Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lest you think I have fallen off the face of the earth...

This piece I made while I was at Asilomar. I have donated it to my Guild for our defense fund to help raise money for a settlement fee. This is called The First Bud and is the beginning of a new series...curves for a change!

Once I got back from Asilomar, I was much more at peace with myself. I am following the advice I so freely give to others. Take time to play. Not every piece you do has to be a masterpiece, etc.

So I have continued to work in paper and mixed media collage. I have two that I am doing on small stretched canvases, one of which is really good but will show that to you later since I forgot to take a picture.

Anyway, doors and windows hold a lot of fascination for me and I have already done two pieces in fabric about doors so here are six that just have the second layers on them about doors. There are still several more layers to go on, in fact they have already gotten two more layers but I haven't photographed them. I have them all at home to I can sit down with my stamping stuff and other stuff to add more, including lettering.

And I am also working on eight that are butterfly related. These too only have a couple of layers on them and are on old journal pages. I have already added two more layers, including flowers and also have these at home to work on.

And then, just for fun, I pulled in to a parking space and looked at these eyes looking right back at me. Boy did I look funny taking close ups of this tree trunk. You can bet that they will turn up in some of my work!

So today it was down at the studio doing some dye painting and working on my waxed fabrics which I waxed a long time ago. I also did a monoprint which I am looking forward to seeing how it finishes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Work

What a nice day this has been. Yesterday I finished my Running Fence piece but had to let it soak to wash out the stabilizer and then iron it this morning. Got a picture of it for you...It is called East Meets West and has original fabric from the Running Fence project In Marin and Sonoma counties in 1972 by Christo and also the Gates project from this past year in New York, thus the name. It looks a little wonky but is made to hang from the original grommets on a rod and then be suspended from the ceiling. It is neat when the breeze hits it.

and here is a detail
also am almost finished with my journal quilt...just need to do a little transfer on it and then write up the statement and get the sleeve put on and ship it off. It will get done this weekend and then will hit the road!

Played with some curtain, upholstery and wallpaper samples today and made a little fabric collage which was fun but a no brainer.

Best of all, I just had a full body massage and then dinner which has put me in a pretty mellow place......

See ya...

got to start working on plans for a class!

Monday, September 17, 2007

My time!

Yesterday morning I washed my clothes that I had taken to Canada, packed up some assorted stuff from both studios and headed off to Asilomar with my three best friends, the BB's. Many of you may be familiar with Asilomar as Empty Spools Seminars has five different sessions here during the year, each session offering lots of great teachers. Next year during the second session I will be the Artist in Residence during that session.

We stopped for a nice lunch and arrived in Pacific Grove by 2:00. We couldn't get into our sewing room yet (who cares about the sleeping room!) so we went for a walk along the beach which is right across the street. Since I couldn't be working, I took a lot of pictures for inspiration and design ideas. The tide had come in and was just going out so there was lots of stuff to look at that had been brought up by the water.

The Monterey Bay has lots of kelp which washes ashore. It was a picture of kelp here at this beach from over a year ago that led to one of my pieces that was used in Quilting Arts Magazine in my article in the Spring, 2006 issue.

I love the way the kelp gets arranged and rearranged and how the sand flows around it.
One lone little piece of sea grass with a bunch of something green entangled.
More sea grass...what great quilting lines! I love the little rivulets that are also there!
And lots of jelly fish that had washed ashore. This was a really big one, about ten inches across.
More jellies and kelp and sea grass
and the texture in this piece of kelp!
And lots of bubbles, if I got there fast enough just after the water started draining off the shore!

But best of all is this young hawk perched in the tree to watch for a passing morsel in the grasses below! And this was taken with my little Canon Power Shot telephotoed out all the way (which isn't very much for this little camera) and then really blown up! It was the only way we could tell for sure what it was!I am part of a small group of artists who are working on pieces of art made from the reclycled nylon used by Christo in his Running Fences project that went from Marin County and Sonoma county to the sea in 1972. Dianne Smith found the 18 huge panels in a farmer's barn and bought them and then brought a bunch of various artists together to make art out of them. She then finds places to show them and we all split the earnings from the work. I have done two before, one of which has sold and am now working on a third piece today, but it also incorporates some pieces of the Gates from New York. I am really excited about this! I also have a lot more fabric to work with. The fun of doing this is that I can dye the nylon with disperse dyes!

Myrna is still working through some of her quilting. She has made some changes in a few of her pieces and is doing quite well. She is going to go live with a blog and when she does, you can get her perspective about it.

