Category Archives: mixed media

Falling into October

For the past few days the temperatures here have been around 90°F, we don’t have AC but my studio stays cool. Today looks to be finally cooling off a bit.

The coming of fall had me working on another Stir Crazy Member Challenge for Visions Art Museum, which will be published for members the first week in October. VAM offer so much inspiration and because we have had to spend more time in our homes, they have added a great deal to their online menu. I have “attended” wonderful artist’s talks with shows of their work, as well as, Q&A after. The online quilt shows are fun to go through at your own pace. VAM is changing their name to address better what they are about – it will become VMOTA/Visions Museum of Textile Art. I think it is a great museum to support. I’m not paid to create these challenges, and as far as I know none of the other artist are either.

When I make the video public, I’ll share it in an October post, until then here is a sneak peek of the project.

I’m also scheduled to teach at Visions on October 3rd. My first live class in some time (We were planning to hold this class before you-know-what struck). Hopefully enough people will sign-up to make the class happen. Masked and distancing, we’ll be using fabric, fiber, and a little paint to make a set of hummingbird note cards. They were so much fun to design and I love that the makers can make them their own as they construct each of their cards.

Example – fabric & fiber Hummingbird notecard

Our old house kitty, Kona, has finally figured out that she can come and go “outside,” into her little resort. During the daytime it’s attached to my studio and now I can stay in the studio playing/working instead of stopping to take her out onto the kitchen deck FOR HOURS. We’ll see if I actually get more done!

Right now I’m using some of the background fabrics I painted last week and will share more about them next time.

Rock, Paper, Fabric, Glass

I remember someone being perplexed by quilters because we take fabric, cut it up, then put it back together again. It’s not just quilters; so much of art is cutting something up and reassembling it.

Paper – My daughter recently gave me some of her (dry) wet palette and wipe-up papers. I paper collaged this little bird. The wing was a piece of painted paper from my stash and the only part I may work on a bit more.

wet palette and paper towel papers
Cut paper collage bird

Designing and cutting up fabric continues to be my favorite activity.

This art quilt was made many years ago. I designed it for a San Diego Quilt Show challenge – The multi-color fabric had to be used in the quilt; it won first place, and though I hadn’t thought about selling it, I was approached by a couple, at the show, and they bought it, then commissioned two more art quilts from me.

Night Trails Original design, hand appliqued and quilted.

I absolutely love mosaic and went through my mosaic making period but after a few years I realized fabric is more forgiving, lighter weight, and safer!

Palm tree mosaic mirror
Abstract mosaic extension to our front porch.

And finally, I get to the “Rock,” which actually began as Gator Board to go around my roadrunner on painted fabric. I wrote about finding this piece of painted fabric in a previous post and that I had an idea for an unusual finish.

Roadrunner at Red Rock. My daughter drew the original roadrunner but I slightly altered it.

I have to admit to being very pleased with the roadrunner piece. I think I succeeded in finishing this art quilt in an unusual way! It is wired for hanging.

Have you cut anything up lately and put it back together?

Reminder – Next post I’ll announce the giveaway winners from the August post.

Painted Fabric – Cardboard Resist

This is the first cardboard resist piece I made, it was made on a painted (light wash) piece of fabric and I used two colors for the design. Read on to find out more and for the How-to video see below.

For this next piece I left some of the backside tip fabric unpainted (no yellow), once dry and pressed I painted orange dots to the centers. I didn’t like that result, they felt too deliberate. The holes were in a tighter placement and I don’t think the overall results were as good, BUT maybe it’s just the colors; I think these colors would have been more striking on a white background.

Below is the only piece (so far) painted on white fabric, the picture doesn’t show how pretty it really is. I forgot to take a photo before I cut some pieces out, that’s the photo-shopped out white areas.

The next piece didn’t go as I had hoped. I started with a piece of rope wrapped fabric in green (more about that in a future post). I used three colors on the green background, which was an okay idea, but again the holes were too close. I’ve concluded that there needs to be more fabric and space between the holes.

