Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Studio & Gallery space in Georgetown - Come visit!

I am incredibly excited and pleased to announce I am mostly moved in to a new studio/gallery space in Georgetown that I am sharing with two other wonderful artists, Karen Dedrickson, a sumi painter,  and Francine Moo-Young who does wonderful accessories in handpainted leather.  Since I work in textiles with a strong preference for silk, we decided to call our new venture Sumi, Silk & Leather.  And will become active sometime in July.  We're still in the moving in and settling phase, so right now, our hours are M-F 11 - 4 and by appointment.  And of course the Georgetown Art Attack night, the second Saturday of each month, from 6-8pm. The building is an old bottling plant that has been turned into a mixed-use commercial space and is the northern anchor point for the Art Attack van loop.  Our address is 5628 Airport Way S, Suite 236, Seattle WA 98108.

We signed the lease 10 days ago and have been painting and moving since. Here's a picture of the empty space, pre-painting.

This wall has become mostly white with some darker green trim and that has really increased the light reflection and spacious feel of the space.  We've filled it with work tables and are in the process of hanging lots of art on the newly painted walls in preparation for the potentially overwhelming July Art Attack night which coincides with the 25th anniversary celebration of Sub Pop records.  Details here, at least for the music part of the day.  I have no idea how many of the music lovers and general partyers will wander into the building and visit during the Art Attack time but it should be fun finding out.  We are going to wait until August for our Grand Opening on August 10 so as not to feel totally cast into the shade by the silver jubilee so I hope to see locals at one or the other of these events.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cedar Waxwing: Lake Larsen Bird of the Week

My big art project this year is to develop a new series using my bird photos.  I'm going through various ideas and techniques and I've decided I really need to narrow my focus.  (All of my friends and artists pals who just snorked their coffee, sorry for the lack of warning.)   So, I'm using an idea borrowed from a more famous collage artist - go find something and use it that day.  Only I'm giving myself a week, and it's going to be a bird I photograph on my weekly long walk at a local park.

This week, I was at the greenbelt at Larsen Lake.  Clouds were blowing in, and it wasn't clear whether it was going to be sunny or stormy so the birds were alternately hunkering down in the bushes and enjoying the sun.  I caught a cedar waxwing catching the rays in the top of a snag, as shown below.

I like these birds because of their subtle coloring and texture combined with the head crest and I particularly liked the branches of the tree he's in.   I have about 15 shots of this bird to pick from so I'm sure I have one or more that will work.

In fact, I'm discovering fairly quickly that it's easy to have too many pictures.  I did a 45 minute walk this morning and took 81 pictures.  I took multiples of most of the subjects but even so, that's at least 15-20 different elements for the weekly collage.  We'll just have to see what I do with it and see if I need to narrow the focus even more.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Fun with Sumi, taught by Karen Dedrickson

Two weeks ago, I participated in Karen Dedrickson's dress rehearsal of her new class in exploring contemporary sumi painting.  I adore her birds, (see them here), and we are good friends, so I was thrilled to help her out and get to play with her techniques all at the same time.  We had a blast and I learned some things that I think will transfer well to dye painting on fabric.  Sumi painting is traditionally done with just black ink on rice paper and a particular style of brush.  These technical limitations mean that it's easy to focus on subtle variations in flow, brush use and shading with the ink by diluting it.

In keeping with that type of limitation, we used one of her owls as a starting point for our exercises and did 6 quick pieces varying one major thing per piece.  I was really pleased with the class and here are some of the owls I did.  (My daughter has already asked for one for her bird art wall.  What a compliment!)  Along with some comments about what I learned from doing them.

Here's the first bird.  My brush was loaded with lots of undiluted ink, so there's that really dark first stroke.  That led to my going with some darker imagery with the head/eyes.  Not one of my favorites but others like it best.  (Taste varies.  Really.)

This was the third of six.  I was trying out dry brush strokes with this one so it seems more energetic and almost frenzied to me.  Still going all the way to the edges which doesn't work so well when framing something.  (Karen has figured out how to help students with this earlier in the class.  Go, Karen!)
I like the feet on this one.

And my personal fave, the Buddha Belly Owl.    I went much smaller and was trying out prewetting the paper with dirty water.  Then adding more ink using dots over the earlier ones.  I'm not sure why the paper has wrinkled so much but that does add some interesting highlights to the belly area.

All in all, it was a great class.  Karen is knowledgeable and articulate and did a stunning job explaining things one on one with all the different people in the class.  I learned more about how hard it is to do the work she does and I learned some techniques I will be playing with on fabric.  In color, of course, since that's what I do but I can see new ways to approach my own work and that's a big thing to take home from a class.