Saturday, May 15, 2021

Story Fragments

I've collected old found photos for years. I guess what appeals to me the most is their mystery. With no clue as to who these folks were, my imagination is sparked and I can fill in the story to my liking. I always feel a responsibility as well to these unknown faces... it makes me so sad that their family photos found their way into junk shops, flea markets, antique stores... discarded because no remaining family member wanted them or even remembered them?

I want to honor these forgotten people, and what better way to do that then add them to artwork? Shown here are pieces from a new series called "Story Fragments". Because each of these photos is really just a tiny fragment representing someone's life, I've coupled each photo with other small fragments... bits cut from vintage grain sack cloth and old quilt pieces, as well as small bits of vintage book cloth, and antique fabric prints gathered from deconstructed old quilts, too worn for repair, (but with so much soul embedded in-between their fibers). 

Each piece is really a small quilt, (top, batting and backing) and each has been mounted via hand stitch to a piece of 140 lb watercolor paper. If interested you can click on the "Details" link below each piece for more detailed pics and availability info. I hope each of you are well and as always wish you all the very best. xo























Friday, February 12, 2021

Painted Paper Patchwork Barns


I meant to post this several months ago when I first made these, but alas I never got around to it.
Better late then never though, so here we are and here we go...

My last post, oh so many months ago, had me sharing some stitched and quilted barns I was making out of vintage fabrics. I loved making those, but they were really hard on my hands as they were very thick in some areas. I was having to use a pair of pliers just to pull the needle through in those thick areas! Eventually my hands just declared, "No more!" And so, I had to stop.

Trouble was I still had barns in my system and very much wanted to keep stitching some. So I sat down and thought and thought about how I could hand-stitch barns but not cause so much pain to my hands? Then I stopped thinking and just listened and watched what popped into my mind. 

(That is very much my creative process.) 

And what I saw were these painted and stitched paper patchwork barns.

I got right to work, watercolor painting small bits of torn watercolor paper, (I use 140 lb). and stitching the pieces into various barn shapes, hand-stitched together with 12 wt thread. 
Much easier on my hands and very satisfying to make!


After playing around with a few samples I decided that the stitched barns would look nice on painted backgrounds, which you see here in all of the photos. However there was still one element missing... 
I wanted the colors, the paper, the surface, to have more... oomph! 

I thought some more for a bit and then I remembered seeing some oil painters on Instagram who used cold wax medium in conjunction with the oil paint. Those works always catch my eyes as they seem to have such depth and richness to them. But would cold wax medium be compatible with watercolors?

I did a quick Google search and found that cold wax medium could be used as a final coat for watercolor paintings. Perfect-o! So, I got me some of that cold wax medium and gave it a go 
and then fell in love. 

In the photo above and the 3 photos below, you can see the soft sheen and luminosity achieved by applying the cold wax. Once dried and buffed, it truly gives the watercolors that beautiful richness and depth I was hoping for.




To complete the paintings I mounted them, (via hand stitch) to another sheet of 140 lb. watercolor paper, so they can be easily framed, (or if a framing procrastinator like me, propped up until one get around to such matters.) The finished pieces sort of remind me of tiles and contain so many elements I love, from subject matter to color to patchwork and stitching...


So, out of one road block, caused by hands that said, "No more stitching these thick fabric barns" a new creative path was forged through thinking about possibilities and listening to the answers that popped up.

How wonderful!


All of the barns shown have been sold, 
however, I do have a new batch made, that I haven't shared anywhere yet 
and will eventually list in my Etsy shop


For now though I am just laying low, staying home and avoiding going to places that don't feel safe. And unfortunately that currently includes my local small post office, (which makes me so sad as I love the post office and try hard to fully support it). But alas, last time I was there over the holidays, face masks were not being worn by most of the staff, and that's just a deal breaker for me until things settle down and/or I can get that coveted vaccine. 

(And yes, I know there are ways that you can print labels and ship without having to do it in person but I am not that savvy on the process and really do enjoy the act of doing it myself.) 

One more thing on the subject of face masks... if you are reading this and are in the "no face mask camp", (as are so many of the folks that live in my area are) and are now feeling a tension boiling up and/or eyes rolling in your head over my concern for all of our safety and wellbeing, (something that face masks have been scientifically proven to be effective in)... please, keep it to yourself... 
I don't need to know. We simply disagree. Strongly. 

~ ~ ~
~ Breathe ~
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To each of you, (if anyone is even still out there reading my semi-neglected blog.... hello???) Stay safe, stay well, stay creative. As Einstein said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity... Never lose a holy curiosity."


 xo