Minuscule Illustrations: Diet

In October 2017 I came across an internet blog challenge for a story written in two sentences. I wrote a story. Liking the format, I did another one. Another one. And another.

Quite a few stories later, I had enough for a book. Not only did I have stories, but I had written a short poem and created a brush and India ink illustration for each one as well.

The result was Minuscule, published in 2018. I’m now going to show you the book illustrations as an ongoing feature on this blog, once a week. I’ll link back to the story (they have been published one by one on my poetry blog).

If you want to hold the entire book in your hand, the print version is available on Amazon.

“Diet” is the title of the story. Look here to read it.

 

 

Minuscule #8 Diet 6-1874

 

 

 

Art Day and Fabric: Let’s Catch Up On What’s Going On in My Head These Days

After reading that long post title I am sure you are exhausted. So, just sit down, and I’ll do some talking.

First thing: We held another Art 451 day (so named by the participants as that is the street number of my house, where the event takes place, and I think it sounds very elegant, Art 451…) on July 30. You can read about the first outdoor Art Day here.

It was a very hot day, so we got started around 9 AM. I set up the tables outside:

Art Day 7-30-20 (2)

with some supplies, a bucket for cleaning brushes, etc., and of course the hand sanitizer table.

We worked on individual projects until about 1 pm, and then we went on to the rest of our day, re-energized. I feel I was singled out by a lucky star when I was asked to teach the mixed media class at the art center last winter, because it led to me meeting these two friends, Andy and Mary Ann. I am grateful, and looking forward to our next session.

Second thing, part one: I’ve been thinking about doing some fabric art again, the impulse spurred by sewing masks in the spring. It was before this blog began so there is no record of it here, but my art career started off as an outgrowth of my experience in sewing. I made quilts, in traditional styles at first, and then moved into applique and pictorial work. (Look here for a post I did about a past art piece in fabric.)

I moved away from fabric art around 2001. I gave away all my fabric but kept my threads, tools, and sewing machine.

Where is this all going? Well, first of all, two friends have been generous in giving me fabrics to work with. Shout out #1 to Tierney at Tierney Creates. A few months ago she put together an assortment of fabric for me and sent it in the mail:

And shout out #2 to Mary Ann (participant in Art 451) who gave me this bag of fabrics at our recent get-togther:

Mary Ann Fabric 7-20

Let me say right now that both of these artists do wonderful fabric work, and I hope some of their influence has infiltrated these fabric gifts, to help me along my own art path. Thank you both for your generosity and support.

Second thing, part two: So where is all this fabric talk going, you might ask. Here’s what I have been doing.

First of all, I bought some other fabrics myself, and I had some small yardage from mask making and a couple of other little projects. I assembled machine needles, bobbins, and found my sewing shears; I dug up my seam ripper, I organized my threads, and I brushed up on some sewing topics.

I do not use a rotary cutter since having a serious accident with one 20 years ago in which I cut off part of my finger and had to go to the hospital in an ambulance. (I just can’t face a rotating blade, not even a pizza cutter, anymore). So I did NOT let a rotary cutter enter my planning.

Then I refelcted on my¬† history in fiber arts, focusing on sewing (I say this because you may remember I knit, also, and I think I’d like to do more of that, too, but…that’s another topic and another post, someday.)

I’ve made clothing, I’ve done piecing, hand sewing, machine and hand applique, hand embroidery, and I’ve dabbled in painting or dyeing fabrics. I’ve been letting ideas float around in my head, and I’ve practiced a few techniques, to refresh my skills and to see which things I might like to be doing.

One such experiment led to these small 6″ x 6″ fabric…images…somethings…?

This work is done in the same applique techniques I was using when I left off fabric art – I stitch fabrics to a light canvas background using machine stitching.

Two conclusions:

I am coming to the feeling I would like to be making something using the above-mentioned style of construction.

And, I also want to sew seams. Yes, for some reason, I just want to sew seams. That means piecing, to me. Some kind of pieced work.

*******

So…we’ll see. I am very close to starting in on a project. Or, I think two projects, side by side, but different. I feel the day approaching when I will begin.

I will let you know what happens. Until then, I will leave you with these views of me at Art 451 day:

And let’s end on an artsy note. Here I am, pared down to my shadowy essence, in my backyard on July 30, 2020.

Claudia shadow BW 7-20

Blur Photo Foot

The title of this picture could be – How Did That Foot Get Going So Fast and Why Isn’t It Dizzy?”

