random on a sunday (and why the blog is quiet)

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First things first – let’s announce the winner of The Printed Fabric Bee fabric giveaway! The winner is Michele Timms – congrats! I will email you for your mailing address.

And here’s a random list of what’s going on in the studio:

1) The blog has been quiet and it’s going to continue to be slow for a couple of more weeks. Why? The re-brand I mentioned a few months back is finally happening and I’m having a  new site built so that I can go nuts bringing you all the things I’ve always wanted to do. It’ll be done by the end of July so hang in there with me.

2) I’ll be doing Weekly Pattern Wednesday on my Facebook page until the new site is up and running. So if you are participating in that fun challenge, please head on over there to leave links to your pattern when Wednesday rolls around.

3) I’m continuing my studio organization from the comfort of my sofa. I’m working on winding my embroidery thread collection off onto bobbins so I can neatly arrange them in boxes. I expect to be done in 2043.

Lynn K winding thread

 

4) I’ve got a new article out in the latest issue of Quilting Arts Magazine about combining surface design and old quilt blocks into artwork. It’s like crack, I apologize in advance if you get addicted. (Not really, I need more crazy paint flinging friends like me).

Lynn K QA magazine

 

5) I accidentally bought decaf coffee last week when I grocery shopped and it took me three days to figure out why in the hell I was so tired. (In my defense, the organic packaging looks a lot like the decaf packaging and that’s what I thought it was buying. It was not pretty for anyone involved.)

6) I went and saw Jaws on the big screen a few weeks ago. They showed it in the theaters for the 40th anniversary. It’s still my favorite movie of all time. I like to pretend that the sequels do not exist.

7) There is seafoam green paint on the ceiling and I have no idea why.

Things will get back to normal once the new site is kicking. I can’t wait!! Just wanted to let you know that I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet.

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the great studio purge of 2015 – a.k.a i can see the floor!

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A couple of weeks ago I started reading this:

book

 

My mid year break from work was coming up and I had decided that something finally needed to be done about my studio. I daydreamed about taking everything out of it and burying it in the backyard just so I could find a clean surface to work on. In other words, it had become a place I didn’t really want to be. And when the desire to create became stronger than my contempt of the mess, I was so distracted by the piles and disorganization that I mostly felt guilty.

It pretty much sucked.

So I decided to dedicate the first few days of my break to taking the room apart. It’s rare that I have time in my schedule to do something like that but I came to view it as a form of self care. My studio is my sanctuary and I needed to love being in there.

After spending some time reading the book (I’m only part way into it), I realized the biggest reason I keep cleaning a space that continually turns messy again is that I just have too much stuff in there. I feel fortunate to have a studio. It’s modest, though. It’s a spare bedroom and clocks in at about 150 square feet. So there is a limited amount of space in there and I had pretty much exceeded what it could hold.

A couple of years ago I worked with a professional organizer to tackle the space and things were great for a long time. The one thing we didn’t really get to was the fabric stash, just ran out of time. It was tidied but never sorted and as I continued to add to it, it became a force to be reckoned with.

I didn’t take any before pictures. Mostly because I tore into the space first thing on the first day of break armed with trash bags and a couple of laundry baskets to sort things into giveaway piles. I reduced what was in the space by a third and then set about organizing it. In all honesty, a lot of the things that I got rid of was junk. Fabric scraps so tiny that ants wouldn’t be able to use them and paint that had gotten shoved into the back corner quickly becoming a strange experiment. Failed projects, bizarre tchotchkes and odds and ends that make me feel like I need a psych eval for hanging onto them.

Here’s how things ended up:

Lynn K printing closet

Lynn K writing desk and sewing machine

Lynn K fabric bookcase 1

Lynn K fabric bookcase 2

(The laundry basket of fabric is getting donated for charity sewing.)

I still feel like I have a ton of stuff. And I still want to paint the room white and get up some decent design boards. But I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know what’s in there. I went over every square inch of the room and there isn’t anything in there that I don’t want.

In a way it was like a freaky little clown car – I just kept taking more and more stuff out. My studio won’t win any prizes for being gorgeous but I can truthfully say that this is the most organized it has ever been. Now in the interest of full transparency, I don’t keep every single thing I own in this room. I have a second space where I store samples, books and the items I sell online. That will get purged at the end of year over my Christmas break. I didn’t think I had the fortitude to do both spaces in the same week.

I had planned to spend the rest of the week happily making art but the week has taken a couple of strange turns and I’ve not been able to spend any time in there. Still, I’m thrilled that when I do finally get back in there, it’ll be full steam ahead and all I’ll see is the possibility of the art I’m making instead of a mess on steroids.

Do I think I will never have to clean it again? Of course not. It’s the nature of creativity that at some point the space will look like the Tasmanian devil tore through it. But now that there is enough room for everything, I won’t need to give myself a pep talk to tackle it. Onward!! :)

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printed fabric bee giveaway – vintage themed collection! :)

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I’m a member of the fabulous Printed Fabric Bee. We’re a group of surface design artists that print fabric for each other based on a member’s chosen theme. June was my month and my theme was Vintage.

We also do a giveaway of 6″ squares of the collection and this is what is currently up for grabs:

Lynn K vintage giveaway collage

You can leave a comment here or on our Facebook page to get in on the drawing. I’ll leave it open until next Friday, July 10 and I’ll announce the winner on July 11. Get commenting! :)

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weekly pattern wednesday week 6 reveal

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Details about Weekly Pattern Wednesday can be found here.

