Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Arlette's Coin Purse

Coin purse from Arlette's template using my I Spy Pond Life, Freshwater Animals Teal design
Happy New Year!
I hope you had a lovely 2013.  I had a good year and the sewing/crocheting/handwork group that I attend had a lot to do with that. We are group of expatriate women from many countries, African, European and American.  The group is terrific place to share projects, talk about our lives and drink coffee/tea.  
The photograph is of the template my friend, Arlette, gave me and she in turn also got it from a friend.  As you can see the purse is  made of two pinched ovals, the larger will be the exterior and the smaller the interior of the purse.  Cut out three of each shape from a flexible cardboard.  Recycled, clean cardboard such as from a cereal box works great.  Next cut out your fabric in the same general shape but leave a generous amount around the seam, especially for the larger ellipse which must have enough material to tuck some below the smaller shape.  You will sew the fabric along the edges and across the inside of the cardboard.  My fabric sewn on cardboard looked like it had a ladder on the side with the extra seam.  Once the fabric covers the cardboard, sew the smaller piece to the larger so that the cardboard is no longer visible.  A ladder stitch or a blanket stitch works well for this.  The last step is to choose which of the three will be the bottom piece and sew the sides onto either side of it.  The top will remain unsewn.  I pinned the corners and sewed it together.  The coin purse stays closed because of the tension the shapes.  Pinch the ends to open.  I used my
Spy Pond Life, Freshwater Animals Teal fabric which can be found in my Spoonflower shop.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Father Christmas


In honor of the season, here is a Father Christmas ATC.  I was inspired by Norwegian fishermen.  The ATC is hand drawn in pen and ink.  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Heart of Man

My most recent ATCs completed are experimental pieces.  On the left is the ATC I call Urban Heart.  I was thinking of a brick wall starting to decay when I designed this.  I used Pebeo Moon Effects, a highlighter, water soluble markers and pen to create this card.
The card on the left is an updated take on Magritte's The Son of Man.  Maybe Magritte would have painted it like this if only iPads were around.  I chose color pencil to render this card.  Here is an explanation of his surrealist classic.  The original painting is below.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kitchen Chickens

Around a year ago I started designing fabric seriously, although part time.  My first designs seemed to feature chickens frequently.  I didn't really think about it but when I was explaining to a friend my "chicken fabric" as I jokingly call it, I wondered out loud why so many of my early designs feature the poultry.  It occurs to me; I can blame it on my mom.
My mom loves the decorative aspect of chickens. I admit they can be beautiful animals. Many years our family purchased Hen on a Nest glassware for her on gift occasions.  Travelling for so long and living so far away from my family has made me a little nostalgic, especially since I have my own children now.  So, here's to you mom and here are your new kitchen curtains.
The curtains feature my design Garden_Path_with Rhode Island Red Hot Colors from the Garden Path collection.  Also shown, a swatch on silky faille of Rhode Island Red Roosters Ditsy on Green.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Senegalese Artist Profile, Baye Djiby

Djiby Ndiaye also known as Baye Djiby is a conceptual artist in the art group Du Benn with Amary Sobel Diop. He said he calls himself this because it means father and that places him in the context of family, a context everyone is familiar with. 

"The One Who Dreams"
He was born in Saint Louis, Senegal and trained at the National School of Arts of Dakar.  He will be participating in the Biannale "OFF" Exhibition in 2014.
His paintings are mixed media using photographs he has developed and washed out.  He discovered the technique by accident when he came across some water damaged photos in a cupboard.  He uses the photos to explore concepts of inward and outward identity and representation. He also explores duality by incorporating photographic negatives to use as as stand in for literal 'negatives' and the developed photos representing to the positive attributes.  He states "by transcending duality and working towards peace, I can leave the negative behind." 

