Sorry to my readers

Hello all,

I am sorry if you have been looking for web post over the past two years. I lost my husband to cancer and I just have not found the interest or time to get back to this blog or my website. That is not to say I have not been making art…

I hope to get back to work on my site and this blog very soon…

Thank you all!

Everyone Should Sketch

Really like I should be telling anyone to sketch! It is something I so admire in others. The ability to draw… well I can draw I just don’t have the motivation to draw, like many things in my life, loose weight, clean, do yard work… you get the idea.

I do a lot of reading on art and creativity. I have never been much of a story book reader, I want to learn something when I read. I have so many interest. So many things I want to learn. Finding “My Style” was one of them. In that search I discovered Danny Gregory. He has many wonderful books. I have read two, The Illustrated Life and and An Illustrated Journey. I have been to his blog and just love his drawing style. Well, I like I said, I like to read and learn. At age 40 I went back to college and got a degree in Interior Design.  As part of the curriculum I had to take a drawing class. OK I had classes in high school but with age can the ability to draw. I wasn’t too bad and now 10 years later I wanted to take more drawing classes. I looked at local colleges and they offered nothing that would work with my schedule. During one of my searches I stumbled upon The Sketchbook Skool.  http://www.sketchbookskool.com/ , a six week on-line sketchbook class. And one of the founders was Danny Gregory. I was really interested and I found out one of the teachers was the wonderful art quilter Jane LaFazio. I was hooked.

I have been in the class for two weeks now and it is wonderful. I am not good about doing my homework because drawing takes time, real time. If you want to lean to sketch and get over all the little daemons in you head that say you can’t, I suggest looking into Danny and the Sketchbook Skool.

Here is my work thus far. IMG_1937 IMG_1939 IMG_1935 IMG_1934

Link

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Things have been so busy. I am sorry I did not post last week. But I had to let you know I got a call last Wednesday that I had won the 2014 Modern Quilts Unlimited Fresh Ideas Block Challenge. 1st place!!! I/my block will be featured in the Spring 2015 issue. I won a Sizzix cutter and a selection of dies. I can’t show you the block as of yet. I put the block in the mail yesterday to be photographed and posted on their web-site. When it goes up on the web-site I will post a link here, so come back and see.

Wont to know more about Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine. http://modernquilts.mqumag.com/

Till next time, keep those creative juices flowing.

Why Have A Blog

This should have been the first post I guess. My old blog (www.michaelpaulspassion@blogspot.com) was a way to keep up with my life, my art, my interior design… As the interior design business was folding, because I was trying to start a business during a downward turning economy, I needed an outlet (and something to do with all my free time). I have always made things; quilts, furniture, floral design, photography (with real film), crafts… And I have been quilting about 20 or so years. Over those years I have discovered art quilting., the best of both worlds, art for those of us who want something more then a warm blanket. As I have grown and strived to be more of a artist I have read many books about making art, then I started reading more about being creative, being an artist… My reading led me to Austin Kleon’s book “Steal Like An Artist“, wonderful book I suggest anyone reading this blog should read it, and then like myself, you need to read his “Show Your Work” where he talks about many things, many of which i wrote down and these two books are the reasons for www.michaelpcunningham.com and this blog. Hear are a few of the wonderful quotes from his book.

Armatures succeed and fail, come with me and learn form my successes and failures.

Think about what you want to learn and learn it in front of others. (Reason 1 for this blog)

Share what you love and others who love it will find you. (Reason 2, it has not happened yet but)

You can’t find you voice it you don’t speak. (He said “use it” but I like speak better)

Take people behind the scenes. (Reason 3)

Think process not produce. (I think what he was saying is it is all about the learning, the art will come.)

Attribution is all about providing context for what you’re sharing: what the work is, who made it, how they made it, why people should care about it, where people can see some more like it. Attribution is about putting little museum labels next to the stuff you share. AK (I need to keep this in mind while writing.)

I could go on but then his book would be my blog. The book is just that good!

I highly suggest you pick them up, they are little books, a short, quick reads but oh so informative!

Till next week, keep your creative juices flowing!

Printing Table

As I have progressed and read more and more about different artist and the different ways they do their printing I have made their printing tables, printing blocks, etc. I started with Kerr Grabowski’s portable printing block made of foam insulation board, carpet pad and plastic. It was ok for the first printing surface. I then read Lynn Krawczyk’s book “Intentional Printing” and she had the ideas of using felt and painters canvas. Ok I liked this idea better. So as I was making hers I took apart my old Grabowski boards and put the two ideas together. It layers up for the wood to carpet pad then two layers of felt them the painters canvas on top. I made two originally, one out of a piece of 1″ x 12″ pine and one out of 2′ x 4′ plywood. I added drawer pulls to each so they would be easy to carry around. Both worked wonderfully! I just finished reading Color Blocking with Thickened Dyes in this months Quilting Arts magazine and I knew I wanted yet a bigger printing station. I am fortunate enough to have the run of the garage for all the messy surface design work and I have these three large 3′ x 9′ doors up on saw horses in the shape of a U. One leg I never use so it is now my new printing station. See all the pictures below.

