When it gets quiet here…

It means life has ramped up behind the scenes. Sometimes good. Sometimes less so. A little bit of both this time. I’ve spent the past two months furiously working to meet each weeks deadline to get a lesson up in time for my online class. I’ve learned a LOT in the process! Nothing like a forced deadline to get my rear in gear!

One of the things I learned was that every once in a while my squirrel brain had to have break from the intense focus – just to play. I was setting up a photo shoot to illustrate one of the exercises for the online class (remember the scissors-to-abstract-art challenge a while ago?) and got a little carried away. I hope you enjoy the results.


surface design sampler platter

There is a reason I love teaching the Surface Design Sampler Platter!

kinard_surface_design_students6Many of the students haven’t ever painted cloth before.
kinard_surface_design_students10And look what they do!?!
kinard_surface_design_students9They carve stamps,
kinard_surface_design_students1screen print and stencil,
kinard_surface_design_students3learn to layer imagery,
kinard_surface_design_students2do photo transfer,
kinard_surface_design_students7… and even learn to bead!
kinard_surface_design_students5We call it “drinking from a fire hose!”
kinard_surface_design_students8We also call it…

 Thank you to the wonderful women in Fort Collins, CO for two days of wonderful play time!!!

Lyric’s Lyricisms: the discipline of play

The following is an excerpt from April’s Lyric’s Lyricisms Newsletter. If you like what you see you can subscribe via the link on the top right of this blog. The newsletter also includes a list of entry dates for shows that accept art quilts.


The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.
~William Arthur Ward~

It’s spring here – sort of. The daffodils are almost done blooming but the temperatures haven’t warmed up enough for the farmers in the area to put seeds in the ground. They are a full two weeks behind schedule. I seem to run that way most of the time – a full two weeks behind schedule when it comes to the artwork I want to make for myself. If there is a deadline involved however, I manage to get things done, even if I do run it up to the very last minute. I need to learn some discipline. I want to be able to get things done for myself with no deadline at all.

This month I am going to try out a time honored method known by mothers everywhere – the star chart. I’l give myself a star for each 15 minutes of productive studio time and figure out a reward at the end of each week. Because I know how crazy my calendar is, 15 minutes is a realistic and achievable daily goal.

What achievable daily goal will help you gain the discipline your art most needs?

Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.
~Abraham Maslow~

Even with discipline involved, I’ll start each studio session with play time. A doodled sketch, some random piecework, little compositional studies. Even when all you have is 15  minutes it is vitally important to play. Taking a few minutes to set parameters and explore an idea can open up some very wonderful creative pathways in your brain. Athletes know that a warm-up gets your body ready for a peak performance, waking and warming up muscles that have been at rest, getting them ready for the work ahead. A warm up for your creative muscles will help you reach a peak performance with your artwork.

What is your favorite creative warm up?


In The Studio


It’s a mad dash to the finish line here. (Hanging the solo show next Tuesday.) I’m simply blown away at how much art I can get done when I spend the whole day in the studio working. Of course, I’ve gotten a sitter for little guy, have left middle kids on their own to do (or refuse to do) homework, and the house is a wreck. I haven’t made a good dinner for a couple of weeks.
These are still in process. As are quite a number of other works. I must say I’ve quite enjoyed myself – madly playing in the studio.

Studio Classes

I have it good. I have a loving family who is supportive and patient and I get to work time with some of the most wonderful people in the world. I have a passion for creating artwork and a place in which to pursue that passion. 

The family – never complains about take-out dinners and is used to a pretty messy house. We’re slowly working on getting the kids to pick up their own stuff. I have an id that particular quest will not end until their stuff moves out along with them. And I just won’t talk about complaints about dinners I actually cook.

Those people I get to work with? Students! And the ideal students at that. They are there because they really want to be there. They are inquisitive, talented, and open to what they are taught.  Even if they don’t admit to being any of those three things – they are. I always learn so much from them as well.
The space I have to create art in is a blessing. I’m next to the main living area so that I can hear and see what is going on with the kids. I can look out the window and see them when they are playing outside. The space perfect for me to freely create whatever my brain can put together.
In a few weeks I get to combine the last two – students – studio! (The family will be gently kept elsewhere.) Students will have the opportunity to come to my home and my studio  in Cary, North Carolina, and lean, play, and create for two days. 
Thursday April 8th: Surface Design Sampler Platter
It’s truly a little taste of everything and one of the funnest classes I teach. We dip into techniques such as printing, stamp carving, stenciling, photo transfer, thermofax screen printing, and foiling! Oops! I almost forgot beadwork. Elizabeth and Ellen both took this class at the Virginia Quilt Celebration in 2008 – the fabric says it all!
Friday April 9th: The Forgotten Fabrics and Screen Printing
There are some wonderfully fun things you can do with synthetic fabrics (gasp!) Disperse dyes are completely different than Procion dyes, and totally fun to work with.
The screen printing we’ll do this day is very free, fast, and fun. We’ll use regular full sized screens in some very interesting and  improvisational ways.

There are still a few spots available. If you are interested in joining us please contact me at Lyric (at) pobox.com.


I’ve decided that instead of rushing from one deadline to another – I’ll give myself a day to play as a reward for each deadline met. Actually – once I turned in all of my book work I gave myself several days. I sewed up a blouse I’ve had cut out for a while, turned a couple of dresses into skirts, pants into capris, and made several long overdue repairs. I haven’t done any garment sewing in ages and I miss it. 

The best project? Almost a year ago I purchased a box of scraps from Carter Smith’s cutting room floor. He is an absolutely amazing artist using shibori as his main technique, and a gracious person too. I spent a couple of days piecing together my favorite scraps and now I have an absolutely lovely jacket. You really have to feel it. Pure luxury. If you see me at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this year, feel free to touch it. Yummy.
Now back to the next deadline. I need to photograph a new class for Quilt University. Screen Printing this time. I think I’ll do double duty and call that “play time” too!
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