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angel girl string thread art card kneeling lois hemphill

Creative Threads — String Art Cards by Lois Hemphill

string thread greeting card art butterfly lois hemphill

Created in string, a butterfly is an inviting and joyful image by Dayton artist Lois Hemphill

Human beings were given hands and hearts, eyes and brains for a reason. We were born to create, innovate, try and fail, and try again until we achieve what we’re aiming for.

angel girl string thread art card kneeling lois hemphill

Using different weights and colors of thread, Hemphill creates a sense of light shining. Angel, string art card by Lois Hemphill.

Dayton, WA, artist Lois Hemphill fully understands this process, because it’s what she does all the time. With a focus on making folded greeting cards using combined mediums and different techniques, Hemphill uses not only paper, ink, and stamps, but also punch needle and thread to create one of a kind, intricate images on stitched cards.

“Some people call it string art, others call it pricking, pin, or thread art, because you create points or holes in the paper first,” Hemphill explains. “You can use a hatpin or something like that; I actually have a utensil that I bought that punches the holes.”

Drawing with String

Using a computer software drawing program, Hemphill designs an image for a card. She then punches precisely placed holes in card stock, after which she strings thread, in varying colors and thicknesses, between the points to fill in the design. The result is a textured two-dimensional surface, with a finished image composed of a series of straight lines, geometrically composed. It takes time, a steady hand, and a willingness to start all over, if necessary, if the thread and the points get off.

“I like to say that there is no mistake, only an opportunity for embellishment,” Hemphill says, explaining that she and the various people she gets together with through the years from the craft group she started in 2007, decided to accept that human error occurs, and it’s part of the creative process.

“When we started looking at it that way, we found that the process of correcting the mistake often resulted in something better than we originally planned.

“We also found that we weren’t so afraid about making mistakes.”

Pushing Past Fear

Fear suffocates creativity, and learning how to push past it is a huge benefit to not only artistry, but living in general. Hemphill recalls an occasion, shortly after she was given a bridal shower, when her then fiance, now husband, used creative thought to conquer fear. It was a life lesson that has inspired her through the years:

stained glass thread string art greeting card lois hemphill

The colorful design of stained glass shines through Lois Hemphill’s string art card, Stained Glass Cross.

“We were washing the cookware and dishes that I had received at the shower, and I was very quiet. He asked me what was wrong and I said, ‘Nothing.’

“He knew me well enough to know something was bugging me, so eventually I said, ‘I’m afraid I won’t be able to cook good enough for you,’ (because he was always talking about what good foods his mother would fix). And then I started to cry!”

The next day the couple went to the store where David, her fiance, invited her to choose the cookbook of her choice and he would pay for it.

“I chose the 1962 edition of good Housekeeping, which I still have today. Years later, all three of our children wanted me to find the exact same edition for each of them — which I did.”

What she also did was learn to cook, to the point that her prowess is now so advanced that she is repeatedly asked to publish a cookbook of her own. But it took pushing past the fear. It’s what makes a good cook, a confident person, and an artist who is willing to try out new techniques and master them.

A String of Projects

strawberry jam string thread greeting card art lois hemphill

Culinary art requires creativity and fearlessness. Strawberry Jam string art card by Lois Hemphill of Dayton, WA

Hemphill works out of her house’s large recreational room, which contains all her crafting supplies. Through the years, she has taught people how to make both stamped and string art cards. She usually works on several projects at a time, and in addition to selling her cards in local venues, she has donated them to the Dayton hospital gift shop. Her next project, in addition to putting together that cookbook, is building a website to showcase her card artwork online.

“My mind is always thinking of things to do, and I don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything,” Hemphill says.

“Fortunately, I only need 6-7 hours of sleep, which helps some.

“My sister has told me more than once that I will still be creating and trying out new craft ideas and recipes up to just before I die.

“It keeps me young at heart!”

Wenaha GalleryLois Hemphill is the featured Art Event at Wenaha Gallery from March 23 through April 19, 2021.

Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail art@wenaha.com. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.

 

 

 

alstroemeria flower petal flower mo devlin

Stay Inspired: Alstromeria on Petal Confetti by Mo Devlin

alstroemeria flower petal flower mo devlin inspired

Flowers are a constant source of inspiration and beauty — such creativity it took to make them! Alstromeria on Petal Confetti, art print by Mo Devlin

One of the most terrific things about human beings is that we’re creative.

Oh, and resilient. The two together make a fabulous combination.

Faced with challenges, setbacks, walls, blockages, and barriers, our initial reaction is to become angry and bitter, frustrated and exasperated. Some people stay there. Others descend into depression and despair.

And then there are those who assess the situation, look at their options, and explore them, inspired by the challenge. Regardless of what materials we are given, there is much that can be done with them, if only we put our minds — our fabulous creative, inspired minds — to work.

The artwork, Alstromeria on Petal Confetti by Mo Devlin, shows how much a creative, inspired hand can do with pink, white, a spot of red and purple. The creative hand in this artwork is twofold: there is the First Creative Hand who made the flower, and then there is the artist’s creative hand that captured it in its space of light and shadow, its delicacy of form, its soft breath of elegance. One could say that both creators did a lot with pink, white, a spot of red and purple.

