Thursday, December 22, 2011

Eddie's Rooster

Luck blossomed from the first. A dusty Rhode Island red rooster who had wandered too far from his own farmyard crossed the road and Eddie hit him without running too far off the road.
(John Steinbeck, Cannery Row, chapter 13)

In Steinbeck’s book, the chicken ended up in a pot of soup with “a sack of carrots which had fallen from a vegetable truck, half a dozen onions which had not.” I have put the truck far enough down the road to give him a second chance to leap out of the way.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Working on Perspective

The perspective rules I had known about weren’t allowing the car to look like it was driving downhill. I learned yesterday to raise one of the vanishing points for slanting objects. The proportions seem off a little, but I think I won’t let it bother me in the interest of getting the painting done on time.

I will scale my drawing on the computer to fit the composition, and then trace it onto the watercolor paper to save the step of redrawing it again.

And then Eddie driving, they backed up over the rise, over the top and turned and headed forward and down past Hatton Fields.
(John Steinbeck, Cannery Row,chapter 13)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lee Chong’s Model T

Our final project for watercolor class is supposed to be based on something we’ve read. I’ve chosen a passage from “Cannery Row.” This is a value study for part of the painting. I have been working on redrawing this truck so it has the correct perspective to fit in the final composition.

The body of the car was so battered that its next owner cut it in two and added a little truck bed.
(John Steinbeck, Cannery Row, chapter 11)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Completed Again

There were a couple things in this painting that were bothering me too much, so I made a couple of fixes. The middle line on large pot is now following the curve of the pot better. And I’ve darkened the shadow near the bottom behind the lavender vase.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Still Life Completed

My watercolor still life is completed. Looking at it smaller on the computer is a bit like stepping back to view the painting as a whole. I immediately saw a couple things that I would change if I were in love with the painting. Not being totally in love with this one, I am calling it done.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Classroom Still Life

We are all painting from this still life in my watercolor class. I didn’t like how the candlestick was dividing the composition in half, and hiding most of the grapes, so I scooted it over in my drawing. I need to darken the shadows, and add some detail to the large pot and the bottle. I’ve printed a greyscale copy of my painting, so I decide what to do with the background.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Figs for a Crow

I composed my latest quilt on watercolor paper, and then enlarged it onto fabric to make a quilted version. The quilted version is finished. I have started painting the watercolor version. I plan to build up the darks, and add some purple to some of the figs. Here is a detail shot of the in progress painting.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hayward Quilt Art Exhibit

The online Synchronized Chaos Magazine has a well written writeup and some nice photos of the art quilt exhibit "The Quiltessential Event" currently at the Cinema Place Gallery. The show will be up until November 12th.

Sunday, Nov 6, 2011:

The Synchronized Chaos site seems to work fine from my Firefox browser, but seems to have trouble displaying content with Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

If anyone has a better answer than blaming Microsoft, let me know.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tis the Season for Costumes & Carnivals

I made Camilla a crow costume for a party. It was also the perfect costume for our booth at the church harvest carnival.

Our booth was based on the Parable of the Sower. I had originally done this booth with whiffle balls thrown into flowerpots. Since the carnival was moved to outside, I decided I didn’t want to chase balls all over the parking lot.

I decided to make seed packets out of fabric, fusible scraps, and fabric pens. I did some free-motion stitching just to make sure the fusible didn’t come loose, and added some batting and interfacing for stiffness.

A pathway, thorns, and rocky soil were added with sidewalk chalk. The kids were instructed to get the seeds in the Good Soil (the flowerpots) or the crow would eat them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A few of us did demos at the Cinema Place Gallery last Friday.

Here is Denise Oyama Miller working on collages. The piece in the foreground is a background for an underwater scene which she created by fusing strips onto a background fabric. She is planning to add fish to it. The sunflower is made with fabric and colored paper held together with acrylic medium.

Franki Kohler is showing how she creates fabric postcards. That’s Franki’s book she has on display.

I created a very simple landscape before I went, so I could demonstrate free-motion quilting.

Here I am painting the fig quilt. I made the fig color up, and then realized later that figs aren’t really as purple as I was imagining. I think I will go back and dull the purple down some, and add some green highlights.

I also have a larger fig quilt in progress.

The show will continue until November 12th.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Quilts for Demo

I've been asked to do a demo at the Cinema Place Gallery in Hayward tomorrow. I’ve been scrambling to get some work in progress, so I have something to demo on. This fig quilt has been painted, cut out and stitched to a background fabric. It is half quilted. I will be doing some more quilting and painting on top of it at the gallery tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Art Quilt Show & Watercolor Class

A new art quilt show has recently opened at

1061 'B' Street
12-4 Wed & Sun, 12-8 Thurs-Sat

Most of the pieces are from SAQA members. I have three pieces in the show. I was there last week. It is a nice space, and I was impressed with the quality of the work displayed. It will run until November 12th. I will be going to the reception tomorrow night, which will be from 5-7pm.

This photo is a sampling of what I have been doing in the watercolor class I’ve been taking.

I have no great masterpieces yet. Most of our paintings so far start with copying the instructor’s sketch, so we have a starting place to practice techniques. I would rather do more original work, but am happy working this way while we are still learning techniques. Having the basic composition already planned does take the pressure off of coming up with subject matter. The top left sheet with two landscapes on it are my own compositions. I am learning to plan ahead to preserve the whites, since watercolor is transparent. I think learning watercolor will make me more aware of value in other work as well.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Strange Bird

I have finally finished this piece. It just needs a sleeve, so I can hang it.

It is titled “Strange Bird”, because the yellow bird in the tree thinks the flutist looks like a very strange bird.

We finally got the remaining trim on the house painted. I just have the porch and steps left, but I am procrastinating on that. I have the paint for it, but it will wait for me until I am in a house painting mood again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Day Off For Gardening

Painting just the trim has been a bigger project than I thought it would be. I overestimated the amount of paint we would need, so we are painting the back and sides as well. Why the front was in worse shape than the rest of the house, I have no idea.

I’ve been spending the evenings working out the final details for this quilt and stitching down pieces.

I started this morning pruning a bush back to make room for the ladder. Which lead to pruning back the neighbors apple tree which was hanging over the fence and brushing the house where I would need to paint. Which lead to pruning back an aeonium succulent that was taking over. I thought it was choking out my kangaroo paw plant that was nearly hidden by the succulent. But after I took out the aeonium, I found it thriving and looking as good as it ever has.

We ended up going to the store for potting soil and perennials. I repotted an aloe vera, some Christmas cactus cuttings from my mom, and some broken stems I rescued from a sidewalk. Camilla arranged a small succulent plant with some small snippets in a larger pot. The perennials got put into two large pots that needed attention.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why I Haven’t Got Any Sewing Done in the Last Week or Two

I’ve been climbing up and down ladders, scraping away peeling paint, priming where bare wood was showing through, and finally putting on the first coat of trim on the eaves. Doug’s been helping on the weekends doing the really high stuff, but Camilla and I have been getting a lot done during the week. The paint on the stucco part of the house still looks good, and most of the trim only needs repainting in the front.

I talked Doug into choosing new colors. A teal for the trim that almost matches the trim on the back and sides of the house so it doesn’t look to peculiar when seen from the side, and a lighter green for the bit of wood siding on the front of the house. We picked the colors inspired by the virtual paint job I did on my Illustrator assignment I did last February.

Hopefully things will move along quicker as we move downward, and don’t have to move ladders around as much.