Thursday, February 05, 2015


View of quilting taken from an angle
I finished the quilting on the shibori piece, mostly pleased but not at all sure I sent my lines the right direction in that section on the left butting up against the red in the upper center. The fabric will not respond kindly to picking out and restitching so I am stuck with it. However, I've been considering adding some branches along the top as a perspective reference and most recently have thought to put them on the left. That's what that little sprig of threadwork over tulle is all about. Certainly not the right size, but it's got me thinking about stitching up a larger spray to emulate perhaps a cedar branch. It would be fortuitous if its placement helped distract from a distracting piece of quilting.

Struggling for a decent leaf arrangement

I've been calling this "the shibori piece" for so long that I nearly forgot my original inspiration and name. After fully quilted, I meant to add these 3-dimensional leaves as if floating on the water, which spawned the name "Adrift". Guess I've gotten a little adrift myself over the months since starting it. I just pinned these on to get them on the quilt so I could further consider additional references. You can see a bit of yarn in the lower right corner - I'm wondering if I can use them to make grass or reeds in the foreground. I like the balance I think I would get from those two reference elements being in opposite corners with the water obviously flowing from the other direction between them. But I'm not at all happy with the current placement of the leaves. Suggestions welcome.

Painting swaths of analogous colors with the help of scalloped cardstock

So what has this to do with "Analogous"? With this quilting done, I've returned to the art journaling. My next lesson in Creating Art At the Speed of Life is one on analogous colors; pick a favorite color and the colors on either side on the color wheel and watercolor paint those across the page. I was tempted to work with my often default teal (blue-green) but I've been using that combination a lot lately in the journaling. Let's pick something else I'm drawn to and work with all the time. Oh yeah - orange in all its autumn rusty golden glory. Like that "guava" dye run and the one-off piece with the same dye colors from my last dye session. And like the fabrics in "Adrift" that I'd just been working with. Funny how I've never consciously thought in terms of their position on the color wheel when choosing to work with this grouping of yellow-orange/orange/red-orange. I just knew they felt so right together, very natural.

There's more to add to this page, of course, but while it was drying, I switched to the other journal, searching through my newly started stash of art journaling materials for pictures to arrange on that purplish spread before adding my responses to the prompt. I'd forgotten I'd pulled the scene below from a magazine and stashed it there, but it confirmed my draw to this analogous grouping and how well it works. Analogous on the brain and not even aware of it!

I'm remembering now one of the reasons I decided to buy Pam's book and work through it. You see it in the picture above - a little self-critique form. "Rah Rah" and "Everything you do is wonderful" support only gets you so far. At some point, if you want to improve, you have to be honest and put a critical eye to what you have done. Pam doesn't want you to just play and explore and create a beautiful little art journal. No, she wants you to play and explore and then assess what you have done - the good, the bad and the ugly. And also think about how you could apply what you have just done to your regular work, something I'm often unclear about, although the doing might have been fun. And I so appreciate that. Yes, I'm often hard on myself, and in time can admit something might not be as bad as I initially thought. But dang it, don't whitewash it to spare my delicate feelings. (Yes, that was a bit of a rant.)

I'm slightly disappointed that there is not more specific instruction in how to use some of the supplies, like the watercolor paints. Total novice here and was unsure what was meant in the mixing directions. I've since done the inevitable google search and see where I went wrong. I guess for art journalers, they already know these basics, like I know how to use a sewing machine? And now that I've tried this analogous exercise, I can see I need a lot more experiment and play with them (practice), and perhaps some better quality paints. On the other hand, I'm just doing exercises in a workbook, not thinking of become a watercolor artist. Gotta keep this in perspective! 


Lucia Sasaki said...

Dear Sheila, your "Adrift" piece is very beautiful, all that quilting...
And you are right, even I were very used to know this piece as your "shibori" piece, so is good to know that it has a name, a very proper name.
Congratulations for more this achievent!!
As I read your part about art journaling I was surprised that you didn't use your teal color and soon I discoverd why.
Do you know... as I saw the page I thought to myself... humm it seems Rio de Janeiro landscape...
As for your watercolor musing... well, I started to attend classes of sumi-e and soon after this I bought a watercolor set and I have tried to make some crude landscapes. I read a book called Raw art journaling from Quinn McDonald (and I follow her blog too) and she said that we need to deal with our Inner Critic that try to disencourage us. It helped me a lot. So, I have tried to do curde and unpretentious landscapes in watercolor. Well, now that it rains a lot here in Guarulhos because of the Summer I started to try paste paper, that don't requires a so dry air to well dry.
It is so good to read about your art efforts!
Thanks a lot!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thank you, Lucia, for your kind comments. Yes, I believe that is Rio - have you ever been there? It was fun working with the different colors, and I added to my journal page things that are that analagous group: Sherbert icecream, The Southwest part of the United States, and sangria to name a few!

Don't think I am familiar with that book but it sounds like it did you good. But I must admit, sometimes my inner critique is absolutely right and I'm glad I listened!

Bravo for pursuing your watercolor landscapes - I now know it isn't easy - and I look forward to seeing what this paste paper is all about.

Lucia Sasaki said...

Hi Sheila, thanks for answer my comment.
I went to Rio de Janeiro city once, in a excursion of the church I think 19 or 20 years ago. I liked it very much because before I read many novels from brazillian authors like Jose de Alencar and Machado de Assis and they are always set in Rio de Janeiro because it were the capital in XIXth century.
I searched the Rio de Janeiro of the novels, but, I couldn't find so much of it. But nevertheless, the city is indeed, marvelous.
Thanks again for this communication channel. It is a joy for me.