A little more about how this worked. Myrna have traveled to take different workshops when she wanted to learn something new but is a very gifted teacher. When I recently advertised about a design class that I was giving in my studio several months ago, she contacted me to see if I taught any longer classes. I will be doing a retreat at Heart and Hand in May but she did not want to wait that long. So she contacted the quilt store, and several friends to see if they would like to go together on the cost to bring me up to them...I travel when all expenses are incurred by the hiring parties and I am paid my daily teaching rate. That didn't pan out so she decided to just hire me personally for two days. She paid my travel expenses and put me up. The bonus for her was that it did not cost here any more than if she had flown, and she actually figured out that it was less, to a retreat someplace else. Plus she could work in her own studio where she was very comfortable and did not have to travel with all that stuff.

And, because it was a design class, I did not have to travel with lots of stuff either! And she sure has gotten more than her two days' worth!

I am considering doing some critiquing and mentoring for a fee. Tell me what you think. I would like to set up pay pal and then I can work out the payments much easier. Additionally, after several people have asked if I taught on line classes, I am considering doing a design class as an on line class but that is still in the making. So, whatcha' think?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Myrna's Work

I flew off on Sunday in a regular size airplane to Seattle where I changed to this little turbo prop that had only ten rows of seats.

Took off for Kelowna in BC where I was met by Myrna. This is on the Canadian side with lots of mountains and snow.

I was so impressed with the neatness of Myrna's fabric stash. She is showing the dyed fabrics which she had done but there is an identical cabinet right next to this which has more dyed fabrics plus more of her commercial fabrics.
This is one of Myrna's which she had done before I had gotten together with her. As you can see, she does a pretty good job already.
And here is another one of hers. I was beginning to wonder why I was there but we spent some good time doing critiques of these and some of her other works. In the piece below you can see she has put some lighter, brighter pinks on to help create a feeling of movement in the piece. She now has all sorts of ideas of what more she can do to spark it up even more.

This is the first piece she started on. She used a split complimentary color scheme. she had goals of loosening up her work and I had goals of getting her off center and to use more contrast in her work. I think she accomplished this! It still awaits purposeful quilting...not just fill in the space but purposeful!
This is the second piece, again with the same color scheme. In total she did three pieces using this color scheme but somehow I didn't get a picture of the third she did. It is, however, on the last image of the design wall with all the work. This too is awaiting purposeful quilting.
So then she had the assignment to complete four small pieces in thirty minutes using a tertiary color scheme. She was able to pull all the fabrics she was going to use and apply fusing to them so she would be able to work quickly and not over think. This is her first piece.
And then came the second ladders:
And then the third ladders:
And this is the fourth ladders:

Then her assignment changed to windows and she did the following: No. 1
Number 2:
Number 3:
Number 4:
And here is Myrna, very proud of herself, and the work she had finished by Wednesday afternoon.

You can see the other larger piece right next to her. What you can't see is the work she did on Wednesday afternoon and the quilting she started doing on the ladders pieces. Very purposefully!

We both decided that this was a very good way to learn.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh Canada

Tomorrow I return home and I will be able to provide pictures of all the work that Myrna Giesbrecht has been doing. Before I came up to Kamloops, Canada on Sunday, all I had seen of Myrna's work was what was on the website. Now, you may remember my silly little comment about her being an emerging art quilter.

Well, let me tell you, she is fully emerged! She may, however, use that to get into some special shows as an emerging artist but gee whiz, she has already had a solo show...can I say that?

We have worked and worked since I arrived. After she picked me we went to the Art Walk in Winfield. I met a number of art quilters from the area as there was a great display of quilt art, along with lots of painting and sculpture. Even living art...consider Whistler's Mother live in her black frame! And then off we went on the drive home. Had a wonderful dinner and then spent several hours figuring out just what she wanted out of her time. What fun!

Monday we started right afer breakfast. Not only is she a wonderful teacher herself, teaching quite a few classes through Quilt University, but also in person, but she is a great cook. Unfortunately, like many male teenagers, the two that live in the house with her (Eric and Kyle, her sons) just don't appreciate her cooking. Her husband, Howard and I made up for them, however! Then down to the studio to begin working! Oh, and work she did!

We worked until lunch, took a break and then back down to the studio, took a break for dinner and back down again. I had asked her to dye fabric before I came so she would have a full range of tints and shades in her hues and to dye the full color wheel. That was quite a challenge for her but one she was up to. She still had a lot of cotton that had not been dyed and a little bit of dye left so I spent two and a half days dyeing fabric when I wasn't critiqueing what she was doing.

Tuesday in the studio I gave her challenges to complete four small pieces within half a hour based on the theme of ladders. After I get home, I will post all the pictures of what she has done!
We have spent a lot of time talking about art and where she wants to go and how to get there. All of this has reinforced for me what I need to do and I am looking forward to getting home and getting my CD's sent out for possible shows!

