Posted in painting

Painting Fun

It’s a drippy, rainy, cold and dark day here. In my brightly lit studio, I am practicing my water color painting techniques. Here is a little photograph I took last summer, during brighter and warmer days.

I don’t know what species this little bug is, but today he is an artist’s model. I was inspired by this image because of its textures – rough, warm brick and cool, smooth, green beetle carapace. Most of my time was spent trying to get the pock-marked and moldy brick down on paper. One tactic I used was painting the terra cotta lines in the brick with the edge of a credit card. It worked pretty well. Matching a paint color to the bug’s body was another difficult challenge. In the end, I used Micron pens in turquoise, bright green and black ink to draw in the beetle. Then I brushed on water to blend the ink lines.

This photograph came out exceptionally cool in tones because of the weak outdoor light. But I am happy with the painting itself. If I were to paint this image again, I would make the dark areas darker, especially the beetle’s shadow.

Posted in knitting, painting, quilting

Catch-Up Friday

Since I didn’t finish any of my fiber objects this week, I have decided to write a progress report. You see above about ten inches of the Weaver’s Square pattern, which will become a colorful vest for my daughter. This is the back of the garment. The front I have planned will be much more subdued. While working with seven strands of yarn each row has been a challenge, the satisfaction of the work and the excitement of seeing the color emerge has more than compensated for any difficulty. I have chosen to switch out the vertical colors at a rate of two or three for every band of horizontal color. As a result, the pattern has a more vertical effect.

Log Cabin Mini Quilt

Another work in progress is picture above. The quilt sandwich is constructed and some stitch in the ditch took place. At that point, I decided to work some embroidery in the flower squares and add hand quilting to the strips.

Blue block nearly finished.

I also felt that a border was essential to provide balance between the light and the dark sections of the piece. Going further, I plan to hand-paint this border in multiple hues. It will be exciting to see how well that goes, and it will take me more time.

Last week-end I started a tutorial on painting with water color on paper. This class was offered on Bluprint.com. Despite a little trepidation, I am sharing my work today. Keep in mind I am a rank beginner and be kind.

Seascape at daybreak with birds.
Color Block using primary colors, salt, colored pencil and micron pens.
Realistic style chickadee

Such a fun week. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind me that this life is real.

Posted in drawing, painting

Fun with Fish

#doodlewashJanuary2020 This one’s for you, Charlie.

Here’s a whole school of the little wrigglers. When I found the reference photo on Unsplash, I just couldn’t resist those beautiful yellow tails. I will confess to adding Micron ink to the sketch after the water color paint had dried.

Posted in drawing, painting

The Time Between Fiber Object Work

Since I received such nice art supplies for Christmas, I feel the imperative to put them to good use. In my breaks from sewing, knitting and doing chores, I’ve made a few pictures.

Lemon floating in the air. Water color with ink added.
Robin in the snow. All ink.

The first reference photo came from a painting tutorial by Lindsey Weirich, the Frugal Crafter. The second came from a Christmas card. Each took me about an hour to finish.

Today I will be volunteering with my husband at the downtown park. We and several other able-bodied folks will be putting the lighted Christmas displays back into the warehouse until next season. Like most small towns, ours relies on many willing volunteers to make the holiday magic happen.

I don’t expect to work on any fiber objects or sketches until tomorrow.

Posted in painting

Winter Weather Strikes OK

I wanted to call this post Hunker Down Kind of Day” but alas, I had already used that title. Today was the first time this winter when the weather felt and looked like winter. I was really in the mood to celebrate the snow fall. So I decided to break out the Christmas gifts, which included a set of water color paints and a block of hot-press watercolor paper.

There ensued several moments of consternation after I opened the package of paper. It seriously looked like a solid block of wood. I could not for the life of me figure out how to remove the cover page and access the paper. But then, I remembered UTube. Ah. A quick search on line and I found a video that showed me what to do.

Next I loaded a Lindsay Weirich tutorial page in which she paints a fox in the snow. You can find it here.

https://thefrugalcrafter.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/sweet-sleepy-watercolor-fox/

Here is the reference photo that Lindsay used.

So cute!

I got out my new Arteza watercolors and began painting along with Lindsay. This image shows my work after I had applied the first set of washes.

While my paint was drying, I joined husband in the family room. He was sitting in front of the fireplace, basking in the warmth and reading. So cosy. I sat and knitted for a bit while he read. After thirty minutes, my paints were dry and I returned to the studio. It took less than an hour to finish this painting.

What fun. I’m glad that I have decided to learn how to watercolor.

Well, the snow has stopped. After lunch perhaps I will take a walk to enjoy the winter wonderland before tomorrow, when the snow and ice are likely to melt.

