Tag Archives | Experimenting/Arting

Making a Mobile

A few months ago I was playing around with paint quite a bit and using a lot of palette paper.  You’re probably familiar with it.  It’s sorta waxy, so it can handle a lot of moisture.

Often, the paint dried in interesting ways, so I decided to save the papers.  (Yep, I did it again: saved something I had no idea how I’d ever use.)

This week I had some down time, so I cut out the paint blobs.

Making a mobile with paint blobs. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

See what I mean about them being interesting?

Making a mobile with paint blobs. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I thought maybe I could make them into a mobile.  All white or with color?  I decided on a mixture.

At some point I had heard that you should build a mobile from the bottom up and that was good advice. I used button twist (heavy thread) and started knotting and threading shapes on. I let the bottom shapes dangle, but I wanted the others to hang semi parallel to the floor.  With that in mind I tried to puncture each piece at the center of gravity.  (One of my aviation terms, simply meaning balance point.)  This sometimes took more than one try.

Making a mobile with paint blobs. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

After adding a piece, I’d make a small knot a little ways down the thread an add the next shape.  I kept the colorful side facing down, since I knew it would be viewed from below.  ( I did a lot of lifting to look up at my progress.)

I used short pieces of plastic straws as my cross structures, again finding the center of gravity for each one before adding it to item above.

Making a mobile with paint blobs. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I think it turned out pretty cool.

Making a mobile with paint blobs. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

One thing I didn’t anticipate was the mobile moving.  And that’s the best part!  It’s sorta like visual wind chimes.  (Only better.)

What experimenting have you tried lately?

Ellen Lindner

 

8

At Least I Learned Something

After so much experimentation with paint and collage I was anxious to see if and how it might translate to fabric.  I gave myself this assignment:
– Make 4 small collages, each with paint used at least once.
– Experiment with different ways to get a sheer/transparent effect.
– Start with materials immediately on my work table.
– Start by adding something sheer to every stage.

These were my initial materials, all of which were lying around, (i.e. not properly put away.)  They included some hexies which had been stitched to a background piece of muslin, small fused scraps and sheer fabrics.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I cut up the hexies and used them as part of the backgrounds.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I expected the finished compositions to be about 5 x 7.  I used a paper frame (above) to help me arrange the hexies for each.  These were my starting compositions.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I’ll show you some of what I did.  However, I don’t consider any of them finished.  As a matter of fact, I wasn’t very happy with any of them.  But, I managed to answer my questions, so then I felt find about putting them away.

This is as far as I got on the orange one.  As you can see, a layer of organza greatly obscured the layer below.  It’s also got paint on top of everything you see here.  Except for the little black line which I added with stitching.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This red and green one got a transparent layer with over printing.  I liked that effect.  Yellow lines were fused on and organza was added to the right side only.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This blue one was pretty much a dud.  I added a gridded sheer and then melted parts of it with a heat gun.  I didn’t like the wounds.  I also used heavy stitching as a transparent layer.  It worked pretty well, but was too much work for my liking.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This one was quickly getting overworked and it had questionable color choices.  But, I did like the line I added with two lines of stitching.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And here it is when it got so ugly I couldn’t face it anymore!

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

With all this ugliness, what did I learn?
– I don’t really like sheer fabrics as translucent layers.  They tend to obscure the lower layers too much.
– I DO like allover printing as a textural/sheer layer.  I can see myself using it again.
– I like adding a black line with machine stitching.  I’d like to explore hand stitching it too.

I think I’ve now well and thoroughly put this episode of exploration to bed.  On to the next thing!

Ellen Lindner

 

10

Online Class with Jane Davies

After getting so much out of Jane Davies’ book about abstract elements I decided to take an online “class” with her.  I put class in quotes, because this was not interactive.  You just download the content and do the exercises on your own.  More like a book – although she does have interactive classes, too.

This was MUCH more challenging, primarily because it involved a lot of – to me – tricky painting techniques I wasn’t familiar with.

The first exercise was easy enough, however: paint a lot of paper in a monochromatic colorway, then combine it in a gridded collage.

An online class with Jane Davies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I made two.

An online class with Jane Davies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The ease stopped there.  The next assignment was to make a horizontal collage with different background colors top and bottom.  That part was fine.  But then, I was supposed to sort of merge the background and foreground.  This is what Jane does so brilliantly that is completely foreign to me!

An online class with Jane Davies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I did 4 of these, with my most successful 2 shown above.  In places, I pulled the color of the collage into the background and in other places I painted a background color onto the collage.  I had no idea what I was doing!  But, it WAS interesting.

Next came an assignment that started with a cruciform composition.  That part was okay, but the quadrants were each supposed to be different, and again, the two were supposed to be merged with paint.  Again, lots of completely random attempts on my part.

An online class with Jane Davies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This next 3 examples are so hideous I hesitate to show them to you.  Ugh!

An online class with Jane Davies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Again, these were cruciforms, with paint added everywhere and then wiped off.  I completely overworked these three!

Finally, it was time to put it all together.  After watching her video twice I was ready to start.  First, I referenced my earlier sample papers showing a variety of ways to make marks with paint.

An online class with Jane Davies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

For this assignment I followed Jane’s example of painting over every single layer, (until I got to the last few elements.)  Here, the orange circle and the black lines are not painted over.  Everything else is.

An online class with Jane Davies. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Finally, I had a little bit of success I think.

Things I learned:
– I  love the look of partially veiled paint, but I don’t know how to do it.
– I love the idea of foreground and background merging, but I don’t know how to do that with paint either.  Maybe with fabric?
– I continue to be entranced with skinny wild lines, inspired by some of Jane’s work.

Questions going forward:
– Can I get a veiled look with fabric?  Maybe with sheers or overprinting with paint?
– What’s the best way to add those skinny lines to my fabric art?
– Can I successfully  merge both fabric and paint in my art???

You know me: I’ll HAVE to do some more experimenting as I try to answer these questions.  Stay tuned.

Ellen Lindner

6

More Black and White Exercises

One of the great things about taking a class is that you get to learn from everyone around you.  In my class with Rosalie Dace, she was very good about going around the room and coaching everyone.  And she didn’t mind eavesdropping, so I overheard quite a few good tips.

I thought you’d enjoy seeing how some of my classmates tackled their black and white exercises.  Each one started with a single shape that was then altered, multiplied (maybe) and explored at least three more times.

When Stephanie alternated the values in her shapes she got something that looked almost like a rib cage.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Olan cut his very exact shapes with an exacto knife.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Mary’s sharp triangles morphed into a large flower.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Lisa used her engagement ring as a jumping off point.  Thus, the curves, which emulated her oval stone.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Kenna did an awful lot with a basic triangle.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And look what Cathy did with the same shape.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Annemarie’s composition seemed pretty basic at first, but wait until you see what she did with it.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

More triangles.  Betsy used very sharp ones.  Almost like thorns.

A Class with Rosalie Dace: Black and white exercises. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

What a lot of diversity!  These little sketches turned into some really awesome quilts.

Ellen Lindner

2

Suzanne Sanger’s Work

Back in October, I wrote about creating torn paper collages in order to loosen up and to work more abstractly.  Like this:

Original photo
Ti Plants inspiration photo. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Torn paper collage
Because the paper is torn, you can’t be too accurate, so you
HAVE to focus on the largest shapes.
Ti plants torn paper collage. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

The fabric interpretation, Ti Party.
Ti Party, an art quilt by Ellen Lindner. AdventureQuilter.comOne of my readers, Suzanne Sanger, decided to give it a try and was kind enough to share her results with me (and with you.)

Her original photo, taken in Bermuda
Suzanne Sanger's Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog
The paper collage, with part of the original photo overlapping.
Suzanne Sanger's Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog
And, her final quilt, called Dozing in Bermuda.

Suzanne Sanger's Work. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I think it’s great.  And don’t you love the way she’s matted and framed it?

Suzanne says, “I want to thank you for inspiring me! Like you, I’ve been challenging myself to work more abstractly, and have dabbled with a range from just barely to totally non representational. Your blog post from last October about torn paper collage sent me right into the studio to tear up the only magazine I had in order to recreate a photo I took in Bermuda a few years ago. Then I did my semi-annual house switch, life intervened, I took a great abstraction class from Lisa Call, all the while leaving my torn paper start hanging on my design wall. Now I’ve switched back to my summer house, and needed a project to get myself back into the studio. Ah hah! It was time to return to my dozing man. He’s a bit more realistic than I would like, but still a move in the right direction. I LOVE this process! Hmmm. I guess I’ll have to subscribe to an image heavy magazine again, pain though that is what with changing mailing addresses twice a year. LOL. Anyway, thanks for a great idea! You always give me new things to think about.”

I love this!  So much so that it makes me want to reach for my magazines again, too. It’s a FUN way to work!

Ellen Lindner

 

 

3

“For My Own Amusement”

I’ve finished up the series of four pieces made from a stitched indigo sampler.  See numbers one and two here.  And numbers three and four below.

"For My Own Amusement." Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

"For My Own Amusement." Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I love the art paper with the circles, above.

"For My Own Amusement." Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

"For My Own Amusement." Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Piece #2 includes a bit of a dictionary page with the word “amusement” defined.  Since I was doing these just for fun, I thought I could use that word as part of my title.  It came to me very quickly:
“For My Own Amusement, #1-4.”

I like the way the four pieces look together.  What do you think?

"For My Own Amusement." Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Ellen Lindner

14

What Next?

After successfully cutting up a UFO (unfinished object) and using it as the starting point for some little collages, I was anxious to do it again.  The question was “Which UFO do I use?”  Because, well, I have more than one.

Maybe I could do something with this partially constructed prickly pear.

What Next? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Or with this painted mountain scene.

What Next? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This one actually intrigued me enough to experiment it with it a bit more.  I used Neocolor wax pastels and Inktense blocks to kick up the color saturation.

What Next? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

 (Boy, the Inktense has WAY more pigment than the wax pastels.)

Or, maybe I should do something with this colorful swirly collage.  It’s certainly bright and appealing.

What Next? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

(It’s made from sewing on raw edged strips.  The strips are the byproduct from cutting fat quarters.  My local quilt shop sells bags of them.)

Or, here’s another use of those strips.  Knitting!

What Next? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

A closer look:

What Next? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

As you can see, I have no shortage of unusual UFOs!  Any one of them had lots of possibilities.

Finally, however, I decided to work with this indigo sampler.

What Next? Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

It was given to me years ago, by the gal who  made it in a class.  Isn’t it wonderful?  All the patterns were created with stitching.  Once stitched, these tight spots resisted the dye, creating very interesting effects.

I used this piece once before, so it was was already hand stitched.  (That first quilt was a dud, so I removed this part and saved it.)

Stay tuned to see what I do with this.

Ellen Lindner
P.S. Now I have a reason for saving UFOs!  Have you got any weird ones?
P.P.S.  I’ve lost my enthusiasm for the top two pieces: the prickly pear and the mountain scene.  If you’d like one of them, just let me know and I’ll send it to you, (if you live in the US.)  If you want one, I hope you’ll DO something to it!

8

Revamping Artificial Flowers

I have a white “silk” orchid that was very realistic looking when I purchased it several years ago.  Over time, however, it has yellowed badly.

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I considered several ideas about how to best revamp these pretty petals.  Eventually, I decided just to paint them, with ordinary acrylic paint.

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

This worked well.  I left the fiddly centers yellow and was happy with the results.

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Revamping Artificial Flowers. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Not bad, right?  No one’s going to think they’re real, but they’re definitely pretty.

What have you painted lately?

Ellen Lindner
P.S.  What I really wanted to do was to decoupage black and white fabrics onto the petals.  It only took a little experimenting to realize that would be too difficult.  But if I ever create some from scratch?  Who knows.

11

Something Fun

Every so often I like to spend a week or two doing something artistically different.  Maybe with fabric or maybe not.  At these times, I typically pick up a good art book and spend time reading it and working through some of the exercises.  This time, it was Cas  Holmes’ book, Stitch Stories.

Product Details

If you’re not familiar with her work, she does lots of layered collages, with sheer fabrics, hand stitching, paper, and more.  Her pieces have a lovely fragile look to them.  Which made me want to try something similar. I decided to make some small collages.

This is where I started.  A friend taught our small group of art quilters how to use Inktense pencils and aloe gel.  She went above and beyond, preparing each of us an appliqued sampler to work on.  Mine had 3 pears, which I colored.

Collage fun. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog
You can also see my little color swatch, above, onto which I was recording different colors.

This had been sitting on my work table for several months and I didn’t know what to do with it.  So, I decided I would cut it up and use it as the base for several collages.  Fun already!

Following Cas’ example of using vintage linens and papers, I gathered my materials.

Collage fun. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Do you see that cream crochet above?  It’s part of a table cloth, crocheted by my great grandmother.  Thankfully, I have a very practical aunt, who loves art.  When she came across this stained table cloth, she offered it to me, making it clear that I COULD CUT IT UP and use it in my art!  How progressive is that?

Here’s my first collage, early on.  As you can see, I quickly deviated from a yellow and neutral palette and added green.

Collage fun. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

And here it is, with the second pear drawn on.  I didn’t draw in the third one, since I wanted each collage to have a different number or arrangement of pears.  The drawn outline will be stitched in black.

Collage fun. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

I’m excited about these collages!  I’ll show you more in the next post.

Ellen Lindner

2

Sharpies and Alcohol

Have you heard about “painting” with Sharpies?  The idea is to draw with a Sharpie on to fabric, and then to apply rubbing alcohol, which makes the color bleed in interesting ways.

Here’s a quick tutorial.

After reading it, I was ready to give it a try.  I used a fine tipped black Sharpie, which bled into purple.

Sharpies and Alcohol. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Sharpies and Alcohol. Ellen Lindner, AdventureQuilter.com/blog

Pretty cool, huh?

But, if I try this again, I’d like the design to have more white and less purple.  So, either I’d need to use less alcohol or I’d need to draw the design with more open space.

Still, a successful experiment.  (Also quick and fun.)

Ellen Lindner

2