Thursday, June 30, 2005


Well, what fun today...actually I posted the pictures below late last night and now it really is Thursday (or mayby it was so late last night that it was Thursday then, too).

I have a need to take pictures of brick walls because I can feel some political statements coming out (something I don't do very often) and I also have some graffitti fonts and I want to spray paint those brick walls. So I called my best friend who just retired Monday (finally I have a buddy!) and we went wandering.
Went around the harbor area of the Port of Oakland (or at least the land is owned by the Port) and found some really funky stuff

Found tea cups on a wall and they went on down the slope on the side too.

Found an angel in a tree

Found a sign that I really needed to have

Found a really neat slice of RED:

Found a neat collection of meters:

Oh Yeah, I found my brick walls, lots of them but I am only going to show you one.

So, now I have the energy and have some new pictures to work with for the idea floating around in my head and also have the energy to start working on some more stuff!!
Traces 34" x 22" Posted by Hello
Summer Fun 35" x 40"Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Oh, I am finally feeling better. Boy, this head cold has not been fun!

Finally, I am feeling like a real person again but the spigot it still on in the sinus region...

I'm uploading a picture of my blue quilt that I had shown you a partial picture of.

Also, I am uploading one of my monoprint things...Petra gave me some good ideas and I have turned the orientation of it which makes it look much I just have to pick out the stitching of my signature which is now on the side and not the bottom where it belongs. She also gave it a name! Traces.

My rusting piece is really coming along nicely. Tomorrow I wash out the vinegar and away I trying to decide it I want to do this by hand or machine. Well, we'll see.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Head colds

I am really getting tired of this head has slowed me down dramatically. I have been getting quilts off to their destinations and then have been sleeping a lot. I don't usually take naps as I am way to busy but it has been nothing for me to take a two hour nap late in the afternoon.

Today my husband drove me down to Santa Cruz to take three pieces to a fiber show at their art league. Beautiful, sunny weather near the coast...What a treat!

However, first we had to stop at a machinery that resells machines and equipment. Found the junk box and discovered a number of neat rusting pieces of steel which I just had to have...some neat circle thingys and some scraps of flat stuff and some narrow rods.

I have picked up some linen that I want to rust so finally have all the things together.

Hopefully, tomorrow, after taking my dad around for his errands, I can get it all started...rust! Here I Come!!

I think that will probably be all the energy I have for tomorrow! Woe is me...I have too many ideas kicking around in my head but not the energy right now.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Real Discussion!!!

PamDora wrote in the comment section of the previous post:
"You've brought up some really interesting topics in this post and it would be fun to discuss them more. I agree with what you're saying about the difference between art and craft, but then I also think about what draws me to making art quilts is the craft. "

"I like the tangible, touchable aspect of it. There's something about the quilted fabric (when it's artistically done) that to me is the best of craft (as in high-end, ie American Craft) that seems more approachable and humanistic that pure art alone. Does that make any sense?"

It makes absolute sense! No matter what the medium we choose in the art world, there is always the process. When I was in college our sculpture prof took us to the limestone quarry so we could sound our own chunks of rock, pick the one we wanted, haul it back and work on it. Now carving rock with a mallet and chisel is not fast work...very similar to working with fabric. I used to love the feel of all that grit and dust in my hair after working for several hours. Loved to feel the power, loved the question of just where to strike, loved using the different chisels, etc. The same thing when I learned to weld. I just loved working with the torch and the metal and all the huge equipment...the benders, the shapers, the hammers, the pliers and all that fun stuff (in fact I think my husband married me because I came with my own oxy-acetylene rig).

Painting is the same way...some work in glazes, some in impasto, some like to mix it up, some like to keep it pure and simple.

That is the joy of learning how to use the medium one chooses to express themselves in. I cut my teeth on traditional quilts, learning how to accurately piece, how to put a binding on, how to quilt without ripples, how to keep borders flat and all that stuff. Still use a lot of the techniques that I learned in the craft of quiltmaking but now I have taken it to a different level. The craftsmanship is there, however. Just the same if I studied oil painting and mastered the craftsmanship of painting with oil paint...and it does take mastering!

