Tuesday, April 30, 2013

april prize winner!

The winners of the April 2013 give away prize package chosen by random draw are:
(click on the winners name to visit their flickr page)

Winners must email Sue at sue@suebleiweiss.com with their full name, flickr name and mailing address by 5/9/13 in order to claim their prize.

The winners are:


They each won a crazy lace pattern stamp from Kari McNight-Holbrook!

  (Stamp below shown with ink on it for photography purposes only, winners will receive a new un-inked stamp)

This large 8.5"x11" flexible polymer stamps is exceptionally strong and durable. No twisting or distorting like with other clear stamps. Full size background in a flash!
Especially designed to hold up to use with inks, watercolors, gouaches, acrylic inks and acrylic paints. Try them with UTEE or sealing wax for fantastic seals! Backporch Artessa Stamps are deeply etched for use with polymer clays, paper and metal embossing. They work like a dream with encaustics or as a texture plate with fabric and oil sticks!

Winners must email Sue at sue@suebleiweiss.com with their full name, flickr name and mailing address by 5/9/13 in order to claim their prize.


workshops, classes and more!

We keep our commercial presence to one monthly post so that we can share other opportunities to take workshops, purchase art or enjoy other offerings from all of us. Check out our workshops and  books. Thank you for being a part of the Sketchbook Challenge! It's an honor to share this journey with you.


Join Lyric Kinard on-line for Artist's Toolbox   If you have always had the  desire to be an artist or simply wish to increase your knowledge, Lyric  will teach you the basic alphabet of art as a visual language.  You will learn by completing a series of exercises in paper and cloth in your sketchbook.  By the end of class, you will have a complete and unique textbook of your new tools.  A supportive and encouraging environment will boost your design abilities and your appreciation of fine art, whether you are a traditional quilter or an aspiring art quilter.  Level: Anyone interested in improving their understanding of art principles.


Join Mary Beth Shaw @ Random Arts in Saluda, NC  
Feast on Mixed Media; Explore Nature with Stencils & Thermofax
July 20th and 21st
Click Here for more information

Also, check out Mary Beth's company, which offers Artist Designed Stencils - StencilGirl Products.

Kari McKnight Holbrook is looking forward to meeting you at CREATE mixed media Art retreat in Orange County CA, May 29 - June 2, 2013.
Check out her 4 journal classes here.  http://www.cvent.com/events/create-mixed-media-retreat-orange-county-2013/event-summary-fad18264218348169857de3256fe09bb.aspx

Deborah is hosting a webinar with Quilting Arts... today! Tuesday, April 30. If you can't register for the live event, you can download and watch anytime. It's going to be a super fun exploration of unexpected materials to use in any kind of artwork... even sketchbooks!

Also check out Deborah's Quilting Arts workshop dvd "Contemporary Fabric Collage."
Sign up for Deborah's e-newsletter for regular updates about her life and art.

Susan Brubaker Knapp ’s schedule for the next few months includes:

North Carolina Quilt Symposium 2013 in Fayetteville, NC, May 24-26. 
More than 20 nationally-known quilting and fiber arts teachers will offer classes at this annual symposium. Susan will lecture and teach classes on wholecloth painting. 

Quilting Adventures
Deep Woods Retreat, Smithville, TX,  June 3-6. A retreat in Texas hill country; the class will include wholecloth painting and threadsketching.

Orange County Quilters in Orange County, CA, June 11-2. 
Presentation to the guild, and a class on fusibile applique.

Beach Cities Quilters Guild in Mission Viejo, CA, June 14-15.
Presentation to the guild, and a class on fusibile applique. 

Taupo Symposium 2013 in Taupo, New Zealand, July 18-23
Susan will teach threadsketching, wholecloth painting, fusible applique, and needleturn applique at this international quilting convention.

Dion Dior is excited to announce the return of her hugely popular luminescent watercolor workshop series, "Mastering Twinks". 

Part I - Twinkling Discoveries is the first in the Mastering Twinks series. The summer session of this class begins on July 11th, 2013 and runs for 5 weeks.   The Mastering Twinks series showcases Twinkling H2O's, and registration is now open. Click here for more information.

Dion's Life Book 2013 lesson, "Divine Color", is scheduled for late May.  Life Book is a 52 week art journaling adventure.  The course is self-paced and each week participants get access to a new lesson from a different instructor.  For more information, click here.
This month has also seen the launch of  21 SecretsDion's offering, "Sparkle-arkle" has been wonderfully popular.  Participants get access to 21 beautiful art journaling workshops for all of 2013. Click here for more information.