I did use the the above fabric but it doesn’t look anything like it did after painting. In my previous post I share the crackle/crinkle painted fabric and said I’d try to share an artwork using that technique and this newest paint technique. Here it is… Mixed media collage, raffia, coffee filter, and hand painted fabric. I may talk about the background wall fabric in a future post.

Untitled. Approximately 15.5″ x 11.5″

I learned more… One – I wanted the vase to be shiny so I painted Mod Podge on it, when it dried it was shiny BUT the crackles and crinkles were no longer visible. And two – Dry Mod Podge is really hard to wash out of fabric! I ended up flipping the fabric over and that worked fine, it’s actually darker than it appears in this photo.

After painting a few pieces I have more ideas for using this technique. If you paint fabric using any of these techniques I hope you’ll share your results.

Stay tuned for the next sweepstakes/giveaway announcement.

Beyond Snapshots

I remember telling my son I wanted to use his photographs in my art quilts but I didn’t mean printed on fabric; I meant the actually photograph. I know I’m not alone in wanting to use photographs in combination with fabric and fibers. In today’s post I share a few from other artists and I thank them for granting me permission to share their work here.

If there is a quilt maker in a family there’s a pretty good chance at least one memory quilt has been made that includes special photographs celebrating a person, a day, or an event.

Fellow quiltmaker Ruth O’Neil shared her bookshelf quilt top. It has a photograph printed on fabric of her brother along side her niece’s daughters and books with titles (all but one) from a her niece’s favorite author. The plant near the top has 3 dimensional leaves.

Ruth made the quilt below after a safari trip. I think the pattern and fabrics work really well with the photographs.

Ruth O’Neil artist

Ruth also shared this quilt. Her daughter gifted her fabric printed with these photographs and the blue batik. Ruth and her fur baby obviously are fans of this guy!

Ruth O’Neil artist

Susan Lenz is a prolific artist of unique work. Many of Susan’s pieces include vintage photographs or her own, some she digitally alters before they are printed on paper or fabric. To the printed photos she will add stitches and embellishments… sometimes framing them because Susan is also a professional framer. Susan always posts excellent stories and explanations about her artwork and her travels, if you haven’t already, I suggest checking out her website and blog, where the below images can be seen in greater detail.

Susan Lenz artist
Susan Lenz artist (detail of Palmer-Epard Log Cabin), see her blog for full image. Note all the hand stitches in the sky!

Joanna Mack aka The Snarky Quilter takes photographs that often capture textures, shadows, and light. She sometimes uses filters in photoshop software to alter her photos. Always learning as much as she can, Joanna explores and produces projects using a variety of techniques and methods.

I wish I could say that we collaborated but this piece is entirely hers. Joanna won a small, painted fabric landscape in one of my blog post giveaways. She started with a photograph she’d taken of a rusty textured (outdoor fireplace) barrel, altered it in Photoshop, had it printed on fabric, and later cut it into strips.

She cut the landscape fabric too and stitched it to her barrel pieces and then, as she writes on her blog; “I quilted it to resemble chain link fencing covered with the stems of weeds. The edges are finished with paint and yarn.”

“A Cell With A View.” by Joanna Mack

I appreciate that Joanna has had some of her photographs printed on different types of fabric and shares her thoughts about each one on her blog. To read more about “A Cell With A View” and see her other projects and be inspired, visit her blog.

Petra Heidrich is a textile and mixed media artist in Germany. She embellishes vintage photographs, postcards, and sometimes paper, using thread and floss. Petra’s embroidery layer draws me in, and then I look past it and notice the photograph. I think the embroidery stitches and photographs play and work very well together.

On her website, Petra writes – “I like to refer to embroidery as “painting with thread.”

