Red, Right, Returning

0422 1

I tried twice to capture what I was feeling about this phrase, and neither one turned out as I originally envisioned, but it’s ok.  This one ^^ was done in watercolor, and I went wet into wet and tried to get the red and blue to mingle on the page, but they didn’t wanna be friendly.  Maybe I’m too close to DC?  Lol, not sure. 

So I had to steer the red toward the blue, and at that point, I got those cool stripes, which I decided was fine, and I needed to stop right there, before I fussed with it and killed the spontaneity of the moment. 

Then, all I had to do was put my green channel marker on the left, and I was done.  Which was great, as I didn’t have much time to do art yesterday.   Does it give you a flag feeling, or is it just me?  Unintended, but I do like it!  It may be the closest I ever get to actually painting the flag.

0422 2

For this one, I was working on an almost cream colored barely paisley fabric.  I started with Tombow markers on the right, went to Portfolio water soluble oil crayons for the blues in the center, and wound up with Inktense pencils for the left hand side.  I don’t really like the part on the right, but since this is basically a log of my art experiments, and which mediums give me which effects, I decided to post the whole swatch. 

What I like most about the Inktense is that what you see is what you get.  When you wake up in the morning, it’s all dry, and it pretty much looks the same.    There is very little fading, which you see all the time with watercolor paint, as it dries much lighter than it goes on. I bought this fabric over 20 years ago, I really don’t like it anymore, but it’s nice to know that I can still get some use out of it.  

I do expect to use pretty much everything I’ve been making lately (all of the abstract stuff), or pieces of them, in my art quilts.  At this point, I’m just trying to get familiar with all of the different supplies I have.  It’s a fun experimental phase!

So when I don’t have much time or energy late at night, this is the kind of stuff I’ve been gravitating to, just because it is pure fun and exciting (for me) to see what’s going to happen/how it turns out.   I hope I’m not boring too many of you with bad art while I experiment here!  πŸ™‚

We are on the hump, and it’s all downhill from here, people! *I live to create* Peace.

43 thoughts on “Red, Right, Returning

      1. I was just talking to my friend about sewing machines…not that I’ve done any sewing to speak of in years! I still have the Sears machine that I got for high school graduation…very basic. But I also have my mother’s old machine that my aunt gave me and one my mother got for my daughter that she never much used and left here when she moved out. So I need to figure out if I can even sew on a newish fancy Bernina machine, or just keep the basic Sears and find a home for the others.

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        1. My old el cheapo Singer was much better than the Husqvarna piece of junk that I hate. That cost three times as much, I might add. My sister loves her old Sears machine way better than any of her expensive machines. I hope the Bernina turns out better than my Viking did. I think they are better machines. I’m seriously thinking about getting another elcheapo Singer from the local Walmart. The only thing is that they are made by the same company now as the Husqvarna. Ugh. There’s another brand that starts with a J that is supposed to be good, and you can find them on Amazon very inexpensively. I may try that. The closest dealer for that brand isn’t close by, though, so I tend not to go hat at route either. But I need to do something about the machine, which is what keeps me spinning in indecision, and art quilts are still very brand new for me, too. I have a vision and I know that I don’t know the techniques right now for reality to match the vision, so I’ll keep experimenting until I’m there. Time is a factor right now, too. Maybe by the end of May? We’ll see.

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    1. Thanks, Jodi. I’m strictly trying out techniques and materials now. My guess is the artwork I’ve produced this year could make a hundred quilts, or more, since they’ll all be fairly small. I’m thinking 9×12 or so, to start out. We’ll see. I have sewing machine issues and don’t know the techniques I need to know to make what I want to make, so the experimentation phase may be longer than I’d like it to be. I’m glad you’re enjoying the process along with me.

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  1. Yes, I get the flag feel. Those ripples – are they from the paper maybe buckling due to the wet on wet if you didn’t stretch the paper? That happens to me in my watercolor sketchbook journal all the time. I like your reviews on the pencils and markers you’re using. I know what you’re talking about with the fading … that’s why I want some higher quality watercolor paints.

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    1. No ripples from the paper, believe it or not. And this was done on an elcheapo Strathmore watercolor card. Nope, strictly from a combination of the water already on the paper and the pigments being pushed around (I went a bit heavy with the paint.) I believe there is no such thing as watercolor paint that doesn’t get lighter after it’s dried. The Inktense is actually ink in watercolor pencil form, which is why it’s different. I do use a high quality paint, and I don’t think that’s an issue. If you find a watercolor paint, pan or tube, that doesn’t get lighter after it dries, I’d love to know about it. I usually use M Graham brand, but I’ve used Winsor and Newton also, which is probably twice the price, and does the same thing. MG and WN are both artist quality paint, so I’m buying most of my colors from MG. I don’t see the point in paying twice as much for basically the same product. Now paper, that’s another thing completely. I have good Arches paper, but I’m too cheap to use it until I feel that my work is “good enough”. Which, as I think about it, may never happen in my own estimation, so I should probably try it and see. I just don’t like to waste it on all of the experimental stuff I’ve been doing. A piece like this can easily be cropped and wind up in one of my quilts. I hate to waste any art supply; it just goes against my grain. Sorry for the very long response! I hope you find what you’re looking for.

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        1. PS to you Cynthia: What paper have you been using for your little vignettes? I love those wholeheartedly, and I’d be curious if you’re happy with the paper quality for the smaller work (which is where I’d like to stay anyhow. Small is good, for me and the quilts, at this point.)


