Thursday, September 25, 2014

3 Dimensional Soft Sculpted Blooms, Mixed Media Style in San Antonio, Texas

Wow, this month has been a busy one, full of fun and creativity. I have just returned from San Antonio where I presented at the Fiber Artists of San Antonio monthly meeting. Have to say, these folks are wonderful, so inviting, engaging and oh so very talented! The presentation was on my work and how it has evolved from traditional quilts to art quilts and 3 dimensional soft sculpture. The lecture was followed by lunch and subsequently a workshop on 3 dimensional soft sculpted flowers. How fun! Folks were encouraged to work in a variety of mixed media to create one of a kind blooms. Thought I would share some of the lovely pieces that were created. These flowers were made from a pattern that I published in an article, "3D Soft Sculpted Flowers, Mixed Media Style" that can be found in the Quilting Arts Magazine December/January 2014 issue. http://www.interweavestore.com/quilting-arts-dec-jan-2014.















I invite you to read more about it here http://www.barbforrister.com/3-d-soft-sculpted-flowers-mixed-media-style-quilting-arts-magazine/ . It was such a joy to watch these folks work and produce mixed media soft sculpted flowers in their own style. How fun?!!!! I hope you have enjoyed this post. I look forward to posting next week about the Capital of Texas 2014 Quilt Show, here in Austin. Wishing you all a most happy and creative day!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fiddler on the Roof with Artwork by Artists


It is so good to be blogging again. Last night, I just attended the Opening Reception of Fiddler on the Roof starring the Trinity Street Players. What a fantastic show!!! For the first time here in Austin, this musical was performed in conjunction with visual artists providing the set designs for the production. How cool is that?!! I am so jazzed to be among some of the artists chosen for this special treat along with set designer, Ann Marie Gordon and artists  Clara Foster Newby, Lyle Adair, Hank Waddell, Melanie Lewis, Lydia Apelgren, Richard Ewen, and Tatiana Nikolova-Houston. I have four pieces in the show including Generation Y: Song of Hope, Contemplation, Amethyst Garden and El Tigre.


This year marks the 50th Anniversary of  Joseph Stein's, Fiddler on the Roof  which first debuted on Broadway in 1964 earning nine Tony Awards and  classic songs including “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “Matchmaker” written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. This year's musical is directed by Adam Roberts, Austin Jewish Repertory Theater’s Artistic Director, and features a wonderful cast of actors, singers, dancers, and musicians. How fun!!!
Fiddler on the Roof focusses on Tevye and his daughters marrying outside the lines of traditions. It is a wonderful and heartfelt tale that reels you in and makes you feel their sorrow. Despite the tragedy of the story line, the musical also features comedy to lighten the mood and engage it's audience along with spectacular dancing, music and singing. The actors and cast have done a superb job in making their characters come alive in a way that reaches out to the audience. The show runs from August 2nd - August 31st. Thursdays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm at the Trinity Street Theater, located at 901 Trinity Street in downtown Austin. At this point, the show has already been sold out. How awesome is that?!!! This is a free show but keep checking back because you never know if someone might have to let go of their tickets. You may find yourself the lucky recipient. For more information, please visit http://trinitystreetplayers.com/2014/fiddler-on-the-roof . Oh and did you get a look at the antique Singer sewing machine in the first photo? Just warms my heart to see textiles represented!!!! I hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to blogging again soon. There is so much on the horizon that I would like to share with you!  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dinner@8Artists, Reflections: Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon

