Diane Stavola Blog

Archive for April, 2008

Module 8

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

My spastic blog entries might make it seem like I’m out there doing nothing, but it’s just the opposite. I have been so busy I don’t have tons of free time for blogging. I love the written word,  but I love the tactile nature of my work more and the ideas are backlogging in my brain!!!

Module 8 is really pulling together everything that I have learned thus far about sketchbooking. The last two modules are assessments. So I am almost there! Yeah!

 I have really pulled out the stops on this one. I have been so energized and inspired! Maybe it’s the advent of Spring. Whatever the reason, I am on a creative whirlwind binge.

This module has dealt with apertures. Lots and lots of apertures. Looking through pages to reveal the designs underneath and looking back to see where you have been. A great concept.

Of all the work I have done so far for this module, my pears and my waterlilies have been my favorites.

module-8-activity-3j.jpgI used my pear image from  previous modules. I liked the carving my own stamps so much that I carved another of the pears and then found a poem by Linda Pastan about pears.

I painted and stamped and wrote the poem along the apertures and pages so that the images and poetry would unfold as the pages open.

      I have since located several books of poetry by Linda Pastan and just love her work. She is truly a woman’s poet.     

  module-8-activity-3p.jpg  module-8-activity-3o.jpg                                       These are two views of the final design. I have painted, cut and glued so that the image and poem actually become dimensional as they are revealed.  

   The poem is written so that it can be read from start to finish or read in parts but out of order. It is so well contructed that you can read it out of order and it still makes sense.     I do need to contact Ms. Pastan and get her permission to continue to develop this idea while using her work.                                                                                                                                                   

Fiber Forum Retreat 2008

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

As a member of EGA, I have been able to join its art group, Fiber Forum.  Members must jury in every three years, but those who do not wish to jury can become Friends of Fiber Forum.  I did jury in last year.

The group’s primary focus is finding venues to exhibit the work of its members and their annual retreats. This year I was able to take part in the retreat.

We met in Asheville, NC for a three day beading workshop given by Carol Wilcox Wells. What a combination of Wonderful!

Asheville is nestled snugly in the Smoky Mountains. It is the home of the Biltmore mansion and a myriad of fabulous restaurants, galleries, and shops. It is also home to the Haywood Park Hotel, which is where we stayed and where the workshop was held. Talk about being in the lap of luxury! 

The Haywood Park is in the center of downtown and walking distance to so many fabulous shops and restaurants as well as galleries, a theater, and a museum. We didn’t need a car for the entire stay!

About two blocks from the hotel is Chevron beads, heaven for the die-hard beader! And around the corner is Beads and Beyond! A smaller shop but also a beader’s must-see.

Some of the other shops that got the groups attention were its terrific clothing stores, Tops shoe store (I have never seen so many shoes in one place!!!), Purl’s- for the fiber and knitting enthusiasts in our midst, the art supply store-one of the entrances opens into the hotel lobby, and the renovated Woolworth’s building that now houses a co-op gallery and lunch counter, and last but not least, The Chocolate Fetish-the name says it all.

And the restaurants! My favorites are The Market Place – fabulous food, atmosphere, and service, Early Girl Eatery – Oooh! Breakfasts, Tupelo Honey Cafe – Amazing southern fusion cuisine in a fun raucous atmosphere, Malaprop’s coffee and World coffee, The Flying Frog-Bar, Deli, and Restaurant with outdoor seating, and ofcours, The Bier Garden-the best sweet potato fries I have ever had! And that’s just the tip of the Iceberg!

The workshop with Carol Wilcox Wells was a great learning experience. She is an artist of amazing skill and talent and generous in her sharing of those talents. Her classroom is comfortable and fun, and she makes sure that eveyone receives the individual attention they need.

I learned and learned and learned and had my vision expanded. How could you ask for more? I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Step 3: More Golden Rectangle

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I have been busy in step 3 generating several different quilts and beaded projects. I probably have well over a hundred different color ways for all of them combined. I want to stitch as many as possible, when the opportunity presents.

