Monday, 15 December 2014

FOG Tuesday Collage Exercise

Well, this is our final Principle of Design in our series of Elements and Principles of Design. We've enjoyed the time spent on these collages over the past months and have learned a lot about design in the process. The Principle was Depth and Space.

Unless we work in 3 dimensions, work on a canvas is only 2 dimensional. We can only convey space and depth with visual cues.

There are a number of ways that you can do this incorporating many of the Element and Principles of Design that we have done over the past months.
Warm Up Collage
Design Principle - Depth and Space
The most common ways are:
·        Overlapping objects to suggest depth.
·        Creating shadows.
·        Size of your subject matter, sometimes in conjunction with a known object.
·        Colour can suggest depth, where warm colours appear to advance and cool colours recede.
·        Depth of field. If your object is out of focus it seems that it is further away.
·        Where an object is on your page or canvas. Towards the bottom they will appear larger and smaller towards the top.
·        Use perspective to indicate depth or distance.

Stay tuned in 2015 to a new series of warm up exercises that we will be working on during FOG Tuesdays.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Calgary Public Library - Meet the Maker - Session Update

The Calgary Public Library is offering a number of “Meet the Makers” events over the next six weeks and Jan and I have been invited to lead two of the sessions.
These sessions are a chance for library patrons to meet us and for you to learn a new skill with these easy make-and-take projects.
No registration is required and all supplies are provided.

Wire and Bead Pendant Session

This session has been rescheduled to Tuesday, December 16 from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM at the Central Library downtown.

Wire and Bead Pendant: Monday, December 15th from 1 – 3 PM at the Central Library downtown 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Calgary Public Library Sharpie Marker Dyeing Project

This past Saturday was the last of 7 sessions for the Calgary Public Library using Sharpie Markers™ and rubbing alcohol to create a lot of interesting patterns. Our original project, a cotton scarf, often morphed into just having a lot of fun making marks on the 100% cotton fabric and adding 99% alcohol with an eye dropper to see how the Sharpie pigments moved. 

Let me tell you about our 2 main supplies – we did use Sharpie™ Markers for this project, but any alcohol based marker will work. Bic Markit™, Copic™ and Spectrum Noir™ are others that you can use. Sharpies™ and the Bic Markit™ alcohol markers can often be found on sale at Staples here in Canada.

The second ingredient is rubbing alcohol, and if you read our post in June of this year you may remember that rubbing alcohol comes in three main strengths, 70%, 90% and 99%. We used the 99% for this project and used an eye dropper to drop it onto the marker ink. Rubbing alcohol (perhaps due to its therapeutic use) also has an expiry date, so it’s probably wise to buy a fresh bottle for this project. Costco here in Canada has the best price and does sell the 99%, where many pharmacies do not.

The rubbing alcohol pushes the marker pigment concentrically away from the drop location so you can experiment with where you are making your alcohol drops for different effects. If you want to repeat a motif, it’s not a bad idea to do a sample piece with your motif before and after dropping the alcohol so that you remember how you made it.

Other supplies needed are 100% cotton, an eye dropper, a table covering and a good supply of fresh air!

We also did this project at our June FOG group on silk scarves, so visit that posting if you want to know more about doing this process on silk.

Although many finished a scarf during the session, we only had the pleasure of seeing one of our participants wearing her creation as she brought the finished piece to another session. As you can see from the photo below, she folded the 54” piece of cotton in half lengthwise, sewed around it, right sides together and then turned it right side out. She then did a beaded fringe on one end only and lovely beading up the seam side. Folding it gave it a nice feel and the beaded fringe some nice weight.

Carleen's finished Scarf with beaded fringe

What follows are some awesome examples of motifs that our participants came up with.

In each pair, the motif before the alcohol was dropped is on the left,
after the alcohol was dropped is on the right

In each pair, the motif before the alcohol was dropped is on the left,
after the alcohol was dropped is on the right. In the bottom example,
the drawing was enhanced with black marker lines after the alcohol was dropped.

In each pair, the motif before the alcohol was dropped is on the left,
after the alcohol was dropped is on the right.

Other uses for the decorated cotton could be quilt blocks or small fringed pieces for the fronts of cards.

Joan's southwest sunset.

Once all the decoration is completed, let your cotton dry thoroughly overnight and then heat set with your iron set on the cotton setting. Once heat set, they are washable and the colours will not run.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Calgary Public Library:Meet the Maker Sessions

The Calgary Public Library is offering a number of “Meet the Makers” events over the next six weeks and Jan and I have been invited to lead two of the sessions.
These sessions are a chance for library patrons to meet us and for you to learn a new skill with these easy make-and-take projects.
No registration is required and all supplies are provided.
Our sessions are:

Wire and Bead Pendant: Monday, December 15th from 1 – 3 PM at the Central Library downtown This session has been rescheduled to Tuesday, December 16 from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM.
Recycled Jean Journals: Monday, November 24th from 1 – 3 PM at the Central Library downtown

November 24 Central Library "Meet the Maker"
Two decorated and completed recycled jean journals.
Journals were bound using a 3-hole pamphlet binding.

