Artist & Teacher

Posts tagged “surface design

New Year – A New Spin

12-15-19 Gingko TreeSM

Ginkgo Tree in Late Afternoon Mid-Winter Sunlight 12/15/19

In 2019 I started playing with the time stamp idea of combining technology, textiles and mindfulness. I know this doesn’t seem like a natural fit but I want to embrace the convenience of marking a moment, catching beautiful colors, or an capturing an interesting pattern in the moment with the amazing art tool in my pocket – my phone. When I’m hiking or in the case of this glowing ginkgo tree, while I’m driving (don’t worry I stopped and parked), I can snap a few picture drop a pin on a map to mark my location and hold the experience in my phone. Later I edit and decide what needs to be moved forward into art. But the practice of stopping and marking the moment with a photo is valuable to me.

In the past I created what I called “Time stamp” fabric collage pieces experimenting with this idea of capturing a moment with tech then translating to textile. See Time Stamp #1, Time Stamp#2 and Time Stamp #3 & #4  . Those pieces where my first dip into the idea. This year I want to draw out my practice of observing more and put my inspiration in a sketch book, to better define and document the creative process from inspiration to art for myself and perhaps for others as well. This is my first in depth into this process – embracing both the accessibility of technology to capture inspiration and the more introspective process of breaking that inspiration into it’s communal parts of color, form, pattern and composition.

Notebook page GingkoSM

My sketch book pages focused on the golden Ginkgo

I hope you enjoy the process and perhaps find a way to mark the things in your daily life that take your breath away or draw you in to look close or even the transient moments of delight – what ever tools or practices help you be in those places more often are worth embracing.


Making Order Out of Chaos: and checking it off my list!

This 24"x18" piece was made by cutting a rearranging - order in chaos

This 24″x18″ piece was made by cutting a rearranging – order in chaos, read below to find out how

I know I am not the only one immersed in merry chaos. This time of year is both overwhelming and wonderful. Parties, visitors, excursions, gift making and taking, travel and arrivals, menus and prepping all in the midst of regular work and life filled with the usual laundry and groceries and dog walks. Now as many of you know I am a list maker. I love my list and my clipboard; I love to make squares and write my tasks black marker then with my designated sharpie pen mark each square in. I feel most chaotic when my list is long and I am unable to fill in any blocks, and it drives me nuts when I complete a task that isn’t on my list while the list remains unfinished, what to do in this situation? Well as anyone of my personality type knows you write the thing just completed on the list then fill in the square, of course! I’m heading our to hang out with family at my folks for a week on Monday so my list is long but you can see my satisfaction with this one there are only 3 squares unmarked! I had to start a new list but never mind this one was almost fully complete – a minor Christmas miracle I’d say.

My almost completed list

My almost completed list

With this order to chaos frame of mind you will see why I found such satisfaction with these new art pieces. My process was fun; first create chaos then find order in it. Early in December I taught a surface design and collage class here at The Bishop’s Ranch (see December 9th post). I made a few samples for the class and demos during the class. I used stencils and sprayed watercolors, the carved stamps and printed, and printed bubble wrap and stenciled some more and created this lovely layered chaos. I didn’t plan or ponder much just kept adding until time was up (lunch). Such fun in just letting the surface evolve no preconceived notions no real agenda just adding and layering. So after the weekend workshop I had these lovely large sheets of design paper. What to do? Well I cut and colored and arranged with a quilters eye to create the piece above. I love the order and the chaos, the pattern and then jumbling the pattern. It felt very satisfying creating this work. It had been months since I created art for no reason at all – not a commission, or sample for a workshop, or graphic design for a client – just art for no reason at all – it felt good. The piece below is also using one of these sheets of paper uncut but the bare black trees and the flying birds bring order to the lovely chaos below. I love these pieces. It reminds me I need to break away from my list more often and make a jubilant jumble and merry mess more often then set my orderly self to arranging this beautiful chaos into art that embraces both the unruly and the orderly.

Surface design sample for December workshop.

Surface design sample for December workshop.

a 24"x36" piece made from also from workshop paper.

a 24″x36″ piece made from also from workshop paper.

Here’s hoping your holidays are filled with merry, messy, lovely chaos. See you in the New Year!

Happy Campers

Gina and Mary showing their work and smiles

Mary and Gina showing their work and smiles

Anne and Laura another pair of happy campers

Anne and Laura another pair of happy campers

The rain took a break this weekend here at The Bishop’s Ranch but a group of creative souls and I hunkered down inside the Art Center to experiment and create for 2 fabulous days of color and collage. On Saturday everyone created a large sheet of art paper experimenting with stencils and carved stamps. Spraying, stamping, spritzing, making and marking. In the afternoon we cut up our creations to make little collages to use as cards, small art pieces, bookmarks and more. I stopped at 4pm but this intrepid band of creators, spurred on by a glass of wine stayed in the art center until dinner and some stayed into the wee hours of the night and others came early in the morning to continue making that’s how energized they were to create! Sunday the fun continued with more collage and making of paper lanterns. I learned a lot from my students and they were all thrilled with their weekend. I look forward to leading this retreat again next year – the first weekend in December – mark your calendars.


Christina all smiles - loving her creative weekend experience!

Christina all smiles – loving her creative weekend experience!

My next creative retreat offering is Creativity Bound – February 21, 2015. For this creative retreat I team up with friend and poet Laurie Glover. Laurie will lead us through the process of writing a poem in a very non-threatening process guaranteed for success, and I’ll lead the making of the collage accordion book. We came up with a process where the collage elements inform the poem and the poem informs the collage. The day will unfold just like the accordion book. All the instruction happens Saturday but we are offering Sunday as an open studio day with all the materials out for those of you who want to extend and continue your exploration. I hope you’ll join me. Creativity Bound workshop signup.

Laurie's book made on our creative play date to prepare for the CREATIVITY BOUND workshop in February.

Laurie’s book made on our creative play date to prepare for the CREATIVITY BOUND workshop in February.

My book made on our creative play date to prepare for the CREATIVITY BOUND workshop in February.

My book made on our creative play date to prepare for the CREATIVITY BOUND workshop in February.