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday

 

Sorry about missing last week – lots going on here and Art Brain lost track of what day of the week it was. But we’re back this week and I’ve got a little something extra to share with you. :) But first, here is my pattern for this week, an abstract leaf one:

Lynn K week 6 WPW full

Lynn K week 6 WPW close up 2

Lynn K week 6 WPW close up 1

Lynn K week 6 WPW close up 3

 

I’m really enjoying drawing these as a coloring book page and then filling them in. I created a version of this pattern that you can download and color yourself. Just click the link below.

Lynn K free leaves coloring book page

 

If you’ve done a pattern, leave your link in the widget below so we can all come admire it! :)

 

** If you subscribe to the blog via email, you’ll need to visit this post on the blog to enter your link in the widget. The widget does not show up in email.

****When you post your link in the widget below, make sure you post the entire web address. For example, mysite.com won’t work. It has to be https://www.mysite.com. And please link directly to the blog post with your pattern so if someone visits later on, they can find your fabulous pattern without having to scroll through other posts. Thanks! :)****

 

 

 




learn all about Thermofax screen printing with my new DVD! :)

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Back in March I went to hang out with the fine folks at Quilting Arts to film some TV segments for Quilting Arts TV and to film this:

Lynn K thermofax DVD

Get the download now  or   Pre-order a physical copy

This is my third DVD workshop and (don’t tell the other two) but is my favorite one that I’ve filmed. Why? Well, for one thing I’m a complete Thermofax Screen Printing geek and for another thing, this DVD works on both fabric and paper. The DVD answers all the questions I get on a daily basis about TSP. That includes:

  • What kind of images work best to make a screen (working with hand drawings as well as photographs)?
  • How do I make a screen if I have a machine?
  • What kind of paint should I use?
  • How do I care for my screens?
  • What else can I use besides paint with the screens?
  • Can I print multiple color prints? (The answer is YES! :) )

The workshop is very project oriented so you can see how TSP can be incorporated into your own artwork. Projects include:

  • table coverings two ways
  • ATCs
  • wall art
  • abstract painting – which can easily translate to art journaling
  • assemblage

The hour is FULL of technique and inspiration and I’m incredibly excited to be able to offer it to you. (We need more TSP geeks in the world, we are a cool bunch.)

The download of the video is available right now or if you prefer a physical copy of the DVD, you can pre-order it. I hope you’ll love it as much as I loved creating the projects and filming it! Woo! :)

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the sweet limbo of a break…

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I’ve sort of been floating through a break for the past few weeks. And it’s been completely restorative in every way – personally and creatively and physically. It’s a strange kind of limbo but one that I chose so I can’t really complain about it. Right now the thing most on my mind is hitting the pause on any major projects for a few weeks so that I can organize and clean and purge. Since I only have studio time on the weekends, it really is a one or the other type deal for me. I haven’t decided yet but I do know that I’ve hit that “I want to bury everything in my studio in the backyard” stage again.

In the meantime, I’m just puttering around and thinking a lot.

Lynn K where i stand

Lynn K coffee

Lynn K painting

I know it’s a little dull around the blog lately but it will pick up again soon. Being a creative is such a strange and beautiful journey and right now it’s pulling me into  a slow period. I’m choosing to embrace whatever is called for and honor it. :)

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weekly pattern wednesday week 5 reveal

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about Weekly Pattern Wednesday can be found here.

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday

 

This week I decided to do something similar to my daily Instagram pattern drawings but ramp it up – both in size and detail. I ended up creating a coloring books style base and then worked on filling it in over the course of a few days.

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 5 full

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 5 detail 2

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 5 detail 1

 

I started out by drawing it all in black in white:

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 5 uncolored

 

And then color:

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 5 beginning to color 1

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 5 beginning to color 2

 

I had a TON of fun with this one, I want to do several more. And circles? Always circles. What about you? Do you have a particular shape that you keep coming back to in your pattern work?

If you’ve done a pattern, leave your link in the widget below so we can all come admire it! :)

 

** If you subscribe to the blog via email, you’ll need to visit this post on the blog to enter your link in the widget. The widget does not show up in email.

****When you post your link in the widget below, make sure you post the entire web address. For example, mysite.com won’t work. It has to be https://www.mysite.com. And please link directly to the blog post with your pattern so if someone visits later on, they can find your fabulous pattern without having to scroll through other posts. Thanks! :)****

 




which drawing do you like best? :)

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So I’m quietly working behind the scenes with a couple of very wonderful techie people to follow through on the re-brand that I mentioned a little while back. I can’t tell you how impatient I am to get it all in place, I think you’re going to love it! :)

I’m having a new website/logo done and I want to include one of my daily Instagram drawings into it. I’ve narrowed it down to three that I really like:

11188245_10206652722706224_4514884338893647135_n1610887_10206154162122521_5579185362179458719_n11143316_10206755711680884_3178609770543410444_n

 

If you had to choose a favorite, which would it be? Leave a comment and help me pick! :)

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weekly pattern wednesday week 4 reveal

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about Weekly Pattern Wednesday can be found here.

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday

 

So what happens when you have a pink marker and you work on your weekly pattern while you drink your morning coffee? You get this:

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 4 full

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 4 detail 2

 

This is really way outside of the normal color scheme I work with yet it still feels quite comfortable. Here is the range I used for this pattern:

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 4 color pallette

 

Lots of tones and subtle shifts in there. And of course the occasional shock of color thrown in for fun.

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 4 detail 3

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 4 detail 1

I actually really enjoyed working in these colors, I think I’m finally warming up to pink. :) Do you have a particular color that you tend to avoid?

If you’ve done a pattern, leave your link in the widget below so we can all come admire it! :)

 

** If you subscribe to the blog via email, you’ll need to visit this post on the blog to enter your link in the widget. The widget does not show up in email.

