There Are Angels

There Are Angels
Colored Pencil Drawing

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Quilt Tops

These are the newest quilt tops I've recently finished. The smaller one is from an issue of American Quilter magazine. I decided to only make 2 quilts a year since the finished quilts are piling up around the house, I don't need to add to the pile so much.

In other matters, I adopted a family if cats, 2 kittens, about 8 weeks old & their mom. I wanted a black cat since my black Persian died last year. Things just seemed off without a black cat in the house ( I have a white one), all I could find at the time was the kitten, I didn't want to break up the family so the local shelter made me a deal on all threesome I took them. I already have 4 other cats, all elderly, so with a total of 7 & kittens to boot & 2 dogs, my house is a zoo of sorts. It's fun but crazy. I chose it so I must deal with it. The kittens will grow, at least I can train them to be proper house cars & the mama cat is very laid back. It'll all be fine,and the balance is restored.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Tarot Project

Below are two new paintings. They are the first two of 22 of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. For some reason it came to me that I should paint my version of the Tarot deck. There are many versions of this oracle, so I thought I'd throw my version I to the mix. Each image is in itself a piece of art, check out the different decks available to see the art of each card. So, why not do my own paintings that depict the qualities if each card. There are 22 of the Major Arcana and 56 of the minor arcana, all four suits, making a total of 78 cards. Obviously this is going to take a while ( to paint all 78 images). So follow along, if you wish, to watch the progress of this project. I very seriously doubt that it will available as an actual tarot deck ( I could be wrong, hope so) I'd be happy to have a solo show of the project. These paintings & those that follow are in acrylic and are about 11" x 14" in size, they will be either on canvas or on watercolor paper / board.
Stay tuned, there will be more, And let me know what you think. I enjoy the feedback in the comments, it helps me grow as an artist to know what you think of my work.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Updates- painting.

I've been venturing into territory I did long ago to find I'm really rusty at the techniques. It's painting in acrylics. Here are a few of the most recent painting, on canvas or board. The last one is done in. Golden brand high flow acrylics on silk. I tried them to compare it to silk paint only to find the two are not alike at all. On silk it's best to stick with silk paints.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Silk paints on Watercolor Paper???

I got curious about painting on watercolor paper with the paints I use on silk. Keep in mind, I said paints, not dyes. Silk paint is basically very thin acrylic paint, so I figured " why not?" This is the result, a 24" x 36" " watercolor" using silk paints instead of traditional watercolors. The silk paints have two advantages, they are already mixed, are liquid & they come in quantities to allow for coverage of large areas of a particular color with even coverage. They are also transparent, water clean up & are diluted with water, the silk paints are, in effect, plain watercolors. Artists use acrylics like watercolors all the time. At least you don't have to mix the tube colors with water & hope you have enought to paint a consistent color over a large area. These paints solve that problem. Anyway, here's the painting.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In the Garden

Here's the fourth in the fantasy series on silk.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Seeing Tree

Third in the fantasy series, on silk, about 18 x 24, if you'll. to ice the tree has eyes to see with. The second photo is a detail shot.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Another silk painting

Here's another painting on silk, which fast becoming my favorite painting surface. It's about 18" x 24", and is the second in a series of fantasy themed paintings I have planned. Because it's painted on silk, I use special paints made especially for silk. They're very watery in consistency & slow like watercolors. There will be more fantasy paintings. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Branching out into sales

Just a short note to announce I've signed on with, a website to sell my artwork & get it out there. Just type in my name under the artist search to see what's offered. Remember, the images are of my original art.

Hooked on Silks

Here are two more paintings done on silk. I used habatoi or china silk, which is really a smooth painting surface. I used silk paints, very thin consistency. These paints are made specifically for silk painting, can be heat set & flow very easily, spreading onto the porous silk. I used silk artist, Karen Sistek, method so spraying the silk with magic sizing spray prior to painting, it acts as an overall resist to regard the bleeding of the paints onto the silk, which is one reason silk is seen as a difficult medium to paint on. The sizing makes it possible to use traditional watercolor methods for painting, using color glazes, masking and such. Anyway, here are the two most recent paintings on silk.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Two Cats Silk Painting

It's finished. Measures about 16" x 20", on silk.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Progress . . .

Quick update on the new silk painting. I plan to spray the cats with a sizing that allows one to paint in greater detail ( so the colors don't run as much). I have to let this part dry, then I'll place a sticky backed stencil of the cats on the painting, spray it, remove the stencil & hopefully nothing else on the painting, then paint the cats. The next pic I post will be the finished painting.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New Silk Painting in Progress

The first pic is the sketch, the second is the 18 x24 silk with resist applied. The resist keeps the colors separated one the silk, otherwise the colors would bleed into each other, making a mess.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Copyright update

Just a quick update on the copyright issue & the stolen image. Seems the person hit the wrong button & uploaded my image instead of another of whom she did have permission to use. I'm technology challenged myself so I can understand that. She apologized profusely & promptly took my image down, that's all I can ask for. Accidents happen, we all know, at least this time, it was an easy fix & an honest mistake. By the way, the copyright notice in the previous post still applies. If anyone wishes to use any images from this blog or any other I create, just ask. Moving on . . .

