Saturday, February 21, 2015

MATS Bootcamp #2 February Assignment

Wow, this month has been huge! We're well over halfway through February, and I feel like there's just so much creative juice burstin' out of me with these assignments.  It didn't happen instantly, though.  Our mini assignment was to create a scenic plate.  I had lots of ideas for plates and analyzed the given inspirational plates to see what it was about them that I liked.  I drew lots that I'd love to see on holiday plates or a breakfast bowl of some kind.

And then, sleight of hand, Lilla and her team of magicians turned that mini into the real assignment which is wall-art on wood... oh, and please use real paint.  C'mon, be a good sport!

Did I ever tell you guys I used to be a scenic artist?  I was.  In addition to Printmaking/Illustration, I studied Set Design and Theatrical Production as an undergrad and I worked at a couple of theatres painting backdrops and props.  I have painted a lot of things in my life, but it feels like another alternate-reality version of myself that did that work.  The last time I used any opaque paint in my own work was well over ten years ago.  Argh!  I can do this! Why was I so hesitant?

For some weird reason, I had a kind of aversion to using acrylic in my own work.  In my mind, as I painted these most recent MATS assignments, I recalled painting super cheesy assignments for learning grey-scale and color theory.  The awkward re-working of straight lines and forced photo-realistic depictions of things.  Ugh.  I remember one particularly silly illustration where the goal was transformation, and I did a pair of scissors > lobster.  I think I'd like to attempt that one again.  Ah well.  Eventually, I took to the acrylic with a love-to-hate-it kind of relish. :)  Why not embrace the discomfort?

Here's what I turned in...

And, here are the rest of the work on wood I painted!

Side Note: If you're in Germany and are looking for these wood plaque type rounds, they're called "holzscheibe" and you can find them at florist's shops (online in my case).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fairisle February 2015, Week 2

This week, members of the fairisle course had their first chance to STEEK!  Yes, we did.  We cut through our knitting.  And, we did it with impunity!  Hahah! (snip, snip, snip!)

Here are some photos from class...

I love their color choices!  Check out those beautiful palettes!

I was able to make some fairisle swatches using the knitting machine, and I am fairly certain it's what helped many overcome their fear of cutting through their knitting.  Amanda might recognize this yarn if she looks closely... thanks, Amanda!

Lots of students even decided to go the traditional route instead of doing the crochet support.  I think this group was especially motivated to cut their knitting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

MATS Mantra Competition

This piece was a competition piece for MATS (make art that sells) mantra.  The goal was to encompass the feeling you get when you're taking a MATS course.  And, although I didn't win the big prize, I was able to use Illustrator in a new way for me.

See, I've been trying to nail down my style, and I absolutely love working digitally, but it lacks the grittiness and texture of my hand-illustrated and painted work.  So I've been trying to merge the two elements somehow (flat color + texture).

Here is what I came up with:

And this is how I got there:

I started out with pencil and ink sketches.  I had about 30 different thumbnails, and picked the heart-sun one because it was the most visually engaging.  

I refined the image, traced it into Illustrator, and using a light-table I used overlays to play around with text.

Here is the image before I added text, texture, gradients, etc.

I almost stopped there... but it needed texture!!  You can see the hand-written text below.  I had several versions of each snippet of text.  Lots of versions of everything!

And finally, I went in and "texturized" the background.  It was a weird feeling to paint the background with texture and grit, but I think it works for this piece.  And, even though I didn't win the big prize, I did win a free entry into MATS Global Talent Search!  Woot!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fairisle February!

Can't believe it's already started, and it's already February.  Yesterday I taught Day 1 of my fairisle course.  I taught (in German!) the the fundamentals of fairisle knitting.  I was so excited!  They got the basics yesterday:

-how to hold the yarn when knitting two colors
-planning colors
-working with colorwork charts

Our table was so messy by the time class was done.  Sadly, I somehow deleted the images from my phone!  GRR!  Oh well.  In the meantime, here's my little guy modeling the sample sweater-vest I made for the course...

Next week I'll back up any photos I take directly.  Speaking of which, next week we'll be facing fears and cutting steeks!