Monday, October 17, 2016

Joined At Their Art



Come and join us for the opening reception for Joined At Their Art at the Upstairs Artspace in Tryon, NC.  There is a walk and talk by each of the 6 artists followed by the reception.  The show will be up through December 2, 2016.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Privacy In the Studio


Evidence - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
hand dyed cotton, dye painted, pieced and appliquéd with layers


What goes on in the mind when we are using our creative talents?  It's a complex question which I can only begin to answer in regards to the process I go through.  One thing I can confirm is that I work best when I have quiet, space and privacy.  

These components of a perfect situation can be hard to find but I began to learn how to close off the outside world when I was in graduate school.  In undergraduate school I usually dealt with the need to work in the classroom by disappearing into some other classroom which was vacant and then returning to my class and interacting with the professor as needed.  I admit this did result in my missing instructions sometimes or comments made to other students but I hated trying to work in a space where I was elbow to elbow with people who mostly wanted to talk about their boyfriends or what they did over the weekend.

In graduate school we had a slightly better situation as each student had a studio but these were primarily rooms which had been sectioned off with panels.  These dividers did not go to the ceiling and so you could hear all the chatter, laughing and sometimes critiques coming from all around your space.  It was in this environment I began to utilize my skills of disappearing into my head where it was quiet.  I also learned how not to see the parade of people who came to visit other students.  They all passed right by my space.  I had to learn not to make eye contact thus avoiding a conversation I didn't want to have.

This ability to concentrate has served me well over the years as my work spaces have always been in my home.  The demands of daily life can be just as loud and more demanding than anything I ever met in school.  Shopping, cooking, laundry, telephone, tv, visitors, housecleaning, family life etc.  can, as you know, take you right out of your zone and getting back to that special place in your head can be hard.  This skill has also been a good one when I have been a participant in workshops.  I suspect there are people who think me unsocial if a workshop class is all they know of me but when I'm in that situation as a student I want to focus and get as much out of the class as possible.

Most days I am home either with my husband or by myself.  I still find that I have to work not to be bullied into too many "must do this or that's", it's a lifelong struggle.  Learning to focus and honor your studio time is one of the most valuable skills you can develop.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fabric Collage




Untitled #1 - 14" x 14" - Dye painted cotton, appliquéd and kantha stitched


In October Tom Dimond and I will be part of an exhibition at the Upstairs Artspace in Tryon, NC.  The show is a couple exhibition featuring 3 couples where each partner is an artist.  The opening is Saturday October 22, 2016 and will close December 2, 2016.  More information will be presented later.






Untitled #2 - 14" x 14" - Dye painted cotton, appliquéd and kantha stitched



Each artist will have approximately 10 works and I plan to exhibit both textiles and paintings.  The pieces pictured will be part of the exhibition and will be matted, framed and under glass as I find small fabric pieces show very nicely this way.






Untitled #3 - 14" x 14" - Dye painted cotton, appliquéd and kantha stitched


Most people are familiar with the use of the term collage in reference to paper but from my point of view when fabric is stitched to another layer of fabric that is also collage.  In the work presented here pieces of fabric were first composed and machine stitched to a larger piece of fabric and then hand stitched using a running stitch or kantha stitched (the same) with embroidery thread.  I do use a thin layer of Theramore batting between the image fabric and a very open weave fabric for the back so it is easy to stitch.  The fabric you see as the image was hand dyed, hand painted and monoprinted with thickened dye.

While I have made some large work with lots of hand stitching, I find I prefer these smaller sizes.  They are easier to handle as I can hold them in my lap and of course they work up more quickly.  There is also the issue of my right hand which becomes painful after too many hours of this type of work.  

I love seeing this work along side my new paintings.  They support each other and make for an interesting show.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Reorganizing To Make Life Easier


Freshly Organized Storage




Trying to keep track of your artwork can be a challenge.  The most basic part of that is how the work is stored and then being able to find a specific piece when you want it without taking apart everything you own!

Many artists who work with fabric store the work on a bed.  That's great as the work is flat however if the piece you want is under 6 other piece it isn't easy or fun or extract. I also don't have a spare bed to use for storage purposes.

Some people fold their fabric pieces to store by stacking the work on a shelf.  That works but I don't like the fold line or wrinkles that seem to develop in my work when it is folded.  Perhaps it's the intensity of the stitching or maybe the batting I use as I have been told that everyone doesn't get these flaws from folding.....but I do.