Petra Heidrich artist
Petra Heidrich artist
Petra Heidrich artist

I recently rediscovered a box of postcards I’d gotten years ago from my parent’s estate. In the box I found a postcard that just called to be made into a photograph on fiber piece. I contacted the photographer, Bill Banaszewski, to ask for permission. So that he’d have some idea of what I had planned I attached two images from my Photograph on Fiber series. Not only did he give me permission to use his photograph but he also wrote that his wife is a quilter!

In my original Photograph on Fiber series pieces I mounted the photo under/onto plexiglass, I don’t use it anymore, otherwise the process is essentially the same. My landscape is mounted onto a acid-free board for hanging and for this piece I slightly edited a scanned and printed copy of the postcard’s back to use as the label.

Label on backboard.

Bill has been photographing New York’s Finger Lakes for years. To see his photographs and learn more go to Finger Lakes Images.

The photograph, in this piece a postcard, is mounted about 3/4″ (not quite 2 cm) above the art quilt.

“Finger Lakes” Photograph on Fiber, mixed media art quilt by Ann L Scott. Postcard photograph, by Bill Banaszewski.
“Finger Lakes” detail.

I hope the pieces in this post have inspired you as much as they have me.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.

Challenges

I was scrolling through Instagram recently and noticed several people taking part in different time sensitive or daily challenges. Back in November 2020 I challenged myself, and anyone interested in joining me, to Needlevember. Each day in November I/we would share something we stitched. I enjoyed the stitching but having something to show every day felt like pressure rather than pleasure. I know challenges are more fun when more people share their pieces too, but I went solo.

I’ve enjoyed creating challenge projects for Visions Art Museum Stir Crazy member challenge, I especially like that there’s no time frame for getting any of them finished. A few other artists have created project too. The idea of these projects, during the pandemic, was to find and use materials and objects you may already have around the house. VAM asked me to come up with another project for May.

The May project is mixed media but doesn’t include stitching, though I do show how I made one simple white fabric flower; these same flowers I used in my Unmaking the Soul piece…

Unmasking the Soul detail of the fabric flowers that have been colored with Neocolor ll wax pastels.

Here is the May Spring Wreaths project.

If you know anyone who may like to try a project like these Spring Wreaths, I hope you’ll share this post or the video. Thanks!

Life Changes Plans

This seems to be the year for unplanned events. So I’m trying to roll with them.

My husband will be having a procedure for his health in a couple weeks. This is new to us, we have been very fortunate to not have any major health issue in the last thirty five years. So far the hardest part, because he can’t exercise, has been to keep him from over doing it. For a guy who is used to cycling between 40 and 90 miles about three days a week this is not easy.

It has also meant that I have been helping him more than usual on home projects, mostly to keep him from misbehaving. We have worked on many, many projects over our forty one years together but I’m feeling pretty much over it now!

Thankfully I have been in the studio a bit too.

Most recently I made an altered frame and painted a simple (faux) mat. The frame was being made to go onto a hand embroidery piece I made, but in the end it didn’t work with it. So I still have to make something for that embroidery piece sometime.

If you watch my videos, thank you very much and thank you for stopping by my blog too!

I finished the small art quilt that I wrote about in a previous post. I kept adding more quilting and then came beads, which I hadn’t planned on but am really happy with. I’m editing the video now and will post it as soon as it is finished. It will primarily be of the free-motion quilting.

Open Wreath

Picking up the Pieces

For a moment there my design work table was cleaned off, but no more.

Making cards and masks just seems to generate more scraps. I have been able to share small pieces of fabric with a few other people and that feels good – To move it out while giving to someone who may have no other way to get fabric right now.

Because I primarily work small I don’t have many long yards of fabric but I have a lot in smaller pieces. In fact I didn’t realize how much until I started picking pieces for friends.

Speaking of pieces here are my sample/suggestion pieces for the Visions Art Museum member challenge week three. My theme: Special Delivery, you are the chef, what would you plate up?

I made one piece in fabric and the other in paper. If I ever make paper collage again I’ll be cutting the pieces with scissors. I did discover if I use a cotton swab to dampen the paper it tears much easier, but still I think cutting would be more fun and would for sure be easier on the fingers.

