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The personal and professional portfolio of Amy L. Frazer. Amy is a full time designer and artist inspired by the natural and man made world around her. 

Amy L. Frazer Blog

Thoughts, ideas, musings on art, illustration and design.

HUDSON VALLEY SEED LIBRARY COMMISSION: THE STINGING NETTLE

Amy Frazer

WHO DOESN'T LOVE SEED PACKETS? I MEAN EVERYONE RIGHT?! WELL, IF YOU LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS I DO, THEN CHECK OUT THE HUDSON VALLEY SEED COMPANY!

Photo Credit: Kayley Hoddick

EARLIER THIS YEAR IN MAY, I WAS COMMISSIONED TO DESIGN ONE OF THE HUDSON VALLEY SEED LIBRARY'S 12 ART PACKS FOR 2017. OVER 400 ARTISTS FROM 48 STATES AND 7 COUNTRIES SUBMITTED PROPOSALS, AND AFTER DOING A FEW ROUNDS OF SKETCHES, IT WAS DECIDED THAT I WOULD DESIGN THE STINGING NETTLE PACK! KEN FROM HUDSON VALLEY THOUGHT THAT MY EMBROIDERY TECHNIQUES WERE PERFECT TO TELL THE STINGING NETTLE STORY!  THEY WERE SO EASY TO WORK WITH TO GET INPUT, APPROVALS AND PAYMENT. THANK YOU KEN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS AMAZING PROGRAM!!

NOT ONLY WILL MY EMBROIDERY BE USED ON THE SEED PACKET, BUT IT WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN THE SEED LIBRARY 2017 CALENDAR, AVAILABLE AS FINE ART PRINTS AND THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK WILL BE IN A TRAVELING ART SHOW AROUND THE COUNTRY! I'LL POST THE LOCATIONS AND DATES WHEN THEY ARE AVAILABLE.

THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST COMPLEX EMBROIDERY I'VE DONE TO DATE. IT WAS REALLY SPECIAL TO WORK ON BECAUSE IT BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES OF MY CHILDHOOD WHEN I HAD A SMALL GARDEN PLOT IN OUR BACKYARD, I GREW GREEN PEPPERS, CARROTS, GREEN ONIONS AND SOME OTHER THINGS I DON'T REMEMBER!

BELOW ARE SOME OF MY SKETCHES AND IMAGES OF MY PROCESS.

I BASED THE CONCEPT OF THE STORY OF THE 6 SWANS. "THE SIX SWANS" IS A GERMAN FAIRY TALE COLLECTED BY THE BROTHERS GRIMM.

PLOT: SIX BROTHERS FROM A KING'S FIRST MARRIAGE HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO SWANS BY THEIR STEPMOTHER. THE BROTHERS CAN ONLY TAKE THEIR HUMAN FORMS FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES EVERY EVENING. TO FREE THEM, THEIR SISTER NAMED ELSA MUST MAKE SIX SHIRTS OUT OF NETTLES AND CAN'T MAKE A SOUND FOR SEVEN YEARS OR THE SPELL WILL NEVER BE BROKEN.

THE KING OF ANOTHER COUNTRY FINDS HER DOING THIS, IS TAKEN BY HER BEAUTY, AND MARRIES HER. WHEN ELSA, NOW QUEEN, HAS GIVEN BIRTH TO THEIR FIRST CHILD, THE KING'S OWN WICKED MOTHER TAKES AWAY THE CHILD AND ACCUSES THE QUEEN OF DESTROYING IT. UNABLE TO DEFEND HERSELF, THE QUEEN IS SENTENCED TO BE BURNED AT THE STAKE AS A WITCH.

ON THE DAY OF HER EXECUTION, SHE HAS ALL BUT FINISHED MAKING THE SHIRTS FOR HER BROTHERS. ONLY THE LAST SHIRT MISSES A LEFT ARM. WHEN SHE IS BROUGHT TO THE STAKE, SHE TAKES THE SHIRTS WITH HER AND WHEN SHE IS ABOUT TO BE BURNED,THE SEVEN YEARS EXPIER AND SIX SWANS COME FLYING THROUGH THE AIR. SHE THROWS THE SHIRTS OVER HER BROTHERS AND THEY REGAIN THEIR HUMAN FORM. THE QUEEN, NOW FREE TO SPEAK, CAN DEFEND HERSELF AGAINST THE ACCUSATIONS. HER MOTHER-IN-LAW RETURNS THE BABY SHE STOLE, AND IN ANGER SHE FALLS INTO A FIT AND DIES.

