Saturday, December 11, 2010

Arashi Shibori Silk Scarves

What I've been doing lately. I've been currently pretty busy with fiber work. I've been using the Arashi Shibori process to create one-of-a-kind silk scarves. Some I leave with the result of the discharge process.
They can be used in diverse ways: as neck scarves of course, but also as belts and headbands. I also plan to use some in future fiber art work.

Others I hand paint. This is a close up of part of a hand-painted scarf.

And another.

This is what the scarf looks like before painting and
I leave some like this as I love this look. It can be worn with anything.

These scarves are 52 inches long and 11 inches wide. They are perfect year round as the silk is so comfortable, adjusts to body temperature and it keeps drafts off the neck and down the back. They are also light enough for spring and summer use.

Contact me if you are interested in purchasing these one-of-a kind pieces of wearable art.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day of the Dead

Puppet from 2010 El Dia de los Muertos parade in Petaluma

I've been totally remiss about reporting on my experiences with the "Day of the Dead" or "El Dia de Los Muertos" events in which I participated. I am a member of the Petaluma Art Center. I have participated from the sidelines for several years now. A couple of years ago, Nancy McDermott invited me to a DOD event at the Art Center. I became intrigued with the idea and started my research.

Local couple dressed for parade

I volunteered on several occasions, selling decorated T-Shirts to the guests. I have attended the events for the last few years, so I knew what to expect when viewing the ornate altars, decorated by loved ones. That didn't stop me from getting lumps in my throat and tears in my eyes as I viewed the messages to their loved ones. I think these tributes are amazing to honor those we love who have gone before us.

Ornately decorated gentleman who participated in the parade.

I first volunteered at a poetry reading at the Petaluma Art Center. As we set up chairs, no one was sure how many would attend. Who wants to go to a Poetry reading on a Friday night? Well, the event was very well attended, and because my job was to sell T-shirts, I was seated away from the poets. But I could get an idea of their thoughts. Some used comedy in their poems, some were straight forward. Some were heart-wrenching, the poet barely being able to speak their work. I was enthralled, not only by the poems, but by the audience response. They urged the poets on and were generous in their appreciation. A pot luck followed the readings and I was introduced to Pozole and a Mexican chicken stew with some of the most flavorful chilis (from Santa Fe). They were so good I searched the internet to replicate them. Yummy!

Artwork by a local painter.

I also volunteered for the main celebration, which included a procession from downtown Petaluma to the Art Center. Over 1,000 people participated. Mariachi bands, Ballet Folklorico, Aztec Indian dancers and just regular folks, some carrying large puppets, some gloriously costumed carrying lighted candles made their way up the Boulevard and down Washington Street to the center where they enjoyed dance demonstrations by the Aztec dancers and several
Mexican dance groups. I enjoyed seeing so many Petaluma families with children who joined in the festivities. Food vendors cooked up enchiladas, tamales, churros, corn on the cob and many other delicasies. Some artists also staffed booths showing their wares.

A food vendor who made up for the night.

I also participated in the take-down of the exhibit at the Center. Families with little children attended, removing the offerings on their alters. Organizers also provided food, including homemade enchiladas, Albondiga (meatball) soup (yummy), shrimp, fabulous rice and even brownies. Sangria was lusciously laden with lots of fruit. and I had my first mojita(sp?) Amazing. And it will be my special drink for the summer get-togethers as it is so refreshing.

So I encourage you to learn about the celebrations surrounding the event. I believe Petaluma has the largest but I noticed Sonoma and Santa Rosa were also commemorating the event.

This may not seem art-related, but I was so inspired by the images, who knows what may be represented in my future work.

Comments are always appreciated. Thanks.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Studui Art Quilt Association info

Christmas is coming, and we're all a' planning, but that's not today's issue.

Just a quick note about SAQA. Studio Art Quilt Association is an international organization of like-minded artists involved in promoting Art Quilts, Fiber Art, Textile Art. Whatever you call it as long as stitching and layering is involved. The organization is currently surveying members to re-define the art quilt definition.
I'm fortunate to belong to the Northern California region. Today's meeting was a wonderful retrospective of SAQA's "12 Voices" led by former SAQA president Judith Content. It is currently on exhibit at the Pence Gallery in Davis and is definitely worth a trip. Works by Judith Content, Linda Colsh, Elizabeth Busch, Clare Pflug, Kathy Weaver and others are displayed.
We've participated in a "Whisper Challenge" which our regional reps got published in "Quilting Arts" magazine. We critiqued part of SAQA's Trunk Show which culminated in a SAQA Journal article. We have consistent quality quarterly meetings with amazingly inspirational show and tell from our membership.
It's a great organization, and I hope you all consider joining.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Shibori discharge day

I had an interesting day yesterday as my friend Leslie and I tried discharge dying on black silk. I've discharged fabric for years, but never done silk as it is not conducive to chlorine bleach discharge. I bit the bullet several months ago and purchased Thiox from Dharma Trading Company. I waited for a clear day as I heard that Thiox has a very unpleasant smell. Understatement!! We worked in my studio with the outside door open, but the fumes were still noxious. I heartily recommend a respirator if you try this method. It also took hours to achieve these results. I have a pole-wrapped piece drying that I used with diluted Jacquard discharge paste. I'm looking forward to see the results from that.

