As I see it lots of people know what to do but few do what they know.

Reading the blog artbizblog.com last week the author, Alyson Stanfield asked what one word would we use for 2017. After some thought I chose empowered.

I read books and studied the Small Business Admin. site over the years while working at a non art job. All of this research stewed as I worked towards my retirement. I set a 5 year plan right before my retirement date which started with producing art and entering shows.

When I got accepted in different local juried shows I knew I was on the right path. As the excitement of retirement came near I knew it was time to decide where that path was leading. What was the dream? Acceptance by my fellow artists? My own solo show? Sharing my vision of natures beauty with the world? Making money from this art?

All of these questions were actually valid goals. My dream is a mix of all of them. Yet I had no plan, no way to get down the road further. Time for some research, head scratching and writing. I became more involved with a fiber arts group. I became a member of in order to enter their show. One of my first juried show acceptances was from this group. In fact they used my work on their promo postcard for the show. Thank you Missouri Fiber Artists- MOFA. You gave me validation and acceptance amongst my fellow artists.

I continue to enter shows getting accepted in national and more prestigious local shows. I have blogged already about my commission work, check that off the list. My friends can see the progress of my art and see the beauty of nature I see. I know I am heading on the right path and in the correct direction.

I recently found out I was accepted for a two person show in May of this year. I will be teaching an embroidery class at a retreat in March with my MOFA group. A fellow artist told me about a local juried show I had never heard of before. Got into the show with two pieces, yea!!

The show is called Marti Gras 2017 put on by the Leawood, Ks arts council. It will held Friday February 17-19th at the Lodge at Ironwoods park, 147th and Mission, Leawood, Ks. Opening night reception is Friday from 6:00-9:00 with a $15.00 fee. Saturday and Sunday free admittance 10:00-4:00. I will be at the opening so join me if you can. The two works accepted are Fireflies and Wonderful Window Box shown below.

I am empowered with the joy of my journey because I found the way to take action towards what I am meant to be.

Keirnan-Hale Fireflies
Fireflies 12 X 12 stretched canvas, fabric collage, sequins, silk ribbon and embroidery

Wonderful Window Box 14 X 11 fabric collage, trim, silk ribbon embroidery and colored pencil

January musings

I have blogged for a year now and see that art and how I do that art is my biggest subject. January has always been the month to look back at my accomplishments from the year before to see how far I have come. It is also the time to see what has worked and adjust my goals and plans for those goals as need be.

As part of my on going goal I started another new piece of art. I have several cardinals that I enjoy watching outside my window this time of year. As the male bird begins to turn brighter red I know winter has really set in. Something about their sweet call and perky pointed top feathers just makes me smile.

With the soft muted colors of a wintery forest I have to add the contrast of a bright red cardinal. But how do I depict the three demension of snow without making it just gray and white? Looking thru a search of winter photos on-line I see there are many colors in the shadows other than black and gray. There are purples, blues, greens and gray in the ditches and valleys. The white of snow reflects yellows and reds too. This gets my juices flowing so time to get these ideas into a piece of art.

I started with a background of blue gray and muted white, a middle tone of the same blue gray and a hand dyed white with light streaks of blue for the snowy field. Next came cedar trees muted in a blue and green. I fussy cut them out from landscape fabric then bonded the blue to the background and the green in the middle. Out came my colored pencils, adding more white, light blue and gray green to emphasize snow on the trees.

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A fence row in the background helps to add depth along with colored pencil to anchor the trees. I wanted to show fluffy snow so glued down strands of white cashmere roving that gave the depth and fluffyness of snow banks. Roving is a long and narrow bundle of fiber. Rovings are produced during the process of making spun yarn from wool fleece, raw cotton, or other fibres. I added a pair of cabins in the middle of the foreground. The cabins are framed with tall cedar trees. The trees have to have snow too, so stitching over the green I used a white silk and wool mixed thread that worked perfect.

I decided on a pathway to the cabins leading to one of the tall cedar trees. I added brown and black leading to the tree and cabins in a meandering diagonal line to move the eye across the piece.  I darkened the shadows in front of the tree lines and added purple to the fields behind the fence line. More cashmere roving was added all thru the piece along with colors to show valleys and clumps of snow.

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After looking at this stage the next morning I think it is looking too gray and the black appears dirty. Though snow gets that way after awhile this was not my intent. There is a bit of purple on the lower left side so used this along with a red purple to add some warmth to the pathway. Used these same colors on the shadows in front of the trees in the foreground. I worked on the tree lines adding white and a pastel blue gray to show snow on the trees. Blurred the lines to keep the distance of these within the picture.

But wait, don’t forget about the cardinals! The scale or size of the bird will be tricky. I also need something like a fence row for them to be perched on. I try stitching the beginning of a bird on a limb of the trees in front. Don’t get very far when I realize it is too hard to see the bird. Scratch my head, get something to eat then I remember I have fabric that has a medium gray stone that would be a perfect contrast to the bright red of a cardinal.

After I pull out the stitches of the cardinal in the tree I see that the rock fence line works wonderful. I added red dots of French knots in two of the cedar trees. The same white thread in those trees were used in the rock wall for snow. Some thin gray green thread was stitched in short stitches around the foreground trees to imitate stubby grasses. Finally the red cardinals are added on the rock walls. I do believe this is done though I may decide to pull some stitching on the bird at the far left. The scale seems a bit too large. Yet my hubby told me to leave it alone.

Now to consider a name, perhaps Winter Wonderland? What do you think?