Friday, May 20, 2016

Off the Wall Friday

Because we are knee deep in Tessa's high school graduation next week - I'll just host this week.  But leave you with these thoughts!

Ohhh and thank you for all the encouraging words from last week!!!  All the empathy really helped!

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively? 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Art with Fabric Blog Hop - Off the Wall Friday

Welcome to all the Art with Fabric Blog Hoppers!! 

I would love to show you my finished piece. . . but . . . .alas this one got the better part of me.  BUT it has been a great learning experience.

I was first inspired by the art exhibit, Monet to Matisse, Painting the Modern Garden that I saw at the Cleveland Art Museum.  The vibrancy of the colors the painters used and their varied interpretations of gardens was so moving that I wanted to explore it myself.

After much research, I decided that I didn't want to recreate one of the masters work but to come up with one of my own.  I started with a photo of the door of Monet's house in France.  From there I did a sketch and picked out the fabrics.

Great start right?

And there my progressed stalled.  I spent three weeks fiddling with my piece - a little here and there.  Never getting vested in any of the trials.  It got the point where it seemed like a chore to even work on it.  sighhhhhhhh - this is NOT the norm.

Last week, I came up with new idea which I want to play with.  Still, I'm not quite over the frustration this piece has caused me over the last month.  So for now, I'll let this one bake on my wall while I tackle something else.  This piece definitely has potential.  I'm just not in the mood to coax it out yet!!

You can see my whole journey here - but let me tell you - its not pretty!  Actually, its not a bad idea to show the world that art is not easy, nor does it appear like magic.  While researching Monet's work several of his most famous pieces were done over YEARS, I'm sure with several false starts and reworks.

So if its good enough for Monet, I guess its good enough for me!!

I encourage you to blog hop over to the other participants today!  Thanks to Alida for hosting!  And please any hoppers who want to join in on our blog link up - Off the Wall Friday - please feel free to do so.  We're here every Friday, rain or shine or masterpiece mess!
Other blog hop spots can be found  at. . .

So What Have Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Still A Mess - Off the Wall Friday

Lately, my favorite saying is taken from my teen, Tessa, "I'm a mess!"  But actually this week, it seems like things are getting back on track in my life.  Well, almost all things.  Not my flower piece, now . . . it's a mess.  I've redone it at least three times....THREE times!  The flowers more than that!    I worked on it
today and nothing was going right.  That's when it dawned on me.  I was doing art and working with fabric for fun.

And this was not fun.

Still the news is not all bad.  I did come up with a way to do the flowers. As you remember, I've been playing with the ideas of either making blotches of color that give the impression of flowers or to fussy cut flowers in a broderie perse  style.  I decided to take, the advice of Audree Faubert, "I think a little of both would be great."  So what I did was cut them out quickly and started grouping them together in batches.   I made to sure to vary scale and value just like flowers do in real life  and they looked great. . .all pinned to my design wall.  Sewing them down and keeping them in that arrangement didn't look like it was going to be easy.

Then the a light bulb went off in my head and I grabbed my Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite.  I used the sheets to arrange the flowers on just the way I wanted them (its sticky on one side), then fused them down lightly together.  This created a mass applique which could be stuck ( the other side is sticky too!) to my piece.  Ta-da - problem solved!!

The fact still remains that the piece was a mess!  As my husband states in a photo, it doesn't look all that bad but in person it reads flat.  VERY flat. Now normally, I would just trash the piece, but its due for next week and its - well - A MESS.  sighhhhhhhh

That's when the light bulb went off for the second time.  There are parts that are working and parts that aren't.  So I'm going to trash the parts that aren't and rework the parts that are.  All by next week.  Maybe.  Hopefully.

Or I can just admit to the world that artists make messes too.

So What have been up to creatively?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy - Off the Wall Friday

That's my redheaded daughter behind the wig & mask
Well its been a busy week here at the Sayre house. First its play week were Tessa played Topsy in the King and I.  The kids at her prep school are so talented. They literally take your breathe away.  Also, I made the move to work from home. So that means I need to set up a home office.  And to top it all off, the last weeks of school are called banquet season.  Momma's work is never done!!

With that all going, I did manage to fit in some more time on my Monet's Door piece.  The week was mostly working out different problem areas.  First of all there were some major value problems.  Normally I do value sketches to avoid these kind of problems, but I thought I could just wing this time.  Ahhhhh, No!  Anyways, I'm
added some light to highlight what I want to be the focal point, the door.  Also, the steps value is off and not giving me the depth I need.  sighhhh

Plus I added an accent color to the palette  - red/orange.  I think that will add some zing!!

And of course flowers, and more flowers!

One more week before pictures are due for the blog hop, but with working home - no more commute means more studio time!  Not to mention, I'm always more productive when the deadline looms!

So what have you been up to creatively?

