Yesterday I was not sure where to go with my series. I left off with a fused fabric beaded number and throbbing hands/wrists...trying to decide whether or not to continue with the beading. Well, guess I am a glutton for punishment, 'cause I sure did keep beading in my daily art.
Instead of continuing with the hand-dyed, fused fabrics...which I love, don't get me wrong...I moved on to working with some my photographs that I had printed on fabric in graduate school.
Here's a recap of the backstory on those images...
And I did play around with those images some in grad school. Here are close-ups of two pieces where I tried to control myself and NOT bead the entire image;
So when I was getting started last night after an AMAZING home-cooked Italian meal (I love you, Aunt Nancy!!!) I was trying to figure out whether to head back to my canvas paper or go back to my fabric stash and get my fusible web out...and then I saw the stack of my digital prints on fabric.
And there were exactly six in the stack.
And I have six days left in July.
So it was decided.
For this piece I picked out one of my digital prints, then used acrylic paint to lightly paint the image onto the fabric, continuing with the closed eyes. Then...got out some beads and tried to control myself and not bead the entire image. (seriously, the struggle is REAL...I love beads...could barely restrain myself) I finished off with some small metallic blue stitches in the face and then I made myself put the needle and thread down, and stop.
The piece was already fused to batting, so it has a firm hand. I may or may not finish off the back with a fabric. My intention for the presentation of the piece is that it be displayed the same as my drawings and works on paper, in a white mat, framed.
Here she is;
I have been working on my daily pieces, starting them and then continuing to work on them over the past few days...again...trying to maintain some sense of cohesion and a linear narrative.
At least, that was my intention.
Before this point, I was painting with acrylic and then adding bits and pieces of threads to add some texture. (See pic below for reference, left to right) Then, I started to add some scrap fabric...then pulled back and just worked with some sequins...then I even cut out my painted image from the canvas paper and attached it to one of my own hand-dyed cotton fabrics.
Oh...and at some point I started really liking the idea of the face with the eyes closed.
And I started introducing some other color to the progression...adding in pink....
And then...ya'll...I went a little crazy.
Sorry Mrs. Aldridge, by beloved HS English teacher...but I went ALOT crazy. (I know it isn't a word, but I need this word in my life right now)
I took to painting directly on the hand-dyed fabric...oh, and I dyed the fabric by the way!
Then...oh goodness...then I started working with the fabric like a collage, fusing my fabrics.
I started beading.
And...I couldn't stop.
My hands are currently throbbing and I am trying to stay away from the work space I set up in the living room...cause every time I walk by I see the beads...and they catch the light...and I am trying to stop walking by the stash of hand dyed fabrics that are all spread out in color order in my studio...
Here are some close-ups of the last few works...all those beads? Yeah, hand stitched on. One by one...except for the edging, I would create a line of beads and then 'couch' them along the edges;
And here is my current dilemma;
And...I don't think I am sticking to my original intention, which was to explore surfaces, textures and techniques related to that.
And...my hands really DO hurt. Like...bad.
So today will be a big day, trying to decide how to finish up the series with the final six pieces.
...been back from our anniversary getaway and finally finished up all the pieces I have been working on. So far the series has taken on a more 'sketchy' feel, more white space in my compositions...a combination of colored pencil, conté crayon, watered down acrylics some other surface treatments and...THREADS! Still playing around with using various threads to frame the face, some glued, did go into the canvas paper and actually stitch some but I didn't like how the line was broken, and using longer stitches resulted in loss of the 'curve' of the hair. I am not sure how these all ended up being monochromatic, so I may introduce some more colors. My goal for adding the threads was to create a visual connection within the series to adding more fibers.
How am I going to do this? I don't actually know...guess we'll see!
...back to the blog soon...will be enjoying in this view and spending time with my sweetheart!
...but I will still be making my daily art!
Hi, I am Jenny and I make art.
I also sell the art I make.
Wow, why is that so hard for me? I have all the support in the world...my husband is a professor of marketing. He writes fancy papers and does fancy research...and his stuff gets published. His specialty? Social Media.
Me? I am an artist and an art teacher. I do a great job making art. I mean...I make it every day, made that commitment in 2012 and I have stuck to it, sometimes making more that one piece. What I do a terrible job at...marketing...selling my work. I am so focused on actually making the work...I don't put tons of time into selling it...I make the work, post it, write about it...but I don't really put myself out there in terms of selling. I have tried to get a little better, reading articles, going to some workshops and presentations...I did get gallery representation, so that was a HUGE step...and my work at the gallery has been selling...but there is SO MUCH of it...even though the gallery has about 200 pieces...eek.
