Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Woodblock Workshop part 2

Sunday at Wingtip Press, we finished up carving and printing our woodblocks.  We were told we could bring t-shirts to print on.  The first day I didn't bring one because I didn't think I would want my design on a t-shirt.  I didn't realize we were going to be able to print some of the instructor's blocks.

I had planned to bring a t-shirt yesterday.  But ended up forgetting it.  I did have several pieces of my dyed fabric to print on, which was my intent the entire time.

Here is my block with the very simple design of a passion flower.  I had the hardest time trying to figure out what design I wanted to work on for this workshop.  I went through many ideas and finally just decided on this simple idea.

That blue on the block is a wash of acrylic paint.  It helps you see where you have already carved. This is a great idea that was new to me.

My block all carved out.

Here is Cassandra carving away on her block.

And here is Cassandra's finished design printed on paper.

This is Katherine's beautiful block all inked up and ready to print.

Anna Webb shows off her print on neon colored paper.

First time carver, Kurt, shows off his print.

This is Christy's finished design.

I really like this design from Josh Olson.

I was so busy taking pictures of everybody else's prints, I forgot to take some of my own.  I printed on several different colors of fabric and did a few on paper.  Cassandra asked if she could print my block on one of her t-shirts.  Here it is below.

I'll show you some of my prints on fabric after I pick them up from Wingtip Press.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Woodblock Workshop

It's been a bit quiet on the blog.  I have not been feeling well the last couple of weeks.  After a second visit to the doctor, I am finally on some antibiotics and am feeling better.  Just in time for the printmaking workshop I have been taking this weekend at Wingtip Press.

Yesterday was the first day and we are going back today.  The instructor is James Bailey, an art professor at the University of Montana.

We are creating woodblock prints using mdf board (that you can get at the hardware store).

Here is the instructor with one of the blocks he had carved previously with some of his works displayed on the wall behind him.  Below is the design printed on a t-shirt.

We had a fairly large number of participants in this workshop, partly because it is leading up to another event in October, which I will tell you about later.

Here are some more of the instructor's artworks.  I think most of them are not woodblock prints, but linocut or something else.

Above are the progression of steps for a reduction print using Sentra board. 

We finish carving and printing today. So I will show you the results later.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Art Collection

I'd like to show you the most recent acquisition added to my art collection (although I have had it for a while now).

by Elizabeth Brandt
(artwork posted with artist permission)

A friend pointed me to Elizabeth's website (where you can see a better picture of this artwork, if you like).  I really love her work and when I found out that she lived in Holland, Michigan, where I went to college, I had to get in touch with her.  We've had "conversations" via email and I traded one of my artworks for this one of hers.

This piece is relatively small compared to some of her other works (she is currently working on a piece that is about 8' by 12' that she posted on her facebook art page).  I enjoy looking at this artwork everyday in my entryway.  I'm glad I have gotten to know Elizabeth online.  I look forward to seeing what she creates next.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Branching Out

My main medium to work in right now is fabric.  But as an artist, I don't think we should be limited by or to our medium.  Alexander Calder may be best known for his sculptures and mobiles.  But did you know he also did paintings, drawings, prints, jewelry and set design?

Over the years I have tried different media and, more recently, I am really enjoying all the printmaking workshops I have been taking at Wingtip press.  Wingtip press is located in the Creative Access Art Center building downtown that also houses Idaho Parents Unlimited.

CAAC will be holding a special fundraising art event in October.  They are asking artists to submit artwork on a 12" x 12" wooden panel (provided by them) for an auction.  I was trying to decide if I wanted to participate or not.  But I just couldn't resist the smooth wooden panel just waiting to be made into art.

After getting the board, I thought the easiest thing to do would be to attach one of my 12" x 12" fabric pieces that I already had made.  But that would cover up the panel.  Then, I thought I would do a painting on it (haven't done painting in a long time but it has been on my mind lately).

But instead I "branched" out and did something different instead.

A Nod to AG
birch bark and branches on wood panel
12" x 12"
©2013 Lisa Flowers Ross
Will be available at the CAAC Art for Art: A Night on the Boardwalk event

Since a nasty virus has been slowing me down the last week and a half, I have been taking some time during the day to rest.  One of those days, I was looking at one of my art books on Andy Goldsworthy, an artist who works with nature.

Later, I went outside and picked up some of the pieces of bark that our birch trees shed, along with some branches.  Back inside I started playing and this is what I came up with - a very minimal piece.  It is all coated and sealed with matte medium.

I like the colors and the lines in the bark.  There is one little line on the wood panel in the lower left corner that echoes the lines in the bark.  I didn't see it until after I was done.

I think I need to make another one because this would look great in my kitchen.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sequi Shop

This month at the Sequi-shop local artist, Kirsten Furlong, will be working in the space on an installation and artwork having to do with trees and the environment.  A very appropriate subject for the celebration of the City of Trees, the exhibition is entitled Standing Still: The Trees.

You can stop by the space and visit with her and see what she is up to.  She will be creating until Aug. 22nd when a reception will be held in the evening from 6 - 8 p.m..

