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31 August 2015

New Work: Found

I was contemplating the latest Viewpoints 9 challenge (unusual materials) and searching for inspiration when it showed up in my mailbox.  My friend and creative collaborator Carol R Eaton had sent me a surprise gift – a piece of hand dyed fabric.  Carol had made it as an experiment and thought I would like the results (I do!)

Found_full

That began a vague idea about found objects: buttons, a zipper, safety pins – things found around the studio. I took the piece on vacation with me and added to it as I found the time. At first I chose the safety pins as a way to incorporate “reflection” into the piece. But I found that I really enjoyed the repetitive action of pinning them.

A picture began to emerge in my mind – a gentle rain falling on some kind of plant or flower.  That led me to think about the way plants grow. As long as they have a few key conditions (water, sunlight, air) they grow wherever they find the space. The buttons toward the bottom are bunched together, in layers and clumps, as if they are competing for space.

Found_detail 

Found_detail3

Technical details: Finished size 18x40
Materials: hand-dyed fabric, various buttons, cotton and metallic thread, safety pins, zipper

29 June 2015

New Work: Rock Star

I created “Rock Star” for the latest Viewpoints9 challenge – a finished piece measuring 42” in height using neon colors. For this, our third cycle of Viewpoints9, each artist had the added challenge to choose one idea or theme that will run through all of our compositions. My overall theme is Reflection.

"Neon" reminds me of nightclubs, bar signs and sometimes the your-name-in-lights idea of fame. Which made me think of music.  I ran upstairs and recruited one of my favorite "models" to pose for this portrait (my son, home from college on summer break). I used a desk light to create a single light source, to resemble a stage spotlight.  He was already playing guitar so he didn't really have to work too hard. LOL

To fulfill the challenge, I used neon-colored fabrics in green, yellow and red-orange, as well as some neon blue and pink threads.  For my overall theme of "reflection", the shiny metal surfaces of the button on the guitar strap and the tuners seem to fit the bill.  Reflection could also refer to the way Graeson turns to music when he wants to chill out alone.  He becomes absorbed in the music as he improvises melodies.  Not having any musical ability myself, I find it fascinating. It seems like a form of meditation or mental escape.

technical details:
finished size 28"W x 42"H
cotton fabric, hand cut and layered and secured using raw-edge applique, quilting with hand-guided free motion stitching, rayon and polyester threads

27 April 2015

New Work (Finally!): Two Hummingbirds

Our first Viewpoint 9 challenge of cycle 3: Use thread in a new way.

I decided to use embroidery floss and thread for shape and color as well as line. The only fabrics used in these two pieces are for the backgrounds.

Challenge1_darkChallenge1_light

Putting these together was incredibly fun.  I will say I experienced a childish JOY while pulling apart embroidery floss and letting it fall down onto the ‘canvas’. Some of the outlining threads were carefully placed, but most were just dropped into squiggly piles.

Challenge1_detail

Read more about this piece and all the challenge quilts on the Viewpoints 9 blog. Gallery opens today!

18 March 2015

Join Me for the Opening of Contemporary Fiber: Breaking Tradition

Photo Mar 12, 1 00 06 PM

Big news! I'm thrilled to be one of 10 artists invited to participate in "Contemporary Fiber: Breaking Tradition" at the Lore Degenstein Gallery. The show runs from April 11 – May 11, 2015.

I'm honored to have my artwork in the company of Beth Carney, Linda Colsh, Jane Dunnewold, Valerie Goodwin, Meredith Grimsley, Katie Pasquini-Masopust, Mary Pal, Susan Shie and Paula Swett.

Please join me at the opening reception:
Saturday, April 11 from 7 to 9PM

Lore Degenstein Gallery at Susquehanna University
Degenstein Campus Center, upper level
514 University Avenue
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
http://www.susqu.edu/arts/gallery.asp 

05 March 2015

New Work: Holi Joe

As part of the Viewpoints 9 "Play Time" challenge, I present my newest portrait "Holi Joe".  My inspiration for this challenge is the colorful Indian festival of Holi.

Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox, on the full moon. The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar (this year it will be March 6). Holi signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, a celebration of color and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forgive and repair relationships.

Photo Feb 26, 1 39 32 PM

I have been "working on" a portrait of my Dad for over a decade. I have many times started and stopped and put various sketches on the back burner.  My previous attempts at a portrait revolved around this one black and white photo that was used on my Dad's funeral mass book (ask your Catholic friends what that is).

As I considered the Holi festival, I thought about playing, laughing and repairing relationships. So in in that spirit, I decided to "repair the relationship" between my memories of my Dad during his life and the associations I had with this one black and white photo. I lifted the pressure off myself to create a serious portrait and just had fun with it. This one uses every color EXCEPT black and white.

Photo Feb 26, 1 39 39 PM

I loved the freedom I felt in creating this piece. Every time I added a new tie dyed piece of fabric to this portrait, the results were surprising and it made me smile. It still does. I look at my dad's face and it makes me happy. And it seems like a truer version of "Joe" as I remember him.





 

25 February 2015

"Red Fox, Blue Fox" Chosen for SAQA:Wild Fabrications

Woo-hoo! My animal portrait Red Fox, Blue Fox has been accepted into the Studio Art Quilt Associates juried exhibition "Wild Fabrications".

Wild Fabrications celebrates a world of animals both real and fantastical.  The exhibition will debut at the International Quilt Festival (IQF) in Houston, Texas in October and will then travel to IQF in Chicago, Illinois in March, 2016 and Quilt, Knit, Stitch in Portland, Oregon in August, 2016.

RedBlueFox1

Juror: Geoffrey Gorman
Curator: Jennifer Day

The full list of accepted artists can be found on SAQA's website:
http://www.saqa.com/memberArt.php?cat=8&ec=2&ex=53

14 February 2015

Coffee Breaks

I had a great time with Building Blocks Together (BBT) Quilt Guild in Bristol, CT yesterday.  The freezing temperatures outside were offset by the warm and friendly people inside.

I demonstrated my 'layered applique' technique, using this finished piece as an example. At around 10"x10", it's perfect for a one hour demonstration (not including stitching). :

CoffeeBreak4(Coffee Break 4)

I like the sample piece with its soothing mocha tones and coffee-bean-like background fabric.  But for the demo at BBT I chose a brighter, more playful palette.  This is the one I put together last night:

Photo Feb 14, 3 13 16 PM(Coffee Break 5)

I loved creating this small composition in front of a live audience, answering questions and sharing the fun as people watched the image "appear" over the course of the demonstration. 

Thank you, BBT Quilters!  You're a wonderful crowd :-)