****When you post your link in the widget below, make sure you post the entire web address. For example, mysite.com won’t work. It has to be https://www.mysite.com. And please link directly to the blog post with your pattern so if someone visits later on, they can find your fabulous pattern without having to scroll through other posts. Thanks! :)****




no. 15 of 52 screen printed squares

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

no 15 square

 

no 15 square close up

 

This week I wanted to do two things – work with base fabric that already had a lot of interesting patterning going on and using different sizes of the same image in the pattern. (Although I admit I find it a little hard printing patterns on such a small square but these are studies so it’s a-ok.)

I pulled this beauty from the stash:

no 15 base fabric

I bought this gorgeous hand dyed cotton from Debra Linker. (She mainly lets you know about new pieces for sale through her Facebook page so that’s where that link will take you.) I fell in love with it on sight – moody and earthy and my beloved brown and copper shades with blue mixed in? Yeah. Mine.

I have a very large piece of it and decided it’s just the thing for this week’s square.

no 15 supplies

That looks like black paint but it isn’t, it’s Denim Blue. One day I’ll have to do a post about why I use almost-black paints instead of actual black. I do that a lot and there’s a long rambly reason for it so I’ll save it for another time. But I just thought I’d mention the true color in the photo above.

I got out my trusty Thermofax screens and set to work.

no 15 printing in progress 1

 

no 15 printing in progress 2

 

I did a basic repeat pattern with the two different sizes.

no 15 square

I like the almost surprise of the little one marching along in line with it’s bigger brothers.

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: hand dyed cotton fabric

Ink: Blick Textile Screen Printing Ink in White & Denim Blue

Printing tool: sponge brushes

Screen type: thermofax screens

 

I like the extra depth from the hand dyed fabric – what do you think?

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want to work with me? :)

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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10568986_10204379337993027_2030515033455783333_n

 

Do you love blogging and social media? Do you love art too? I’m looking for a Social Media and Blogging Assistant – we could work together! :)

Here is the job description:

I am seeking a social media and blogging assistant. The job entails writing 1-2 blog posts a week. Blog content will be a collaborative process between myself and the assistant. Please do not apply if you are not interested in collaborating to write the posts.

Assistant will also be asked to post to Facebook fan page and Pinterest account. The expectation is that he or she will draw from Instagram posts, blog posts or other agreed upon content to keep these accounts current.

As this is a social media and blogging assistant position, applicant must demonstrate use of both through their own platforms and accounts. Please note that length of time using each is not as important as content.

This is not an internship. It is a paid position with defined roles. You must be older than 18 to apply.

If this sounds like something you might like to do, please email me at smudged@earthlink.net for an application. I’ll accept applications until the end of June with notifications going out mid July 2015.

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weekly pattern wednesday week 3 reveal

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about Weekly Pattern Wednesday can be found here.

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday

 

Hello my fellow pattern making junkies! :) Here we are together again and it’s time to show off your stuff. Here is the pattern I made for this week:

IMG_2448

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday 3 detail 3

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday 3 detail1

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday 3 detail 2

 

I know I said I was going to push my color comfort zone this week but I fell back on my  loves of orange, brown and blue. What I did do was practice being comfortable with not filling every single square inch of the paper. I do love truly chaotic patterns but sometimes I find myself pausing in the middle of creating one and thinking “I don’t really need to add more.”

More often than not I do keep on going. But this week I stopped and I think it’s pretty interesting all on it’s own, without tons of background noise.

What about you? Do you like to fill in all the spaces or leave plenty of breathing space?

If you’ve done a pattern, leave your link in the widget below so we can all come admire it! :)

 

** If you subscribe to the blog via email, you’ll need to visit this post on the blog to enter your link in the widget. The widget does not show up in email.

****When you post your link in the widget below, make sure you post the entire web address. For example, mysite.com won’t work. It has to be https://www.mysite.com. And please link directly to the blog post with your pattern so if someone visits later on, they can find your fabulous pattern without having to scroll through other posts. Thanks! :)****




no 14. of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

Lynn K no 15 screen printed square

Lynn K no 14 screen printed square

 

I like printing the negative space of a design. It leaves the base to do it’s own thing and you almost always get a secondary pattern show up. The unknown of the final result is pretty exciting to me.

As I’m cleaning out a closet in my studio, I came across this screen:

Lynn K no 15 screen printed square 3

 

I had pulled all the duct tape off it a while back because I found it irritating how much print space it was hogging up. I sealed off the wood and in the process, dropped the can of polyurethane on the actual screen. I remember thinking it was kind of cool at the time but then I put the screen away and forgot about it. Seems like a perfect thing to try printing for this project!

I grabbed some paint and a rubber squeegee and gave it a whirl.

Lynn K no 15 screen printed square 2

 

Lynn K no 15 screen printed square 4

 

Lynn K no 15 screen printed square 6

 

It’s a nice organized chaos kind of design. I think I’m going to use it again as a background base for layered fabric. It’s got a nice solid feel but still leaves the fabric beneath open to peek through.

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: cotton fabric

Ink: Permaset

Printing tool: speedball rubber squeegee

Screen type: tradtional silk screen, 110 mesh

Lynn K no 15 screen printed square 7

 

Someone asked me what I’m going to do with all the squares once I’ve finished the project. I have a plan but we have a long way to wait until it can become reality. But they will get used! :)

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beginning the giant painting

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As I’ve been working on more paintings I’ve felt a general dissatisfaction over the size I’ve been working on. I wanted to use up the stock of canvas I have rather then go out and buy more but what that means is that I work around the 12″x12″ or 18″x18″ size.

It’s been making me nuts.

Last weekend I was sitting in my studio stewing over not wanting to go out and buy more canvas and then I realized that there was absolutely no reason to.