I find the craftsmanship is missing when some artists who work in other mediums come to art quilts. Things get slapped on. Pamela Allen is the first to admit that she had to learn the craftsmanship of quilting when she went from painting to fiber art. And she has learned well.

I still enjoy the final hand sewing of the binding down when the quilt is finished, sewing the sleeve down and putting that label on. It all says that I am finished. But the same was true when I would restretch my canvases after painting, build hokey lathe frames that were stained for show presentation, and signing my work. That said I was finished. Same thing, different method.

How I did the two new pieces

Both of these started with a monoprint. I used acrylic paint (Golden fluid) with a retarder that slows drying, smeared it around my large plexi plate and then did the design and added more color. Then, I had to let it sit for a couple of weeks before I decided what I wanted to do.

Next step was to do rubbings with luminescent shiva paint sticks. Because it is an oil paint, I had to wait about four days for it to dry and cure before I heat set it.

Then I hit it with black acrylic paint and one of my large sumi-e brushes.

Then I machine quilted it...highlights some of the grid work with matching metallic threads.

I collect assorted things to use for rubbings...pieces from toys, plastic canvas, chicken wire, whatever. I pick things up on the street. I have strange things in my purse that I dig out every once in a while. Who knows what lurks in the bottom or my purse!

Slowed down by a cold

Well, I've had several days without lots of errands for everybody else in the family but yesterday came down with a cold. Sore throat...stuffy head, aches, and tired so every little thing becomes an effort.

It took me two days to get the bindings sewn on these two new pieces. I still have the binding to go on the blue piece...just have to finish the hand part of it.

Then, have to come up with titles for these...your help is appreciated, gentle readers!

I really put myself out there on the QA list with my comments about being an artist. Much as I like everyone to feel good, I really don't believe that everyone can be or become an artist. It takes a lot of work and studying and doing it to get there.

I really liked the crafty part of it and the issues around if a quilt artist would use a pattern. I used to do clay work at the wheel. I figured when I made plates and bowls, I was a craftsman. When I made scultural pieces, I was an artist.

Just like quilts...when I make a pattern (usually for a baby quilt) then I am doing a craft. The rest of my stuff is art.

If we decide, in this strange society that feels there should be cooperation and no competition (at least in the school setting) that everyone is an artist, we still come back to the issue of who's better. Being an artist, I don't believe, is self-proclaimed. Oh well, I should get Melody's take on this!

Lots of us can be and are, creative in our crafts...moving to new things, adventuring, but not necessarily going into art. That's it.

Someone responded to the idea that if took a traditional pattern, changed the layout, changed the colors and wonked it a little, then it was an art quilt. I disagree.

What has been interesting is the number of people who responded to me off list in support of what I had to say...a lot of big time names. Do we need a group for those who are a little further along and want to share ideas, and critiques and get honest feedback? How hard that would be but could be really exciting. However, someone would need to be the arbiter of who gets in and who doesn't. Oh, no, jurying and judging...woe is us!

My Mama quilt didn't get in at Houston. I had about 20 minutes of feeling down about it, mostly because I would have like to have had my mother and her life in a book. However, I do have one from the first year that will be in the book and it is about another part of her like.

Like I say, you enter a lot of shows, you get accepted to some and you don't in some others but you just keep on going.
untitled which also started as a monoprint t
this piece is 23"w x 21" h Posted by Hello
untitled which started as a monoprint
this piece is 22"w x 34" hPosted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

I did it!

Some of us take such pleasure in the most mundane things.

I finally managed to get my website linked. I had done everything (I thought) before but it didn't show up so I tried it again and, walla, it's there!

Someone asked about the sizes of the color spots. They are either 4 x 6" or 6 x 8" and are mounted on black matt board which is either 8 x 10 or 11 x 14. Ready to frame!

Forgot that I had babysitting duties today so didn't get much done. Am doing the final embellishments on my Mama quilt...just waiting to hear if it is accepted at hope so, would love to have this published along with the first year's quilt!

