While Margee Halsch’s and Rachele Misiti’s artistic styles may differ, these two artists have several other things in common – an appreciation of nature, love of fiber arts and continued support of BCRC. Margee and Rachele, members of Austin Fiber Artists (AFA), use very different canvases for their art but the results are both colorful and powerful. Visit the AFA website to learn more about the fabulously talented community of Austin Fiber Artists!
“Climb Every Mountain”
Margee Halsch attended Interior Design school in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of her first art instructors Carole Connely was a professional artist who taught her advanced concepts in painting. To grow in her artistic endeavors, Margee continues to study new methods and discover new approaches to express her creativity. Her painting titled “Enjoy the Journey” is one of a series of “journey” paintings she recently created. The inspiration is from a park where she frequently walks her dogs. It is acrylic paint on gallery wrapped canvas. “Climb Every Mountain” is Margee’s second art bra and once again, she showcases her colorful vision of nature. She hand-painted a picturesque mountain range on silk fabric panels that she sewed to the bra to become the camisole. She also stitched a curly, dark brown faux fur to the bra and a lighter, variegated faux fur to the straps.
For each of the ram horns, Margee made 150 concentric cardboard circles, wired them together, covered them in papier-mâché and wrapped them in silk fabric which she hand-painted in shades of maize, orange, plum pink and brown to highlight the ridges of the horns. Margee added lengths of sky blue knotted rope to complete her design. The result is a birds-eye view of the stunning beauty of nature and a reminder of the power of BCRC clients, the climbers who have scaled the mountain. This art bra is in memory of Margee’s mother, Helen Halsch.
“Griffin in Mohair”
Rachele Misiti was trained as a painter with an undergraduate in studio art and social work. Though she pursued her graduate education in Social Work, she found a way to incorporate her interest in animal husbandry and fine art. Rachele has been featured in juried fiber shows across Texas and sells her work on her Etsy page. An example of her extraordinary artwork is a 2 foot tall needle felted Caracara (Mexican Eagle) created with armature, mohair and oven baked clay. All the mohair used was process and dyed at her farm in Hutto, TX. Fiber art gives her the freedom to work in 2D or 3D and play with the endless variables associated with working with a fleece. Plus, angora goats are adorable!
This is also Rachele’s second year to create an art bra. “Griffin in Mohair” was inspired by the legendary creature, which features elements of the powerful eagle and the king of beasts, the lion. The griffin is a symbol of strength, so it is appropriate that Rachele selected it as a symbol of BCRC clients and breast cancer survivors. To create her design, Rachele used fibers she sheared from her own angora goats. With a vibrant color pallet of intense oranges and reds balanced with deep earth tones, she dyed the curly mohair with dharma acid dyes. After drying it in the sun, she worked with the locks to develop “sheets” of fiber. Rachele used a new technique that blended needle felting and the application of moisture and a hot iron to develop a sewable fabric from the mohair. She attached the dyed fiber sheets to the bra to create a bodice and purchased rabbit pelts to cover each cup. The head piece, the beak and ears of the griffin, were created with the same process but Rachele incorporated wire armature and a hat found at a thrift store as the base. The entire process took more than 2 months, with several hours dedicated to the project every night. “Griffin in Mohair” is glorious – fiery like the sun and a source of energy and strength for all who behold it.
ART BRA AUSTIN
All art bras will be auctioned off at BCRC’s signature charity event to raise funds to support local women affected by breast cancer. To learn more about Art Bra Austin, visit www.artbraaustin.org
Art Bra photography generously provided by Flashbax23.