I have a small wall between the Closet of Doom and the entrance to my studio that is in terrible shape. I had planned on patching it and fixing it to make it a design wall but never followed through on it. One day in a fit of being sick of looking at ugly, I grabbed a painter’s dropcloth from the basement, doused it randomly with RIT dye and nailed the sucker up on the wall.

1 - Lynn K giant painting beginning

 

As an abstract artist this has thrilled me to no end since I hung it. It measures about 5.5′ wide x 8′ high so it’s not a shy piece. I figured it would just stay that way until I finally accomplish the studio reno. But then I realized that it’s just begging to be a painting. A big giant huge bold statement of abstract goodness. It took me about three seconds to grab my paintbrushes.

I am going to work on a small section at a time since working on the higher parts will require a step stool. (I’m measure at only 5’1″ high myself.) I set about it and the first section is currently resting at this state:

 

Lynn K giant painting section 1h

 

Lynn K giant painting section 1g

 

I’m not saying it’s done. I’ll continue to pick at the whole thing but I expect I’ll want to block out more sections like this before I really begin to tie it all together. It’s going to take me a very long time to complete and I like that about it. It’s also something that I can visit after a long day of work and fling some paint to keep Art Brain happy.

Below is the progression of the painting. As a teacher, I always feel like it’s important to show how things begin and morph over their life. I’ll be honest – there are very few things I’ve made that I didn’t think was completely homely at one stage of the process. I’ve trained myself to ignore the urge to bury it in the backyard and keep going. I just hate this idea that I hear from beginning artists that artwork should just fly together out of sheer will. Nope, it’s got to be ugly at some point. Here’s how section 1 of The Giant Painting got made:

Lynn K giant painting section 1b

 

Lynn K giant painting section 1a

 

Lynn K giant painting section 1c

 

Lynn K giant painting section 1f

 

Lynn K giant painting section 1d

 

Lynn K giant painting section 1e

 

Right now since it’s still very much in the foundation stage, it doesn’t have the details strongly defined on each shape. I’m ok with that. I’d rather leave it loose and add strength to that once I have more sections painted out. This section is about 2.5′ wide x 3′ high.

I’m in love with the scale of this. It’s so freeing!! :)

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weekly pattern wednesday week 2 reveal

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

* * * * * *

Details about Weekly Pattern Wednesday can be found here.

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday

 

It’s Wednesday again so that means it’s time for a new pattern! Before I get to mine, the winner of the drawing pad giveaway from last week is Deb B. – congrats! Email me your address at smudged@earthlink.net and I’ll pop the paper in the mail to you! :)

Here is what I did for this week’s pattern, had arches rattling around in my mind:

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday 2 full

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday 2 detail 2

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday 2 detail 3

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday 2 detail 1

 

I feel like I need to get a little more adventurous with my colors on these. So next week I’m going to stretch my comfort zone in the color department and work with ones I don’t normally use. (Might be some pink in there.)

If you’ve done a pattern, leave your link in the widget below so we can all come admire it! :)

 

** If you subscribe to the blog via email, you’ll need to visit this post on the blog to enter your link in the widget. The widget does not show up in email.

****When you post your link in the widget below, make sure you post the entire web address. For example, mysite.com won’t work. It has to be https://www.mysite.com. And please link directly to the blog post with your pattern so if someone visits later on, they can find your fabulous pattern without having to scroll through other posts. Thanks! :)****




want to help art brain decide?

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Lynn K abstract painting

 

I’m busy scheming in the studio. And one of the biggest things that Art Brain and I are working on is developing e-courses. I get emails weekly asking if I travel to teach. Unfortunately that’s not something that fits into my life right now and I’m finally working toward getting my online teaching together. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time but there were so many details to sort that I didn’t know where to begin. I’ve got the nuts and bolts portion of it figured out (which was the bit that was holding me up) so now I can concentrate on the content.

Here’s my problem – I have a TON of ideas. And clearly there are only so many hours in the day (which I think is a fundamental flaw in the space time continuum) so that means I have to pick which class to teach first. And I’d love to know your opinion on the matter if you don’t mind giving it to me.

To make things super simple, I’ve got a little poll here with the classes that are banging around in my head at the moment. Pick as many as sound appealing to you. And if there is something there that I’ve not thought of, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll put it in the queue. Thanks! :)

What would you like to learn from me via an online class?

 

 

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no. 13 of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

Lynn K square 13 full view

 

Lynn K square 13 up close

 

I decided to make another Modge Podge screen this week. I like the results I got with it but I’m getting almost a secondary print because I’m also printing the texture of the cotton fabric. I might swing by the craft store and pick up some poly sheer to see if I can get cleaner results.

Regardless, I really enjoy making these little screens. It takes me a lot longer to put one together (compared to a Thermofax screen) and I like that about them, gives me more time to really think about what I’m doing.

Lynn K modge podge screen 1

Lynn K modge podge screen 2

Lynn K printing no 13

Lynn K modge podge screen 3

Lynn K modge podge screen 4

 

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: cotton fabric

Ink: Permaset

Printing tool: sponge brush

Screen type: homemade hoop/sheer fabric/modge podge screen

 

Lynn K no 13 supplies

 

 I’m trolling around looking for different ways to make screens. If there is one that you think I’d like or one that you’re interested in hearing a review on, leave a comment and I’ll mix it into the project! :)

 

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please meet my Closet of Doom

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Please allow me to introduce you to my studio Closet of Doom (the white shutter is concealing part of the mess):

Lynn K the closet of doom 1

 

I have a nickname for what I want my dream studio to look like – The White Studio. The name comes mostly from my overwhelming desire to dump the yellow walls in the room and put up a fresh coat of white paint. But before I can do that, I have to purge and slowly organize the space. The alternative is to just tear the room apart but that would mean that I would not be able to work in there. So slow and steady is how I’m going to go about it.

