Today I want to share with you the work of my printing partner and husband, Simon. :)
Simon has always been interested in photography. But it was when our surroundings changed from urban landscape to green hills of rural Georgia in 2010, that inspiration took hold and he's found a new love for taking photographs. He studied film in college and has always been interested in the moving picture. He knows his way around a camera and because of his film background, which is purely analog, his approach to Photoshop tends to be on the naturalistic side. Usually what he sees through the camera lens is the final photo except for a few crops and tweaks.
This week, Simon has a photograph in the Lydon House Arts Foundation annual juried show in Athens. This is a big deal for our community of artists because over 800 works were submitted with only 162 making the cut! So if you're local, I hope you can make it to the show.
I'm always surprised when I see Simon's finished photographs. There's usually a mix of humor and sensitivity that anyone who knows Simon can see in his personality. This one above is called "Pete Sunrise". This is Pete, a feisty little pit bull caught at attention in this vast field at sunrise.
My favorites are his wildlife photos, of course. :) This one is called Caterpillar in Light and the caterpillar here is a luna moth. I love the framing of this photo. Because the caterpillar isn't perched on a flower, he looks like an alien creature on the edge of a yellow abyss.
Another favorite of mine and favorite flower, love-in-a-mist, this one is titled "Floating Flower". I like the shallow depth of field here, the photo truly lives up to the flower's namesake.
"Spider Blossom" reminds me of a Dutch still life painting. I love the rich black and the simple composition of spider and blossom. The detail on the morning glory is just lovely, this is definitely a favorite of mine.
Here you can see that Simon has a way of composing a photograph. The tiny moon and the lone tree in this landscape at sunrise is simply beautiful. You vaguely see the strewn equipment and other bits of mess laying about. Things that would be eyesores at any other time of day, but here they are cast aside and all you see is the beautiful sky, moon, and tree. Title for this one is "March 5, 2016 7:46am".
A few years ago we visited family in Oregon and this is a photo from a series that Simon shot while we were on the coast. This one is titled "Coastal Geometry 1" and it won Best in Category at the 2015 OCAF Southworks Exhibit. I think this photo is even more beautiful in person as it's printed using carbon inks that give the print a slight warm tone. The juxtaposition of the textured grass, the wavey sea and the cloudy sky is so pleasing to the eye. I love how he framed this shot and made these organic shapes into a geometric study.
This photo titled "Scull Shoals 4", is from a series Simon worked on at Scull Shoals Mill. This area was a frontier settlement in the late 1700's and was the location of Georgia's first paper mill in 1810. In his other photos from the series you can see the remains of the mill, but this one in particular I found interesting. We visited the site after a season of heavy rains and this horrific vine looks as though it's struggling to find it's way up the tree or out of the water. I love the texture of the ground and the gnarly twist of that vine.
"Night Shack" was taken on a family vacation to Edisto Island, but it looks like an erie photograph from the 1900's. I love the tall orientation where you can vaguely see the tops of the palms and the shadow cast on the little shack.
Simon does sell his photographs and exhibits locally and nationally. Also, he works closely with a local printer who uses high quality papers and carbon inks.
I hope you enjoyed seeing Simon's photographs as much as I do! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will pass them on to Simon and thanks!
Recently I was asked to participate in a portfolio exchange where the subject matter of the print was to represent yourself as an artist. I decided to go with a doodle in my sketchbook, which was this fern-like leaf I'd been painting repeatedly. In fact what I tried to do was recreate my watercolor sketch into a flat screen print. I wrote about that print in a previous blog post over here.
That print turned out so pretty I went with the same concept but in a bigger 8x10 version for the March Print of the Month! I used brighter colors that remind me of March and new little green things coming up in the garden.
I love the orange, green and yellows in this print. And how awesome does this look on our lavender wall!?
This Ikea wooden frame works perfectly by adding just a touch of warmth to the print.
The March Print of the Month is a signed limited edition of 45. You can find it in the Art Prints section of the shop along with other yummy art prints for your home.
