Author Archives: lucindahowe

Lucinda Howe is a Contemporary Fauvist landscape painter in Columbia, SC.

Street Trees

Street Trees 24x24 inches Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2017 Lucinda Howe $1,300

Street Trees
24×24 inches
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2017 Lucinda Howe
$1,300

Last Saturday, September 18th, I painted in Winnsboro, South Carolina at Barbara Yongue’s Plein Air Paintout, an event in conjunction with Oil Painters of America.  28 artists participated in the event and set up an exhibit for a reception in the afternoon.  I painted on Congress Street, the main thoroughfare of the town.  As usual, I was more interested in the trees along the side streets than the buildings.  I started with a transparent underpainting of orange and red to contrast with the variety of greens in the foliage, leaving just a suggestion of the red brick buildings in the background. 

Posted in Acrylics, Plein Air Tagged |

Storm Grove

Value pattern painted on location

Value pattern painted on location

Last Monday I painted outdoors in pleasant late summer weather. I completed most of a small painting and started a larger canvas. Since the larger canvas was already toned with a mid-value red-orange, I established the light and dark pattern with white and black paint.

Storm Grove in progress

Storm Grove in progress

Today Hurricane Irma passed to the west of Columbia, bringing wind and rain and making us concerned for the welfare of friends and relatives in Florida and other parts of the southeast. Not being able to go outside, I worked in my studio most of the day. I decided to work on the large canvas I started last week, using the small painting as a reference. I decided on a yellow-green and purple complementary color scheme and painted quickly, limiting blending and preserving brush strokes.

My studio is surrounded by trees that swayed in the gray light of the storm as I worked.After blocking in the trees, I decided on a light purple sky and light green background foliage to show light coming through the trees. When I finished the painting, I felt that it reflected the weird light and uneasiness that comes with a storm.

Storm Grove 24x24 inches Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Storm Grove
24×24 inches
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Posted in Acrylics, Plein Air Tagged |

New Beginnings

 

 

Oak Trio by Lucinda Howe

Oak Trio
9×12 inches
Acrylic on masonite
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Ah, September!  

Although January is officially the beginning of the year, September always makes me think of starting new projects.  Maybe it’s a holdover from school days.  September is the beginning of the year for many clubs and organizations.  It makes me hope that cooler weather is on the way.  I have some plein air painting trips planned for this fall, so I wanted to get my brushes wet and see if I remembered how to paint. 

Today I set aside my sewing and went over to Clemson’s Sandhill Research and Education center to paint.  I was inspired by these old live oaks.  There aren’t many trees this large around my neighborhood.  It’s wonderful to have these beautiful trees nearby.  

 

Posted in Acrylics, Plein Air Tagged |

Cirque Dress

Cirque Dress

This week I finished the dress that was in progress last week.  This is a Marcy Tilton pattern nicknamed the “cirque dress” because of the gathered bubbles around the bottom third of the dress.  The crisp African print waxed cotton fabric holds the shape nicely.  It’s cool and comfortable to wear for the last few weeks of the summer. 

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

Sewing in Color

After sewing garments in black fabric the last few weeks, I was ready for a project with bright colors.  It will be hot enough here in South Carolina to wear sleeveless dresses for several more weeks, so I decided to make this “cirque dress” pattern from Marcy Tilton.  I’m using a waxed cotton African print from Mood Fabrics.  It has a crisp finish and looks the same on both sides.  It’s different from quilting cottons that have a definite right and wrong side.  

This print has over-all swirls on top of wide stripes of pink and green.  Because the pattern is asymmetrical, each piece is a different shape and the fabric has to be laid out in a single layer for cutting.  I made several sketches to figure out where I wanted stripes to match or intersect.  As usual, I’m making things more complicated than they need to be.  Wouldn’t it be easier to make this in a solid fabric?   Too late now.

I worked on the dress this week and meant to finish it today, but spent too much time running out to the deck to look at the solar eclipse.  What a treat to see it right in my back yard!

I still have to attach the collar, bind the armholes, and hem.  I’ll have it finished by next week.

 

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

Sewing Pants

One of my favorite things about sewing my own clothes is adding small details that personalize the design.  This week I made pants using a pattern from Diane Ericson and a woven Indian cotton fabric from Marcy Tilton Fabrics.  The length is slightly cropped to just above the ankle with darts tapering the bottom edge.  Each leg has three small tabs sewn into the darts as a decorative element.  The hem of one leg is shown above. 

