In The Rear-view Mirror

My husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to self-isolate for much of 2020, so we’ve remained untouched by the Corona virus. Self-isolation gave me lots of time to devote to my art, and I think I made good use of the time to explore different media. After all, I have been saving collage making material for many years. It became if not now, then when? I know many artists found themselves too distracted for sustained creative work, but art became my escape hatch from grim reality.

I was also fortunate to have a friend who was eager to try out some online classes and videos with me, and we shared our efforts with each other thanks to technology, as well as art supplies through porch drop offs. You can read about our different takes on a Jane Davies class here.

Of course I continued to make art quilts, and you can check out that work on the “My Quilts 2019 On” page of this blog. A few were major projects, but many were experiments in using scraps.

I’m not one to choose a word of the year, but my word for 2020 would have been adapt. I tried to play the hand I was dealt. Thank goodness for Jane Davies, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, and YouTube. With the help of these online guides I took up collage, acrylic painting, and monoprinting. I tried to combine all three in mixed media work.

I learned with “Fiddleheads” not to use canvas as my backing fabric as it is so hard to hand sew through. The matte medium on top of the paper didn’t help either. I had planned more handwork, but scrapped that notion in favor of markers. The work combines woven and non-woven fabrics, magazine pages, and mulberry papers.

“Fiddleheads”

“Take A Seat” started with chairs stenciled on fabric scraps. Then I stenciled on monoprints, and combined all the stenciled bits with fabric shaped like the profile of a chair.

“Take A Seat”

“Covid” was my attempt to use found and made paper images in a collage. I had saved photos of sunglasses ads for years. Those glamorous models got masked and covered up with the reality of the pandemic.

“Covid”

“Shadow” was an early collage made up of magazine images with a bit of marker line added. Thank goodness for my years of NYT Magazine page collecting.

“Shadow”

My untitled felt piece, backed with canvas, came about after a friend gave me her felted wool scraps. They were already backed with fusing. There’s a woven paper strip background in there, as well as shiny patterned dress fabric scraps.

felt, paper, and foiled fabric

A monoprint exchange with a friend led to a tribute to autumn. Felted wool, organza, and paper were given a boost with markers and embroidery.

“With A Little Help From My Friends”

I hope to continue mixed media explorations in 2021 and improve my integration of paper and fabric. I made lots of work I’m not including here as it shows what went wrong. Practice leads to better work, but you don’t want to wade through the beginner pieces unless you’re a masochist or closely related to me.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.

9 Comments

Filed under Completed Projects, Techniques

9 responses to “In The Rear-view Mirror

  1. Thanks for the Inspiration and encouragement for 2021.

  2. Judith Campbell

    You continue to amaze me, Dear Friend!

  3. Barbara Haugen

    Joanna,
    You are always an inspiration – thanks so much!

  4. Katie Krieger

    Joanna
    You do such beautiful work
    Glad to hear all is well
    I am staying safe and I have finished a few old projects
    Can’t wait for spring and sunshine
    Kathy

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. You sure did make good use of your time and scraps as well as the gifted bits and pieces. Take a Seat is still one of my favorite pieces and Covid strikes a nerve. I’m curious – When you fused the felted pieces, did you press from the front side?
    It is fun to see your 2020 quilt show. No matter the media your great eye for composition shows through.

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