Monday, August 27, 2012

Biding my time

Why is it that I don't mind caring for everyone else but I hate just laying around, being cared for, when I am sick? Randy says I am just like my mom! Stubborn and a terrible patient. For me, laying around is NO FUN, unless I feel well enough to paint or draw.  I do know that as I start to feel better I can't wait to get free from the bed or couch where I have parked myself. Once a place of comfort and rest has now started to confine me! This last day,that I have promised to stay down and rest, is finally coming to an end. At the beginning I couldn't think of drawing or reading,sleeping was it. Now I am anxious to get to work! Randy suggested that I go into Jenns room and watch a movie with her, so on my way in I grabbed a Lino block,some carving tools,a pencil and my iPad! I wanted to make some stamps of old keys for a project I am working on. Jenns bed raises up and down so I raised the head up until I was in a sitting position and proceeded to draw old keys onto my Lino block. I then carved and watched a great tear jerker movie with Jenn. I am already feeling much better as I was feeling good enough to make ART! Now all I have to do is make sure I get all the crumbs out of her bed! Here is my new stamp, I love it! If you feel good, Make Art today!

- Desiree

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Good news is welcome anytime!

I sent my quilt (Tortured Soul) to the Pacific West Quilt show and my friend Dianne Young surprised me with a picture from the show and it looks like I received an honorable mention and possibly the Mayors Award, I won't know until the quilt comes home! I have been under the weather lately and this brightened my day considerably. Good news always seems to brighten the day, thanks Dianne for taking the time to share it with me!

This quilt was done for the challenge, Beneath the Surface, by Dinner @eight artists. I had sketched this women in a class and wondered what was on her mind. I thought about how we often wear a face of "I am fine" but there are so many things we are dealing with beneath the surface. It's only when we care enough to take the time to look deeper that we can see those things. Within the quilt, mixed into all the quilting and design are hidden words of things we all deal with, will you take the time to find the words? Will you take the time to see beneath the surface in the people around you?

- Desiree

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Another Adventure!!

We all have opportunities in our lives, some are good and some might not be, but they all are learning opportunities. As many of you know I took some time off of designing fabric for several reasons. I left Red Rooster also and took time to really think about what I wanted to do with my time. I found that I missed designing a collection. I missed a bit of the stress and mostly I missed the excitement of designing and showing my own fabric. But I will share with you that its not easy and there is a lot of self doubt that tries to creep in and tell me that I can't do it, your no good etc. I am sure you have all faced that too. Well let me tell you it never goes away, it just becomes something that I push through and manage. I think that is the only difference. Thats the difference in the ones that do it and the ones that continue to allow the negative voice win. What are your dreams? Write them down in your journal and look at them often when that voice tells you you can't do it. Write down what the voice is telling you and then write down a positive response to it. Keep it where you can see it and remind yourself that you are talented and have a creative soul.