But the most important thing they did with that creativity is that they made something good. Regardless of the materials at hand, they fashioned them into something beautiful, elegant, colorful and . . . good.

Stay Inspired to Create Goodness

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Alstromeria on Petal Confetti by Mo Devlin.  You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by Mo Devlin are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.

Conversation fish james christensen wenaha gallery

Seriously Fantastic — The Art of James Christensen

Waiting Tide Everyman James Christensen Wenaha Gallery

Waiting for the Tide by James Christensen

He was whimsical. He was serious.

He painted religious themes. But his trademark image was a floating or flying fish, often on a leash.

He knew his Shakespeare. And he celebrated his Everyman, too — the podgy, humpback character who represented the imperfections in all of us.

lawyer adequately attired print james christensen wenaha gallery

A Lawyer More Than Adequately Attired by James Christensen

James Christensen, the renowned fantasy artist inspired by the world’s myths, fables, and tales of imagination, left his mark on the art world, and the world in general, during his long and illustrious career of painting “the land a little to the left of reality.” His passing this January from cancer left collectors and lovers of his work saddened and bereft, as expressed by Todd Fulbright of Redmond, WA, who with his wife Jackie owns nearly 20 of Christensen’s art prints and porcelain figures:

“He will be missed by his family — a great father and husband and grandfather. For my own selfish reasons as an admirer of his work, I always looked forward to his next project.

“What a great imagination, and what fun characters he created!”

Among his many fans, Christensen’s creative genius is undisputed, but for those who had the privilege of meeting the artist in person, the experience has added even more dimension, personality, and warmth to their treasured collections.

“James was brilliant in his humor and intellect as it was ever present in his art,” says Dayton resident Lorrie Bensel, who used to gaze at Christensen’s window display at Wenaha Gallery in Dayton, and dream about some day buying one of the artist’s prints. Little did she foresee that, not only would she own  a number of those prints, but would also meet Christensen in person, during a time when the artist visited the gallery and Bensel worked there.

Pink Ribbon woman in dress james christensen wenaha gallery

Pink Ribbon by James Christensen

“He made you feel like an old friend even upon a first meeting.”

Lael Loyd, present manager of the gallery, agrees, remembering her first meeting with Christensen in 2005, which was also her very first major artist show.

“I was so nervous!” Loyd recalls. “I stayed late to clean the floors the night before the show while Ed and Pat Harri, the owners of the gallery, went to pick up Christensen and his wife Carole at the Walla Walla Airport.” Loyd’s mind raced with Christensen images, embedded through weeks of preparing for the show, and she dreaded — but still hoped for — the possibility that Christensen would pop by that night.

“Sure enough, he did!

“He walked in and immediately put me at ease. The next day, when he came in for the show, it was like we were old friends.”

Shakespeare world is a stage james christensen wenaha gallery

All the World’s a Stage by James Christensen

A talented but regular guy, as Loyd phrases it, Christensen explained to her that he had worked out a system with his wife, Carole, to “rescue” him from being buttonholed in the corner by enthusiastic fans, an occurrence which was not unusual because he didn’t know how to extricate himself without hurting feelings. When he tugged on his ear, Carole was to come over and move things along.

“At one show, James told me, a person was going into great detail telling about a dream he had, and how the artist should create a painting from this dream. After a few minutes, James tugged on his ear. No Carole.

“He tugged harder. Still no Carole.

“Finally, with both hands, he tugged frantically to catch her attention. He wasn’t sure that she hadn’t seen him the first time, but this gave me insight into his sense of humor, their relationship, and his reliance on her to help all go smoothly.”

Conversation fish james christensen wenaha gallery

Conversation Around Fish by James Christensen

Christensen, who began his career as a junior high school art teacher — slipping in freelance illustration and selling at sidewalk art fairs while raising a young family — lived to enjoy international acclaim. From winning all the professional art honors the World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention can bestow to appearing on an episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (in which he created a picture featuring a member of the family), Christensen never lost sight of the ordinary, regular person, and never doubted he was within their ranks.

“Believing is seeing,” was his philosophy, as he sought to teach people to use their imaginations to overcome the problems and stresses of living life. If Everyman could find a way, so could they.

“He will be sorely missed by many, as he touched many lives with his art and soul,” Bensel says.

Loyd agrees. “He helped me see life through a different pair of eyes.

“He will be missed, but more than that, he will be remembered and live on.”

Wenaha Gallery

Wenaha Gallery is holding a special Tribute to James Christensen Saturday, April 1, from 1 to 4 p.m., and invites all Christensen fans, long-time and brand new, to visit and view Christensen’s art. During the Tribute, as well as for Christensen’s month-long Art Event (March 27 – April 22), the Gallery will display every single Christensen artwork, porcelain, book, DVD, and puzzle in its collection, with many being discounted on April 1, only.

Also on April 1 is a special art show for Pamela Claflin of Kennewick, WA. Claflin’s richly colored oil paintings capture the unique landscape of the Pacific Northwest. The artist will be on hand to meet and greet, and free refreshments are provided.

Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail art@wenaha.com. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.

Wenaha Gallery is your destination location for Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Prints, professional customized framing, and original fine art paintings and sculpture by notable Pacific Northwest artists.   Books, gifts, note cards, jigsaw puzzles, and more are also available. Visit the gallery today!