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Abstract and Geometric, another stunning book in Martha Sielman's series on quilt art, has just been released this month and I am extremely fortunate to be among the artists selected for inclusion. As she explains in her introduction, Martha received over 1300 images in answer to her call for entry from 461 artists, the best of the best in the field. Profiles of 29 major artists and three galleries featuring 97 more fill this full-color feast for the eyes. I found many of my favorite artists as well as some whose work was new and very inspiring to me. Even if I weren't in it, I would have to own this book! Yum. Abstract and Geometric is available at SAQA.com.
For all you art lovers in the Easton, PA area, be sure to see my work at the Nurture Nature Center. This cash and carry salon-style exhibit is perfect for holiday shopping. Shop Small! Shop Local! Buy Art!
Run, don't walk to your nearest Barnes and Noble to pick the latest issue of Art Quilting Studio magazine. It is chock full of beautiful textile artwork by many talented artists and my work and I are honored to be among them. In my article Infinity and Beyond, I share the backstory of my inspiration for my first series, which found me leaving my comfort zone of landscapes and driving me to abstraction. I offer up a few tips and techniques, too. I must say, I'm very impressed with this magazine. It's hefty and feels more like a book with mostly photos and well-written articles, and very few ads. I enjoy reading about the processes and inspirations of other artists and here I found some of the best artists working in textiles today.
This past weekend I spent a lovely time with friends and fellow artists at the opening reception of Connected by Stitch at the Gallery at Penn College in Williamsport, PA. This is the first exhibit mounted by the SAQA Pennsylvania region and what a beautiful exhibit it is in both the caliber of artwork and the spacious venue. Two pieces from my Infinity series are in the show. Many thanks to Meredith Armstrong, our SAQA PA regional rep and curator, and Penny Lutz, director of the gallery, for the long hours they put in to mount this exhibit, and to New Mexico mixed media artist Joshua Willis who was the juror. This is a very special exhibit not to be missed.
After a long break from social media and even my own blog, I'm back. With lots of news. Just over five years ago, I joined SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) and answered a call for entry for an exhibition called Seasonal Palette and exactly five years ago this week that I found out I was one of the lucky thirty-seven artists to be included. We were charged with creating a 32 x 78 inch long art quilt inspired by one of the seasons, mine was spring and that is how I came to make Tranquil Marsh - Wild Iris. And now, five years later, it's back. It went on a long sojourn around the globe, from Houston, Texas to Tainan City, Taiwan. The last time I saw it was four years ago during the Seasonal Palette premiere at the International Quilt Festival in Houston but after that, I wish I could have been rolled up with it and gone along for the ride. Here are a just few pictures of the many ports of call over the years.Gerald R Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
And, so it's back! And, I am, too.
La-di-da-di-dee, la-di-da-di-dah...my painting class goes on and I finally put my Fish Houses painting to bed. I say put to bed because, while it's not perfect and it could use a lot more work, I'm done with it. I needed to move on, so I did. The following pictures are of my third pass (I really wanted it to be my last), a revisit of the original inspiration painting and then, finally, my final pass on Fish Houses.You can see the progress in some areas but other areas really didn't get a lot of attention. I did learn that acrylic paint dries darker and that's why the building on the left got a bit of blue green that was a lot more intense than I wanted. I like how I resolved it in the final version along with the sky, which I feel is clearly the most successful part of the painting. Considering I felt clumsy, frustrated and completely out of my depth while painting this one, I guess it's not too bad for my second painting. I was happy to move on to a new canvas and a new inspiration painting by Christine Lafuente, Old Spruce on Somes Sound. I love Christine's work and this painting is gorgeous, the palette, the looseness, the mood. Yum. And, here is my first pass, just a quick 30 minute under painting. It will develop in next few weeks. I don't know how close I'll stay to the original painting, it may go off in a different direction, for instance, I may or may not add the old spruce. We will just have to see where this one goes. But I'm so happy doing this painting. I love these colors and the loose, sloppy brushstrokes. It's fun and freeing! La-di-da-di-dee, la-di-da-di-dah...
One of my resolutions for 2016 was to become more active in the local art scene. Last week, I joined Artsbridge in time for their annual members show which opened last weekend and runs through the end of the month. The show is housed in the beautiful and historic Prallsville Mills in Stockton, NJ, located picturesquely on the Delaware River. The reception was a wonderful event with food, wine and music. As you can see, the joint was jumpin'. I knew this was a talented group, but I was very pleasantly surprised and delighted to learn it was so large and diverse. Members were only allowed one piece in the show and there were almost 225 pieces in the exhibition ranging from paintings, mixed media, photography, sculpture and fiber. I was very pleased to see at least five textile pieces in the show. Artsbridge is a group of artists of many disciplines - painters, sculptors, photographers, writers, actors, musicians and filmmakers - who have gathered together on a volunteer basis to foster and promote local artists and to make the arts available to all segments of the community through education, exhibition and performance. And, I'm happy to be in such good company.