Thanks for reading, now on to ideas for the April Print of the Month. Do you guys have a favorite flower that blooms in April?
Here are four examples of ways you can combine and style our hand printed, organic natural table linens to have a home that feels and looks like spring!
Our muted color palette and botanical textiles are designed to be mixed together to create a beautiful, effortless and timeless look on any table. Add a hand-picked bouquet from the yard and voilà! I put together four examples of spring time tables to give you ideas to brightened your home decor this season.
Ginkgo and Pokeberry make a pretty pair in this setting. The patterns compliment each other without being too matchy. The hints of green in our Pokeberry design compliment the yellows of Ginkgo.
Our Brown Thrasher design in a bold brown pairs nicely with the chalky blue of our Parlor napkins. A few cut daffodils from the yard gives the table an extra pop of color.
Heuchera is a delicate and graceful pattern for spring. I love the smokey, dark purple bell flowers that make this pattern pop. Pairing our Heuchera table runner with Parlor in ochre napkins makes for color and pattern heaven. Different shades of purples and yellows make this combination harmonize.
p.s. I love the gold and pink from our dessert plates here! They give this setting a fun, relaxed vibe. Remember not to fuss with pattern and color matching when you're setting your table. Including your own heirlooms and everyday tableware is what makes your home unique and organic! :)
Lastly, here's my favorite combination! Ginkgo in sage with Huechera and Pokeberry napkins. This combination says nothing but "Spring Time!" to me. I snipped a small branch from our crabapple tree to add a little bloom to the table.
Here we're working with complimentary shades of green and purple. Pure color harmony. I love the botanical mix in this table setting; Ginkgo, Heuchera, and Pokeberry.
Now invite your nature loving friend over for tea and enjoy our hand printed, organic cotton textiles made for your home.
You can find all the table linens mentioned in our online shop!
p.s. Our textiles are made to be enjoyed in your home everyday. Don't be afraid to wash and use these organic/hemp table linens. If you need more assurance, read this post on how to care for our fabrics. :)
Here's a new calendar for your devices. This beautiful photo is by Simon and I added a some ferny edges. :) Enjoy!
To change out your wallpaper, click to open original image. Right-click to save the image to your computer, then switch out your wallpaper.
I've been painting with watercolors a lot lately. My favorite thing to do is work up layers of color and plants in my watercolor sketchbook. So when I was asked recently to participate in a portfolio exchange, I thought I would try making a screenprint inspired by this sketch I posted on Instagram.
Here are some process shots from printing in the studio:
I love working within the limitations of screenprinting, and getting this layered, almost painted feeling from a print is so exciting. I get mesmerized staring at the result.
Incorporating hand made or hand printed artwork on your walls and shelves can make your space feel so much more meaningful and special to you. It's easy to start a hand made collection and show it off beautifully. So, I have some ideas for how I think this little print (it's a standard 5x7 inches) could work in your home.
There are lots of different ways to frame a small piece of art like this. The best looking way in my opinions is to have it float-mounted. With this method the edition size, signature and date are all visible, as well as any decorative or bleed edges. But, not everyone is able to afford custom framing, so you can always find decent looking frames with mats for standard print sizes. We tend to use IKEA frames. :)
So, how do you incorporate small pieces of art in your home?
Here's an idea for an office study. Framed pieces of art don't always have to go on the wall. Style your desk to be inspiring, clean and beautiful so you'll want to sit down to work!
interior image from: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/portfolio
Here's an idea for a entry way. I love the combinations of color here. Use this print to add color in a neutral room.
interior image from: http://apersonalorganizer.com/help-organizing-a-narrow-entry/
Speaking of color, how pretty is this dark grey room living room? Adding accent colors, like the violet in my print or that bright yellow vase on the mantel, really makes an interesting statement in this dark grey interior. I love how darker walls help to accent brighter colors in a room.
interior image from: http://designsoda.co.uk/study-makeover/
Here's a botanically inspired wall with shelves and lots of green. Don't be intimated by color. The purple in my print fits nicely among the green because they are complementary colors.
interior image from: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/oversized-botanical-printed-canvas/?bnrid=3350701&cm_ven=pinterestads&cm_cat=adaptly&cm_pla=CPCPins&cm_ite=D%C3%A9cor
Here's another gallery wall using a dark wall color and lots of yummy jewel tones.
interior image from: http://passiondecor.blogspot.com/2012/04/random-inspiration.html
And lastly, here's a example of a neutral wall. I like the pop of color from my print!
