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!

Keeping busy

With fewer posts up the past few weeks you’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to. As the sole juror to an upcoming exhibition: Simulare Vitae, Student Juried Exhibition which will be on display from November 1st to December 2nd at Runnels Gallery, I’ve been quite busy going through submissions! With over one hundred entries it’s been quite a difficult decision-making process.

I will remind you closer to the date but just so you know, the reception and awards ceremony for Simulare Vitae is Friday, Dec. 2, 5–6:30 p.m.

In other news I’ve put that new sewing room to good use recently and made my first bag:

photograph of hand holding drawstring knitting bag
Project Bag made of an old sweater, fabric and a button
photograph of interior of handmade sewn project bag
Lining
photograph of interior of handmade sewn project bag
Interior