Week four of my painting class... I neglected to include some details of the artwork that I'm working from for my second attempt at painting in my on-going painting class. It is a 1921 piece by Bernhard Gutmann called Fish Houses, Monhegan.As I continued working on this piece, right side up this time, I found myself getting very frustrated and I realized I'd made a mistake in selecting this painting to work from. It's entirely too busy, too busy for my novice level and too busy for my taste level. I like large simple fields without a lot of detail or compositional elements. I guess that's why I like the sky, the water and the building on the left. You might be asking what made me choose this one in the first place (for heaven's sake). Well, I was drawn to the rough texture and loose detail, but I guess even loose detail is too much detail for me. Lesson learned. So, there I was making a mess and getting confused when my instructor Maureen came over and turned it upside down again. This is to force me to just see shapes and not get caught up in detail. Here is what I ended up with by the end of class, upside down... And right side up...a little more detail taking shape. I will give this painting one more go at the next class and then I'll move on to something simpler...I hope.
My painting class continues and I learned a lesson in the importance of focusing on shapes when painting landscapes and a trick in how to do that - paint upside down. No, not painting while standing on your head, though that might provide some interesting lessons in how to amuse your classmates, but rather turning the picture your are working from upside down. This forces you to see only the larger shapes, without context, to avoid getting caught up in focusing on the details too early. I'm afraid I neglected to capture a shot of the painting I'm working from (I'll provide that next week) but here is my painting upside down and what I saw as I was painting it.I really felt very foolish and incompetent while doing this. The only parts I felt good about were the larger spaces, the sky, of course, is easy for me, the bit of water and the buildings to the right and left. I felt the top part was a hot mess but I was having fun slobbing the paint on. Then, at the end of the class I turned it right side up and voilá... Mind you, this is mostly under painting so it's missing a lot of detail, though I'm already liking the sky, water and those buildings. I didn't realize while I was painting that the lower center vertical shape was a man, currently with no head. Details, details...c'est la vie. If you look closely, you will see some blotchy spots. When I was gathering up my things at the end of class, I prepared my canvas for transport by putting a layer of plastic wrap over it but then was worried about it sticking. I lifted it off and sure enough it did stick to some wet spots, lifting off some of the top layer of paint revealing a different color underneath. Oops! I showed it to my instructor Maureen and I think I startled her when I explained what happened and that I liked it, it created an interesting texture. She agreed and I think she even learned something new, too. After all, this is the kind of thing we textile artists do all the time...add color, discharge color, embrace the happy accidents. Stay tuned for the finished painting. I'm not promising that it will be good so...
I took another pass at my Pears painting in class last Friday by adding more layers to the under-painting. Working with acrylics is such a different experience than working with textiles. Acrylics dry fast! Rendering them unworkable. The first day of class, our instructor Maureen had supplied us with an acrylic retarder which, when poured on top of and blended into acrylic paint, keeps it from drying out so fast and prolongs its working time. We were on our own for the second class and I thought I had purchased the correct product, a blending medium with the word retardateur in the French translation, but it wasn't the same at all. So, I was at a disadvantage struggling to keep ahead of the drying paint and mixed the colors as best I could. Despite it all I'm happy with the results... SAQA Spotlight auction during the 2016 SAQA Conference in Philadelphia, PA on April 1st. I'm liking this direction and want to take it even farther. How about you? In what ways do you find yourself pushing and stretching yourself and your art?I enjoyed mixing my own colors and layering them to achieve color, shape and texture. It was very interesting. And challenging. One of my reasons for embarking on this painting journey is to stretch my abilities in how I work with textiles in my artwork. I'm already accustomed to using textiles as a painter uses paint but instead of blobs of paint, I use bits of fabric to recreate my imagery. But, in past work I've used an orderly structure of horizontal strips which is wonderful in creating depth as with my impressionistic landscapes like Tranquil Marsh - Wild Iris. It's a difficult and meticulous process that, if so desired, can help one develop a galloping case of OCD. Which is why I turned to abstract work as with my Infinity series. It's still meticulous work but not as exacting. I can improvise more with the color, shapes and lines until it feels right. So, after my first painting class, I tried a small landscape, 6 x 8 inches, with a looser, semi-abstract feel. I tried layering smaller pieces of fabric in a less structured way, a more painterly way. This piece is Horizon II, the second in a new series which lies somewhere in between my impressionistic landscapes and my Infinity abstracts. I made this one to donate to the upcoming
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