We hope to see you there and we’ll be back in 2015 at the Saturday Arts Club at the Central Library with 4 new projects!
Recycled Jeans Journals

Monday, 17 November 2014

FOG Tuesday Collage Exercise

We’re nearing the end of our exploration of the Elements and Principles of Design with our look at Balance and Symmetry.

Balance can be achieved in an art piece using any number of the following criteria:

·          position - an element further from centre is heavier
·          texture - complex texture has visually more weight
·          value - darker is heavier
·          quantity - multiple small objects balance one larger object
·          size - larger appears visually weightier
·          shape - simple shapes are lighter than more complex shapes
·          colour - brighter and more intense colours are visually heavier
·          isolation - an isolated elements has more weight
·          value contrast - the higher the contrast the more weight
·          orientation - diagonal orientation is heavier than vertical or horizontal orientation
Warm Up Collage

Design Principle - Balance and Symmetry
Symmetry in a piece of art can take on a number of different forms:

·         Radial - elements radiate out from the centre
·         Symmetrical - reversing the design, or having elements of equal weight along the vertical or horizontal axis
·         Asymmetrical - considering the influences above, balance is achieved using disparate elements
·         Crystallographic - allover pattern, repeating elements like a quilt
·         Unbalanced - can be specifically used to create a disturbing or uncomfortable effect

Saturday, 18 October 2014

FOG Tuesday – Creating with Crayola™

Ive said this before when discussing our FOG Tuesday activities, but it bears repeating, Who knew that a group of women could have so much fun for an entire day...with a shiny new pack of Crayola crayons, some fabric, paper, heat guns, rubbing plates and more? Well we were those women last Tuesday at FOG.

It started with a short show and tell of some things that Jan and I had tried before the session and ended the day with a myriad of brightly coloured and very creative pieces, some requiring some additional embellishments, and some nothing more.

Methods seemed to group into direct application of crayon to surfaces, or the application of the crayon to a surface that was then transferred to another surface.

Sandpaper Transfer
A technique that has been around for some time, though new to me, was to draw images onto sandpaper with the crayons and then heat transfer to another surface, in this case fabric. Donna did a great piece and I think that the sandpaper image is a keeper as well. It was interesting to note that in some of the samples we tried before the session we found that the wax residue in fabric crayons tended to melt into the surrounding fabric causing a ghosting image, while the Crayola crayons did not.

Wax Paper and Melted Crayons

Diane and I attempted another tried-and-true application and that was to grate/break crayons onto folded wax paper and melt with an iron. These created stained glass type pieces that I think will work well as the front to cards or perhaps journal pages.

Coloured Fusible Web 
and Crayon Rubbing
Jan came up with an idea to colour the sticky side of fusible webbing with the crayons. She then put that piece over a rubbing plate, rubbed an image onto the fabric and then fused it to a piece of fabric. Her rubbing plates were from Scholar's Choice though similar ones can be purchased from Cedar Canyon Textiles

Shalinder did a piece based on this method and used punchinella to create some additional surface texture to her piece. The fabric she used had raised metallic motifs which added a lot to the overall effect.

This technique left the fabric with a nice hand which will make it great to use as a base for additional hand work, beading, embroidery etc.
Metallic Motif, Crayon Rubbing, Punchinella Design

Melted Wax and Mono-prints

Karen used her heat gun to melt crayons directly to some canvas and then pulled crayon mono-prints from the melted wax. 

I think that there will be more exploration of this technique by all of us.

Melting wax in a protective box.
Debbie utilized a box to melt broken crayons to a canvas and then stamped into the wax with a large red rubber stamp. Just a side note - if you are grating or breaking crayons to melt use a box to contain the bits as they are easily blown all over the place with your heat tool. (You can ask my sister if you dont believe me.)

If you are interested in a fun craft to do with your kids (or adults) Crayola now has a new set of crayons called Crayola Meltdown Art Set. Adult supervision required.

Sandpaper transfer and
Tsukineko Fabric Inks
Chris did a lovely fall themed piece using several painterly techniques, though the base piece started with a sandpaper transfer that you can just see below the surface.

We didnt reinvent the wheel, but we had a great time colouring it!

Until next time...Meredith and Jan

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

FOG Tuesday Collage Exercise

As usual our day started with our collage exercise using supplies on hand and creating a small collage in 30 minutes.

This month the Design Principle was Rhythm and Movement.

Warm Up Collages
Design Principle - Rhythm and Movement
Use of this principle allows the viewers eye to move around your piece.
For example, the colours of a piece can convey rhythm by making your eyes travel from one coloured component to another.
Lines can produce rhythm by implying movement. For example lines may be wavy, rippled or straight.
When elements are repeated, or arranged in a pattern, rhythm and movement is created in the art piece.