Saturday, September 24, 2011

Birthday Greetings

In honor of her birthday, I'm re-posting Karin's article here.  Join me in wishing her a Happy Birthday!

I knew I could count on my friend Karin. In addition to being a great gal and one of my first blogger friends, she has a fantastic blog called Countryfolk Keepsakes.  Karin makes primitive art that is extremely cool.  She is also a collector of Americana. She is a true patriot and loves her country.  So with that little bit of background in place, here are a couple shots of where Karin creates...

Being a seamstress myself, I know for a fact that her studio won't stay this clean for long, but we'll cut her a break.

 Not only does she create beautiful art dolls and fabric sculptures, she is quite a do it yourself kind of gal. When you have the time, browse through some of her older posts to see what she has created, and you just might pick up on her love of nature and animals.  Her nickname is Peanut (though I'm not sure why) and she gets a kick out of my nickname of Peachy (my last name is Keene) and she has been known to tell a joke or two.  In other words, she is a hoot.

So once again, I want to thank Peanut for showing us her studio. Love you bunches, gal.

Happy Birthday, Karin!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Another Creative Space...

This next creative space comes to us from sunny California.  Today's creative space belongs to Peri.  Not only is she my sister, but she is a constant source of amusement and encouragement to those around her.  She is a multi-talented artist, in that she creates in many different mediums.  She does beautiful fine art portraits in oils...yep, that's me, can you believe how spot on this is?  I'm blown away!

Her nimble fingers create beautiful pastels, as shown in this commissioned portrait. 

As if that weren't enough, she also creates great pieces in wood using techniques such as carving, marquetry and wood turning. 

When not working on portraits and sculptural pieces, she often uses needlework to keep her creative juices flowing. Here is a shot of her comfy area with a nice chair and ample room for storing her yarns and fibers.

She is accomplished in the art of Japanese embroidery, as well as the traditional types of cross-stitch and crewel that many of us do. Who wouldn't feel creative in a cozy sitting area like this? Like us, Peri has used pre-made kits that have all the instructions and yarns included, but sometimes before she snuggles in to start making art from fiber, she actually designs her own work, meaning she starts from scratch. 

 Peri is currently working on another version of the portrait of your's truly, one that she is going to do in fibers and threads on cloth.  While this project will take months to complete, she is making quick work of the initial stages.

Creating the initial drawing and then transferring it to the canvas is one of the first steps in this process.  While this may seem tedious and daunting to us, it's just another day for her.  One of my favorite stages in this project is the choosing of fibers.  As I mentioned, we are used to just reaching into the kit we purchased and choosing the predetermined color thread, but when Peri designs her work, she has to decide on the colors needed to make the art come to life. And lest we think it's just a quick trip to the yarn shop, in reality a great deal of color research and time is used in deciding on the right colors and fibers.

Once she gets an idea of what the colors are and the types of fibers she will use, she will have to decide on how to proceed from there.

Using a color picture as a reference, she has to.....whew, well she has to start creating the portrait with thread.  Deciding what color combinations and what stitches will be used certainly seems like a huge undertaking to me.  Not to worry though, Peri is up to the task.

As you can see from the photos thus far, this is a project that will take more than one post to describe.  Not all artists are so forthcoming with their techniques, so I, for one, want to say thanks to my sister for allowing us to have a peek into her creative process.

She has promised me that as she reaches different stages she will supply some more pictures.  I certainly appreciate it, but since there is always the possibility that this project may become part of a book, I don't want her to feel like she has to share too much.

Having so many irons in the fire prohibits Peri from having a blog to visit, so please feel free to use the comment section here for any questions or accolades that you wish to express.  I'll certainly keep you posted on this ongoing project and once again, I say thanks to Peri for choosing me as her subject for this lovely fiber art portrait.

If designing your own project seems to be a bit complicated for your current level of expertise, it's certainly something we can all aspire to. Remember that Peri has been an artist for some time and while  her methods may appear to be too complex for us, everyone has to start somewhere.  There are always books and videos to get you started on designing your own needlework.  Start small and you just may find that it's something that you want to learn more about. 

Since this is a blog showcasing the artist in all of us, I hope you will send me pictures of something you have created and hopefully where you choose to create it.  It can be a picture of your kitchen table or the cozy area in your den, just remember that there is an artist in all of us and no space is too small to be shown here on ...Where We Really Create.