Having a Good Summer

Good things come to those who wait.

I have had a lot to be grateful for this summer in my art. Besides being blessed with time, good ideas, and sheer enjoyment in stitching, I have also been acknowledged by my peers. As mentioned in my previous post, I have had After the Storm in the Sacred Threads exhibit which just closed last week.

While After the Storm was on view, I received word that Oasis was accepted into the first show of the SAQA WA Region: The State of WA(ter) which will be on exhibit at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum in La Conner, Wa from August 2 – October 29.

Applique of Japanese Gardens, Spokane, WA

I am quite excited about this. The exhibit recognizes the complexity of the state of Washington when it comes to water. To quote from the Call for Entry:

Although nearly 5,000 square miles of our state are covered in water, the landscapes of the western and eastern regions could hardly be more different. Washington is a state shaped by extremes of water: the cool, rainy West contrasts vividly with the dry, more climatically severe East. Dividing the East from the West is the dramatic Cascade mountain range, itself a setting for a plethora of lakes, rivers, and glaciers.

SAQA members residing in Washington were invited to interpret these extremes of waters, either by representing the character of water in the east, west or mountainous region of the state.

I offered the following explanation for my entry:

The dryer climate of the eastern part of Washington State has created a deep respect for the role of water in our community. Why? Years with low seasonal rain/snow mean ideal conditions for summer forest fires. Spokane has historically demonstrated its appreciation of water through its planned use of water in the county. An example is the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden which was created in 1974 in partnership with Spokane’s sister city, Nishinomiya, in Japan. The garden, with waterfall and pond, continues to this day as an oasis of peace in the heart of this eastern population center. I chose to highlight the respect for water and its careful usage in the eastern side of the state through my depiction of the pond in my art quilt, “Oasis”.

I hope that my readers will have the opportunity to see the entire SAQA exhibit at the museum.

And, my good news does not end there! I was also thrilled to learn that my art quilt, Ground Zero Reborn, has been juried into the Global Murmurs exhibit which will be on exhibit in Rochester, NY this fall. I will be writing more details on this exhibit in a later post.

Hope that everyone is having a fulfilling summer too!

It’s Been a Good Week

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.

Tagore

It is always nice to feel validated. I create to make my own statements and follow my heart in doing so. But, then it is always good to be acknowledged.

Earlier this week, I learned that one of my quilts, Ghost Trees, has been accepted into the exhibit, “Material Measurement – Magnitude, Meaning & Makers”. It will be on display from October 1 – November 26 at the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim – Dungeness Valley in Washington.

Ghost_Trees

No sooner than I had sent the piece off to Sequim, the latest copy of the SAQA Journal showed up on my computer. I was delighted to find that one of my favorite art quilts, Journey, is featured in the Member Gallery. The theme for the gallery is ‘adventure’.

Journey

While it feels good to have my work acknowledged, for me the best feelings come when I can be of service. Happily, while so much good news had been coming my way, I was able to create another quilt top for Quilts Beyond Borders. It is a very simple design of 5″ blocks that I found on the web, but I am really pleased with the results:

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With hope that you all have an equally good week in your futures!

Appreciation

The past seven days have had a number of milestones that remind the time is flying by:

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My oldest granddaughter turned five!

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My littlest granddaughter turned six months.

Even she seems amazed that she is able to sit up:

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Amidst all these delightful occurrences, I made a trip over to La Conner Washington for the first SAQA Regional Meeting held for Washington state. There were nearly 40 of us present, including some SAQA members from British Columbia, Idaho, and Oregon. It was a wonderful meeting.

Jane Dunnewold was the keynote speaker and spoke for an hour on the theme of her latest book, Creative Strength Training. I found her to be a warm and entertaining speaker. I have a copy of her book and hope to read it on an upcoming trip.

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Panel Discussion on Being a Professional Art Quilter

There was also an excellent panel discussion moderated by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts with panelists, Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Gail Harker and Bonnie Bucknam. Patricia is an extremely talented moderator who immediately engaged the audience and crafted her questions to bring out the distinctions in the paths that all three very successful artists have chosen.

We also were treated to a tour of the La Conner Quilt Museum which was across the street and had time to network and make plans for future gatherings.

I returned home with some special fabrics and laces from the museum as well as some inspirational coloring books I found in a shop in Seattle.

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The SAQA auction begins today so I hope that you will take a moment to visit the auction and plan your purchases/donations over the next few weeks. I have been a member of SAQA for many years and watched it grow as the popularity of the art quilt has expanded. The organization has worked hard to create venues where the public can view the amazing art achieved by these fiber artists. At the same time, I see the organization stepping up more and more to support the new art quilter. The auction is an opportunity to support their efforts and come away with a beautiful work of art as well.

 

My Dream Collection

SAQA will be having their annual auction next month, beginning on September 16. It is always an opportunity to support this dedicated organization while acquiring a foot square art quilt by one of your favorite artists.

