“Plays well with others” means my framed textile art can stand alone or in a group.
Textile art titled “Blue Ridge” reframed and initial work to new series called, Oceans to Mountains.
I have had positive comments from others that feel my artwork and framing style blends with many other styles. Below are “Embrace” on the top and “Sunset Heron” below. To the right I am featuring my first bicycle-related piece called, “Ride to the Edge.” All artwork has museum glass and my rustic frames, some white, some glazed.
Group of three from new series, Oceans to Mountains.
Among the Oceans to Mountains series for 2019-2020 I have recently completed two seascapes: The first seascape is titled “Awakening” literally because I had just woken up, grabbed my camera and shot out the door. I was amazed by the blues among the black night and golds of this early morning dark.
“Awakening” seascape 12×16 matted to wood frame. OD 20×24 inches. Available.
The seascape below is titled “Sunrise Gold” because of the effect by the sun peeking just a bit more over the horizon; enough to light the sky. Yet the sand was dark and footprints were heavily shadowed on the high beach. Along the shore moguls of sand had built up due to heavy waves the night before. The sun cast a spotlight on the sand and a large tree stump with roots cast up to the high shore during a storm many years before. However, it offered me refuge from the wind and blowing sand.
I have imagined these pieces will play well in a home with a beachy decorator vibe.
There are a number of additional works I have in mind to do related to the Oceans to Mountains series. The next one I expect is going to be critically difficult so I am not announcing it yet. Once the larger piece is painted, I like to paint smaller works along with it … If for no other reason than to use up my pallet of hues rather than wash them down the drain. I save smaller works for finishing between shows during the season. For me, the season begins in November.
Of course there must be birds!
Adding to my new works is also an egret. This egret was photographed near Cedar Key, Florida. See the little fishy?
“Anticipation” textile art 9×12 inches in wood frame. OD 15×18 inches. Available.
It is time to put this post to bed and get to work sketching my new piece. If you found your way to my web page, thank you. And, I hope to see you at a Florida art show this fall-winter.
Recently, I completed a commission which was a leopard thread painting using a photo taken by Diane Yeager. It was a pleasure doing this work for Diane and Mike and describing the process in this post. Creating a fabric leopard has given me more confidence to sketch large animals as textile art. Maybe a horse next? There are many ranchers around me with horses. I just don’t happen to know any of them, yet. While my textile work is usually inspired by my own experiences and photographs, I have learned to enjoy creating work to other’s passions.
Leopard gets base watercolor paint to separate background from big cat. Finished size approx 12×16.
The first image to show you is a watercolor of the base I sketch on cotton. My goal is to separate the background sky from the big cat. I use a water based resist to draw a physical barrier to the paint. Since the branches and leaves are darker than the sky, I paint them later.
Next, I paint in branches and shadows I believe are left on this leopard sitting in a tree. I concentrate on the leopard’s eyes and facial features.
When painting on raw cotton, paint must be pushed into the fabric weave. Of course, I am concerned, all the time, and with each decision I make, whether it is going to work. Studying the folds in the leopard’s skin and fur direction is only the beginning of it. Online, I watched people paint animal portraits. Unfortunately, most of the techniques shown will not work with watercolor paint on cotton. My best technique is looking at my favorite artwork: a calligraphy made by and given to me by my Arizona friend, Mikki. The calligraphy says: “It will just be fine.”
It’s All in the Spots
Leopard spots are rosette shapes made up of dark brown fur. It took more than 20 hours on a sewing machine to thread paint each piece of each rosette and the different shades of fur contained within. I would say there are more than 10 different shades of yellow, dark brown, gold and gray in this leopard’s coat.
Finally, the leopard’s spots are sketched on by hand.
This artwork started at 13 x 17 inches and ended up 12-1/2 x 16-1/2 inches. About one-half inch in each direction is taken up with thread “compression.”
The leopard’s eyes gave me the most grief.
Because it was looking back, the position of the pupils aren’t symmetrical. Even when carefully calculating eye position with the photograph; when put to fabric, they just didn’t look right. I experimented on separate fabric before I could come to a correct position and size for the pupils.
How Long Did it Take?
