Fabric Landscape Study 7 and SUGAR SCULLS!

Here is yesterday’s painting… would you believe that after more than two hours of playing tennis yesterday I was so wiped I didn’t feel like blogging? Well, that is what happened.

Blanket Landscape Study 7, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Fabric Landscape Study 7, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″

What have I been up to today? Crafting!!

It’s a lot of fun running an online craft shop and one of my favorite things to make are stitch markers. They are used to mark the placement of certain stitches or patterns within a knitting project. Knitting as a pastime has really picked up in recent years and there are knitters of every age and interest. Soooo, you can get quite creative with what you make into a “marker”…

For example, with Halloween coming up I’ve done a recent shop update with many scull-themed markers. Many of the beads used in my store are purchased from small shops around New Mexico from hispanic New Mexicans. It has made me very curious about all of the scull/skeleton imagery associated with their culture:

SUGAR SCULLS (and scull masks and skeleton imagery etc.) are symbols of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrated these days on All Hallow’s Eve (Oct 31) and All Soul’s Eve (Nov 1). These traditions go back thousands of years and included dancing in honor of deceased relatives. Sugar Sculls with the name of the deceased on the forehead are eaten by a friend or relative of the deceased. These celebrations are exactly that; celebrations of death, not as a tragedy, but a re-birth. Living is but a dream and when we die we wake up… or something to that effect. (Information from: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070911144931AAzPwvu)

Making Stitch Markers.
Making Stitch Markers.

So anyway, I spent some time making stitch markers today and taking pictures of the process to give you and idea of why I’m attracted to such a simple activity. All of the colors and the huge variety of different combinations you can make keep me interested while giving my mind and body a break from painting.

To buy stitch-markers, project bags, knitted items or knitting patterns visit multicraftual.etsy.com

¡Tenga un buen fin de semana!

Day 12 of the Drawing Challenge and a Knitting Pattern

Day 12: Draw your most recent accomplishment.

This is a drawing a lace shawl that I designed recently. The shawl was inspired by the architecture of the Eiffel Tower  and is composed of lattice lace sections, ridge sections and rows of eyelets to suggest the scaffolding and platforms of the tower.

This shawl is the first knitting pattern I’ve written but it was enthusiastically received when published on Ravelry.com. I am very pleased to say that there are more than 130 shawls in progress (or already completed) right now. To me, that is an accomplishment I can feel proud of.

This drawing obviously does not do the shawl justice, but you may find it interesting nonetheless. I have become an avid knitter over the past year and a half, such that I am often thinking about how to paint and draw knitting. Who knows how these different art forms might intersect in my future!

graphite and ink drawing of knitting
Knitting

Here is a photo of the actual shawl. For more information about it or to knit it yourself, follow the link above and join Ravelry! The website is free and this pattern is also free – for a limited time.

photograph of dinner in the eiffel tower lace shawl by jessie dodington
Dinner in the Eiffel Tower ~ A Shawl
photo of lace shawl knitted dinner in the eiffel tower jessie dodington
Dinner in the Eiffel Tower

Day 7 and 8 of the Drawing Challenge

Day 7: Favorite word (I don’t really have one but whimsy was what I felt like doodling). The little hexagons in the top third of the drawing are giant sparkles… like sequins.

drawing stamping of whimsy, wine, daisies, books, yarn
Whimsy in mixed media on paper

Day 8: Favorite Animated Character. Dori.

In terms of favorite characters in animated films, I adore all of the puppets used in the animation the Fantastic Mr. Fox by Wes Anderson but in terms of animated drawings, Dori is lovely. My sketch doesn’t do her justice but to draw her was a little pinch of fun in my day…

drawing of dori from finding nemo pen ink marker
Dori from Finding Nemo

Doggy paddle

Hello again!

It has been a while since I’ve posted and I told myself “no excuses” today, so hello. Here I am.