Using pieces from magazines was much more limiting (and challenging!) for me than fabric. That’s one reason the plate in the paper collage is made from my – fabric painting mop-up paper towels; much easier to tear.

I had to let go of the shadows and light not being quite right… It’s not a master piece, it’s just for fun and I hope encouraging for the participants. I’m pretty happy with the results.

I hope you are staying safe and healthy. From a distance – thanks for stopping by.

‘Tis the Season…

… for leaky roofs! We don’t get a lot of rain here but when we do there are always surprises, but that’s another story, I’ll spare you.

Last post I mentioned Susan Lenz because we each had pieces in the Visions Art Museum Day of the Dead exhibit. Not too long ago I sent Susan some vintage pieces that came to me via VAM. She has already used them in one of her art quilt pieces. Not only a talented artist, Susan is a wonderful writer and story telling. If you haven’t visited her blog, I would highly recommend it.

It’s always the season for creating art whether there’s rain, shine or snow! Yesterday I had the pleasure of teaching my Fabric and Fiber Collage class at VAM. The participants were a fun group and their collage pieces were inspiring to me! I seem to always learn something from the students. Here is a bit from the class…

Sometimes a loop can make all the difference.
The Director of VAM, Laura Mitchell, as she put it, “…in her happy place!”
The flower center for one person may make great petal tips for another.
One dragonfly or more? It’s up to each participant to decide for their piece.
Two and they don’t have to match!
It’s fun to share thoughts and ideas with each other.
Some were artists when they entered the gallery, everyone was when they left.
Not shy, just letting her lovely layers take front and center.
There were some wonderful surprises – This flower center for example.

Teaching, the prep, and all, can be exhausting, but seeing results like these makes it worth it! Thank you to each of the participants.

Museum Visit

The Day of the Dead exhibit is over but I did get there to see it and the other four fantastic exhibit on display at Visions Art Museum (in partnership with New Americans Museum).

Unmasking the Soul detail

When I walked in the first thing I noticed was actually the piece next to mine, it was so unique, the look of texture was striking …

I was surprised to discover that it was by artist Susan Lenz, whose work I admire. Even though we’ve never met, we chatted a bit (via blog comments and PM) about entering, and she has given me permission to share it here. I’m sorry none of my pictures do it justice.

This was in the Spotlight Gallery (You may be able to tell!)

It is always exciting to have work exhibited and Visions Art Museum is a beautiful museum. It is feels intimate and inviting, and there are amazing and beautiful artist made one-of-a-kind gifts in their gift shop.

Next up – I’m teaching a fabric and fiber collage class at VAM in December!

Thanks for stopping by.

Altered State

We live in a state that is sadly very much on fire. I have family and friends who have lost everything in past fires. It’s the one time I appreciate that I live in a built up area of the city, which (usually) makes it less likely fires will be big and bad. The fact that we live a few blocks from a fire stations helps too. I’m so thankful for fire and recuse workers.

But to get back to happier thoughts… I’m working on an altered bottle with a seashell theme at the moment. I’ll share more pictures, maybe video later (hard to have gesso and gel medium hands and work the video equipment!)…

But for now here are some images of my first one, sort of steampunk – Beer, golf, and dogs themed because my son recently produced a fundraising video for a soon to open brewery with those themes.

Being a fiber artist I did use – fabric (greens are faux suede with real sandpaper sand trap), and textiles (leather scraps for collar and golf bag strap), produce bag (net), fiber (Unryu paper for good background texture), and paper clay (for the battered golf ball crown). Added metal odds and ends I had around the house/shed.

Before black gesso
After black gesso, copper, and patina paint.
I discovered a little container with leftover paint mixture and it made the perfect patina!

This was a challenging but really fun project and I’m happy with the results. Have you made any type of altered bottle or jars?

Thanks for stopping by.