When people view my textile work at art festivals, they often ask, “how long does one take to make?” I always said “I don’t know. I don’t want to spend my time recording time.” With this leopard, however, I recorded my time on a sheet of paper, accepting that I would not write it all down. My written notes indicate the leopard project has 60-plus hours into it. I have personal thoughts on different techniques I might try should I attempt a similar project, but none of them have to do with saving time.
The Finished Leopard
Leopard commission – SOLD.
Seriously, if you, or someone you know is passionate about bird, wildlife or landscape photography and wants to share, please contact me. There is stock photography everywhere but that does not interest me. It’s not the cost. What is interesting to me is knowing the story and the person behind any photo I use to inspire my work.
This post covers my recent commissioned artwork, an upcoming library exhibit and Mountain Bicycler painting in process. All are new to me this year and quite exciting.
Commissioned Textile Art
I have a few commissions for custom art I am working on now, but it all started with a photo of a landscape in Maine. During my first couple years at art shows, if anyone asked about “special” work, I said, “no.” I was afraid and unsure how to handle it. In fact, I wouldn’t even agree to ship anything.
How times have changed. I not only welcome the challenge of making textile art to represent a scene I never saw, or, an animal I have never drawn; I welcome it. Yeah. Special art created for a special person. That I love. I am able to approach commissioned art in a special way and give it “special” time.
I have created an information page about commissioning art. You can read about it, here.
Oceans to Mountains Series, continued
Mountain biker. In painting process.
Mountain Bicycler: This is my featured image and from an old digital photo. To begin I have sketched out a picture on cotton. Next, I dry-brush watercolor to cover resist lines and add detail. Soon it will be time to mix watercolors to match the thread colors I have selected. In this piece, I want the bicycler and aspens to stand out from the background. So, after thread painting the aspens and bicycler over heavy stabilizer, I will quilt the background to finish. Mountain Bicycler will be matted and framed. Its first showing will be at a October fiber show in Leesburg. As a result, this piece is on hold for Leesburg and not available for sale.
Lake Wales Library
For the month of September, I have agreed to display my fiber, aka. textile art at the Lake Wales Library. The library is located at 290 Cypress Garden Lane, Lake Wales, Florida.
Information Board for library exhibit
According to Wanda, I will have a 19 foot wall space to hang my work for display for the month. I have made an information board to explain what I do as well as why and how I do it.
Creating the information board took me to rewriting my “artist’s statement” and carrying that through to other website’s pages. In an effort to be somewhat uniform, you may note that my About Textile Art page has changed.
The library display is unpriced. I will be leaving a price list with library personnel and donating a portion of any sale to the library. This applies only to what is hanging in the library. To purchase anything there during September, the buyer has to call me and purchase with a credit card over the phone.
It is easy to get really busy with updating a website, working on commissions and making more artwork for next season … and, then forgetting to sign up for next seasons art shows.
At a late April art show in Lakewood Ranch I introduced my new art series “Oceans to Mountains.” The
The Blue Ridge. 13×17 landscape
first piece in this series is called The Blue Ridge, inspired by photography along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
On my web page I have a page called Southwest & Mountains. It is also shown there. Web speak: If I change the name of a page, I think it will break so I can’t just change the page to “Oceans to Mountains” — darn. However, It is going to be fun creating new art around those photos and places I love.
I am working on a landscape I will call Ice Lake Basin showing a mountain scene I took when hiking near Durango.
Two other landscapes are pre-dawn and dawn seascape photos I took at Vero Beach in Florida. Those are still in the sketching stage.
More web speak: I posted a story about April art shows and it is gone. Problems with WordPress end up with me restoring my entire web page back a month, losing everything I had done, including that post. There should have been a copy of it in my studio but I can’t find it. Oh, well.
April Art Shows
Briefly, I did one event in Vero Beach in the historic downtown area (not by the beach). And, this art event was put on by the city of Vero Beach’s marketing people. It was good to have done this show just because of certain people I met that put light into an otherwise dismal event.
Later, at the end of April I participated in a Paragon event in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Saturday was good for attendance and art sales. I found many folks were interested in my textile art and asked intelligent questions. On Sunday, most people stayed away. Temperatures were too high for April. I can’t blame them for staying home.
See you Fall 2019
In September 2019 my textile art will be on display at the library in Lake Wales, Florida. It will be there to view but to purchase you would have to contact me direct. In October I am supposed to have my work on display in Leesburg, Florida at the art center. More about all this later.
