Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Art League School ArtFete 2014 Felted Fashion Show

Ladies and Gentleman! Direct your eyes to a feast of fiber, color, form and movement with this year's Felt Fashion Show from the Art League School's ArtFete in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. See stylish garments created by advanced students from the class "Felting - Expanding the Possibilities" under the direction of beloved teacher Renate Maile-Moskowitz. The dresses and jackets were made with wet felting and nuno-felting techniques, where wool fibers are crafted into cloth and seamless garments. The Art League offers felting classes and workshops for beginning to advanced levels. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Something New for You!

I've started a new project that is near and dear to my heart. It's a break from fiber and jewelry, and represents a kind of "Best of" showcasing my 2D images. You'll find art from oil paintings and digital drawings. Some are recent and some hearken back to all those years ago (i.e. the 90's) when I was active on DeviantArt.com. Why should you see these images? Well, this is a great way to see some of my personal favorites in a format that is more manageable than the rather sizeable originals I was making at the time. Is it just a bunch of prints? NOOOO! You can get the images on a wide variety of fitting items such as home goods, clothing, drinkware, articles for computing and office, stationery, bags, jewelry and even pet items. So, what am I leading up to?
I HAVE A NEW CAFE PRESS SHOP (just in time for holiday shopping - hint, hint).

Please follow that link, because I don't know when I'll show up in Google, and CafePress is not organized in such a way that you can search for my shop name (boo, hiss).

So why are these pieces special to me? These are pieces that have survived the years and have hung in my own home, to the delight of many a visitor. They are the most-viewed items from Etsy and DeviantArt. Come along with me through the following lines and I'll tell you about a few.


This is my favorite painting, after a photograph by an artist name Siskin on DeviantArt. It has a bit of history behind it. I have a little bit of a canal phobia. I used to have a recurring nightmare that I was sinking in a canal, thick with polluted water, and there was some unseen force waiting to get me. Thankfully, after trips to Venice and Amsterdam, I'm pretty much okay with canals now. So, here you have a rather dreamy canal picture, sans monster. This one hangs in my home.

This is a recent one - an image that got into my head one day and just wouldn't leave. I played around with completely-hand drawn and computer assisted versions before deciding on this one. Something about everyone having different paths in life. 

One from my DeviantArt.com days when I was a big fan of the photography of Lexidh Solstad. This is her flower, which I had quite a good time with. I like to say I got "all graphic designy" with this one. I love the vivid colors and combination of organic and geometric forms. It's one I always enjoy seeing again. I must admit, I was overjoyed when I saw it as a duvet cover. This is saying something, because I'm not ususally *that* enthusiastic about my own stuff.

This one is *almost* as good as caffeine for waking up! It was some fun I had using a drawing app on a tablet. It was an almost meditative process drawing this one. I had been inspired by some folk art paintings I had seen of villages, so I put my own spin on it. I am a fan of the reflected elements, because it kind of confuses the whole design and makes it even more fun. This one is supposed to be out-and-out light hearted. I hope it brings a smile.

It's so happy, I could just burst. Another big one that hangs in my own home. I had wanted to paint a Gerber Daisy for years and had never gotten my nerve up. There were many things to consider: color, layout, background, free-form or plotted, open or potted. With this one, I wanted to get away from my comfort zone with color scheme. This is what I came up with and I am happy to see it every morning. Imagine this against a bright green wall. Kaboom! 

So there you have it, a preview of a few of the graphics featured in my CafePress shop. The others stand out as well, so please do give it a gander. I will be adding products for a while still, and hopefully still creating in the near future. Other than that, stay tuned, because I have a really neat nuno-felted garment almost ready to debut! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Felting - Expanding the Possibilities in the Art League School Student/Faculty Show

For the 2014 Art League School Student Faculty Show at the Art League Gallery in the Torpedo Factory of Alexandria, Virginia, the felters of the class "Felting - Expanding the Possibilities," put their heads and hands together for an impressive group effort. Under the guidance of teacher Renate Maile-Moskowitz, a color scheme was determined, and the class's participants (felters with varying degrees of experience) aimed to design an exhibit with a clothed mannequin as the centerpiece. The group's efforts included a wet-felted hat, nuno-felted vest, wet-felted wrap belt and wet-felted peplum belt, along with wet-felted jewelry. Further work was shown in two felt sculptures, a purse, a scissor holder and a wet-felted rug. My personal contribution was one of the wet-felted sculptures, which featured wet felting techniques including nuno-felting, pleating and sculptural design. Pictures of the items (and more body copy) are shown below.

Hat (Merino Wool, Dyed Silk, Feathers), by Margaret Cerutti; Earrings by Dominique Cooper; Vest to Dye For by Ioana Razi (Nuno-felted Devore Silk); Peplum Belt with Ruffle (Merino Wool) by Laura Linton ; Elongated Bead Bracelet by Marion Bruno

Cut-out Lace Scarf (Merino Wool) by Dominique Cooper; Necklace Choker by Dominique Cooper; Scissor Holder with Pin Cushion (Merino and Kap Wool) by Renate Maile-Moskowitz

Scissor Holder (Merino and Kap Wool), Stretch Bracelet (Merino and Kap Wool) and Evening Bag (Nuno-Felt on Silk Organza and Ribbon) by Renate Maile-Moskowitz

Dreamscape Rug by Dominique Cooper

Bee Sculpture by Lisa Walsh

Blood Moon Omen Sculpture - by the Author, Susan Hicks

About the Blood Moon Omen sculpture. I knew I wanted to make a wet felted sculpture that would include new techniques with which to challenge myself. I also knew that I wanted to make something on a fairly large scale, but limited to what I could fit into my kitchen work area (i.e. one table's worth). At the time people were talking about the Blood Moon, which happened in January. A Blood Moon is the second new moon within a calendar month, and is said to be an omen and harbinger of change. This seemed appropriate, as I was going through a bit of a personal crisis. I meditated on the problem and tried to visualize what the problem would look like. A big, toothy, awful beast came to mind. Not being one to want to dwell on misery, I decided to twist the topic and make the visualization something fun and playful. The form became big and red, with teeth sticking out from all angles. 

Enough visualization. Then I had to plan something at least somewhat practical to make. The new techniques in this piece involved making the "teeth" stand out in a perpendicular angle from the body of the sculpture. I also broke new ground in the nuno-felt "pebble" technique which created some of the texture on the sculpture's body. The "ripped" pleats were nothing new, but added dimension and a break from the overall color scheme. The original sculpture took up a whole felting table and in the end shrunk to about 3' tall. I played with positive and negative space. Stuffing was another new thing. I had to pick two strategic locations to open the sculpture through which I would insert the poly-fill stuffing. I had no idea how much stuffing would be necessary, so I see a few more sculptures in my future. 

Blood Moon Omen (in progress)