Sunday, October 27, 2013


Museums leave me feeling inspired, but also intimidated.  I endeavor to understand the pieces that are collected in museums because surely it will help me understand the history and nature of art. Sometimes I am successful and often times I am not.  My sister, the artist, has taught me that sometimes art is important because the artist was able to imagine something entirely new and then dared to actually create it.  My favorite example of this is a painting she and I saw in a Washington DC museum where the artist had attached slices of bread to a canvas and then painted the whole thing white.  He was both imaginative and daring.

My travelling companions and I visited quite a few museums during our European trip this past summer.  Although photos are usually not allowed, I was able to capture a few of my favorite pieces.

These pictures are by Robert Delauney from the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris.

These pieces are from the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen.

I am attracted to the color, line and shape of abstract art.  Hopefully one day I will be daring enough to actually create my own abstract art.
- christina

Sunday, October 20, 2013

CREATE Revisited

Back in August my BFF and I attended CREATE Chicago, a mixed media retreat.  Each year we say that we are going to be very selective about the classes we sign up for, but once the catalog comes out we lose all self-control.  This year I took 5 classes and my BFF took 8.

A last minute choice was the “Dream House” class with artist Cindy Wunsch.  I used 2 10x10 canvases to paint my figurative dream house (not literal dream house).  The process started with collage on the canvas using fabric, paper, and ephemera.

The next step was to paint the background.  Cindy’s technique is to apply the acrylic paint using a paint chip as a brush.  The paint chips are made of thick paper and that prevents the paint from getting into all the cracks, leaving some of the collage to show through.  And paint chips are free!

Additional paint can be layered over the background.  We also added some spray paint using a stencil and some silver leaf.  Ephemera can be added as a top layer as well.  Finally the whole thing is sealed with resin, a process that Cindy did for us overnight.  I was so excited to see the results the next morning! 
My pictures express my belief that life should be an adventure
and I don't think of "home" as a physical place.

I love my paintings and I love the ones my BFF made as well.  

My BFF's "houseboat" that carries her whole family.
My BFF wasn’t so excited about the prospect of taking this class because she thought it would be too “touchy-feelly”  (since it was all about expressing your desires for safety, security, and growth through an imaginary house).  In the end, though, she loved the process and she loved her product, luckily for me.

What do you imagine when you think of your "dream house?"
- christina

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ice Dyed Fabric

A friend of mine is creating an art quilt. She is starting by dying her own muslin in a process called ice dying.  I asked her to please teach me how to do it and she thankfully agreed to share her supplies with me. 

We began by soaking the muslin in pot ash.  It prepares the fabric to accept the dye. The dye is in powdered form and comes in man bright colors.  We each chose 3 colors for our buckets.
The powdered dyes

The wet fabric is then placed in a bucket with ice and dye in the following order: ice, dye, fabric, ice, dye, fabric, ice, dye.  The bucket is placed in the sun for a day while the ice melts,  and then the fabric is rinsed repeatedly.

Ice, Dye, fabric and repeat the layering

The bucket needs to sit in the warm sun, covered
with plastic, for at least a day to melt the ice

The fabric at the bottom is the darkest and the one on top ends up being the lightest.  The results have a tie-dyed effect.
The fabric on top of the bucket ends up being
lighter than the fabric at the bottom. 

You can never be sure of the results until
the fabric is all dry.

I am not sure what I am going to do with the fabric but I love the results.  I hope my friend lets me join her again in a dying session, but it requires a warm, sunny day.  I think we will not have any more of those in the Midwest for a while.  At least I have some fabric to play with throughout the long winter months.
- christina