Posted in Uncategorized

2019 Best Loved Fiber Objects

As many of you are doing right now, I also am looking back at my work in 2019 for the purpose of choosing favorites. It was an interesting exercise. I especially was surprised when comparing the difference between most popular projects and my own favorite projects. They didn’t always match up. Here are the top picks in each discipline.

1. Embroidery: Prayer Flags.

This fiber object was actually a mixed media work, including the crafts of painting and applique. But embroidery was the new skill that I was practicing and I was thrilled with the results.

2. Knitting: Luna Moth Baby Dress.

Starting with some yarn purchased the prior year and a design of my own featuring a ruffled hem, this project morphed into something special when I discovered a Luna moth resting on a blade of grass in my backyard. She looked so much like the dress I was knitting that I decided to embroider her image on the back.

3. Mixed Media: Henry’s Haiku

When my grandson handed me this little poem, I felt that it was special. To illustrate it, I chose an image of a jaguar which I painted and embroidered. The background fabric is treated with candle wax drips and overpainted. I embroidered the poem so as to match the author’s handwriting as closely as possible.

4. Drawing: Overgrown Garden Shed.

While not my favorite sketch, this one received the most likes and comments. All of these skills were new to me, especially using ink wash and brush pen.

5. Quilting: Oakleaf Hydrangea Study

Every day is a happy one, when I see this quilt in the morning light. New skills included working with resist and free-motion quilting.

6. And finally: Crochet: Purple Yogi.

This object is so silly, and yet it turned out to be the most popular by far. Perhaps I had accidently connected with the current Zietgeist. The doll has florist wire bones so that it can bend and twist as needed to strike a post.

Happy New Year to all, and may 2020 bring you your most creative work.

Posted in painting, quilting

Artful Santa

Ho, ho ho – I must have been a good girl. Santa left me some wonderful art supplies this Christmas. He knows that I am playing around with color these days.

True confession: Santa was working from my list. This set of 36 watercolors is made by Arteza. The first thing I did after unwrapping them was swatch each color. The Prismacolor pencils are the erasable type. I’ve been told these are very useful in sketching, specifically the line drawing used to start a water color.

Since Christmas day I have been working fairly steadily on the Arches quilt. I’m pleased that I have finished assembling the hand painted backgrounds of the16 blocks that make up the quilt design.

Block C1 (Center top) The chalk line indicates where the arch starts.
Final Block – L3 Bottom left. I’m so proud that I matched all the corners.

The images below show a few completed blocks compared to the reference photos I worked from. Here is the upper right block.

This photo shows two blocks, representing the slender upper sections of the Arch.

I’m on a roll now. My hope is to finish the quilt top before the new year.

On a shopping trip to Tulsa I found the backing fabric – a purple-black color with a graffiti style print on it. I still need to choose border fabric. But what color? I am considering something lighter, just to provide separation from the dark blue and purple of the background. But I don’t want the border to compete with the bright yellow-gold of the subject fabric. Suggestions would be welcome.

Posted in knitting, painting

A Hunker-Down kind of day

The wind howled all night and by 8 am this morning, the temperatures were in the lower 30s. I’m told that this is today’s high. The temperature is still dropping and the wind continues to blow. It’s a good thing that I have plenty of fiber objects and other creative endeavors on hand. No need to change out of my comfy yoga pants.

Yesterday I began to learn watercolor painting on paper. It’s been a long-time goal of mine to study this art form. I signed up for Lindsay Weirich’s introductory course Hand-painted Holiday, which can be found at https://lindsayweirich.teachable.com/p/hand-painted-holiday

During an overly-optimistic moment several years ago I had purchased a water color set. I dug it out of a drawer and retrieved several tubes of paint. It took some muttering and a dull yarn needle to pierce some of the foil seals, but eventually I had small quantities of paint laid down onto a cheap plastic palette.

First the tags. Lindsey called these a warm-up exercise. After a few hours I had completed six or so gift tags. Here are some of my favorites:

Next came the cards. I worked the first of the series, stopping when I realized that the afternoon had flown the coop, it was 5 pm and time to cook dinner.

Taking a break from painting, I moved on to knitting. At this point, all of the holiday gifts that I wanted to make were finished and ready to be wrapped. (Mmm maybe I will attach some of those gift tags!) I suddenly remembered that daughter had requested a pair of mittens for her son. She specifically wanted stranded knitting, so the mittens would be extra warm. I found the perfect pattern on Ravelry. It will only require a few adjustments, including the insertion of a thumb gusset for better fit.

Here is my progress so far.

With the weather so brutal outside, there is a chance I can finish these mittens and another watercolor card before the sun comes up tomorrow.