Well, back to the sewing machine. No rest for the crazed.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

one more color spot Posted by Hello
too hot color spot Posted by Hello

Catching up

I haven't blogged for a while and all of a sudden I have so much to say...I do know, however, that you all are just picture junkies and if there is too much writing you skip right on by....

Anyway...a funny/interesting thing happened to me last week. I had sent out a request for a call for entries to a gallery in San Ramon for a show but failed to enter in time (because this month there have been tons of shows to enter and still more to go!) so one day last week I got an email from the gallery letting me know that they had not received my entry and that they really like my work. Now that really felt good! A gallery that wants to know where my entry is? So I emailed an entry with a jpeg and got accepted and was asked to bring three pieces out to the gallery. So did that last night (not the week before like I said I was going to, and also took a bunch of the color spots.

They are so excited about my work! They said "We are so honored to have your work at out gallery"
Well, what can I say to that!!

Then this week I got word that one of my pieces was accepted in Tactile Architecture (which was really surprising because it is so different from everything they have had previously).

Got word that Aynex had accepted one of my pieces for her show.

The Santa Cruz Art League accepted three of my pieces.

Gallery 510 accepted two pieces.

and some other place accepted work (oh, maybe that was ArtEscapes Studios and Gallery where I just took some work)

Then just talked to my gallery in Scottsdale and although they haven't sold anything yet there is a lot of interest in my work and Beverly has been really close...just waiting for that to happen.

Then shipped off work to a new gallery in Pueblo which is just starting up and looks kind of interesting.

Well, no wonder I haven't a clue as to where any of my work is.

Okay, back to the sewing table!!!

color spot Posted by Hello
color spot Posted by Hello
color spot Posted by Hello
Color Spot ? Posted by Hello
Color Spot ? Posted by Hello

Too many details

In my other life I was a probation officer and either did investigations or supervised offenders who were on probation or wanted to get on probation (instead of going to jail). I was able to pay very close attention to detail as I had to report to the courts and had a reputation to uphold as being accurate.

Where has that side of my brain gone!

I just finished up the last of 35 small pieces which I am calling Color Spots. Delivered 12 to a gallery yesterday and they were all numbered. Today I finished doing the last of them, mounted them, gave them their numbers, photographed them and then tried to get it all together on the computer for my inventory list. No number matches the piece, a piece is missing, and I called the ones I did today Color Play (another series) instead of Color Spot. So I have made new labels with the right name and number but they have to get put on the right pieces and the pictures corrected while I still have the originals in my hand! This is too much for me! And of course I thought I would just whip out some labels on the computer but couldn't find the Avery template (not that I can ever get things filled out on the labels like I want) so had to work with a table and had to fidget with that forever. Attention to details, Liz!

Meanwhile, I am creating work all over the place.

And, trying to keep entries straight for six shows where my work has been accepted. All of a sudden I realized that two pieces are out at other galleries so I am frantically trying to get them home so they can be shipped off in time. But, horror of horrors, I can't find one of my pieces (which is small and could be under something somewhere in my studio) so I guess I am going to have to stop sewing and do a major clean up to find it.

Meanwhile, where is little assistant! She does great computer work for me and can get everything straightened out for me...what am I going to do when she leaves for UC San Diego this fall? Got to let her know that her life needs to be placed on hold so she can help me out...gee, I wish!!

so, I'm going to upload some of the little Color Spots which I am excited about but of course they won't be where they are supposed to be because I can't figure that out either! Hopefully tomorrow I can get a couple of pieces uploaded of my really new, very different work!

Too many ideas...I feel like I am really pouring it out...other things like babysitting my grandson, arranging for gardeners for my father, taking my father out to run his errands, and, oh, yeah, fixing dinner sometimes and washing some clothes when I am out of underwear keep getting in my way!!

Friday, June 10, 2005


Well, I almost finished my blue quilt...with lots of little fused pieces...but ran out of the dyed thread from Laura Wasalouski so had to get on line and order some more. Just waiting for that to arrive so I can finish that piece up.