Today we spent time traveling around up into the mountains just to look around. Came back early afternoon and then headed back in to the studio. Gave her another challenge to do four small pieces in the theme of windows. Wait until you see what she did! (this is being said so you will come back again)

Well, my suitcase is all ready to go except for the clothes I am wearing and my pj's. Tomorrow at 8 am we hop into the car for a leasurly drive to Kelowna to the airport with many stops planned on the way. So then back home again so I can pack up my studio to take down to Asilomar on Sunday for a week of my own play time.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Silly Goose that I am

Sometimes I think I get carried away with my own little claim to fame. It isn't much but the ego is right out there!

I have already completed 42 art pieces this year plus 15 collages. I have sold a number of pieces, including one collage recently and another larger quilt. I have completed a large commission, I have been an artist-in-residence for a month, I have written a couple of articles which haven't come out yet and I am feeling sorry for myself. What a crock!

What has been holding me back was not wanting to get the images together and all the other stuff for proposals to museums and galleries.

Well, I have gotten it done and I have even made a beautiful label (that still needs some editing) to go on the CD's so they look professional, if I do say so myself.

My CV is updated, my artist statement is fine and now I just need to make the image list with info and sizes and retail prices. And then the cover letter.

So I am now off my pity pot and getting myself going.

I finally responded to someone I am mentoring...that is so much fun! I am packed with passport in purse ready to leave for an adventure in Canada tomorrow, I have been playing with my paper collages, I have been doing pages in my journal, I have been looking at other people's great work, I have been identifying why I like their work, I am looking forward to Canada, I am looking forward to being home for a couple of days and packing up some studio to head down to Asilomar in Pacific Grove for a week on the beach, I have been removing pages from all of these sample books and thinking of things to do with them...

So just what is your problem? Girl?

Get over myself! That's what! It's okay if I have some down time. I am steadily working away on my goals and I don't have to make perfect art every time I do something. Haven't you heard me say this before?

But I did get two more show entries in today and postcards mailed for a couple of shows where I have a piece of work in them.

So, I'll have pictures to post when I get back!

After I have some fun!

Monday, September 03, 2007

A long time ago

It seems that my blogs are getting farther and farther apart. I just don't seem to have much to say, especially after all the stuff I said in several other posts.

Below are some pictures from my Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld Lies piece that is in the making. It still has a lot more stuff to go on it which I have just printed out to make screens for printing. I must say that researching all this has made me angrier and angrier. Oh well, it is getting out of my system the more I work on this.

The piece has numerous images transferred on to silk organza which has been attached to painted canvas via matt medium. I have been writing and writing over images etc but still have more to go.

A week and a half ago, my friend Carol Suto invited my husband and I out for dinner on the Hornblower Bay cruise. It was lots of fun. It was a typical cold, foggy summer evening. We sailed out to the Golden Gate Bridge where this picture was taken.

And then we actually sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. It is amazing what digital pictures will do. The only thing that showed up in the image were the lights but when I went in and changed the lighting balance I was able to see the bridge. Of course, in person the bridge was a beautiful orange-red and the fog above glowed orange. Truly a wonderful sight. However, I was just using my little camera and not my big Nikon with the bigger lens.

I have been in a real artistic slump. I think I have too many things going on in my life right now and also have too many ideas but no clear sense of where I am going.

My local decorating store is saving their sample books for me...I used wallpaper samples for some of my collages and have been getting the fabric samples out of the upholstery and curtain sample books. What wonderful colors and textures! My mind is dancing around with ideas but I haven't been any to settle down on anything yet.

I have four week long trips coming up in the next two months. Making arrangements for those has also been taking time.

Next Monday I leave for Canada for a couple of days of teaching and a day of sight seeing. I am really excited about this. I have never been to this area before and look forward to it.

I come home on Friday next week and then pack up to go to Asilomar for a week of down time...just working with friends doing whatever I want to do. Maybe by then I will have some ideas. Then home for two weeks and then off to Norfolk, VA to take my dad back to see his sister and to attend a ship's reunion. Then home for a couple of days and then off to New Orleans for a week to do some clean up work with out church and a number of other churches in our area.

Those things, plus getting a bunch of stuff (not art) done for church, babysitting Jacob and taking him places (we went to the airport and he got to sit in two television news helicopters!) and riding trains, etc and reading...and going to the mountains, just about fills up my time. No wonder I have had trouble doing any art!

I just finished Water for Elephants...what a wonderful book! I have been on a reading feels like the end of summer and now I have to make up for all the non reading I have done by getting it all done right now! I've pulled another book to read.

Well, I'm off tomorrow to talk with Marion Coleman and the curator of the local art council about a show. Still haven't gotten my CD's and info out like I said I would...but did get my entry off to PIQF. Just in the nick of time! And then, off to the studio where I am going to do some dye painting...washed all the fabric tonight and am ready to go!