Thank you Karen!


http://www.byhand.me/component/option,com_content/Itemid,70/id,15470/task,view/


Thank you Karen, LemachiGallery, for putting this together for us. You always do an absolutely beautiful job and we appreciate it so much.

Visit Karen's shop at www.LemachiGallery.etsy.com

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~PRAYER


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Eva the prompt for this week's challenge is PRAYER. Create a piece of mixed media art using this word as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Linda Beard is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of PRAYER. Thanks so much !

Image © Linda Beard

Melange slide show #6

Lavender and Rust Art Quilt-hanging and framing

Heidi, a member of the Melange street team just did a tutorial on how to hang a gorgeous art quilt that she had done. Hope you enjoy it; this is always such a hard thing to figure out--how to display these kinds of fabric art pieces.

From Heidi's Blog:
When last we met, I had printed and quilted an art quilt from a blended collage of my photographs of a lavender flower and a piece of rusted machinery. Here’s a photo of the quilt, and this is the post about the process:




Finishing and framing a piece is always a challenge for me. Since I used new techniques and products for the quilt (more about that later!), I wanted that novelty to be reflected in the way I framed it. Rooting around in my supply closet, I found wooden framing stretcher strips about the right size. When assembled, the frame was a bit larger than the quilt. To finish the plain wood in a manner that would reflect and honor the quilt, I printed some of the elements of the lavender and rust collage onto Transfer Artist Paper (see my earlier posts about TAP), and ironed them onto the front of the frame.



My next challenge was how to attach the quilt to the frame. I decided to use some kind of ribbon that I would sew to the quilt and thread through screw eyes attached to the inside edge of the frame. It’s not easy finding good screw eyes! My local fabric store didn’t have anything I liked, and I had to visit three hardware stores to find the size and color that I wanted. I put screw eyes in each of the four sides of the frame. This is the top right edge, showing the screw eye:



I decided that instead of using premade cord or ribbon, I would make it myself. I started with the image that I used for the quilt and designed ribbons, but rescaled to be much smaller because the ribbon would have to fit through the screw eyes. I printed it on the fabric that I had used for the quilt and doubled the fabric over so both sides would have a pattern. I cut thin strips and stitched down the center of each to hold the sides together. I threaded them through the eyes and tied knots, working with each to get the quilt centered in the frame. This is a closeup of the ribbon at the center right side of the frame:



And this is the quilt tied to the frame at the six eyes:


The last challenge: how to hang the framed quilt? I didn’t want to string a wire across the back because that would show through the gaps. I couldn’t use a sawtooth because the gallery that I show my work in (a plug here for the Pinole Artisan galleries) doesn’t allow those. I decided to echo the screw eyes used on the inside, and put two at the top of the frame. I made another long ribbon, threaded it through the eyes, doubled it over and stitched it together. The framed quilt now hangs flush against the wall from a hook or nail. This is it:


If you’re wondering about the back of the frame, it’s nothing fancy. I finished it by painting the plain wood with a few coats of white gesso. I solved the eternal question of how to sign an art quilt (many people print labels on fabric and sew them to the back), by signing the gessoed surface with a pigment ink pen. This is how the back looks:


If you’re wondering where the piece is now, it’s hanging in the new show at the second Pinole Artisans gallery, Pinole Art Center Too, 2814 Pinole Valley Road, Pinole California. Email me at heidirand@gmail.com if you would like to know when the Center is open, or when I’ll be working there.

Heidi
GardenDelightsArts.etsy.com

Melange slide show #5

Here is number 5 of the weekly utube slide shows of artwork from the members.

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ CHANGE


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Brenda Lynn the prompt for this week's challenge is CHANGE. Create a piece of mixed media art using this word as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Stacey Merrill is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of CHANGE. Thanks so much !

Image © Stacey Merrill

November Artist Profile: Renee Gandy

Hello everyone. Bren here. I am happy to reintroduce Artist Profiles here on the Melange blog. This will be a recurring monthly event, so please join us on the first Monday of each month to learn a little more about our fellow artists and team members.

Here in our first interview I am so pleased to introduce Renee Gandy, curator of both FauveStudio and FauveBohemian on Etsy. Many of you are familiar with Renee by her participation on the Mixed Media Thread over at the Etsy forums. For those who don’t frequent the thread (and even for those who do) here is a little closer look at one of our talented members.

Thank you so much, Renee, for taking time here with us! Now, without further ado:


Let’s begin with some basics: Where do you call home? Are you married? Do you have any children?

Yes, I’ve been married to Jim Gandy for 39 years now. Jim’s job required frequent relocation, so we spent many years moving from coast to coast, but in the late 80s we settled just outside Holly Springs, Mississippi. Our home sits on a small lake. We have 3 children: Leafy, 37; Jesse, 23, and Savannah, 14. We also have three grandchildren ages 18, 16 and 5. And there’s also Little Man, our Dachshund.

When did your artistic life begin? Was this an innate ability, or did you happen upon the creative calling later in life?