Have you ever dreamed of designing fabric and don't know how you would ever start? Whether you ever publish it or not doesn't matter, but if you design something you love you can always print your own fabric at Spoonflower.  I will walk you through my process and you can follow along and develop your own line.
1. Come up with an idea, something that you can think about and develop from. For instance, Fall, Flowers, Christmas, Books, it could be anything that might interest you and that you would buy at a fabric store. Think about it from the consumers view also, think about what you like to buy. You don't have to be a great artists, many different styles work, I see some of the most basic stick figures on fabric or in print and they are wonderful!
2. Select your color way, you don't have to stick with it but its a good idea to have an idea of your color palette before you start.
3. Make a list of ideas that are related to your theme. So if you were doing beach you would write, sand, shells, ocean, flip flops, hats, sunscreen etc. Keep going and keep adding even days later to your list as things pop into your mind. I do this all the time, for everything I do, it is a great source to get me thinking. You will find once you have settled in on your idea you mind will begin to play. This is when your creative voice is winning over your negative voice! Go with it, sketch some thumbnail sketches of ideas, sketch some single items, continue to look at and refine, redraw, paint its a process, allow it to happen. If it doesn't turn out the way you thought it should do it again, don't give up! Keep all your idea sketches together. I will find that when I am focused on an idea my mind is forever thinking of that idea. When I am out shopping, having lunch, in the shower my mind never stops. I will be out shopping and see something that inspires me for my theme and take a photo of it. Not to copy but to spring off of and create something from that idea. I also often will be telling Randy about an idea I just had and I will scribble it on a napkin or what ever is handy, I will make sure that they go into my sketchbook where I am formulating the idea.
4. Scan them into a computer if you know anything about photo editing or have a graphics program you can develop it further digitally also! Its not required but it helps with time as you can paint it once, scan it in and then copy and paste to make lots more. You can take multiple images, resize them and put them together to make a tossed fabric. It allows you the ability to clean up the images in case you painted outside the lines, or erase mistakes so you don't have to repaint or use whiteout. There are so many things you can do digitally that you can't do manually that it makes it worth the effort to learn some of the basics. If that is something you think you want to do, write it down as a goal and give yourself a time to do it! Take baby steps, don't expect to sit down and be able to learn it all, its impossible. Start off with some basic tasks that you would like to be able to do and learn how to do those. How do I learn you might ask? I don't want to take a college course etc. Well there are many small classes being taught at quilt shows, trade shows etc about all kinds of computer issues these days since it is becoming more and more a part of our lives, like it or not. I like to tackle things as they arise also. For instance, I want to make something happen like make a digital stamp from one of my drawings in photoshop. You might be thinking, OMG, I don't know how to crop. It doesn't matter what it is, you start where you are and move forward. So I would google making a stamp in Photoshop and there are so many free tutorials, videos etc. I did this exact thing and found out how amazingly simple it was! Its a process, do it as you need it but do it! The more you learn how things work the more confidence you will build within yourself as you master some skills.
5. Put together your main, focus fabric. This might be a panel or just a main design that will be repeated across the fabric. I am working on "The 12 Days of Christmas". I did the original drawing last year for a client to license for ornaments in 2013. The design was basically done as individual days on a white background and will be put onto a snowflake ornament shape as the center design. So I developed it as a circle for that client. Well for fabric and quilts the circles don't work as well, it is much better as a square. So I first addressed that issue. If you are designing fabric make sure your designs work within a standard quilting layout of squares, strips, triangles etc. I took my designs and transformed them, here is my Partridge for the ornament then made into a square for fabric.

See how I took my idea and made it fit with in a square for the panel I am creating? It will be easier in a quilt or project this way. A simple square and border did the trick.  So start to create the elements of your designs. I obviously did 12 different designs just for the 12 days of Christmas then I also had to paint other elements that I thought fit with the idea I was developing so I went with musical notes, words, berries, holly, candy canes, etc.  I am still working on finalizing the complete line but I wanted to share the process so far. This is a great project for you also! You don't have to do all the work I am doing to get it ready for fabric but if you look at this one design you could make Christmas Cards, note cards, thank you cards,  pot holders, pockets for your Christmas Jacket. Your one image could be transferred to fabric right now, on your computer and printer and made into something.

More on this process in future posts.
Questions? Please use the comment board so others can see what you might want to ask, I will respond there.

I am proud to announce that I am designing fabric for Quilting Treasures and this fabric line, "The 12 Days of Christmas" will be available in your local quilt shop next year, thats only 6 months away! I also think that the ornaments will be available for sale next Christmas also. I will let everyone know later.

Take one of your dreams and take one step in that direction to make it happen today!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Feeling trapped creatively???

I was having one of those weeks that we all have every now and then. Feeling like I was boxed in and stuck somewhere I didn't want to be. Do you feel like that sometimes too? Not only in your personal life but in your creative life? Do you want to break out? Me too!

Sometimes we are feeling trapped because of our circumstances or situation that is out of our control. Other times its just that we can't seem to find anything that really excites us to create. Its time for my wake up call to you! The longer you let the time go by the harder it is to start up again. You know its true! How many times have you started the gym, with all good intentions, to only go a few times before you stop again. Those first few trips are so painful, the days following are too, BUT, if you can power through you know in the long run you are healthier and the pain goes away. It not only goes away but it is replaced by a wanting to go. Your creative muscle is the same! The longer you wait to start the harder it will be. So what do you do?

Art should be an enjoyable process but sometimes it is frustrating because you can not achieve that thing you would like to achieve. To achieve a higher level of quality takes time and practice and so we end up back at the beginning of our circle, getting started. Try to pencil in some creative time, each day or every other day or twice a week. Start off slow, making sure you don't set yourself up to fail! Its a process, like exercise. You wouldn't run into the gym and work out for 4 hours straight and try to do that everyday. Your body would not only revolt but your mind would think you were crazy since you can now no longer walk or get up or down off the toilet! Am I right or what? Can you tell I have done this a time or two in my life?