But, the work I make every day...the work is actually for sale...that's the thing.
Everything I make is for sale, I prefer to sell originals, and I keep the prices reasonable. Some pieces, right now mostly work from 2012-2014, are available through Gallery 2014. As for the rest of it, especially anything from 2015...all you have to do if let me know the piece you are interested in via FB msg, web contact or email...and I will respond. I'll give you the size, materials, info about the piece, links if available...and, most importantly, the price.
I did make steps to be more of a sales person by setting up a third-party print on demand site, right now that is through Fine Art America but I am looking into some additional sites so I can offer more products; For now, here is my 'shop';
Yesterday I spent some time at Barnes and Noble looking through different books and magazines for inspiration and information on new ideas/techniques. I ended up spending most of my time reading the 'Artists and Makers' summer 2015 issue...and the focus? Selling your work as an artist. The letter from the editor set the tone, basically saying that as an artist, who better to sell your work than you? Who else will be as passionate about your work?
And I know that is a true statement...and I was super fired up...then I had way too much coffee, got distracted...went to see Jess and Sof...got distracted again by a box of fabrics...then I kept pushing the whole thing away...because truth be told it's easier for me to make the work that put myself out there selling the work. Some of ya'll artists out there will feel me.
But...gotta get over it. This work ain't gonna sell itself...and there is a TON of it. So...much...art.
You may see more 'sales' post on my social media accounts. Its gonna be out of my comfort zone, but I am going to to it. If you like my work let me know, help share the info...or buy some!
Okay...whew! That was tough. Gonna go bury myself in some mixed media work now! -JLG
After John and I were married in July of 2005 we moved 'back home' for a year. It was during that year that we planned a trip 'out west' in the fall, we flew into Albuquerque, NM and rented a car, then made our way through New Mexico, Nevada and California. San Diego was the last stop on the list and we loved it so much that we moved there a year later. Its funny looking back on the pictures now, SO MANY memories, would definitely do it all over again.
Something else I took pictures of on the trip- TEXTURES. I really started noticing all of these textures around me so I started taking photos of them with the intention of doing SOMETHING with them. I wasn't sure what...just...something.
Fast forward to the fall of 2007. We had moved back from CA to Greenville, NC to go back to school. I was pursuing my MAEd and John was working towards his MBA at our undergrad alma mater, East Carolina University. We moved back so we could have the benefit of taking our classes face to face. For me, this meant that I had access to the Jenkins Fine Art Building...to the textiles studio...and to my favorite professor, Christine Zoller.
I wasn't sure where to start with my graduate work...so I thought about something that has always inspired me- texture...and luckily I had some photo references that I could work from- my pics from our trip our west! (Yay, me!) I printed my images on fabric and then fused them to some batting to give the pieces a little more firmness...then started doing what I love- embellishing.
The first piece (far left) ...okay, so I went a little crazy beading. I totally forgot about my image underneath, that became secondary to beading...and beading...and beading some more. The new texture focus became the beads. In the second and third piece I tried to take a more refined approach, less beading, the tiniest stitches...it was all I could do to put down the needle and thread...which leads me to the piece on the far right, a return to absolute bead craziness. Business as usual.
(My later works in grad school would be a little closer to the last piece, but with my paintings on paper layered as a part of the piece, a concept I would like to revisit this month)
Here's the 'UNFINISHED BUSINESS' part of this whole diatribe...when I was looking for threads for my daily art yesterday I came across an envelope that had my digital images already printed on fabric, fused to batting and ready to go.
I also found THESE unfinished pieces...hand-dyed fabrics, fused...some partially beaded...some not even close...
July is well under way, and so is my new series. I extended the June 2015 'Grateful Dead' series to cover our time in Chicago for the Fare Thee Well shows...so the July series will be five short...which really bothers me...because I am so OCD...so that may change.
Many times I link my themes with travels and/or events that are happening in any given month. That's what happened with my June series, everything leading up to the shows. In previous years I would follow the Creative Every Day theme suggestions...but for the month of July I didn't really have any travel plans (other that a short, local 10 year anniversary trip!!!) so...and the CED theme didn't jump out at me (it's 'slow', BTW, the theme for July)...so...I was kinda on my own with the theme.
I have been cleaning and organizing, which I LOVE to do. One project that I am working on is going through old pics, trying to get them at least a little bit more organized. I half-heartedly started this project before our last trip, but gave up and put everything away. One of the things I came across were pictures of my art from undergrad, when I was in textiles at East Carolina University.