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Copyright Info

Please note, ALL of the images on this blog are copy written by me, Cathy Sparks, PhD,the artist who produced them. They may not be used without written permission in any way, manner or form,electronic, print or otherwise.
I just discovered someone stole an image from this blog, claiming it as their own. It made me mad that someone would stoop so low as to do this. I have written the person about it, as well as demanded they remove it from their site. All I can do is put this I writing here & hope it doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Simple Scarf

There's not much to tell here. This 30" square silk scarf is painted with silk paints. Why the border turned out blue in the photo, I don't know. It's actually purple.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wheel of the Year Silk is Done!

It's finally finished!! This is the second painting of the this piece! the first was ruined when the colors ran during steaming. This one is done in paints, Dynaflow & Setasilk, to prevent that. I just have to heat set the colors with an iron instead of steaming it.
The original drawing, by the author of a book of the same name, is primitive in nature, hence the simplistic faces & such. There are a couple of detail shots as well here.
There will be more silk paintings, I'm sure, but this is the last one of this particular design, I won't paint it again. I wanted to do this painting for a long time, now that it's done, it's time to move on.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The finished wheel of the Year Silk

Here it is, the finished silk called the Wheel of the Year, details in it, ready to steam. I thought I'd take a photo of it before I steamed the colors to set them just in case it runs & ruins the piece. The original drawing is a simple one so the details, likes the faces, are very rustic & not refined at all. The whole thing took over 2 weeks & much aggrivation, before it was completed. I'll probably mount it on canvas or something similar instead of making it into a scarf. Just let me know what you think. If the steamed piece looks as good as this, I'll post photos of it as well.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wheel of the Year Painting Progress

Here's the painting as of Saturday, March 29. I still have lots of details to paint in plus the middle ring and the outer edges & corners. It's still going to take a while to finish. The next post will be the finished piece. In the astrology signs, I used colors that are assigned to each sign. I just hope I haven't wasted the past 2 weeks work, once it's finished & steamed, which is the scary part, the steaming of the dyes to set them. You never know how the finished product will look. Stay tuned. . .

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Today's painting progress

This is the current progress of the Wheel of the Year silk piece. I'll probably do most of the details in dye based markers like Sharpies. Stay tuned for more updates & further progress.

Painting water with light reflection in it. Technique

I learned a new technique, one that silk artist Daniel Jean-Baptiste uses a lot. That is how to paint water with light reflecting in it. The technique is really simple. It's a wet in wet technique, but any shapes in the painting like the fish, need to be outlined first with some type of resist so the paints/dyes don't flow into areas where they don't belong. Wet the entire area with plain water, using a regular brush " dot" areas of color on the wet surface, then let them alone and just let them bleed as they will. This produces lighter areas of color that bleed from the original color dot. Some areas around the area will remain white, giving the illusion of light reflecting in the water. Water and light have always been some of the toughest effects to produce, this technique makes it easy. Daniel Jean-Baptiste has many wonderful videos on YouTube showing this effect. And he also has a website. This method is used on silk habotai but it might work on other grounds like watercolor paper or canvas, you would have to feather out the edges to blend instead of leaving a hard edge. This is one of the beauties of silk painting, it bleeds so the edges feather & blend on their own due to the nature of the silk.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Progress on the silk Piece

Still working on the Wheel of the Year silk. It's like to painting watercolors on rice paper, which is very absorbent & colors run when the papers wet. So I have to paint a little, let it dry before I paint a little more, repeat. This is going to take a while.
My husband found these neat little capped bottles that are attached in a holder where he works, someone wanted to get rid of them, so he brought them to me, I put small amounts of silk dyes in them with an eye dropper so I don't contaminate the original bottles of dye. I also mix custom colors, like flesh or leaf green in them too. Anyway, the first photo shows this set up, works perfect. Perhaps something similar can be found at a craft store.
The second photo shows the actual silk piece in progress. I needed to re draw some of the elements ( I messed up putting the resist on it originally & had to rinse it out, so parts of the pencil drawing got washed away too) so I went looking for the enlargement of the original sketch only to find I accidentally hid it from myself so I had to get another one made. Anyway, I have a the middle & two sections painted. I turn the piece as needed so the parts I'm working on are always at the top of the design. The whole thing is a big circle, so turning it only makes sense. Because the design is folk art in nature there are not too much detail in the faces & such.
I'll post more as I get more done. Stay tuned. . . . .