I feel like I’ve been doing the doggy paddle (the very inefficient yet endearing swimming stroke of K9s and young children) in the art department for a while. That is to say, not much has been happening in terms of painting, yet I am still reading a lot (which I consider research in a way), and exploring many new avenues of creation:

I have taught myself how to sew (sorry Mom, I forgot whatever you taught me when I was 12 and have had to re-learn it all) and made a few projects. Here is a decent sized “market bag”:

photo of sewn market bag
"Market Bag"
photo of sewn bag lining
Seam-less lining, Oh my!
photo of squared corner
Squared corner, ooh la la!

These were brand new skills people, hence the excitement expressed in the captions.

In addition to sewing I have been knitting up a storm. I picked up knitting last October and upon reaching my first year anniversary of knitting decided to step it up a notch. I’ve since made several intricate (to me) shawls and socks and am presently working on my first sweater.

The “sugared violets” shawl (that is the name of the pattern from the designer Rose Beck) I made to wear at the closing reception of a student art show I juried at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU). The second shawl pictured is “herbivore” by Stephen West and I made it to wear at the closing reception of my solo art show at the ENMU art gallery. I will obviously be wearing them all the time now, and they are reminders of those fun events.

photo of knit shawls
Two recent shawls: "sugared violets" and "herbivore"

I’ve also started screen printing. This is a really neat method of creating multiple prints on fabric.

The process involves:
1. Creating a screen: I used a sheer fabric held tight in an embroidery hoop. I drew a design on the screen in pencil and applied outdoor house paint to all the spots I didn’t want the ink to go through. I applied multiple coats and let the screen dry.

silkscreen image ready
homemade silkscreen

2. Next I chose the objects I wished to print on (pictured in the photo is a pillowcase but I also printed on tank tops etc.)

3. I placed the screen on the items I wanted to print, making sure to lay cardboard inside of them (so the image didn’t bleed through to the other side of the fabric) and used a foam brush to push the screen printing ink through the screen.
Voila:

floral screen printing image
Floral screen print on pillowcase

All in all I’ve been enjoying these new arts/crafts and am excited about what I can make as my skills develop!

Last but not least, I’ve been occupied in the University Singers choir on campus, preparing for our Christmas concert which was Friday the 9th. We did two performances and had very full, very enthusiastic audiences. It was such a blast I simply cannot wait until next semester’s new lineup of songs! I’ll try to post before our next performance so those of you who are local can try to attend.

I’m not sure if I’ll be painting or drawing that much in the coming month, as there will be travel involved and crafted presents I’d like to finish making but perhaps in the new year my painting and drawing will progress back into a front-crawl or breast-stroke pace… we’ll see. For now you’re stuck with doggy paddle… which is at least a step up from treading water.

As always, thank you for reading and take care of yourselves during this holiday season!

Taking a break

I’m taking a wee break from the painting to knit. Yes indeed, got to let the tight muscles of my upper back and shoulders rest a bit and enjoying a stay-cation for a few days. Right now I plan on wearing the shawl I’m making (pictured here beside some chamomile tea) to the closing reception of my present exhibition.

Reminder for those who are in the area: the closing reception is Friday, October, 28th  5 – 6:30 at Runnel’s Gallery.

picture of tea and knitting
Tea and Knitting, photograph

Everyone loves to colour!

I have been drawing a colouring/activity book on the theme of knitting.

There are many people who come to our local yarn shop for “knit night” every Friday and among them, many children. Although these kids at one time or another have been known to hunch together on the floor and crochet faster than your grandmother, sometimes I think they might like to do a little colouring. At least I did when I was a kid. A lot.

So I’m taking some copies of the six drawings I have completed so far to tonight’s meeting and we’ll see if I can get some of the small humans interested in colouring them. If I succeed I’ll post pictures of them soon!

This is not our shop but a space I visit in my head at the end of the day when I’m actually in the corner of my living room… you can join me if you wish!

colouring book of yarn shop
Knit shop, ink on paper (for now!), 11 x 14"