Thursday, February 27, 2014

Viewpoints9-2 Reveal Day!

Gosh, I almost forgot to alert readers.  Viewpoints 9 Challenge 3 is being revealed right this moment.  In fact the third one…Kate Themel's was just posted.  Mine is in line.

The challenge was posed by Lisa-Marie: 9=Nein=NO.  (This year all of the challenges are about '9' and Lisa-Marie's was about 'NO.  You might enjoy reading her actual challenge.)

Here is my response.

Perhaps it's the contrarian side of me, but I couldn't help myself.  "NO" just naturally means "YES".

I recall that we were cautioned as teenagers, learning Japanese while living in Japan, that "Iei" (No) was impolite to say in business and formal situations.  I don't think it's as much of a taboo now, except in retail/business exchanges when it is still very impolite, but long ago and in a rural area it was stressed.

That suited me fine!  I tried to co-op the etiquette and extend it to American-English situations as well.

It is very interesting…and sometimes requires adroit mental gymnastics, to communicate 'no' without using the word.  Prime training for diplomacy that was required years later when I became a parent and, later still, during my career as a real estate broker.

Now, older, wiser and much more experienced, I see real value in not saying 'no'.  For instance, I try dyeing, or a new technique, or a new idea without success.  Perfect time for a 'yes!'  That situation simply set up a new dynamic….time to try something different.

I hope to build on negatives with a big, old, hearty, fist-pumping YES.

You really MUST read the other responses!  Besides the art work is GORGEOUS!

It Would Be Impolite to Say No (27"x27")

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Workshop Update

Yesterday I completed Kate Themel's Magnolia workshop project, employing her layering technique and using Carol Eaton's hand-dyed cotton.

Thank you both!  I enjoyed every moment.

Magnolia detail

Magnolia full

Monday, February 24, 2014

Forsythia? Not anytime soon.

I am getting SO tired of snow!!  We have accumulated more that four times the normal snowfall this year (and it's not even over yet).  I thought last year was bad.  Last March, with yet another snow fall, Dave and I packed up and drove to California for a few weeks.  It is becoming very tempting to head off again.  There just is so very much on my calendar that I don't think I can rationalize fleeing.

Sisters in Cloth just completed two workshops with Kate Themel this past Saturday.  You have to read the latest post there to appreciate the event.  All were totally absorbed!

Also on my agenda are 1) taking down Double Take, our packaged exhibit from Fairfield CT on Sunday, storing it until this Saturday when we re-install in Northamption MA 2) shipping nine Sentinelles for the project with Dijanne Cevaal to France, 3) returning some of the Food for Thought art quilts to their owners, 4) finishing my class project of magnolias AND 5) participating in the SAQA Conference 'Spotlight' AQAConference 'Spotlight' Silent Auction.  It's little wonder that I am sometimes befuddled with what I'm suppose to do.  For a person with reversals, too many demands can sometimes lead to confusion.

Today, I have almost finished my magnolias.  And, I have finished my contribution to SAQA's Silent Auction, 'Forsythia'.  It is only 6"x 8" and will be matted with a 4.5"x6.5" opening.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kate Themel's New Workshop

My Magnolia
Kate Themel, well-known for her award-winning art quilts, is embarking on another adventure to add to her resume of artist, curator, writer and SAQA co-rep.  She is developing several workshops for art quilters from beginners to advanced students.

My art quilt group, Sisters in Cloth, had the wonderful opportunity to 'trial' her most recent workshop in development.  She is offering us two half day workshops.  Yesterday was our first:  Working with her pattern, we developed our magnolias using her techniques.  During this coming week, we are to finish our layering part of the project from the kit that Kate included which contained Carol Eaton's incredible hand dyed fabrics.

Next Saturday we will re-convene to learn how Master Quilter Kate would finish with the quilting. 

It's really, really hard to stop smiling at how lucky our group is!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

About Last Night

Judy Ross' Freak October Snow Storm with admirers
Local Color's Opening Reception at the Guilford Art Center last night was a terrific event!!  Oh, my.  Great food and drink provided by art quilt group Sisters in Cloth, music by local musician and Sister husband John Page, and a beautifully installed exhibit.  Everyone was sorry for the evening to end.

