Pitter Patterns

The second installment of pattern inspiration blogs this month. If you didn't get the newsletter that started it off, follow this link!

Here's a great collection from creative bug, a website/blog/newsfeed devoted to all things design. One of the featured artists is Hope Little -- her geometric animals (right) could inspire an amazing pieced quilt! 

Another animal pattern inspiration comes from National Geographic -- a great source of photos and images for art.

Puffer fish pattern

Puffer fish pattern

To make a black and white abstracted pattern from any photograph, take a look at what these apps can do with that photo above

And finally, a few animal print patterns that could inspire thermofax designs, screen printing or even a hand cut stencil!

If you'd like to know more about editing photos with iPad special effects apps, consider taking my Art on the iPad online course! Or take my workshop at Quilt Nebraska this summer!

In and Out of the Studio, On and Off the iPad

Learning the craft of using the new Squarespace interface for blogs and websites is taking me an embarrassing amount of time. I am not sure if its old-fashioned, to-be-expected resistance to change (my old site was just fine, thank you), or if it's my slower than molasses line-of-sight internet service out here in the country, or if it's just being thick. You, if you are out there reading, will be the beneficiaries today of some experimenting and trying out of the new Squarespace editing features.

And, along the way, I'll share work I have been doing in and out of the studio, on and off the iPad, around and about the sewing machine and more. 

Yea! First task accomplished. Here are  three GALLERIES of photos. Click on the image you see (on top) and scroll through a collection of images. It happens automatically, the third has the thumbnails below, so you can preview the gallery. ON my laptop, and with my slow internet, I found it imperative to export the photos from iPhoto to the desktop, before uploading them. To upload only a couple of photos at a time, and to be patient! (In case you are trying to figure out Squarespace, you find the thumbnail option in the Gallery DESIGN option tab.)

iPad for Artists: App of the Week

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One of my favorite apps for combining text and images, TypeDrawing, is this Friday's  iPad for Artists App. TypeDrawing is neither new nor trendy -- there has been a web-based version of the software for several years. (I'm still using my iPhone version, but plan to update after seeing the iPad interface improvements.) The iPad and iPhone version is handy for on-the-go work and the retina screen of the iPad makes it all so beautiful.

TypeDrawing is useful in so many ways for we who work in mixed media or fabric or surface design -- and for graphic designers, too:

  1. Making images for thermofax, screen-prints or direct prints of specific words, text or letters.
  2. Adding words on top of images for invitations, posters and postcards
  3. Randomizing text for direct printing
  4. Sizing text and choosing fonts for other design applications.
  5. Drawing with typography (See this website for examples!)

The interface takes a bit of learning - and the website has good, if short, tutorials and explanations.

In general -- Hit the + sign for a new page, T to type in your text, F to select font and how the font is manipulated, the litttle square and eyedropper are color choice and color picker, respectively, the rectangle lets you select color and opacity  -- you can also choose and import a photo to use as a drawing aid or as a background - great for using to make invitations.

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Two images of posters I designed with TypeDrawing and some iPad art images.

Two images of posters I designed with TypeDrawing and some iPad art images.

App of the Week: THINK

 

The app.

This week's app is one just for inspiration and information: THINK by IBM. It's a world of information, infographics and cool ideas -- I am using some of the mapping info in some new pieces of work. Most of all, THINK is an example of the new kinds of publications that web-based content makes possible: visual, nonlinear, beautifully designed.

Here's how IBM describes it on the page about the exhibit and the app.

(Some readers reported issues with the link -- still works for me, but here's the link to the itunes app page as well. )

An exploration into making the world work better

Consider the advances of the past century. The way science has improved our daily lives. The possibilities unleashed by technology. The things we can do today that earlier generations could not even imagine.

Yes, this is about better information, tools, algorithms—but that's not all. It's about the deeply human quest to make the world more livable, safer, more efficient, more sustainable. Our enduring drive for progress has given us the capacity to see the world with greater clarity... to map what we see... to understand its dynamics. All of which builds shared belief... in a better future, and in the way each of us can act to make it so.

 

Lesson plans that go with the app and exhibit.This is part of IBM's commerical and cultural DNA -- it draws on the same tradition that saw Ray and Charles Eames designing interesting and novel exhibits in NYC for the company.

See what you think and tell me one idea you have for using what you see in your own work in the comment section, and I'll enter your name in a giveaway for a copy of THE MISSING ALPHABET, The Parents Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids. 

P.S. I hope you'll sign up for my newsletter and stay in touch as I launch a round of great iPad workshops online. Either use the form on the sidebar or go to this link: http://mad.ly/signups/69874/join

Art App of the Week: Drawing Pad

How to choose? How to choose?

(And how to remember -- if you checked in earlier, I had the name of the software wrong, and the wrong list! Drawing Pad -- not free, but it is only $1.99 with some optional in-app pruchases, like coloring books, available.)

As I work towards getting my iPad on-line courses up and running, you'll find a weekly APP reccommendation here on the blog on Fridays, each with a few examples of drawings, photos, journal pages and more. 