Monday, March 24, 2014

WIP on silk

Here's a project I, working on on a large square of silk. I'm taking my time to do it right. Stay tuned for more progress as it goes. As you can see, I have a long way to go. I had the first pic enlarged, traced the enlargement onto the silk to paint. There will be More as the painting comes along.

Friday, March 21, 2014

More new work, silk scarves

Two silk scarves, dyes on silk, done in the microwave. See, it's good for more than a quick meal. :)

Work in progress

This piece is in marker on muslin, so far, it has about 20 hours in it but not near done. Eventually I'll finish it.

Exciting News

My silk work has just been added to!cathy-sparks/c21vs website. I'm honored to be in the company of master silk painters & other fine artists who paint on silk. Check it out, see what's possible.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rekindled Interests

In the past week to so I've returned to a style of painting I first fell in love with back in the mid 1980s, silk painting. At first I found the paints but not the silks. Several years later I found both, so I bought some & tried it again for a while. But life got in the way so I set it aside again. In the past couple of weeks I've returned to the technique, and, being inspired by those master silk painters I found online, am determined to become good at it. Anyway, here are my latest attempts at painting on silk. I have enough supplies now to practice in efforts to get good at it so stay tuned, there will be more.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

New marker "Paintings"

My new passion is markers, what can one do with them, how are they made, what dyes, pigments are used in them, what can they be diluted with, if anything, etc. These two projects are done on muslin. They do, once dried & heat set, leave a stiffness to the fabric, similar to that if acrylic paints with textile medium mixed in, but not quite as stiff. I wouldn't use them to cover large areas since they dry out quickly, so store them on the side or with the point side you use down, some come in dual point, brush point with a finer point or a chisel tip on one end.& ,most can be blended or diluted with plain old rubbing alcohol. Use rubbing alcohol to get markers off your fingers too.
Markers can come in all types, I tend to use the higher end like Prismacolor or Copic markers but I also use Tulip brand fabric markers and Sharpie brand as well. These brands are dye based & dilutes with rubbing alcohol. They are supposed to be wash fast but i can't say as to the lightfast of any brands I've tried. Have fun with them, they can do more than you think.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Four Leaf Heart

Here's a piece I did for a online challenge. It's done on paper in markers. The challenge was for St. Patricks day.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Neon Cat complete!

I finished the neon cat quilt top. It has borders of cat themed fabric with cat themed panels on the corners. It's 42"x48" & has yet to be quilted.
Also I sent in my first ever proposal for an article on fabric " painting" to a national quilting magazine. Just have to wait & see if they take me up on it. More on that when I find out.
Stay tuned, see what I come up with next!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Neon Cat, Srage 2

Here's an updated neon cat. It will be a quilted wall hanging when finished. It still needs borders but I have a plan for that already. The main panel is a one of a kind piece done entirely in markers. The markers I used are dye based that can be diluted or blended with simple rubbing alcohol. I'll post the finished piece once it's completely done. But please let me know what you think of it so far.

Monday, February 17, 2014

More marker Art

I'm finding more uses for markers, this mask is done in permanent marker. By the way, most items here are for says if anyone's interested. Just email me for details.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Neon Cat

Here's another cat, done in markers on fabric. The fabric was sealed first with textile medium, allowed to dry, them markers were added, then blended with rubbing alcohol. The markers I used on this one are sharpie brand. Even though I they don't come in quite the range of colors as Copic brand, they are much more affordable. Stay tuned, there will be more. . . .

Friday, February 14, 2014

I am a Psychedelic cat! not a psycho cat

This guy is finally done. He's drawn with sharpie markers and watercolor pencils. I recently discovered how versatile sharpie markers can be.

After some research online I found they can be used in fabric, including silk, they are alcohol, dye based markers that can be diluted with rubbing alcohol, the kind you can get at any store. If they are applied to a regular paper drawing surface the ink will soak into the paper & they won't bleed with the alcohol. However, if they are used on a coated paper, primed canvas or fabrics, especially silks, they can be manipulated with the rubbing alcohol & a cotton swab. Once they dry on any surface they become less blendable. But, once dry they are permanent because they are dye based. Just heat set them with a dry iron. Some alcohol based markers are pricey but I find the sharpies are less expensive & come in a variety of colors & styles. I sound like a commercial for sharpies! that's not intended at all. I guess I'm just a bit excited to find a medium I love at a price I can afford.
Stay tuned to see what comes next . . .

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Falling Back into My Own World

For many years, since before this blog existed, I've been off my path. Its taken its toll too. After having a couple medical events, the most serious & most recent being last week, I decided I need to return to my own path. That path includes art as well as art quilting, as most of you see here. This particular piece is an 11 x 14 drawing done in marker. I plan to make a line drawing from it to serve as a pattern for a future project.
This view is a close up of the drawing.
This is another view of the same drawing.
Enjoy, more to come/