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03 August 2014

A New Perspective

I just got back from the opening reception of "Five Fiber Friends" in New Haven, CT.  Along with Diane Cadrain, Diane Wright, Mickey Lawler and Trish Hodge, I had the pleasure of seeing my artwork hung in a new context.

Fairhaven Furniture sells artisan wood furniture and other home accessories, and they regularly showcase local artists in their gallery.  The walls are currently adorned with our textiles - framed or hung on slats and dowel rods; felted, sewn, painted, knitted - displayed together in really interesting combinations.

I love the way Kate Paranteau arranged the show in a series of small seating/viewing areas, with artwork and furniture complimenting each other.  It created such a warm and inviting environment.

Photo Aug 03, 2 06 16 PM

Some of the pieces I have in the show are over 2-3 years old, which is often the cut-off age for exhibition calls for entry. But seeing them today, paired with work by other artists, in a casual "home" environment, gave me a new appreciation for those older pieces.  They still work, and they still make me happy.

THAT led me to think about the next regional exhibition I'd like to help organize with Diane Wright.  Why have size or age limitations?  Why not hang things in combination with each other, sometimes stacking work vertically?  Artwork doesn't always have to be hung in a straight horizontal line, in uniform size or style or even with an over-arching theme.  Totally random, diverse artwork CAN make sense when hung in the right combination.  My mind is racing.... in a good way.

28 July 2014

Fiber Art in a Home Environment: "Five Fiber Friends" at River Street Gallery (New Haven, CT)

Please join us for the Opening Reception August 3, 2014

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The Five Fiber Friends exhibition runs Aug 1 – Sept 21, 2014

Opening Reception Aug 3 at 2pm

Fairhaven Furniture
72 Blatchley Ave
New Haven, CT 06513
http://www.fairhaven-furniture.com

This was a first for me – installing an art exhibition in a furniture showroom and "curating on the fly" with Fairhaven Furniture's gallery organizer Kate Paranteau.

The five of us: Diane Wright, Mickey Lawler, Trish Hodge, Diane Cadrain and I showed up last Friday morning with a bundle of available artwork. Not knowing exactly how the collection would shake out, we each brought a dozen or so pieces.  When it was all unpacked, I thought we'd be lucky to fit HALF of it on the walls.  It was overwhelming!

But Kate P helped the five of us make sense of all the colorful, diverse artwork by grouping pieces in small sitting/viewing areas. 

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The result is a wonderful, vibrant exhibition full of charming "art stories" to explore.  Comfy sofas, cool lamps and handmade tables compliment the artwork and give viewers an idea of how fiber art might fit into their own home or office.

 RiverStGallery (7)

When we left that afternoon, the artwork was firmly in place but the furniture may still be moved around and changed before opening night.  I can't wait to go back and see it.  Hope you'll join me!

Five Fiber Friends - 49

23 July 2014

Demonstration at Windham Textile Museum Aug 16 (Willimantic, CT)

In connection with the Inspiration Quilts: Then and Now exhibition, I've been invited to lead a 90 minute demonstration at the Windham Textile & History Museum (WTHM).

Please join me at WTHM on Sat. August 16 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

WTHM

I'll present my raw-edge layering technique using freezer paper to trace, cut, and layer fabric into a fiber art composition, and I'll answer questions from the audience as time allows.

This is the same technique I teach in my Magnolia workshop.  However, I'm working on a fun new design just for WTHM.  Hope you can be there!

Windham Textile & History Museum is located at 411 Main Street, Willimantic, CT. Registration is strongly suggested.

The event is called “Building A Picture.” Admission is $10 per person. To register, call 860-456-2178 or email: themillmuseum@gmail.com 

18 July 2014

"Iris" and Local Color Featured in Quilting Arts Magazine (Aug/Sept 2014 issue)

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(image: Quilting Arts Aug/Sept 2014 cover)

This month's issue of Quilting Arts Magazine features an article about SAQA Connecticut's regional show "Local Color", including images of eight exhibition quilts.

That's my "Blood Iris" on the gallery's opening page! Woo-hoo!