Ends of rolls.  Still looks complex but I now know which
shelf to check.



I have always rolled my  fabric work.  I use large (3 1/2 inch diameter) foam noodles that are sold as pool toys.  The brand is Khuna and they work great.  The Khuna noodles have a hole in the center and I put a pvc pipe through this so the roll is rigid.  The work is rolled face out around the noodle then wrapped with white muslin and slipped into a plastic sleeve.  The sleeves come from Uline and are boxed  as a roll.  The sleeves can be cut to any length you need.  I tie the ends shut and attach a photograph of the piece with the name underneath the picture for easy identification.  Without this there is no way I can find what I'm looking for.  I have a nice heavy duty metal shelf and the rolls are stored there. I often put the hanging rod inside the bag with the work as well.

Even with the tags it can be hard to find a specific piece so this weekend I took everything off the shelves, checked for proper labeling and rearranged everything.  I kept a list of which shelf the piece is on and I am adding that to my Excel Inventory.  As new work is added I will include the shelf number with all the other information in my inventory.

Most of what is stored here is fabric but I saved the bottom shelf for my new encaustic and cold wax and oil paintings.  I want to develop some order for this work as well so that it can be easily located.  This kind of operation is not something I love to do but I love the end results!

Even with the tags it can be hard to find a specific piece so this weekend I took everything off the shelves, checked for proper labeling and rearranged everything.  I kept a list of which shelf the piece is on and I am adding that to my Excel Inventory.  As new work is added I will include the shelf number with all the other information in my inventory.

Most of what is stored here is fabric but I saved the bottom shelf for my new encaustic and cold wax and oil paintings.  I want to develop some order for this work as well so that it can be easily located.  This kind of operation is not something I love to do but I love the end results!

Monday, August 8, 2016

More About Floater Frames

Last week I wrote about floater frames for cradled boards, specifically for encaustic paintings.  I continued to look around the web for resources and have ordered another frame from Frame USA.  This frame is similar to the ones I ordered from Dick Blick are about $5 less expensive.  I ordered a frame in clear maple and 12" x 12".  This is not a standard size so they don't have them in stock but build them as ordered.  I"ll let you know how they look.

Elisa Sparks was generous sending me photographs of frames she recently learned.



Frame on left = Artwork pictured from the back on right
Example by Elisa Sparks

The frame is made from inside corner molding which you may be able find at your lumber stores.  This molding comes in many sizes and is called by several names.  Basically you are looking for wood that has been milled to have part of the mass removed to make a "shelf" on which your panel will sit. The frame is made slightly larger than the outside dimension of the art so there is a space between the art and the inside of the frame. I have not been able to local this style molding in a store as yet but will keep looking.

You may notice the small blocks placed in the corners on the back side of the art pictured above.  These blocks serve two functions.  They lift the panel off the back frame and they provide a place to insert a screw to attach the panel to the frame.  On a cradled board you don't need these as the boarder of the panel is thick enough to serve as a foundation for the screw.

When you do purchase or make frames of this type you will need to consider whether you worked on a flat panel or cradled board and the depth of the board.  You will need to decide how much float space you want around the edge of the art and in some cases how you prefer to attach the panel to the frame.  The Dick Blick frames come with holes pre-drilled but these holes are very close to the edge and could cause splintering of the edge of your panel.  I intend to purchase some off-set clips for the next ones I mount.  Here is what those look like.  You should be able to purchase them at a big-box store.



Off-set frame clips





Encaustic Print and Frame by Elisa Sparks

There are lots of video's on making frames on Youtube but I didn't find one that exactly fits what I'm trying to share with you but you might get the idea from viewing some of the ones posted.  May of the video's show frames for stretched canvas which doesn't always apply to how a cradled board is framed.

Another source that was suggested was Florida Frames.  They have a very nice selection of styles of floater frames and their style 1006 showed the shape of the corner molding I was suggesting you might want to use in making a frame.  I did not follow through with pricing the frames at this site as you have to submit an order to get the price but I'm sure the order is not "made" until after you have the pricing information.

Another source for beautiful frames is Metropolitan Frames.  Their frames are fabulous but more than I wanted to spend at this time but still worth looking into.

Thanks to Elisa Sparks for sharing these photos.