Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kitty Update

Promise I won't write about Rosie and Angus too often,
but it turns out that Angus is anything but sedate!
Wish I could have caught a picture of some of his antics, but he moves too fast for my camera!
For now here's a shot of the two of them climbing up the back of a chair on the porch,
and one of Angus ready to pounce on a toy.

Life has changed at the Hartman house!!
Back to my artwork tomorrow!

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Arrivals

May I introduce to you...

the very sedate "Angus"....

and the very outgoing "Rosie"!!!

We have adopted these little cuties and, although they will never replace our dear Kristy,
they will certainly hold a sweet place in our hearts!
The adventure begins!!
By the way, their names come from characters in the 1970's British TV series
"Upstairs Downstairs" - the butler and the maid!
Does anybody remember it? One of our favorites!

And this is why I'm behind on my "Five Faces" series and everything else!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Five Faces in Five Days - # 3


I don't know where these faces come from, but Molly reminds me of a "nice" girl from the 60's - someone I would have gone to middle school with - and this is how she would have dressed for a school dance! No plunging necklines for kids in those days! I can't believe what kids wear to proms nowadays -
don't get me started!!
Anyway, this was done with applique, pigma pens and colored pencils!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Five Faces in Five Days - Day 2


This picture was inspired by my recent trip to Italy.
It's not any particular person I met, but I kept hearing of and meeting women
named Giovanna, and one day I scribbled this sketch in my notebook:

Today I modified the sketch and traced it onto white cotton fabric,  machine stitched the lines 
with dark brown thread, and colored it with pastel chalks.
The funny thing is that, as I was stitching this piece, I realized that
it resembled another picture I had done a while back, in cut paper:

This image must be stuck somewhere in my subconscious!!

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Five Faces in Five Days- Day 1

Here's my first face of the week, and it's a familiar one!
I used as my inspiration a picture of my five year old self, with bangs cut short in the 50's style.
 I was the shyest little thing, but I gave myself a bit more assertive look
in this interpretation. I can tell it was my kindergarten school picture because I'm not wearing the plaid  Catholic school uniform I wore in every other school picture for the next twelve years!

This is a fabric applique with both machine and hand stitching, with some touches of acrylic paint.
Oh, and I gave it a prettier background than in the photo!

Hopefully tomorrow's face will be posted earlier in the day!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Five Faces in Five Days

This week I'm challenging myself with something I've done in the past:
Five Faces in Five Days!!
I'm doing this for fun, so the faces will be simple,
but done with fabric and stitching.
As you can see, I love to sketch faces in my notebook,
 and sometimes give names to the characters.
So that's what I'll be up to this week.
Let's see if I can keep it up - hope you'll join in the fun by commenting!

Have a great Father's Day everyone!! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Work in Process

I've been working on this landscape lately,
made with tulle and sheer fabrics layered over each other
and fused with "Mistyfuse".
I found that you can tear netting/tulle on the bias to get some nice ragged edges,
and the layers of colors blend together like watercolors.
I used yarns to suggest hedges and even a bit of olive green lace 
at the bottom for a vine-y look.
A sheer fantasy landscape!
Next I'll go back in with some machine stitching and possibly mount it,
with ragged edges showing, on a linen-wrapped canvas.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Painting on fabric

Today was a good day for painting fabric, but not the best day for photographing it!
I wanted more landscape colors and I decided to try a different 
approachwith Setacolor transparent paints.
I used a faintly printed sepia cotton fabric as a base,
 which I figured would give texture and a warm undertone.
I always know that whatever I paint will be cut up into pieces for collage,
so I usually try out different techniques in different areas.
I started with these smooth and swirly strokes, then dried and heat set this piece.
Next I added more color, then dried and heat set it again.
Finally, I added more color and gave it a final ironing.
It's a very overcast day here, so the photos don't really show the intensity of the colors.
What I was attempting to do by heat setting between steps was to preserve the brush strokes 
of a step, then layer over it with more brush strokes, instead of 
having each layer of strokes blend in with the next.

I painted a few more pieces of fabric, but I'll wait until tomorrow to photograph them.
Hopefully the light will be better!
Eventually these pieces will be used in ladscapes - I promise!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Identity Crisis

If you read my blog (and I don't think anyone is reading it lately!) you might be wondering if I'm having an identity crisis! The photo in my "About Me" profile is the 3rd different one in a week. I changed from the one that's been there for a while. I substituted a different photo at the beginning of this week, but a friend (you know who you are!) told me that I looked like I was behind bars!!

So this is it for a while - a photo taken on my trip to Italy. I'm cracking up laughing at something, not unusual for me, and wearing my cooking school apron. And it was taken by my friend Ann.

By the way, if you stop by here, please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you! If you don't have a blog, leave it under "anonymous" and put your name in the body of the comment. Thanks! :))

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dreamy Skies

Yesterday I did some fabric painting, using Setacolor transparent paints. I enjoy doing this so much, I feel like I should do it every morning to set a wonderful mood for the day! But, of course it's not always convenient!

I was concentrating on painting skies for some new landscapes, and I started out using some prewashed cotton white-on-white prints. Putting a wash of transparent color over the subtle print, for me, makes a dreamy and whimsical sky. The reverse side of the fabric is even more subtle.

You can click for more detail.

Of course, I had to play with some salt, for a dramatic effect!


Combined with some earthy fabrics I had painted previously, the new pieces should make for some 
interesting landscapes. Time to start cutting and fusing! 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect

I've been working a bit on my piece of embroidered, woven cloth. A few people have commented that they'll be interested to see how it develops, and so will I. I decided not to use Perle cotton thread on this piece - just regular DMC embroidery thread. First I basted the whole piece to another piece of cotton fabric. Then I started straight stitching over some of the plain areas. This was addictive and great to see the texture it gives to the cloth. I made a rule that there will be no rules - a giant step for me. So, irregular stitches are OK, things can even be crooked or lopsided. Anything goes!
I later found some variegated embroidery thread in my stash that has all the colors I'm using in the piece, so that became a spiral of stitches, and will be used in other places as well.

This is definitely fun and meditative and I'm working on a couple of other projects as well! Right now I'm off to paint some fabric for Tuscan landscapes!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Spirit Cloth"

Textile artwork by Jude Hill
Softening order
Last weekend, I became intrigued with the work of Jude Hill over at Spirit Cloth. I have visited this site before, but suddenly became aware of Jude's influence on other artists, and my search led me from one blog to another and one beautiful piece of hand stitchery after another.
Jude's work appeals to me because I love hand stitching, and her process allows the design to develop as the work is being done. The stitch itself has its own integrity, is not always perfect, and tells a story, as well as adding beauty to the piece. Cloth is layered, sometimes woven, and always respected as a beautiful substance.

Even though I'll be doing this my own way, I thank Jude for being an inspiration! There is a nice write-up about her here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Everything is Peachy!

We had a quiet Memorial Day weekend, since Bill is still recovering from his appendectomy.
But I used the time to do some sewing, and that was very rewarding.
I found some great fabric at Joann's and used it to brighten up my porch.

First, I brought my grandfather's rocking chair up from the garage, scrubbed it and polished it,
and made cushion covers with the new fabric.
I can still see my grandpa sitting on this chair, puffing away on a cigar and watching a baseball game on TV. Now it will be a great place to sit and read or work on my computer as I'm doing right now!

Next I made a new tablecloth for the table we use for meals in the summer.
I really love this little porch and it was fun to dress it up a bit.

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!