Sunday, December 29, 2013

Xiao Blue and Haru: The end of 2013

Haru and Xiao Blue

The last piece I completed in 2013.

We are a family (2 kids, 2 parents, 2 grandparents) that loves dogs and, at the same time, has various allergies to animals.  The solution for us was 'designer dogs'.  We first adopted Xiao Blue, an Australian Shepherd and Standard Poodle mix.  At the time of our search my daughter asked her then 3 year old daughter what kind of dog she wanted.  Reply:  BLUE.  So mom searched for blue merl and found our first dog, bred on a Mennonite farm near Hamilton, Ontario Canada.  When he returned to his new home, he was named Xiao (little in was the daughter) Blue.

Years pass and some one...still don't know how it was decided...drove back to the Mennonite farm for a dog companion for Mr. Blue.  His sister Haru (Japanese for spring when she was born) shares the same Poodle father.  Haru's mother is a Golden Retriever.  The two dogs could not be more different.

Mr Blue is incredibly smart.  Understands 100's of words...even in conversation.  While Ms. Haru is a delightful DOG.  Wacky and wonderful.  

This year I decided to gift the parents and kids with the dogs' portrait for Christmas.  The background is a piece of blue fabric that is aptly printed with very faint Chinese characters.

I matted and framed the piece and it now hangs in the family office/study.

Ms. Haru

Mr. Blue

Friday, December 27, 2013

Viewpoints9-2 Reveals Today

Today is the second reveal of the new iteration for Viewpoints9.  The challenge posed by Kate Themel was to imagine a risk that you would take if there were no complications.  Would you skydive?  Free dive?  Dog-sled to the North Pole?  Caving, anyone?

My risk would be much more mundane.  Check out the Reveal.  Viewpoints 9-2
Mr Socks 9"x18"

Mr. Socks detail

One of his toys
If you want to know more about my worry about this Challenge check out my earlier response

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Too busy to blog !?

Yes, Oh my!  Aside from helping to mount Local Color at the Slater Museum (last post), I also helped install "Inspired by the Library:  Food for Thought" at the Guilford Library where Sisters in Cloth is invited annually to exhibit.  Then there are the preparations surrounding Sisters' traveling exhibit Double Take at its next venue, The Kershner Gallery at the Fairfield Library the first part of Jan.  

(Don't let the 'library' destination fool you.  The Kershner is a dedicated gallery space run by local artists…very nice location!)  There is a very nice bit of publicity provided by the Kershner in their local newspaper.

Southern Stars
Then there's the time I've been able to spend on my personal projects.  First, I bought myself a Christmas present!  I purchased this gorgeous piece "Southern Stars" by Australian artist Dijanne Cevaal.  It is in good company with my earlier purchase of "Eucalyptus Leaves".  I bought this piece when we visited with her in Geelong, Vic AU a couple of years ago.

Eucalyptus Leaves

Spring Time for Crow
On top of this I have actually had some productive time in my studio…surprise..being this time of year.  Pictured here is "Spring Time for Crow", my contribution to SAQA's 2014 Anniversary Trunk Show:  'This is a Quilt".  I cut a lino-block and printed the crow on commercial cotton, then stitched it to death.

I do like corvids…especially the American Crow and the Australian Magpie.  They are social creatures and very clever problem solvers.  Now, if only the Crow had a melodious carol like the Maggie.

I have also completed my Viewpoints9-2 challenge about taking risks (Yeah!)  I was worried, I can tell you.  But that is a subject that will have to wait until Dec. 27, the official reveal day.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Another Opening...another Show

Just in case you weren't around, we installed our SAQA/CT regional traveling exhibit Local Color exhibit at the Slater Museum in Norwich CT.

Exhibit Dates:  Thru Jan 14, 2014

Opening Reception: Dec 8, 2-4pm

It is a gorgeous venue, as you will see.  And requires a dedicated team for installation.  Thanks to Director Vivian Zoe and her volunteer Barry, along with the Local Color team:  Barb McKie, Kate Themel, Barb Adams, Rita Hannifan, Cathy Smith,  Norma Schlager and moi...oh, and our photographer David Wright.

This was two weeks ago.  Then there was my Open Studios Weekend (see last blog post).  Now this weekend we installed ANOTHER exhibit.  This time for Sisters in Cloth.  Check those out here.

Slater Photos:

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Results are In

Now that guests have returned to their own homes and the last of the Thanksgiving dishes and pans are cleaned away, I can focus on the results of this past weekend's Open Studio.

It was the best ever!  And, not just for me.  Reports from most members included exclamations marks.  And comments speculating that the public might be feeling better about the economy.  In fact, one of the members is so excited he is treating us all to a pizza party on Monday.  I'm thinking it doesn't get much better than that.

Here are the pieces that have found new homes:

Sister Rode the Stars to Heaven

Desert Skies


Tide Pooling

Miyajima Nocturne
I also sold a couple of books: one of my own works for 2012 to the buyer of Renewal and two Local Color catalogues.  I also sold a couple of very small pieces that I don't think I ever photographed.  All in all a very satisfying experience.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Busy Week

Busy…and only getting worse…or better, depending on one's viewpoint.

First:  Viewpoint.  I responded to Kate Themel's challenge:  Okay, maybe I unwittingly DO take risks.  I just might be in denial.

