Summer has finally hit us here in Northern Illinois. That means the heat, humidity and of course the mosquitoes finally decided to show up. I’ve been very busy socially, packing overnight bags for the last 3 or 4 weekends. I feel like my studio has been neglected. It’s been almost 2 years since we moved into this house and I sometimes feel that I still haven’t really embraced my new studio space, but that is another post for another day. In the meantime I need to remind myself that I am productive even when I’m feeling like a slug. Here are some things that I have been working on lately.
Months ago I had the idea for a circle series piece with a ring of pierced paper. I spent many hours working on it. When I finished the ring, I went on to add the next layers and COMPLETELY RUINED the whole thing. Here it is below, in all of its beauty and glory, before I ruined it.
I feel like I rarely ruin artwork, and even if something looks like it is bad, if I keep working on it, it will come back around, but this was un-salvageable. Lesson learned, work on quicker layers first, to make sure everything is to satisfaction before investing hours of work on piercing. I scratched the piece and started a newer and larger piece. Most of my circle series pieces have been 9 inches square. This new one is 13 inches, so the piercing ring is even larger. I feel like I’ve been working on it forever, but I know it will be worth it because it is so beautiful.
Next up we have books for sending out as mailart.
I was refreshed and inspired by the book I got back from Mim and made a ton of (20) new books to create artwork on the covers and then send out. Previously I have just collaged on the covers, but I decided to try painting and messing about first, before applying any paper layers.
I painted with gouaches, acrylics and used dry pastels. I kind of loved the abstract layers and the colors and now I’m afraid to cover it up. You can see the one in the bottom right corner I applied washi tape. I wasn’t crazy about it, but when I tried to pull it back off it started pulling the paint and paper up with it.
I finally learned how to do this V technique on friendship bracelets, only 25 years after I first started making friendship bracelets. When I was a kid I could just do the single sided slant, or a finger wearing loop style. A year or two ago I tried figuring it out with tutorials online, but would only end up with a mess and two separate slanted bracelets, not connecting in the middle. A few weeks ago we had a teenager temping at work, picking up the phones for us, and she was making this style and showed me how. I’ve made several ever since. It seems like a very summer thing to do, right?
And then, last night I started on this:
I was inspired by a felt brooch mushroom I saw on etsy. It was a bit more cartoony, and I thought it was nice, but that I would like to try and make my very own with my very own spin to it. I google image searched the Fly Agaric mushroom and came up with this design using a few threads of embroidery floss and some vintage felt from my stash. The original idea was that I was going to use that off white felt in the background as the background for the mushroom, but now I’m kind of liking the dark green. Maybe I’ll make it into a patch, rather than a brooch? It was kind of funny because I posted the progress picture of the mushroom to instagram last night and when I did, I all of a sudden had a flashback of about 5-7 years ago I had the idea to make a mushroom brooch for myself. It also was this kind of mushroom, but it was more cartoony, like the one I recently saw on etsy. I worked on it for several hours before I decided I hated the color combinations of felt I had used and just couldn’t progress. For years I used it to hold my needles, but I think I might have just thrown it out recently when I found it again and still hated the fabric colors. I love this one, so hopefully I don’t ruin it. I want to anchor it down on a circle background and I’m afraid that once I do that it will look stupid and I will have wished I just kept it in it’s mushroom shape. I’m crossing my fingers it keeps its awesomosity.
My plan to unofficially post a new item everyday fell apart when I went to access the memory card on my camera (with hours worth of product pictures stored) and the disc was somehow corrupted. Yeah, I could have bitten the bullet and took new pictures, but we had a few weeks of dark and rainy days. Then a bunch of my shop items started expiring and need to be relisted. For the last year or so I’ve been trying to limited renewing or adding brand new to one a day. So, whether I have new items or renewed items, there is still a new listing M-F.
I still am working towards getting my patterned book covers printed. When I put together the mock ups I noticed some thing that I had missed during the initial round of cleaning up the images in photoshop, ahem, stray cat hairs on the scanner. The files look good, now I just need to find a place to get them printed, as the last place I used has closed. I don’t want to order prints online, and would prefer to find a printer nearby. We will see how it goes.