Hello, I am so jazzed to be blogging again. Best of all, I am so tickled to at last reveal my latest creation, Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon that has been juried into Dinner @ 8 Artists new upcoming Reflections, exhibit. Wow, what an honor! This piece measures 24"X60" and was created on a painted background with trapuntoed giraffes that were appliqued and quilted on. I first began by creating the giraffe faces and necks by painting them on white muslin and then setting them on layers of batting to create dimension. They were hand basted to prepare them for applique. Next, I began painting the background. I really wanted to set them on a beautiful painted sunset but this was harder to do than I had thought. Having the sky range from various shades of rich blue, indigo and violet to the more warmer hues of red, orange and yellow was a challenge and took me a few days to just continue weaving from one color into the next to try and break up the sky.
Finally to ground them, I created a flowering bush among the grass. Here, I played with drawing the eye from the top of the sky back to the bottom. When the entire background was painted and heat set, I began hand appliqueing the giraffes to the main piece. At this point, I wanted stability so I placed the background on a layer of bamboo batting before attaching the giraffes. This was a real pain since the entire piece needed to be pin basted for this step, then hand appliqued. Once the giraffes were in place, I added the backing and repined the entire quilt to prepare it for quilting. The sky was quilted with the most fluorescent Highlight colors that Superior Thread has in their line of trilobal polyester thread. This was kind of scary since seeing each color on it's own was very overwhelming but set on this sunset background, the fluorescent pinks, oranges, yellows and reds really blended together and played well with each other and the background. Next, I began quilting the flowering bush in tiny circular almost meandering patterns to similate the flowers. The leaves were also quilted with varying shades and tints of green and brown to create visual appeal. Finally, I quilted the negative spaces within the bush and the remaining grass area. Whew! That was loads of thread!
Now, for the stars themselves, the giraffes were painted in various hues of browns, apricots, tans and cream colors. I really wanted to keep them as the main attraction and therefore they were quilted in slightly lighter and darker shades of the above mentioned colors. I also did not want to quilt them as heavily as the background because I worked so hard to give them dimension and yet, the weight still needed to be distributed evenly. What a quandary?! Finally, I decided to quilt them by studying the way their fur would lay and vary the space between lines of stitching so that their faces would have dimension. My friends who have seen this piece have commented that the fur looks like leather but it is simply paint and stitches that give the fur like illusion. I love the way their faces have dimension and I know that had this piece been created for judging, the quilt police probably would not have liked my decision to vary the space between stitch lines. Cest la vie! I am thrilled that this piece was juried into the new upcoming, Dinner @ 8 Artists, Reflections exhibit curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal. It is an honor to be included amongst such wonderful artists. The exhibit will have 33 pieces by 33 different artists and is sponsored by Havel Sewing. For more information, I invite you to visit http://dinnerateightartists.blogspot.com/2014/05/reflections-2014-accepted-works.html#comment-form . Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post.


 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fantabulous Mixed Media Cloth Course with Endless Possibilities Awaits You

Hello, I am finally back and blogging. I have been in the studio creating pieces for publication and invitational juried events and sadly have not been able to blog about them. Everything is so hush hush these days but I can tell you about the new Mixed Media Cloth class at the Dougherty Art Center that I will be teaching. It is a six week course that meets every Tuesday from April 15th through May 20th of this year. The class meets from 6-9 p.m. and covers a large variety of topics including dyeing, painting, monoprinting, foiling, beading, stitching, discharging, creating resists and much more. This is absolutely one of my favorite classes for sure! So many ideas, so many possibilities to be creative! The piece above is monoprinted with paint and overstamped. I love this piece and am thinking it would make a great jacket.
The second photo shows a monoprint with paint that has been overstamped with hand carved stamps and embellished with handmade beads. It is still a work in progress and I intend to further embellish it with yarns and fibers. It's final destiny will be a journal cover. How cool!!!! The third photo displays some embellishing with foil on a hand dyed, SHIVA paintstick piece. In one of the class sessions, we will work with foil, textiva and Angelina fibers, basically adding glitz to our work.
We cover a plethora of techniques for foiling and working with Angelina fibers to create unique pieces of cloth. And because the class is mixed media, we take time each class session to discuss the possibilities of layering one technique upon another to create sumptuous cloth. Here, the ideas are endless!
The designs can be enriched with stitching, trinkets, cloth and 3 dimensional paints to name a few as can be seen in the photo on the right. We will also learn how to make beautiful, one of a kind creations with Angelina fibers and Textiva to give your creations that little extra shine. These are great techniques for wall hangings and art work. The class also discusses design elements to give the students ideas for their individual projects. This is a small class setting of six people coming together to learn techniques and elements of design. Each student's creations are unique, one of a kind projects.
We also cover low immersion dyeing and how to remove color through discharge. This can be seen with the photo on the left. Here, the dye has been painted on and processed for discharging. I love this effect and I can truly say this is a favorite in the class for sure! So easy to do and once you learn, you can do it at home with very little mess. Speaking of mess, we get really messy with paints but that is the fun part! The photo below demonstrates how paint can be used to create designs. Here, we have a piece with painted peacock feathers that have been stitched and couched with fibers to create texture. Beads have been added for a little shine and 3 dimensional paints are used to provide further depth. The last two photos show how 3 dimensional soft sculpted elements can be added to painted and or dyed pieces to create an element of surprise. These pieces are just a sampling of what can be done in this class. And because it is limited to six students, you will receive quality one on one attention and most likely meet a new friend. Folks in here are just fabulous! Good company, fun and art are all awaiting you! Come join the fun and create breathtaking pieces this spring. For more information, please visit http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Parks/Dougherty/registration/doughertyspringbrochure2014web.pdf
But hurry, classes fill pretty quickly with only six to a class. Hope to see you there!!!!
 

