I painted this watercolor portrait of London Vale for “I Art You,” the brain child of The Spanish Lady. Crys pairs two artists to get aquianted and create portraits of each other. Here is what I had to say about the experience…
“I Art You has been a fabulous experience for me. I heard about it through a friend and was eager to participate. As a stay at home mom for the last 10 years, I have been pretty limited to the outside world, especially with other artists. I was excited about the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other artists. Creating a portrait was an excellent challenge for me as I have had very little experience with portraits. I also love the “accountability” aspect of the collaboration. I had to paint four different portraits before I was happy with my painting!!! If I didn’t have other artists to be “accountable” to, I feel like I would have given up and never pushed through the feelings of self-doubt. Not walking away from the work, but walking through the struggle to the other side, helped me to grow as an artist. It has been an incredibly rewarding journey on so many levels!!
London has broad artistic interests and abilities: in acting, oil painting, fashion illustration and letterpress. London has been passionate about art since a child and one of the things I find inspiring about London is her tenacity and courage to pursue what she has been passionate about regardless of obstacles or approval.
London is a beautiful woman and I had a lot of great material to work with. The muted colors, beautiful braids, and a quiet pose of one particular image of her immediately struck me as something that could be from bygone century. I was inspired to create a portrait that captured the peaceful and pensive pose from this image and combine it with a modern ethereal quality that would reflect the London’s inner light and passionate nature. I am so happy with where the painted resolved!”
When I was young my mother read to all eight of us kids many, many stories. Some of which included those classic historical fiction books like Little Women and the Little House on the Prairie series. In these books life was hard, but the simple joys (or my idea of joy), like sitting around with the other women hand sewing were plenty. My paternal grandmother is a quilter and taught her daughter-in-law, my mother. Not one to helicopter parent, my mom put a needle and thread in our hands as early as we showed interest. Natural consequence quickly taught me how to carefully hold a sharp needle. Growing up deep in the country and with not a lot of money there wasn’t much to do besides play outside, draw our own paper dolls, or do something crafty. I have many fond memories sewing as a child. I learned to sewing on a treadle sewing machine (it runs not on electricity, but by pumping the treadle with your feet). In the summer it might be cross-stitching while watching the dusk fall and listening to nothing but the crickets and frogs. One winter when my grandma was visiting, after dinner we would clear off the dining room table and three generations of women would sit around handquilting together.
Quilting is a craft so rich with history, so utilitarian, and allows us to express ourselves in design and color. Every time I gather stiches on my needle through cozy layers of cloth and batting so many wonderful things happen. I feel intrinsically linked to centuries of women before me. I am flooded with memories of my grandma and mom. I relax. I can quiet myself and think, pray and meditate. Or, more commonly, I can just zone out and watch something distracting and entertaining on Netflix.
I am so excited to share my first pattern with you!! This pattern was inspired by the Triple Irish Chain quilt block. After tweaking many sketches this is were I landed. While it is quite different I am very happy with this version. I’ve combined quilting and painting and I think they make a beautiful marriage. Here painted triangles become part of the quilted pattern to make a modern, unique and beautiful pillow for your home decor.
This is vintage modern decorative throw pillow cover inspired by Aurora Borealis. The fabric design is based off a traditional “Bear Paw” quilt pattern. On the light blue “paw” design I used crayon to shade a darker blue value. I have wanted to experiment with crayons on fabric for a long time. After you color the fabric with the crayon you set scrap fabric over it and iron it. The heat melts the wax and the wax absorbs into the scrap fabric, leaving only the color of your intended design.
The next layer is fabric paint that fades from dark blue to light blue up into yellow-green and mint green. I then hand quilted the pillow top in a light blue thread. The colors are truly amazing and remind me of the magical light of the Aurora Borealis. I love this as many think the origin of the bear paw quilt block was used to guide escaped slaves to food and water. The block was a signal they were on the right track and following the block would lead them to sources of water and food. Even if that isn’t true, I like thinking of that story with “a light in the darkness,” such as the Northern Lights.This pillow is now available in my Etsy shop!
Here is another version of the Vintage Modern Quilted Pillow from my last post. Again I chose a very simple palette for the fabric colors. I feel like this blue is practically a neutral. When I picture where it would live in my own home, it really would work in any room.
I chose a monochromatic scheme with a darker, indigo blue for the paint. I painted a very simple pattern of lines and geometric triangles.
I hand quilted it all in a blue as well. That is always my favorite step.
The pillow back has simple painted stripes across the back and is finished with an invisible zipper. This pillow is now available in my etsy shop!