And, in November I am going to do one show. I haven’t decided upon whether to apply to the Daytona Beach or Temple Terrace show.
This was a 3rd time for the Annual Leesburg Art Show on March 9-10th. The reason I returned to Leesburg again … is because I have a very good time. Even though I could commute the one hour drive, I get a hotel because I like to visit the local “establishments” after the Friday PM setup and then there is the Saturday night artist banquet.
The weather was a bit warmer than usual for early March in Florida. It was much like the Lake Wales show: I melt. There were comments that the crowd was “off” from previous years, but I don’t really know for sure. Fortunately, some previous customers came and one took home a friend for her “Orchid.”
This tiger lily was matted and reframed into one of my basswood “farmhouse” frames for the Leesburg show. I think the gold leaf frames, while admired by some, are just not that popular. I’m always taking chances. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
That leads me to the subject of frames in general. Over the past three years I have experimented with a variety of frames. They are integral to my work and important for protection of my art. However … investing TOO much into a frame would not be wise. I feel it is better to make it nice but leave room for the art buyer to invest in custom framing at their local framer, to their hearts desire.
Fish & Feathers
Six new feathers were introduced this season for my new Fish & Feathers Series. This is one of the 5×10 inch framed feathers. They sell to art buyers as quick as I can create them.
The reason for these pieces is five-fold: frames are sturdy enough to hang on wall or sit on shelf; small enough to pack in a suitcase without glass or to ship; they are fun and quick (relatively) to make; and I can offer it for around $100.
I have created the last two to have at the Winter Haven show on March 16-17th. I am out of the special frames I ordered.
My last two of the six fish I made for the “Fish & Feathers” series will be at the Winthrop Art Festival on March 30-31st.
Final note on Leesburg: I received a Merit Award for the work, “Limpkin.” Always nice to get recognition. I have searched and cannot find a photo handy. I’m sure there is one ….somewhere.
And then there was Winter Haven
March 16-17 was the Victor Smith Law Group’s Ridge Art Festival in downtown Winter Haven, FL. This a repeat show for me as I was here last year. Like 2017, this year my sales were mostly to art buyers that saw my work first at the Lake Wales show. On Saturday “Creek Trail Flowers” was sold to Bonnie who plans to put this artwork in her Ohio home. I was sort of sorry to see it go as I have only had it on display for a few shows. I am glad that it has gone to someone who appreciates my work and is hoping to try her hand at textile art herself. On Sunday there were a few sales, the weather was great and I bought myself a lovely ring with a turmeline (sp) stone from my neighbor.
Finally, Winthrop Town Center
March 30-31st marked the end of March for art shows. This time I was a 45 minute commute from home to Riverview, Florida. After Friday’s set up, Ken and I “wined and dined” at the Greek restaurant in the Winthrop Town Center. Loved the scallops. We were in no hurry to get back onto the freeways towards home during Friday rush hour(s).
Saturday’s show opened slow and continued slow all day. The event included 70-some art/craft/commercial/buy-sell vendors along with a few spaces occupied by children’s exhibits. Given comments by a few attendees from the local area, they weren’t expecting much. Personally, I felt like I was at a school function. The quality of art ranged from “you must be kidding” to “fabulous.” Awards were given to two mixed media artists that usually win everywhere they show up with their work. Mostly, I worked on my tan and visited with neighboring artsy people. They were the best part of this event other than the lovely lady that purchased a small original piece, Judy Z. who commissioned me to make a parrot piece for her and Christine, who purchased a photo print.
Of course, I do spend the day explaining what I do and why I do it. Really, I don’t mind. I would rather do that than watch people walk past all day and never ask.
Enough of March. On to April and two more shows to do. I have finished one new piece for the Hibiscus Festival in Vero Beach, FL, April 13-14 in the historic downtown area on 14th Street. Finally, April 27-28 we will be at the Lakewood Ranch art show, Bradenton, FL. I am still on the waiting list for Mayfaire in Lakeland for Mother’s Day. If I don’t hear in the next couple weeks I will assume I am not included. On that note, I talked to several others that participated in the show in 2018 but were also on the waiting list this year. Hmmm. Since that event is local to me, I’ll have to go over and see who and what kind of work was accepted into the show.
