Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Making a mole

Zoe's chemistry class has come to the part about moles, the quantity of a substance it takes to make up as many grams of the stuff as the stuff's atomic weight.  And to help the kids remember the concept, her teacher traditionally gives extra credit to anybody who makes and brings in a stuffed mole.

I'm not sure about the mnemonic link there, except that the kids will remember there was something about a mole, but nevertheless who would argue with extra credit.  So Zoe brought over the mole pattern and we sewed on Sunday afternoon.

She chose a particularly gorgeous red and gold print, last seen as "A" in The Scarlet Letter, for the body. Scraps of green felt were still lying around the work table from the backing of my Quilt National piece, so we used them for the feet and braided tail.

I sewed the parts together on the sewing machine; Zoe stuffed the mole and sewed up the last seam on his belly.

We thought he was a pretty fine-looking creature, even if he didn't have any eyes.

The Scarlet Letter, 2002 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Ultimate Guide

Sherrie Spangler is the lucky winner of the great book by Linda Seward, "The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting."

Sherrie, please email me at < artwithaneedle@gmail.com > and tell me your address so we can ship your book.

Thanks to all of you who left comments; I hope you'll find a copy of Linda's book on your own.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Collages -- looking a bit different these days

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I had been feeling a little stale with my daily collage project -- and maybe I'm allowed/expected to be after 21 months -- so I changed the rules for the fourth quarter of 2014.  And three weeks in I've noticed that indeed my attitude has improved, that my art is looking a bit different and that I like it.

The new rule was that each collage would have to include something that I have drawn, painted, printed or otherwise added with a pencil, pen, brush or other marking implement.

I have been cannibalizing a big sheet of paper that had been monoprinted upon in a recent workshop.  Also after I painted some dowels black I used what was left on the brush to make some messy marks on scrap paper which I have also been using for collage.

old style: narrative -- what's happening here?

For several months I went through a phase of elaborate collages in which the little pasted-on people were doing things.  But magically now that I'm incorporating the painted and monoprinted papers, I seem to have lost some of the narrative impulse.  Instead many of the recent collages have been more abstract and formal, focusing on composition and texture rather than on representation.

Here are a couple of my recent pieces that seem to have a new aesthetic.  I think the new rule will get me through to the end of the project still regarding it as a joy rather than a job.

new style: abstract