Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Driven to Abstraction

Abstraction I (detail)

In a move of desperation I tidied my studio. This doesn't happen often and I should do it more, especially since I always "discover" or "re-discover" some treasure.

This time I uncovered several pieces that I had created a few years ago. They are abstract pieces I really enjoyed creating and now think that they have held up well with respect to design and composition.
I'm revisiting abstraction.

There is a series in my mind. Pictured here is the first of this "Driven to Abstraction" series. It's titled "Abstraction I" at the moment. There is a back story that I think I'll wait to share until the series has played out a least another one or two pieces.

Abstraction I (23"x23")

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Barking Cloth Quilts: Art by Vivika DeNegre

Socks & His Toys

I've long admired the work of fiber artist Vivika DeNegre. I'm one of her biggest fans and hope I can continue to collect her work.

I commissioned her to re-create from a photo a remembrance of our wonderful old cat Mr. Socks. She captured our little buddy perfectly, incorporating images from the stories she'd heard about him over the years (ad nauseum, no doubt). It was a birthday gift for my husband. He opened it last night and was overjoyed. Thanks, Vivika!

ps. You can catch Vivika on her blog and very soon on her new website. Look for her among my favorites.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

At the risk of boring you....and me

Lily Pond 19"x27"

It has never been easy for me to learn to listen to the advice of others. Let's just say as I've matured I've learned (sometimes the hard way) that it's a fool who doesn't at least consider advice of peers.

This is the last and, I hope, final posting about this piece.

I hope you can see the slight shadowing and highlighting (and beading) in the detail photo. Suggestions from others....with my thanks...did improve it. So, listening and acting on the advice of others has been positively reinforced ;^)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Days and Layers Later

Lily Pond
19"x 27"

My last posting pictured the first layer of thread work on a piece of hand dyed cotton. Today it is finished. Well, as finished as I think it will be. I am open to suggestions, however. I often preview my works-in-progress to others, notably, my art quilt group and, often to my DH. This time was an exception. This is its first viewing and suggestions are always welcomed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Work in progress

This is a really rough photo of my current work: hand dyed wholecloth with stitch and crayon. At this point I think it needs to spend some time on my design wall.

Lately, wholecloth (mostly) and machine stitching seem to be what interests me.

In the meanwhile a big (4' x 6') pieced background languishes on my design wall deciding what it wants to be when it's finished. I'm not sure where I'm going with it no photos.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Letting the piece talk to you

19" x 19"
Wholecloth, hand dyed, crayon, paint sticks, paint, wax resist, stitch.

Just Monday I was happy with "Windfall". Well, I thought I was. I put it up to photograph and left it there....and it "spoke" to me. Something to the effect that it wasn't complete.

More leaves? Less is more? Oh, to heck, with Coco Chanel's "When accessorizing, take off the last thing you put on".

I MIGHT be done now. (Okay, "the other" Diane, NOW what do you think?)

A creative burst

"Promised Land"
46" x 20"

Wholecloth, crayon, dye and stitch

First posted on June 26, this piece is now completed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Finding inspiration

19" x 19"

What is it about something that makes it inspiring to me? I often wonder about what inspires fiber artists. I've always contended that a big part of it is texture...we all like to touch fabrics. It is a very tactile relationship. And, then there's color! Where do you start in it's exploration?!

I'm an autumn person, in my own coloring and in
my personal pallet. I'm happy with this piece: both the color and the texture.

"Windfall" detail
Hand dyed fabrics, stitched, crayons and paint sticks.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

One Small Step for Art Quilts

The Small Step taken....

Notice the last line: "View exciting new arrangements of pictures in fabric." It can be difficult to explain art quilts, especially to an audience that overwhelmingly focuses on the word "quilt".

How many times have you heard "My grandmother used to quilt" ?

Our art quilt group was invited to display a collection over the summer at Evergreen Woods, an upscale, vibrant residential community for folk 62+. We'd been there before with high praise and some sales so we jumped at the opportunity again.

As our "Green Challenge" (June 18 post) isn't actually due in NC anytime soon, we opted to include it in our "Contemporary Art Quilts" exhibit. There are 28 pieces, well lighted and thoroughly enjoyed and, after our gallery talk, better appreciated as an art form.

"Yukata Blues"
60" x 58"

This piece was originally created for The Garde Theater, New London, 2008, exhibit of Connecticut Contemporary Art Quilts. It's big enough that it doesn't get out much so I took this opportunity to offer it for inclusion in our Evergreen Woods exhibit.

It was inspired by the thistle on white background, a piece of cotton yukata that was given to me by an old friend who had also lived in Japan. Her husband was a Naval Attache just after WWII. I combined it with some of my own vintage pieces. I painted the green and fuchsia fabric and appliqued it in a mirror of the original inspiration. The whole is stitched with white sashiko thread. It is one of my favorites and it's great to see it displayed under good light.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

IKEA and A Son's Adventures in Japan

IKEA and A (my) Son's Adventures in Japan

When I began this blog I promised myself that it would be about my work. My family was private. Sometimes (actually more often than not) work and private life intertwine and, perhaps, for an artist it's inevitable and beneficial.

Alan, my youngest child, has lived in Japan since he graduated from university during another recession (early 1990's) and, unable to find a job in the U.S., went to Japan to teach English. The "net/net" story is that he never returned except for visits.

Fast forward, skipping over MANY adventures, he is now an enthusiastic employee for IKEA in Kobe. Pictured here is a current Home Furnishing brochure and the bedroom photograph is actually Alan's own bedroom that is all IKEA, except for the quilt on the wall. I love this unexpected display of one of my gifts to him.