As a lead-in to the auction, members are invited to create their own dream collection of art quilts that will be available in the annual auction. I could not resist the invitation to do so.

My dream collection is entitled ‘Trees that Speak to Me’. I have always found silouhettes of trees catch my attention and cause me to stop, breathe, and contemplate. In this collection, some of the art quilts are simply stark branches while others still have leaves. All  caused me to pause, appreciate the artistry both of the fiber artist and mother nature.

Here are my six favorites:

BA16-SCHLIN

BA16-DAUANN

 

BA16-BROKAT

BA16-HIGCAR

BA16-ROGANN

BA16-ZELNAN

To view all of the art quilts in the auction, you can click this link. To understand how to bid on art quilts when the auction begins on September 16, you can click on this link.

 

Memories from Houston

Last week was the International Quilt Association meeting in Houston. I am so glad that I went! I used the excuse that my quilt, Imagine, was in the show. It was indeed fun to see it on display but my greatest enjoyment was getting to see the other works in the show. I feel as though, in some ways, I had forgotten the breadth of the quilt world. It was totally uplifting to see the quality and imagery of so many artists from all over the world whose works were displayed.

I arrived in Houston early enough to attend the unveiling of the grand prize winners. All were impressive but one tugged at my heart strings more than any other……

Eager_to_learnEager to Learn by Gillian Shearer was drawn from a photo taken by a photographer in the Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan of 2 young girls eager to learn in one of the Taliban targeted new girls school. The plight of education for girls in that region is close to my heart – I have long supported the work of the Central Asia Institute that happened to have built the school these girls were attending.

All of the winning quilts were amazing and you can see them listed on the International Quilt Association’s website. It can at least give you a glimpse into the quality of the work displayed in the main exhibit.

Of course, the show had many additional exhibits beyond the main exhibit, Quilts:  A World of Beauty. SAQA had two exhibits, Wild Fabrications and Balancing Act. I enjoyed getting to volunteer at the SAQA booth and meet some other members. And, there were the vendors! I spent some time going over the list of vendors before the show opened and was delighted to find some of my favorites.

The Bohin company produces my favorite needles, marking pencil and also iron cleaner. It was total joy to go through their wares and, of course, come home with a collection.

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I also stopped by the Mistyfuse booth and left with a supply of my favorite fusing. In addition, I brought home ultraviolet Mistyfuse and some Bunny paper to play with. Will let you know what I think of the Bunny paper as I experiment in the coming weeks.

Finally, I found a booth with Tsukineko Inks. I had intended to search online for these inks eventually so finding them in Houston was a real bonus. I was able to watch a demo by Thomas Teng of TSC Designs and then take advantage of a show special that sent me home with plenty of ink and tools to keep me busy.

My hope was to get energized in Houston. Mission accomplished! Now we will see what evolves from the seeds that were planted!

PS. Nina Marie is back so I am linking to her Off the Wall Friday blog. Please check out the artists and note her discussion on controversy at this year’s IQA show. 🙂

Plenty of Inspiration

While I am immersed in the final stage of building a second home, I am keeping my creative juices flowing by admiring the process of other fiber artists. Every year SAQA has an annual fund raising auction where members donate 12 inch square original art quilts.

The actual auction begins September 18 and you can read about it here. What excites me this year is that SAQA has been featuring various contributors on its blog with interviews about their process.

I am finding it fascinating to read these posts and have a peek into the creative process of these artists. Each is completely different. I am in awe at what each achieves in a 12 inch square. It excites me to think that soon I will once again be back creating in my own studio!

Here are links to a few of my favorite recent posts:

Wil-Opio-Oguta

Wil-Opio-Oguta

Joan Dyer

Joan-Dyer-

Lois Wilby Hooper

Lois-Wilby-Hooper

Joy About Joy!

In 2014 I made a trip to Aspen, Colorado with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. It was my granddaughter’s first trip to real snow and 2014 was a banner year for snow in Colorado. While her parents skied, I got to play with granddaughter. One of the photos that I took during that trip became the basis for one of my favorite art quilts, “JOY!”.  After applying some filters for special effects in Photoshop, the image was digitally printed on cotton for me by Red Dog Enterprises. I then used appliqué, hand stitching, and machine quilting to complete my project.

Joy

“JOY!” has been creating quite a bit of joy for me recently. It was included in the Spring 2015 issue of the SAQA Journal. A few weeks ago I was notified that “JOY!” had been juried into the upcoming Sacred Threads exhibit in the Washington, DC area in July. Finally, this  week I learned that “JOY!” has also been selected to be part of the Sacred Threads Traveling Exhibit.

Needless to say, I feel as joyful as my granddaughter pictured in the art quilt. I hope that you will have the opportunity to see “JOY!” during its travels over the next two years.