In the 8 weeks since I last posted, much has happened. In addition to finishing a new series, I participated in the Lido Key art show – and others.
Suncoast Art Festival – January 2019
The original inspiration for my wildflower series came from a photograph I took in northern California along a four-wheel-drive trail. While laying on my stomach on large flat blue-gray rocks, I took many photos of a field of wildflowers with a background of whitewater and those gorgeous rocks. The background is hand painted cotton with watercolors. The water and rock detail was quilted before adding the foreground wildflowers.
We participated in the Suncoast Art Festival at the Wiregrass Mall in Wesley Chapel. I had the pleasure of meeting many people who stopped by to chat and look around between running errands at the mall. The weather was perfect on Saturday. I do not know the advertising that goes on for this event, but of all the people that could have come; well, they did not. On Sunday, weather was cold and very windy resulting in a lackluster event.
Winter in Jonesport – commissioned art
I had the pleasure of creating a commissioned art piece for a couple I met at the Saint Augustine Art Festival last fall. This textile art is a wedding gift replicating a landscape photo taken in Maine. As a former northern Illinoian, I know all about winter. As a former snowmobiler, I know about snow in pine trees and frozen lakes as I traveled the trails in Wisconsin. My northwoods background contributed to making this a joy to create.
Lido Key Art Show
This Lido Key Art Show happened on February 16-17, 2019 in Sarasota, Florida. This is the first time I have participated in a Paragon event. This art show was a great event for me.
It was nice seeing so many young families at the art show. It was even nicer to have many of them show interest in my textile art.
Lake Wales Art Show
The next weekend of February 23-24 I participated in the Lake Wales art show for the 3rd year in a row. The Lake Wales art show is usually well attended. Low attendance this year may have been due to unusually hot weather for Florida in February and the many events going on in the area. Even with lower than usual attendance, I did meet some of my customers from prior years.
Here is a new theory I am debating: returning year-after-year to participate in favorite shows may not be a good idea. Since I have already booked myself into another show I will be participating in for a 3rd consecutive year … I hope my new theory is not proven true. I sense spacing shows in alternate years gives me more time to present new series of textile art.
Getting ready for March art shows
Coming up are 3 art shows in march. Check out my listing. To prepare for these shows I am making five new 5×10 textile art feathers to have ready for the Leesburg show. If I have enough time, I would like to create another owl on black canvas.
The winter season for Janet Herman’s textile art began with Atlantic exposure in fall art show events at Daytona Beach, St. Augustine and Vero Beach in November and December. This is only season three for me. I am still learning about art shows, art show patrons and explaining the “why” of my brand of textile art.
What I have learned this fall at the 3 new shows I participated in:
I need to upgrade to a better tent to withstand more severe weather along the coastal waters.
When it comes to original art, people buy what they connect with; both art and artist. When at the show, forget about everything else and focus on the people who honor me with their attention.
Tourist areas are not necessarily a selling opportunity for original art. There could be sensory overload in all the shops they browse through before coming to an art event. Are they there to appreciate original art or is this just another form of entertainment to pass the time.
In my art tent I hang an artist statement and photo of me sewing my art. It is not enough for those that don’t understand “free motion sewing” and quilting. I know patrons who do not sew are confused by my work. It is up to me to do a better job of presenting a visual explanation of how and why I do what I do.
Halifax at Daytona Beach, FL – November 4th and 5th 2018
It was a pleasure to meet Regina who purchased the “Yellow Crown Night Heron” for her home. She explained she sees these birds often in the Ormond Beach area.
Yellow Crown Night Heron by Janet Herman, SOLD
Three other original pieces went to new homes: “Snowy Owl Feather on black canvas” and “Eurasian Jay Feather.” This was the first showing of those two pieces. All I have is a quick snapshot and they are now gone. “Pastel Flight” was presented in a new gold leaf frame and sold also.
The other Fall Shows
On Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-24) I participated in the art festival in St. Augustine, Florida. This was a first event for me in St. A. It was also the first time I used an AirBnb for lodging as it was a 3 hour drive from home. I met some nice people and some not so nice people. I had good weather and bad weather (the roof leaked at our lodgings). Fortunately, there are enough quilters among the attendees so that I did not go unnoticed. I did sell an important piece from my southwest collection; “Mountain Trail” to a lovely couple from St. Augustine.