And one of specific items was a flier from my senior show with fellow art ed/textile senior, Kelly;
One thing that I can say about the way I learned about art and the way I teach art...I really do focus on the formal qualities of the work. There are different opinions on how art should be taught, and I love hearing about all of them...but at the end of the day I break work down (and OBSESS) over specific formal qualities of the work, often expressed as elements and principles. This being said, I could ponder the quality of a line in a piece of work...get caught up in color...enthralled by subtle changes in value...I could go on...
But TEXTURE. Texture has always been kinda my thing. Implied texture, actual texture...I love it. I think that is what really connected me to textiles in undergrad, I loved the feeling of the different yarns when I was weaving...the feel of the different fabrics...layering my screens when I printed, 'painting' with them and not washing them in between, too caught up in the layers I was creating. And don't even get me started on beadwork and basically any type of embellishing...just...don't.
Here are some old skool pics from my undergrad and grad days at ECU that show my interest in texture;
But it wasn't just the textures in fibers- it was textures in drawings, paintings and mixed media pieces, which has continued into what I do now. I don't dye fabric anymore. I haven't made a tapestry in a minute. I can't tell you the last time I dressed a loom, or went into the dark room to burn a screen. And as for beading...my containers are all on the shelf, color coordinated...but untouched. But...I create textures with salt and rubbing alcohol in my watercolors...I like to print and stamp when I paint with acrylics...I like to layer different papers and materials and then draw/paint on them...so that passion for texture is still present, just in a different form.
So for July I decided to revisit that idea of surfaces. Last month I worked with markers, color pencils and watercolor and had a little fun with salt texture. This month I want to try out a few new techniques for creating textures in paint...maybe some additional materials...stamp..collage...who knows...maybe I will even break out some fabrics and beads...that's a slippery slope for me...but I just might, gonna leave it wide open. This is the perfect time to take this on- we will be home for pretty much the rest of the month so I don't have to worry about travelling with a bunch of materials, something that I always plan for when deciding on my monthly series.
Another motivation...and please understand I am NOT READY to think about going back to school yet (hey, I just trained myself to sleep after 6am!!) ...I was thinking that this is also a good chance for me to learn/practice some new techniques that I could use with my students next year, so this is for my personal AND professional development. (gotta love a win-win!)
All this being said, I have my first three pieces up in my gallery, and here below;
I try to think about maintaining some kind of linear narrative within my monthly body of work, I don't like it when there is a huge change in material or colors...again...just me being an #OCPDartist. I figured since I just finished working with watercolor then it would be a good place to start...then I jumped into adding some gouache and acrylic on the second and third pieces, having fun stamping the color onto my paper with saran wrap and even my fingers. I keep going back to the image of the face with the eyes closed, at peace, calm, content...when I think back on my love for textiles I always think about the personal connection that everyone has with fabrics...the feel of your favorite blanket or your favorite stuffed animal...a crocheted blanket or quilt passed down from a family member...that sense of connection and memory...comfort.
Again...starting off this series in paint and mixed media...but it may end up going back to fibers in some form or another...but the focus being that treatment of the surface, whether it be through actual or implied textures.
So I made the decision to 'get back truckin' on' and just...keep going. We traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to visit with John's friend Arian...then on to visit my 'brotha Fish' and his wife just outside of Minneapolis, MN (and meet their little girl for the first time!)...then back to WI for the night...and then on to Chicago, IL for the shows...and then finally back to Madison...then home to Florida.
...making art all along the way!
July 1st...I think it was on the drive to MN...I heard 'Turn on Your Love Light' and I remember just thinking, 'I want to draw that one today.' So I did. July 2nd I wasn't really sure until we were riding about the Wisconsin Dells and I saw a sign for 'Mexicali Rose' restaurant...so I immediately thought of 'Mexicali Blues'!
And then...it was on to the main event...the three days of shows in Chicago.
I don't think that there are words that can really speak to what an amazing experience this was. Over 70,000 people every night, sold out...everyone singing along, dancing in their seats, dancing in the aisles, smiling, hugging. They opened up with 'Box of Rain' and closed with 'Attics of My Life'. It was a beautiful experience that I am so thankful to have been a part of. I will be forever GRATEFUL.
Speaking of grateful... THANK YOU to my husband John, he made this happen. That man of mine...he is truly magic and he really understands the meaning of this experience. I love you.
The final three pieces in the series...each one represents one night of the shows.
I included the set list in each piece and the date.
And that's it. It was a LONG, STRANGE TRIP indeed.
And the music never stopped, and it never will.
And neither will the heART.
...and I am already three pieces deep into my July 2015 series...gonna post the work but the explanation will have to wait til mañana!
...just a gal trying to get this art out of my soul to share with the world on a DAILY basis...no big deal...check out my ramblings!-JLG