Just Magic Challenge

The local fibre arts group I belong to that meets at Satin Moon decided to set ourselves monthly challenges this year to keep things interesting.

The challenge for January was anything starting with J, which one member dubbed the J-Cloth Challenge.  Here’s my finished piece, well finished except for the hanging sleeve.  The centre medallion is a sketch I made in the fall in Melanie Testa’s drawing challenge.  Thanks to Spoonflower it’s now on fabric and you can even buy it!

I considered beading this, but Young Sprout greatly admires it so I think I’ll leave it child proof at least for a couple of years.  Plus, his last name is different than mine and it’ll be cool to be able to say “Just Magic, in the collection of Mr. Young Sprout.”

This detail shows Dale MacEwan’s sunpainted fabric. It’s the pale pink and green in the middle between the green batik and my red and green shibori made in Susan Purney Mark’s class.

Combinations of red and green fascinate me.  It’s often found in nature from rhubarb and red leaf lettuce to geraniums, yet not exploited that much by artists for some reason, nor in decoration.  Maybe people think it’s too Christmassy?  What do you think?  Can those apparently overdone combos like orange and black or pink, red, and purple be revamped into something that doesn’t scream “Boo” or “Goo”?

Nature study

One theme emerging from my drawings is a preference for manufactured objects with natural things such as plants or landscapes.  Today I was at the cafe and decided on a planter about ten feet away, the only hiccup was as people came to the door they would obscure the view!  I struggled to draw front to back and not have the back of the planter showing through the plants.

Kiosk

Another drawing at the cafe, done in the early afternoon so light changing was less of an issue.  Let’s just say it’s a good thing they have cultured marble table tops and not white tablecloths.  I’m frustrated because I still don’t have enough control of the lines the pen is making to convey shading and highlighting or textures of surfaces.  This thing was a bugger to draw, in fact it has panels attached to its legs so that on each side you are looking at two panels that meet at an angle.  To show them you would have to work front to back, and for me to draw a structure like this, I have to build it as a structure.  It took 15 minutes to draw this, so although I could have gone on drawing the cobblestone pattern around the poured concrete circle, I decided to call it a day.  Actually the cobblestone pattern (which I suspect is also made of tinted concrete in a mould of some sort) would make a nice quilt pattern, either pieced fabrics in similar shades or actually quilting the lines into the finished top.

Lutradur bowl

This is a Lutradur bowl made as an inspirational prototype for Laine Canivet’s workshop at next summer’s Quilting in the Trees retreat.   I fused two layers together with Steam A Seam 2, stitched extra layers to form the base, then used Wonderfil Accent rayon in coral to embellish, along with other neutral variegated threads.  I enjoy the translucency of Lutradur, and that it doesn’t fray!  For other ideas involving heat and paint, see here.

This afternoon I resumed the cafe life.  This time I sat in the glassed in porch looking north and selected some elements of the landscape to convey gloomy clouds hanging over a misty landscape with modern street lights in front.  Reading that description, it sounds like an oil painting perhaps by Thomas Kincade or those paintings of Paris in the rain (are they all painted by the same person or is there a whole atelier full of artists pouting when the sun comes out????  “encore du soleil, quelle misere!”)

I did better with the ink and ruling pen, using a piece of scratch paper to start the ink flowing, so no nasty blobs, and it dried much faster.  This is a very edited landscape and I could probably sit in the same spot, pick out different elements, and make a completely different looking scene.

Seascape

Went to the Ogden Point Cafe this morning.  It’s remarkable how fast the light changes early in the day.  Still frustrated by the smudging and by the way the pen won’t always start writing when I want it to, even fully loaded.  By the time I left the ship in the sketch had disappeared.  My hometown Brighton is on the English Channel and if you see a ship in the morning you’ll still be able to see it in the afternoon, just farther east or west.  Tried to convey the texture of the water which varies because of the shoals beneath the surface. At least I was able to sip on my coffee as I worked!

The Cafe Life

My first foray into drawing at a cafe, using ink and a pen and drawing deliberately as opposed to doodling while waiting for a friend to arrive.

Lessons learned:

If you draw a coffee mug, you can’t drink from it until the drawing is completed

bring a wet wipe to clean off the pen

allow drying time before you can leave

 

Find I’m noticing reflections a lot more than before.  At the top of the gleaming white mug I could clearly see a reflection of my notebook.

Slightly surreal

Today’s feels more like an illustration.   I used the ruling pen but tried not to get any large blotches where I didn’t want them.  This was somewhat inspired by illustrations in a children’s book, Freight Train by Donald Crews published in 1978 by Greenwillow Books, but I will have to look at the illustrations to be more confident about showing more than just the smokestack!  When the drawing was finished I realized it could be mistaken for a hat.