Please join Leslie Tucker Jenison at these upcoming venues:
Leslie will be co-teaching a workshop on quilt labeling with Michele Muska.
The day will include many interesting and informative activities

Leslie will teaching several workshops at Art & Soul Mixed Media Retreat in Portland Oregon this fall: 

 International Quilt Festival, Houston

Leslie Tucker Jenison & Jamie Fingal will be teaching a collaborative painting class, "Painting With A Twist & Shout", in Houston on October 29th during the International Quilt Festival!

Leslie will be teaching "Fifty Shades of Groovy" at the International Quilt Festival, Houston,
on November 2nd at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Jamie Fingal will be teaching
at Art & Soul in Portland
Monday, September 30 - "Don't Rain on My Parade - Paper Parasol Journals
and at the International Quilt Festival in Houston
Monday, October 28th - Funky Folding Houses
Saturday, November 2 - Social Media and Making Time for Art

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Join Judy Coates Perez  
June 30 - July 2 on an Acrylic Ink Quilting Adventure at Idyllwild Arts
Channel Inspiration, Creativity and Exploration at a 3 day workshop in the beautiful mountains of Southern California, while learning a multitude of ways to use these versatile inks on fabric. 

August 14-17 • American Quilters Society show, Grand Rapids, MI
10 Techniques with Acrylic Inks 
Alternatively Bound and Stitched 
Painting Imagery on Fabric 

August 24, 25 •  Shake Rag Alley School of Arts and Crafts, Mineral Point, WI
Painting imagery on Fabric 
Fiesta Ornaments

October 4-19 • World of Quilts Travel Cruise for a Cause to Hawaii
Surface design and metal workshops. Space is limited so sign up soon! Click here for trip details.

Oct 28-Nov 3  International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX
Color Theory 
10 Textile Techniques with Acrylic Inks 
Painting Imagery on Fabric 
Lecture: It’s All in the Process 
Tsukineko Inks 
Mini Metal Mania 
New Class: Blog or website? Learn why a blog might be a better choice for you.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fibonacci Flowers

Susan Brubaker Knapp here. If you know me, you know that I really don’t do math. I developed what my math teacher told me was Female Math Anxiety Syndrome in 7th grade, and never really recovered. I had convinced myself that I was not good at math, and so I wasn’t. Now, about the only math I do is the type involved in quilting and cooking. My husband helps the kids when they need assistance with their math homework! 

A few years ago, I was working on a piece based on this photo of pink coneflowers. I always research my subjects, and I was very interested in the beautiful pattern formed by the individual seeds on the seed head at the center of the flowers. Can you see it?

I sketched out the flowers, and drew some lines on the seedheads as an idea of what I’d do when I added details with thread (what I call threadsketching) on them. I wanted to show the texture of the seeds, and the spiral.

But after some reflection, I realized that this was not going to work well as a quilting motif, because there was too much starting and stopping. Here is my solution. Step 1:
Step 2:
And here is the finished piece:

In my research on the subject, I discovered that the spiral in the seed heads is an example of the Fibonacci Spiral. The Fibonacci Sequence is a mathematical formula (that was actually known to Indian mathematicians far earlier than Fibonacci) but explained to mathematicians in Europe by the Italian mathematician Leonardo Pisano Bigollo. He was known as Fibonacci, and lived from about 1170-1250. There is good information about him on this website.

The sequence is:

0  1  1  2  3  5  8  13  21 … and so on into infinity. 

You get to the sequence by adding each number to the one that comes before it, this way:

0 + 1 = 1
1  + 1 = 2
2 + 1 = 3 
3 + 2 = 5
5 + 3 = 8
8 + 5 = 13
13 + 8 = 21

If you graph out the sequence, you get this elegant spiral:

Do a Google image search for “Fibonacci Spiral” and you can see this spiral, and lots of photographs of things in nature that demonstrate it: seashells, pinecones, seed heads, and even the tails of seahorses!

It boggles my mind that there is such structure and order in nature, and at the same time, so much chaos.