ICONS IN MY SKETCHES ARE PULLED FROM THE STORY CONCEPT:

  • NETTLES REPRESENT THE CHOSEN VARIETY. ALSO THE SISTER, ELSE MADE THE SHIRTS FOR HER BROTHERS OUT OF NETTLES.
  • THE NEEDLE REPRESENTS THE SEWING THE SISTER HAD TO DO TO MAKE THE SHIRTS.
  • 6 SWANS REPRESENT THE 6 BROTHERS. THE CROWNS REPRESENT THEM AS PRINCES

SURTEX 2016: THE AFTER PARTY

Amy Frazer

"It's not about how long you live, but how you contribute.  It's about doing your best and doing the right thing.  It's about recovering from your mistakes and not giving up.  It's about the baton pass to a new generation.  It's about the realization that you can not go it alone.  It takes a team." -My friend Geoff Hollister (1946 - 2012)

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THE DOODLE DIVISION

Amy Frazer

PRESIDENT OBAMA DOODLE

PRESIDENT OBAMA DOODLE

THE RECENT CALL FOR SUBMISSION BY UPPERCASE MAGAZINE HAS CAUSED ME TO TAKE A LOOK AT DOODLING A LITTLE CLOSER. I THINK MOST ARTISTS DO IT. I CERTAINLY DO. THERE ARE SOME VERY FAMOUS BUSINESS PEOPLE AND PRESIDENTS WHO DO IT.  BUT WHAT IS A DOODLE? AND WHY DO WE DO IT? FOR ME IT HELPS ME FOCUS. IT'S MEDITATIVE. USUALLY IT'S JUST FOR MYSELF. SOMETIMES I USE IT TO WORK OUT QUICK IDEAS. THERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN DOODLING AND SKETCHING. 

THERE HAVE BEEN ARTICLES WRITTEN ABOUT DOODLING PRAISING THE EFFECTS ON US. HERE ARE A FEW THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WROTE ABOUT THE POWER OF THE DOODLE.  NPR WROTE ABOUT USING DOODLES TO STAY ON TASK.  PSYCHOLOGY TODAY WRITES ABOUT DOODLING YOUR WAY TO A MORE MINDFUL LIFE. AND IN HER TED TALK, SUNNI BROWN SAYS "DOODLERS UNITE!"

SOME OF THE MOST FAMOUS CEO'S ARE DOODLERS. THERE IS THE  DAVOS DOODLER, BILL GATES AT MICROSOFT. MARK PARKER AT NIKE DOODLES IN MEETINGS "BECAUSE I LISTEN BETTER WHEN I'M SKETCHING."  THERE ARE PRESIDENTIAL DOODLERS INCLUDING OBAMA.  HERBERT HOOVER WAS A CHRONIC DOODLER AND MOST OF HIS WERE "GEOMETRICAL". IS THAT A WORD? A LINE OF CHILDREN'S CLOTHING WAS ACTUALLY PATTERNED AFTER SOME OF HIS SKETCHES.

BELOW ARE DOODLES BY HERBERT HOOVER, RONALD REAGAN AND MARK PARKER.

DOODLING CAN HELP YOU FEEL BETTER TOO. FOR ME IF I'M DOWN OR NEED A MENTAL BREAK DOODLING CAN HELP. I'VE HEARD AND READ THAT CANCER PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM "CHEMO BRAIN" CAN HELP EASE SYMPTOMS BY DOING PUZZLES, DOODLING, TAKING CLASSES OR LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE.

SO WHATEVER REASON YOU HAVE FOR DOODLING, KEEP DOING IT! IT'S REALLY, REALLY GOOD FOR YOU!

BELOW ARE A FEW OF MY DOODLES.




MY WORK IS OUT THERE! A FOLLOW UP….

Amy Frazer

GREAT NEWS TO REPORT TODAY! THE SUBMISSION THAT I SENT TO UPPERCASE MAGAZINE IN APRIL WAS ACCEPTED AND IS NOW IN ISSUE 26 OF THE MAGAZINE! I'M SUPER THRILLED TO BE A ART OF IT! THE STORY IT IS FEATURED IN IS ALL ABOUT DOILEIS AND LACE. CHECK OUT PAGE 91 FOR MY TINY ARTICLE. YOU CAN VIEW ISSUE 26 ONLINE HERE ALSO. ENJOY! NOW I HAVE TO FIND AN EXTRA COPY TO SEND TO MY MOM!!

YOU CAN SEE MORE OF MY SNOWFLAKE PAINTINGS HERE.

Getting Your Work Out There…..

Amy Frazer

Sometimes as designers or creatives, it's tough to put your work out into the world.  THE COMMENTS AND CRITICISM CAN BE DAUNTING AND DISABLING. WE ARE PUTTING A PIECE OF OURSELVES OUT THERE FOR THE WORLD TO SEE. But recently I've decided to share more of my work and myself with the world. Brene' Brown talks about this idea here with chase jarvis: Daring greatly to unlock your creativity.

a few years ago I discovered UPPERCASE magazine and am totally in love with it.  "uppercase publishes books and magazines for the creative and curious: products that spark the imagination and inspire creativity. the eponymous magazine was founded in 2009 by publisher, editor and designer janine vangool who continues to wear pretty much every hat imaginable."

