I've thought a lot over the last few months about why I join swaps. I decided that as long as I am judicious in my swap selections, that they challenge me to experiement and grow as an artist. I will almost always try something new or work within a theme that I wouldn't have thought to choose on my own.
Probably my biggest commitment for this year is the house front swap on Textile Challenges. I'll make 6 houses over the course of the year - the pattern was provided by list owner Carol T. - in the theme of the recipient's choice. My first one goes to Kate in the UK. Here theme is "The House of the Rising Sun".
I had to do a google search on her theme, because the only knowledge I had of it was the folk song. Well, it turns out that's all there is to it. It's about the sordid life in New Orleans from the perspective of a child of a gambler. So I researched New Orleans architecture and my first "house" is above.
I don't know why I always feel compelled to explain my art. Probably because so much thought goes into it that I want others to know about. So on this piece, I first started with a piece of Ice Dyed fabric which had shades of red, orange, and turquoise. I cut three arch shaped doorways from it and backed them with a piece of nubby green silk. I had to add the playing cards! What a lucky gambler. I added some walnut ink, french words (this IS New Orleans after all) and a rust colored sheer, which I burned away in spots. I kept thinking "smoke and mirrors". Anyway. I tried to suggest spanish tile for the roof and of course an iron balcony. The exterior is adorned with sultry southern flowers. The ones along the bottom are punched from paint chips and the ones along the balcony are punched from an aluminum can that I painted with alcohol inks. I had a lot of fun with this. Now I just need to get the song out of my head!
These are some ATCs that I made for an exchange on Surface Design. The challenge was to show a technique - so I chose UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) on fabric. It was a really good learning experience, and a technique I might use again, although it was not quite as easy to execute as I thought it would be.
I am getting more and more excited about the poppy project - lots of ideas swarming in my brain!!