Archive for January, 2008

Another try at studio organization

Haven’t I already written this post about seven times already? The quest for a collage/paper artist is always about finding a way to organize all the really, really necessary stuff. Well, here goes this attempt.

This attempt begins with flat files. I’m not sure that’s what these drawer units from Ikea really are, but they are just what I wanted. I have found deep drawers are not good for organizing stuff. I want to see what I have. Mat board and foam core are wrapped in plastic and stored securely behind the files. Before I had them behind the door and they would ambush me all the time. Not good. I stole the paper storage box with little shelves from our office. Dremel tool and Xyron machine are out so I don’t have to stop and dig them out of the closet.


The other key is to label what I have. I notice that sometimes I’m optimistic. I only have five stamp pads so far, since I almost always use Createx multipurpose paint instead, but I saved a whole drawer for them. Ditto watercolors. I haven’t done a lot with them, but I bought some quality paints finally and they are on my agenda.

Mini-clips hold lightweight posters and drawings that can be changed out at will. Magazines in notebooks. A basket for all the postcards I receive for shows, etc. A bench my Dad made to hold notebooks that I am looking at or magazines to be filed. Notice I am not showing you the closet. Another whole project.

This dresser was on its way to the thrift shop, but I swapped it out for the white Ikea dresser I had here before. Again, shallow drawers good. Thermo-fax supplies stored in the drawer right below it. Typewriter out and ready to go. I’m not crazy about the dark bookcase, but since I don’t have to look at it face on, I can live with it. The cheerful lamp is by Laura Osbun and I will have more about that tomorrow. Lutradur and paper rolls in the corner. I bought a roll of butcher paper at a restaurant supply house and use it to cover my tables.

The plan is to keep two tables for working and the back one for cutting and everyday supplies. I really wanted to be rid of all the plastic storage bins, but that is not going to happen.

I made the 60 ATCs for Collage Mania on about a foot square of table. That is what prompted this attempt to be more efficient with my space. I will let you know how it goes.


01 2008

Collage Mania Weekly Preview

Figure 1
Kara Klein

Oh, boy, there has been some great jpegs coming my way for Collage Mania. I know it will be a great event when I have serious art lust every day.

Before we move on to the good stuff, I wanted to reiterate one important point about the collages for Collage Mania: They can be any size BUT they must be mounted on 10″x8″ mat or Bristol board with no dangly bits sticking over the edges.

And since you want to leave room for your title, signature, and date plus a little breathing room around the piece once it is framed, artwork smaller than 10″x8″ is optimal. The purpose of the size requirement is to allow patrons to stock up on 8×10″ frames in advance.

The above collage is by Kara Klein, survivor, who is dedicating it to her oncology team at Tower Oncology in Beverly HIlls, CA. I am always happy to add a dedication to the collages since this IS a FFAC fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Kara’s materials include hand painted and embossed papers, hand drawn image, vintage beads, vintage gaming piece, turqoise beads, threads. Kara is a member of Fiber Art Traders and has already sent a second collage.

Karen Stiehl Osborn
Materials: cotton cloth, papers, acrylic paint, pigment dye, ink

Karen Stiehl Osborn always sends new and exciting artwork for FFAC events. You can see the other three collages she has donated in this Virtue series on her website. Check out her interesting Rainbow of Sins directly under the Virtues. Please also visit Karen’s blog here as she is donating 25% of all eligible sales to FFAC for two weeks.

All Square
Frieda Oxenham

Frieda Oxenham sent her jpeg from England and I thank all the international artists who are participating. Frieda’s collage includes hand-painted fabric using acrylics, is mounted on batting, and machine stitched. The squares include couched yarns on fabric, Fast2Fuse background and are machine appliqued to the background. Notice the vintage bakelite button.

Frieda has sent two jpegs. Here is the link directly to her post about All Square, but if you work backwards through her posts you can also read about her first collage.

Chugunnoie Kruzhevo/Cast Iron Lace 1
Natalya Aikens

This is one of a series of three collages from Natalya Aikens. There is an interesting story, of course, behind her inspiration for these pieces. Again, start here on her blog and work backwards to the very first sketches. Materials: scraps of silk, cotton and synthetic fabrics, color catcher paper scraps, dryer sheets, rayon and silk embroidery thread. Techniques: Free-hand machine embroidered and hand stitched.

What I really like about these collages is the contrast between the subject matter and its ethereal rendering by Natalya. Natalya has an article in the current issue of Quilting Arts magazine.

Wonderful artwork from wonderful artists! Mark your calendar for these important Collage Mania dates:

April 1 – Deadline for receipt of collage jpegs. Call for Artists

Collage Mania – May 5 and 6


01 2008

Inspiration Tuesday


I have been working on organizing my collage/paper/book studio (more on that later) and it made me realize how many feathers I have collected. I love everything about them — their texture, their patterns, their colors. I’m surprised they have never appeared in my art.


This is a little changing display I have of nature and family items. My nephew Paul brought me the strip weaving from Guatemala in the upper right hand corner. It is coiled and holds, yes, feathers.

The snazzy plastic in the background is protecting large sheets of matboard and foamcore.

The artwork, Blue Door, is by nephew, Adam. It was his first effort using wax and my painted and screenprinted tissue paper. I shamelessly made it clear I would love to have it for my collection!


01 2008

Laura Wasilowski and the Reverse Auction

The Optimist: Bluebird and the Watermelon
Laura Wasilowski

As promised, here is another preview of the artwork (all fabulous fiberart) which will be offered March 10-13 during the Invitational Reverse Auction.

Laura Wasilowki is is both contemporary quilt maker and creator of hand-dyed fabrics and threads. Her pictorial art quilts, made from fused fabrics and machine quilted, are collected and exhibited internationally. Laura’s narrative quilts begin with unique fabrics and are inspired by stories of family, friends, and home.

You can learn more about Laura’s artwork, her hand-dyed fabric and thread, and as well the Chicago School of Fusing at Artfabrik.

100% of the proceeds from the Invitational Reverse Auction are donated directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause. For more information about the Invitational Reverse Auction, click here.


01 2008

We have a winner!

July 26

A sincere thank you to everyone who took time to answer my little opinion survey marking the celebration of over a million hits last year. I appreciate all the suggestions and comments.

I do ask your patience this year while I work on a series for entry to Quilt National. Their rules about what constitutes publication are byzantine and so I probably won’t be showing a lot of art-in-progress until I’m sure what pieces will be my entries. Or, at least, I’m ever-hopeful I will have entries.

But, as you know, there is always something interesting going on in my artworld and I look forward to sharing it with you on my blogs and website.

The winner of the random drawing among the survey takers for the collage shown above is Gisela Towner. You can visit her blog here.


01 2008