"The Ladies Game"
"The Interior"
photos from a series of five on the theme Mutation

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall Color Gingko Style

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2224067This weeks's contest at Spoonflower is based on fall leaves.  There is no fall season here in Senegal, just wet season, dry season and harmattan, that is, the winds that blow in from the Sahara.  But my body still remembers the rthymns of the seasons from further north and the beauty of autumn leaves.  For Gingko Leaves on Bright Magenta and Blue, I used a yellow ginko leaf I scanned some time ago over a colorful watercolor background as my entry.  Please condsider voting in this week's contest.
Another variation on the ginko leaf design, Yellow Ginkgo Leaves, is also available.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Senegalese Artist Profile, Amary Sobel Diop

Amary Sobel Diop in his rooftop studio in Rufisque

On Wednesday, the Dakar Women’s Group Art Committee stopped by the workshop of Amary Sobel Diop.  He had been one of the members of our spring art show and had impressed us with his portrait of Kenyan activist, Wangari Muta Maathai, Nobel Prize for Peace winner in 2004.
Perfume bottles awaiting recycling
Dakar Women's Group members admiring 'Hyms for the Peace'
Amary Sobel Diop has been working professionally as an artist since his graduation from École des Arts de Dakar in 2009.  The program at École des Arts de Dakar is very competitive and only graduates 10 students a year, 5 in fine arts and 5 as teachers although all students receive the same art instruction to form the base of their education.  Amary graduated as a teacher and works at a high school in Louga.

Detail from 'Peace'

As a student he was introduced to a modern technique of piecing together plantain bark.  He took the skills learned from this piece work and applied it to aluminum and copper wire.  Amary now purchases bags of used aluminum perfume bottles and cuts them open to create sheets of aluminum.  He may choose to use the colored side of the sheet or the metallic. For his large portraits, he would then take a photograph (either public domain or used with permission) and map out the shapes and values needed to create the picture.  He often has to wait a while for his recycled materials to turn up just the right color or shade that he needs.  After the right piece is cut out, he uses an awl to punch holes in the metal and sews it together with copper wire.  Amary often inscribes by hand important background information or proverbs onto his work. Each portrait takes about thirty days to complete. The results of this painstaking process are incredible.
African view of Africa

Portrait of Aung San Su Kyi

These techniques are also used in his lamps, the metallic quilt entitled “Peace” and his maps of Africa.  The Peace quilt uses proverbs in many different languages.  Amary explains, “peace is a driving theme [in my work] because where ever you are in the world, peace is a universal desire.”  The Africa maps show the western ‘crisis’ viewpoint of Africa and the African’s point of view that Africa is a continent of solidarity and brotherhood. 

Amary works in other materials as well but always with an eye towards recycling.  He reuses old flip-flops to make new versions of African masks and sculptural columns.  He also reuses paper and shells in his work.
Masks and Sculptural Columns made of flip flops

Amary is part of a group of six artists called Du Benn, a Wolof name meaning not the same.  The group chose the name because all of the artists all have different styles and art philosophies and get together in each others homes to critique art and discuss ideas.
He exhibited his work in the OFF programs of the Dakar Art Biennale in 2012 and is slated to do so again in 2014. He is available for custom work.

recycled perfume bottle lamps construction

Sculptural columns made of recycled flip flops

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Woodland Sunset ATC

Today's ATC is a small pen drawing from a painting by Rien Poortvliet in the book Gnomes.  When I was five, I saw Brian Froud's Faeries book and sometime after that the Gnomes book.  I was captivated by the art from these books (being too young to read much) and purchased them as an adult to share with my own children.  So glad they are still available.
I drew this with brown Pigma pen on pale brown cardstock.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fabric Fashions with Free Shirt Template

 I am very excited to share with you some clothing made from some of the fabric I have designed.  These capri pants are made with the African Lace in Midnight Blue print in a twill. 
 The second print, Rust Gold and Blue Grey Asian and Insect Collage is made with Spoonflower's polyester silky faille fabric. For this project I created a shirt of my own design.  The template below shows the outline of the shirt I created.  Please feel free to adapt the pattern for your own shirt.  This shirt is a simple pattern with the same shape front and back except along the collar.  It has a half inch french seam except on the collar which has a quarter inch seam.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saadio's Studio