So, in the meantime my irridescent paint sticks arrived and I have been doing lots of stuff on my previously monoprinted fabrics. Now I am waiting for a couple of those to finish drying so I can go on and do some more.

And then, I have started printing out the canvas for my next picture quilt...while in Montana in March I took a lot of pictures of paint splattered flooring, rusted truck paint, paint peeling off of weathered boards, etc. so am now printing them on to canvas so I can start that piece. It really is exciting and fun to do. Thinking about gel transfers that I want to do with this. Ideas just floating around.

And, I can't keep the idea I have out of my head for a rusted piece. Just waiting for a little bit better weather so I can work outside again. Picked up some linen/rayon blend which I will rust using some of the many rusting things my husband has collected in the back yard.

Tonight I am joining three of my quilting friends for a quilt-out in Robin's studio. She has a double bed and a big couch in there (it used to be her mother-in-law's suite) and has a kitchette and full bathroom. Trying to figure out what I want to play with for tonight, and all day tomorrow and tomorrow night. Think I will take fused scraps and work on some small pieces.

Have to take three pieces out to a gallery today for a new show out in San Ramon. Lots of things to do...not enough time!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

TA-DA two unveiled, one more to go

Well, after futsing with the camera and my husband's help I finally got a couple of sort of descent pictures of the two finished pieces. Boy, my photographer does so much better than I do...and of course he has the lights and tripod set up and everything else. I've also decided to pay him for good digital pictures which he can take at the same time as the slides so then I can get both of good quality. Oh well, this is fine for the blog.

Feels good to have these two done. Now I have to decide just how to quilt the blue one. Got it sandwiched and ready to go so after church I can work on it!

I feel good, da da da da da, like I knew I would!
Fences 24.5" x 31" Posted by Hello
Holes in the fence 26.5" x 37" Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Just keep on's never all done

I mentioned in Gabrielle's blog that I thought it was important to keep on working whether you feel like it or not. I am in the studio on a daily basis. This does not mean, however, that I am producing new work all the time. There are always a multitude of chores that go with being a professional studio artist.

Each new piece has to have binding, label and sleeve put on.
Each new piece needs to be cataloged, including size, photo and pertinent information.
Each new piece goes to the photographer for slides
The slides then go to the lab for duplication.
The slides get filed in their respective folders.
Determine price for each piece.
Peruse all the sources for calls for entry, download and file in monthly file folders.
Review all monthly calls and determine what is appropriate for which work.
Decide on work to enter in various shows.
Pull slides for the show.
Fill out entry form, self-addressed stamped envelope, slides in covers, check and protector for envelop. Check weight on envelope for correct postage.
Review rejections and acceptances as they come in.
File as appropriate.
Get work ready to ship off for shows. rolling, bagging, plastic bagging, cutting box to size
Go to and fill out shipping label, print and attach to package which has been weighed and measured.
Drop ready box off at UPS store for shipping.
Track UPS for arrival.
Clean studio.
Fold fabric and put away
dye fabric
wash fabric
iron fabric
review art magazines for current happenings in the art world and keep up with what is going on where
review quilt/fiber/craft magazines for same
keep up sketch book of ideas.
keep up with pictures of inspirational work and get it cut out and into their book
Check art supplies and order as necessary
Order fabric, batting, dyes, yarns, threads, whatever.
Fuse fabrics so they will be ready to use
clean up paint supplies
clean up dyeing supplies
clean sewing machine
Contemplate the color of the sky
Go on an artist date
Discuss art with other artists
Try to sleep with ideas going through my head
problem solving the latest piece of work
depositing money to account when work does sell (yeah, right)
keeping financial records of business
sending out brochures to guilds, etc
presenting at guilds, etc
teaching workshops
soliciting teaching opportunities
filing tons of paper
keep up with internet groups and information
share information with others
fill out grant requests
meet with mentor
meet with other art quilters

Oh yeah, and play with fabric and make little things that are just for fun and don't take a lot of commitment!
And then, make a masterpiece or two!

Two of my new pieces just need the biding sewn down and then I can post them tomorrow!