So there's lots of different ways to incorporate small, hand printed art in your home. I hope you're inspired! If you'd like to purchase my new print, click through to the shop.
Thanks for reading!
Simon and I have a show installed at the C-U-B-E Gallery in the Lamar Dodd School of Art! The work is a series of monoprints that execute a concept or set of guidelines, which although agreed upon in advance, required reconsideration and improvisation at every stage of the print.
The concepts range from a mathematical approach to color mixing, layering to create depth and density, and color blending via image masking and transparency.
For each work, we used our large scale repeat patterns that we use to print yardage for Sara Parker Textiles. It was exhilarating to be freed from the confines of our strict repeat patterns and to explore other possibilities in our large scale designs.
In this piece, we wanted to celebrate the size of the repeat block which makes our Parlor design. We increased the amount of transparent base to our ink by exactly 50% each time we printed. The effect shows where our hands printed the repeat block each time.
In these pieces, we utilized masking and transparency to create a graphic work based off our Morning Glory design.
We have three very large monoprints hanging in the show that are a result of multiple layers, transparency, and play:
Our work is on view at the C-U-B-E Gallery, room N231, in the Lamar Dodd School of Art. The Art School is open to the public.
Monday: 10am- 9:00pm
Tuesday: 10am- 9:30pm
Wednesday: 10am- 7:00pm
Thursday: 10am- 9:30pm
The Print of the Month for February is this Red-Bellied Woodpecker.
We're seeing loads of these guys in our front garden this time of year. We have two suet feeders in the chaste tree and if I leave the curtain open, I can usually sneak up on them feeding throughout the day. I managed to snap some photos!
I just love their black and white feathers and bright-red head. Read more about these common woodpeckers and listen to their calls here.
Here's a goofy watercolor sketch I made before painting the films for printing. I love drawing birds.
I hand paint all the color separations:
Then it's time to print!
This print is available in the shop!
If you want to read more about my Print of the Month series for 2017, have a look at this post: https://www.saraparkertextiles.com/blogs/news/a-new-print-series-for-2017
We just got back from the Images Art Festival in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Here's what our booth looked like:
This was the 40th year of the festival, with 225 vendors selling original paintings, prints, sculpture and jewelry. I was very surprised and pleased to win a Judge's Choice award! I met some very interesting people like Bruce Hoffman who is one of the curators and founders of Fiber Philadelphia and the International Fiber Biennial. New Smyrna was a nice town to visit. We had delicious Italian food and mint chocolate chip ice cream. :)
We walked to the beach on our last night. It was huge and the sky was beautiful.
It's time to switch out your desktop calendar!
I'm so eager to get back in the garden with these 70-degree days. This photo is from last year when our garden phlox was in full bloom. This is a variegated variety with light blueish-purple washes. It's very hardy: it can handle our hot humid summers and doesn't mind poor drainage. I fertilized it with lots of our home-made compost last year, so maybe this year it will multiply and take over the entire bed!
To change out your wallpaper, click to open original image. Right-click to save the image to your computer, then switch out your wallpaper. Enjoy!
Over the last month, we've been printing and sewing up a storm, to prepare for the Images Art Festival in New Smyrna Beach, Florida! We'll be showing off the best of our homeware collection. The show runs Friday, January 27th - 29th. I can't wait to see the beach and have a change of scenery. Here are some pics from the studio gearing up for the show.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! And if you've ever been to New Smyrna Beach and have a dining recommendation, please let me know! ;)