Monday, January 16, 2017

Image/in/Knits 2017

As many of you know, art is kinda my thing and this past weekend I was honored with ability to exhibit my work in a new gallery space in San Antonio.  Mantle Art Space opened its doors in November and, after applying to an open call, I was given an exhibition for the month of January.

Having begun to explore the idea of bringing my paintings off the wall, this past September I did a mural and installation project for a local space in Bryan.  After doing it once, I wanted to continue exploring and do it again.


Driving down on Friday, I spent four+ hours painting a full wall mural in the space.  While my last one - see here - included more of a solid ground with cliffs and trees, I knew that I wanted this one to be more open and airy.  I decided to continue the floating forms and played with brush strokes to create a water-field. 


With my last project I had balls hanging from the ceiling, but I don't believe that I fully achieved an immersive space.   Taking the mural off the wall and into the gallery floor is an important factor for me but after spending the last few weeks playing with liquid resins and glues to create transparent "Water" puddles, I gave up (for now).  I couldn't just set balls on the ground again though, that wouldn't work for this, so I decided to create puddle shapes out of illustration board and paint strokes similar to those on my mural.  By doing this I am bringing the loose, illustration like world within the wall into the gallery space.

For this show and space I believe it works, but moving forward I definitely want to play with resins and transparencies even more.  Silicone? Plaster? Molding? Fabric? Who knows but I am sure that an answer will present it self soon.


Until that day, I will spend the rest of my month basking in the glow of a show well done and brainstorming more imaginary worlds for my knits to inhabit.

~Lisa 



Monday, January 9, 2017

In a Flash

This past month seems to have been a blur for me.  Here it is, January 9th already, and yet it seems like we just had Thanksgiving.  Am I the only one thinking this right now?

Maybe it's because of my two trips home for the holidays, barely a month apart.  Driving 12+ hours one way is no fun trip, and for some crazy reason I decided to do it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.  Yes I am insane.

But if anything came from having the holidays, it was some much needed knitting and relaxation time.  Being able to see my family and friends and not stress out about work or life or art was really helpful.  And having some extra time to get some knitting done didn't hurt either, especially over Christmas.


My first holiday finished object was this beautiful bag for my secret santa in our local knitting guild. She really likes the color red, so I knitted her a Sock Baggie with some fluffy red wool.  The bag itself got loaded with lots of goodies.

The next item on my list was this beanie for a friend, Jordan, who just went abroad to the UK.  She commented that she wanted more beanies before she left and this seemed appropriate.  I even managed to find the time to publish the design on Ravelry (it's FREE!)

Third was my secret santa at work - one of our science teachers.  He said he liked tea, so I knitted him this cozy - Tea-N-A - and gave him some tea and goodies to go with it. Safe to say he loved the gifts!

Knitted while I was home over the Christmas, this cloud cowl is a design from my local yarn shop using a single skein of Bamboo Bloom to create a light and airy piece.  I made this for my boss at my second job because she tends to wear simple yet artsy things.  Despite the simple design, she was very impressed.

My last project at home was this messy bun hat for another one of my co-workers who usually has her hair up.  While I don't personally see the point of this craze, it seemed fitting.  And the trend continued when she loved it.

It's always such a thrill to knit for others, especially this time of the year! The happiness and joy that a handmade item can bring is something I truly cherish.  Did you make any gifts this year?

---

One last thing in terms of the title for this post.  While I was home over the Christmas holiday my younger sister cued me into a tv show - The Flash - based off of the DC comics.  While I have always been a Marvel fan, this show quickly became an addiction.  So much that I was able to whip out a whole project during my week and a half binging spree.


The rainbow yarn is a gift from my brother's fiance - she got bored one day and decided to try dying - and the white is from my stash.  I decided to do a diagonal slip-stitch stripe design, and the result is a nice heavy wool cowl.  I playfully am calling this "Unicorn Farts" simply because of the color.  Like I mentioned above, I started this right around episode 10 of Season 1 and finished it during the last half of season 2. What can I say, it's a good show.

 Thank you to all the people who may see this and take the time to read and review.  Starting next week I'll have more professional photos - I finally found the memory card for my good camera - as well as an update on my art show that opens Saturday.

