Archive for the ‘Surface Design’ Category

Hitting the Restart Button

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Hi all,

I am back.  Our move out to California has had a much longer settle in time than I would ever have imagined possible.   My life was pretty much in a holding pattern for the first 3 1/2 months out here.  Among other challenges, I was never able to fully unpack and my dyeing workspace never materialized.  I don’t want to dwell on the drama of it, but we have moved for a second time.   We are now in a great place, my work areas are functional and I am ready to get on with living and making some art.

 

I had been working on cave pieces prior to all of this life upheaval, but am feeling very drawn to making things with nature images right now.  Making things that reconnect me to a feeling of peace seem just right.  I am busy screening pieces with vat dye and will steam my pieces at the end of the week.

 

Maine Pond (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

I have been spending time at a great local studio:  A Work of Heart and took a resin class.  I’ll be experimenting with using this new resin to incorporate mixed media into my pieces.  I’ll post pictures.

 

Dragonfly (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Thanks for sticking with me!

 

Tracy

Back on the Face of the Earth

Monday, December 13th, 2010

 

"Cave Series VII" (C) 2010 by Tracy McCabe Stewart

I know it’s been a while.  I have been busy with non-art stuff for a while and haven’t had much that really seemed worth writing about. 

I just completed the piece shown above.  It’s another piece in my cave series; all are based on the incredible images found on the cave walls of Altamira (Spain), Lascaux (France) and chauvet (France).  As much as I work with these images, they never cease to thrill me.  I have another piece on the boards, so it will be a lot less time before the next post!

SAQA One Foot Square Auction Begins!

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) begins their annual fundraiser today!  This is a great opportunity to purchase some great art work and help a really wonderful organization at the same time.

How the Auction Works

There are 288 Benefit Auction quilts donated by our members. The SAQA 2010 Benefit Auction will begin on Monday, September 20th at 2:00 Eastern Time and conclude on Saturday, October 9 at 2:00 Eastern.

Last year’s Benefit Auction raised $47,325. The funds raised through the Auction are critical to supporting SAQA’s exhibitions, catalogs and outreach programs.

How the Auction works:

The Auction is run in three sections (Section 1 – Pages 1a and 1b; Section 2 – Pages 2a and 2b; Section 3 – Pages 3a and 3b).

On the first day of each section’s auction, the price for all pieces in that section is $750. The next day (at 2:00 Eastern), the price drops to $550. The third day, it drops to $350, then $250, then $150, and finally $75.

The first section will begin September 20th at 2:00 Eastern.
The second section will begin September 27th at 2:00 Eastern.
The third section will begin October 4th at 2:00 Eastern.

On another note, I’ve been vat dyeing again.  This one below was made from a Procion dye that I got from Dharma Trading Company called Mild Wing Sauce.  It was an oops dye they were selling at a great price.  It was screened with golden yellow and scarlet vat dyes.

Scarf Mania! Scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

this one was created from another oops! Dharma dye called How Now Brown Cow.  I LOVE this color.  It was screened with scarlet vat dye as well.

More Scarf Mania! Scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Inspirational Artist: Lorraine Roy

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

 

I have been crazy busy traveling this summer and working on some personal projects.  I am also working on a piece for a large juried show next month, but can’t post any pictures of it.  It will negate it’s eligibility to the show.

In the meantime, I thought I would introduce you to a fabulous textile artist named Lorraine Roy.  She works out of Canada and I have been following her work for years.  I love Lorraine’s textiles.  Her focus is mainly on trees as subjects these days, but I first got hooked on her work when she was doing cloth representations of patinaed sheet metal.  Unfortunately, she no longer has these pieces on her site, but you can see her gorgeous tree compositions.    They are all a gorgeous mixtures of abstraction and realism; full of  beautiful colors and texture.  They are well work a look.  Enjoy!

Taming Dragons and Layering Screens

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

I know I haven’t posted in ages.  I’ve been absorbed in revamping my garden.  I downsized my big pond to a smaller one that requires less upkeep.  It involved moving tons of flagstone in the summer heat.  I wasn’t really feeling too creative afterwards. 

I fished this dragonfly out of the pond and he seemed quite content to dry off on my fingertip:

My Pet Dragonfly

Here’s a shot of the new pond.  I dismantled the waterfall, but have water bubbling through this millstone:

New Pond (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Three of these cute green frogs moved in the new pond.  So far, my big frogs haven’t returned.  This guy likes to hide in my lotus plant:

Green Frog with a Personal Umbrella

Here’s a couple of shots of parts of my garden.  I have gone heavy on the grasses and shrubs because my Great Dane and other big mutt mow down anything much daintier:

Tiger Eye Sumac, Hibiscus and Grasses (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

and here’s more grasses in front of my garden shed:

Garden Shed (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

and a shot of my old pond:

Fish! (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

and I did manage to put multiple layers of screening on my latest piece.  It combines both regular and metallic paints:

Screened Layers (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Here it is with hand dyed silk organza over it.  I like the look; a bit more subtle:

Layered Piece (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Vat Dyeing and Dramatic Toad Rescue

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Okay, the rescue wasn’t really all that dramatic.  I did a bit of vat dyeing today.  When I came down to the basement, I had some little toads staring at me through the window wells.  we’ve had rain of biblical proportions the past few weeks and these little guys got washed through the grates.  It seems to happen every time we have really heavy rains here.

