Tag Archives: EBSQ

EBSQ Spotlight on Fibre Art: Cynthia Gaub

EBSQ is featuring Fiber art this month and interviewed me for a spotlight.

Green Thumb April 2009 detail

Cynthia Gaub

Texture has always been my favorite element of art. In my early paper collages, I was always trying to create texture in a piece by tearing and layering the papers. But then I would lock them away behind glass when they were framed for presentation. You couldn’t touch it! I think that is why I shifted to fabric as a medium. It is so much more tactile. The plush of a rich velvet, the scratch of a thick burlap, the slippery touch of silk. Add to that the layers of batting, the design of quilt stitching, the delicacy of vintage lace and the variety of the beads, buttons, baubles. Now the textures are literally so thick, so 3-dimensional they call out to be touched and you can NOT trap them behind glass.
Because fabric lends itself so easily to the 3-dimensional, I have found myself creating dolls and creatures as often as functional objects, like quilts and clothing, in addition to my art pieces. I feel I am still experimenting, trying to get a handle of the many techniques and materials of this medium that I haven’t really grasped the potential of my vision within it. But my latest series of alter shrines for the Beaded Journal Project are beginning to feel like success.
Interestingly, sharing this kind of work online, in a digital format, it contradictory to the tactile nature of the work. However, because of the strength of the camera, and the speed of our modern streaming, I can actually share the work in a level of magnification and detail that you can’t actually witness in the real world. So, as much as I enjoy touching my work and interacting with it on that level, I also love looking at it digitally and seeing the detail that shows in that format.
I still wish you could come over, sit on my couch and have some coffee, and touch my art! Because texture is my favorite element of art. – Cynthia Gaub

Tree Sprite

This little Tree Sprite is finally finished… let’s review her creation.


Originally created for the Mythology Show of December 2005! I started her body and had plans to make her a Medusa based doll. She sat HEADLESS for all these years, because frankly the heads are difficult in this medium and I got interested in other things and time moved on.

She has sat on the shelf by my sewing area, so it is not as if she hasn’t been staring at me, headlessly, pleading for me to finish her.

Then there was the WIP show from this same time last year. So I entered  her in that show  more as a guilt trip for myself to finish her. But it has taken a whole year for it to happen.

The wings were created this past Christmas as I made doll clothes for my nieces’ dolls. I wanted to make them both fairy costumes for their dolls, because they are really into fairies right now. I had some extra trial wings leftover so I decided this doll needed to be a fairy instead of a Medusa.

The reason it has finally happened, is that I made a goal for myself to finish up and clear out all of my half-started projects. I even made a calendar determining which ones I would finish when, and how they might apply to a show.

Now showing in the 3-D Figure show @ EBSQ

Self-portraits don’t have to be pretty


It is the self-portrait show over at EBSQ this month. I submitted a couple of pieces and you should go VOTE for your favorite. This was not entered. This is an example for my students and not really finished… working on both value, proportions and expression. I haven’t felt like finishing it because it makes me look so old and grumpy! This does not fit my mind’s image of what I look like. Unfortunately, I was using a mirror, so it must be fairly realistic.

Here are my other self-portraits “Love of the Bizarre” and “Stop and Smell the Vibrancy” I also have a piece in the Alice In Wonderland show

EBSQ and my Artsy Year in Review

In December 2007, I made the goal to: create at least one NEW artwork (in any medium of my choice as is fitting for the theme) per month to enter into EBSQ Shows.

The shows that I planned to enter vs the art that I actually completed: 

sheba three

  • March: I did not end up creating for the Childhood Show instead put in a couple of OLD pieces in Vice. Drama Queen and Foot Fetish. In fact, it appears that I did a whole bunch of nothing during March. But in reality, I had some major family issues happening, I attended and presented at a professional conference and I was participating actively in Flickr Photo Scavenger Hunts.

Floor Cloth

  • May: The Unmentionables Show was in the plan, but still recuperating from the intensity of Artfest, I wasn’t making very much art. However, I did find the energy to participate in another of Jen’s Challenges. I also started getting heavily into my triathlon training, so days of swimming, running and cycling took a bit out of art time.

 Experiment #2 fabric weaving

  • June: I did not enter the Creation Myths, but instead entered a photograph in Art of the Fan. It was a great month for experimenting in fabric  for a return to Jen’s Challenges.
  • August:  My Triathlon was this month, so all my focus was on fitness, but I did start thinking about the Beaded Journal Project. All plans of participating in shows were put on hold.

BJP_prototype with pages side by side and open

  • October: Why did I plan to enter the Bat Show? I guess because I do like Halloween. Although I did not manage that, I did make a lot of new art for ArtSoMoFo. I also worked on the next month of BJP.
  • November: Another show planned and another show missed… although the election was a top priority on my mind, it did not inspire any art for On the Trail. I celebrated my doggie’s birthday and created my BJP in his honor. The school year is in full swing and the rainy season has begun, so art and fitness seems to have fallen a bit by the wayside. I will need to think of how I can improve being creative during these busy months.

blue fairy

  • December: I made tons of ornaments in past years so it made sense to enter Ornamental. But nothing new was made to enter the show, so I entered a couple of my old cute doggie ornaments. The year ended with a lot of SNOW and fun. I spent most of my creative energy making fun doll clothes for my nieces.

 I love looking back to see what I planned and what I accomplished. It does help me see the cycles and patterns to my creative life. Now on to better planning my 2009 show entries.