Usually when I take blur photos I am trying to do so. This time, not the case – when I looked at the photos from this session this one was there, as if by magic.

All right, I thought. I’ll take the gift!

 

Blur photo shoe and leg 4-10 2001

A Birdbath Story

You know that I have done a lot of illustrations for the online short story magazine Fictive Dream. I love working with editor Laura Black and the process of turning words into pictures is always a challenge and a joy to me.

I’ve done an illustration for a story published today, 7/31. I’ll tell you about my work process and then you can check out the story at Fictive Dream.

In recent times, I’ve been searching my archive of images for ones that might fit the story, rather than creating new work. My mind has been scattered given the situation we are living in right now and my focus on work equally scattered.

In these days, Laura provides me with information about what she’d like to see in an illustration, rather than me reading the story and coming up with ideas – having less information actually seems to free my mind in considering all kinds of options for paintings, collages, fabric art, postcards, etc., that I look through to find an image.

For this story, An Assortment of Trolls by Gary Fincke, she wanted a picture including a birdbath in a garden. She said: The writer describes the bird bath like this: “It was ornate, the kind of scrollwork that reminded me of the rococo columns.”

Well, I have a love for birdbaths, and I decided to create this image from scratch.

What I did was draw an assortment of birdbaths from photos found on the internet, using pen and ink. Then I scanned them. I do this so that if something goes wrong in the assembly of the artwork, I did not destroy my carefully-created drawings.

Here they are:

Next, I created a garden background. I used acrylic paints washed over the paper, and then I drew in the garden using a pen. This picture is about 11.5″ x 7.25″.

Birdbath story background 7-20

Now, I carefully cut out each scanned image and temporarily attached it to the background, scanning the combined compositions. Here they are:

Which one did Laura pick? Well, you’ll need to go to Fictive Dream and read the story to find out!

Color Them In

The postcards, completed in April 2020, started off as ink drawings. A couple of them were practice illustrations for my Minuscule short story book and one was just a drawing done out of my imagination. Anyway, I turned them into postcards and colored them with markers.

This is a really soothing activity at the end of a long day.

Baby Blankets

I recently made a couple of baby blankets. Here’s the first one, done in a slip stitch pattern, using a combination acrylic/wool blend. It’s pretty small as blankets go, maybe 26″ x 26″ or so, good for a stroller.

And here is the other one. It’s done in the same kind of yarn, but here I have done large stripes formed of small stripes, which gives an interesting color blend effect, I think, using garter stitch.

It’s larger, 36″ x 30″, I think, suitable for a crib or playpen sleep session.

Why did I make these and why am I showing them to you now? Because they are for my little granddaughter, my first grandchild, born yesterday, July 27, 2020.

Hello and welcome to Leona Lora!

Minuscule Illustrations: Divergence

In October 2017 I came across an internet blog challenge for a story written in two sentences. I wrote a story. Liking the format, I did another one. Another one. And another.

Quite a few stories later, I had enough for a book. Not only did I have stories, but I had written a short poem and created a brush and India ink illustration for each one as well.

The result was Minuscule, published in 2018. I’m now going to show you the book illustrations as an ongoing feature on this blog, once a week. I’ll link back to the story (they have been published one by one on my poetry blog).

If you want to hold the entire book in your hand, the print version is available on Amazon.

“Divergence” is the title of the story. Look here to read it.

Minuscule #15 Divergence 6-187

 

 

 

 

 

More Library Cards

If you have a stack of these blank cards, you could do a lot of things: play library, dream about the books you will check out at the library, think of a list of names that might be on the card (or what book title…?)

Or you might glue cut-out phrases/words to them that you will later use in writing poetry. And when you’ve done that, you might paint them.

That’s what I did in June, 2020. Take a look at this array.

Library Cards 6-20a

Houses Near My House in Pen and Ink

Remember my TV time sketchbook? Here are some “neighbors” whose portraits I did in April, 2020. They are all houses in my local Wyncote, PA, neighborhood that I photographed on a walk.

Here are the houses:

And here is the page from my sketchbook:

Wyncote 4-20

Reflections 3

I love reflections and I am especially drawn to reflections in store windows. Recently I took some photos during walks in various local shopping districts.

I chronicled the walks on my personal blog, Sometimes You Get So Confused. I’ll provide the link to each location’s post in case you want to see the context of the photos.

Here are some shots from Bryn Mawr, PA.