Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Art Element’s October Theme Reveal-Petroglyphs

This month over at Art Elements Karen chose the theme. She decided on petroglyphs. And as usual I love the theme. This lends itself to so many art forms. I actually did a mixed media piece last year inspired by the cave paintings in Lascaux, France. You can check it out here.

This time around, I considered doing another mixed media piece similar to the Lascaux one but I was out of town the first 2 weeks of October and when I returned I suffered from jet lag and re-entry to the real world. And then we did a silly thing & got a new puppy---I know, we’re crazy!

My plans for this month’s theme got sidetracked. I knew I wanted to use rust dyed fabric regardless of what direction I went. The first thing I did was grab a Speedball Speedy Carve Block that I had laying around. I drew a design I had seen on Pinterest and started carving. Well....as you can see I never finished. Those darn circles got the best of me when I started carving around them. I have to say that the pink carve block is easier than the gray lino blocks for carving but small circles are ridiculously difficult when you have limited time. I intend to finish this one of these days. Then I will use it to stamp images on rust dyed fabric and either machine stitch or hand stitch around the images.
stamp carving in progress

On to the next idea-I grabbed a smaller piece of rust dyed fabric that I did back at our Art Elements Art Retreat back in August.  I love the colors and the patterns the rust created. It made it the perfect background for some petroglyphs. Again, I used some images I saw on Pinterest (mostly Native American symbols from Utah rock carvings). I used symbols for the sun, a heron, a rain dancer/rain maker shaman and the. Then some symbols for water or possibly lightening and a labyrinth. I did a quick sketch directly on the fabric with a white gel pen then started stitching. I didn’t like the solid ‘new’ look of the thread so I used some pan pastels in red oxide and burnt sienna to smudge it up in places to age my ‘cave drawings’.
close up of rain dancer shaman petroglyph

Raindancer, water/lightening and labyrinth symbols

Sun and heron symbols

Full view of rust dyed fabric with hadn stitched petroglyph symbols
I think I will still go back and do some random background stitches around the images. Mainly just stitching to highlight ‘cracks & crevices’ in the ‘rocky’ texture of the rust dyed fabric.
I am looking forward to checking out everyone’s creations. Sit back and take a a tour of all the participants.

Art Elements Team:
Lesley Watt: http://www.lesleywatt.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor: https://jdaviesreazor.com
Cathy Spivey Mendola: http://cmendola.blogspot.com You are here!
Sue Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Caroline Dewison: http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk
Laney Mead: https://laney-mead.blogspot.com/
Marsha Neal Minutella: http://blog.marshanealstudio.com
Claire Fabian: https://saraccino.blogspot.com


  1. Love your embroideries, the rusty fabric works perfectly for this theme

  2. Perfect background for your petroglyph stitching! I love it - can't wait to see the progress!

  3. Oh wow! I love where you are going with this piece. The designs and colors are just amazing and I hope to see it as it progresses :)

  4. I enjoyed re-reading your piece from last year, I remember that piece and it is still as brilliant as I remembered! I like that so many people have used fabric and textiles in this challenge it is something I have never mastered so you all inspire me with your designs :D

  5. Oh yes, stamp/lino carving can be such a tedious task, especially for small details. It looks like you've got a great start. Wishing you much luck on finishing it. The embroidery is fantastic! First, the shades you have in the dyed fabric is soooooo yummy! And your stitches are so precise too. Adding a little color to the thread to age it was inspired for sure!

  6. What a great idea! The dyed fabric looks wonderful and the embroidery on it is perfect. So cool.

  7. So so cool! The fabric is amazing and stitching was a great idea. I love how your smudged up the thread! Lovely piece.

  8. Gorgeous fabric, it's perfect for this challenge! I really like your choices for the embroidered petroglyphs :)

  9. I love the fabric that you made. It is perfect for your embroidered petroglyphs. You will need to find a way to display your lovely creation for all to enjoy. Perfect for the challenge!

  10. I also hate to carve small circles and dots! I really changed designs just based on the fact that I don't want to carve them ;) I mean, I can always add dots with a pen eraser or other small items! No?

    The fabric is gorgeous and such a wonderful fit for your stitching! By the way, I found the heron too! I love how you brought the thread color down, so easy but such a great effect! Can't wait to see it finished! :)

  11. Having carved a total of four stamps, I can certainly see how those dots would give you pause. I love what you did with embroidery on the rust dyed fabric. It's gorgeous.

  12. Holy cow the rust cloth tapestry is stunning. I love it!

  13. The rust dyed fabric is the perfect thing. I like the pastels on the stitching too! Very cool - This will be one large piece? It almost stands as smaller pieces too - a series or grouping. But then you'd have to cut them up after the fact...

  14. You had two good reasons for getting started late though. Your new Pup is sooo cute too!
    I like your idea of 'olding' up the thread, that's genius! And of course, the stitching is awesome. Maybe the circles on your carving don't need to be perfectly round, just triangles or rough rounds? (I know, it's the perfectionist in you ... I can identify with that)

  15. Doesn't the rust dyed fabric work perfectly for this theme....? love you embroidered selection and I look forward to seeing what becomes of that stamp.

  16. What a cool background! That rusty dyed fabric is amazing!


Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

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