An Artist's Quest

Posts tagged “fabric

Time Stamp #3 & #4 a series continued….

I’ve posted a couple of these little exercises in the last six months and I’m here to share two more. My goal in creating these is to mark a moment; they are little meditations or, maybe more accurately, an ode to a fleeting experience. When I’m on a walk or hike I’ll stop and take a photo of something interesting, maybe take a few note in a note book about the colors, scents and sounds. I also mark a google map with a pin to find the GPS location and with the date I try to incorporate this into the small, 11×14” fabric piece. I have an aspiration to create on each week but that hasn’t been happening… perhaps I’ll get there and you’ll be the first to see it if I do. But now with no further ado…

#3: 9/11/19 8:24am GPS 38.5388525, -122.8744546 stand at 13ft above sea level. My notes remind me it was a sunny, bright dry morning. the trail is lined with remarkably tall and fanciful thistles dry and beautiful. The California Towhee we out in abundance calling out a tic of a warning to let there family know I was walking through.

9-11-19 thistle

 

#4: 10/12/19 11:36 a hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Ridge Road (somehow my map pin drop failed me and I didn’t get my GPS). Hot dry day, first walking through cool redwoods then rising out on a ridge where a fire had been some years ago. This bare tree towered over the terrain, dead but teaming with life as bird fly in and out and as the wind caressed it’s smooth branches Oct 12,2019I off to NYC this week so I hope to get some Time Stamp inspiration to share with you soon.


The Wheel Turns

Turn Turn Turn

Turn, Turn, Turn – hand dyed fabric, stamped and stitched 24×30″

This life is a wheel, I think, ever turning, sometimes it seems to slow but never stops. Recently there have been friends who have died in their elder stages of life, the wheel turns. Today photos of a new baby arrived in my inbox, smiling tired parents and sleeping baby, I knew this woman when she was just a girl and now she’s a mom…the wheel turns again. We received a wedding announcement for a young couple who found each other at the camp where we work what wonder this turning wheel brings. Is it the wheel of a traveling carriage on a long journey? Or perhaps the spinning wheel, turning fibers into threads to weave into the tapestry of life. I think that might be it, threads sturdy and strong, threads thin and tenuous. All to be dyed and woven into to the cloth of their purpose. A garment, a blanket, a shelter. Worn to tatters as is the way of the turning wheel never stopping, only slowing now and again for us to notice if we happen to be paying attention.

This is a fabric collage piece I just completed inspired by this moment of noticing the wheel. Thank you to Joan and Ralph who have recently died, thank you for showing me a bit of the tapestry of your life sharing your shelter, wisdom and comfort. Thank you baby Solomon and his parents Calen and Myron for reminding me that the wheel that turns to death also turns to life, and thank you Colby and Noelle for inviting us to witness the turning of the wheel once more, the twining of your lives from two threads to one that will be long, beautiful and sturdy.


Allowing Failure to Lead You

I haven’t blogged in a while – I’ve gotten out of practice. The end of the year was busy with teaching and holiday’s and visitors. And the beginning of the year was busy with teaching and visitors and all the busy-ness of life. This past week I decided to create space for a making week. Not prepping for classes, not writing a magazine article, not preparing for a show – just making. For a long time now, I have felt that my creative endeavors are bifurcated. I have my paintings and mixed media work and I have my fabric work. My roots are deep into textiles and stitch but in the last 25 years my focus has been more on paint and collage. In the past 10 years I have been dipping more frequently into my fabric art persona connecting to the vast next work or quilters and quilt guilds. My one goal in my play date with my studio was to create something in the medium of fabric that is in the same voice as my paint/collage work.

To that end I set out sketching and planning. I dyed and printed, stitched and pieced, quilted and embroidered. After 4 days of this I stepped back and didn’t like it. I really didn’t like it. The scale was wrong the colors weren’t working, my heart sunk, my plan – kaput! I lay the three-foot by four-foot piece across my dining table and decided to sleep on it. In the morning it was clear to me that I needed to cut it all up and let go of my plan. I got out my ruler and rotary cutter and cut the piece up into 11×14 inch rectangles. I didn’t cherry pick, I just cut. All along I had planned to put wrens on my piece. I had already printed out my watercolor wrens onto cotton fabric and they told me they still wanted in on this piece. I pulled out two bins full of printed and stamped fabric from past adventures and let them talk to me. I started composing. Word from a psalm in that Sunday’s church service found their way in, a snippet of sheet music called out. A favorite rubber stamp I’d carved years ago of a bird in flight stated firmly it need to be included. My studio exploded – I worked furiously, with energy and joy and perhaps most importantly – no plan. I will say I am in love with these fabric collages. They feel like me. They feel like home, they feel real.

I am so glad I allowed myself to the space and time to create. I am so glad I allowed myself the space and time to fail. I am so glad I allowed myself the space and time to find contentment and my mature voice in this medium. Now my synapses are firing and tingling. What about natural dying? What about rust prints? What about a series on endangered species in Sonoma County? Oh the possibilities!

