Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Work

29" x 29 1/2"

This work is about renewal of the landscape after bush fires, and, perhaps, renewal on a more personal level after trauma.

I'm particularly pleased with how this came out as it was a product of just plowing on in the face of artist's block.

The central motif is a panel of inked-stamped trees on hand painted cotton. I cut the stamps and completed this bit last winter while Victoria, Australia was suffering from horrific bush fires. We visited there in April and had the opportunity of seeing the bright green leaves practically jumping off the eucalyptus limbs and the trunks themselves in a vigorous affirmation of regeneration.

The strata piecing was created more recently and quite independently in an attempt to move out of a rut. Strata piecing is familiar and satisfying, especially if I don't have a goal in mind. It allows me to play with color and texture rather instinctually.

The two works happened to be pinned to my design wall at the same time. Voila! The strata was reassembled with the panel pieced into it.

The stitching on the strata is free-motion quilting with neon green, signifying new growth, whilst the trees are hand stitched with seed stitches using hand-dyed thread.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My winning bids!

The piece on the top is "Happy Anniversary" by Lutgard Gerber-Billiau ( and the second is "Connections #3" by Deborah Bein (

I was the lucky winning bidder for them in the SAQA Auction's first phase. The second phase is currently up for auction...hurry! ( This is such a wonderful way to collect incredible small pieces of art and support SAQA, and, in so doing, encourage and support all of us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Strange Sun Rite? In Connecticut?

Captured in their natural habitat along the Lieutenant River in Old Lyme CT are two chubby examples of art worshipers paying homage to Patrick Dougherty's sculpture constructed there this summer. The photograph is tentatively titled "Curse of the iPhone".

Patrick Dougherty collects sticks and saplings from the local environment then bends and coaxes them into monumental sculptures. Walking into these magical dwellings is a wonderful, giddy experience.

It takes about three weeks to gather the ingredients and, working with interns, construct...and about a year for it to deconstruct.

It will be available for walking into, photographing, and enjoying through October 18. Go to the Florence Griswold Museum's site: It's worth the trip...and his photo-packed book is available in the museum's shop. (It can also be previewed on his site.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Advocating Professional Photography

OR Preaching to the Choir

Compare these images with those in my last post. Night and day. Right?

Looking through my various postings it's obvious to me which images were shot by my husband and which were taken by me (even when I used his fancy lights). Sad, but true.

Anyone can tell when he is out of town working at his "real" job. Who would ever have guessed that mild-mannered helicopter test pilot by day could morph into professional quality photographer by night? Actually, he's been a photographer a lot longer than he's been a pilot and both date into the decades.

Which brings me to the real point of this post. Getting accepted into exhibits is all about the quality of the photography. And, the curator of my last successful entry actually told me "your work is here because of your images".

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Webinar? Yes. Me! And the world did not end.

While we were in Lowell, MA last month Lisa Chipetine (new SAQA Pres) urged us to jump in and participate in an online crit group. I decided to give it a go, even though I'm not really happy with anonymous criticism and I'm not very computer literate.

I didn't have what I thought was a good candidate at hand so I put this small (about 30" square) piece up for review. It features narrow stripes of text...some Japanese, most English and is titled "Miscommunication".

"Quilt Critique Live Session" occurred this past Monday night and was comprised of five artists with work for review, Sandra Sider and Lisa. Some of the suggestions for my contribution was 1) leave off my dangly bits that distracted, 2) add color to the "faces" blocks, and 3) bind it so that the eye is drawn back in. (

When I started the piece I was pretty unimpressed with it and would have been happy to scrap it. But the critique process changed my mind. I think it might have value now. I am a new proponent of this online crit group. It was very interesting. I learned much from the other participants, both from their comments and from the suggestions offered for their work.

Certainly an interesting exercise and one I will repeat periodically. It's a lovely resource to have at one's fingertips.

I have quilted between the "faces" with script: e.g. "mistranslations", "mistakes were made", "lack of clear and adequate words", etc.

Now for blocking.

All in all a surprise. And I'm not often surprised. (Jaded, maybe.)