  And then there are those of us who are also sorry that this is the final installation for our Local Color.  It will be on display until March 16 when all the artwork will be returned to the artists.  Bittersweet.

Kate Themel surprising me with hard copy of Local Color

Tom Themel, Kate Themel with Ruth Anne Olson.  Kate's Blood Iris on wall

Mary Lyn and John Page
Christina Blais in front of Lottie the Lobster

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Decisions, decisions

I am literally snowed-in to my home/studio.  Not bad unless you have shopping to do in preparation for our annual Chinese New Year celebration…then the cooking.  AND yesterday we got SAQA/CT's traveling exhibit Local Color hung at the Guilford Art Center (thankfully we didn't need today also as planned).  Friday is the Opening and Sisters in Cloth is hosting.  More on that later.

So.  Decision to be made.  First, at the left is another of my Dijanne Cevaal Sentinelle pieces.  I had hand stitched the center linocut some weeks ago, and today chose it to work on.  I've been thinking more about twin needle free-motion quilting again.  I think you can see the metallic and sliver threads that I used on the black border.  I don't use this technique very often…and after I return to playing with it, I wonder why I don't.  It's very interesting.

Now the Decision.  Do I mount it on the mustard print?  I always over-think things.  Yes.  No.  Maybe.  Darn.   Maybe you have an opinion.  Love to hear it.

The other thing this snowy day provided was a chance to download some of my more recent snap shots from my little point-and-shoot camera.

Aside from over-thinking things (see above), I also forget a lot.  I've begun to blame it on aging grey cells.  But, truth be told, I've ALWAYS had to write things down so that I would have a visual memory that I could call up at some later point.  The problem is remembering to write things down in the first place ;^)

My step-daughter in Florida has always enjoyed having my work in her house.  One of the first pieces I gave her was this Ruth McDowell-esque "Leslie's Hurricane-proof Orchids".  It hangs on Leslie's living room wall.  I felt she needed some cheering after loosing her collection of orchids in the first hurricane they endured when they moved into their new home.

Long ago gift
So here's where the grey cells' loss was revealed to me.  Diaspora below, with detail:  well, I thought it had been lost.  I looked EVERY WHERE for it this spring and summer.  When we walked into her dining room, you could have knocked me over with that proverbial feather.  Get this:  She had admired it Thanksgiving before last and I had GIVEN it to her!  
She told me that she has it in her living room because that's where family eats together when they visit…and it reminds her that we are all spread across the US and Japan and yet we are still a close family.  Now, I will NEVER forget that!

Long ago play with convergence…Steven's room

Woodblock rubbing from Maine coast

 So…back to the task at hand.  Border or not to Border.  Maybe I'll think of it another day…back at Tara.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Double Take

Our group, Sisters in Cloth, collaborated with photographer Rose Delucco Alpert over three years ago to create Double Take:  Photo & Fiber.  Our first installation was at Haskins Labs at Yale University in New Haven CT.  We were thrilled!

Our art quilts, inspired by Rose's flower photographs, were all framed the same size as her images.  Then we each created an 8" detail to accompany the grouping.  It was fabulous…and it had the flexibility to adapt to other venues.

Which brings me to the real point of this posting:  The whole (with some individual pieces added) is now installed at the Bruce S. Kershner Gallery in Fairfield CT. (Until Feb 23rd)  It really makes my heart sing to see it there.  I knew Bruce from years ago when he was head librarian at the Fairfield Public Library on the Old Post Road and I was an over-worked real estate broker and single mom of three children making our home  there in town.

The artists who serve on the curatorial committee for the Gallery were terrific to work with.  AND they hung the show, AND hosted a lovely reception, AND printed gorgeous postcards. Such support!

This installation has so much meaning for me…it's a bit sad to see this exhibit on it's final journey before being broken up and sent home to all of our participants…but really happy too.  Darn, these conflicted feelings are hard to describe.