Every year about this time I start thinking about making a journal of the year, a way to remember the highlights (and lowlights) of it. I am pretty good about keeping a written journal/sketchbook, but I'd like to do an art one, too.
One year I did a 4 inch square every day...that lasted about 9 months. I participated in the first QuiltArt Journal Pages, which was one a month. I even finished up that year.
But this year I was looking for something different. One of my favorite contemporary artists is Virginia Spiegel (www.virginiaspiegel.com). I was looking through her website the other day and saw a series she did of birch trees, one for each month of the year. So I stole that idea, except I am doing potraits of a red buckeye tree that lives outside my studio window. It's a quirky little thing, struggling to survive at the northern edge of its range. But hummingbirds love it when it's blooming, the buckeyes it get look improbably large for the size of the tree, and the leaves are heavily veined. So I'm going to study it for 2006.
Right now, of course, it is bare except for the occasional bird sitting on a branch. The worst part of winter in the midwest to me is the drabness, the absence of color.
So I took a picture I have of winter grass. I opened Photoshop Elements, and took a long and narrow slice of just the grass. I widened the pixels to make the striped background (and rotated the slice). This I printed on some tablecloth linen. Then I fused the tree made out of discharged black cotton, added some stitching. Something was missing. The winter sun, which is pretty weak and not often seen around here. I made it out of painted misty fuse, and applied it. Then I did something new for me, I added words--January sun reclimbs the sky.
And a faint hint of a cardinal--one of the few colors I see daily--on a branch with a Shiva paintstick.
It's only January 3rd, and I'm already thinking of the February piece...I've thought about doing this weekly, but know myself too well to attempt that...


Ann Miller Titus said...

ahhh text! How was that done?
I'm eager to see what February brings!

Any more progress on the web page?

Ann Miller Titus said...

another comment...how big is this latest piece? Have you seen the wonderful string of banners that Julie Nelson has in the office here at the Art Center.. done by her sister in law?

I can see a set of trees suspended across a line.


bj parady said...

The text was rubber stamped with permanent ink. On purpose I made less than perfect impressions so from a distance it's a little unclear what the marks are.
The piece is 7"x9". Mainly because I can only print on regular size paper.

Granny Fran said...

I like your tree. The striped grass background is inspired. Thanks for sharing Virginia Spiegel, her birch tree series is gorgeous. I can see how that inspired you. Fran

Pat/SWquilter said...

Beautiful journal page!

bj parady said...

thanks to both of you :)

I've been making a lot of small pieces with backgrounds extracted from pictures. I saw someone do this on a big scale on Simply Quilts, and sized it down to my available equipment. There's something appealing to me right now about small pieces...and I don't think it's just because they take less time and I see results sooner.

Denim Doll said...

Love your tree!! the cardnial is a special touch :)

Sande said...

The artistic version of the tree and grass in very nice. I like colors you used. What kind of printer and inks do you use and are they washable? Did you use the freezer paper technique to print on the table linen? I also am beginning to experiment with printing on fabric.

bj parady said...

I use an Epson CX6400 with durabrite pigment inks, which are permanent--no pretreatment of the fabric needed. I think they are washable, but I use them only in wall pieces that will never get washed, so I don't know for sure.

I have had no luck with freezer paper, maybe I don't hold my tongue just right. I use Avery full sheet labels, just stick them to the fabric and it runs through. If I'm careful taking the label off the fabric, I get several runs with the same one (as they are a little pricey).

Miriam said...

i like this one alot!