Hopping Around the World

This week I am delighted to be participating in the Around the World Blog Hop.  I was invited by Deborah Lynn Stanley and you can read her blog hop post here. The theme of the hop is to answer some questions about our creative process. I found it  a great opportunity to stop and consider my own artistic journey so here goes!

What am I working on?

I have been working on art quilts for about seven years. Late last year I began to study hand stitching with Karen Ruane. I am currently taking a class entitled Simply Stitch 5 with Karen. It is a free form class via the internet where the student is a ‘fly on the wall’ in Karen’s studio while she works. You have a choice of working on what Karen is working on or doing your own thing with feedback from Karen and other students. We use Flickr for posting photos of our process and receiving comments. I have found that this approach to learning works wonderfully for me. I travel back and forth between upstate New York and Spokane Washington regularly so I need a flexible learning arrangement.

Men's handkerchief

 

 

 

As part of Karen’s class, I have just started to create a cloth that will be comprised of men’s handkerchiefs embellished with feminine touches. I have just finished my first ‘block’ which added lace trim and french knots to a blue handkerchief. I love the color combination and the feel of working with these fibers and am going to be really curious to see how this develops as I embellish more handkerchiefs!

 

Ghost Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always have an art quilt in process and have been working on a piece on deforestation for an upcoming Call for Entry. I don’t usually work on pieces for specific Calls but this was a topic that interested me and so I used the Call as an opportunity to make a statement through my art. Here is a peak at one of the ‘ghost trees’ that I have designed to wander through a devastated landscape. I have hand stitched mulberry paper backed with roving onto a hand dyed organza background.

 

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Hmmm. My art quilts are reaching out more and more beyond the use of cloth fibers to get the effect I need. For example, in my art quilt, Roots, I use wire for the fencing near the cottage.

Fencing

Why Do I Create What I Do?

That is simple: – to make a statement. It may be about something I observe in the world. Often, I am capturing a moment in time either from my travels or my life that had significance to me. I hope that my art will touch others and invoke emotion in them. My art is my means of reaching out and communicating with others.

A trip to Antarctica a few years ago is a great example of how my travels have inspired my work. I was deeply touched by the beauty of ice in that intriguing world. To date, I have created a number of art quilts out of my Antarctic experience and I am sure more will surface. Journey is a good example and you can find others here on my website.

Journey

How Does My Wriitng/Creating Process Work?

Ideas for my art often come during meditation. I also take a lot of photographs as I travel. Something in a photo will capture my attention – it may be the light, certain shapes, or the overall essence of a particular place. Over time, I get a clearer image in my mind of what a particular piece might look like. From there I will either begin sketching with an idea of creating an art quilt from unique fibers, or I may decide to play with a photographic image in Photoshop with a goal of printing the image on cloth for stitching.

At some point along the way, the art work itself ‘takes over’ the creative process. I listen to it as I work and follow the direction it dictates. Sounds crazy but if I don’t listen, I grow intensely dissatisfied with the piece.

Linking to Talented Friends

As part of the hop, I get to invite some friends to join in next week. The three who will be posting next week are:

Jeanne Marklin – Jeanne and I both have a passion for travel.  We attended SAQA’s annual conference in 2013 together and I quickly appreciated the depth of her knowledge of the fiber art world. Her art quilts are stunning and she is masterful dyer. Be sure to check out her blog and her website today and again next week.

Diane Miller – Diane and I are members of RAFA, Rochester Area Fiber Artists. She is constantly exploring and creating amazing art quilts and jewelry. You can see examples on her blog.

Regina Dunn – Regina and I met over the internet as we participated in SAQA’s Vision Project. I love Regina’s enthusiasm to explore new methods and her talent to in writing about her process on her blog. She will be writing a post for the hop next week. In the meantime, you can see some of her work on her website.

More Blogs to Discover

There have been many exciting participants in the hop in the past weeks. Here are links to a few so you can enjoy learning about them:

I hope that you all enjoy this opportunity to explore what all these amazing artists are accomplishing.

Homeless

Art quilt with appliqué and overlay

2010
38″ x 32″

This art quilt toured with SAQA’s No Place to Call Home special exhibit.

Contemporary fiber art quilt: pieced and appliquéd hand dyed cotton with a hand stamped tulle overlay.

No one really knows how many children in this world do not have homes. UNICEF estimated 100 million street children in the world’s cities back in 1989 and continues to refer to that number. Using this limited estimate, each child in this quilt would represent one million children.

No one knows what happens to these children either. Some simply disappear, dying from malnutrition, disease, or worse. Others though endure and rise up from their bleak beginnings to live full and inspiring lives.

This quilt imagines the world through the eyes of these children – vast, muted, empty of homes – and honors them by bringing attention to their sheer numbers.

Detail image – click to view larger:

Homeless, detail