So here is the result. I'm especially pleased with the first piece on the line. I used rubber bands wrapped around a pencil head to create the resist. I had planned on over painting them all but I love the subtle green left in the piece. Some of the other pieces were clamped and others were twisted and pole wrapped.

I made little surface design rollers with miniature rolling pins and stick-ons. I purchased the little rolling pins from a teacher's product site online. Fun stuff. More discharging tomorrow using Rit Color Remover.

I find that I am much more motivated to create when I work with someone else. More fun!

Best wishes to Sandy for a full recovery from her breast cancer surgery. And wishing Maureen and her family well for Noel's stroke rehab.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Innovations in Fiberart

Innovations in Fiberart V is being exhibited at Sebastopol Center for the Arts in Northern California through December 4. This exhibit, juried by Melissa Leventon, features many Art Quilt pieces along with other thought-provoking, unconventional and innovative fiber artworks expressed in a range of materials from copper and brass to teabags. There are many other works exhibited. I didn't get pictures of each item. If you are in the area, stop by to see the exhibit.
I don't know all of the artists who created these pieces, but I credit them if I do. Please do not copy these photos. I am sharing them for educational reasons only.

The piece to the left is by Napa Artist, Cathy Zeleny. Cathy is a member of Northern California's Pointless Sisters group and exhibits nationally. Ms Zeleny's focus in her quilts is on value change.

Hundreds of used teabags make up this twin-sized bed covering which is stitched and quilted together. There are many different brands of teabags and their colorful tags add a touch of whimsy to this piece.

SAQA member Carol Larsen created this colorful piece. Hand-dyed fabrics with many layers of surface design add texture and create movement throughout.

This piece is made with a see-through wire armature and colored threads are woven down to mimic man's shirting.

Surface Design Associate (SDA)member Joy Stocksdale hand paints silks and creates exquisite free-floating designs mounted on Acrylic armature.

This small wall-hanging features a portrait of a woman totally thread painted, including the background. Commercial fabrics border the portrait.

Hand made and commercial papers were rolled and secured to create this imaginative art work.

This piece uses screening as its base and looks to be created with painted fibers. The technique is unusual but very effective.

Hand-dyed, shibori-clamped pieced and quilted wall-hanging seems tame and almost traditional in this setting.

This dress is created with eggshells glued onto a screen base.

Who knew old books can be re-purposed to become art objects?

Two beautifully-woven pieces.

Copper wires, some round, others flattened and woven together form this dramatic piece.

This dress was made with recycled plastic bags. Oh so clever.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Ebullient is the word and it's my latest mixed media challenge. It consists of digital images printed on metal then glued and stitched onto a batik base fused to Timtex.

It's a new technique for me and I hope to explore using it further.
The large piece is the detail.

Go to to see the rest of the challenges and paticipant's work.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

This collage is my piece for the 12 Connected Fiber group. We were asked to portray the word "reminiscence" in a piece of fiber art. My "date" with Paul was a perfect way to reminisce about the Beatles and their music. The rest of the group will be posting their pieces on the 12 Connected blog today. Check it out.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paul and Me!

Looking good, sounding great!

On one of 2 pianos

Bear with me, I'm telling a story here. We drove to SF in plenty of time, wanted to visit Coit Tower murals. Traffic up Lombard was horrendous so we hit the Wharf instead. What a mistake! Saturday in the summer - the streets were so full you couldn't move. Off to North Beach. Almost as bad with tourists. So we decided to find a good place for dinner and ended up at the Mona Lisa restaurant. After a glass of De Loach chardonnay, I had a plate of Osso Buco on a bed of fabulously flavored polenta. Heavenly for this Italian mama wannabe chef! A damn fine meal and I'd recommend this place to anyone who likes real Italian.
So then we're off to ATT park via GPS directions. Well, it was obvious that GPS wasn't raised in The City. A roundabout route took us to our destination. Thousands of people already milling around the front of the park! We should've skipped all our gallavanting around and gone straight to the park very early. Finding parking was a fright. $60.00?? You've got to be kidding! Several blocks away from the park and we settled for a $30.00 space in a garage many blocks away from the park.
Now to hot foot it to the park. Well, this was interesting for me and I went the farthest I've gone on foot since my stroke. Good exercise tho. We finally made it to the park with plenty of time to spare. Here we spent a lot of time being pushed and shoved around as others jockeyed for their best position. I can't remember how many times I almost fell and wanted to cuss out the rude pushers and shovers. Oh well, concentrate on the concert! We finally made it in. I took my first escalator ride in years and did fine. We had to hike aways around to get our seats, but were grateful to find our box well under the overhang which cut down on the wind. SF in the summer is not too warm.

