I’m very fortunate to live in an area in which I have access to a number of organizations who provide artists opportunities to exhibit their work.
One of my favorite organizations is the Texas Visual Arts Association or TVAA. The gallery is amazing and the group of volunteers who organize and curate these exhibits are not only amazing artists themselves, but are also very supportive of emerging artists.
This summer I entered several exhibits there and was thrilled, and very surprised to win ribbons in almost all the exhibits I was in.
Wonderland won a 2nd place ribbon.
Wildflower Wonderland won Best of Show, which I’ve never received before.
Finally, the first piece, Wild and Free won 3rd place.
I don’t think I will ever tire of the thrill of receiving an award. It’s such an honor and inspires me to work even harder when preparing for the next exhibit, because who knows if there will be another award in my future!
I bought a new project runway sewing machine, not because my previous one died, but because my daughter said she wanted to start sewing.
Deep down I knew she wouldn’t stick with it, but it was just the excuse I needed to buy another machine. The only thing wrong with my old one was that the feed dog lever quit working, so if I lowered them, I couldn’t get them up again.
Truthfully, I kind of wanted to buy some other brand that might be a little better for art quilting, but last year, I bought a Sew Steady extension table that only fits my Brother. Since I didn’t want to replace this as well, I just bought the updated version of the one I have.
My daughter has used my old machine exactly one time since I gave it to her. I think I will use it for sewing pieces that are stuck down with glue or perhaps paper. That way I don’t mess up the new one. I still haven’t lowered the feed dogs on the new one because I’m worried they won’t work right either!
I think I like this one more than the previous one I did. I used flowers and foliage from the same jacket. This piece also has reclaimed textiles making up the background and for the vase. These are more of the fabric samples from the furniture store in Dallas. I wonder how many other custom furniture stores throw their unwanted fabric samples in the trash? Maybe I need to try and find out!
I love Thrift Stores. I could spend hours and hundreds of dollars on all of the fabulous things one can find there that can be turned into art.
Recently I went to Goodwill looking for some drapery fabric with large floral designs. I didn’t find any, but I did find three very “loud” jackets.
The jacket I made this piece from had some wonderful embroidery and beautiful flowers that I knew I could repurpose. The jacket itself was quite hideous, but I really like the individual elements look after being crafted into a garden and sewn down. I used a piece of upholstery fabric for the background, which I glued to a canvas after all the sewing was done. I also added beads to the bottom, and of course, a butterfly.
Lately, I’ve found that butterflies have been showing up in my work more often than before.
I didn’t assign much meaning to it, until after my father passed away. I was walking the dog when a butterfly flew by. It seemed to be dancing around us in midair.
I don’t know why, but at that moment, I thought to myself “that’s my dad!” I just had this strange feeling of being close to him as I watched that butterfly swirling around me.
I’ve always believed in the healing power of art. Perhaps butterflies are showing up in my work as a means of healing for me.
It’s still hard to believe that my dad is gone. Part of me feels guilty that I didn’t make the four hour drive to see him before he died, but I selfishly wanted to remember him how he was before he was ravaged by his illness.
Now when I see a butterfly floating on the breeze, I think of my dad and how he is finally free and how part of him is with us still.
A new Tuesday Morning opened not too far from me and I couldn’t believe some of the amazing things they have for mixed media artists.
I found almost all of these gorgeous paper napkins and the ACT mixed media kit there. I found the napkins with the text on them at Dollar Tree.
I can’t wait to go back again and see what other fabulous things that I just can’t live without!
Where have you found unexpected treasures for your mixed media art?
Sometimes I have an idea in my head of what I think something is going to be when I first start on it. Okay, to be honest, most of the time I have it planned out in advance.
It’s a lot like life in a way. We all have preconceived notions of how things are supposed to turn out, but sometimes, it just doesn’t go as planned.
For my next project, I want to create an abstract skyline with magazine pages as my background.
Here are the first couple of steps:
I’ve gone through several magazines I had saved – yes I am somewhat of a hoarder, although I prefer the term “collector”.
I found images whose color palette I really liked and tore them out and placed them where I thought they looked best. After that I glued them down, I started painting in the night sky and then added a glaze of burnt sienna to the rest of it to blend it together.
Now I need to figure out which areas to keep and which areas become the sky.
Check back to see where this takes me!
I’ve finished the artwork, but still haven’t decided how to frame it. I ordered white mats, but have been playing around with the idea of sewing it onto this fabric sample I have which was generously donated but I.O. Metro Furniture. I love that place!
A ribbon could be added to the rings and it could simply be hung as is. I’m waiting for the mats to arrive before I decide. They are taking forever to get here!
Instead of creating a fabric dress, I decided to try creating one from a painted floral background using negative painting and a mask I made out of a file folder.
To make the mask, I simply traced the outline of a dress onto a file folder and cut it out with a craft knife. This gave me both a stencil and a mask.
I’m still working on this, but I like what has transpired so far. I started by painting the flowers for the background, which took much longer than I ever thought it would.
Once that was complete, I decided where to place the dress and put the mask down. Here is a photo showing the mask and the beginning of the process:
I applied heavy body white paint around the mask using a make up sponge. I then continued to add white paint, blending it outward as I went along.
After that, I outlined the dress with a charcoal pencil and blended that in. I’m not sure how I want to finish the background, now that I’m satisfied with how the dress looks.
Perhaps I will stencil words or stamp a few flowers…maybe even both!