  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Grayscale Studies: Painting with Acrylics and Thread on Black and White

Hello, I am finally emerging after spending most of January in the studio. It feels so good to be blogging again. I have been doing a study on black and white using both representational and abstract art. I had intended to add touches of blue and chartreuse green but only minimally as accent colors. These pieces all started off from muslin or black Kona cotton. The first two pieces were done using stencils with acrylic textile paints. By changing placement of the stencils, I have created two similar but unique compositions. The stitching on the white is done with varying shades of gray with the background filled in with white thread. It's opposite set on a black background, shows the bottom leaves that quilted with very dark gray thread and ending up with lighter gray leaves at the top. Here, the background is filled in with black vertical quilting patterns. The two
contrasting pieces evoke quite a different feel to them. The white appears more calmer while the black one has a more bold like appearance. I love the way the contrasting thread on each of the pieces creates an airy like pattern. A similar study using representational stencil patterns on black and white are shown below. The quilting on each piece is quite different. On the black background, I quilted a triangular pattern for the filler background with black thread. I wanted to keep the design, bold and not detract from the composition. Using black thread accomplished this mission however, it seemed like it was a lot of work that the viewer never really sees. To change the outcome of the white piece, I opted to quilt the background in a zentangular pattern with dark gray thread so that the quilting could actually be seen from a distance. Two very different feelings for sure!
Next, I turned my attention to abstract designs. These studies are not quite as obvious as I had no stand alone abstract stencils. Here, I used  both stencils and stamps in combination with one another creating an array of abstract art. The first piece is a simple stencilled sphere with no embellishments. Simple straight horizontal lines act as a background filler. The second piece is stamped and stenciled allowing for lots of white negative space which gives it a lighter feel. An array of straight lines that representing different geometric shapes are quilted using both white and
gray thread in an unobtrusive manner. Both evoke a very modern feeling.
Yet another piece was created with stamps and stencils on a black background where most of the piece is filled with design by using white and varying shades of gray acrylic paint on stamps and stencils. The final piece was created using a Gelli Monoprinting Plate on a white background with black paint. I absolutely love to play with this fun tool. Where you see a lot of the bold white curvy lines, I have used mark making tools to remove the black paint and create design elements.
Another layer was added by stamping with gray acrylic paint and adding accents of blue and chartreuse green. Here the idea was to create some unusual abstract patterns. This has been an interesting study using black and white acrylic paint and thread. I always find that I learn so much when I work in grayscale. If you would like to read more about my earlier black and white studies, I invite you to visit http://freespiritartstudio.blogspot.com/2009/10/naturescape-gray-scale-series-part-1.html. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed visiting and I wish you much happiness in your creative journey.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

3-D Soft Sculpted Flowers, Mixed Media Style: Quilting Arts Magazine

I am so jazzed that I have been chosen to be a contributor to the new December/January 2014 Quilting Arts Magazine. Issue number 66 features my article, "3-D Soft Sculpted Flowers, Mixed Media Style" in which I show how I make poppies from a variety of media including cloth, lutradur, paints and inks. How fun?!!!! The flowers consist of 3 tiers of petals made from both cloth and painted lutradur. Patterns are included for making the petals and leaves for these blossoms. The center stamen is composed of beaded floral wire to create shine and an element of surprise. Raspberry Delight, a finished 3 dimensional piece was created specifically for this article and displays three large poppies in full bloom against a hand painted background. I love the way the red blooms contrast against the beautiful shades of complementary green hues thus bringing out their full potential.

 Combining cloth and lutradur with paints and inks provides interest, especially when textiles are heat distressed with a heat gun to impart texture. Alternating different colors on each side of both leaves and petals allows for more pronounced highlights and shading, therefore  adding depth. Machine stitching affords further definition to the veins on the petals and leaves. These delightful flowers were a joy to make and I hope that readers will enjoy the article and venture out into creating 3 dimensional flowers of their own. To order your copy of this article in the Quilting Arts Magazine, please visit  http://www.interweavestore.com/quilting-arts-dec-jan-2014 . I also offer workshops creating an array of different flowers including Irises, Tiger Lilies, Calla Lilies and many more. I invite you to read more about it at http://www.freespiritartstudio.blogspot.com/p/workshops.html . Thank you for stopping by. I wish you much happiness and success in your creative journey.
 














Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inspirations in Fiber Art

Hello, I am finally emerging from the studio where I have been creating some 3 dimensional soft sculpted pieces for the new upcoming Inspirations in Fiber Art show. The exhibit features work by myself and my good friend, Kathy York. It will be on display from November 25th through January 12th 2014 at the Gallery at the J at the Dell Jewish Community Center located at 7300 Hart Ln in Austin, Texas. The Opening Reception will take place on December 12th from 7-8:30 p.m. and is open to anyone who would like to attend. Appetizers and wine will be served and there will be a flutist playing a lovely array of music. How fun!!!! In the meantime, thought I might give you a sneak peak of some of the pieces that were created especially for the show. The first piece,
El Tigre shown below is a pair of 3 dimensional soft sculpted Tiger Lilies set on an abstract background and placed on a painted burgundy canvas.