2009 EBSQ Show List

I really like the One-word concept monthly idea…

Alice in Wonderland ~ will probably enter this
Self-Portrait Show ~ will totally enter this
One-Word Concept: Economy
Flower of the Month: State Flowers

The Figure in 3-D ~ will totally enter this
Encircled: Necklaces, Bracelets, and Rings
One-Word Concept: Hidden ~ will probably enter this
Flower of the Month: Snow Drops

Squid (& Other Deep Sea Monsters) PERFECT! since this is also the same theme as ARTFEST and the SAME time frame… so obviously ~ will totally enter this
One-Word Concept: Motion ~ will probably enter this
Flower of the Month: Cyclamen

The EBSQ Junk Mail Show
One-Word Concept: Balance ~ will totally enter this
Flower of the Month: Muscari

Reinterpreting Children’s Art I would love to get a drawing from one or both of my nieces and turn it into an art quilt ~ will totally enter this
One-Word Concept: Scintilating
Flower of the Month: Fennel

Macro Bug Photography
Tattoos: Designs for and Depictions of
One-Word Concept: Malice
Flower of the Month: Foxglove

9th Annual Ripped Off
One-Word Concept: Liberty
Flower of the Month: Nasturtium

8th Annual Pet Portrait Swap ~ will probably enter this
In the Bag: Artist-Made Purses & Bags ~ will totally enter this
One-Word Concept: Wanderlust ~ will probably enter this
Flower of the Month: Weeds

Design the next EBSQ T-shirt!
One-Word Concept: Deconstructed ~ will totally enter this
Flower of the Month: Butterfly Bush

Think Pink: A Fundraiser to Benefit Susan G Komen
Zombie Chickens ~ will probably enter this
One-Word Concept: Decay ~ will totally enter this
Flower of the Month: Squash & Gourds (both flowers & fruit eligible)

9th Annual Portrait Swap
Two-Tones Only ~ will totally enter this
One-Word Concept: Bored ~ will probably enter this
Flower of the Month: Bark

Annual Better Late Than Never Show
The Art of the Art Journal ~ will totally enter this
One-Word Concept: Ancient
Flower of the Month: Eucalyptus

Playing Favorites: Picture Perfect

Seth at The Altered Page will be going LIVE with his next round of questions with The PULSE this coming Monday. As he prepares for a month of Q & A with 80-plus artists (and counting) I am taking a walk down memory lane. Next on the list is Picture Perfect.

I have been taking photos since my early days as a kid travelling though Europe. Dad was a dark room enthusiast and shared his passion. Before college I often found his passion to be a burden, when he forced us to stand in front of every statue, windmill and geyser in the world!


(Photo by my dad of the Family at Yellowstone park circa 1970’s)

But then I took photography, learned darkroom processing and the joys of taking pictures. Later I finally got my hands on a digital camera so the cost and time of taking/ processing pictures went down dramatically. I love taking pictures… admittedly most of them of my dog or my art.

Ever since I bought my first digital camera, I have taken many opportunities to go on Photo Walks. Sometimes by myself, but more often with my dog and occassionally with friends. I prefer to look at things close to the ground, often setting my camera on the ground to take the shot. I love to look for patterns and textures.

Up Close and Personal This one recieved an award at EBSQ


This photo has not been altered nor cropped.

Playing Favorites: Mixed Media

When haven’t I created something that was mixed media? Paint, paper, fabric and embellished with stuff… would probably describe anything I have made. So to pick a mixed media favorite is going to be very, very difficult. I don’t even think I could pick a favorite of the ones displayed in Seth’s blog for Playing Favorites: mixed media 1, because I love to look at other people’s mixed media art as much as I like to create my own. It is obviously a well loved art form, since he had to break it into two seperate posts to contain all the wonderfulness.

Art Lives Here Doll

This is a wonderful mixed media doll sculpture that I made at ArtFiberFest a few years back. She is my favorite because it was really my first time really embellishing the heck out of something and I LOVED it!

Where does art live? When does the muse come to visit? Will she arrive in her fancy frocks or grungy jeans ready to get down and dirty? This doll represents my muse when she is dressed to go to the gallery and make an enterance. See larger detail images here  This doll is created with a base body of a men’s tie. It is embellished with buttons, beads, feathers, ribbons, tulle, coins, sequins, paper, wire and many different types of fabric. Her stamped face is sewn in and painted on paper with watercolors. Little pockets are sewn onto the front in sheer ribbon and each pocket is stuffed with yarn, beads, gold powder, other fabrics, sequin waste and even tinsel. Inspired by Kate Lyons and her dolls.

Playing Favorites: fields of dreams

Creating a gallery of my favorites has been quite fun. Looking through my own work over the years and fitting these themes has really shown me the diversity of my own work. Next up is Playing Favorites: fields of dreams, which I think can be translated to work that shows nature or landscapes of some type. Of course when he put together this series of posts, I think he gathered a lot of art from a lot of different people then put them into these catagories. I don’t think he expected to have an individual artist find art to fit each theme. But I like the challenge, so I plug along here.

Earthfin Rip July 2006

Media:  Fabric Collage Dimensions:  14″ x 14″ Date of Work:  07/2006

Night Sky Wanderer is a RIP for the EBSQ 2006 Ripped Off Show. It is inspired by a pyrography called Workin’ On Wings to Fly by Lisa J. Rough. I was really drawn to the powerful woman and the birch trees. It has a sense of strength and peace. I tried to capture that same feeling in my version of it. This piece is all fabric collage using applique’ and quilting techniques. It is embellished with buttons, ribbon, trim, beads and handmade yarn.