Monday, November 22, 2010

What a weekend

Open Studios was a success from all of our points of view. The four of us (three fiber folk and a potter) were very busy on Saturday and just a bit busy on Sunday. We sold work, we renewed relationships with friends and patrons, we networked, we met a new audience for our work, we spread the word about fiber art AND we had a grand time with each other.

It's lovely working with friends/colleagues that can seamlessly cover for each other when one or the other is occupied.

This little piece Zen Garden, roughly 18" x 22", has been hanging in my home for a couple of years and this year I decided to include it in the work that I would offer for sale. To my complete surprise, my buddy Robin had never seen it...I thought all my friends had seen absolutely everything I'd ever done...but apparently not. She loved it. Bought it. And, clutching it to her, told me I was welcome to visit it any time I liked. That was a very nice sale indeed. It's such a comfort to have a sentimental piece be appreciated by someone else...especially someone dear to me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More good news

I am absolutely over the moon. "Promised Land" has been juried into the latest SAQA New Frontiers series Beyond Comfort. "This exhibit challenges each artist to venture into uncharted territories of creative expression by turning away from the comfort zones of their established body of work. It provides a 'permission slip' to experiment fearlessly with radically new conceptual and narrative agendas; to employ techniques, technologies, or materials new to the artist. The artistic goal of the exhibition is to encourage reaching beyond comfort to make new and unexpected works of art"

The juror was Marci Rae McDade, a fiber artist, curator and the editor of Fiberarts magazine. My 'fat' email revealed that there were 30 works selected from 209 entries for this exhibit curated by Eileen Doughty. And the even MORE good news? buddies Kate Themal and Martha Wolfe were also among the 30!

The exhibit debuts at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England, August 2011.

Oh, DH, I have the perfect suggestion for that "big" birthday gift next year! (Imagine someone saying that sweetly.... candles lit, favorite dinner on the table)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Open Studio Weekend!

So much to do! So little time! This weekend I will be participating in the annual Open Studios of Shoreline Arts Trail, a juried group of 37 artists living in 3 towns along the Connecticut shoreline. The group covers the range, from cut paper, to jewelry, to calligraphy, painting in all its forms, sculpture in all its form, to three hearty art quilters. Vivika DeNegre, Linda Zimmerman and I will not be in our home studios this year, but instead, we are camping out at the Guilford Art Center. It's central and we will be "bigger" by virtue of our association.

The weather is suppose to cooperate. So with high hopes we dive into a busy and, hopefully, productive weekend. At the very least I will get to re-connect with some of my friends and patrons that I only see once or twice a year.

Monday, November 15, 2010


This month Fiberactions challenge word was transformation. I wasn't inspired until one of the group's members completed hers a full month ahead of the deadline. Doesn't seem fair that there are those overachievers.

That was the push I needed to start playing in my fabric with transformation in mind. I discovered 8-9 paper-pieced Lone Star Block parts, leftovers from a long-ago completed fundraiser. Fodder for transforming I thought.

The Lone Star just naturally lead to my thinking about my life in Texas.... and other locales... I remembered the effect/affect those locales had on our family. I thought about all those people I knew who had adapted to their new surrounds and cultures.....and those who had gone a step farther and adopted these new identities. Really transforming their lives.

Case in point: I have two brothers, a sister adopted from Japan and several friends who also not from Texas. In fact, they may have spent decades in various other places. But that doesn't diminish the degree to which they would identify themselves as Texans. Maybe it's a "cowboy" thing.

I do know that place and culture can have truly transforming effects.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Needle and Brush

Needle and Brush is the newest exhibit at local Madison CT restaurant Friends and Co. It combines my art quilts with the artwork of Branford artist Maureen Squires. She is a formally trained painting major with an affinity for the alphabet. Calligraphy and the gestural line have become her primary subject matter, sometimes with text and sometimes without.

The work will be up until January 4th. I'm very happy with the exhibit. I always enjoy mounting artwork in exhibition and this time was also interesting in that I had no idea which of my pieces would work with hers until the morning that we met at the restaurant with the pieces that she had chosen and the mountain of work I brought with me.

One of the owners of the restaurant, Dick Evarts has for years featured the artwork of local artists. My own art quilt group Sisters in Cloth has been fortunate to display our work there in the past. He is a wonderful advocate for "local". He collects a 20% commission on sales that is entirely donated to the local charities of the buyers' choice. Another of those win-win situations.