THE UPPERCASE WEBSITE HAS AN INTERESTING FEATURE CALLED "PARTICIPATE" WHERE THEY FEATURE DIFFERENT WAYS FOR READERS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE MAGAZINE AND COMMUNITY. IN APRIL THE CALL WENT OUT FOR READERS TO SUBMIT PERSONAL STORIES OF DOILIES AND LACE. WE WERE ASKED TO SHARE HOW LACE OR CROCHETED DOILIES OR  OTHER SUCH DELICATE HANDCRAFTS CONNECT US TO THE PERSON WHO MADE THEM ADN WHY ARE THESE CRAFTS IMPORTANT TO US.

A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO SHARE MY WORK AND GET IT OUT INTO THE WORLD. OR AT LEAST PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS OF PUTTING IT OUT THERE. IT'S NOT GUARANTEED THAT THESE SHARED STORIES WILL BE PUBLISHED IN UPPERCASE MAGAZINE, BUT IT IS FUN TO PULL IMAGES AND STORIES TOGETHER TO SUBMIT.

HERE IS WHAT I SUBMITTED.

"YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS LIVING IN NYC, I FOUND A TUTORIAL FOR CROCHETED SNOWFLAKES IN THE MARTHA STEWART LIVING MAGAZINE. KNOWING THAT MY GRANNY MADE ALL KINDS OF CROCHETED ITEMS SUCH AS DOILIES, ORNAMENTS, AFGHANS AND DOLL OUTFITS, I SENT HER THE ARTICLE AND ASKED IF SHE COULD MAKE ME A FEW OF THESE SNOWFLAKES TO HANG ON MY TINY TREE. SHE CROCHETED AND STARCHED THEM WITH SUGAR WATER, EVEN MAKING ONE THAT WAS 3 DIMENSIONAL! I HAVE CHERISHED THESE FOR MANY YEARS AND BRING THEM OUT EVERY CHRISTMAS TO DECORATE MY HOUSE.
LAST YEAR, inspired by the snowflakes, I INTERPRETED THEM INTO A COLLECTION OF WATERCOLOR CARDS. I BROUght OUT the CROCHETED SNOWFLAKES AND THOUGHT ABOUT HOW MY GRANNY MADE THESE WITH HER HANDS. WHEN I WAS YOUNG, SHE LIVED WITH US AND WE'D HIDE OUT IN THE BASEMENT "Studio" FOR HOURS MAKING THINGS. I THINK ABOUT THOSE TIMES OFTEN AND AM INSPIRED TO KEEP MAKING THINGS THAT BRING ME JOY. DURING THOSE YEARS NOTHING WAS IMPOSSIBLE. SHE TAUGHT ME THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIMENTING, PLAYING AND JUST TRYING THINGS. I'D SAY, "GRAM, CAN WE MAKE (…FILL IN THE BLANK…). SHE'D RESPOND, "WELL. HONEY LET'S FIGURE IT OUT. " AFTER ALL THESE YEARS I'M STILL JUST TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT."

thinking back, I'm so impressed by my granny in that she put her work out there. she made so many types of things- crochet, sewn, wreaths, etc. She would enter them into contests and show them around to friends and family. 

SO THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO UPPERCASE MAGAZINE WAS APRIL 15TH. I'LL WAIT AND SEE IF WHAT I SUBMITTED GETS INTO PRINT, BUT IN THE MEANTIME I THOUGHT I'D SHARE IT HERE.

BELOW ARE IMAGES OF THE SNOWFLAKES THAT MY GRAM CROCHETED AS WELL AS SOME OF THE WATERCOLOR CARDS THEY INSPIRED.

click images to enlarge

click images to enlarge



Houston, we have a website….

Amy Frazer

oh geez. Finally. Launching my official website!  It's a work in progress and always will be. I've been waiting for the perfect time to launch it out into the world. waiting until I have every page and piece perfectly populated. Waiting for many reasons. but I finally realized there will never be a "perfecT" time. Yes, I know, there are still some of the squarespace template photos in there. Yes, I know, there is some greeked text still in there as a placeholder for great things to come. YEs, I know, there are probably typos. Yes, I know, lots of my pages are still empty. And yes, I know that all of this will get populated and filled in at some point. But for now, I hope you enjoy what I do have on the site. It's taken a long time to get to where it is now, even using Squarespace which has amazing templates. I took a class at OCAC with David Greenhill who was a great instructor! If you've ever put together a website, or any type of presentation, you know it takes time. 

Please check out my Keller/ Thread Painting page for a project that I've been working on FOREVER and finally finished it last week.
click on the link below. ( I can't figure out how to change that font!!)