I keep a lot in that closet – paint, embroidery thread, odds and ends and a whole bunch of crap that I don’t need or shouldn’t have saved. I can’t count how many times I’ve purged spaces, reorganized, and tried to get it under control. All those other times, though, I took on the whole space at one time and it left me cowering. So Closet of Doom is my first task.

Here’s what I want to do to it:

1. Reduce it to the things that I want to keep and will use in my art.

2. Remove the doors. It is my firm belief that doors on anything in an artist’s studio is a bad thing. We’re pack rats no matter how you spin it and being able to hide stuff just revs up my urge to stash.

3. The inside of the closet is currently teal and brown. (When we moved to this house, the whole room was covered in brown paint – including the ceiling – and brown plaid wallpaper. It was astounding.) While I appreciate a good blue and brown color combination, it’s not ideal for a small closed in space like this. My goal is to paint it a bright white and possibly add some kind of lighting in there.

4. Either add shelving or a couple more of those IKEA carts. I’m not sure which would be more useful and I won’t really know until I see what I’m left with. The current storage I have in there annoys me so it will have a new home with a friend once I excavate it.

I don’t ever really feel bad about having messes in the studio. And I think as I’ve gone along and changed things in the room, it’s always been good for where I was at in my art life but I’ve not had a very specific vision for the room. Now I do which makes taking on the task something fun rather then feeling as if it would be easier to dig a hole in the backyard and bury it all.

I’ll share the Closet of Doom’s transformation on the blog if you don’t mind. Keeps me kind of accountable plus if anyone has brilliant ideas as I go along, they are always welcome. This is a small part of what needs to be done but it’ll be a solid start – onward!

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piecing “playday”

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LYNN K playday pieced

So that there is what I did today in the studio. A free form fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants small quilt. It measures 36″ wide by 30″ high so far. It’ll get borders and pom-pom fringe (yes, you read that right) and it’s the perfect little quilt to put across my lap in the evenings when I just feel like I want to snuggle but I don’t want to be swallowed up by a big quilt. (I’m thinking Carter might claim it.)

The truth is, it is not what I intended to make for this project. I had a nicely designed repetitive quilt block pattern all designed up in EQ7. But I think how it ended up is way better. It feels so much more my style.

I’ve been quietly experimenting with piecing for a few months. I’ve used my sizzix, done a little curved piecing, tried making patterns, made a few wonky star blocks, found a new obsession in half square triangles – and up until today I’d done absolutely nothing with them. Just sort of put them in a pile.

Lynn K playday sizzix

Lynn K playday wonky star

Lynn K playday hst

I’m not wired to make the same block dozens of times . I just can’t do it. Although half square triangles often tempt me into it. I think it’s because I get two blocks from one go, it’s considerate that way. BUT I love pieced blocks. And I love piecing so I’ve been a little stumped with what in the heck to do.

Since I love chaotic compositions bursting with color and pattern, I’ve no idea why free form piecing didn’t occur to me sooner. My piecing experiments have been using INKED and we all know that’s not a shy line of fabric so it all just clicked together.

I chopped away at a larger piece that I had already put together. It was perfectly nice but I wanted more energy from it, cutting it apart and reassembling seemed reasonable. I’m not the most accurate piecer and I really just go with the flow. And you know what? I’m in love with the outcome.

Lynn K playday up close

 

I think I want to give this a twirl through the Sashiko machine and it’s definitely getting some hand stitching. I’m not sure what batting I want to use. I normally use felt but I want something much softer and with better drape since I’m going to use this little guy. I asked on Facebook what people like to use for batting and have some samples coming and I’ll make a choice then.

I chose the name “Playday” for it because that’s what today was for me – just a chance to sit down with my Babylock and sew and do what I love most – put together color and pattern. :)

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“Pathway” quilt pattern release & exclusive kit through Spool! :)

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pathway cover FINAL

 Pathway, an original quilt design by Lynn Krawczyk

 

I’m incredibly excited to announce the release of my first quilt pattern, Pathway! I love to design things and creating this quilt pattern has been incredibly fun. Here are the details about the quilt:

Pathway is an original quilt pattern by Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Textiles Studio. The finished quilt measures 60″x60″ and is constructed using 12″ blocks.

Details about the pattern:

* The pattern is six pages long.

* Supplies for the pattern:

Lynn K pathway supplies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* The pattern is professionally illustrated and has both written and graphic directions.

* It also includes a section of “Break Out” patterns for creating smaller projects.

 

Lynn K breakout sections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* A sheet of the quilt design without color is included so that you can plan your color scheme .

A note from Lynn about the inspiration behind the quilt:

“When I first began blogging many years ago I developed a regular blogging habit by posting a photo essay once a week called “Where I Stand Sunday”. During the course of the week I would take a picture of my feet standing somewhere and then write a few sentences about why I chose to take the photo there.

Here is the mission statement of the project: “Where I Stand” is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has it’s own stories to tell.”

It’s a project that has since ended but it taught me to appreciate the artistry that is everywhere, even when we forget to loo. “Pathway” is a tribute to “Where I Stand Sunday” and all the beautiful walkways we move over each day.”

It’s graphic and an awesome lap quilt that won’t make you feel like you are drowning (great for us short folk). I am selling it as a downloadable PDF here.  

 

And in order to really celebrate it’s release with a bang, I’ve teamed up with Maddie Kertay and Flaun Cline over at Spool to offer an exclusive kit:

Pathway kit through Spool 1

 

It contains the fabrics for a slight color variation of Pathway (you can see it when you click on over to their shop), a printed copy of the pattern, a “get INKED” button and a BadAss Quilter Luggage tag – all snug in a pretty little box! Isn’t it adorable??