Love Always <3 br="">~Lisa

(because I couldn't find any good flash themed Cat memes)


Monday, January 2, 2017

2017: [Another] New Start

I said this last year when I switched the layout and name of my blog to The Knitting Artist, but I want to start fresh. Blogging has always been an important way for me to share my feelings and ideas about art, knitting and life. It's just that there have been so many other means to do so lately that somehow the blog got pushed aside.

Hopefully this is no more, as I am going to try and update weekly with my thoughts and ideas, sharing with you what is on my needles and on my easel.

I wanted to start with a look back at the year that was.

Knitting:

This year I logged 20 FO's on Ravelry, and I am sure that I completed at least 5 or more that were not logged (yet).  Oddly enough, most of them were fast, 'instant gratification' projects, started and completed after I started my two new jobs.  That is also around the same time that I stopped painting for a bit. I definitely see a connection.





















In case you're wandering, a few of my favorites were the "Purple Mountains Socks" and the "Texas Sea Glass".

Art:

I cannot believe I did not share on here the biggest thing to happen this year: My first actual gallery solo show!  Taking place at a space in Downtown Bryan, TX, "Lollipops & Gumdrops" featured a whole new body of work along with a mural and installation.  The whole thing went by without a hitch and gathered much praise.

















The gallery space was a very long space, thus getting a full on photo was really hard. I was able to pull off this mural in approx 8 hours over two evenings. I am very pleased with it and have sense booked a second show with the same idea for this coming month.
























Above are all of the paintings featured in the show, so maybe that explains the title?  If you are curious to see more, check out my artist website, which was recently completely revamped!


Life:

Many other things are happening in my life right now, including the completion of my first semester teaching High School Art at our local Catholic school. It's been whirlwind, but in a good way. I think I have found my path for awhile.  Not saying that art making won't still be happening.

At the same time as my show last September I also self-published a book with most of my paintings paired with their poems. I am really proud that I was able to pull it off and have received a lot of good feedback.  Interested in a copy? Stitch Stories on Amazon





















I also have a new show opening in less than two weeks, at a new space in San Antonio - Mantle Art Space. If you are in the area, you should come by on Saturday, Jan 14th from 7-10. I always love meeting fellow knitters.

I have four different WIPS right now, two of which are pretty much on hiatus due to lazy-ness. The other two I have been bouncing back and forth between. I'm sure I am not the only one to do that.  Factor in the rarely worked on wrap for my mom and my laceweight sweater and that's technically six WIPS. Wow oh wow.

As always, I will leave you with a nice little LOLcat :)

~Lisa






Monday, August 15, 2016

Insert Title Here About My Crazy, Stressful Life

Sigh. Welp, another month has gone by and another blog has sat un-updated. 

I guess that's life. I do love blogging, but the amount of work that goes into formatting photos, coming up with comments and just posting can sometime deter my interest.  Add the fact that I have TWO NEW JOBS and well, you get the point.

But seriously guys, I have Two New Jobs! I feel like my life as an artist is finally going places.  

Job 1) Teaching Middle and High School Art at my Local Catholic School.  Getting this job was a huge step for me, because up until now I've only taught after school.  Being in charge of an actual classroom, with actual students and attendance and grades is a crazy new world. I've had two weeks of inservice and classes started today and so far so good.
Job 2) Because the teaching is part time (only 3 sessions) I still can't fully afford to not have a second job. I had planned to stay nights at the cafe, but then an opportunity came up and, as an artist, I couldn't say no. I am now working 3 nights and Saturdays at the local frame shop in downtown. Framing art and meeting people.  This is actually a huge deal for me, because my life goal is to own my own business/gallery/yarn shop someday. 

Whew ok now that that is off my chest, let me do some brief fill-ins on fiber-world!

First up is Texas Sea Glass, my gorgeous lace summer cowl. It took longer than I would have liked, but that was because of Tour de Fleece, so it's all good.  I also have over half a skein of the Anzula Yarn left, hmmm what shall I make?


