29 April 2019

My new medium

Soft Pastels

I can't tell you how much fun I am having with soft pastels. I am taking an online workshop and thank God there are videos. The woman teaching the workshop is Marla Bagetta from Oregon. She has a ton of free videos with everything you would ever care or need to know about pastels. I have some cheap pastels and that box I posted about a few years ago that I bought at an artists yard sale.

Here is the reference photo for my first pastel study (not a finished piece but more a sketch)

I ordered good pastels and they will be here Thursday. Hopefully they will give me a leg up (smile).

25 April 2019


When I was eleven years old in sixth grade, I acquired my first friend. Her name was Joanne Shalmo. She came from a family that had stair step children, one for each year. She was the oldest. Her father was a teacher and her mother stayed home to care for this large family.

That year after Christmas, she showed me a skirt her mother had made her as her present. I was in shock. People can make clothes? I thought they were made in factories by huge machines like other commodities. Fabric went in one end and clothing came out the other. She said that no, her mother had sewed this on a sewing machine.

She took me downstairs and her mother had an old electric Singer. I was fascinated. She let me run a piece of notebook paper through the feed dogs without thread so that the needle made a trail of tiny punctures in the paper. I was mesmerized and knew I had to have one.

 My birthday is a week before Christmas and I was always getting the short shrift with one gift for both. I decided to play this gambit to my advantage. I asked for a sewing machine for BOTH from both my parents and grandparents. It worked. I was the proud owner of a Brother sewing machine which was just being imported to the US.

I bought a pattern and taught myself to sew. I could recount endless stories about the lessons I "gave myself". I'm smiling and shaking my head as I type. By the time I was in ninth grade and was exposed to "Home Ec", I made my dress in a few days and sat around the rest of the time waiting for the others to finish. By the time I graduated, I was making formal gowns for my mother.

A long time ago made with a Vogue pattern

Today I printed and framed my Artist Statement for the solo show. It starts with this: 

From the minute we are born until the day we die, we are wrapped in fabric. We have an intimate relationship with fiber. It is our comfort, our protection and in it we present ourselves to the world.

Today on her blog, Louise Watson  who I follow had used her sewing machine to make perforations in both fabric and paper and sent me off on this stroll down memory lane. Thank you Louise.

22 April 2019

New top

It's been so long since I sewed clothing, usually just slacks. I saw this top on Instagram and got some homespun fabric, 100% cotton that looks like seersucker. It looks like a cool roomy top. Fits great.

18 April 2019

The Pastel Pencil Saga

I have been taking that charcoal pencil online workshop (earlier post) and decided to try out some pastel pencils. I found some on Amazon for $77. for the set of 72. What a deal. All the other sellers were selling them from $124. to over $200. I put them in my cart and before I could check out the price jumped to $95. I was really upset. They changed the price while they were in my check out cart. I called and complained that they had upped the price AFTER I had added it to my cart. They gave me a $20. off coupon so I bought the set. This is what they looked like when they came.

Not just that they were crushed but they were mailed in a pristine box. In other words, this is how they left the sellers.

I returned them immediately and re-ordered and this was the second set

Yeah. Now I was really upset. I called Amazon and told them this was the way the pencils left the seller since both shipping boxes were in perfect condition. I returned them and just asked for my money back. I then ordered the 36 set for $51. since the 72 set was now $124. That was yesterday and today the 36 set arrived FAST.

Color me happy with pastel pencils. Now on to YouTube for some expert instructions!!!

15 April 2019

Random stuff

This first experiment is watercolor with rubbing alcohol dropped on it. I liked it so much is did some other experiments with it.

This was just a random page out of my sketchbook I liked the shape on the left and the right side has a piece of heavy weight vellum from a friend that I added color to to see how well it took watercolrs (very well). I just picked the colors and didn't notice until I was done that I had unconsciously chosen complimentary colors. Funny how the brain works.

This was an experiment I wanted to do to see how well three Derwent pencil products would blend. The first is Coloursoft pencils (dry only). The red and blue blended nicely to purple. The second was Derwent water soluble pencils which also blended well dry but looked pretty anemic when wet. The last was Derwent Inktense pencils. They blended well and looked very saturated both dry and wet. Good to know in case you ever want to buy water soluble pencil or even just heavily pigmented pencils. Today my new Derwent pastel pencils arrive!

Below are the 12 set of Coloursoft pencils. The yellow orange box to the right are Ticonderoga colored pencils which aren't made any more. I was purging things on my desk and in my haste I threw these out. Cleaner's remorse. Only the yellow escaped my grasp.

11 April 2019

One of my first sketchbooks

This is a leather bound sketchbook I made maybe 10 years ago. 

I sewed all the signatures together and glued it into the leather cover.

 Some of the pages were poor quality white sketch paper torn from a pad, some were tissue paper and some brown paper with fold out pages

I remembered making it and pulled it out to try to fill but the paper is ALL of such poor quality I'd rather not bother. So this is a lesson in buying and using the best quality art supplies you can afford.

08 April 2019

working into monoprints

I am certainly not presenting these as great works of art but just fun I had adding color to my monoprints. This was another activity I really enjoyed a lot.

This is such a nothing monoprint but I really love that sunrise and all the shades of green

 My fave - above

seriously overworked

04 April 2019

small vignettes

I have been watching this woman on Instagram doing very cool daily pieces and I decided to try my hand at them as well. I am no where near her level of skill but I have had such a good time making one "thing" daily. These are about 3" X 3".

I think they are in the order in which I made them.

01 April 2019

Horizon 9

This is the piece before stretching

and after stretching

Framed but photographed during rain storm
True colors above