Friday, October 21, 2016

Fiber art and encaustic 1 -- Terry Jarrard-Dimond

Late this summer I got to see the Bluegrass Biennial, a juried all-mediums show of Kentucky artists, which had a handsome complement of fiber art and also some striking encaustic work.  One encaustic piece was made by an artist whom I know through fiber art circles, and I realized that I know at least a half dozen people who work in both those mediums.  That got me thinking about whether there's a special affinity between encaustic and fiber art, so I asked three of my friends to tell a bit about their experiences in the two  mediums.

I'll start with Terry Jarrard-Diamond, who is probably best known in fiber art circles for her large pieced quilts (she won best in show at Form, Not Function a few years ago and served as a juror for Quilts=Art=Quilts this year).  In recent years she has been doing a lot of work in painting and encaustic.

Terry Jarrard-Dimond, Smoked Ring, encaustic

 Q.  How long have you been doing fiber art / how long have you been doing encaustic?

I have been working with fiber for perhaps 16 years and began exploring encaustic about 5 years ago.  I had been aware of the medium for years but more in connection with sculpture than painting but when I began blogging I became aware of the work being done in this medium.

Q.  Did you feel that encaustic was a natural progression from your fiber work, or a totally new thing?

The step into encaustic painting was not a progression but rather a lateral move.  I had wanted to paint for several years and as I read about this medium the desire to try it developed.  Much like fabric and sewing, there is a significant technical learning curve with encaustic.  Easy to apply encaustic paint.  Not easy to make the work look professional and resolved.

Q.  Do you think encaustic has an affinity with fiber?  and if so, why/how?

The only connection I can see is perhaps the versatility of both of these mediums.  I do think encaustic painting has been and still is an "It" medium meaning that it has come into the awareness of the art-making community and has attracted many new users.

There is often a direct relationship to the final look of some of my painting to pieced fabric work done several years ago.  This is due to how I see space and organize shapes in relation to a space and each other. 

Terry Jarrard-Dimond, Quietly Red, fiber

More fiber/encaustic artists next week...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The silkhorse project goes live

Several months ago I wrote about a new work that I got involved with, making paper quilts in aid of a Kickstarter campaign.  The project is to gear up for production in India of some fabulous silk scarves, screenprinted by hand by artisans using traditional methods and natural dyes.

I got to use the paper proofs of the scarves to make some of my "postage" quilts to illustrate the gorgeous designs, and had the pleasure of getting to know the artwork intimately, as I fussy-cut the proofs for my own quilts.  I found it intriguing to think that my friend Keith had manipulated multiples of the original horse image in Photoshop to come up with the design of the scarves, and then I got to manipulate multiples of his designs to come up with my third-generation version.

Here's the original:  Manaki, the Hindu sacred mare.

Here she is in silk!

Here's Payal Parekh, the mastermind behind the silkhorse project, wearing the orange scarf as a shrug, helping me with the black scarf.

Check out the Kickstarter pages HERE.  Supporting this project is a great way to help keep those traditional textile arts alive and well in the 21st century.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Know your audience

I know advertisers are loath to show unattractive women except as the "before" picture.  That's why you see 30-year-olds on TV explaining how they keep their dentures in, why the guys in Viagra ads have wives who look like Melania.

So I was not surprised, but a little disappointed, to see this ad from Quilting Daily, selling tutorials on various aspects of quilting.

Does this chick look like a quilter to you?  Do quilters tend to watch webinars while lying on their beds?  Aren't her elbows going to get tired long before the webinar is over?

Interestingly enough, the actual titles all feature photos of the presenters, and all of them are ordinary looking real women.  Some of them middle aged.  None of them wearing lingerie.

Funny how these photos of real women are OK to inspire buyer confidence in the actual products, but they have to find a hot model to advertise the sale.  I think it would be more persuasive to show a real woman watching her tablet while sitting upright by her sewing machine.