This month’s theme also reminded me of a song I love – “Circle Dream” by the band Ten Thousand Maniacs/vocalist Natalie Merchant – that mentions a spiral:

I dreamed of a circle, I dreamed of a circle round
I dreamed of a circle, I dreamed of a circle round
And in that circle I had made
Were all the worlds unformed and unborn yet
A volume, a sphere that was the Earth
That was the moon that did revolve around my room

I dreamed of a circle (I dreamed of a circle)
I dreamed of a circle round
And in that circle was a maze, a terrible spiral to be lost in
Blind in my fear, I was escaping just by feel
But at every turn my way was sealed

I dreamed of a circle (I dreamed of a circle)
I dreamed of a circle round
And in that circle was a face
Her eyes looked upon me with fondness
Her warmth coming near
Calling me sweetness, calling me dear
But I whispered no, I can't rest here
I can't rest here (I dreamed of)

I dreamed of a circle (I dreamed of a circle)
I dreamed of a circle round
I dreamed of a circle (I dreamed of a circle)
I dreamed of a circle round …

You can hear it performed by Ten Thousand Maniacs here. I love the idea of a circle/spiral with "all the worlds unformed and unborn yet.”

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ammonites and Fiddlehead Ferns....

Leslie here.  I love the April theme of "Spirals".  One of my favorite possessions is a lovely ammonite that was given to my husband and I in honor of our marriage.  I have a special place in my heart for ammonites.  Believe it or not, my grandparents found an enormous ammonite on their farmland (the diameter was about 2 feet!) and they brought it with them when they moved into the small town of Smith Center, Kansas (see below).  My cousins and I used it as a step to climb into the old tire swing:
I cringe now when I think about it!  Fortunately, my aunt and uncle are still in possession of this huge fossil.  Our local museum proudly displays one that is much smaller than the one my grandparents found.
Spirals are everywhere in nature, from the tiniest bacteria to those heavenly bodies, the spiral galaxies.

Ferns, as they rise from the woodland soil, uncurl their beautiful spiral fronds.  
Recently I was dining in a restaurant that served sauteed fiddlehead ferns as a side dish.  Not only were they beautiful to look at, they were quite tasty.  Who knew?!

the following are some very quick sketches.
I added a bit of watercolor to a few of them.

...and this is the ammonite that was found on my grandparents' land.
Approximate diamter is 2 feet!
(To think I used to step on this to get in a swing!)

a thermofax print of an ammonite on silk
Here is a small quilt with the same screen print on the surface.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The perfect ending

I am an inveterate doodler, both on paper and on fabric. I love to start a nice meandering line and then end it with a spiral. I find that spirals are the "perfect ending" for a graceful line.

Here are some of my thread doodles.

And a favorite pen doodle.

So, when you get to the end of the line, remember a spiral is the perfect ending!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Incorporating Spirals

Kristin La Flamme here. Despite the ubiquity of spirals, I don't seem to work with them much -- especially in my sketchbook. So, I've spent some time this month incorporating spirals into my drawings.

I thought about spiral machine quilting patterns and doodled a page full as a prospective background.

I took this sketchbook to my life drawing class with the hopes of using the doodle pages as backgrounds, but for two weeks, the model or pose didn't seem to match the mood of the swirls.

So, I drew a stack of coffee cups, imagining the curling steam that could emanate from the mugs when full.

I also added spirals to a previously drawn figure. I like how it accentuates her pensive pose.

Another drawing had been waiting for just the right addition. A radiating spiral was just what it needed.
A little more

The nature of challenge groups is to introduce themes and techniques one might not try on their own, and I appreciate this opportunity to spend time exploring a motif that I had not previously. I looks forward to incorporating more spirals in my work.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spirals come naturally.

Hello, Jackie here again.

Spirals seem to come very naturally to us, even using up left over paint from a sponge often results in spiral like marks.

I have been thinking about where 'inspiration' comes from and I think that you do need to look at works of art and the images that are all around when working to a theme. It’s not copying but rather absorbing and responding to those images, so that they enrich one’s own work and thought processes. One needs to be open to the world around oneself, in my opinion, to be uniquely creative. This is why having a theme is often a good jumping off, or even in, point.
There is a short video about using spirals on fabric over on my blog.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spiraling Ocean

Dion Dior here.  I've had a rather busy month of April, but nonetheless have been loving the April theme.

Spirals seem so abstract at times, especially when we're thinking art.  But when you look around, you'll be amazed at how many spirals exist in the every day things.

To me, spirals are motion, and when I think about spiraling motion, I think about the ocean.  Unfortunately I don't live by the ocean, but I grew up on an Island nation, completely surrounded by water.

Most people in Australia live close to the ocean, and it is an integral part of the Aussie way of life. I grew up with sand between my toes and my dream is to move back to the ocean one day.

The ocean is in my blood, in fact it's in my heart and soul.  So, in the spirit of spirals, I thought I'd share some of my "Spiral" influenced sketchbook pages of waves and shell.

Thanks for checking in. xx