On December 8-9th I participated in the Vero Beach Arts & Crafts event at Riverside Park. The surroundings and location are lovely. However, attendance was light.
It’s not just about the stitches
I had the pleasure of finally meeting the two silk artists who were at this event. The Chinese gentleman from Toronto demonstrates his skill in his booth. His work is amazing. The other couple were further away and I did not have the opportunity to visit with them. Silk art is very intense hand embroidery with a smooth looking finish. Even up close it is hard to tell it is not painted.
My artwork, with my own textile art techniques, are an ends to a means in expressing my ideas. It was hard to explain to those who were trying to compare their hand stitching with silk to what I do. I tried to explain, “it is about the content of the art, theirs and mine, and not only about how it is made.” I may have succeeded with a few.
Introducing “Fins & Feathers”
I have had the idea to make colorful fish with a quilted background of sea color and eagle feathers with a quilted speckled sand background. This new series of “fins and feathers” are in 5×10 inch chunky wood frames. To make sure they are bright, I have not glazed them. Instead, I found a fabric spray with UV protection. For everyone whose walls are (almost) full, these are tiny and colorful textile art to tuck in small spots.
Textile art reproductions
If you have been to my website before you know I photograph my original textile art and create reproductions on my computer that are printed out in my studio. I do the best I can to make them true to the original but, of course, they are lacking the depth that only presents itself in an original textile art piece. In November more than the usual number of these reproductions were purchased. I really appreciate that people are interested because it tells me they like the content and color of the art even without the texture and depth of fabric and thread.
Finally, I am done. This post is very late in coming.
I have updated my show line up for 2019
In a FUTURE POST I plan to present my new wildflower series in gold leaf frames.
You are right if you are thinking you haven’t heard from Jan Herman for awhile. It has been since May.
Last winter I spent mucho time studying how to blog, how to get control of SEO (site optimization or some such). I even bought a fancy “theme” to jazz up my website. Every web related task expanded to the take ALL of my time.
Understand, much of my previous life and money was invested in the early days of computing; to the point of doing my own programming. I no longer have patience for that. My focus is creative thought and I fight any task or person that steals my time away from it. So, I decided to forget Facebook, Instagram and my website for awhile and let creative noise take over. Bonus for me:I have so many ideas for art I want to create that I can hardly sleep. Here are a few of my pencil sketches.
Pencil sketches for what is to come 2018-2019 art show season
I will continue to write about stuff when the muse hits me and leave it on my website. The only way to get my blog automatically is to sign up on my blog page. Or, you can always visit www.JanetHermanArt.com read it.
Fall Art Shows
Shows start November 3-4 at Halifax in Daytona Beach. I will be introducting my Fins & Feathers line of framed 5 inch x 10 inch colorful thread paintings of butterfly fish and eagle feathers. These happened in response to patrons request for small original pieces they could safely pack in a suitcase and others request for fish and those always popular feathers. So, there you are. I have started with ten pieces. Photos eventually.
For this coming season I have adopted the “Museum Glass or no glass” attitude. I want to present the best artwork I can and it is important to offer it with the best nonglare, UV protection. It is expensive as far as conservation glass goes. Fortunately, I still have a good source and while I have it, I will include it in everything under glass.
November 24-25 at St. Augustine Fine Art Festival I hope to have a few more Fins and Feathers ready and a few floral pieces that I am currently working on.
December 8-9 at Vero Beach, Florida I will be participating in the Winter in the Park Fine Art & Craft Show.
2019 Art Shows
For 2019 I have already applied to a couple shows I’ve never been to and am waiting to hear if I have been accepted. There are some every month January-May. I will post confirmed shows to my web page under “Fine Art Shows” if I am accepted.n.
Do have a wonderful day and I hope to see you again at an art festival.
Welcome, if you are new to Jan Herman’s newsletter. I hope you find “Birdies Thread Painted” entertaining. To leave a comment, remember to click the TITLE and a response box will appear at the bottom of the newsletter.
New art coming up includes all the little birdies thread painted, that I will show in progress.