Toads!

Toads!

I finally used a great silk screen that I made at a workshop with the fabulous  Barbara Schneider (I love her workshops!).  The effect was made by dribbling the design goop and letting it drip.  I love the effect.  Here it is on some hand dyed fabric.  I’ll be using this for my latest cave piece:

dribble screened vat dye

and here’s a scarf I screened vat dye on while I was at it:

vat dyed scarf

It’s all one screen, but different colors.

Another layer tomorrow!

Back to the Caves

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

 

Cave screen:As you may have noticed, I haven’t gotten a heck of a lot done in the art department over the last few months.  I did revisit a whooping crane piece I’d started before leaving for my trip to Japan, but wasn’t really engaged enough to stick with it when design problems arose.  It is currently in pieces waiting for me to get interested again.

I noticed, over the past few days, that when I thought about starting or working on one of my bird pieces, I’d start drifting away.  Suddenly, any thing else was more interesting:  laundry, walking the dogs, solitaire, you name it.  Interestingly, when I thought about doing some work on my cave series, I began designing and working the logistics of the piece out in my head.  I guess I need a break from the birds for a while.

I began working out fabrics and creating new thermofax screens to use in the piece last night.  I haven’t decided whether this will be a pure fiber piece or a piece that combines fiber and etched copper like my Lascaux pieces:  Horses and Bulls I and II

Anyway, here are some of the new screens I made based on the cave paintings in Altimira, Spain and Lascaux and Chauvet, France.

I am going to try to get some screening done over the weekend.  We are getting house stuff done next week (carpeting).  I need to empty out all of our furniture for the job and move it all back again when they are through.  It will be completely chaotic here for most of the week. 

Have a great weekend!

Big in Japan-More Preparation

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Here are the scarves I started a few days ago.  I will bring them all to Japan and let my daughter choose the one that I give to my daughter’s host mother.  I posted about this yesterday here.

I thought the scarves needed another layer of vat dye, so I screened an indigo and grey mixture over them.  I got better haloes today, too.  I think this one below is my favorite.  There’s a real hot spot from my camera’s flash.  The color is much more even:

Procion MX and vat dyed scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

 Here’s the second scarf:

Tree screened scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

The final scarf turned out all right, but the new screeend flowers turned out really blurry.  It was all the same vat dye, so I don’t know what happened.  I like the look of it anyway:

Procion and Vat dyed Scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Big in Japan-Trip Preparation

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

I am headed out for a 10 day trip to Japan this Wednesday.  My daughter has been finishing her last year of university in Kobe and staying with a host family there.  she has a minor in Asian studies. 

Big in Japan is a fun song from the 80’s by Alphaville.  It’s one of the worst music videos ever; complete with Robin Hood sort of outfits that don’t really have much to do with Japan, as far as I can see.  See it here.   We hum it around here because I am 6’2″ and going to the land of 5′ people.  I’m guessing I won’t exactly blend in. 

Right now, I am trying to get gifts together for Ashley’s host  family.  The Japanese have a somewhat complicated ritual of gift giving.  Here’s what I know:  gifts from/related to your geographical location are appreciated.  The presentation is really important, too.  I will wrap my presents in hand dyed fabric to try to make them extra special.  

I am from Chicago, so I am bringing them a book on Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.  I am also making a hand dyed scarf for my daughter’s host mother.   Apparently she wears very plain, dark clothing, so I am trying to do something pretty subdued.  I started by dyeing silk scarves blue grey and screened them with vat dye solution.  Here are the results form the vat dyeing.  They will probably get a layer of fabric paint before they are complete. 

Here’s a picture.  I am having a hard time getting the colors true because the silk is so reflective.  I barely got any haloing on these-too bad.  She wants plain, so I won’t add another design layer, but may screen some paint to make the effect more monochromatic.  

Hand Dyed Scarves by Tracy McCabe Stewart

A Bird in the Hand……..Reddish Egret Piece Completed

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Here’s the final piece of that reddish egret I’ve been working on:

Reddish Egret (C) 2010 by Tracy McCabe Stewart

“Reddish Egret”

(C)2010 by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Hand dyed silks and cottons, Shiva paintsticks, colored pencil.  Fused, machine quilted.

We are off to Cedarburg, WI for a weekend with our neighbors and to see the fabulous musician, Marcia Ball.  I already have another wading bird piece in the planning stages to begin when I return.

Have a great weekend!

Tracy