Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hanging together

Rosalind Spann is pictured here with her work Dad's Greens Harvest. Behind her are two of my pieces: top Windfall and below Harvest of Leaves. I'm adding this in a rewrite, after I received her permission to post her image. Below is the original.

How happy is this group!? CT Fiber Arts Collective hangs their latest collection in West Hartford CT (l to r Jeanne Landry, Mary Lachman, Diane Cadrain, me, Carol Vincik, Rosalind Spann and Carol Eaton...Karen Loprete was absent). We were all in attendance to mount our exhibit.

The library is very supportive...the walls are self-healing, hence very forgiving and easy to use, the staff was very helpful and there is lighting specifically for the artwork.

The gallery space is three-sided, devoted to the arts.
This photo looks out to one of the library areas.

Irene visits Connecticut...she wasn't nice

Our power went off at 2:52am Sunday, August 28th and it's still off. I used to love camping. I now find that I don't like to camp anymore. I like flush toilets, potable water, fridges, the internet...little stuff like that. (When we loose power the well's pump does not work, ergo no drinking or flushing.)

Trees are down everywhere...hanging in the electrical wires. Many roads are impassable. Fortunately the weather is mild and residents can camp in their homes.

The real disasters are homes and businesses near the shoreline and rivers that have flooded, thanks to Hurricane Irene.

Enough whining!

The big news: Today is the day that CT Fiber Arts Collective hangs it's second show. We are all excited! I am at the ready to help. I have my hanging kit, artwork, camera...boy, oh boy, I can hardly wait.

Oh, and did I mention that the venue is very near a Marriott that is fully functioning? I have internet and a hot shower. Life is good.

Power may return to us over this coming weekend. We will consider ourselves very lucky...and try to help our less fortunate neighbors.

Note two hours later: I'm sorry to be so shallow and such a sissy. I have been in typhoons, hurricanes, blizzards and many tropical storms before. I do know how to survive nicely, honestly...I think my frustration is that the power company didn't make assessments of damage for a couple of days and their talking head said that this "down time" would give families a chance to be together. (no, really, he did!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

I wish I could dye....

I'm pretty good at discharging...enough to like many of the pieces that I have made. But, I've never really liked much of what I've dyed. I think it might be the difference between baking and cooking.

Leap in logic? Maybe not. One requires precision while the other can be judged. I actually am better in that place where I can say..."how about a little of this?" "How about that?". Yes, I did take a bunch of chemistry at university...but I liked geology and psychology much better because they fit my personality better.

I'm thinking it's the same with dyeing and discharging.

Which is EXACTLY why I support other artists who are so good at dyeing. I buy their work.

This piece, titled Sunrise-Sunset (because I couldn't decide) is made from fabrics I purchased...some from Constance Rose and some from Laura Cater-Woods and some from an anonymous dyer. I enjoyed every moment of working with their beautiful hand dyed fabric. A big "Thank You" to you all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Okay, maybe I'm cranky...

What do you do when you are mad as hell? or sad? or happy? or....whatever? I make art quilts.

My latest case in point is "Congress: Words, Words, Words, Talk, Talk, Talk"...too long a title? That's just the point.

Our forefathers set up a great bi-cameral legislative body, balanced by a judiciary and an executive. Why, oh, why then have we degraded into such a wonky, unstable mess?

It beggars my imagination to understand how members of government...elected by fairly small numbers of supporters considering 1) those who voted for the other guy, 2) the great number who are too young to vote and 2) the incredible number who just don't bother to vote. Those elected, when they take their seats and swear to uphold the Constitution, represent us ALL...not just the relatively small numbers who support them. Okay, okay...more should vote. But it doesn't change the fact that they represent us ALL. They all just tenaciously hold on to their little worlds while the whole crumbles. There's just no agreement on anything.

My husband says we have the government we deserve: the best money can buy. While I'm mad as hell, I'm not that cynical YET.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quilt Festival...The Brush...The Whistler

In my neck of the woods "Quilt Festival", "Brush" and "Whistler" used in the same sentence can reference only one thing: the New England Quilt Museum's Quilt Festival in Lowell MA. It concluded yesterday.

Note: In this photo my work "Diaspora" is on left and "Dusk" on right at The Whistler.

My Sister in Cloth buddy Yvette Howard and I drove up on Thursday so we would be there when it opened and not miss a thing in the chock-o-block events that traditionally pack this weekend.