Take time for your own creative self. Let yourself fail, brood about it, then make something of it – remember that joy is meaningless without knowledge of struggle.

JUST GET OUT THERE AND MAKE YOUR ART


Gotta Love It!

249.redbubbleitems

These are just a few of the items that I can have my paintings printed on!

Hello dear readers as you know I’ve been doing some new paintings lately and with the wonders of the digital age you can have almost anything printed on almost everything.  So I decided to see how these images would look on a myriad of merch.  I uploaded my digital photos of these layered lovelies and look what I got –  I love it!  I ordered the Buddha printed on the tank top for myself- I thought you might love it too… follow this link then click on the painting you like and see it printed on everything from tank tops to phone covers…. really I mean it – check it out!

Redbubble Printing


Listening to the Landscape

Another of my aerial quilts which doesn't show the fog or the steam or the starlings I talk about but does show the vast beautiful landscape. Drawn on the ipad - printed on fabric and freemotion stitched. Russian River valley -Summer vines

Another of my aerial quilts which doesn’t show the fog or the steam or the starlings I talk about but does show the vast beautiful landscape. Drawn on the ipad – printed on fabric and freemotion stitched. Russian River valley -Summer vines

I didn’t sleep very well last night so I almost talked myself out of my morning hike but I rallied after some oatmeal and a big mug of coffee to take a loop through the woods and out into a hilly clearing that provides vista’s to the east, west and south. The morning fog lay over the river and steam was rising from the dry grass hill as the suns rays warmed the frosted grey-brown grass. I sat on a near by bench facing the Northeast to watch and listen and breathe. The first sound I took note of was the distant road noise and marveled at the low hum. Then I watched the fog lifting its lacy fingers releasing the Russian river from its nights embrace, in the distance a murmur of starlings swooped across the valley and out of my line of sight. Then before I could see them I heard them behind and above, a rush of sound as blood and bone and feather worked to move wing and beating heart on and away out of sight again. The sun won the day- fog drifted, steam lifted and I rose by blood and bone and long limb to walk into my day. Strengthened by the reminder that I am part of the great net of life, one strand in the vast universe, one with the fog and the sun and starling.

Detail of stitch.

Detail of stitch.


Magazines and Swag!

Here I am in an awkward selfie so you can see the backpack I made from my Golden Gate fabric on the left and on the right is the 4 page spread in this issue of Quilting Art Holiday!

Here I am in an awkward selfie so you can see the backpack I made from my Golden Gate fabric on the left and on the right is the 4 page spread in this issue of Quilting Art Holiday!

I know I showed you my Golden Gate Fabric a few months back but I’m excited to tell you that blog post lead to a spread in the latest issue of Quilting Arts magazine. The editor contacted me to see if I would like to contribute to the annual holiday gift issue. I wrote about how I make the perfect bag and printing your own fabric from photos like these fabulous Golden Gate Bridge images.

This is just a quick post to link you up with some great sites. The internet now allows artists to create all kinds of things we never would have dreamed of before – sites like Spoonflower print fabric by the yard but not all of you sew or know what to do with a yard of fabric so I’ve uploaded to two site that have a vast array of products. My favorites are the printed scarves and leggings on Redbubble and the messenger bag and pillows on Zazzle. Check it out – I ordered a scarf for myself – I couldn’t resist!

Pick up this issue, it's filled with ideas and instructions to get going on your holiday gift making - or click the link below to buy a copy on-line.

Pick up this issue, it’s filled with ideas and instructions to get going on your holiday gift making – or click the link below to buy a copy on-line.

QUILTING ARTS – get your own copy of this issue!

SPOONFLOWER- fabric by the yard

REDBUBBLE – Golden Gate design on cool products

ZAZZLE -Golden Gate design on more cool products


Flower to Fabric to Family Heirloom

On the left are the poppies in my yard and the fabric they inspired. On the left is the chair I reupholstered.

On the left are the poppies in my yard and the fabric they inspired. On the right is the chair I reupholstered.

In late spring the red poppies in my yard were in full bloom. Every couple of days I would take a picture of a bloom or two on my iPhone. When I scrolled through my phone photo file later, it seemed to me these photos would make a great fabric print. I cropped and manipulated about twenty close-up poppy photos and created a grid of poppies. Then using the PS touch and Waterlogue apps in my iPad I got this great, brilliant watercolor bleed effect. I up-loaded my image and had the pattern printed at Spoonflower on canvas weight fabric. Just recently I recovered this old craftsman chair that sat in my grandparents house when I was a kid. It’s lovely to have a bit of family history and my own fabric flare all rolled up in one living room chair. I’ve got to say I love how the digital age has expanded all the ways to manifest creativity – and can’t wait to see what’s next, what new ways to combine technology, creativity and craft!

You can buy this fabric and all my designs by the yard at http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/lisathorpe. Spoonflower has a wonderful array of fabric they print on from delicate Silk Crepe de Chine to hearty Eco Canvas and everything in between. Check it out!