Challenge: Day 2

Using the pens and pencils I used to save for my grandkids when they come over, today, I continue playing with lines and color on card stock 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Below is the image before any editing.

Then I tweaked my drawing in the edit section on my phone, see below.

Kind of fun.

Below is the same picture using “dramatic cool” filter.

Then a filter for less color.

And now black-and-white.

Playing around with photos of my drawings is pretty fun!

Below is the picture I drew yesterday after tweaking it in the editing department.

New Years Resolution

Art every day. Some kind of art. Any art. Here is my fun for today!!!

I like it.

I got the idea from MarmaladeRose. I just discovered her today while I was looking at Pinterest. She’s a fiber artist and does amazing work!

You can find Marmalade Rose at marmaladerose.com

Structure and Personal Evolution

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I feel like I am in an ever shifting paradigm.  The sand underneath me is shifting, falling away, leaving me without structure to order my life around.  What once was solid is now barely there as an almost invisible outline of what once was.

The song I learned as a child went, “The wise man built his house upon a rock; The foolish man built his house upon the sand.”  When the rain comes down, the house on the sand washes away and the house on the rock stands still.  I thought I had my house built upon a rock, but the rock seems to have been sand after all.

I am seeing that the sand is the little “t” truths I believed in: people, organizations, beliefs.  Then one day, I learn that what I believed in is not what I thought it was and my house crumbles.  In the new state of freedom from structure, I find myself depressed and dysfunctional.  Eating for comfort and watching TV to distract myself from the confusion and betrayal of what I thought to be truth.

I’m not happy in that state, however.  I like to be happy so I expand my awareness to find something to give me structure.  I think of how I learned to keep my balance when walking blindfolded across the log over the water at Trackeschool.  I reached out with my awareness to “imagine” feeling the landscape around me since I couldn’t see with my physical eyes.  That worked on the log, maybe that technique will work for me now.

As I expand my awareness, I pray to know how to overcome my depression.  I pray to understand, and to know how to deal with this unsettling change.  As I was pray, I see in my minds eye the art I made depicting my relationship with one of my sisters.  That piece of art is a series of lines coming together and swirling around each other in great excitement and joy.  Seeing that image delights me.  My mind begins to wander to other art I have been wanting to create.  I feel more joy.

I remember doing an exercise at Tom Brown Jr.’s Trackeschool where we were asking The Creator what our personal vision in life was.  The first answer I received was, “Don’t forget about your art.”  The answer surprised and puzzled me because I thought my personal vision had more to do with learning to survive in the wilderness.   I revisited the importance of art for me.

I find it fascinating how much I depend on structure in my life.  Structure feels like the house I live in.  Or perhaps the house is an interface to my journey in the physical; a way to move through this physical experience with a measure of safety, like a hermit crab carrying around a little shell .  Then the house crumbles, the shell is outgrown, and a new structure is discovered through desperate reaching.  I wonder if one day I will no longer fall into dysfunction and I will exist in joy without the imagined structure . . .

Bringing a Vision to Life — PARADISE!

Tender ones.
Tender little ones.

Visions are evolving things.  As we journey through life we are drawn to things that interest us.  I have often wondered about my vision in life because my view of anything in the future, other than children, has always been Continue reading “Bringing a Vision to Life — PARADISE!”

Nuno felting is kinda awesome.

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I have been swimming in ideas for felting for the past few months but have been soooo busy working on my barn that I have not allowed myself time away from that project to make fiber art.  Consequently, when I have rainy days I go a bit crazy having fun with making beautiful textile things.

I warmed up my skills on Wednesday with a couple simple scarves.  One a neutral blend of creamy whites and earth tones, fancied up just a touch with a short fringe of natural wool locks.  The other a bold combination of bright red, grey, and black, with a touch of white tencil running through the grey.  I made the fringe uneven for a more interesting effect.

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On Thursday I wanted to try making a larger piece, a shawl, and incorporating some elements other than wool and silk fibers.  I used a vintage piece of lace table cloth that was not usable as it was with a stain and a hole, and I also found some silk material in my stash of silks that has a crinkle cloth texture to it which turned out very well and felted easily to the wool.

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Lastly, I finally dug out some of the sari’s I bought last year when I went on a sari buying spree for nuno felting, then got too busy to do anything with.  I have learned that not all sari’s are going to be good for felting because many are made of stiffer silk fabric, and have less texture for the tiny wool barbs to hook onto.  I did have several sari’s that would be good for felting, however, and I looked at the possibilities.  I chose a sari that was soft and lightweight and had a texture I thought would work, and had beautiful colors.  I felt like I was in total experiment mode, but I love the results.  Sometimes I don’t think it’s possible to ruin felting, though I can’t really say that, I’ve done it before!!

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One big mistake I made was microwaving the sari as I was in the process of felting it with the wool.  There is gold thread in the weave that was fine when it was very wet, but once the felting piece started to dry out, it burned a few little holes in the material, which I had to felt over to cover and hold together.

John showed up last night, a day early (he likes to surprise us) and we have been working on the barn all day today.  I was burned out on felting after two straight days of it anyway, so working outside in the fresh air is a good shift of energy.

Meeting Frank Shu Tang Dong

John and I travelled to California this week to look at the shops and art and make contacts in the art world in Southern California.  We had a great time.  I loved talking to the shop owners and other artists and eating at great food places with John.

Here is a wonderful artist I met today while he was painting in his little booth at the Ferry Building Marketplace.  His name is Frank Shu Tang Dong, and he has been painting for 50 years.  Some of his work is in museums now.

His website is frankshutangdong.com

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What a sweet man and there is such a good feeling about him.  His art is quite varied and at least 6 or 7 paintings really caught my eye, but I only bought two!

Melanie’s Creation at a Recent Felting Workshop

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Above, final layout before felting.

Melanie laying out the fibers and silk for the sky.

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Laying out the darker green in the fields for the shadows cast by the clouds.  I swear, this looks positively 3-D!

The felting process.

Above, the finished product after felting and drying.  Absolutely gorgeous!