Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tooting My Own Horn

"Contemplating Nature", Sew Somerset, Summer 2018

Sew Somerset, Summer 2018, is featuring a how-to based on my artwork, Transpiration. It's an embroidered leaf print (yes, the leaf really was that ginormous) cut and folded into an X-book. It's also free-standing.

OMG!!! This is my favorite mixed media art magazine and so, I'm over the moon they'd choose one of my pieces to stand alongside those of other really cool artists. Snap it up - there are pages of inspiration!

Sew Somerset, Summer 2018, cover

This particular piece is also available in my Etsy shop:

Monday, May 14, 2018

These Violet Delights...

Violet, mixed media textile collage

You may recognize a few of these fabrics from my Easter Lily textile collage a short time back. A flagrant example of commitment avoidance. Violet began first but finished last -- because it was easier to fool around with the scraps than figure out how to play up this very dimensional flower.

This began as a sandwich of cotton tablecloth lace, vintage book page, and good ol' muslin. Watery glue stiffened it up quite nicely which gave me the idea of following the hardened lace with embroidery floss. But a focal point was needed as the actual flower pattern within the lace was too amorphous to read well. I tried rubbing an oil paint stick on certain areas to highlight but it wasn't enough.

Violet, mixed media textile collage, detail-a

Scrunching up sheer purple organza did the trick as it poufs up off the surface even as it reveals the page underneath. Then it became a matter of adding enough detail around it to draw attention without hiding the type printed texture nor leaving it a sea of plainness. 

Violet, mixed media textile collage, detail-b

In hindsight the adding in of details seems quite simple but my mind does not make it easy - I go through dozens of scenarios before finally choosing, and even then I may end up ripping out a fair amount of stitching. Add in a little nagging voice that asks why I'm not using this or that neglected  notion, and I'm a mass of resentment at having too many choices.

But once I'm on the path, it's a marvelous thing to watch the unfolding of color and texture. Bright turquoise and mysterious purple, glinty beads and intricate lace, smooth buttons and cushy perle.

Violet, mixed media textile collage, detail-c

Violet which measures 8" x 10" is now available in my Etsy shop:

To see my latest stitching and inspirations, visit me on Instagram:

Saturday, May 5, 2018

More Than Meets The Eye

Love Prayer Flag, mixed media textile collage

Nothing profound at work here except for the sentiment expressed in word and symbol. It started off as a way to use up this deliberately wrinkled paper glued to fabric. I had spritzed it with walnut ink to highlight the network of random lines, let it languish in the cool-papers-for-collage-someday box for several years, and then smoothed on some cold wax for matte-y protection.

Love Prayer Flag, mixed media textile collage, detail-b

The color combo of yellows, greens, and oranges is irresistible to me. It reeks of wholesomeness and good cheer, qualities that often elude me. After one fabric was chosen the rest suggested themselves like a game of connect the dots. Most are upcycled clothing scraps - husband's shirt, grandma's dress, and some stranger's exquisite taste in office appropriate silk.

I like randomness so I fought myself tooth and nail to either leave the unevenly sided scraps alone or to be careless with my straight lines. It plays to my turning lack of precision skills to strengths of wabi-sabi-dom. I tell myself it confuses mischievous evil spirits - enemies of perfection!

Love Prayer Flag, mixed media textile collage, detail-a

I echo that "credo" in my embroidery. Here it was a challenge to find stitches that were more than mere dots and dashes but also didn't look out of character for the personality of the piece. My favorite part has to be the reddish triangles inner border. Big, small, wide, narrow - there's a parade of movement.

My newish thing lately has been to mount my collages onto dry-brush painted cotton. Has a canvas-y feel and obviates a mat come frame time. To add more polish and better job secure the edges I blanket stitch the perimeter. Only too happy to do so as it's a quite peaceful activity.

Secret compartment alert! This prayer flag doubles as a pouch for letters and keepsakes by having a slit and lined backside. (At 5" x 7" that's a decent amount of room.) By tucking in your heart's desire  safe and sound, you're augmenting all that good intention mojo.

Love Prayer Flag, mixed media textile collage, detail-c

The prayer flag is now up in my Etsy shop:

If you'd like to take a gander at my other art works, fly on over to my Instagram feed:

Friday, April 20, 2018

A Dog's Lunch Redux

A Dog's Lunch Journal, Butterfly Travel Edition

Ohmylord, there're a plethora of heirloom quality handmade journals out there - the kind you shouldn't spill coffee on. These don't compete. They're for down and dirty recording of your passions - furtive sketches, irreverent observations, and hasty garnerings.

A Dog's Lunch Journal, Butterfly Travel Edition, detail-a

These may look familiar and indeed they are. They came out last year, but I have just given them a major makeover - tricking them out with charms and danglies, gilding page borders, stamping out suggestive prompts and images, and even protecting the covers with metal corner edges. (Did you notice the butterfly imprinted wax seal on the front?!)

A Dog's Lunch Journal, Butterfly Travel Edition, detail-b

These elements are fun, even grunge-y but not so precious that they demand clean hands and a noble mind. My motive was to enhance the inner & outer journey theme of these "blank" workbooks. Each page is a point of departure.

A Dog's Lunch Journal, Butterfly Travel Edition, detail-c

Speaking of pages, there are 116 of them plus three envelopes and three double-sided pocket pages. I handmade just four of these 6" x 8-1/2" journals, so while they have similar types of elements and formatting, no two are identical.

