Category Archives: Sew, what’s new

As I made new pieces in my sewing room, I’ll add photos here.

Southwest Series Thread Paintings

During the summer in Colorado, at Arrowhead Point Campground and Cabins, I was able to complete 22 new pieces. That is only half of what I had planned but perhaps my target was too high. Two new series are the “Southwest Series Thread Paintings” and “Sunset Birds.” I included a gallery of the small thread paintings in the Southwest Series. I was able to scan them in at high resolution and follow with a bit of Photoshop. The five larger pieces and the bird series need a photo shoot and I have not decided whether to DIY or hire that work out.

So … here are pictures of a few new pieces inspired by my southwest photography and travels through Arizona and Utah a few years ago

Finally, I hope you enjoyed your summer where ever you are. It definitely feels like summer here in Florida.  Next up is getting everything else scanned and photographed so I can revamp my website and present the entire Southwest Series thread painting series.

Be cool, Jan

Threading Trails Across America

My goal for next season’s art theme: From Florida marshes to Colorado mountains and Utah national parks. My theme is yet undecided but something along the lines of “threading trails across America.”

I am using my photos from over years of travel as inspiration. Two such photos are those below. (Click on them for photo caption.) Many photos I collect are along trails Ken and I have hiked. I include birds and wild plants I photographed along with researching what else can be expected along those trails. I like to include my “artistic” version of those as accompanying pieces as well.

I have much work to do as I experiment with my ideas for creating more realistic trees and, for the first time, incorporating people into my work.  Those are my summer plans along with working for Joe & Cathy at Arrowhead Campground & Cabins in Buena Vista, Colorado.

My next post will probably be a while as we thread our way  North to visit family and friends … then find the trail West.

Jan Herman

Many art shows done – only one left to go

I’ve added a few more birds and feathers for art shows. Over the six art shows I have done (and, only one more to go in April) I have sold 35 pieces of art. Most of the sold ones are the little ones but that is expected.

One little change I made is now having only framed work in my booth. Previously I did sell unframed originals in a bin and decided not to do that any more.  Another little change is avoiding art shows with car shows attached. I have been doing okay selling art except at those types of events that are more “family festival”  than “art show.” This is a learning experience and fortunately I still consider it fun.

My biggest selling event was at Lake Wales, Florida. I don’t know why it was so different from all the rest (except, no kids activities and no car show).  This was the first time I actually got nervous that I was selling too much.

I’d like to think my art work is improving with all the challenges I am putting myself through and I seem to never exhaust my supply of ideas. Of course, I get requests: pelicans, swans, loons, fish (really?), and a manatee. This gives me pause for thought. It is time to think about what my “series” will be for next season. After making a list, it seems I will have to whittle it down a bit. Logically, it seems I should continue on with what was sold, and I may a bit. Here is a brief list:

Purple flowers in pots, an owl and owl feathers on black, a guitar on black, gechos (lizards) done on colorful batik fabric, Midwest birds, Florida birds, sunset over the gulf and camping (lots of photos), Colorado mountain scenes (lots of photos), beach scenes, etc.  If  I do five different photos in different sizes for each series that gives me 45 pictures for next fall-winter-spring. Will I get them done? Who knows!!

More Feathers

After the Suncoast Art Show I knew I needed to make more feathers. Using on-hand frames these are 5 of my new pieces with more to come. These are all in 8×10 wood frames for a show coming up this weekend. A few of my first pieces were feather thread paintings quilted black on black for the background. They never made it to a show because one of my lovely neighbors purchased them first.  I am curious to see the reaction of art show patrons.

The birds are from my old photos of Florida birds taken at the Ding Darling preserve on Sanibel Island.

Have a great day whatever you are doing!

“Lavendar Sky over Heron Pond”

Presenting my latest work called either I am the Heron, or Lavender Sky over Heron Pond, this is a 24×20 inch thread painting over ink drawing and watercolor paint. The unframed photo on the left shows the work before thread painting.

This new thread painting is ready for the SunCoast Artsfest on January 21st and 22nd. It is the first time I will show work without glass over it. Here’s hoping for no finger marks in spite of the request to “please do not touch.”  There is not enough time to get a custom frame ordered for this size and still have it in the show so I am going to present it with an unglazed wood frame I have on hand.

More fine art festivals

Meanwhile, I have been applying to other fine art festivals in the area. This week I was accepted into the Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County at the Bradenton ArtCenter on February 25-26th; the Leesburg Art Festival on March 11-12th; and the 9th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival in Riverview, FL on March 25-26th. There are a couple more shows applied to that I haven’t heard from yet and April shows I decided to wait on pending the outcome of the January art show.

Retail Coming Up …

I will soon have a booth at the Village Sampler shoppes in Winter Haven. Since I have an inventory of hand sewn art pillow covers and table linens from craft shows, this will hopefully be a good outlet. I will also try to sell thread paintings that don’t fit my “body of work” theme and some of my experiments. And, there’s that massive stock of vintage linens I was collecting. I’ll be including the best vintage pieces at booth 307.  However, you won’t see any current art festival work or things like “Lavendar Sky” there. There are interesting art and fine craft booths there along with vintage which makes this MALL quite different from others I have seen.

The Village Sampler is at 155 Ave B., SW in Winter Haven. It is 2 blocks south of Center Street and near the intersection of Ave B, SW and 2nd Street.

Hopefully, the walls to my booth are up and I can get it stocked by Friday the 13th. Hmmmm.


New art and new frames

I made a few new art pieces and new frames over the past couple weeks. I had these unfinished frames and decided to stain and finish them in a driftwood color. I had an urge to present some artwork without glass over it so I made these 8×10 pieces and tucked them into 11×14 inch white mats I had on hand.  I’ll have them at the next show which is January 21st. I am concerned about keeping them clean. This will be a test. All of my pieces have been framed and glazed (under glass), except these three. I wonder if anyone will notice the difference.

Continue reading New art and new frames

Silverton: Watermedia Quilt

Art created from photo
Fall aspens Silverton Colorado

To begin, a photo taken by Jan Herman in the fall of 2014 and a visit to Silverton in 2016 is the basis for painting “Silverton”. The finished fine art size is 11×14, framed.

The painting is watercolor and acrylic media with the painted details done randomly. In addition, other details are thread painted in shades of yellow, orange and green leaves for the aspen. Also, the trees are painted in shades of gray and mauve. After painting, the entire art is quilted with colorful threads through multiple layers of cotton and batting.

Capturing a feeling
My hope is to capture the colorful aspens and sun streaks passing through the trees to the dirt and gravel road.  My husband Ken and I traveled that fall day outside of Silverton, Colorado exploring the forests and rough roads. Furthermore, in the background, mountains peeked above the trees and contrasted with the blue sky and clouds.  Most noteworthy, it couldn’t have been a more beautiful day. 
Quilting Watercolor

To explain, this is my first full water media painting.  Normally, I only paint the background to add color basis. I have plans to paint more pictures to quilt. The benefit of painting first before doing the quilting,  is to randomly accent the character of the painting and to give a dimensional quality to the art. Part of the effect is to isolate certain colors. Further, the thread painting makes a water media color more intense, or with my road colors, lessens some colors to moderate shadows.

Finally, “Silverton” is the first of its series. There are more Colorado themed thread paintings and quilted art planned for this series. I am focusing on aspen trees as well as other art in the series that will be mountain and forest scenes.

Psychedelic Sailboat Series

Introducing a recent thread painting series: psychedelic sailboats.  Oh, I don’t know why, but I was inspired one night while Ken and I were at a music concert at EPCOT when the old “Jefferson Airplane” lead singer was belting out some 70s songs.  I will be introducing these thread paintings at an art festival nearby in m id-April. They range in size from 8×10 to 16×20 inches. I am curious to know what the show patrons think of these. I actually painting them all in watercolor on fabric after I sketched it out roughly. I am not too thrilled with the first one I did. Can you guess which is the first one?

I have been busy utilizing every waking moment I don’t have to be doing something else to getting enough pieces to make a show. As of today, I am done though I still have a feeling I should have more. Now it is time to remake the “art tent” for the show. I did purchase more grid walls to hang pictures from that Ken and I will play with next week. We need to figure out how to hang them from the tent framework. I also need to see how the pictures all line up.

I have more to show in my next post. After finishing psychedelic sailboats I returned to creating majestic birds.

Meanwhile, have a great day. Yippie! Spring is coming to everyone living north.



Feather Tree & Feather Series Quilt Art

Finally … the Feather Tree quilt art and accompanying Feather Series original pieces are done and ready for my April 2016 show at FiArt in Winter Haven. That is the first local show I am doing with my original art. Over summer months I plan to expand my work and what I do has something to do with interest the folks show in my work and what comments and requests they make. Every show I have done has come with comments and I love it. I make what I like, but even with that in mind, I look into making what others say they would like to see.  Everything I do is an experiment. I can’t imagine it any other way.

Back to FiArt: that is my first “art only” show, or at least “mostly original art” show where I compete for sales (and interest) with other original art pieces.  This is more art oriented that the craft shows I have done. I am anxious to see how interest in my work compares in that venue. I have already had one person ask my why I sew over the top of something I have already painted. My answer: because I want to. If you can help me with a better answer, let me know.

Shown below is one 2 by 6 grid wall with some of my recent quilt art, aka thread paintings that are first watercolor painted on fabric, followed by dense thread painting over the watercolor, then quilted in the background. The Feather Tree is 11×14 inch art in a white frame. I made the small feather series art specifically to self-mat into a standard 8×10 package that will be inserted in a cellophane envelope. I had several requests for something “small.”  There is my Feather Tree and Feather Series Quilt Art.

Upcoming: Create a new sailboat-in-a-cove with watercolor. The last one I made was created from a tie-dye batik piece. This one will be created from an original watercolor. The painting is done and ready to start stitching.

Feather Tree quilt art and 8x10 feather series art
Feather Tree and feather series quilt art

Manatee Festival Fun

Last weekend was pretty fun and exciting in Citrus County Florida at the Manatee Festival. We weathered the heavy rain Sunday in the wee hours and winds later. A few crafter’s tents blew down and they left. Our EZ-up canopy is considered a beginner model and not the best. Fortunately we had a good location that protected us a bit from the wind.

I am pleased that Ann S., Cathy L., JoEllen  and Kelly R. signed up for my blog. Welcome.

New and Gone: I was excited to introduce my latest thread painting “Sunset Cove.” It was featured in the back of my booth —the pink quilted sunset with sailboat. On Sunday, Yona H. , at home in Florida and Georgia took it home with her. Interesting that she wrote “quilted painting” on her check. As I am struggling with what to call my art, I hadn’t thought of that but apparently that is how she sees it. Hmmmm?

Mixed Emotions: Being a newbie at doing art or craft shows, I have mixed feelings: 1-I worry about selling enough to cover expenses, 2-I miss my creations when they are sold,  3-I am happy someone loves it enough to pay me to take it home with them, 4-I replace missing my “friend” with worrying about having enough for the next show, 5-I tell myself to get over it and get to work!

Speaking of getting to work: I just started my next “quilted painting” project with a watercolor background on natural muslin. Such fun! I have to wait 24 hours to begin stitching.  If I didn’t mention it already, picture a tree with colorful feathers and a Florida bluejay sitting on a branch.  Not to give it all away, there is more that goes with it.

Among other ideas are FLOWERS. I l-o-v-e flowers. I am excited to watercolor flowers and thread paint and texturize all over them. Care to tell me your favorite flower. I really don’t know where I’ll start except to apologize to the nice lady that requested I do fish. Fish will have to wait.

Next blog will feature the feather tree. Have a wonderful day.

Jan Herman

Booth 525 at Crystal River's Manatee Festival 2016. Introducing new art.
Booth 525 at Crystal River’s Manatee Festival 2016. Introducing new artI ad