Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Addicted To Drizzles

Ugly? Not at all. I find what you refer to as your 'child-like' examples, to be vibrant, lively, and showing movement. IMHO Diane's grey jacket back looks drab and mundane. I fail to see the 'sophistication'. Do your own thing ! Otherwise, your work will be a 'Diane' look alike.

I really appreciated the comment above that Sharon P made in the posting
Ugly And Uglier. It's a valid point especially as I've been working quite closely with Diane for several years now. The thing about coaches is that we're attracted to them because of our similarities and yet we also need to maintain our individuality. I feel I have not only grow tremendously skill-wise while working with Diane but that I am much much clearer on what my style, my voice, is.


When I had made a similar comment to Diane about sophistication, she asked me as part of my assignment to define what I meant. I'm attracted to the hard and soft edges of the painted lines, the layering of different stencils, the asymmetric placement of the design, the mix of straight and curved shapes, the less than predictably rhythmic repetition, the surprise of the under collar, and the tickle of pink on an otherwise monochromatic background. All of these are things that I can take into my own work without becoming a clone.

On Monday, I invited my friend Gwen over to help me since she has a lot of experience with stencil design work and - in fact - studied with Diane and her mother, Lois, years ago. I love this picture of her "acting up". We had a great time playing and - YES YES - I actually got those hard and soft edges and graduated light to dark colouring and overlapping stencils. Finally. Below left, I see tremendous improvement in my leaves as compared to the ones I did earlier. With more practise, I'll do even better.

For several years now, I've been trying to get those hard and soft edges and I just couldn't seem to flick the paint correctly. I'd pick up painting and then put it down. When I told my daughter I was working on my painting skills, she said you're always working on them. Hmm... not really... BUT...

I've found - and probably you have to if you've been reading my blog for a while - that I can want to do something and talk about it for quite a while and even make attempts but still seem to stall and get nowhere until it's truly time. And now was the time for improving these skills BUT... just in case... and to keep me on the right track... I'm going to another friend's studio today to play some more. I am determined to learn and to move ahead and to take this learning into my garment assignment.

Having just cleaned the studio - and the Bits & Pieces of Potential Boxes - I didn't want to add another six pieces of fabric to the pile so I decided to make the painted canvasses into cosmetic bags. The prototype I started with was way too fiddly and more work than I wanted to invest in the task so I opted instead for zipper pouches. The canvasses were similar but not identical in size. From my favourite, which was also the smallest, I cut two 7 1/2" x 10 1/4" pieces and put aside a larger section to make a bag for myself. From four, I cut six each 7 1/2" x 10 1/4" sections and from the last, slightly smaller, one, I cut six each 7 1/2" x 8 1/2" sections. There are two sections in each bag and sixteen bags in total.

My serger refused to sew nicely through the canvas and I refused to fight with it so I stitched once around the edges with straight stitch and once with zigzag stitch and then turned under 3/4" at the top and stitched it in place. I broke a lot of needles with only two layers of painted denim. I'm leery of sewing through four layers when I put the sections together. Right now, I'm sewing very slowly using a jean needle and it's worked the best so far. If you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Before I finished for the day, I paired each bag with a zipper. One of my goals was to use what I have and so far everything has come from stash and - since all the parts are here - it doesn't look like I'll need to buy anything. What I'll do with sixteen zippered pouches I'm not sure. LOL - an Etsy shop?


AND... while I've been playing with different paints and stencils on the canvasses, I've also been trying out ideas for my garment assignment. One is a woven fabric in a dark denim and the other is a stable knit in a soft grey. I like the drizzles. In fact, I seem to be addicted to drizzles. They're random and fun and you have to just play around with flicking the paint and see what happens instead of overthinking them. This is good for me. I can be far too rhythmically repetitious.

... but what it suggests is that beyond mastering our craft, the most important goal for each of us is also the most personal: finding our own voice. It takes a whole lot of dedication and conviction and hard work and talent and luck to make that happen - but most of all it takes time.
- The View From The Studio Door: How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World, by Ted Orland

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - hard and soft edges


  1. I admire and respect your perseverance. Many a creative accomplishment is lost to lack of perseverance. For some reason while reading your post today I was reminded of Diane's article on stenciling many years ago, probably in Threads magazine. She brought depth to her images by stenciling a matching shape but gray colorway to one side of the color image. It created the effect, quite miraculously, of a shadow.

    1. I spent today playing at my friend's and she showed me how to layer and blend colours. I know that white underneath can make the image more dynamic. I'll have to try this gray idea. Thanks.

  2. My suggestion for your stitching problem is to buy yourself an industrial machine, if at all possible. I bought mine at the recommendation of my regular sewing machine dealer, when I told him I was having trouble sewing heavy fabric. It took a while to get used to it, and I had to replace the intolerably loud clutch motor with a servo motor, but now I am so grateful for this machine. No more fighting with my machine, and breaking needles when I sew heavier items. It's been a great addition to my sewing room.

    Actually now that I reread your post, I see that you are looking for a more immediate suggestion, for sewing these particular bags. Well shoot, you can't just run out and buy a new machine! The only thing I can think of is to pound the thickest areas with a hammer before sewing. Sometimes this works, sometimes not, but it is worth a try. Be sure to protect the fabric from the hammer by covering it with a cloth.

    1. LOL - yes, I just wanted to resolve this issue. When I went to stitch and turn the pouches, the fabric was way too stiff so I finally washed the pieces which did soften it but perhaps not enough. It also faded the colours somewhat. I'm debating whether I'll finish them in the morning or move on to the next thing for now. - - - A hammer is a fabulous studio tool. I use mine a lot and I'm amazed how it minimizes bulk.

  3. Sell the cosmetics bags at the new hair studio.

    1. Great idea. I'm hoping that once I'm through the re-integration stage and have my own station that I'll be able to do things like that with sewing and knitting.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.