I took some of the photos and also made a large beaded chart using the colors from the pictures taken at street level.    The colors are quite muted in comparison to the bright primaries of the other applique quilt and bead chart.                                           

I did this chart in Bead Creator Pro. The manipulation of the photos was done in Corel Draw. The cost of beading a 5×7 hanging is prohibitive. So I decided that for my final project I would take one of the motifs and use it to create a pendant. beaded-quilt2.jpg 

I don’t tend to wear muted colors so I went back to the bright primaries for the pendant. As I mentioned, I did many, many color ways and in order to keep true to the original motifs and the spirit of Art Deco, I retained most of the original colors but made them more intense.

The first pendant chart contained well over a hundred colors. In fact, I think it contained about 150 colors.  This made for a lovely chart, but far too many colors. The more colors a chart contains, the more expensive the piece is. And there are many colors that  use only one or two beads. Paying $5 for a tube of beads so that only one or two can be used seems a bit extreme. bead-chart.jpg So I reduced the number of beads to three colors: yellow (gold), red, and blue. I used two different yellow beads: a matte and a shiny metallic. The red and blue are transparent and lined with silver. They are very close to being saturated colors, although that is affected by the light reflection from their shiny surfaces and the silver lining. As the lighting conditions change, so do the intensities and values of the beads. The yellow beads are less saturated. If I had used a more intense yellow, I think it would have overwhelmed the whole piece.    

 The chart at right contains the reduced color palette.  I worked my first sample in peyote stitch. It created a very supple piece of beading. Unfortunately, it was not suitable for the odd count that was required. Increasing in odd count became a problem.

My next choice was brick stitch. This worked much better. The pendant lost much of the suppleness, which was actually good for the overall work.              chart-1.jpg

 I made several mistakes and learned in the process that brick stitch can be cut apart and reworked with few negative consequences. For this I was very grateful, because my most disastrous error occurred when I was three quarters of the way through beading the piece.

As I approached completion, I found that the upper most triangles were just not appropriate to the design. They had been bothering me all along but they fit the Golden Rectangle parameter, and I was reluctant to  make significant changes to the size. I ended up having to any way.


   This is the final design chart. The amount required to lengthen the design in order to add the curves at the top was easily offset by adding a few beads to the width of the bottom curves. Those top curves add a great deal to the cohesiveness of the entire design.

Now I just have to complete the necklace that the pendant will hang from and I am set.


Module 7

Friday, April 18th, 2008

This module has been all about printing and creating original stamps from my own photos and art work as well as using fonts.  activity-2a.jpg

Using this photo that I took in Chicago last fall, I did a line drawing that I then transferred to a  piece of speedball rubber and carved


into a stamp. I cut the stamp into four quadrants that I then reshaped by trimming. At left is  one activity-3-ntf.jpgof the prints I made using the stamp.

I explored this further by creating a print with acrylic paints and then extending the lines with pencil.            

 For the next exercise, I used the letter Q and created a stencil with which to print designs.

activity-5.jpgThe background was created using oil pastels and then an over wash of water color. The stenciled letter was made with oil pastels.

The one problem I have found with the oil pastels is that they never seem to dry. They remain tacky almost forever and need a sheet of waxed paper over them to protect the page next to them.

My favorite for this exercise is this print.  The background was created with a water color wash and the print was made using the oil pastels again.   

activity5-a.jpg  I didn’t use oil pastels in the background, but let the water colors create the background.    The paper was also smoother in texture since it wasn’t water color paper, so the look and feel (literally) is ver different.

I am surprised at how the actual physical texture of the paper impacts me. I know that I am a very tactile person, and this is true even when I am working with paints. A good thing to know about myself.

I returned to a drawing and photo from a previous step for the next exercise. It is my pears.    There is nothing of special interest about my particular pear except that I like it.   So I drew it onto some styrofoam and created a stamp with it.

  copy-of-module-7-activity-3.jpg                                                          activity-3a.jpgThe shape is relatively easy to draw. So using acrylic paints again, I created a strips of pears that traverse two pages of my sketchbook.

                    activity-3c-ntf.jpg       activity-3c-ntf.jpgAs the exercises become more complicated, I am enjoying them more. They are more interesting and challenging. And I am always up for a challenge.

Menu ImageMenu ImageMenu ImageMenu ImageMenu ImageMenu Image