Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dreamscapes, Annual Exhibit by Plainsboro Artist Group

This is the annual group show by the Plainsboro Artist Group, hanging till late September, and there in the Library Gallery over the time of the Festival of the Arts.  

Local blogistas are warmly welcome to come to the reception, Monday September 11, 6-8 p.m.,  meet the artists, and enjoy a strong show.  It's one of the biggest we've put on, 33 pieces in all, on the theme of Dreaming.  Wide range of takes on the concept, worth seeing. 

The pix are a bit lopsided, largely because the reflections in the glass in a gallery with a lot of windows, are hard to avoid without being on an angle.  But the show is well worth coming to see. This series of pix is far from doing justice to them.

This is a small town, 22K, and the range and depth of artistic talent is pretty good, even if we do say so ourselves. As you see, there's a range of media, oils, watercolors, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, mixed media, stitching, feltmaking. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Quilted art exhibit, and blue glass accidental art

Seen recently, at Windrows, the current exhibit of Joy Saville's amazing quilting.  Explosions of color and meaning, very much art quilts. Local and regional blogistas are probably familiar with Joy's work, seen around in exhibits, and many in large collections.  So I just thought you'd like a quick glimpse of a few of her amazing perceptions.

This exhibit may become a focus of an upcoming Embroiderers' Guild chapter meeting.

And nearer home in the living room, to be exact, a sudden ray of evening sun caught this blue glass pitcher and the mirror it stands on, casting wonderful flares and blue shadows.  If you see this pic from a distance, it changes quite dramatically into another image. For me, anyway, if not for you, don't sweat it.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Budgie mugshots

So the first budgie is done.  Knitted, stitched, perched in branches, he's official now.

 Seen from each side

and front view

Among the Most Wanted Budgies.  That frontal shot is really malevolent.  Peck you as soon as look at you. If you see this bird, do not approach him. Armed and dangerous.  Call your Budgie Emergency Squad.

I used beads for eyes, then stitched over the knitting with gold threads and various embroidery flosses.  The tricky part is to stitch without drawing out stuffing along with the floss.  I used raw cotton for stuffing, very soft, much nicer to handle than batting.

So here's the first of what might be a group.  Anyone have a good name for my First Resistance Budgie?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Budgie takes life, a bit eerie in a way

Budgie progress, now knitted, and I'm in the process of choosing interesting colors for extra feathers. 

 Knitted but not yet stuffed, not my favorite part

Stuffed and ready for additional feathers and overstitching to emphasize his beak.

Suddenly came to life and is taking part in the choosing, this is a bit scary!

The odd thing about making dolls, or animals, is that they start to take on personality so fast in the making.  Handsome Son was visiting last evening, took a look at my budgie, compared it to the one in the pattern and commented that mine already had a different personality.  So true.

This is a terrific small idea for using up yarn leftovers.  And, if you stitch in the eyes rather than use beads as I did, they're nice handsize toys for little kids. Mine came out approximately lifesize.

And watch this space.  This may be the first of a line of Resistance Budgies.  I have an idea for coopting a Budgie Brigade in supporting local good causes, as part of the Good People Doing Something that seems more vital than ever right now.  More later, once I've finished at least one budgie! It will be a participatory enterprise, blogistas to be included in it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Honoring Florence, and Knitting a Budgie!

I have to start with a shout-out to Florence K, friend, and stitcher extraordinaire, about to be profiled in our Embroiderers' Guild newsletter, and I did the pic of her with the first piece of embroidery she ever did.  

When I tell you she has great grandchildren, you will see that this was a while back!  It's a lunchbag, which she constructed, learning all the stitches, and how to apply snaps, then finished with the cross stitch monogram in a design.  Her work now is a far cry from this first effort, done when she was about eight.  She creates heirlooms nowadays for lucky descendants.

And since another event was cancelled this afternoon, I had to make something, to deal with the sudden vacuum.  So I decided to knit a budgie.  Obvious, really.

 Size three needles, free pattern from dotpebbles, see here and I'm using crochet cotton I had dyed in variegated blue for another project.  Seemed like a natural for a blue and white feathered subject.  There will be stitching after it's made, too, to add features, colors, and so on. Watch this space.This is a bi-stitchual project.

It's a Claire Garland, dotpebbles on Ravelry and Twitter, design.  She's the creator of the design from which I adapted the Dollivers, and has been very encouraging about their exploits.  Nice person, lovely designer, great pattern maker. Very generous with free patterns.

Anyway, this budgie, aka parakeet, just seemed to need to be knitted.  I've had many parakeets, so there's an interest in this for avian reasons.  And this one won't peck me when it's annoyed.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Drawing August, and honesty germinates

Finally after a long hiatus from drawing, made two ink drawings on my handmade paper, and posted them to #drawingaugust on Twitter. But they're here, too.

One is on iris/abaca paper, and I was happy with the texture for drawing on, nice and close, and hospitable.  These are the yellow flowers on the deck which come back year after year, forget what they are, it's been so long since I planted them.

The other is some of the succulents in the strawberry pot on the deck, and the paper is yellow onion paper, which actually makes red paper, and which I leatherized.

This is probably a word invented by my papermaking teacher, Joan Needham, a fabulous paper artist and sculptor, also a teacher whose lessons stay with you.  You leatherize by painting a solid coat of white glue on the paper and letting it dry.  It then becomes slightly shiny, and tough, looks exactly like leather.  I'm thinking, since this succeeded nicely with this piece, of using it as artist book covers for future uses. And I have some other thoughts about it.  I think you could make a nice wallet or phone case with it.

Meanwhile, after torrential rain yesterday, I see the honesty seeds I put in  a while back, have started to germinate, yay.  

The seedpods are those lovely silvery ones, which I can use decoratively or in my future papermaking adventures. But first, purple flowers. There's nothing like growing your own art materials.

About germination, the three tiny succulents in the house are now clearly visible if you stoop down and squint.  A friend stopped in the other day, did this, since she also loves propagating plants, and after studying them a bit, said, well, it doesn't take much to amuse you!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

White Rabbits and Happy Yorkshire Day!

White Rabbits, amazingly, August is here already.  And it's Yorkshire Day.  So I thought I'd celebrate with this painting, first one I ever exhibited, about 40 years ago.  

It's a watercolor with additional handmade paper, the view as remembered from early childhood in the Yorkshire Dales, across from where we lived to Rosebery Topping (spelling sometimes contested, with two rs).

I climbed this as a three year old with family, probably crawling up the steep bits.

Anyway, here's the painting.  One of the few artworks I ever made that is not for sale.