The Uncommon quilt block challenge continues. Completely different results were produced in weeks 3 and 4. We were driving across the southwest desert near Deming, New Mexico, where we noticed heavy train traffic on the north side of Interstate 10. Trains are a big deal for my husband so we always note the number of engines and the type of cars. The quilt square for week 3 was inspired by the view we had of double stack container cars rolling across the flat, dry landscape.
I've kept my eye out for more unusual materials for week 4, and had collected some red plastic mesh tape intended for dry wall, and a translucent black jewelry pouch with holes punched for a draw string and a pinked edge. Both were interesting, but not coming together, until I found a little piece of red rick rack. Then a little bit of stitching in a grid pattern and some zig zag stitching with red thread were the finishing touches.
A brand new sketchbook is intimidating to me, even as I admire its pristine state. As I am resolved to develop some new work in 2019, It seemed important to begin a new book. I packed a new sketchbook and with my new bounty of drawing supplies to take along on a recent trip. I never touched it.
I have never developed the habit and discipline of working in a sketchbook regularly. I do have some notebooks with doll ideas and a file optimistically labeled "works on paper" that I add to once in a while. The truth is that I am not interested in drawing sketches of things I see - landscapes and so forth.
Now that I am home again, this is what I have done to try to get in gear. I opened the sketchbook to the middle and painted a few pages with washes of watercolor. (The first page is still blank, but so what.) I pulled a few favorite works on paper to observe that color and pattern is far more interesting to me than drawing. I can let these inspire me. And, I have set up an area in my studio where the book and my supplies will live with brushes and markers at the ready.
I hope that 60 pages later I will have a few ideas that can be used for a bigger project.
I've done my share of quilting small designs on the many Hoop Skirt dolls that I made in the heyday of Open Range Art Dolls. The collage and quilting was as inventive as I could make it, but my work eventually grew stale and uninteresting to me.
I came across the book, The Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson, a couple of years ago and loved it immediately. My quilting exercise for this year is inspired by the author's unusual approach to quilting. I plan to make a quilt square per week for a year using found material, fabrics as well as papers, plastics and plants. My serious diminished fabric stash needs to be refreshed, too. I hope some new ideas shake loose as I work through the year!
Look what I found.
Look what I found at the thrift shop recently! I was trolling along the "Wooden Decor" isle, (my favorite, surpassed only by "Bric a Brac") with an eye for things that could be substrates for encaustic painting.
But, I like things with drawers so I inspected it more closely. Look what was inside!
What treasure! I have plenty of art supplies at home that I haven't used in quite awhile, but why resist this? The oil pastels and colored pencils looked like they had never been touched.
When I investigated more carefully at home it was easy to see why. The drawers were very tricky to open and even harder to slide back in. And, it was not easy to get anything out of the little slots. The brushes were begging to be thrown out.
I'd like to have a set of supplies ready to take on outings, so I've reorganized everything. It is road-ready! Now all I have to do is use it!
Now is the time to review and plan for a new year. I have worked steadily and passionately over the past 10 years to make art dolls. I've tried everything I could think of and now have all kinds of mixed media tricks up my sleeve. I will finally have to admit that I am running out of steam on the production side of the doll biz, and short on great ideas. Worse than that, I've missed opportunities to try other media and just play around at art
In 2019 I plan to explore encaustic painting, new fiber ideas and and abstract painting, while continuing to create a few art dolls. This blog will be about learning new things and reminding myself about things I already know. Join me each week to see what I am creating now!
I ended 2018 making these figures. Each is about 27" tall and built on a paper mache cone-shaped form, with polymer clay faces.
Five more cone bodies are ready for the next step.
Next week I will begin the "Uncommon Quilter" 52-week challenge.