I can truthfully say we were both disappointed. The Museum downsized the number of vendors to the outskirts of one floor of the auditorium where the exhibit has been featured since it moved from the much larger, more modern Tsongas Coliseum.

We usually "win" some treasure at their annual auction on Thurs evening, but they discontinued that. They also discontinued having classes during the event, which is a shame as I think it brings in more people and introduces more people to teachers' work (a win-win from my point of view).

The museum also had different hours from the quilt festival (10-6) itself. The museum closed at 4pm (except for Gallery Night on Fri) you could take the shuttle there and cool your heels until the next one came along. We saw scores (okay...10-25) waiting disappointedly. We walked everywhere, not caring what the shuttle was up to.

Enough of the downside! To quote Lucy (of Peanuts fame): I want ups, ups and more ups!

So here I am reflected in the window of The Brush gallery taking a photo of my work (boats on r). The exhibit is terrific! Geri Condon's piece is great...just to the left as you the right is Betty Busby's two wonderful undersea pieces. OH...I was nearby when Betty's Garibaldi
sold...I was so excited for her I impulsively gave the buyer a big hug and took her pic to send to Betty. How lame is that?

Everyone...okay, an exaggeration..lots of quilt artists were there. SAQA/MA regional meeting was in the morning on Saturday and both the Brush and the Whistler hosted opening that afternoon.
Pictured here (l-r) are Karen Bettencourt, Rayna Gillman (aka the best blogger who posted all three days...go read her comments) and Norma Schlager at The Whistler House Art Museum's opening, standing in front of Bev Fine's work (one of my favorites there). Rayna and I shared quarters...she connected with and introduced us to several local artists (lots of fun!! as you can imagine)

I missed taking photos of so many friends that I really enjoyed catching up with. Had dinner with Sandy Gregg...her work at The Brush is gorgeous.

So. Net Net. While disappointing, Lowell is still an art quilter's destination. One just doesn't need to get there during the Festival. Fortunately the exhibits that are so wonderful are up all month. So, next year, my buddy (s) and I will stop in Lowell, see both venues, make sure we have lunch at LaBoniche (our favorite restaurant), stop into Western Avenue galleries to see what Friends of Fiber/Linda Dunn/Tatja Cottrell/et al are up to and travel on to the Mancuso show which is always in August.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stony Creek Summer Exhibit

Granted: the photograph isn't wonderful. But it's still a thrill to have one's work displayed with artists' work in varying media.

Every summer the Friends of Willoughby Wallace Library in Stony Creek hangs the work of area artists. This year the call for entry was for images specifically inspired by Stony Creek and the Thimble Islands.

Lucky me. I had just finished my own Thimble Islands that I posted on June 15 (with a MUCH better photograph) when the call to enter postcard arrived in the mail. The committee chose to hang it and Stony Creek Salt Marsh/Summer (posted July 25) separately among the work of photographers, painters and sculptors. Like I's a thrill.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I think I'm done

Yes, yes, I know, "less is more". However, sometimes applying the axiom takes more discipline than (apparently) I have. I get overwhelmed with "oh, wow, this is cool" and away I go....over the top.

Compare this post with the last. And, candidly, tell me. I'll be brave. At least I'll know what readers think....won't change a thing though. I'm going to submit this to the exhibit in Japan.

I am sending both of my inspirations: View from Vincent's Window ( the "can this woman be stopped category"....I now also think needs rick-rack) along with this one titled Sunflower Abstract. Let them choose.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another Sunflower

I was invited, along with 15 others, to submit a piece to the Kagoshima Quilters Association Show in Japan this December. The exhibit is to be Sunflowers inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflower Series.

My last stab at this I posted on June 20, "View from Vincent's Window". I liked OKAY but....

So I went back and looked at numerous Van Gogh Sunflowers. So...really...who could not be inspired ?...and who could be happy with being compared to Van Gogh. Yikes. Not me.

I decided to go on a totally different tack. I took the colors from one of his works that I especially liked and went from there. I decided to make the piece 18" square (the requirement is 20") so I could make prairie points all around, suggesting petals, that would add 2" to comply with the instructions.

Interestingly, much of the fabric is Japanese...starting with "just enough...I used it all" cherished Hana Momen. And what you think is rick-rack....IS! My friends always smile and nod knowingly when I buy yet more vintage rick-rack. But's useful. You just never know when.