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/

Friday, September 20, 2013

Working In Series: The Tree of Life and The Giving Tree

Tree of Life
Hello, it is so good to be back again, blogging. I have been spending lots of time in the studio creating new pieces for an upcoming show. Great way to escape the heat outdoors for sure. My design wall is currently filled with three different series that I have been working on and I am having a great time moving from one series to another. Some of you may remember The Giving Tree that I created last year. The response to this piece was so wonderful that I have decided to create a mini series of art done in this vein. The Tree of Life is the second piece in the series and was made in a similar style but with a higher contrast that produces a brighter gem stone like quality. Here, the sky is much lighter in color and therefore allows the colors to come forward in a different way. Part of working in series demands that the pieces all have cohesiveness while still maintaining the integrity of each one. In other words, they are the same style yet each one has its own identity, so to speak.
The Giving tree
Tree of Life
I believe that I have accomplished this task through the second piece in the series. the third one still to come focusses on the tree up close and also has it's own unique voice and is set in a different format. I love the idea of playing with contrast, color and pattern to create new pieces. That being said, The Giving Tree was mounted on a black painted canvas while The Tree of Life was set on a gray colored canvas in order to tone the contrast down a bit. I love this new piece and am hoping it will be received well. Can't wait to bring the third one into play but for now, I am headed to the studio to breathe life into the second set of 3 dimensional flowers still awaiting final assembly. I have to say for me, I love working back and forth from one series to another. I think it allows me to keep a fresh eye on each one while bringing something unique to each individual piece. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post on working in series. Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mixed Media: Discharging

Good morning and welcome, September! Yesterday, I kicked off the day with some bleach discharging. Have to say, I love the effects and they are so immediately gratifying! Thought I would share some of the pieces that I worked on. The backgrounds are all hand dyed pieces that I have recently created. These pieces were made for samples in my upcoming Mixed Media Art Cloth at the Dougherty Art Center. The second round of classes is starting soon and things are heating up here in Austin. If you are looking for a sampler class of what can be done with cloth, this is a wonderful starting point. The goal of the Textile program is to provide an enriching and rewarding experience for each student working with textiles. The
 

studio is equipped with dyes, paint and tools to make your ideas a reality. Classes are limited to six so they ensure enough space to create and quality individual instruction. You will learn to dye and paint, while focusing on a variety of embellishment techniques including stamping, stenciling, fusing, foiling, beading and stitch work. No prior experience is necessary only a desire to have fun and create. Discharging is one of the many techniques that are taught.


If you are looking for a great way to beat the heat and create art, this is a great way to start. Even better, sign up for the Surface Design class and learn to dye and screenprint some fabulous cloth that can be incorporated into wearable art, accessories or wall art. Classes begin soon. Surface Design Basics will commence September 10 through October 15 and Mixed Media Art Cloth will begin November 5 through December 3rd. Please visit http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Parks/Dougherty/adultclasses/textiles_fall_2013.pdf to sign up and reserve your spot. These would make fabulous gifts for the holiday. To see more creations, please visit me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barb-Forrister-at-Free-Spirit-Fine-Art-Studio/109041795789639?ref=hl . Come join the fun. Hope to see you there!
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Out On A Limb at the JCC

Hello, thought I might let you know of a wonderful exhibit coming up. "Out on a Limb" will feature eighteen different artists all celebrating "The Tree as Art and Metaphor" at the Gallery at the J located in the Dell Jewish Community Center Campus. The Opening Reception will take place on August 28th from 7-8:30 p.m. This event is free and everyone is welcome to attend. If you cannot make it to the reception, the exhibit will run from August 26th through November 17th. All artwork will be for sale so if you are a nature lover, this event promises to be a fabulous show and one that you will not want to miss! I am so tickled that "The Giving Tree" has been selected for the postcard. Wow, what an honor! Can't wait to see the show in it's entirety! If you have a chance, please stop by. we would love to see you!
 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fiber on the Edge

Welcome, I am so jazzed that the opening night for Fiber on the Edge is tonight, Tuesday, August 6th from 6-8 p.m. in the Julia C. Butridge Gallery located at the Dougherty Art Center (Austin, Texas)! The Austin Fiber Artists exhibit  was juried by Beverly Mangham and features over 30 artists along with a non juried membership wall. There is even a performing exhibit by my good friend, Rob Bartlett at the Opening Reception. How cool is that?! This event is free and open to the public. The show will be up through August

28th. I will have two pieces, Primavera and the Giving Tree. I got a sneak preview when I dropped off my artwork and I must say, this is one show you will not want to miss! There are so many wonderful pieces of fiber art from so many talented artists. Come see what is being done with fiber, today. You will be amazed! That being said, I am sad to say I will try to pop in for the reception but I am teaching my New Mixed Media Art Cloth class this evening at the Dougherty Art Center. If you get a chance, stop in and say hello! I would love to see you!