Exploring new directions with a variety of media

blue tea pieces

Recently I used acrylic inks to bring new life to a couple ‘finished’ pieces that, to put it simply, felt unfinished.


I really love the way they look after adding a larger, more colorful, image. Each piece now has a dominant focal point painted with acrylic inks on top of a subtle, mainly monochromatic, background that was created with a variety of mixed media techniques I teach in my Tea & Ephemera class. IMG_8378

Both pieces were quickly snatched up by a couple of dear textile artist friends. I think one of the biggest compliments one can have is when an artist, who’s work you admire, buys one of your pieces.

busy beeAfter coming home from my last teaching trip of the summer, the first thing I wanted to do was pull out the acrylic inks and start painting again. I’ve had a busy teaching schedule for the last year or so and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to paint anything more than a class demo.

Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching, but with a heavy schedule I don’t have many opportunities to work on personal projects and as a result I’ve missed deadlines for exhibits that I’ve wanted to submit work to.


This Saturday, I have a wedding to go to in Southern California and on the same night a second party to go to 30 miles away, to celebrate the wedding of a good friend who was married last month. Needing two gifts, I immediately got to work. By the way, I’m sharing these now because I think it’s highly unlikely either recipient will see my blog this week.

One couple has traveled a lot and lived in Japan, so I chose to paint a coy on top of one of my Tea & Ephemera class samples.


When I was thinking about ideas for quilting motifs, I decided to create the look of a map to symbolize the world traveling they have done.


I stitched a river using a machine blanket stitch and painted it with a wash of blue acrylic ink, then stitched meandering lines like topographical map markings.IMG_8866


This is a detail of the other piece I painted that will become the wedding gift for my other friend and her new mate. I thought the (big) insect imagery appropriate since she lived in Austin, Texas when we did,  ,-) and the agave fits since she now lives in Southern California.IMG_8859


To keep the exploration going, I painted this blue butterfly on another class sampleIMG_8858


and stitched a row of graphic flowers on topIMG_8865


I used colored pencils to add a hint of color to the stitched floral pattern, so that it acts as another subtle layer of imagery on top of the collaged imagery.IMG_8868




I like knowing how to paint using a variety of media, each medium has distinct qualities for  creating specific effects. For example Tsukineko inks have a clear, bright transparency like watercolors, textile paints are perfect for painting illustrative imagery the way one would use acrylics on canvas, and acrylic inks are great for a using a variety of surface design techniques creating a unique translucency perfect for layering imagery. I believe the more skills and techniques you have under your belt the better able you’ll be to create artwork that expresses your unique vision or concept.


6 Responses to “Exploring new directions with a variety of media”

  1. I would love to take one of your classes if not all of them. Do you come to the New England/Mid-Atlantic area at all?

    • Indira, I haven’t taught on the east coast yet. I’m booked to do a 3 day Acrylic inks retreat at Hudson River Valley April 10-12, 2015. I would like to get some other bookings on the east coast, but most of these these are booked a year in advance so right now the Hudson River Valley retreat is the best opportunity. Hopefully that time will work for you, I know it will be a lot of fun. http://www.fiberartworkshops.com/

  2. Both pieces are so pretty and interesting. As usual!! I will let you know if/when I remarry 😉
    Have fun at the weddings, your friends are lucky to have you as a friend.

  3. Rachel says:

    Me. “quick, Judy, teach me how to paint!”
    Judy (Without missing a beat). ” Ok, first you need a brush”.
    Lol. OMG I love you.

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