An Artist's Quest

Posts tagged “flowers

Backyard Mandala

butterfly mandala

I’m on a bit of a new journey professionally. In the last year or so I have become more connected with the quilt guild world. They are an organized bunch and set aside time and money for speakers and teachers.  Now I’m doing a bit of travel in Northern California mostly, to share my talents and hopefully inspire others to try new things in fabric and surface design.  I have two lecture/trunk shows that I do; one is a surface design for fabric artists overview and the other is a deeper dive into designing your own fabric using photos taken with a smart phone. I’ll be sharing these techniques in Fort Bragg with the Ocean Wave Quilters and I felt like I needed another example for them to touch and see. To that end I started wandering around The grounds of The Bishop’s Ranch looking for inspiration (if you have been here you know that’s not hard to find). The lushness of the saucer-sized nasturtium leaves grabbed my attention first and and snapped a few close up photos. Then the bright and happy calendula flower beckoned next. The green and yellow orange spoke to me of bursting new life and an idea began to form. How about a mandala of spring life? The butterfly that had been fluttering around the edges confirmed my suspicion that I was on the right track and asked to be included in my design. I took my photos home played with them a bit in a few of my favorite photo manipulation apps then printed my designs right on my home printer within minutes I had my own fabric to begin designing my backyard mandala. Thankfully my son has a math brain and with a bit of calculating he easily helped me figure out the angle I needed to create an octagon. A lot of machine stitching later and some sore fingers from embroidery stitching through lots of layers I finished my ode to spring.

Take a moment today to acknowledge the wonder of nature around you, Find some way to let it influence your day and allow creation to sing it’s sweet song in your ear.

I have creative mixed media classes coming to spark your artistic fire and fuel new ways to make and create go to my website to see more.

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Time Stamp #2

A couple of weeks ago I showed you the first in my “Time Stamp” series. These are small meditations on a moment. I’m trying to capture the feeling of a particular place and time not a literal image. So here is my second in this endeavor. A morning hike through Gina’s Orchard here at The Bishop’s Ranch revealed a clutch of wild iris, a little patch of purple in a sea of green. Here is my fabric collage marking of that moment.

4.9.19 Iris

4/9/19 7:45 am 181°S (11×14 printed, marbled, stamped fabric and paper stitched)


Birds & Other Beautiful Things

Center Pieces for this weekends Annual Forum at The Bishop's Ranch

Center Pieces for this weekends Annual Forum at The Bishop’s Ranch

This weekend I get to do one of my favorite things in my role as Resident Artist at The Bishop’s Ranch, make things pretty.  We have a big event that starts today called the Annual Forum.  It’s a time when supporters of the Ranch gather to get in touch with what the Ranch is up to and join together in community.  I get to decorate.  I get to make floral arrangements on the tables in harmony with the theme (this years theme is Creation Speaks and I choose to interpret that as birds singing). This years tables will be decked out in mason jars filled with beautiful tufting grasses growing here at the Ranch along with some Abutilon and Love in a Mist flowers from my yard.  Each Jar will have 3 paper birds communing.  I like to put poems on the table for people to take with them. Here is one of six that will be on the table:

How Birds Sing

-Kay Ryan                                                                                        

One is not taxed;

one need not practice;

one simply tips

the throat back

over the spine axis

and asserts the chest.

The wings and the rest

compress a musical

squeeze which floats

a series of notes

upon the breeze.

We are also having a church service to honors some special friends of the Ranch.  This too requires a floral arrangement.  I love wandering the Ranch with pruning shears and a bucket of water to gather flowers and branches to make a big bold beautiful arrangement that takes peoples breath away.  But wait there’s more…we are  hosting a Pool Dedication Party tomorrow for 200ish (what is with people not RSVPing these days) anyhow my Resident Artist job description covers, ribbons for ribbon cutting (including decorated scissors of course) and a floating sign for the pool with a train of rubber duckies announcing “ $125,000 more to raise”.  These along with the less exciting but crucial name tags, parking and bathroom signs are all part of my job description and on my to do list.  But I love a good problem to solve and if I can make it pleasing and beautiful to boot well then that is a job waiting for a creative answer. So wish me luck I’m off and running.

Congratulations to all you grads & parents of grads have a fun this weekend too.

Lucky dog: Resident Cutie

Lucky dog: Resident Cutie

Wouldn’t know it I discovered Lucky has worms today on our morning walk (I know that’s probably more information than you wanted) so it’s off to the vet this morning too! Ugh, BAD DOG! Too cute to be upset for long!


Zooming In: painting like Georgia O’Keeffe

Last week I taught art at West Side school, a small elementary school just down the road from me.  The blooming garden at the school stirred me to teach a lesson inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower series.  I showed some of her paintings to my group (I had kindergarten first then a group of 1st, 2nd, 3rd graders) and gave them each a “zoom lens” (it was really just a one inch square cut in the middle of a 4 in square of cardboard but it sounds more exciting as a “zoom lens”).  We headed out to the garden to zoom in on some flowers and each child brought a chosen flower back to the classroom.  Most kids instinct is to draw something tiny in the middle of the page so I talked more about going off the page, getting a bees eye view.  After a quick demo I set them loose with oil pastels and paint on canvas.  The photo is a sampling from the day.

This week I decided to follow my own lesson and see where it takes me, see what Georgia O’Keeffe has to teach me about form and shape, color and contrast, representation and abstraction.  Take a few minutes this week to stop and see the roses and see where it takes you.

Check out the O’Keeffe Museum website. http://www.okeeffemuseum.org/