Come find them in my Etsy shop:

Keep current on my latest projects and inspirations on Instagram:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Easter Lily

Easter Lily, mixed media textile collage

Put the finishing touches to this Easter themed collage the day after so while I may be technically a day late and a dollar short, I'm going to parlay this into first out the gate for next year's holiday.

My 6" x 10" banner started out as an experiment for another project using the same fabrics. How would they look tea-dyed? Pretty decent but decided I preferred the original color saturation instead.  

Regardless, couldn't leave well enough alone. These muted orphans made their own home as a background for another great what-if: a flower made from lace tablecloth scraps. And since Easter was coming up and these are holiday colors, why not make that flower a lily. 

Easter Lily, mixed media textile collage, detail-b

My embroidery scheme is made up as I go along. I'm lucky if I can envision one or two steps ahead. And it's not unheard of to pull out a "done" section if it doesn't settle right. That being said, I felt particularly satisfied with the scroll stitched petal edges. The height emphasizes the lily as the focal point.

Easter Lily, mixed media textile collage, detail-a

I don't necessarily try for symbolism in my stitching motifs. Either it works as a design element or it doesn't. (Otherwise I'd fall down a rabbit hole of puzzles, clues, and gotcha. Precious and annoying.) Had hoped it would be obvious that those white knotty things below the lily were suggestive of lilies themselves, as in "lilies of the field" (Jesus' Sermon on the Mount) but they could be read as birds (as one viewer observed) or just somethings that create pleasing texture.

Easter Lily, mixed media textile collage, detail-c

The Y's on their sides with a french knot "head" - there are 12 or 13 if you include the one off by itself (Judas!) - are my quiet nod to the apostles. It wasn't pre-planned but developed itself as I counted out the spacing to liven up that edge.

The blue blanket stitch spirals hopefully suggest positive energy and dynamism - as in the dynamism of a living faith. One path (of many!) is offered in the blooming cross at the picture's bottom. Make of that what you will.

In Easter Lily then, rather than making a statement I wanted to spark a happiness in the viewer, an awareness of joy and a sense of possibility in her (or his) own life. Rebirth. Renewal.

This will be listed soon in my shop: www.etsy.com/shop/PegasaurusArt  Or call dibs by emailing me.

To see my latest works and inspirations: www.instagram.com/pegasaurusart_ 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Everyone Wants A Piece

Cake, Mixed Media Textile Collage

Dessert is my happy place. Yet without the metabolism of a gazelle, my visits are few and far between. And so I vicariously indulge appetite with art - reminding myself of greater, more lasting pleasures.

This innocently began with a little scrap play, leftovers from my recent textile collage, Cross. Some of the pieces tiered so nicely suggesting you-know-what that I couldn't help myself.  Beads, buttons, lace, ribbon - just too easy.  Heady stuff.

Cake, Mixed Media Textile Collage, detail-a

I think the key for me was to make a background that had some texture but didn't compete with the centerpiece. I dry brushed a cotton fabric background then laminated an old dictionary page on top, whitewashing it to keep the words from jumping off the page. Went over this with a glaze of delicate metallic lilac to suggest a glow of sorts.

Cake, Mixed Media Textile Collage, detail-b

The embroidery was done with a mix of flosses and perles - think different line thicknesses for mark-making. Got myself into a little trouble when I originally stitched the candle "light" circles in a very different color. Couldn't get past it and so carefully undid and redid them all in the white you see now.

It was a good opportunity to use some stitches I hadn't tried in a long while. Coral, for example. It's a challenge to incorporate the fancier ones when my style tends casual. Plus it has to make sense in my head - think existential.

Cake, Mixed Media Textile Collage, detail-c

Hoping others find this delectable. I found it quite satisfying, and wouldn't mind trying another. There seem to be all sorts of possibilities. Aaagh - sugar rush!

"Cake" and other original artwork listed in my Etsy shop:

Also available on Amazon Handmade:

Enjoy the picture show at Instagram:


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Three Apricots

Three Apricots, mixed media textile collage

An experiment with watercolor pencils transferred to fabric for the sheer pleasure of embellishing with stitch and beads.

I love watercolor painting but alas it is not one of my skills. Have tried throughout the years never meeting with enough success to think I could get the hang of it if only I really really applied myself. So I "cheat" and use watercolor pencils to block out my basic (and primitive) drawing then water brushing ever so gently to achieve blending! and gradation!

Three Apricots, mixed media textile collage, detail-a

I painted this little still life on a leftover scrap of Transfer Artist Paper because it can be applied to just about anything with an iron. Love this stuff but sadly not available anymore because a crucial ingredient is off the market for ever. (They are trying to find a work around.)

My motive was having a picture to embroider in a casual sketchy way - because I haven't done so before. I admire that free-form style but seem to retreat to the safety of official stitches that have names and a heritage.

Three Apricots, mixed media textile collage, detail-b

Adding beads is second nature. I had the perfect yellow-orange color, and they just invite the eye to mosey around to the softly frayed edges of the chiffon. My pictures here don't show that this is mounted on plain cotton dry brushed with white gesso. That's my go to background these days - creates a buffer zone to make the picture pop and adds a little texture as well.

"Three Apricots" and other original artwork listed in my Etsy shop:

Also available on Amazon Handmade:

Enjoy the picture show at Instagram: