Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
10/31/14
My Little Book
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 9:21 pm

I finished my little book tonight. There has been an ongoing problem with the underside of my thumb and right now it is being wrapped in duct tape in hopes of solving the problem. My surgeon examined my teeny-weeny itty-bitty thumb and he said no, he does not want to do surgery on my little thumb, so let’s try something crazy instead, hence the designer duct tape. It has been difficult to sew, write, draw, and use markers for a long while now, although painting has not been a problem. Somehow things got easier with the duct tape wrap and I was able to finish this spontaneous project that I started last weekend.

The book is made of four 7.5″x11′ pieces of watercolor paper folded in half and stitched together with yarn using three holes that I made with my awl. I used my ink blot technique to create a background for each page. I did the paint dribbling process all at once in the book over my masonite painting board without waiting for anything to dry and made a big mess. It was a lot of fun! While the book was drying, I went through my selfies and printed a page of those in wallet size. Then I found quotations from one of the altered card decks I made and printed out a page of those. These quotations were from the book Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley. When the book was thoroughly dry I added the selfies and quotations to the book with gluestick. I outlined each item with my Tombow markers and tonight I added one handwritten word for each photo and another faint line with a white gel pen. Those single words came from another altered card deck so in a way I am recycling or repurposing my work. Here is my finished book!


Mary MacIlvain

Bookmark and Share

~~~ Comments are moderated ~~~

1 comment
10/19/14
The Impermanence of Things
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 12:20 pm

Yesterday I went to the New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA) for my Connecticut Chapter meeting of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA-CT). It’s a wonderful museum and I love going there. SAQA-CT meets in various places around the state as we draw members from all over the state. The meeting was inspiring and energetic as usual with discussions about upcoming art quilting initiatives. We took a long break in the middle of the meeting to view the new exhibit, Let Me Quilt One More Day, with invitational quilts from Connecticut quilt artists as well as quilts that span the past 250 years.  The exhibit runs until January 4, 2015 and is a must see. Syl will be there to greet you :-)

It is always great to see the art quilt pieces that members have created. I am a fairly new member and was fortunate enough to meet several quilt artists yesterday who are working in mixed media as well. It is not that easy to find people locally who are doing this kind of work which crosses boundaries and spans different art media in one piece. Most people tend to focus on one type of expression and develop a body of work based upon that, whether it be painting, collage, photography, sculpture, art quilting, surface design, bookmaking, doll making, or something else. If you have a lot of interests it is difficult to limit yourself to just one thing and it is hard to choose. The good news is that you don’t have to choose - you can do whatever you want. It’s your art piece and your expression of what you feel inside and want to bring to life.

The wall of cups at the museum is gone. It has been there in the stairwell for a long while and I knew it was temporary but I was still sad to see it go. I found this picture I took of it the first time I saw it. It’s an installation piece and the entire piece was made of plastic drinking cups that are adhered to the wall in a swirling pattern. It was fascinating to walk around it and look at it and I wish that I had more photos but I don’t. But I will always have my memories of being in the same space as this beautiful work of art and what I was feeling at that time. It does speak to the ephemeral nature of life and the impermanence of things. All things must pass and nothing lasts forever. It is so important to enjoy what you have and the people in your life and be thankful.

You can see the edge of the blue Chihuly glass sculpture on the side of the cup photo. To fill the void left by the removal of the wall of cups , they have brought in a companion Chihuly piece to share space with the existing sculpture. The two glass sculptures are quite striking appearing together like this, as if in a dance of light. When two people come together with feelings of love they each bring their own light with them and together they make a greater light that is more than what was there before. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And yes, that is how I feel and I hope somehow you know this and understand.

It was a delightful day at the museum bringing warm thoughts and feelings to my heart. A day like this lets you leave worries behind and rejoice in being alive. It also makes you realize what is important and what isn’t worth getting upset about. I do fine hand work and like to embellish my small quilts with beads, buttons, charms, yarn, sea glass, shells, and other things, but I have not been able to sew with a hand sewing needle, except with great difficulty, for about a year now. I am finally facing up to the problem with my hand not being successfully treated by the regular doctor, so I am seeing a hand surgeon on Friday to talk about my options and schedule surgery. I need to be able to sew little objects onto things, not just quilts but paper too, so I am going for it! Glue is fine but stitching is more permanent, even in an impermanent world. SAQA-CT will be mounting a second Local Color exhibit in 2016 and I want to create an awesome piece that will get juried into the show.


Mary MacIlvain

Bookmark and Share

~~~ Comments are moderated ~~~

1 comment
10/12/14
Altered Card Deck Flip Through + Tutorial
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Creative Every Day, ATCs, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 8:50 am

I love creating altered card decks based on ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)! I start with an ordinary deck of playing cards and by transforming them through art they become an inspiration full of quotes and ideas that can be held and flipped through.

I have created a tutorial to share with you. There is a PDF with step by step instructions to download here.

There is a flip through video with some of my favorite ATCs to view on my YouTube channel here.


Mary MacIlvain

Bookmark and Share

~~~ Comments are moderated ~~~

Comments Off
10/05/14
Fall is in the Air
Filed under: General, Photography, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Book of Days, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 12:43 pm

Fall is a time for renewal and rebirth,
for growth, change, and transformation.
Fall is a time for  examining where you’ve been,
where you are, and where you’re going.
Fall is a time for chili in the crockpot
and crunching leaves as you walk along outside.
Fall is a time for losing yourself
and then finding yourself once again.
Fall is a time for centering yourself
and for going deep inside to the wellspring.
Fall is a time for reaching out, seeking,
and connecting with kindred souls.
Fall is a time for lovers to know
the depth of feelings that they share.

Usually I write a poem on paper first with a lot of crossouts and changes, but this one flowed right out of my fingers through the keyboard. I have Pandora music on in the background playing the New Age channel. Fall is my favorite time of year and it brings such good things for me. I have always lived in New England with the cycle of the four seasons and it is a strong part of how I mark the passage of time.

I am spending some time in the kitchen today. My son is coming over and we are going to enjoy a variety of foods… chili, guacamole and chips, penne augustine, and apple crisp. Those seemed like the right things to make on a fall day. Spending time preparing food to share with loved ones can be a sacred, meditational act.


Mary MacIlvain

Bookmark and Share

~~~ Comments are moderated ~~~

Comments Off
Power Elements
Filed under: General, Photography, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal
Posted by: Mary @ 12:39 pm

In the Book of Days 2014 Volume Three art journaling class we explored four power elements as part of a mini-series in this 12 week class. The four power elements are illustrated in the following four art journal spreads. I chose to use selfies instead of painted self portraits as I do not enjoy painting portraits and I wanted this to be fun for me. The facial expressions of the photos I chose reflect the feeling of the element. One of the things that I love about taking classes with Effy is that she presents the lessons in detail and encourages you to do your own take on the ideas. She also lets you download the art instructional videos which is so generous. I have been taking classes with Effy for two years now and she is an inspiration. Effy is teaching in Life Book again this year, a celebration and honouring of you. Life Book is an awesome year long mixed media art class run by Tamara Laporte from the UK and there are 25 inspiring teachers in all. I love taking online art classes - the videos are great and I can go at my own pace and fit the classes into my life.

Here are my four spreads: To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent. Simple and yet powerful. Sometimes something simple says a lot more than something complex.


Mary MacIlvain

Bookmark and Share

~~~ Comments are moderated ~~~

Comments Off