Monthly Archives: February 2011

Conversations in Stitch

posted by Shelley Brucar

You can still see the Fiber Artists Coaliton exhibit, Conversations in Stitch at the Anderson Art Center!  60 works by 18 artists are displayed in the beautiful mansion on the lake in Kenosha, WI until March 20.

“Whispering Branches – Sepia” by Shelley Brucar

“Paradise Found” by Casey Puetz

by Trish Williams (sorry I don’t have the name of this piece)

Leave a comment

Filed under Art Stuff, Fiber Art



Value is the relative lightness or darkness of a color, and it is sometimes more important than the actual hue (color).  Value gives a work contrast and gradation; it defines form and separates objects.  Value sparks interest.  If a piece appears dull, you may need to increase the range of values.  The value of any color is also relative to the value that lays next to it; the same value may appear dark next to a light color and light next to a darker color.

There a two good ways to determine the value range of a work in progress.  You can “desaturate” the image in Photoshop, reducing it to black, white and grays, an easy way to see the lights and darks.  Viewing a work while squinting your eyes also helps blur color and define values.

An interesting and informational experiment is to take any color and move from the lightest value to the darkest value you can get.

These images show gradations of blue and red.  For both experiments, I started with white and added very small amounts of color several times to produce darker values.  The final three strips of color for both red and blue have increasing amounts of black added to produce still darker values.  Notice the range available from one color plus white and black.

For this experiment, I started with yellow and mixed in very small amounts of blue for each successive strip to get many variations of green. 

This kind of experimentation will help you feel more comfortable with your paints, and will show their versatility.  Go ahead and play!

Leave a comment

Filed under Art Stuff, Fabric painting, Fiber Art



Southern Lights IX (c)2011 Shelley Brucar

Southern Lights IX has been juried into the “Half the Sky” exhibit at the Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest, IL.  I find the Chinese proverb that the show is based on quite appealing; it is “Women hold up half the sky.”  This exhibit celebrates women’s contributions to history, culture and society.  What could be more appropriate than fiber art?

In addition to utilitarian value, i.e., providing warmth, quilting and quilts have a long history that encompasses the telling of stories through patterns, providing a creative outlet for women and promoting friendship through quilting bees.  Quilts are believed to have been used to direct slaves to escape routes and assistance through use of specific patterns which signified routes and “safe houses”.  In spite of such a rich history, quilts and quilt-making have traditionally been women’s work and have long been devalued or ignored by the patriarchal world of art.

Women’s contribution to our culture through the art and beauty of quilts is evident in the intricate patterns and elegant workmanship seen even on quilts that were made for the sole purporse of keeping one’s family warm.  The transformation of quilting status has come about in part due to the feminism and craft movement of the 60’s and 70’s and perhaps mostly due to the proliferation of fiber artists and the advocacy of group like Studio Art Quilt Associates.  SAQA, with 2400 international members, almost entirely women, and similar organizations promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development and documentation while maintaining a clear relationship to the folk art quilt from which it descends.

“Half the Sky” can be viewed Friday, February 25 through Sunday, May 8 with Artist Reception February 25, 7:00pm.

Interesting Color for a Blackbird (c)2009 Shelley Brucar

Fiber Artists Coalition will exhibit “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” and “Midwest Meditations” during the month of March at Simply Chicago Art, 1318 Oakton, Evanston, IL.  These exhibits can be viewed from Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 27.  Opening reception is Friday, March 4, 5:00 to 9pm.  Regular gallery hours are:  Friday 5:00-9, Saturday noon to 6:00pm, Sunday 1:00-4pm and by appointment.

Fiber Artists Coalition is a group of fiber artists, all professional members of Studio Art Quilt Associates, living in the upper midwestern US.  FAC curates and secures venues for exhibiting members’ contemporary fiber art.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art Stuff, Fabric painting, Fiber Art, Impressionist Landscapes



Another way to get lots of texture:  Put a base layer of paint on your fabric and let it dry.  As it dries, the fabric will scrunch and crinkle (technical terms for sure).  When you apply the next layer of paint on the dry, crinkled fabric, texture happens magically!  Start with lighter colors so they can shine through.  Be sure to wait for the initial layer of paint to dry so you don’t wind up with muddy colors.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art Stuff, Fabric painting