And because they are all kinds of awesome, they’ve taken incredible care with the details of the kit to make it a snap for you to dive right in, even going the extra step to label which fabric coincides with the fabric key in the pattern:

 

Pathway kit through Spool 2

There are very limited quantities of this so if you’re interested, snag it up while it’s still there.

And I hope that you will enjoy making the quilt as much as I enjoyed designing it! :)

 

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weekly pattern wednesday – week 1 reveal & a giveaway :)

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Details about Weekly Pattern Wednesday can be found here.

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday

 

It’s here! Our first reveal for Weekly Pattern Wednesday! :) Make sure that you share your pattern in the link widget below so everyone can come visit you. Don’t have a blog? No problem, leave a link in the comments section to wherever you post your pattern and we’ll come find you.

Here is my pattern for Week 1:

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 1

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wed week 1 close up

 

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 1

 

And since I’m so excited about this project, I thought I’d do a little giveaway to kick it off. If you post a link in the widget below to your blog showing off your pattern or a comment to another site where you posted your pattern, you’ll go into a drawing for a pad of my favorite paper:

Lynn K weekly pattern wednesday week 1 treat

 

I’ll announce the winner for it next Wednesday (May 27) so plenty of time to post your link. Let’s see those patterns!

** If you subscribe to the blog via email, you’ll need to visit this post on the blog to enter your link in the widget. The widget does not show up in email.

****When you post your link in the widget below, make sure you post the entire web address. For example, mysite.com won’t work. It has to be https://www.mysite.com. And please link directly to the blog post with your pattern so if someone visits later on, they can find your fabulous pattern without having to scroll through other posts. Thanks! :)****

 




52 screen printed squares – video inspiration

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I’ve been battling some kind of bizarre cold/virus since the beginning of May. The past two weeks have been especially energy sucking and I’ve not really done much in the studio – including another square for 52 Screen Printed Squares Project.

But since Monday = screen printing geekiness (in my mind, at least), I thought we’d watch a nice little video about screen printing designs for silk scarves. I love watching multiple prints from start to finish, watching what looks like nothing random placed shapes magically turn into a whole picture is incredible. Enjoy!

 

 

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diego rivera’s sketches & the wonder of process

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Last week I went to the Detroit Institute of Arts with a couple of friends to see this exhibit:

DIA exhibit logo

image from DIA

 

The exhibit is about the 11 months that Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in Detroit while he worked on his mural.  (If you don’t know what mural I’m talking about, you can find some good information here on the DIA’s site.) I expected to be awed by the exhibit and I was – but not for the reason I thought I would be.

As a long time Frida fan, I was crazy about the idea of actually getting to see her work in person. The exhibit had much of her work and I was surprised to learn that she often painted on metal. It took every ounce of self control to not reach out and touch the paintings (I’m pretty sure security would have tackled me).

But her work was not my favorite part. Which is the part that surprised me. What I fell in love with was the rooms that showed Diego Rivera’s process for how he designed the mural. Enormous full size sketches in charcoal on paper filled the space. General ideas of how he wanted it to look . Really raw. Incredibly energetic. These were the sketches that he presented for approval before he began working. You’re not allowed to take photos inside the exhibit but I did find this article on Huffington Post that shows what I’m referring to.

diego rivera sketches

image from Huffington Post

There were also several color studies that he did while he worked out his ideas. Being able to see just this small portion of his process is so special and touching. We talked with one of the docents in the court after we left the exhibit and she said the drawings may never be on display again, they’ve aged so much (it’s been 80 years since he created the mural) that they are extremely fragile. I’m happy to have been able to see them before they are lost to age and time.

As someone who works in the automotive industry, I’ve been in love with Rivera’s mural for a long time. It’s hard to go and take in the whole thing at one time, it’s massive and covers all four walls of the courtyard. You are allowed to take photos of the mural itself and here are a couple small areas:

diego rivera mural 3

 

diego rivera mural 1

 

The exhibit really got me thinking about how much emphasis we place on the finished product but we give far less glory to the process it takes to get there. Those are the steps that show the true face of an artist – contemplation, changing direction, self doubt, discovering strength. It all makes it’s way into the actual artwork and to me, those are the most fascinating parts of making art.

We walked around the museum a little more. I wanted to see the modern/contemporary art section. Lots of large abstract paintings (many in black and white) and then this painting, “Annette Seated” by Alberto Giacometti:

annette seated 1

 

annette seated 2

 

It’s pencil and oil and it’s such an integration of process and finished product that I wanted to just take it home. (Again, security. I didn’t.)

But it’s something to consider, isn’t it? How often do we treat the process as something we just simply need to get through? When in reality, perhaps that’s the most special part of the entire business of being an artist.

What do you think? Is the process of creating something as beautiful as the end product itself?

 

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“playing with surface design” by courtney cerruti – book review

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playing with surface design cover

 

I always get giddy when I see new surface design books on the market. It’s like coming across a new friend that I know I’m just going to love. I’ve been spending some time looking through this new gem, Playing with Surface Design by Courtney Cerruti, and I wanted to share with you how cool it is.

One of the things that I like about this book is the concentration on a set number of techniques. She covers five different ways to decorate surfaces and then spends the rest of the book showing you how to effortlessly use them on a huge range of projects.

playing with surface design 1

image from Playing with Surface Design

They processes are different and effective – including paste paper and nail polish! (Have to tell you, I didn’t see the nail polish coming and I find the surprise of it really exciting!)

