Saturday, November 19, 2016

An Exercise in Abstraction

Last month Kathleen challenged us to do an exercise in abstraction.  Creative exercises are always fun.  They're a good boost of creative energy to get things going!

Here's what was shared at the last Raven Mavens meeting:


 Angela started with a piece of fabric she created in a Jane Dunnewold workshop.  The lime green is very well represented in this piece! She also decided to add a green slice up in the left hand corner to finish it off, which really gave the piece great movement. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of that, so you'll have to use your imagination! 



Jan's inspiration came from a photo taken on a hike.  She flipped the photo vertically and took shapes from the photo to create this beautiful silk painting.


Kathleen had several fused fabric panels  that were leftover from a Sue Benner class, so she decided to create an abstract using only those pieces.  I would say it is very successful!


Nancy used the Jackson Pollock  phone app to create an abstract drawing (on the left) and thought it would be fun to work that drawing into fabric with some bright colors.  This was fun! 


Susan brought a piece she created several years ago and wanted to discuss the design elements.  We all agreed that the design was great and had good movement and color.

It was a great meeting!  We have decided to work through Jane Dunnewold's new book Creative Strength Training and we're all excited about expanding our horizons through the book! 

 Our next theme is 'Winter'.  These will be shown at the Art Center Annual Member Exhibit in 2017.  Stay tuned!

Posted by Nancy

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Raven's View

Our latest theme is A Raven's View.  We each interpreted this theme into a 6" x 18" piece, then mounted them on board.  These pieces are currently on  display and available for purchase at the Art Center in Grand Junction, Colorado during  July and August.  If you're in the area stop in and take a look!  We have several creative projects in the works, so check back often!

Kathleen Malvern
Raven Crossing

Raven Crossing ~ Detail

Nancy Dobson
Soaring Over the River Braids

Soaring Over the River Braids ~ Detail

Georgina Chapman
Bird's Eye View

Bird's Eye View ~ Detail

Jan Rickman
Bird Party

Bird Party~ Detail

Angela Kenley
Pretty Houses

Pretty Houses~ Detail

Jan Warren
View of the Monument

View of the Monument~ Detail

Sandra Hoefner
Basketball Babes

Basketball Babes~ Detail

Kathy Schattleitner
Sonoran Sunset

Sonoran Sunset~Detail

Susan Strickland


Kathleen Malvern
Canyon Window

Canyon Window~Detail

Gjeneve Hopkinson


Friday, October 2, 2015

Indigo Play!

The Raven Mavens rented studio space at Mary's Color Creek Fiber Art to experiment with Indigo Dye.  The Indigo dye process was new to most of us, so we really weren't sure what to expect from this experiment.  To learn more about Indigo dye, check out the Wikipedia site at or Dharma Trading Company.

We started with Indigo dye kits, mixing the dye powder, soda ash and thiox.  Once mixed, it created a "flower"or cluster of bubbles that needed to be skimmed off before the fabric was placed in the vat.

Before we immersed into the vat, we manipulated our fabric in various ways.  Rubber bands, golf balls, pipe wrap are just a few of the methods we used.  The color was yellow green to start, which was rather surprising! The fabric was gently dipped into the vat for a time, and once it was removed and hit the air, it began to oxidize, turning the fabric blue.  It was a very interesting process to watch!

Here are some of the results.


 Look at all of that indigo blue!

 All in all, it was a very fun day, and a process that some will continue to explore, and others not!  After washing, some of the fabrics retained their dark color and some faded quite a bit, so that is another puzzle to solve.  There were also several blue hands and lovely blue fingernails!

 Perhaps a Raven Mavens Indigo show in the future?  Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The 20x20 Challenge

The Raven Mavens have had a lot of fun with challenges.  It really helps get our creative juices flowing!  We decided rather than a specific theme this time, we would do a 20 x 20 challenge.  The only rule was that the piece had to be 20" x 20" and stretched on a wood frame.  This turned out to be a wonderfully varied exhibit.  We exhibited this group of work at the  Grand Junction Art Center's annual member show in February. We welcome your comments and questions!

Group photo by Jan Rickman/ Individual images by Brad Butler

Group hanging at the Art Center

Anna by Jan Warren

Aroma Therapy by Kathleen Malvern
Kathleen used painted silk and non-wovens(dryer sheets and Evolon) to create this piece.

Field of Promise by Jan Rickman
“Field of Promise” is an abstraction of an outdoor scene – an open field. I chose a wide range of colors to play across the surface, complementing one another. The small fused shapes represent leaves and growth. The yellow band of color represents the sun. The colors beyond the yellow band are a loose representation of distant hills or mountains and the sky – one just needs to use his/her imagination!

Forest Treasures by Angela Kenley
Paper collage on fiber, paint, free-motion quilting

Japanese Maple by Jan Warren

                               Jazz by Sandra Hoefner
Cotton fabric. Machine pieced. Hand and machine quilted.

Kenley Ella by Nancy Dobson
Hand dyed and commercial cottons. Organza, tulle, cheesecloth. Stitched and painted

Northern Lights by Susan Strickland

Springs by Gjeneve Hopkinson
 I have long enjoyed spirals and springs.  I like the look of the "bounce" that they have.  Just two colors seemed to be the way to go also.  The springs that come out from the background are loose, giving the piece some dimension and "bounce."

Tea (bags) For Three by Gjeneve Hopkinson
I have been collecting tea bags for some time and it was time to put them to good use.  The staining from the tea bags drying with the tea still in them creates interesting patterns, making them an excellent background material for embellishing.  A long time interest of mine has been handwork.  This worked perfectly with the contrast of the tea bags and the washers painted with alcohol ink.
Three Moons by Kari Harvey

100% cotton fabric, pieced, textile paints and mediums, free motion quilting and thread play.

Zinnia by Susan Strickland