            1. For real? Is it Canson brand by chance? Also: I bought a Strathmore WC block, the 400 series. I had never painted on a block prior to that. It buckled anyway! So I wound up calling Dick Blick yesterday, and they claimed that it was a defective product, and they’re sending me a new one. They told me the blocks should never buckle. I just assumed the quality of the paper must not be that great, but Strathmore says it is their “best “

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                1. Oh. Ok. The one my walmart carries is the Canson. It was a blue cover to the pad. I just figured maybe the same was at your Target. I really dislike that paper. The Strathmore cards IMO are way better. But not great lol.


      1. Drying lighter is just one of the characteristics of watercolors! (Acrylics usually dry a little darker.)
        You’ve mentioned being disappointed in not being able to move paint around like you want, or getting blossoms, and part of that is using lower quality paper. Treat yourself for a couple of days and use your Arches. I find when using Strathmore or Canson watercolor paper (from Target or Michael’s) that I end up “fighting” with the paper and getting frustrated. I think Strathmore and Canson both make some good papers, but I don’t like these brands for watercolor.


    2. I do want to add a PS to this: The blue paint in this piece was from a Cotman tube, which is student-grade. The red was M Graham, artist-quality. So the intensity if the two colors does differ, and may also be part of the reason I got the stripes? Not sure. The one thing I know about watercolor is I know nothing about watercolor. I bet if I tried to get this effect purposely using the same paper, paint and technique, it’d turn out totally differently.

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    1. Thank you. Your work is so realistic and that would be much harder. I’m glad I’m not trying to get it to look like anything except pretty colors and nice texture. If I were trying to paint the subjects you gravitate toward, it’d be much harder (heck, even if I were using paper, lol! Your work is lovely.)


    1. Wow! I’m so happy to hear you say that. Abstract work seemed like a must during busy season, and the whole month of April is just different shades of tired for me, which is why it’s continuing (in part). I do find it very freeing and expressive, and you might really enjoy it. I’m looking forward to seeing your work (assuming you decide to post it, which I hope you will).

      I think part of this journey is just trying all kinds of mediums and subjects to find what’s clicking for me. So far, portraits and wildlife in colored pencil is the only true click I’ve felt. Everything else is just trying and falling short of where I want to be at this point.

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      1. I agree with every part of what you said, including “different shades of tired.” I’ve got a couple ideas and I’ve seen a few abstract paintings lately that have really stirred my imagination. Thanks. “Trying and falling short”–that motto runs across my life these days.

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        1. But you know, Kirk, IMO (because I happen to believe in God), we were all created differently on purpose. We all have things that we want to do that are easy for us, and things that are more difficult. Again, I feel this is all purposeful. Your photos and writing are quite beautiful and I bet that comes to you pretty easily? Or at least, you make it look so easy to do, and for me, it wouldn’t be. I think we were all made differently because God wants us all to connect, to need each other. I’m not preaching or trying to convert anyone, believe me, that’s not what I’m about, here or anywhere else, but it’s just something I feel in my gut, and including God in the conversation is the only way to explain it.

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          1. I’m with you there. I believe in God as well and that certainly grounds my search for purpose. I’m absolutely with you on “made differently because God wants us all to connect.” That’s a big piece of the book I wrote–why connection matters and what we stand to gain by connecting. And, again, I’m with you here too: the only way I can explain what I do and I why I do it is to talk about God. Great comments! Still, “trying and failing and trying” is a pretty good way to go through life. I think I’m less of a perfectionist than ever (and I’ve never really been one),

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            1. You make great points. I thought we were on the same page God-wise, too, which is always nice. I think people are so tired of being preached to that sometimes I hear animosity when I bring up God in a totally non-preachy way. But anyway. I think your last couple sentences are great, and probably something I need to try and let sink in to my own life. I tend to be very self-critical when something I’m doing isn’t “measuring up” in my own eyes, which is a conjuration all its own! Interesting conversation here! I really didn’t think this post would get a second look from anyone, much less some nice conversation. I had no idea you wrote a book, but I can’t say I’m surprised. I think you write really well. That is a gift, and we need more people in this world who are not only gifted writers, but are open-minded human beings like you, willing to explore both sides of an issue. Oh, and more people willing to take the time to read those words.

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  2. Your experiments are great fun, Laura! I like your flag! As far as sewing machines go, my suggestion is to buy one that is easy to use or you can take classes on to learn how to use it. Also, people trade in their “slightly used” machines all the the time to upgrade to something better. I’d recommend you get one of those as you get all the bells and whistles without paying a premium price. Also, you will want to be able to service it regularly so buying from a dealer can be a good thing.

    I don’t know if you subscribe to Quilting Arts Magazine but I’d highly recommend it! They have wonderful articles on a variety of techniques that you may find helpful. 😊

    Keep playing! 😊🌈❀️🎨

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    1. Thanks, Jill! Where do you find the slightly used machines – at a dealer, I guess? I don’t think my dealer sells secondhand, but I can check. I need nothing fancy, I really just want an old-fashioned Singer, or something similar. I’m glad you’re getting a kick out my experiments! πŸ™‚

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      1. Dealers sell them usually but if not they can recommend someone who sells their trade-ins. I got myself a super nice Viking several years ago and I love it! Not that I need this fancy machine but I do enjoy it! πŸ™‚

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  3. I find it very enlightening when people explain their process in creating a piece and we can learn a lot from both successes and failures (although, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a failure when producing art because as long as you’ve created something and learned in the process, it’s a success!). πŸ™‚

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