Long story short, the concert was all I wished for. I took well over 100 photos, called friends to let them listen and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I wish I could've shared it all with you. So this is the best I can do.

I love you John

Song for Linda

Friday, July 09, 2010

I was lucky to have a fresh caught crab before the season ended. A friend and my son-in-law went ocean fishing and decided to drop a crab pot. I think they didn't get any fish, but the crab pot was so full they had to return many to the ocean. Look at the gorgeous color! I will try to capture this somehow in my art.

Pair of Bullock Orioles

I've been so lucky to watch this pair of Bullock Orioles make their home on my property. I've been trying to photograph them for weeks now, but today I got my shot. I can't wait to paint them. I love the brightness of the male. I'm hoping to see little ones in the future.

I spent most of yesterday and today machine quilting some charity quilts. And I did it on Mille, my big APQS machine. It took awhile to feel comfortable with the long-arm, but I was able to free-motion simple stitches. Next I'll try a laser image.

Tomorrow I'm off to San Francisco to see Paul McCartney and am really looking forward to seeing him in person after all these years since I saw him in their first SF show at the Cow Palace. I hope we're allowed to take photos. I'll share if I can.
Leave me a comment!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Crookneck Squash flower

A promise of yummy things to come. I really enjoy the delicate taste of these squash, and to make this art-related, I plan on painting a few of these!

Female Oriole

I've been watching a few pairs of Bullock Orioles feeding at my hummingbird feeders. I've yet to get a photo of one of the gorgeous male birds, brightly colored yellow-orange specimens, one larger than the other. I will definitely be using them in future artworks if I can ever get a couple of good shots.

Peach Segments
I couldn't help drawing there darker peaches that I segmented to eat. They had a wonderful scent and great flavor.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New work

I don't usually post photos that are not art related. But I have these three miniature Angus steer in my pasture and I couldn't help recording and posting this. They don't look too tiny to me!

Oil painting of my barn road and gate, still unfinished. Drying time, you know.

Paint on fiber. Actually, Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons on Pima cotton to create an ethnic image for a challenge.

Paint on fiber silkscreened on Pima cotton for a piece I'm creating to add to an upcoming challenge.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Penciled Peaches

After all that fabric dying the last couple of weeks, I haven't had enough energy to do much. So tonite I put pencil to paper to capture the image of the first peaches I purchased this season. I used Caran d'Ache watercolor pencils on soft press watercolor paper and I planned to soften the image with water, but I like it the way it is.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Art = Paint and Fiber

Sonoma Grasses

I made the 4 little pieces as a color exercise in a Liz Berg design class based on a Liz Berg design.I really liked the way the different color ways gave each piece a different feeling. I liked them so much I decided to mount them together on 12 x 36 canvas that I painted with acrylics. This piece will be exhibited at the Sprint show next month.

I also finished some oil paintings I had critiqued and started a new one. I wish I had more time to paint, but it's hard to do it all!

I've spent the last couple of weeks dying fabrics. I ironed 20 fat quarters one day, dyed more and just washed out 3 loads today. This sure tires me out.

I'm teaching two newbies how to dye tomorrow. Then going to play cards with friends. I'm attending several art demos this weekend so I'll stay a busy girl. Not enough time to do all I want!

Happy Birthday Mag!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Fabulous Fiber

Want bright?
Some of the fabrics painted with Jacquard DynaFlo in Liz Berg's workshop.

I added metallic to give it a little bling.

I believe this is out of focus, but you get the idea.

This might mix with some shibori-dyed pieces I've been hoarding. All of these pieces and more are painted on a very supple Pima cotton from Dharma and they still have a soft hand. They are for wall art.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back in the Art World

Liz Berg

I am getting back in the fiber art world in a color and surface design workshop by Bay Area artist Liz Berg,who is shown strutting her stuff to interested students.

Two whole months since I've blogged!. But I really have an excuse this time. A couple of falls from my "Unbalanced" self left me with a broken collarbone and cracked head with another concussion. But I'm on the mend again and moving on.

Workshop students Selma, Lisel, Nancy, Pat, Eva, and Linda pay attention to the teacher.

Genie and Linda paint fabric

After a day of intensive color theory, we were ready to tackle surface design by painting their fabric. Some of us have used these techniques extensively, others tackled the fabric and Jacquard Dynaflo with a little trepidation.

Fabric drying

We were very lucky to have a gorgeous Sonoma County day after surviving multiple weeks of rain. Half yards of fabric were painted in different colorways and left to dry in the sun.
On to stamp carving, foiling, screen printing and various mark making techniques. What a way to jump back in.!