Friday, April 22, 2016

WIP Angst - Monet's Door - Off the Wall Friday

Earlier this week

So here's the thing. . . . I like a plan.. . . I need a plan. . . . I create with a plan.  Now I know that a lot of artists are into the whole intuitive thing, letting their creations have a serendipitous spark  to them.  But that's not me.

Still I try not to be anal.  So in my last few figurative works, I've been working from a loose sketch which usually helps me get the proportions right  and then I work from there.  And that's where I'm at with my latest piece.... Monet's Door.

This week I worked through all the base of the quilt, leaving  all the many, many flowers I have planned for later.  I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to do about the flowers.  Do I fussy cut them from my fabric stash. . . . or. . . . do I just abstract them out using patches of color to give the impression of flowers.  When I looked back at the impressionists painters they did it both ways .

Detail of Monet's Chrysanthemums  with blots of color
Detail of Monet's Spring Flowers - Much more detail oriented

When I was whining to my daughter, Tessa that I didn't think I had enough flower fabric in my stash, she said, "Momma, I've been in your fabric room -  you have a ton of flowers up there!"  So I took another trek up to the third floor and yeah  - she's right - I had a ton! (I really do forget how much cool commercial fabric I have since I haven't been using it lately!)

Anyways - its getting to be sink or swim time since this piece is due in less than two weeks to the blog hop coordinator!

So what have been up to creatively?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Conneaut Quilt Exhibit - Off the Wall Friday

Recently I was invited to exhibit a hand full of my quilts at the local art center in Conneaut, Ohio.  Now its always flattering to get asked to show your work, but this time I found it even more so.  My work hung along side the pieces of 5 of the most talented quilters in the area.  Let's just say I was in good company.

Now, I know its a little daunting to show your work, especially in your own backyard. Will your neighbors really get what your art is about??  I mean, even Jesus was rejected in his home synagogue.  But I think its especially important for fiber artists to exhibit to the general public if only to get the word out that quilts aren't just for beds anymore.  It literally took about 15 years for my friends and family to realize that I was doing original artwork and not just sitting around making log cabin quilts (not that there is anything wrong with traditional quilting - you all know I love making traditional quilts).  Still, these days, I'm just artist that happens to use fabric as my medium.

So it was super nice for the Conneaut Art Center to give us such a nice venue.  The room where they will be exhibited is not only a gallery, but a multipurpose room.  So its the perfect place to reach
show your community what you do in your studio.

I picked 4 quilts to show - Fall I, Fall II, Ephesians 4: 3.4  (aka  the birdhouses) and Lilies and Clapboards.  I chose them because they seemed all sort of linked - whether through the color palette or the taste of rural life that inspired them.

Andddddd to top it all off, the artists were invited back for a Round table Discussion on our work that was taped for the Community Access Channel.  How cool is that?  It sorta freaked me out a bit, but then I had to put on my big girl pants and do it.  Of course , it went fine and it was super fun!!  I loved hearing the view points of the other artists.

Ohhh and here is a sneak peek of my latest project - inspired by Monet.

So What have you been up to Creatively?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Path to An Artist's Garden: Monet - Off the Wall Friday

Artist's Garden at Giverny III, Claude Monet
Garden Path at Giverny, Claude Monet
 Did you know that Monet created the garden so that he would have something to paint?  The magnificent garden he created at Giverny, about 50 miles to the northwest of Paris, gave him an infinite source of creative inspiration for his paintings.  His garden was his outside studio cultivating both new ideas in horticulture as well as starting the impressionist movement.

Now of course, I had seen pictures of Monet's garden paintings online and in books.  But not until I saw them in person was I  peeing my pants excited   so awestruck with his masterful use of color and value.  The paintings are so much more vivid in person.  You can feel the joy and pride the artist took in his garden.

The two paintings that really resonated with me were The Artist's Garden at Giverny III and The Garden Path at Giverny.  I love the idea of the path leading up to his house bringing some of the garden into his home.  Then I saw pictures of his house and entry way and found that more intriguing.  I could just picture him walking down those stairs with his whole garden in front of him full of creative possibilities.

Entryway to Monet's House
But seriously, how in the world was I going to recreate these masterpieces in fabric and do them justice?  And besides, I don't want to create what Monet saw I wanted to create what struck me about his gardens.  From the pictures and paintings I've been studying it wasn't these amazing flowers or famous Japanese bridge or even the legendary water lilies.  No it was the paths between the flowers and the entryway to the house that stuck with me.  I wanted to play with that image.

It  seemed like a tall order to get done in a month.  Still, I had some good advice from Margaret Blank who commented to me,  "remember when you were in EB's class and had to pick an inspirational source, do sketches, block out and create a piece in a month? Yes? Well, then...! GO girl! Don't you love good advice and encouragement from smarter women than you?  So I guess I better get it done!

 Psssssssss.. . . .the initial sketch is done and I was going to pick out the fabrics but thought I better get this post in on time for change!!!

Thank you  all again for the nice well-wishing and the patience with this blog while I was sick.  I'm almost 100% and getting my life back on track!!

So what have been up to creatively?