navbar

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 :-)

09 February 2015

New work

Just finished the latest dog portrait "Brad 2.0"  

Bradford_2.0

This pup presented a challenge since he's almost completely white, except for a bit of brown on the ears and his leg. His face is bright white, and Shi Tzu faces are pretty flat. So the trick was finding a way to show the structure of his face without very much contrast. 

Photo Feb 09, 2 01 22 PM

I exaggerated (slightly) the shadows in order to create depth and to show the texture of his fur.  I also used a technique that I call "under-painting".  I layer different colored fabrics under a piece of white fabric, to create a subtle tint or shadowy color within the white. Other slight color variations were added with the stitching, using gray, yellow, tan and peach colored threads.

Photo Feb 07, 4 12 13 PM 
(image: white fabric, under-painted with gray or yellow fabrics)

Now that Brad 2.0 is ready for delivery, I can move on to finish my "Play Time" challenge for Viewpoints 9.  Stay tuned for photos, the Viewpoints gallery opens February 27.

 

 

29 January 2015

New Goals for 2015

Yes it's almost the end of January and I'm just now mentioning my New Year's resolutions.  My blog posts have been very neglected lately.  But I'm going to change that!

To begin with, I will share photos of 2 commissions that were delivered earlier this month:

First off, "Zoey" (13" x 17" quilt mounted on 16" x 20" canvas)

Zoey

 

and her little brother "Bradford" (same finished size)

Bradford

Coming up I have 2 more commissions: one landscape and yet another dog portrait. In addition to these custom pieces, I have some creative goals of my own for this year.

My First goal: to create a coherent collection of 12 finished works of fiber art between now and the end of December 2015. 
Second goal: to integrate healthy habits into my daily life. Here's a quick overview of my game plan:

GOAL #1 (12 new works)

  1. Criteria for "coherent" = Consistent size/dimensions
    Pieces may be 18"x 24" rectangle, 18" square or 24" square]
  2. Criteria for "finished" = Ready to Hang. Edges must be finished by binding, facing or other technique; quilt will either be mounted to canvas, framed, or have a hanging sleeve attached to the back.
  3. Complete (on average) one work per month that will qualify for the collection.
  4. Challenge quilts for Viewpoints9 may also qualify for the 12 piece collection if they meet the criteria.

I chose the size dimension 18x24 because it is a standard canvas and frame size.  I figured that would increase my options for hanging the pieces.

And I added the option of 18" or 24" squares, so the pieces could be hung in an interesting combination and the show wouldn't be ALL one size and shape.   And more importantly, I think I can finish something of this size range in 4 weeks or less.
(key words: "I THINK I CAN")

Still, it will be a tough challenge. Especially since I'm not allowing myself the usual shortcut of leaving the edges unfinished and/or hanging mechanism unattached. Hand sewing is my LEAST favorite fiber-art activity, so it's going to take discipline for me to get these truly finished & ready to hang every time.

….aaaaand since it is January 29th, I will be a tad behind on the whole "one quilt per month" schedule. Better oil up that sewing machine and get to work!

Dancer

Ok, on to GOAL #2 (Health & Wellness)
Here's My Checklist for Every Day:

  1. Healthy foods* for all meals and snacks.  *Healthy foods = according to the plan I put together for myself. Too much info to list here.
  2. Exercise at least 30 minutes.
  3. Lights OUT and screens OFF by 11:30 pm

If I complete all 3 things, I get 3 stars for the day. That's right!  I'm not ashamed to say I'm still motivated by smiley stickers and gold stars! :-)

Anyway, I won't continue to post too much on goal #2, as it is more lifestyle and less art related.  However, I believe strongly that my level of health and fitness has a direct affect on my creativity.  It also affects my mood, my stamina in the studio, and a host of other aspects of my life. 

So for now I'll just say that I am on Day 29 of my 2015 Goal and I've gotten my 3 stars for 25 days and 2 stars for the rest. I thought the exercise was going to be the hardest to keep up. But it turns out, SCREENS OFF is the tough one!

30 December 2014

"Fabric and Thread": My Solo Exhibition at The Funky Monkey (Cheshire, CT)

POSTCARD

I'm happy to share the news that I am this month's featured artist at the Funky Monkey Café & Gallery in Cheshire, CT. 

