From the Errant Easel Holiday Gathering

Blah blah blah…Merry Christmas…blah blah blah…Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Preview: Free Art Friday — Lexington, KY Edition

Attention Lexingtonians! The Errant Easel bloggers will be participating in Free Art Friday tomorrow, Friday July 13 right here in Lexington, KY. Along with other creators in town, we will post copies of our works (for free!) Friday morning in various locations.

Important notes:

These are original works that we want people to take home and enjoy or gift to those who would.

We will post the location of our work here on the Easel and at Facebook HQ for the event.

Check the Facebook page for the location of other free works submitted for your consideration.

If you have works you would like to send out into the world, join the FB group and spread the word.

If you take art, let us hear what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or here on the Easel.

Staci’s work will appear in the UK/South Limestone area, Dez will share her work at the Richmond Road Starbucks, and I will canvas the Woodland, Euclid and Rose Street areas. Hope you get some free art tomorrow!

Errant Easel — Haberdasher’s Edition

The Errant Easel celebrated D3Z’s birthday on March 16th with a tea party and excursion into miniature millnery. While I failed to capture the spread of finger foods, the aroma of lavender lady grey tea, or the discussion of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate finale on film, I thought I would still share the fruits of my fascinator labor with followers of the Easel.

ImageAs an ardent lover of steampunk and one with a passing interest in recent royal matrimony, I have had a lot of time to think about fascinators and the kinds I would like to sport. I have considered several formats and favor the mini top hat above all. Whether it is tall, asymetrical, feathered, or goggled I find these hats both sharp and jaunty. The more stylized the better, in fact.

For this project, however, I created a hat that settled somewhere between pilgrim and witch that was anything but puritanical. My influence was really from a booth I visited at a renaissance festival years ago that featured these beautifully crafted leather hats that curved back like a witches hat and were adorned with brilliant plumage or brass goggles. I initially started to mimic my memory of these hats but once I started shaping I liked the more simple, steep lines that Doug described as “fast.” Using the poster board to form the incomplete conical body of the hat, I realized I liked the nearly parallel planes that formed the bottom plane where the brim would go and the top plane created by not completing the cone. I covered each of the three sections with fabric and glued them together using (most effectively) gorilla glue misappropriated from my husband’s modeling supplies. I trimmed it with fancy black brick-a-brack and used a simple clock face and clock hands for a focal point on the hat. This is where I paused and found it somewhat lacking. Staci suggested I add some trailing fabric using the complimentary maroon fabric cut at a bias to give it a lovely draping flow. I think it really helped bring the sharp line back down a bit so that as your eyes travel up the steep front line they are drawn back down the back of the hat by the trailing fabric. I really loved this idea and always benefit from brain storming and with the Ladies of the Easel.

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Speaking of the other Ladies, I thought their hats were coming along quite nicely! D3Z was creating mini top hat using the red fabric to create a clever, eye-catching ruching effect that added a nice texture to a traditionally smooth design. Staci crafted a more abstract open (Kentucky) blue hat that spouted silver tulle like fire. I think it was somewhat inspired by Effie Trinket and would fit perfectly into a  Capitol Couture collection. If we are lucky, my partners in crime will share their creations as well.

As this mini workshop was entirely an experiment on all of our parts, I kept it pretty simple with the materials using three solid but shiny fabrics that reminded me of different Victorian outfits I had encountered. The bright Kentucky blue reminded me of the blue dress Rachel McAdams wears as Irene Adler in the 2009 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes when she walks from 221B Baker Street to the carriage engaged by Moriarty. A more muted tone of the same color is featured on the cover of Changeless, the second book in the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger. I chose the red fabric because it reminded me of the dress featured on the color of Blameless, book the third of the same series. Finally, I chose the green fabric entirely on the basis of my own preference and what I would like to wear given the opportunity.

Given the chance to do this again, I would experiment with patterned fabric or maybe even stripes if I had the patience to align them. I also thought it would be interesting to layer a lace like fabric over a matte solid color. I would also plan my centerpiece more carefully with greater pizzazz or even blend the steampunk elements with more natural influences. On a more technical note, I would be more judicious with the application of glue as it tends to bleed through this type of fabric, leave unsightly stains, and relieve you of your fingerprints if proper precautions are not taken.

The Errant Easel Attends the Woodland Art Fair 2011

It was a beautiful weekend for an Errant Easel outing, and we walked with our significant others and a few good friends to the park-turned-fairgrounds to explore the bustling and sprawling artists’ booths. I always genuinely enjoy going to this event. My spirit is never dampened by the crowds, the overzealous sun beating down, or even the humidity.

If you are not familiar with the Woodland Art Fair, there are 200 artists skilled in printmaking, photography, painting, drawing, papercutting, jewelry making, metalwork, sculpture, ceramics, leatherwork, knitting, weaving, quilting, woodwork, and even haberdashery (and that’s just the booths I remember seeing). Not only were the categories of art diverse and extensive, but there were also a variety of methods and materials of choice within each category. Take printmaking, for example. There were woodblock prints, etchings, silk screen, and computer generated prints in the very least.

I see something of myself in these prints

Girls with Bugs Collection

In addition to the the official Woodland Arts Fair, the rest of the Chevy Chase area takes advantage of the opportunity and transforms into additional street fair. These booths are as exciting to me as the official fair. My favorite booth, ran by Cricket Press, is found across the street at the Woodland Christian Church. Cricket Press creates and prints silkscreen posters to advertise music groups and community events. Personally, I am most partial to the original art prints they sell. Last year for my birthday, Brad custom matted and combined four of their prints into a frame to create what we affectionately call the “girls with bugs” set. This collection includes two girls with fireflies (The Collection and Lightening Bugs), a girl with cicadas (The Cicadas) and a girl with bees (The Bees). The cicada girl is my favorite owing to the far away look evidenced by the tilted chin but concealed by aviator goggles. The hum of cicadas seemed as loud as biplanes in the woods of my childhood. Each summer, my dad and I would collect vacated cicada shells to make locust bug stew, a recipe calling for different leaves, grasses, and flowers to be stirred with a broken broom handle in a five gallon dry wall bucket of pond water. I can still remember the smell after the requisite hours spent stewing in the sunlight.

Where the woods meet the sea

Girls with Creatures Collection

This year, I followed up with a “girls with creatures” collection comprised of The Foxes, The Rabbits, Girl in the Sea, and The Woodlands-Squirrels. Hey, I like what I like and what I like is being a girl with an interest in bugs and animals. There were quite a few other awesome art print options, but I couldn’t resist freckled girl with the octopus beehive hairdo. I also really enjoyed the personality of the foxes, rabbits and squirrels in the other prints. I like the use of blues and yellows throughout both groups of prints which (somewhat irrationally) reminds me of the bookshelves I have stuffed with vintage Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.

If I had returned to the booth a second time, I, no doubt, would have also acquired the art print poster of the kids exploring the woods with a flash light entitled Haunted Woods. It has a really neat pulpy, adventure party feel to it that I really identify with. If you have a spot on your wall for any of these prints or you want to get me the best birthday present ever you should check out their website and Etsy shop. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.