angela Fehr provided a tutorial on painting spontaneously. This was made following her example. After throwing down some sepia lines, I spontaneously added purple and yellow patches. The painting began to reveal itself as a mountain meadow in early summer.
After today, I will be taking a pause from painting. Tomorrow we leave for Wisconsin. The lure of the North woods is irresistible, wherein resides our daughter and her family. The trip promises to be a cool and noisy respite from our state of self-isolation.
It’s been a quiet week-end here at the studio. I have definitely been absorbed by painting.
Today I have two images to share. The prompt for July 3rd was Playful. I chose to paint some dolphins in a pool with their toys.
This is technically a mixed-media painting. I started out by scribbling on the white paper with white crayon to create a wax resist. I also used a little white gel pen, to see if it would resist the paint. And finally, I brushed on the traditional drawing gum resist. The frothy effect is the crayon. The white ring in the lower right corner is the gel pen, and the white marks on the dolphins’ heads is the gum. After applying the paint, I came back with black micron pen to add detail to the dolphins.
This was a fun and fairly quick painting. I like that it looks like a storybook illustration.
The prompt for July 4th was the word Quiet. Immediately I thought about a sleeping baby. If the baby is sleeping, momma tells everyone to Be Quiet! But then, I thought about sleeping owls. They also nap during daylight hours.
I found a good photograph of two sleepy owls, and made this sketch of it:
I really liked the sketch and was excited to render the image in water color. This was to be a traditional painting, with nothing but watercolor paints on top of a few pencil marks.
It took me all afternoon, because I had to wait for each wash to dry thoroughly before continuing. I reserved the white of the owls’ feathers with drawing gum resist. Completing the painting was satisfying, although some areas are not quite as I had intended them to be.
While the pose I rendered is exactly like the photograph, there is a some mystery about the image. Can you see the wing of the little owl on the left? It is tucked by its side. And yet, something that seems to be a wing is lying on top of the tucked-in wing. After thinking about this, there’s only one logical conclusion: The larger owl has its right wing wrapped around the smaller owl.
What do you think? Do owls give hugs? Or did the internet photographer doctor up the photo?
I was happy with today’s topic. It’s time for me to practice painting textures. I especially wanted to paint a basket. This basket was stashed away in a bathroom cabinet. It is filled with Spanish moss – I’m not sure where I got the moss. So, two textures – plaited reeds and Spanish moss. To add a third texture, I posed a little wren, who seems keen to grab some of that moss for her nest.
Yellow ochre, New Gamboge, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine Blue and a little Payne’s grey. I added two ink colors using Micron pens – Black and tan. Paper is Paul Rubans watercolor block.
For the first day of #WorldWatercolorMonth, I chose the image of jumping for joy. Having my joyful figure on the beach at sunset gave me a ideal opportunity to practice blending colors in a wash. I used micron pen on the shore line and figure only.
She sure has a lot of hair.
Paynes grey, New gamboge, Quin red on Strathmore watercolor travel journal.
It’s been almost two weeks since I posted last. My days have been full, if not busy, but nothing to write home about. At least I can catch you up on projects in progress.
As you see in the photo, the quilt is under the needle. I have been whacking away at the quilting for days and days. This is the biggest piece of cloth that I have attempted to quilt with my lil’ old Bernina.
I’m doing a parallel- straight line pattern, mostly because this type of quilting doesn’t require much manipulation of the quilt. I start at a long section and keep sewing parallel lines until I get tired or run out of bobbin thread. My goal is simply to finish. Pretty lines and straight lines are both out of the question at this point. Optimistically, I’m going for quirky charm. My daughter loves that aesthetic.
My water color painting results have been less than satisfying. When I crashed and burned at applying the background wash to the bird of paradise painting, it got tossed. I then resolved to start back at the beginning. To this end, I checked out a “teach yourself” watercolor instruction book from the library and began working through the techniques one each day. Today’s lesson was line and wash. I chose to paint from a photograph I took of a pond on our local walking trail.
Here is my painting.
I enjoyed working on this one and am happy with it. The only thing I want to add is darker paint on the the group of leaves at the right edge, giving the painting more contrast of values.
The garden has been getting much of my attention. But starting today, heat is intensifying. So I will likely shift my attention back to indoor activities.
I have been collecting images of the tropical flower called Bird of Paradise for a few months now. Initially I wanted to make quilt blocks with this flower as a motif. But lately, I have been charmed by this photograph offered by the San Diego Zoo, of a flower with hummingbird.
I decided it would be a perfect reference for a water color painting. There are three techniques that I could practice from this one photograph: color mixing, background washing and masking.
It occurred to me that I would be more successful if I practiced each of these techniques separately, before combining them into a finished painting. My first study was the hummingbird.
The masking fluid allowed me to reserve the white margins on the breast feathers and the wings. I think he came out quite nicely. While I was at it, I used the same paper to determine the color mixes for the rest of the painting. You can see my little notes penciled in above the bird.
As an aside – Did you know that hummingbirds are the primary pollinators for Bird–of-Paradise flowers?
Yesterday I painted a small study of the whole image. The scariest part was the very dark background wash. I used a mix of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, with a small amount of lemon yellow to neutralize the blue.
I feel I was successful in laying down the wash correctly, but it isn’t quite dark enough. There is also insufficient contrast between the bird and the background. And what can I do to make the petals more luminous?