Simplifying, downsizing, decluttering—trend? fad? whatever? Some say it clears the mind as well as the home. I’ll let you know.
What I am choosing to do is to give up the jpknits.com domain. That means that website, not the blog, is going away. It also means the email@example.com email is also going away. I will still keep this blog and will check in from time to time, but the only way to get to it will be https://merelyasuggestion.wordpress.com so you may need to resubscribe if you came here via http://jpknits.com.
Patterns will still be available via ravelry.com. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Still on Facebook.
I have lots of places that will require me to change my email, passwords, user data; and I will try to work through them as fast as possible. Simplifying can be very complicated which is why I didn’t do this much earlier.
I hope that as a new Spring is here, you are making new things. Here’s my latest effort:
Evan is working on his Cub Scout Art pin and I am getting to help. One of the requirements he elected was to make paper.
Obviously, I didn’t know how.
But thanks to Google and YouTube and a house full of art stuff, I learned.
I’m still a beginner, but this was fun. I may get better equipment—-and I may not. It’s mostly water, paper pulp from recycling paper, and gumption. Suitable for age 8 to “I.m no longer telling.”
This is my husband Steve.
He is a right-brained mechanical engineer and he is very, very smart. He knows lots of math and science things, but he also knows history and the arts. He can name any rock guitarist in 6 measures. He doesn’t think he has any artistic talent and, about this, he is dead wrong.
This is one of his sketchbooks. Yes, it is a piece of shim with equations written in Sharpie. He has lots of ideas–but that’s another story. When I saw some of his designs, I said YOU SHOULD DO SOME T-SHIRTS. Ands he did.
Recognize this formula? Me, neither. It is the Golden Ratio, or Mean, or Spiral. It defines the perfect composition for an artwork. Ask Leonardo. It says a lot about Steve that this would be his first piece. And that he would not label it and make it easy for the rest of us.
This is his shirt from the first picture. Kekule discovered the Benzine ring. Turns out he was having a hard time figuring out how to visually represent it until he had a dream about a snake swallowing his tail. Hmmmmm.
These were my Christmas presents.
I love art that makes me stop and then maybe laugh. Salvadore Dali’s melting clocks fits
the bill in spite of its deeper meaning. Only for me I got a melting iPhone.
He, too, has been experimenting with art supplies. He started with fabric paint from the craft store. For Christmas I gave him Shiva Paintstiks. He is having a great time.
Here are the new ones:
The Shiva Paintstiks leave the fabric unchanged. No stiffness. And they can be mixed like oil paints. We both like them.
I’m so proud.
One of the things I most like to do in my Art Adventures is to experiment. I read an article recommending tonal papers for watercolor, grey or tan papers, or even colored papers. I said “H-m-m-m-m-m-m-m.”
Then I bought a pad of Strathmore papers which had white, light grey, grey, dark grey, and black paper. Clearly I could now discover how the color of the paper affected the finished work.
I drew a funky bird sitting in a nest. Then I colored the back of that drawing with pencil and transferred the drawing to the white, lt. grey, and grey paper. Pencil won’t show up on my dark grey and black paper. That was my first problem to solve. Aha! I finally have found out what the white charcoal pencil is for. I had to trace a new copy of my test drawing and cover the back of it with white charcoal and transfer it to the darker papers.
Finally, I traced over the drawings with pen (1-3) and a Sakura white glaze pen (4-5). Now I could paint.
I began the process of painting the birds using my Derwent Inktense artbars. They are like watercolors except the pigment is ink. They are brighter and I’m all about that. First I painted the blue bodies (1000-ultramarine) and the orange dots (300). First lesson–Ultramarine doesn’t show well on darker papers. I overpainted the two darkest with a lighter shade (900) and this was better. Immediately I noticed that the ultramarine did not show well on the darkest papers.
I overpainted the two darkest with a lighter shade (900) and this was better.
Step 5: I painted the outer nest with a three lighter colors: 1900-a chocolate, 1800-burnt sienna, and 1700-a mustard gold. As I added these three layers, it became harder and harder to get the paper to accept the color. Perhaps the paper had absorbed all the wet media it could. I really don’t know. I rechecked the tablet notes and saw the paper was designed for “dry” media. Such statements never stop me from trying. You never know . . .
I did note that the resulting nests were painted with different amounts of dark and light colors.
The final details were added with Prismacolor pencils which are waxy. They are more intense that my regular pencils and are easy to use. I added shading and some highlights with some pens. Finally I was satisfied I had done all I could do.
Ideas to take forward–
1. Lighter areas\colors have more impact on darker backgrounds.
2. Shading can be deeper tones (values), greys, or complimentary colors.
3. Dark paper does not always indicate gloom and doom.
4. Unexpected benefit—-By using my favorite colors, this project helps me see the effects of the value of the background and can be a reference for the future.
5—12. These will dawn on me later when I am working on something else.
Hope you learned something or got an idea for an experiment of your own.
Those of you who know me are aware that I cannot eat without staining my clothes. This is why I always take a busy scarf to restaurants. So much more attractive than a bib. Some years ago, in a moment of genius, I combined some of my bits of freeform knit and crochet with my stained T-shirts.
This new challenge to alter Erica’s jacket (here) has sent me a different way. Paint and thread, but embroidery. Since I know little about painting cloth, I experimented. (Not knowing what I am doing has never inconvenienced me in any way.)
These samples are made without a textile medium to change the paint from regular paint to fabric paint. Fabric paint has additives that increase its ability to be soft and flexible even after washing and drying. Tulip makes a good product available at Michael’s. I haven’t played with mixing my own colors using that paint. Crayola makes an awesome fabric marker and they are cheap. Still I have the color problem.
Yes, I have dyes–lots of them, but they involve measuring and not breathing powder and it is sort of like cooking. I don’t do that.
I even have a bottle of Golden’s textile medium (GAC-900, I think), but in my excitement I forgot all about it.
I kept the paints sheer and thin except for a few stamps. This makes if very easy to handsew on it. The handsewing was important to me because I wanted this to be a portable project. I have avoided beads and plastic buttons only because I don’t think they fit with my “vision.”
Next time, I will also drag out and paint bits of shiny cloth and some upholstery things buried somewhere in the attic. I have already washed some dark pieces to try, but who knows when.
My next decision is whether or not to just deconstruct the whole jacket so I don’t have to wrestle so much as I try to add pieces. If I do that, I can also trace the pieces and make some other jackets. Yeah, right. Too many ideas, too little time.
If you have any advice, please don’t hesitate.