The second piece, above on the right is Fleur de Lis and is comprised of three soft sculpted 3 dimensional irises, again set on an abstract background with long, graceful but wild leaves flowing in all directions. I love the way these pieces combine both representational and abstract manners all in one by integrating the foliage with the backgrounds. So much fun! And last but not least, I have included Raspberry Delight, a piece that was created for an article in the December/January 2014 Quilting Arts magazine. I love the way these 3 dimensional soft sculpted red poppies contrast against the painted green background offering a garden like feel. I will be blogging again soon about the article but for now, here is a sneak peak at this lovely piece. I hope you have enjoyed stopping by and I wish you much success on your creative journey!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Embellishing with Foil at Make It University at IQF 2013

Good Morning. Heading out to Houston for the International Quilt Festival, today. I will be teaching Embellishing with Foil at Make It University on Thursday, October 31, 2013 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and again on Saturday evening, November 2nd from 5:30-6:30 p.m. We will cover 4 different ways to embellish with foil including Misty Fuse, Jones Tones Foil Glue, BoNash and Foil Adhesive. So much fun and a great way to add glitz to your designs! If you have ever wanted to play and experiment with foil, come join me in the fun. I will also be participating in Open Studios sponsored by
 
 
 
Craftsy where I will be working on 3 Dimensional Flowers on Friday, November 1st from 10 a.m.-12p.m. If you are in the area, you will not want to miss it! Please stop by and say hello. Meeting folks at festival is always one of my highlights at Houston. I would love to see you! Until then, I will try to blog while I am at festival. Wishing you all a most happy day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

3Dimensional Soft sculpted Flowers at Open Studios Sponsored by Craftsy at IQF

Hello, I have been busy in the studio preparing for Open Studios at the International Quilt Festival coming up in Houston this month. But I am finally back and ready for the show. Well at least, almost ready. I have created a mix of Tiger Lilies, Irises and Calla Lilies which all started out from white muslin that I painted in graduating tones to simulate flowers. Hard to believe they all started off white and grew from there! These are some of my all time favorites. Made from an assortment of materials, they have been

painted and soft sculpted, stamens have been added and they are awaiting stems and a background. This is always the most fun part, seeing it all come together. But wait, there is still one more surprise flower in the making. In fact, look for an upcoming article in the Quilting Arts magazine in the next December/January issue where I show how to make my 3 Dimensional lutradur, mixed media poppies. In the meantime, I will be demonstrating some of my techniques at Open Studios at the International Quilt Festival on Friday, November 1, 2014 from 10-12 p.m. in the Embellishing Studio located at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Please stop by and say hello. I would love to see you. Wishing you much joy and success on your journey!

Friday, September 27, 2013

3 Dimensional Flowers and Evoking Music

Have I Told You Lately...
Another week in the studio and I am thrilled to have completed three more pieces from my 3 Dimensional Mixed Media Flower Series. The first piece, "Have I Told You Lately...." is set on a hand dyed background that has been discharged to give a light airy touch of foliage. The leaves are made of lutradur and are bobbin stitched with heavy metallic threads to impart the veins. The flower is painted lutradur and has been stitched to give the petals definition. A touch of beads for the stamens sets it off. The entire background was free motion quilted with a lacy foliage motif and set on a wisteria painted canvas measuring 8X10. I love the way the simplicity of this piece is captured.
 
Darlin, You Send Me

The second in the mini series is "Darlin, You Send Me" and measures 8X18. Here, I have opted to frame the piece in wood. Because the size was so unusual, I had to make the frames from scratch, sand and stain the wood and add a backing. I wanted to keep the dimensional aspects in tact so I decided to create this piece in a shadow box like manner. Fabric was adhered to the wood with Mistyfuse and the hand dyed, discharged piece was set on top. The leaves are composed of various materials, some stitched with heavy metallic threads to provide texture for the veins. The stem is composed of machine wrapped cording and the blooms have been painted and stitched. I love the way the rich background colors are set off against the deep chocolate fabric and wood.
Crimson and Clover
The third piece in this mini series, "Crimson and Clover was created in the same style and measures 8X16. You may notice that all of these pieces were named after songs. That is because while creating these pieces, these are the songs that popped into my head: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You by Van Morrison, "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke and Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells. Funny, I know but it just seemed destined to be! I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for visiting. Please take a moment to check out other artists on Off the Wall Fridays at http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/