Monday, July 19, 2010

canvas mounting small collage, or what to do if I can't sew

The herniated disk is taking more time and therapy to heal, altho the shot in the spine helped a whole lot, so I still can't sew. Who knew that sewing was such a physically demanding thing to do? So, instead, I've been playing with paints and working on redoing my website. Putting some of the collages I did during my Fiber Arts class onto canvas lets me do both of these things at once. I'm having fun playing with the paints, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how well my color mixing skills have transferred from dyes to paints. So, here's some pictures of what I've been doing.

First, here's the collage I started with. I started with my favorite one. Normally, that would be a decision that would cause me problems since I'd not want to mess it up. However, since I didn't actually do anything to the paper collage until the last step of mounting it on the canvas, I decided to be brave and do the one I wanted done the most rather than one I was willing to lose if I messed up because it was the first time.

I did 2 canvases. The first one, I used the green, gold and purple from the collage, and I put a lot of movement into the colors. My daughter pointed out that there was so much movement going on in the collage itself that maybe it would show better with a calmer background. Once I put the collage on the canvas to see what I thought, I agreed with her.

So the second canvas was much calmer, and pretty much just the gold with some metallic highlights to pick up the metallic flecks in some of the papers. I think this is more successful and I went ahead and attached it to the canvas using gel medium. The picture is before the collage was trimmed and attached so it's an approximation altho a good one.

This is actually a mixed media painting at this point as there's no fabric on it anywhere and it's a canvas with paint and other stuff on it. A departure from my usual work, but really just a change in medium. The techniques I'm using can be transferred to working with fabric as this is also a good way to show a small fabric piece and sneak it into an art show rather than a quilt show. And I'm feeling really good about still getting work done while I deal with the medical issues. So, life is good in my house right now!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Green energy and the FHA - let's write letters!

When I was on vacation in 2008, I wrote about possible financing approaches for solar power on homes that was being discussed in Boulder, and already implemented in Berkeley. In the intervening 2 years, the idea has spread like wildfire to more than 20 states, but hit a roadbump recently with a FHFA ruling about mortgages in May. has the story here. Seems to me, this is the perfect place for a little citizen activism, like a letter, email or phone call. This is a wonderful approach to financing alternative power sources at the home level, and should be encouraged by our government. If you agree, let them know.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More about bicycles & electric bikes

Today's email brought a link to an article about bicycling, electric bikes, and converting our society to one that is less reliant on fossil fuels. It's a quick read, and a good summary. Check it out here. I'm particularly pleased that he points out that Europe and China are already making this transition, and how the electric bicycle can help. My son loves his ebikes - he now has 2, one a folding one that is easy to transport but is not as powerful, and his "Big Blue", which zooms up our incredibly steep hill, only requiring a little bit of pedaling at the top. He has so much fun with them, and they're so incredibly frugal, that I was wanting to join in. Alas, between my knee surgery, and my herniated disk in my spine, it looks like I'll have to wait until later. Anyone out there over the age of 30 who is getting around by electric bike? How's that working for you?