I was encouraged from an early age to explore art and creative paths. My mother gave me watercolors at age 4, and set up cardboard and paper along the backyard fence then said, "Have fun". I did. By age 9 or 10 she had me oil painting and taking drawing lessons. I enjoyed it, but I can't say I had a passion for it. That came later in life. By age 15 or 16 I was creating collage works combined with painting. M artistic explorations have waxed and waned over the years as I became passionate and obsessed with some new technique or venture ranging from textile work, sculpting, to mixed media and oil painting. I tend to jump from one thing to another.

Have you had formal art training?

I've had no formal art training aside from art history classes in college. I've always had a passion for history and art history in particular. All of my early studies in drawing or painting were brought to me by my mother. She was a painter along the lines of the French Modernist.

When did you become interested in mixed media techniques? What about it appealed to you, and how is Renee, the mixed media and collage artist different from the painter of oils and watercolor?

I've worked in mixed media and collage since the late 60's. My interest in mixed media and collage has come and gone, but I have begun to create more in this area in the last few years. As the economy worsened and my gallery work diminished, I had more time to explore and create. Oil painting is a very disciplined medium, although I am very expressive with color and brushwork. But oils do require adherence to certain techniques and rules. In mixed media and collage there's more leeway and if it doesn't work... well, it was a learning process and fun along the way. I'm not a water colorist by any means. I only dabble and play with watercolors. It will be years before I master this medium. That's part of the attraction: the learning process.

Do you have specific pieces in oil and mixed media or collage that you feel showcase and embrace your ideals as a person and as an artist? How do the pieces differ, or do they? Is there a recurrent theme underlying all of your work regardless of the medium?

In oils I would say the opening painting on my website home page titled "Tropique" personifies my fauvist/expressionist work:



"Tropique"


Another oil painting:



"Valensole Fauve Lavender Landscape"



And a good example of my mixed media work:




"Shadow Archetype"


As you can see, they are as different as can be; very different styles and subject matters. I love color, form, and brushwork in my painting. In my mixed media I find an outlet of expression for things of a darker nature, often exploring themes of loss, nostalgia, ancestors, dreams, and even abuse. These all seem to need expression, even if part of me wants to quiet their voices. I've often "tried" to create work with a positive, affirmative theme as others do, but I can't. It just doesn't flow naturally.

You’ve mentioned the disparity between the need to create what the market wants versus creating what the artist wants; something every artist faces. How does this affect your artistic endeavors?

Admittedly it does stifle my creative expression when one has to create "for market", but then Céézanne painted store front windows to feed his family. He wasn't above this type of work to meet his family’s needs. Neither am I. I always found issue with Gauguin because he abandoned his family in order to pursue his artistic freedom. I love his work, but it's tempered by a disrespect for the man himself. Céézanne I can identify with.

What does a typical "art day" look like from the outside? Where do you create? What, if any, music would we hear in the background.

I have a studio just across my back yard. There are three little rooms: one for painting, another for stretching and priming canvases, and the last one is for shipping and packaging. A typical day? No, all my days are atypical unless I'm working on a commission, then I must be more structured. I often paint all night. This is my most creative time. Mornings are usually devoted to packing and shipping , paperwork, and working on the computer. The music I most often paint to would be Joni Mitchell and lately her "Night Ride Home" album. It speaks a lot about lost youth, regrets, mistakes made. It’s rather haunting. Joni has been my muse since the 60s. We share a birthday and have grown old together. I love her line, "I'm a lonely painter. I live in a box of paints." I’ve spent a lot of years painting with Joni.

Do you have an "outside job"? What advice would you share with other artists also caught in our difficult economic situation?

I am a retired registered nurse and I primarily worked in the psychiatric area for most of my career. In these economically challenging times I would advise artists to have a range of art works in different sizes and prices. When I was primarily doing gallery work this was strongly discouraged, but all things change. Now that I am promoting myself I find it is more economically feasible to have a variety of styles, sizes and prices. Not everyone can afford an expensive oil painting. The market is there, but the sales aren't as steady as they once were. Now one must diversify to survive.

What are your long term goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?

That’s a difficult question. My long term goal is to finally be able to express artistically that unknown thing that rests on the edge of consciousness; that nuance of things unseen, felt, half-remembered. I haven't captured it yet but seem to just skirt around the edges. Where do I see myself in 5 or 10 years? Still creating art, I hope. I've had a lot of issues with my eyesight over this past year due to diabetes, so I 'm hoping I will still be able to create art.

Tell us something we don’t know about Renee. Do you sing in the shower or avoid cracks in pavement or hate brussel sprouts?

I have a superstition that I simply can't shake that was passed along to me by my paternal grandmother: I won't tell a dream before breakfast or allow my family to either as it may come true. Ridiculous, I know, but ingrained and I can't seem to overcome it.

Thank you so much for your time, Renee. I’ve really enjoyed this more personal glimpse of someone I’ve come to respect as both an artist and a friend, and I'm sure our readers have, too.

To view more of Renee’s work, please visit her Etsy shops: FauveStudio for her original paintings and custom work, and FauveBohemian for collage and mixed media pieces. You can also find Renee at her website.

And thank you to all who stopped by and took the time for this little visit. I’d love to hear your feedback and even suggestions for upcoming profiles. Remember, this will be an ongoing monthly event. Our next Artist Profile is scheduled for Monday, December 7th. Please stop by and visit again.

Happy Creating!
Bren