I admit to an ongoing addiction for new apps -- OK,  consider it a line item in my art supply budget! Consequentlyly, after sampling free and paid versions of several hundred, I've found some really great ones and some real dogs. Some are simple "one-trick ponies," others are perhaps too expansive and overwhelming that unless you devote a LOT of time, you'll find them a bit overwhelming.

The iPad is such a powerful, intuitive creative tool, and the mobile software designers out there are certainly running though the paces. When my online course launches (next month, I hope), the format will include step-by-step tutorials, specific projects with step-outs, adaptations for use as fiber art tools -- both as part of your process and your works of art. If this sounds interesting, I hope you'll sign up for my newsletter HERE, in order not to miss the launch of the online series of workshops -- they'll start with an "iPad for Art Basics" and proceed through Photo Editing and Manipulation, Drawing and Sketching Tools, Keeping Track, Art Journaling, Photo Filters, Collage Tools and -- who knows!

This week's app is Drawing Pad. The interface is bold, easy to understand (the tools are in drawers, so explore them carefully! Some of the drawers give you the option to scroll right and reveal a whole other set of tools, colors and options. You can import a photo from your own camera roll and use it as a guide to trace or alter or paint, or you can start with a blank "sheet" of paper. If you wish, you can import a photo, sketch over it, then go back and change the paper to white or another color and have only your sketch! It's a very SIMPLE layering process, with only two layers. Of course I have other tricks for this -- to make it a multilayer tool. but you'll have to wait for the workshop for that!

Save the images to your email or camera roll or FB, Twitter, or an album inside the app -- think of this as a kid-friendly (for the kid in each of us) sketching and painting tool. I

These tools in the main drawer are options for saving, erasing, coloring book, colors of paper, stickers and, scrolling right, different tools.

 Sketching on top of a photo of San Fernando Cathedral, then replacing the photo with plain paper.

Sketching on the road. 

iPad Workshop at the Studio

 

Just a few pics!

Here are a few photos from the digital manipulations we made on the iPads. (I hope to have more from the participants to come later, these were my demos!)

All of the above were my quick demos using a variety (and combinations of) different apps for the iPad, using original photos (in most cases) for source materials. 

Here's another by artist/participant Zet Baer:

Snapguide How-To

 

From a message on Quilting Arts list from Jane Davila:

"Has anyone heard of Snapguide? I'm a recent devotee and have just posted my second guide there. It's a website and app that hosts tutorials, or guides as they call them, on a wide variety of topics. The audience is growing exponentially (over a million in less than a year), and unlike Pinterest, the guides can only be posted by the creators not brought from other sources (eliminating pesky copyright quandaries). But like many social networks you can favorite, share, follow, and comment. The interface to create a guide is elegant and very simple. You can add videos and photos along with text for your guides.

So my thinking is the stronger and more interesting the guides are there, the bigger the audience will become, attracting more high quality guides, attracting more readers, and so on. It was started by some big names in tech and has financial backing from some very savvy tech investors. It is viewable on the web and as an app on the iPhone or the iPad....I wrote a blog post about it and included the links to the 2 guides I wrote. One guide is to make matchbook art notepads and the other is how to transfer images using Citrasolv natural solvent.

I too have made a little snapguide on using some iPad apps to make snowflake designs (great for thermofax designs, too).

I really like the site and understand their financial need to make it work as a social platform (Hey, I don't listen to Seth Godin for nothing -- his STARTUP SCHOOL podcast is amazing if you think about your art business as a start-up). I admit, I would find it great to be able to use Snapguide for private guides as an option, so I coul duse it as an online course!

The interface is really fun, fast, painless and idiot-proof (I am said idiot), and the format makes it easy to use just the right amount of text with your images. Take a look! Add your own ideas, too. I do think they will make it to scale with this idea because the interface is so easy, so nice to look at and, by now, there are a crazy wild assortment of guides being posted!

Here's the link to my Snapguide -- http://snapguide.com/guides/design-an-ipad-snowflake/

 

Here We Are, iPads in Hand

And fun, indeed was had by all.

In progress:

Me, and Elements members plus one: Charlotte Bird, Kathie Cook, Margo Klass (back of head), Ree Nancarrow (below) and Margo. Not shown, Jerri Roberts. 

A GREAT GIFT:  Raven tile by (and with) ceramicist Nancy Hausle-Johnson.

Here are a few photos of some of the iPad art made by some of the participants.

 These are all just little samples. In order, the artists: Kathie, Margo, Charlotte, two in a series by Ree.

Snowflakes (Sort of)

 

DIGITAL FLAKES

OK, looks like we aren't going to get snow, at least not with this cold front or the next (blowing in tomorrow night). So I've satisfied my desires (which are fickle at best) with some snowflake like mandala designs made with various iPad apps. 

 

Three More Workshops, and That's It for 2013

Artist's Journey, iPad for Artists and Fearless Sketching

Wouldn't one of these upcoming El Cielo Workshop/Retreats make a wonderful gift? If no one you know has asked what you really want, perhaps your inner artist needs a restoration, recreation and renewal gift just from you! 

