Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back to the Drawing Board, literally

I've been drawing with my Bernina lately and, while it's engaging, I see some glaring gaps in my skill level. I'm fine with what I image in my head, the "go to images" that I've repeated time and again. The NEW is another matter. Time to challenge myself to see with new eyes.

Last Thursday I began a drawing class. This photo is the first and last drawing of the day for each of the students. I especially enjoyed the critique process.

Then, being a real glutton for, just kidding. I signed up for Jane Davies "Scribble Collage" two day class. The punishment bit was that I was the "old dog" trying to learn new tricks....loads of new tricks in a very brief time frame. Yikes, it was mentally exhausting. I have to say the weekend class was a wonderful opportunity for me to work in a new, but related, medium: paper. Jane is a lively and very able teacher who inspired us all. Can't say enough good things about the class. I'm sure it will help me kick up my work a least that's my goal.

These are my results for the workshop. I'm thinking one can identify the Landscape...maybe the cruciform, which I modified to a "torii" form. I enjoyed the whole process from creating the variety of material to the layering.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Accepted! August will be BIG.

I am SO jazzed. I got the "fat" email from The Brush Gallery in Lowell MA for Art Quilts Lowell 2011.

I love the Brush. It is an artists' coop that is a wonderful place to exhibit and to shop.

This year I almost did not even enter. The theme seemed so broad and, frankly, I only had one piece that I had confidence in...and that piece had been rejected too many times to count. I know, I know...the jurying process can be fickle. It all depends on the juror and the other entries.

Well, finally, Boats at Slack Tide found an arena in which it could "play nicely with it's neighbors".

I have always liked this piece. Once when it was exhibited locally a woman offered me 2/3 of the asking price and tried to purchase it by going around the dealer. Not a nice thing to do. And, not something someone who formerly made her living as an agent for other people was going to sit still for. Instead I gave it to my son in North Carolina. He's a graphic designer who LOVES it. It should be where it's appreciated.

I phoned him last night to tell him to ship it back ASAP. He wasn't totally thrilled. He is a teeny bit afraid someone will persuade me to sell it. Silly boy.

This piece started with the beautiful hand dyed background that I certainly did not want to see cut up. "Boats" is entirely pieced. The whole time I chanted WWRD under my breath. (What would Ruth Do?) Referring, of course, to one of my art quilt heros, Ruth McDowell.

I just discovered that another SAQA/CT colleague was also accepted. Norma Schlager.
So, again, I'm in fabulous company.

Earlier this spring, I was able to book a hotel room for the Lowell Quilt Fest, hosted by the New England Quilt Museum. Now I'm really glad that I did. I will be able to attend both Artists' Receptions...The Brush for "Boats" and The Whistler for "Diaspora" and "Dusk".

This weekend is such a wonderful time. The whole town is involved in it. It's an opportunity to have good food, good art, good shopping and catch up with old and new friends....gosh, it really doesn't get better this.

An exhibition of the finest art quilts in Canada and the United States. This year the theme is "The Sea".

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 13, 3 - 5 pm, during the Lowell Quilt Festival.

Exhibition Entry Deadline:
June 15, 2011

Juror: Gerald Roy,
Member, Executive Board, National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY; Chair, Acquisitions Committee; Member, of National Advisory Board, Administrator, Quilt Appraisal Certification Program - American Quilters Society, Paducah, KY; Acquisitions Board: New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Okay, I like it better now

While the grid that I'd created was almost exactly as I had planned on paper (I liked it at that point), I really didn't like the end result. I kept adding thread work which is usually a really good thing to do. This time it disappointed on so many levels.

I had even gone so far as to add beads to the centers of some of the flower-heads, disobeying my own personal adage about embellishment. You know, usually it is an effort to cover poor design (hmmmm). And my grandmother's favorite "after you get all dressed up with your bracelets, earrings, scarves, etc. and you think you look good, take one thing off."

In the end I pulled off the beads and tore out the extra thread-painting and let it sit on my design wall over the weekend. Today I had an idea. Freeform flowers cut from painted fabric. Now I like it.

It's titled "View from Vincent's Window".

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thimble Islands

The Thimble Islands is a small string of glacial remains along the Connecticut shoreline. There are from 100 to 365 depending on what one would define as an island and or a rock...and, of course, when the tide is low or high.

Legend has it that Capt. Kidd buried treasure here. Mostly, found today are summer residents, high-quality granite quarried on Bear Island (area distinctive pink granite was supplied for the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Station, Columbia University and the base of the Statue of Liberty), a bird sanctuary and a National Wildlife Refuge.

I guess I've been testing whether I have the "abstract gene" as described by Kate Themel on one of her earlier posts. This piece is titled "Thimble Islands I", just in case I do have the gene, and is 31" x 33 1/2".

This second piece, which is 20" square, I'm less enthralled with even though it came out just as I had planned. Titled "View from Vincent's Window", I guess it MIGHT look like a field of sunflowers as intended but it might not. Back to the drawing board.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dyeing and Discharging

Saturday was another CT Fiber Arts Collective event. This time we were playing with grape juice and bleach. No, we did not drink any of the grape juice...fermented or otherwise.

Carol Eaton has dyed using natural ingredients. As Rosalind Spann is working on a venue for this fall, we are aiming for a "harvest" theme. Carol thought dyeing with grapes would be interesting...and it was. We met at her house (brave woman!) and dyed using both grape concentrate and Concord grapes. I'm not a "real" dyer and, therefore, preferred the more instant gratification of the concentrate. I have photographed my results in dyeing a vintage cotton napkin, some white on white Marimekko and some muslin. I'm hoping one of these
works itself into my harvest contribution but right now I'm un-inspired.

While we waited for the hour that the grapes would take to cook, Carol suggested we discharge fabric in her driveway. I told you she was brave.

Now that is more my cup of tea. I really enjoy the more instantaneous serendipity of discharging. This was much more inspiring for me.

After the dyeing and discharging we broke for lunch. Food too! Everyone brought goodies to contribute. Those meals are always the best. I got everyone together for a group shot.

In the group photo: Carol Eaton, top L, Mary Lachman, Roz Spann. Sitting Cher Hurney, Diane Cadrain and Toni Torres. Diane (aka the other Diane) chronicled the day much better in her blog post.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Small Quilts in Sacred Spaces

This smiling sextet is half of Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective, a newly formed regional sub-group of SAQA/CT members.

Diane Cadrain (L) has all of our thanks for finding such a hospitable location for our first show together. With her are Carol Vinick, Roselind Spann, Me, Antonia "Toni" Torres and Carol Eaton.

Our Opening Reception was yesterday afternoon at the Unitarian Society of Hartford with food and drink which we supplied (supported with carafes of "coffee and" by the congregation). We had great comments from those attending which always makes ones' day. I have to say besides appreciating the exhibit, many commented on the tasty treats we had brought, especially Carol Vinick's plethora of baked sweets. Can you say "incredible macaroons"? Not so easy with your mouth full.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SAQA 12" Square Auction

Every year SAQA hosts a fundraiser auctioning 12" squares donated by members. The funds raised support exhibitions, catalogs and its outreach programs. It is always a favorite...and a wonderful way to start a collection of art quilts.

This is my contribution for 2011 and titled Shards of the Day. I THINK this will be my fifth year participating by donating and, IF successful in my bidding, my third year in adding to my art quilt collection. I can hardly wait for Sept. exactly 2pm EST.

Set your clocks. There's an app for that.