From bottom to top: Carpet pad Felt Felt Canvas

From bottom to top: Carpet pad, Felt, Felt, Canvas.

New printing surface... Now to get out there and print.

New printing surface… Now to get out there and print.

AND you must read Lynn's book. She is wonderful! The book is wonderful. She is going to have a booth at the International Quilt Festival and I can't wait to meet her.

AND you must read Lynn’s book. She is wonderful! The book is wonderful! She is going to have a booth at the International Quilt Festival and I can’t wait to meet her.

Till Next Week!

Link

I’m a Quilting Instructor!

As we age we start to think about how we want to spend our “golden years”. And like many of you I have not saved well for my retirement. So it will be a cheap house in a remote part of the country and I am going to have to work, at least part time to live. My remote part of the country is in the mountains of extreme western North Carolina in the little town of Murphy. Because about 15 miles away in Brasstown NC is the John C.. Campbell School of Folk Arts. Where I want to teach but to do so I need to get my street creds.

SO back to my new adventure, I will be teaching a beginning class on quilt making at Houston Makers Space. http://houstonmakerspace.com/ I am really excited. Today I am making the sample quilt (Churn Dash block) and it is SO hard to decide what color to make it. So we are going modern, solid colored fabrics on a black background. I do have a quilt to show in a more traditional color way, although larger than what we will be making in class (45″ x 60″).

HMS (Houston Makerspace) is the beginning of the Makers Movement into Houston. In short I would have to say the Makers Movement is people who have an urge to create, to fend for themselves. The DIYer on steroids if you will. Want to read more about the makers movement…  http://time.com/104210/maker-faire-maker-movement/  Or you can Google “Makers Movement”

I hope this is the beginning to a long relationship with Houston Makerspace as I have about 11 different classes I want to teach with them. So wish me luck!

Why Enter Challenges

After entering my first challenge I was sure I was going to be one of the winners. It was a way out in left field challenge. I was thinking I have never heard of this company, my work is good, I am sure I will be one of the winners! WRONG! I did not even place and it was a little confusing if I have even placed or what was to become of my entry. Well after the company got there act together and sent out the email, a week late, it was true I did not win but I was at least going to tour with the exhibit and that was good enough for me for my first challenge. Do I have your curiosity up as to what challenge it was? Well before I reveal it, let me tell you why I am entering my second challenge.

Challenges do just that, they challenge us. The challenge use to think, to grow and to learn. I leaned many things on my first challenge. Deadlines and following instructions. I have attempted to enter other challenges but I could not meet the deadline. The first two I tried to entry I missed the date and once again I felt I had a real chance to win or at least be published. Those two were readers’ challenges for Quilting Arts magazine. Someday I will post those here and you can see. But I digress, challenges open our eyes to how others think about the challenge. I saw many wonderful ideas and different interpretation. I also learned that the one big unknown is what is the judge looking for?  What is their background? What do they think makes a well designed and well executed quilt?

Ok new the big reveal… Cherrywood Fabrics’ Wicked Challenge. http://cherrywoodfabrics.bigcartel.com/wicked-challenge

Please follow the link above to see all the details and all the wonderful entries. The main reason I entered this challenge was cause I am a HUGH fan of the play WICKED! I have seen it twice, loved it both times, know all the song, it is on my Zune (Yes a Zune) and I want to burst out singing every time one of the song shuffles in. So as a fan the biggest thing I am excited about is that my quilt will be on display at The George Gershwin Theatre in NYC. The home of wicked now in it’s 11 season.

What you cannot see is the swirl quilting a the bottom of the quilt where at the center of each swirl you have the crystals. Below what you will see is my sketch of the design. It was the first idea I had and I just ran with it.

Sketch of my Wicked quilt.

Come back next Saturday for my next post. I hereby pledge to post every Saturday!

 

UPDATE!!!! Big News. I got an email from Cherrywood fabrics this week and I am going to be published! There is plans to take all the quilts from the challenge and produce a coffee table book! I am so excited  So this story still does not have an ending and I will keep you updated as I know things.

This is a Test

IMG_1664 - Copy                                         Anyone remember this” This is a test, this is only a test of the emergency broadcast system. The broadcasters in your area in cooperation with FCC and other authorities have developed this system to keep you in formed in the case of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency you would have been instructed where to tune in for news and official information. This concludes this test of the emergency broadcast system.