If you have meant to make it out here to the Hill Country studio before, now's the time to make the commitment --I've decided to take a sabbatical from the El Cielo workshops from May 2013 through April 2014 in order to spend more time in the studio, and to consider other ways to teach and share my approaches to creativity. I will be teaching online, teaching private workshops, and I also anticipate teaching at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2013, but for this year I won't be an instructor at the Southwest School of Art or holding any other workshops here at El Cielo after these next three.

Early spring (and that often starts here in mid-February!) is a wonderful time out here on the ridge, so check your calendar and shoot me an email if you are interested.
Limited spaces, as usual, are available, as each of these special events is designed for a maximum of seven participants. The fee is $180, but I am offereing a discount for all who send a deposit before the year is out.
Out of town participants are welcome to book an extra day or two of private work and consultation for an additional fee. As usual, first come, first choice on accommodations -- there are three private bedrooms ($30 for both nights) and a couple of comfy couches (free) as well as the sleeping porch (also free) and a cot-sized bed and private bath in the studio. The meals are great, the company inspiring and the views spectacular... and the hot tub is ready to go!
 

Artist's Journey/Artist's Journal

How do you make your time and space as an artist work for you? Where are you on your creative path? What do you want more of and what do you need less of? This retreat offers a beginning-of-the-year chance to look at and share your creative accomplishments, make plans for the future and put in place some new tools for reflection, renewal and re-creation of your artist self. The workshop is a combination of journaling with fun mixed media materials, using your own photos for art inspiration, and planning ahead for 2013. All supplies except for a sketchbook or journal are included and you'll take home a large calendar filled with artist dates and your own plans for the year.

Ipad for Artists

If you've recently acquired an iPad, this workshop will help you take it into your world of creativity and art.I've explored dozens of sketching tools, art journaling, collage and photo apps and this workshop will take you through some hands-on work -- then into the studio to print, make thermofaxes and use what you've done on the tablet for fabric printing to use in your art quilts, mixed media or other work. If you don't have a tablet yet (and are trying to decide what or if to buy), you may still want to attend, I'll have a try-out table that one or two participants can share (yes, we are a two iPad family!). This El Cielo workshop retreat will take place March 1-3 (optional Friday night potluck) ending about 3 pm on Sunday. The workshop fee, including most supplies, is $180.

Fearless Sketching

April 12-14 at El Cielo Studio we'll be attacking that sneaky little fear that so many of us carry into our work from early days in school -- when someone else drew the best faces or people or horses. Whether you consider yourself a talented textile artist, colorist or quilter, you may have a secret lurker within who disparages your drawing skills. I know I do! A couple of years ago, I made a conscious effort to address my fears and to start a fearless sketching practice. I'm still not a master draughtsman, or even "skilled" at drawing, but I am no longer afraid to draw, no longer hypercritical of my abilities and that makes me open to improving my skills. 

You can get there, too. And this workshop can be your first step-- we test piloted this workhshop in September and all the participants really improved both skills and attitudes about drawing! My friend Sarah Jones will be co-teaching this workshop. She is amazing and fun and so will be the retreat!

You can find the entire newsletter here at this link.

 

Traveling with Text

With my aquisition (thanks to birthday bonanza from Linda) of a NEW iPad with the camera, I am afire with digital imaginings. Here are some of my most recent experiments using several iPad apps one on top of another, as well as a few text-based Mixel collages.

The one above was a "physical" collage made with text cut from magazines (one of the exercises in my Text on Textiles courses, like that I am teaching on Joggles right -- and in the summer semester, too). I then photograhed it with the smart phone, sent it to the Cloud and my iPad and altered the colors with an app called PhotoPad (free, and a good photo editing tool). Then I drew on top of that saved image with some other tools and also erased part of the  image -- it looks to me like "Pollock takes on text."

Below is another physical collage that was altered, first with an iPad app called ArtistaHaikuHD that gives one a variety of watercolor effects/filters to use on photos.  Then I loaded that saved image into the PhotoPad App and played around with the colors. Que Cool!

Here's the watercolor versions in ArtistaHaikuHD:

How did I start? You can see the original here. 

 Or, rather the intermediate stage that was done on Mixel. The first product was actually this little 4 by 6 collage (shown here with two copies taped together):

WOW! It's amazing how these tools can morph one image SO MANY ways. I love to play with the possiblilities -- so the challenge is not in fluency, it's in when to quit and put my hands back on the wheel, so to speak. Where does what I can do only with hands happen?

Here's one way:

Print it with inkjet transfers on an old piece of tablelinen:

 

 

 

 

Art on the iPad

These are a few of the art experiments I've made on the iPad this week, part of the iPad Art Studio online course that I am taking -- it's great and the tutorials that Jessica has included as the materials are so good -- she is really good at explaining technological steps and issues, and I'm learning a lot in that respect, too!

Meanwhile, these were made using iPastel and Doodle Buddy. I really love the stencil features in DoodleBuddy, worth exploring those for fiber application alone...