Recently, I had the pleasure to visit Saadio's studio located in the Ouakam area of Dakar, Senegal with a group of ladies with the Dakar Women's Group Art Committee.
I have been familiar with Saadio's work from a couple of local exhibition as well has his participation with the Dakar Women's Group Art Show in the past.  One of members, Adrienne, arranged the visit for our committee and helped to translate his French.
While looking at the paintings in his studio Saadio shared a little information about his background and influences.  Saadio is a Pular name for the child born after twins. He had an eight year apprenticeship studying with artists trained by the former president, Senghor, who was famous for his support for the arts.
His work is influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat and the musician Tupac. Saadio identifies with the street smart influence of these artists.  His paintings are brightly colored, have a pop art feel but a conscious message about the situation of people of Senegal.  The layers of images, style and variety of languages are intentionally reminiscent of the layers of graffiti and posters found on walls and buildings and languages heard on the street.  Saadio believes the purpose of art is to commentate on society and raise awareness and so his art is political. Sadio creates sculpture with these goals.
He often works on Goree island to escape the heat of Dakar.
He has exhibited in Dakar, Europe and the United States.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day of the Dead Art

I am participating again with a Spoonflower contest.  The theme of this contest is Ghosts and so I have submitted a design based on the Day of the Dead celebration from Mexico called Day of the Dead Dancing Ghosts.  This celebration is a rememberance of the ancestors who have died.  The dead are considered to be partying with the living during this festival.  Please consider voting in the contest.
At the bottom are two ATCs which are my interpretation of sugar skulls. Sugar skulls are used to represent the deceased.  Smaller skulls represent children and larger adults. You can learn how to make real sugar skulls here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

And What Better Time For Fairies?

The Fairy Market: Bartering with the Apple of Time by Penney Hughes, 2013, all rights reserved
With the lunar eclipse tomorrow and Halloween just around the corner, this painting seems to fit the season.  I painted this in September at the same time at the Tree ATC series.  As in the tree series the background has a metallic sheen. The imagery in this painting is a mixture of my middle child's description of his dreams and my own imagination.  In his dream he visits a fairy market.  The white suit is his disguise to allow him to walk freely.  While he is in the fairy market he trades for luck which he says is the same as gambling.    It is strongly inspired by one of my one my favorite artists, Remedios Varo.  You can get a sense of her work at this site.
This is only the second painting I have done for at least ten years. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ATCs: We Three Trees

This small series is painted on watercolor paper.  I prepped the background with orange fabric dye and gold fabric paint. I then used the Peobe Moon Fantasy paints to create shiny and textured tree trunks and landscape.  The leaves and sky are finished with acrylic paints.  The small series evokes a brooding feeling for me.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Inspired by Remedios Varo

The Lantern by Penney Hughes 2013
This small painting (22.8 x 15.1cm, 9 x 6in), painted for a swap on Swap-bot is directly inspired by the work of Remedios Varo. In this painting figures break through the layers of a living wall.  What you can not see is the slight metallic sheen peeking through the paint.  Many of Remedios paintings feature persons breeching a many layered openings.  Her style is considered mystical surreal.  I love the delicacy of the textures in her work and the mysterious, dream-like quality. 

Portrait of Dr. Ignacio Chávez by Remedios Varo 1957

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Collabor'actions Art Show

Barkinado Bocoum and Manel Ndoye, "Sans Titre"

This Thursday past, Loman Art House hosted the art opening for their show Collabor'actions.

The show included paintings, a fashion show, several lamps and mosaics.  Many of the works shown were co-efforts with locally well known artists, however also on display were works that were collaborations between students and teachers.  The Loman Art House mission includes teaching art skills and using recycled materials and this was evident in the work displayed.  It will be interesting how the collaborations effect the artists in their future work.
Alexis Peskine in collaboration with students, "Sans Titre", painted nails, paint, wood

Geoff Cressman and Sophie Markl, "Opposites Attract", Mosaic in glass, metal and resin

Loman Pawlitschek, metal and paint

Crowd at the Loman Art House opening, just before the fashion show

Collabor'actions is on display September 26 through October 26.