When I started sewing again after a long hiatus, I was surprised to learn that there are now a number of independent pattern makers who sell patterns as downloadable pdf files.  You print the pattern and instructions on your own printer on letter size paper, and assemble it into a large sheet using lots of tape.  Usually there is a printed version for sale, too.  The pdf version is less expensive, but I’m not sure it’s much of an advantage unless you don’t have time to wait for the mail. But I had to try some to see how they work.  This pattern from Diane Ericson was a pdf file that included all sizes and instructions for fitting.  I liked the many ideas for different hem options.  It was easy to make once I was happy with the fit, so I expect I’ll be using this pattern again in the future. 

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

Lace Jacket

 

Black and white denim lace with red-purple underling and piping

Black and white denim lace
with red-purple underlining and piping

This week I finished the jacket I started last week.  The pattern  is Marcy Tilton for Vogue, V8982.  I used a black and white denim lace underlined and piped with red-purple sateen.  The piping emphasizes the curved seam that runs from the back collar, down the shoulder blade, and around to the side front.  I like the way the jacket turned out and am looking forward to wearing it when the weather cools off a bit.  

Detail of denim lace jacket

Detail of denim lace jacket (detail of side seam and dart)

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

Next Sewing Project

Work in progress Jacket in black and white denim lace

Work in progress
Jacket in black and white denim lace

This week, I have started a lightweight jacket from a denim lace underlined with a purple silk and cotton blend and piping on the seams.  What was I thinking?  It should have been easy to make a simple unlined vest from this unusual fabric, but I had to make it complicated.  The fabric is from Marcy Tilton and the pattern is Vogue V8982.  

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

Summer Sewing

 

Black knit with appliqué (front)

With summer weather alternating between extreme heat and thunderstorms this week, it seemed like a good time to stay at home and work in my studio. I finished the black cotton knit top that I was working on last week using Vogue V9254, a knit dress with an asymmetrical design. The neckline is offset at the center front, and the hem is left unfinished to allow the knit to roll to the front. I’m not sure if I like these details that are less precise than the way I learned to finish garments, but I wanted to follow the pattern the first time.

Black knit with appliqué (back)

I added an applique over the shoulder using a technique and stencil from Alabama Chanin. I cut the leaf shapes from white cotton knit and outlined the edges with a parallel whipstitch. I did the hand stitching before putting in the ¾ length sleeves.

Appliqué detail

I’ve also ordered some fabrics and pre-washed them to prepare for sewing fall garments. I have found many black and white fabrics available, but I’m having trouble finding bold colors. Even so, thinking about shapes, organizing a color story, and searching for materials are all invigorating parts of the creative process whether I’m sewing or painting.

How about you? What creative projects are keeping you busy these days?

Fabric stash


Posted in Studio Tagged |

Sewing Resources

Last week I showed you my studio set up for sewing.  I’m making a black cotton knit top using Vogue pattern #V9254 by Marcy Tilton.  Now that I’ve adjusted the fit, I wanted to add some embellishments before sewing the center front seam and sleeves. I made samples of several appliqué techniques and a stencil from Alabama Chanin. 

I decided to go with the simple white-on-white appliqué and rearranged the stencil pieces a little to fit over the left shoulder.  I used a fusible web (Steam-a-seam2) to secure the pieces temporarily while I stitch so I don’t have to work around pins. 

I’m stitching around the appliqué pieces with a basic parallel whipstitch.  

In the process of starting to sew again, I’ve found some resources for patterns and fabrics. Here are links to a few things I’m investigating.  Are you familiar with any of these?  Do you have suggestions for other places I should look?  

Patterns:  

Vogue, Butterick, and McCalls  Patterns are expensive these days, but you can find them on sale for $4.99 occasionally. Look for Sandra Bettina, Marcy Tilton, and Katherine Tilton.  

Fabrics:  

Mood Fabrics in New York City as seen on Project Runway.  All kinds of basic and unusual fabrics, designer leftovers, new arrivals every day.

Marcy Tilton Fabrics Beautiful selection of cottons, linens, and knits that work with her patterns.  

Inspiration:

Alabama Chanin Collection of cotton knit garments hand stitched (!) in Alabama.  They also sell 100% organic cotton knit fabric, books, stencils, and patterns for DIY.  

Read the story of Alabama Chanin here.

 

Posted in Studio Tagged |