If you are uninspired start out by just doodling something or nothing, just by getting your pencil moving the process has started. Go to your home library that is probably filled with art book or magazines that would help to inspire you, do a small project from one of those sources. Go to the library or museum in your area to see art that might inspire you. Go to a local art walk, to the beach, the mountains somewhere you love and just sit and take it in. Sometimes when we have been shut in for awhile its hard to feel inspired, get out!

I do art everyday, practically. It is not the same kind of art though. I think I am ADD and I like variety since I get bored easily. I love to start my morning with some coffee, my sketchbook and sit outside and pray and draw. I often have a larger project I am working on such as a painting or a quilt that I will work on. I also have more commercial or illustrative work that I do for my licensing agent and for the fabric company that will have to be worked and reworked. I don't always just paint for me, I am usually painting for others. That could have a tendency to make Art just a job and that runs the risk of killing the creative process too. I must say that I love ART! In every form of the word, so whether I am working on my project or their project, a commissioned piece or a show piece its a blessing to not only have the talent to do ARt but it a blessing to be able to do Art for a living!

Remember, you have a gift, a wonderful gift that only your can explore. Your Art will be like no other, your Art is unique to you. You will only discover the really beauty of the gift if you explore it and use it. What will you do artistic today???

Monday, August 13, 2012

July Sketch class

With the heat keeping everyone inside this month we decided to do a bit more than sketching. We used regular watercolor paper and I handed out some photos of colorful peppers to paint. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using photos, the best ways to transfer a drawing over to watercolor paper, I gave them some secret tips and then proceeded to do the demo. Everyone did an amazingly good job on their peppers and I think they felt really good about what they took home.


Thursday, August 09, 2012

My demo at the Hemet Art Association

Yesterday I did a pastel demo for the Hemet Art Association. What a wonderful group of artists they have there. I felt both welcome and honored that they would all take the time to come out in the horrible heat to see me scribble with pastels and talk, talk, talk. I didn't realize how hard it is to paint and talk and keep a thought in my head. I have gotten so accustomed to just painting and getting into the zone that I forgot how hard it is to actually carry on a conversation as you paint. My brain is saying, ok use this color, make sure you don't mess up, don't make that terrible look you always make when painting, talk about something interesting while I am trying to answer questions talk about art. It ended up great and I raffled off 2 paintings for the group.  Thanks so much for a great time!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Brea reception was last night!

The International Pastel Society reception was last night! I was so thrilled to haveA piece in the show and some friends that came to support me! The show was wonderful, filled with some of the top pastel artist in the country so I felt honored to have a piece hanging in the show. Thank you Nancy and Pat for coming out to the reception! Randy and Jennifer, my trusty side kicks were there to support me too, as always. They were both so tired as they had been on a 1/2 day fishing trip that morning and had left the house at 4am. Thanks everyone!

The painting that won first place in the show was this lovely seascape called Splash by Jeanne Rosier Smith

Karen Howard and I next to her rose pastel called another splash of color.

Karen and I next to my oranges called Cara Cara after the name of the orange. The book I am carrying is a catalog all the artist received that show all the paintings in the show and their prices. Beautifully done in alphabetical order.

Jennifer making her way through the show checking out the art.

The show was packed with people which made for an exciting night, I also was thrilled to finally get a chance to meet Marie Tippets, Mary Aslin and Maggie Price!
- Desiree

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Monoprinting and Zentangling all at once!

A few weeks ago I took a Zentangling class with my friend Debbie. It was a combination class of Zentangling and Monoprinting. It took awhile to get moving but then it went on for hour after hour, allowing us plenty of time to play. I enjoyed the process and although I am not a zentangler but more of a doodler I see why people become hooked on it. The endless shapes that you can make and then put together to create some beautiful pieces of artwork. I only say this to show you a little of what I did in class, more on the mono printing side. I quickly got bored of paper and moved over to my sketchbook cover which I love now!! Those black moleskine covers are so lack luster that I am always compelled to cover them. This was a lot of fun! I love mono printing I just need to do it more often to become better at it.

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