Monday, March 30, 2009

Other things Australian

This piece was created by Vivika Denegre and when I saw it I loved it. Sometime later, I created a piece that she admired.  I suggested a trade. Voila!  It's now one of my favorites in my small, but growing, collection of art quilts.

Years ago when we lived in Australia we turned a casual interest in birds to a full-fledged passion for birding.  We traveled much of the continent taking in the landscape, flora and fauna...and the birds! 

Because there WERE few ground predators, many of the bird species have both males AND females that are very colorful...and plentiful...which was very nice for beginner birders to become successful at finding and identifying species.

This particular art quilt is Vivika's "Satin Bowerbird" and it reminded her of her home-stay with a Victorian family for her junior year in high school.  The male bowerbird collects items (for the Satin they are blue or white) to decorate the bower that he has made in his attempt to attract a female.  If she  is attracted by the blue bottle caps, clothesline pegs, bits of glass or shell, she will enter the bower of grasses and twigs.  Then they will find a place of their own, mate, build a nest and raise their chicks.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Australia Bound

In anticipation of our upcoming trip to Victoria, Australia, I'm posting a work from our collection of Aboriginal Art.  This piece was painted by Judy Napangardi Watson and is titled "Honey Ant Dreaming".  The country described by this painting is west of Yuendumu, in the heart of the Northern Territories and has been a treasured part of our collection since 1994.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Self Published

My new Shutterfly book containing most of my 2006-8 work is self published, but no vanity book.  I'm using it instead of my carrying my laptop or wad of photos, or, heaven forbid, wagging the artwork itself around.  I have used it to show friends whom I haven't seen in months just what I've been up to and and as a handy opener for conversations with galleries about possible future exhibits.

Frankly this 24 page little book was surprisingly easy to create.  In fact, I'm considering making one every year.  It's one of the things I've done lately to facilitate my work.  Since most folks who read my blog are other fiber artists I can also recommend Artist's Butler for inventory control and for printing.  Can you tell I'm crossing off the New Year Resolution list?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My first art purchase

The first artwork I ever bought...with my own money.

I was one of those kids who always had a job and at 15 it was babysitting.  These two woodblock-cut prints were the first pieces that I bought using my work savings.  My family lived in Japan and I selected these two pieces because they reminded me of the rural area where we lived.  I was given great license because it is such a safe country and I was allowed to explore temples, hillsides, villages, fishing boats and the little ginzas on my long as I didn't leave the island.  And, it turns out Kyushu, while rural in those old days, is still a pretty big island.

Taking a page from Del Thomas' blog posts, I have decided to periodically post work from my art collection.  Much of it is my own, but those were created later in life.  Over the decades I thought my job in the art world was to support artists.  The most basic way is to buy their work, which I have enthusiastically!  Even now that I am producing my own work, old habits and convictions are hard to break.  I think supporting artists by purchasing their work is basic to my life.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where, Oh, where have I been....

It all started with the fourteenth snowstorm of the winter. I really began to miss to our grandkids in Florida! it turned out...we missed the fifteenth and a foot of snow.

I must have been missing the warmth of south Florida for some time. Consider The Kelp was created in February and spawned a series of eco-friendly themed work. The seaweed is made up of Angelina fibers, hand dyed silk cap, hand dyed cheesecloth, and tulle.

During the past two weeks we have indulged ourselves in art all along the coastline: from the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries and the National Portrait Gallery in D.C., to the incredible "Georgia O'keefe and Ansel Adams" exhibit at the Norton Art Center in West Palm Beach, and on to the American collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Indulging my need to be inspired by fiber artists, I reconnected with Kathy Ward, quilt artist and judge, who guides a Design Group in Jupiter, Fl. Sitting in on their monthly meeting was great. Running into my old friend Kathy Rentz at a quilt shop in Stuart was "meant to be". She'd been so busy that she hadn't had the time to check her emails and read my hope to meet her. Serendipity, again.

As we drive up the coast and meet the cold, rainy spring of more northern climes, I miss my studio more and more. Time to go home!