Talking about Tour de Fleece, I managed to get two skeins done.  The first one I'm sharing I actually didn't finish until after the tour, but that's because life got busy then and I was trying to go really thin.  While I ended up with consistency issues in thinness, I did create a gorgeous Navajo Plied yarn.  I need to practice that as well though, it got really springy. 


The second TdF skein is one I had started before the tour and was too lazy to work on. One ply dyed Alpaca with 1 ply of a dark plum merino.  On the Merio I also held some sparkle at various points to give it a nice pop.  I really like this yarn and whatever she becomes will be gorgeous.


I have an art opening in under a month and a million things to do for it. I stopped painting about a month ago so that I could focus on teacher in-service and preparing for my show. The first one has happened, the second, not so much.

Here's the last large painting I have done. It's one of my favorites :) 

Rusted Morning Shore - color is a bit off here. 


The above painting leads well into my final topic: I'm publishing a book! Yea!!! So I have spent a long time the last few months working on this beautiful 50 page book that contains most of my paintings paired with poetry.  I'm selling them for $15, and they'll be released at the beginning of September. BUT if you want to pre-order, I'll give you the book , a special gift and free shipping for that price right now. This offer is only good until August 20, so take advantage while you can!

Send money via paypal to the above address or comment on here and I'll send you an invoice.

Inspirations: 
Art: I saw this artist at my favorite gallery last month and it opened my eyes to so many new artistic experiences. Rahileh Rokhsari is amazing! 
Knitting:  So as a new teacher, I need more professional clothes and thus time to knit more sweaters! While I decided on the Canted Pullover, a few other contenders (all from magazines I own) were: Hipsemantic , Caldwell and Haubergeon
Food:  Local food is the name of the game around here.  This week I'm going to try making stuffed patty pan squash with peppers and black bean!
Life: What can I say. Life is wonderfully crazy. I wouldn't change a thing. 

~Lisa 


Monday, July 4, 2016

July

Here it is: July.  The year is officially more than half over and man is time going fast. I always find myself thinking there isn't enough time to get things done, and that nothing is getting done.  And then I go to write up a blog post and discover that maybe things are, in fact, getting done.



For example, the above two paintings.  I am constantly complaining that painting isn't happening, yet it must be because I finished two recently.  Although... it did take me a month to do them and they are only 9x12 each.  I'd like to blame the mess that comes with oil painting and the fact that sometimes I just don't want to get messy. 


I finished my "Gone Fishing" Socks shortly after my last blog post, and have already worn and washed them once.  Surprisingly the color didn't fade (yet) as much as I thought.  But man, photographing that YELLOW was a pain!


Something else that I finished was a quickie wedding gift for my cousin's wedding this weekend.  While I will not be attending, I wanted to send them something special since we used to be close growing up.  I made four dishcloths with Rowan Cotton.  I have come to really like this yearn for dishcloths because it has a nice stitch definition and holds up well. Two have hearts and two have their initials, both of which are R.


Onto the WIPS, I started a cowl recently with some lovely lace I purchased on a visit to Hill Country Weavers in Austin.  I had never been to that shop before but had heard many things.   It was a bit overwhelming. Picture a small house, every room filled floor to ceiling with yarn.  Luckily I was able to find a pattern I liked in my most recent Spring 2016 Knitscene and work from that.  The yarn is Anzula Meridian, which is a lovely blend of Tencil, Alpaca and Nylon.  Perfect for a summer cowl!


Because I haven't spun in awhile and finally have some extra time, I joined my LYS's Tour de Fleece team.  My goal is to finish up my current project - 1 ply of alpaca and 1 ply of merino with sparkle - and then move onto some rainbow BFL I have.  So far things are progressing fast. 

Inspirations:
Knitting: Shortly after the Spring issue arrived (Likely because I subscribed late), the Fall 2016 KnitScene also came in my box.  And once again, there are many projects I need in my life, including: Barton CowlPerigee Socks and Maya Hat and MIttens
Art: Check out Meghan Shimek! Her art is so wild, with it's use of thick, heavy fiber.  It definitely gives me some ideas.
Cooking: We had a going away party for one of our ladies at knit group yesterday.  Since she's moving to CO, we did Tex Mex and I made Tres Leches cake.  I turned out wonderful!
Life:   This Austin based band, MCG, visited Bryan for a free concert last week.  I fell madly in love and quickly snatched their 3 song EP and a T-shirt.  Click below to listen to one of my favorites. 