An installation in progress.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bobbin Work

Here is another new artwork I managed to finish recently.  It started out as part of a larger piece which was part of a new series I have started.  But when I had it all pieced together, I decided I didn't like it.  So I cut it up, ripped seams, added some new parts, re-sewed and now I have this piece, which no longer fits in the series.  And I have another part that still needs some work.

Lined Up Around the Block
38-1/4" x 22-1/4"
fabrics hand dyed and rusted by artist, 
machine pieced, machine stitched
©2013 Lisa Flowers Ross

You might notice the darker horizontal lines of stitching.  This was done with a heavier, perle cotton thread.  The problem with using perle cotton thread is that it is too thick to go through the machine needle.  So to use it in the machine, it needs to be in the bobbin.  I have a separate bobbin case for this because you really need to loosen the tension on it a lot.

Using the perle cotton in the bobbin means it will be on the bottom of whatever I am sewing. Therefore, if I want it on the front, then I have to sew the piece back side up.  But then I can't see where I want to go.

What I did was pin where I wanted the lines to go from the front and then flipped it over.  On the back I could see the pins and then I placed 1/4" masking tape along the pin lines, removed the pins and I was ready to sew.

Here is a picture of what that looked like when I was sewing.

I learned this bobbin work technique in a class I took many years ago.  I have not used it in my work before.  But I'm glad I had the knowledge to do it now because I like the look of those thicker lines.

Friday, August 9, 2013

After a yummy lunch at a'Tavola the other day, my friend and I went to the Linen Gallery to look at Karen Bubb's exhibition, Cuba on the Cusp.  All the works are encaustic, a painting technique using melted wax with pigment.

Bubb is a local artist, as well as the Public Arts Manager for Boise City Department of Arts and History and an adjunct professor at BSU.  With all she has on her plate, I wonder how she had time to create so many artworks for the exhibition.

Some pieces were hung in the traditional gallery/museum style.

While others were hung in a salon style.

There were even some artworks on a table, along with glass pendants that Bubb had made with some of the Cuban images.

The medium and subject matter tied the work together but there was a wide variety of styles from portraits and landscapes to more abstract and folk-art like work.  Bubb really captured the essence of what Cuba must be like, at least from a visitor's viewpoint.

If you haven't seen the exhibition yet, it is up through August 30th at the Linen Gallery (1402 W. Grove St.) downtown.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Yesterday, I enjoyed lunch with my friend, Mary, at the a'Tavola restaurant.  I've known about the place, but have never been.  It is downtown on Grove Street between 15th and 16th St.

I love the super large bike rack.
It's a cafĂ©, bakery and gourmet marketplace.  So there were lots of interesting things to look at inside.

I liked the design of the wrappers of these chocolate bars - simple black and white line drawings. I'm sure I would have liked the chocolate, too, but did not purchase anything.

In one area, they have a wall of shelves that have what they call the "Culinary Library". You can look through the books.  (It's just where that person is standing.)

Since I wasn't feeling 100%,  I ordered the one soup they had for the day.  Normally, soup doesn't appeal that much to me in the summer, especially when it is already 90 degrees. But my throat was sore.  The soup was curried zucchini and it was delicious.  Mary also shared some of her chicken salad sandwich with me.  It was also very good with avocado and bacon on it.

We ate outside.  It was warm, but not too bad in the shade. It was a lovely lunch and I will definitely go back there to eat.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Climb to Conquer Cancer

Yesterday was our second time participating in the annual Climb to Conquer Cancer.  Last year the event occurred in between my lumpectomy and the start of my radiation.  One year out and I'm having to deal with the side effects of the Tamoxifen they want me to take for five years to help prevent a recurrence. But I don't want to talk about that.

The climb was up Tablerock mesa again this year.  We got up early for the event and walked to Quarry View park from our house.

After checking in and getting t-shirts, we hung out until it was time to start climbing.

 And they're off!  Heading up.

This is Jill, Gavin and Ann, part of the "team" from Micron.

 At the top.

We all made it to the top!  No, my face is not sunburnt. It always turns red when I exercise.  And no, I'm not that much shorter than Frank and Anna.  I'm on the downhill side of the rock.

You can see more people coming up in this photo (toward the bottom).  But it was time for us to go back down.  Back at Quarry View, they had some food and drinks ready for us.

Then, we had to walk back home again.
Heading home.

Friday, August 2, 2013

New Artwork, New Gallery

Between all the summer trips and other activities, I have been trying to get some work done.  I have several pieces put together.  I just have to do the stitching on them.   But I can show you this piece that I have finished.

It is the first, in what I hope will be a series (although there is only this one just now).

Foliaris I
33-1/4" x 29-1/4"
fabrics hand dyed by artist,
machine pieced, machine stitched
©2013 Lisa Flowers Ross

Here is a detail of the stitching with orange thread in the middle.

This piece will be available for purchase at the Robin B Gallery in Chicago when it opens in September.  I am happy to have this gallery representation.

Their physical doors may not be open yet, but they do have the website up and running. Click on their name above to check it out.