Many of the pieces in this show have never been on display in public before, including "Looking Back", from the exhibition postcard.  I've also added a few smaller, framed pieces from my new "Dancer" series.

"Fabric and Thread" will be on display until the end of January.  Artist Reception: Friday, January 9, 2015 at 7pm
Please stop by and say hello!

The Funky Monkey Café & Gallery
130 Elm Street, in the Watch Factory Shoppes
Cheshire, CT 06410


Photo Dec 30, 12 12 52 PM

Photo Dec 30, 12 12 25 PM

Photo Dec 30, 12 12 12 PM

12 December 2014

Committees and Commissions

It's now mid-December, so here's what's up.

I've served on SAQA's Education Committee for about 2 years, helping to set up student activities at the last conference.  This year I have the exciting job of organizing SAQA's first "Maker Space", to take place at the 2015 conference in Portland, Oregon.

What's a Maker Space?  I'm glad you asked. A Maker Space houses a community of "Makers" - creative people who like to work with their hands. It’s a place where someone would come to learn how to use a new tool or material in a new way, or to see what others are working on because they might want to help out on that project or start something similar. Ideally, a Maker space should be conducive to inspiration, collaboration, and conversation.

Basically, the SAQA Maker Space will be a social event where people participate in hands-on activities, talk with other artists about their work and explore new ways of creating art.

So I've been spending a lot of time recruiting artists to offer their expertise and enthusiasm to the Maker Space event, creating a "SAQA Maker Space" Facebook page where people can learn more about it, and trying to come up with a reasonable layout for the ballroom so people can walk from one activity to the next and also have a place to gather or work independently.  I'm very excited about the plan, but the idea of organizing a never-been-done-before event AND on the opposite coast is pretty intimidating.  Luckily, the rest of the Education Committee is very supportive and willing to help!

With that going on, I still have studio work to do.  A lot of it.  And it has been piling up.  Coming up in January the Funky Monkey Café will exhibit a solo show of my work, so I'm trying to create a collection of small framed pieces to offer an attractive price range.

At the same time I have 3 commissions in the queue and one that was JUST finished & delivered yesterday: Here's Jack (finished size 15" x 15").

Jack

For Jack, I used very soft, realistic skin tones which I don't do very often.  Mostly because it makes it harder to show the contours and structure of the face. But overall I think it captures the little guy pretty well.  Before I delivered the finished piece, I attached it to an 18x18 painted canvas with a hanging wire on the back.  The customer was very happy with it, and that makes me very happy!

JackDetail1
(Jack, detail)

Next up: 2 more dog portraits. One is 99% done; just needs to be bound and attached to a canvas.  The second one is in progress. That makes 4 "dog" and 3 "human" commissioned portraits this year. And one more commission coming up, which may be a landscape or another kind of animal.  Details to be confirmed.

So what's the best way to budget my time?  I have no idea, except to get into my studio and not emerge until 2015.

Today I'm working to finish stitching the Viewpoints9  challenge, due Dec 27. Next week I'll add the binding and hanging sleeve onto "Grandmother" so I can bring it to the New Britain Museum on Dec 18. After the VP9 piece is done I'll wrap up the 2nd dog portrait (that may be delivered around New Year's).  Hopefully I'll have a few days to get small pieces ready for the solo show.  Oh yeah, and some where in there I need to spend time with my family for Christmas! I see a lot of coffee with peppermint sticks in my near future…

Busy busy busy, but it's all good stuff.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

04 December 2014

Grandmother is Going to the New Britain Museum!

Wow, it has been a while since I last posted but it has been a busy few months.  Great news to share: "Grandmother" will soon be hanging in the New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, CT) as part of NOR'EASTER: The 45th Annual Juried Members Exhibition.

KThemel_GrandmotherSM

The Annual Juried Members Exhibition is the New Britain Museum of American Art's opportunity to expose contemporary visual arts to a wide audience. This prominent showcase in the Northeast region highlights the exceptional work of emerging artists in all media. The show runs from January 10 - 25, 2015.

Please join me at the Opening Reception on Sunday, January 11
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

New Britain Museum of American Art
56 Lexington Street
New Britain, CT 06052

A list of all participating artists and prize winners can be found on NBMAA's website:
http://www.nbmaa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=198