Second: My art quilt group Sisters In Cloth assembled two charity quilts on Tuesday.  Followed by a fabric bin-diving event at our weekly Friday meeting thanks to the largess of fellow Sister  Vivika DeNegre. (okay, is it just me or does 'fellow Sister' sound weird?)

Third:  We are collecting 3D pieces to supplement SAQA/CT's Local Color installation at the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich CT that we install next Monday and Tuesday (Yikes!)

Fourth:  I am readying for the Shoreline Arts Trail Open Studios this next weekend (MORE Yikes!)

You may not hear from me for a bit :^/

Boston Strong quilt top

Colorado Colorful quilt top

Fabric bin diving

Thanks, Vivika!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sacred Threads: Part 3

 As I reported earlier, Sentinelle began life as a lino-cut by Australian artist, Dijanne Cevaal.  I purchased several of her printings when we met her in Geelong, Vic a couple of years ago.  I had asked her if she had any restrictions on how I used her printing.  Her response was "No".  She wanted her sentinel to circle the earth watching over us all.

This year I entered my Sentinelle into Sacred Threads for exhibit in Virginia.  During it's exhibition there, it was juried into a smaller selection of the Sacred Threads exhibit that traveled to Omaha NE.

Where.  Wait for it……..It SOLD!

Frankly my first unwitting response out of my mouth was an expletive.  Yep.  An expletive.  That surprised me too.  Not because of the coarse word (that's happened before :^/ )….but rather Sentinelle's sale produced that response instead of a big ole 'Whoopee'.

That got me to thinking.  I think I had fallen for Sentinelle.

Back to the drawing board.  Fortunately I had purchased several of Dijanne's pieces.  I am now stitching every evening…remembering Sentinelle.  Now, happy that she has found an appreciative home in Omaha.  And looking forward to her next incarnation.

You too can feel the love.  Check out Dijanne's blog.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Shoreline ArtsTrail Opening Reception

Kicking off the Shoreline ArtsTrail upcoming Open Studio Weekend was a reception yesterday by one of the Sponsors of the Trail, Friends & Co Restaurant in Madison CT.
One of the most artist-friendly restaurants along the CT shoreline, Friends & Co certainly lives up to its name.  Owners Greg Benson and Brian Gondek (also Chef) invite artists to show their work in rotating exhibits throughout the year.  In addition to providing well lit surroundings, they also ask for no fees for sales AND provide (as their calendar allows) an Opening Reception for each artist.  Really.  They support the local art community that much.
It has been my pleasure to curate exhibits for them and to lend a hand to invited artists in mounting their exhibits as needed.  Certainly a pleasure for me to work with such appreciative people…on both sides of the equation.

 Sculptor Lisa Carlin, 'Words by Jen' designer, and painter Laurie Douglas with  husband Eugene Douglas
The Douglas team, Potter Alice Chittenden with friend Diane Provo

Totally forgot name of charming woman with Painter Hannah Baldwin (r)

Laura Lyons fiber piece "Gemma"

"Fall" by Melissa Imossi who is a new member

Laura Lyons' piece "Mia" which sold :^) before the Opening and had to be replaced with another of her works.  Nice position to be in

 The large central piece is by Melissa Imossi, flanked by two watercolors by new member Steve Plaziak
Two of Jinny Goggin's watercolors are left.  Right Christine Chiocchio's painting

Open Studios Weekend is November 23-24, 10am-4pm each day.  Check the website for details.  I will be setting up my studio with Potter Alice Chittenden at the Guilford Art Center.  Drop by!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Viewpoints 9-2 Reveal Day

For our first Challenge in this new cycle of Viewpoints9, Martha Wolfe posed the question:  Where does time go?  Just up my alley...a question I ask myself every day.

Actually, I have been working on this Challenge for 13 years....the last 3 with more urgency.

"Autumn Turns to Winter:  Unraveled and Frayed"

Let me just say that a few years ago I discovered that 50 is NOT the new 40.  AND, 60 is NOT the new 50.  AND, 70 is not the new anything....anything, that is, but for me, an urgent need to create.

Thirteen years ago I thought of myself as being in my 'Autumn Years".  My visual language included fallen leaves, bare trees, autumn moons and ravens, reminding me of Nevermore.

Those images remain still, darkened perhaps, but continuing to insist that I keep creating.  Everyday.  In the hopes that I will know where my time has gone.

Check out the varied, interesting interpretations:  Viewpoints 9 !

Full disclosure re my Unraveled and Frayed:  

Details:  18"x18" vintage, reclaimed, recycled cotton dinner napkin, raw edged appliqued with hand-dyed, block printed, hand-painted and soy wax batiked cottons.  Machine and hand stitched.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A thread runs through it

Here are some photo notes from PIQF in Santa Clara CA this past Thursday where I 'booth sat' the SAQA table, chatting with whomever would  ;^)

We are visiting in CA visiting Martha Wolfe and some other friends and I was able to spend a day with Martha at the PIQF show.  Great fun!

I'm on my husband's laptop and not particularly adept...where, oh, where are my notes with quilters' names?

I do know that the second one is Hsin-Chen Lin, third is Susan Lee, fourth is a detail from one of several Betty Busbys'.  Apologizes to the others!!