Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bougainvillea and Palm Trees

It's easy to find inspiration when it's eighty degrees, summer drink at hand, watching lizards climb the walls as breezes blow through palm fronds. Left behind is the snow  which dusted the 300 foot driveway, icy roads, cold drafts combatted with endless sweaters. Well, for a while anyway. Makes me want to move, immediately.

Packed some goodies to play with, above. Tomorrow I sketch, hopefully by the pool as the little lizards scamper around for our benefit. I'll post my progress with this project as it unfolds. I'm exhausted with all the traveling. Time to catch some shut-eye and hopefully a dream or two of bougainvillea spilling over stucco walls.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Catching Dragons

It's been a busy week but I have spent some time in the studio and have designed and completed my donation piece for SAQA's Spotlight silent auction at the April convention in Santa Fe. It started above with a tracing which shows the outer edge and the inner mat edge. This is an excerpt from my original drawing of a dragon. It isn't always easy for me to think small. The total for these pieces has to be 6" x 8", miniscule by comparison to what I have been doing.
I charged in at the beginning of the week with the upper piece. The background of the dragon who is in flight, is the moon. I took my first impression as a literal one, using a hand dye pastel which was primarily white/grey. Working from there, I chose greens and oranges to flesh out the dragon. But I just felt something was missing. I am the color queen and it just did not ring true to my vision. So I changed it up with a yellow/orange/green hand dye and began fleshing out the dragon in purples, blues and hot pinks. Above you can see the contrast of the two pieces.
By Thursday night when I went to bed I had accomplished well over half of the work. As you can see above, the colors now have a vibrancy which is a hallmark of my artwork. I chose this segment of the original drawing because it was so hard to make out what it was. I do not often do anything non-representational. This piece is as close as I like to come to abstracted visuals. If you step back from the piece you may see many different things going on, not just the twists of a dragons tail, a bit of his wing and the moon. I love that the viewer can create his own story and maybe imagine the rest of the dragon.
6" x 8"
January 2013
Commercial hand dyed fabric and batik fabric
Machine stitched

Here is the finished piece. Keep in mind only the owner will be able to see the whole piece if she wants to if removed from the frame. as it will be matted and 3/4 of an inch all around will be lost under the mat. 

I was so happy to have completed my piece for SAQA that I treated myself to a day at the salon. I NEVER go to a salon. I usually cut my own hair, do my own nails etc. But the rust in our well water was mucking with the whiteness of my hair and I thought I needed professional help. As we will be traveling to see Tony's mom in Florida soon, I splurged. My hair is now white again, my toes are salmon pink and I have a great styled cut. It was a good week in the studio and I am now focusing on the 12" x 12" piece I will be doing for the SAQA auction.

I will be bringing some playthings with me to Florida. I will have my iPad and hope to pick up wifi at the hotel so I can keep in touch. I will have a sketchpad, tissue, some pre-fused fabrics, pre-cut backing/batting pieces, scissors and some pins. With the help of the hotel iron and board, I hope to be able to put together a small piece or two and then finish them up on my machine when I get home. This will keep me designing with fabrics while I am away from the studio. I did this once before in New Mexico with great results. So while Tony is on the golf course, I will not only be sunning by the pool but having some fun with fabrics as well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tony got me a new toy for Christmas, an iPad. More technology for the techno-impaired old lady, evidenced by the smirk above. Took this picture with the iPad this afternoon to use it as my profile photo on my new linkedin account, I am so bad at this though that I could not figure out how to transfer the photo to blogspot or even at least to my pictures in my computer. Somehow the photo went directly to linkedin without first being saved to my photos in the iPad. I figured out a way to transfer the photos from the iPad to my pictures in the hp last week. I don't think it's the right way though. Well, I got creative with my profile picture as it's too late to call my daughter to find out how. I printed an enlargement of the profile pic, scanned it into my computer and voila, here it is. Bit grainy and there are a few issues with lines. Humph!

Sometimes I wonder where the whole world is spinning to. MY HEAD sure is spinning. I'm not sure why we need all this technology, but it seems that we all do. I have a new app for drawing and designing which is why I wanted the iPad in the first place. It is helping me block colors out over a drawing which will help me in choosing colors for a quilt.  Learning to draw on a computer is an art in itself. I suppose I will get better at it with a lot of practice.

So with all this playing on the iPad, I have jumped into social media in a big way. I have had a facebook account for over two years now, but as of today I have added Twitter(@nancy_turbitt) and Linkedin. You can find me all over the place now. Why exactly anyone would want to is still a mystery to me but I am being followed. Tomorrow I think I will just sew. Seems boring with all this media frenzy, I know, but I'm still just happiest sitting at my sewing machine.    

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Resolutions

Thankfully the holiday season is over. And I have been spending time in my studio. I'm trying to take stock of where I am and where I am going, as one often does in the beginning of a new year. So in the moments when I just can't see anymore lines of thread and I just can't do anymore on "Mermaids", I move over to another spot in the studio and am compiling a scrapbook/diary of my drawings which have been intended for becoming quilts. In the writing I am forcing myself to see which ones have potential and which ones will never be completed or expanded upon in any way. 

Above are my pages on my work for "Peter's World", which I started a while ago but left as I ran into snags. At the time I was hand stitching, which I never do anymore. In the lower left you can see my first attempt at piecing and above is the drawing of Peter. In my writing about this piece; what it has meant to me and how my thoughts have changed about how to implement it, I have decided to put it on my list of drawings that I must revisit. I now, years later, have a better idea of how to go about making this come to life. And so it is going on the list of pieces that must get done and not forgotten. 

I am such a strange bird that sometimes I wonder how I am viewed by other artists. Most of my life has been about finding balance. This has always been an important concept for me. I have striven to try to find balance in life but have not always succeeded. My artistic self has often suffered being at the low end of the scale. But I think part of the struggle to even off the scales is in realizing that in the span of a life, sometimes things come later and not sooner. It's a balance of it's own. And so as I now am considering what seems to be the beginning of my retirement from working outside the home and the relaxing of my duties as Mom, I can tip the artistic scales to high. I have done over 50 drawings specifically intended as major pieces. Only a handful have been completed. I intend to change this statistic. As New Years resolutions go, this is a big one and I have been trying to force it's beginning for a few years now. But finally, I think the time is right.