Back on campus & online

In the summer of this year I was back on campus at ArtCenter College of Design working one day a week in the Sewing Lab, where I am also faculty director. It was quite a challenge to conduct class in person and also help students who were stuck in other countries and had to join by Zoom. The rest of my time remained online.

This Fall I am back teaching my Costume Design class on campus with the ability for a student to come in by Zoom if they are stuck at home. Although most students are now working digitally on IPADS because of social distancing issues many still want to draw on paper. I am also doing my demos on my IPAD with Procreate which can be projected behind the model as I draw.

I also continue to teach some classes online. My regular class, Viscom for Wearables is staying online and my Saturday class which is open to the public is also online by Zoom.

Sewing Lab before the Pandemic, was full with 5-6 sections of class every term. Switching totally online was tough but we did it by providing students with home sewing machines to check out for free. Now that we are back, those machines are still available to check out for degree students.

Taught by Justine Parish.

Sewing Lab is a great space to work with a great 180 view of Pasadena, CA

follow me on Instagram – @justinelimpusparish

Online Now…and Forever?

In March 2020 ArtCenter College of Design, where I teach and am Director of the Sewing Lab…shut down…like everyone else. We transitioned to online classes…in a week!

I discovered that I actually like teaching online. This new course through ArtCenter’s public program ACX is designed for beginners as well as professionals looking for help with development of a collection or themed project. The focus is – Fashion through the Product Design lens.



SATURDAYS 8 AM – 1 PM – starts Saturday Sept 12, 2020

For students Interested in wearables, soft goods and fashion as seen through the product design lens.   Project topics include: bags, footwear, fashion and functional apparel.  Projects focus on all the stages of the product design process: brainstorming, trend research, market research, fashion/product sketching, form/material experimentation, and problem solving with the final goal to create a finished sample.  Beginners welcome.  In-class discussions will cover careers and opportunities


Painting Tuscan Landscape Curtains

If you can’t have the view you want…paint one.

These are curtains on my kitchen windows.  The windows are old louvered windows that let cold air in.  So since there is only a view of the house next door, I decided I needed a better view.  To act as insulation, I put 3 layers of high loft batting in the window with the screen over to hold it flat. These two curtains were painted as one whole piece, then cut to fit into the two windows. They hang from a tension rod at the top of each window.


When I was in my 20s I stayed in the Tuscany area for 3 months.  This sketch from that time was the main inspiration for these curtains.  The village on the hill is San Gimignano, which I visited.  The house on the right curtain is very similar to the one the family I was staying with lived in.

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The curtains are hand painted as one big piece, on organza with metallic textile paint.  I started by making a large drawing on butcher paper with waterproof marker.  I then drew with that same marker (Copic Brush Point) in light quick lines directly onto the organza. I covered my work table with a large piece of plastic but put paper towels directly under the area I was painting to be able to control the excess water from the painting process.  I use Jacquard Metallic Textile paints and soft round large brushes to paint.  I start with the sky and clouds first, then work my way to the darker more detailed areas.  I work from light to dark value.


Because the batting lets in light, the curtains change color at different times of the day.

DAWN – window light and kitchen lights

MID-DAY – window light and kitchen lights


Painting San Diego

Quick trip to San Diego.  Balmy weather, quick storm one night, great sunsets the next

Tombow pens and Waterbrush on small watercolor pad.







Alaska Paintings: Process


This is my process for creating these quick color sketches.  Most take me around 45 min.

I rough in with light pencil for composition.  Then I draw in architectural elements with a fine point waterproof pen (sharpie, micron or pentel).  I start with lightest colors first. usually sky or water, with Tombow Pens and Waterbrush.  I often blot with a paper town to keep light values light enough.  Especially with clouds, this helps to create some of the cloud shapes.   Then I create the mid-value areas the same way.  It has to be dry between each section.  Last are the darks: black, indigo, dk brown or dk purple.  I carefully bleed those so as not to add too much water.  The last step is more accents of black and finally white (white gel pen)

I am painting how the place feels to me. If I work from photos as in the Glacier paintings where it was really cold, I take the photos and run back inside next to a window to paint while I still remember what it felt like: sights, sounds, smells, breezes, etc.


The finished painting with white gel pen for white accents and reflectionsIMG_E8466

Alaska Trip – Sewing in the Pacific Northwest

I saw a number of very interesting vintage sewing machines.

The machine below is a very old  Singer treadle machine.  I am guessing 1920s.              The Vancouver Museum of History



This one is a very old walking foot Singer for sewing canvas. It looks like it was a treadle machine.  At the Icy Point Hoonah Packing Co. Alaska, which is now a museum.  Hoonah is currently the largest Tlingit Village in Alaska.


Vancouver Museum of History – special machine for sewing fur pelts together. Note the curved needle in front which rotates down to catch the side of each pelt to sew together.  This fur-interlining machine was used at Dodek Fur Co. in 1935.


Singer sewing machine – used onboard the St. Roch – the ship was built in Vancouver in 1928 for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and used as a patrol and supply ship in the western Arctic for more than 20 years.  At the Vancouver Maritime Museum


Making a Grommet by Hand – in the Vancouver Maritime Museum


Modern Quilting in Alaska – 2017 from the Alaska State Fair – Shown at a Heritage Museum in Ketchikan.    Many are referencing local nature and symbols.


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