Everything is presented in an easy to understand way and I really appreciate that – nothing overcomplicated, just a friendly invitation to “let’s play and make this together” vibe to the whole book. And she’s a fellow sponge brush addict, clearly a kindred spirit. ;-)

playing with surface design 2

image from Playing with Surface Design

The projects are really wonderful too. All of them focus on showcasing the awesome surface design skills you learn from her and they are all things that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. In other words, you don’t need to invest a year of your life in order to finish them. They are fun and often practical – ranging from coasters to journals to gift wrap. It’s an excellent resource for quick gift making.

playing with surface design 3

image from Playing with Surface Design

 

I’ve been a paint flinger for a long time and my bookcases are bursting with books on the subject of surface design. I honestly find this one very charming and whether you’re a seasoned surface design artist or just starting out, there is something in here for you. Pick up a copy if you’d like to play and really engage your creative side! :)

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weekly pattern wednesday – you’re invited to play!! :)

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Let me ask you a question. Have you ever made something, fell madly in love with it, rushed to show someone your great creation and the first thing they ask is, “What are you going to do with it?”

Talk about taking the winds out of your sails.

The truth is that too often we treat creativity as a luxury. Something that is an indulgence, not something to be honored but rather what you do after all your “real” responsibilities are over. I’m pretty tired of that line of thought, aren’t you?

Back in February of this year, Julie Fe-Fan Balzer issued a challenge to create a pattern everyday during that month. I decided to play along because I wanted a way to blow off some steam from some really heavy deadline projects I had going. I loved it so much that I chose to continue on after the month was over and set a new goal of 365 patterns. (You can see the whole collection here or follow along with me every day on Instagram.)

What I’ve realized most is that this simple little act of making something just because I feel like, with no end goal, no purpose, no deadline has been missing from my creative life for a little longer than I care to admit to. Several people have voiced that they would like to play along but they can’t manage daily art, even something that small. I hear you, life is a complicated beasty.

So I’ve decided to host a weekly gathering here at the blog called Weekly Pattern Wednesday. This is totally a no pressure kind of thing, just an invitation to come play with me here. Just because it makes you happy and for no other reason.

Here’s how it works.

* Every week I’m going to draw a new pattern. Basically whatever strikes my fancy – circles, triangles, colors, black and white. Sky’s the limit! I invite you to do the same! If you don’t normally draw in a sketchbook and the idea doesn’t thrill you, create the pattern however you like most.

* Post your creation to your blog and then come back here and share your post with everyone following along can come visit you. (There will be a widget at the bottom of every Weekly Pattern Wednesday post starting next week on May 20. This is the invitation post so you get a full week to make your pattern.)

* Post to social media using the hashtag #weeklypatternwednesday so other people can come play along! :)

And that’s all there is to it. Just a fun kicking-back-hanging-out-with-your-art-friends-online-making-art-because-we-feel-like-it kind of deal. Next week I’ll have a giveaway treat, anyone who shares a link will be entered in the drawing. Treats will be randomly thrown into the project along the way for participants to get in on drawings to win. Who doesn’t need more art supplies, right??

Need some inspiration to get you started? Here’s a little pattern I’ve been goofing with during this past week. My personal goal with these is to use color in them since my daily patterns are all black and white. You don’t have to follow my lead on this but you are more then welcome to if you’d like.

WPW invite inspiration 1

WPW invite inspiration 2

WPW invite inspiration 4

WPW invite inspiration 3

 

Are you in?? I hope so because this is going to be a lot of fun! :) Get to creating your pattern and I will see you back here next Wednesday! Woo!

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no. 12 of 52 screen printed squares

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

1 - no 12 overall

3 - no 12 detail 2

2 - no 12 detail 1

 

I’m totally smitten with this week’s square. Pattern wise it’s nothing earth shattering but see the imperfection of it? I’m so digging the personality that gives it! (I’m totally wanting this in repeat for fabric yardage.)

I had a relaxed schedule in the studio this weekend so I decided it was time for me to try making my own screens for this project using modge podge. I knew it would produce a rougher result but I like that and I think it could be interesting to see how we can use that to our advantage.

Making one of these screens is super simple. Here are the supplies:

4

You need a sheer fabric. I’ve no idea what kind I have right there but I’m pretty sure it’s a cotton. It’s got a very open weave and I’m wondering if I could get a cleaner print with a more synthetic material. But this is what was kicking around the studio so I decided to use what I have.

You put the fabric in an embroidery hoop to create the frame/mesh set up. I used a 6″ hoop. Here’s an idea of how sheer the fabric is:

5

 

I lightly drew an outline of the X I wanted for the design with a pencil, being careful to not tear a hole in the fabric. Then all you do is dip a paintbrush in Modge Podge and paint all the areas you don’t want to print.

6

I wanted to print the negative of the X in the circle so I painted the X itself. I set the hoop on two paint jars as I worked so that it wasn’t touching my print table. And then you wait for it to dry. It turns clear when it’s done so it’s easy to tell. (Although I did have one glob that stayed white. It went through the fabric and blobbed up on the other side but was solid enough for me to print with it like that.)

Then I printed it:

8

 

And I hated it:

9

I expected rough around the edges but honestly? This looks like something that Carter chewed on. I realized pretty quickly that the issue was the canvas I was printing on has a lot of texture too. Texture from the fabric screen plus texture on the square = ick. So I grabbed a piece of smooth cotton and tried again. Much happier:

1 - no 12 overall

 

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: cotton fabric

Ink: Blick Textile Printing Ink

Printing tool: sponge brushe

Screen type: homemade hoop/sheer fabric/modge podge screen

I’ve got a lot of that sheer fabric left and since you can really only do one printing session with each one (modge podge is water soluble and the fabric isn’t really robust enough to hold up to scrubbing), I’m going to continue to make these types of screens for a few more weeks. I want to see how far I can push it.

Screen printing is totally awesome. :)

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Making more space – are you with me?