Photo one shows a group of birdies with just the water color background painted. Photo two shows the same group with just the birds thread painted. The finished images, framed in my standard frames, will be available at the Mayfaire Art Show in Lakeland on May 12 and 13; and any remaining works, at the Blairsville, GA art show on Memorial Day weekend which ends my season.
Birdies painted by Janet Herman. Waiting for the next step.
Birdies thread painted. Waiting for quilting action.
These new little birds are finished and framed in my standard rustic frames. I some linked to my shop, if you are interested in seeing them finished: Red Cardinal, Cardinal Nester, Little Pink Finch, White Cap Sparrow, Scrub Jay.
I am also introducing three special images thread painted on black canvas. I worked hard to get these done for the Mother’s Day show in Lakeland. They are Great Egret: Poise & Patience, Snowy Egret and Falling Feather all thread painted in whites, silvers and golds and framed in elaborate gilt frames with Museum Glass. Shown is Great Egret: Poise & Patience. Others are in my online portfolio.
Great Egret on black canvas. 8×10 art in 8×10 gilt frame. SOLD
The elaborate gilt frames are very special: I bought them from a man renovating an historic hotel in Fairplay, Colorado. He decided not to use them and we made a deal which I am extending to you.
Finally, I am introducing three nature scenes in my standard rustic frames: Goose Crossing features two geese trying to cross a roaring creek. Lake Waves is inspired by a photo I captured of bright green weeds along a lakeshore. Finally, Eagle View: my sketch of an eagle overseeing the horizon. These works can be seen framed in my portfolio section/birds
It has been a busy April in the Art Department at Jan’s house. Oh, I wish I had a bigger “studio.”
After the Mayfaire show in Lakeland, I will be on the way to north Georgia mountains for a hiking, biking and photo taking break and that art show in Blairsville.
If you read this far in my post, I want to express my sincere gratitude. I wish I knew if you are shopping for art, looking for art inspiration or other. As “bloggist amateur,” any feedback is welcome. Thanks, Jan
Welcome, if you just signed up to receive my newsletter. This newsletter follows the art show at Cedar Key, Florida. This was the Old Florida Arts Festival held every year in north Florida the last weekend of March.
Summarizing briefly, for those of you that “do” art shows (selling or shopping): Cedar Key is a big event bringing thousands of people from Gainesville, north and south. It also brings vacationers staying in shoreside condos. Local residents, both year-round and seasonal would be somewhat limited in this small town which is a far stretch from the nearest city.
The art community is viable and there are even a couple galleries tucked into the quaint few blocks of the town area. Parking is an issue. Because I was at my booth all day for two days, I did not get out to see where all these people managed to park. There are several restaurants, especially Tony’s as well as local groups selling food at the art show.
As far as sales: Original pieces I sold (three flowers and my last two feathers) were small, and gifts that visitors would take back north. Below are three of those sold at Cedar Key.
Orchid 2 by Janet Herman, framed. SOLD
Blue Heron Feathers by Janet Herman, framed. 5×7 art matted to 8×10 frame. SOLD
Woodpecker Feather by Janet Herman. Orignal SOLD.
Of the purchased art pieces I saw being carried by, I noticed a few large pictures of fish. I have been asked about doing paintings of fish but just haven’t talked myself into it. I have a hard time imaging fuzzy or fluffy fish, or a manatee covered with thread.
If you are an art shopper, this show has a lot to see. I took a lap around to see who was there. I did see some artists from Lake Wales, Leesburg and Tampa. I understand this show also draws artists from the “bigger” shows along the gulf coast. I saw very interesting work and wish I could have spent more time looking at and talking with them.
Following the show, I had the opportunity to do some photography at Cedar Key Nat’l Wildlife Refuge. There I captured images of a great egret used for new work, pictures of purple wild orchids and a racoon peeking at me from behind a tree. We visited Manatee Springs State Park and also went to Crystal River where I got some great shots of a friendly pelican at the county park on Fort Island Trail.
To sum up my trip to Cedar Key: weather was great, scenery awesome, show was fine, and the trip a complete success.
Next newsletter is reviewing work-in-progress for upcoming shows: May 12-13 (Mother’s Day weekend) Lakeland, FL and May 26-27 Blairsville, Georgia in the north Georgia mountains.
To post a comment, please click on the title on the top of the post, first, and a comment box will show up at the bottom of the post.