If you're in the States, I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day, and if not, I hope you have a wonderful Monday! Please comment below so that I know you came by :) 

~Lisa





Friday, June 10, 2016

Because it's Friday

And that's all the excuse I need to update.

Ok actually I needed to have things to share. I don't want to post and not have anything new to report.  Luckily, I am FINALLY getting stuff done around here. 


This painting for example.  It has been on my easel for much longer than it needed to be, mostly because I have only been hitting studio once a week.  I want to blame work, but let's be honest, I'm just lazy.  Luckily, I finished it this morning :) 



My "Gone Fishing" socks are taking longer than I'd like also, with only one done and only to the heel on the second.  But it's my only knitting priority now so we would be good to go on finishing it soon!



Part of the reason I haven't hit the socks is that I was working on these baby items for a friend.  Using some leftover Berocco Comfort Sock from a pair a few years ago, I was able to whip all of these guys out and STILL have some yarn left.  Talk about going far. 


I started on my second ply for the alpaca.  It's a basic merino held with some sparkle.  It's slow going because my footman cord (handmade wheel remember?) broke and I've been (no surprise) too lazy to fix it. 


 Inspirations:

Knitting: I added two new books to my library this week: French Girl Knits: Accessories and Vintage Modern Knits.  Both were in bargain at Hastings and they had a buy 1 get 1 on bargain books.  I am really liking the French Girl book so far - some super cute hats are calling my name!
Art:  Check out the artist of the month at my local cafe! Taiwo Thompson just moved to the States and is dong some amazing things!
Food: Look! I posted a recipe! Sausage, zucchini and chard tacos and man oh man are they delicious!
Life:  Other things going on in my life that make good excuses not to blog: private lessons, adult knit class once a week, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mic Check Poetry, WORK.

So that's where I stand right now.  How about yourself? Enjoying the summer yet?

~Lisa 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day by Day

Isn't life crazy sometimes? I feel like all of the days just sort of blend into one long day.  Take, for example, my 50 hour work week last week. How did I survive that? I don't know, but here I am, back at it again this week. 

Enough about work, lets talk about something more important: Art! So many things are still happening around here, where do I begin?

Knitting:
I've had a bit more downtime this week, and as such my current pair of socks are flying along.  The first one is almost done and then the second will hit the needles.  I am loving the way my handdyed yarn is pooling, but afraid it may fade with washing. Time will tell.

I'm titling these socks "Gone Fishing" for three reasons: 1) They remind me of Nemo 2) The diagonal pattern is very ocean-y and 3) I'm using the fish lips kiss heel.  


Etsy:
I have been working on more clay bead markers, and am really proud of the current sets I have up on my Etsy shop.  Each set is a different color from the rainbow and all the beads are 100% unique.  The swirl thing is something I learned as a child and have always loved to do.


Speaking of Etsy, my shop was recently featured on My Sister's Knitter Blog! And if you hurry you can even enter for a chance to win a pair of my shoes ;)

Art:
I finished my large water-scape painting on Monday. I have yet to take a good photo of it, so the color is a bit off, but you can get a feel either way.  I am really happy with this painting.  It forced me to see layers and transparency in a whole new light.


Weekly Inspirations:
Knitting:  Not that you need to go peeking at my stash, but I had the day off yesterday and finally cataloged everything I didn't have on Ravelry. 30+ entries! Most of them came from an older lady who donated a ton to me last year.
Painting: I went to Houston last week and one of my favorite galleries let me peek at these.  Aren't they just right up the alley of where I've been going with my paintings lately???
Food: I got the Chococo Cookbook at Hastings for $1 about a month ago.  Most of the recipes are fairly simple and all sound delicious.  Now I just need to find someone to bake them for!
Life:  My garden is in bloom! I have a pepper plant with a flower, and lots of turning tomatoes! I also planted some flowers and they smell amazing.  I am really in love with my little garden.

I hope you all have a fantastic week.  I am linking up with Yarn Along today :) 

~Lisa