Sightlines: SAQA Exhibit

Sightlines Catalogue

There were other art quilt exhibits at IQF in Houston besides Creative Force ;^) The one that literally wrapped itself around the outside of Creative Force was Sightlines, curated by Virginia Spiegel. It was her vision to invite artists (14) who created "...a collection of artwork that was so strong and meaningful that the required continuous sightline would be subverted and assume secondary importance." The installation is VERY strong...and beautiful.

SAQA President Sandra Sider lead a gallery walk through Sightlines with many of the artists in attendance, offering their unique viewpoints about their work. Those attending were Sue Dennis Shelley Brenner Baird, Jayne Willoughby Scott, Kathy Nida, Pat Owoc, and Annie Helmericks-Louder.

An absolutely beautiful hardcover catalogue is a must in my opinion. It is available at the SAQA online store.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Creative Force

The Creative Force catalogue is are all of those published by Studio Art Quilters Associates.

It was a real privilege to have been juried into this show, one that includes some of my favorite artists: Pamela Allen from Canada; Elizabeth Barton, Georgia; Eszter Bornemisza, Hungary; Paula Chung, Nevada; Fenella Davies, UK; Ruth deVos, Australia; Valerie Goodwin, Florida; Jude Larzelere, Rhode Island; Barb McKie, CT; Dominie Nash, Maryland; Katie Pasquini Masopust, New Mexico; Pat Pauly, NY; Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, Netherlands; Lura Schwarz Smith, California; Virginia Spiegel, Illinois; and Barbara Watler, Florida. These are just the ones whose work I was familiar with!

There were several others that I got the chance to see for the first time.....up close and personal ;^).... Linda Abrams NY; Genevieve Attinger, France; Roberta Baker, California; Katya Bessmertnaya, MA; Eliza Brewster, PA; Peggy Brown, Indiana; Grace Errea, California; Monique Gilbert, Belgium; Ann Harwell, NC; Patty Hawkins, Colorado; Annie Helmericks-Louder (whom I met there!), Michigan; Jean Herman, Colorado; Leslie Tucker Jenison, TX (also met!); Paula Kovarik, TN (also met!); Pat Kroth, Wisconsin (also met!); Susan Krueger, Ohio; Salli McQuaid, WA; Kathy Nida (also met!), CA; Julia Pfaff, VA; C.J. Pressma, KY; Melody Randol, Colorado; Dianah Sargeant, CA; Averill Stuart-Head, Italy; Catherine Timm, Canada; Karen Tunnell, Georgia; Valentyna Roenka Simpson, CA; and Marianne Williamson, FL whom I also bonded with during the course of the show.

It was an amazing experience!

SO guess what my kids are also getting for Christmas!?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Home from Houston

This is the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, one of the ten largest such centers in the US with 1,800,000 square feet (11 city blocks)! My friend Yvette Howard and I walked each and every one of those spaces ;^) Well, at night our feet thought we had!

We were joined at our hotel by our FL sister Martha Wolfe for two days. She, in turn, introduced us to her friend Betty Busby, whose work we had both long admired. Just a wonderful confluence of art and artists.

Apparently IQF is the biggest convention annually in Houston with 55,000 attendees. However, we quilters are not the biggest and best spenders (outside the convention) in the area restaurants and shops. No, we share hotels, cabs, desserts and the like, saving our coin for more important purchases. I know that there are several convention center vendors who are particularly glad Yvette and I made the trip. LOL

We were there five days: two travel days and three days to cover the exhibitions and the vendors booths. We also participated in a few of the events.

The biggest thrill was the Artist Talk that I was invited to participate as one of the exhibitors in SAQA's Creative Force 2010. It was quite an honor to be included with so many of my favorite artists!

Another event we went to was lunch with Kaffe Fassett AND 900 of his closest friends. Pictured here is the line which we joined about 30 minutes prior to the event. There was a like number behind us by the time the designated time rolled around. I have to say it was amazing that the 90 tables of guests could be served in such a timely fashion...seamlessly.

It's lovely coming home even though we were greeted with snow on the ground this morning. Now we await the arrival of our packages of fabric, etc that we had shipped from the show. They offered this wonderful idea: you can rent a box and stow your purchases periodically so you don't have to lug so much...then when you are ready, you can opt to ship it home avoiding excess luggage fees. Win/win!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

It's that time again. I like the Blogger's Quilt Fest. I find blogs that I might not's interesting and entertaining.

I'm posting a detail of "Crow" which was juried into a Members' Exhibit for Connecticut Women Artists, opening this weekend at 53 Gallery, Meriden CT.

This little piece started out life as a "doodle" exercise with several layers of fabric then cutting away almost randomly to expose different layers. It laid around the studio for ages before it called for the addition of the crow....and stenciled footprints and application of small stones.