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For years there has been something standing just outside my field of art vision. I can always feel it, moving in circles around whatever I do. It’s not threatening, just present and patient and waiting for me to finally see and understand.

Sometimes it moves closer and I feel like I’m nearly there. It happened when I was writing Intentional Printing. I kept thinking, “This is it. It’s finally right.” And then it moved away after I typed the last word and I’ve been watching and wondering ever since.

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It’s been getting closer again lately. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately about what I’d like to pursue now that my studio schedule is wide open.

And that empty work time was on purpose, it’s a gift I wanted to give myself. I promised myself that I was going to take time to just hang out with Art Brain and see if anything shook loose, to remove deadline and see where she would go. Nothing like a big vast blank space to really make you figure things out.

 

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You see, I’ve been incredibly busy since I launched Smudged Textiles Studio in 2011. (Technically it was still Fibra Artysta then but that’s the year I seriously began to build my creative business.) To be blunt, I’m damn proud of everything I’ve done. And I’d do it all again and hope to continue on with much of it in the future. But it’s here and I can’t ignore it anymore – that swelling need for change that only seems to grow with each passing day, with each question I pose to Art Brain. I’m settling in to do some more self reflection with the help of a couple of coaches and I’m hoping that at the end of that, the focus of how I want to proceed becomes razor sharp. I’m still in the “trying to mush it into something organized” phase of it all.

It all started when I began painting after my DVD/TV tapings at the beginning of April.

I pushed the paint across the canvas and…just let go. I stopped worrying. (In all honesty, I was too tired to worry. Which probably helped the process.) I intended to use the time to unwind from the tapings (I often struggle with coming off big projects, I finally figured out that I need to gently occupy Art Brain so she doesn’t drive me insane trying to keep up the pace). Instead it froze me dead in my tracks and I’ve realized a few things.

I am first and foremost a surface pattern artist. And what I enjoy most is creating the things that people use to create art and inspiring them to live creatively – because I don’t believe that living a full time creative life is reserved only for those who work in their studios all day. It is in all of us, regardless of day job status and family obligations and time constraints.

 

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So what does all this mean? It means that I’m being brave and I’m going to expand my business. I’m going to change a few things and hold on like hell to the things I want to keep. Mainly the community I work within. It scares me a little because I’m going to bring in different types of art (painting, drawing, etc). Will you stay with me even if it’s not all textiles all the time? I sure hope so. I hope that the shift I’m making will only serve to inspire you and allow me to find a more dear place in your art world as we work alongside each other.

You’ll start to see some changes on the website as I work to spiff the joint up and make space for the new. I’m still a textile artist. I still love quilting. I am still a paint flinger. I’m just opening the door for Art Brain to do all the things that she is dreaming of. I’m taking her off her leash and following her lead.

 

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Perhaps that’s the thing that hovers at the edges of my work time in the studio. Maybe all along it has simply been a voice saying, “Be this. Let go. It is your creative destiny.” Stick with me. I promise it’ll be worth it.

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doodle pattern painting (i’m obsessed)

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It’s been a long week for various reasons, not the least of which was picking up the horrible cold that seems to be so common this time of year. (Lost my voice and watched more TV than I care to admit to.)

I wanted to work on something but had no energy to be in the studio so I cut a piece of Strathmore mixed media paper to a 12″x12″ square, quickly painted out the background with some grey paint and bright circles and retired to the sofa with it. I spent my evenings hand drawing on doodles in patterns with ink.

Lynn K doodle pattern painting 1

 

I’m completely obsessed with patterns. Can’t get enough. So it was fun to just attack this head on and cram in as much detail as I could.

 

Lynn K doodle pattern painting 4

Lynn K doodle pattern painting 3

Lynn K doodle pattern painting 2

 

I would do this again but on canvas instead of flat paper. My pattern obsession is leading to a new project that involves anyone who would like to play, the announcement on what it is will be made next week if you want to swing back and take a gander. In the meantime, I’ll continue to fling paint until the cows come home. :)

 

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will you test this for me?

I’m working on a fun new little project that includes YOU. Which means I’ve been searching high and low for a good link widget to use on posts. Not so simple it seems.

I think I found one that will work well. Will you give it a shot for me? It’s at the bottom of this post. All you have to do is enter your name and a link. And since this is just a test, let’s have a link to your blog so we can all come visit, ok?

And if you have trouble with the widget, will you let me know what browser you are using? Last time I tried this with a different widget, that seemed to be the issue.

Thanks! :)




no. 11 of 52 screen printed squares

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

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I’m asked quite frequently for tips on creating layered prints on fabric. Some of them are really dense and it can be hard to figure out where they began. Quite often they look like this square in the beginning.

Layered artwork is about building up textures and color and patterns. Not every layer can be a strong graphic image, some of them have to be fractured and broken apart. These are the ones that will peek out behind the focal images and offer up the mystery that so many of us love in that kind of artwork.

I really debated about using a square to demonstrate one of these unsung hero layers but in the end I decided why not? Screen printing is incredibly versatile and it’s the perfect vehicle for creating texture layers like this one.

I started with one of my 365 patterns. (I post a daily pattern on Instagram if you’d like to visit me there.) This one is Pattern 86/365:

pattern 86 of 365

 

I brought into photoshop and tortured it a little bit so the lines would blur together. Basically I altrered it enough so that it wouldn’t produce a clear print, only texture.

To take the texture aspect one step even further, I printed it on a small piece of tea towel I had left over from another project. The result is a foundation that is very rich in fractured pattern:

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Here are the details on this square:

Square base: loose woven tea towel

Ink: Simply Screen paint in black

Printing tool: sponge brushes

Screen type: Thermofax screen

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Being an artist is so much about appreciating even the homelier stages of the process, not just the super pretty ones. This square plays homage to that. :)

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