Photo Jul 18, 10 24 16 AM

As one of the managing curators, I was asked to write a brief description of the show.  The gallery continues onto the next 4 pages, featuring artwork by Ruth Anne Olson, Phyllis Small, Catherine Whall Smith, Barbara McKie, Kendell Storm, Norma Schlager and the show's Co-curator Diane Wright. These 8 quilts were hand picked by QA and professionally photographed for the magazine. Each image is labeled with the artist's name, title and statement about the piece.

Seven of the quilts (including mine) will travel to Atlanta, Georgia for Quilting LIVE! at the Sewing & Quilt Expo, September 11 – 13, 2014. http://www.sewingexpo.com/QuiltingLIVE.aspx

Check it out if you can!

01 July 2014

New Work: Viewpoints 9 Challenge

Our latest challenge: Interpret the following words…
One universe
Nine planets
Two hundred and four countries
Eight hundred and nine islands
Seven seas
And I had the privilege to meet you.

Themel_Ch5_SM

I usually listen to music in my studio. The song "Whole Wide World" by Wreckless Eric came up on random rotation. The words to the song made perfect sense for this month's challenge.

When I was a young boy, my mama said to me
"There's only one girl in the world for you
and she probably lives in Tahiti"
I'd go the whole wide world
I'd go the whole wide world just to find her

I started thinking about the distance Tom and I traveled before our paths crossed in Westbrook, CT.  And how lucky I am that we ended up in the same place. Which led me to the idea of maps.

I pulled out one of my favorite photos of Tom, a very rare one of him sailing, as inspiration. This background fabric by Carol R Eaton reminded me of vague land formations and water. I used similar colored fabrics and shapes to create Tom's portrait, and used echoing lines within the shapes to make him look more like part of the map.

Themel_Challenge5SM

The red dots are like push pins you might use to mark your travels. The numbers next to them are coordinates – latitude and longitude – related to 9 important places for Tom and me.  They range from Rijeka to Dublin to San Francisco as well as our home in Cheshire, CT.

To see and read the stories behind the latest Viewpoints 9 challenge quilts, visit: http://viewpoints9-2.blogspot.com/

24 June 2014

New Work: Aubrey and Jacob

Why the long pause between posts?  I've been working on 2 commissioned portraits for a private buyer in California.  They were purchased as a gift for the kids' mom, so I didn't want to post any photos before now (didn't want to spoil the surprise!)

So here they are, Aubrey and Jacob.

Aubrey

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Jacob

Each one is 12" x 12" finished, sewn onto black canvas which was then stretched over 14" x 14" wooden stretcher bars.  A wire is attached to the back for easy hanging.

I love getting a commission when I'm free to "play" with color and composition!  For these adorable munchkins, I chose colors to reflect their bright, energetic personalities (as described by the client). And since the pieces are small, I thought the bold colors would add visual impact, but it needed a palette that would work for a boy and a girl. I went with some playful color combinations, hopefully not too cutesy-cutesy.

My frequent partner-in-creativity, Carol R Eaton, created hand dyed color packs intended for my Magnolia workshop. But I had other plans for some of them! I rummaged through several packs to find just the right colors and shades for these portraits.  Guess I'll have to find other uses for the leftovers! LOL

Here are a couple detail photos:

Aubrey – I loved working on her hair, with those wispy lines and cool braid.  Fun!

Aubrey_detail

Jacob – Just wanted to pinch those cheeks.  LOL

Jacob_detail

20 May 2014

New Exhibition "Inspiration Quilts: Then and Now" is Open (Willimantic, CT)

Please join me at the opening reception on Saturday May 24, 2014 from 1:30 – 3:30pm at the Windham Textile & History Museum!

Many of the artists will be there to see the show, mingle with our fiber art buddies and talk to visitors.

Inspiration Quilts: Then and Now
May 16 – September 7, 2014
Windham Textile & History Museum

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The exhibit celebrates the museum’s 25th anniversary by featuring 25 special quilts: twelve antique quilts from the museum’s collection, twelve contemporary quilts created by artists inspired by the antique quilts, plus a group quilt composed of 25 blocks by members of the Connecticut chapter of Studio Art Quilt Associates.

This month's issue of Connecticut Magazine features an article about the show with photos of my "Honey Bee" as well as the quilt that inspired it: Ruth Snow Bowden's "Grandmother's Flower Garden".

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To find out more about the Inspiration Quilts show and other special events, visit www.millmuseum.org

Windham Textile & History Museum
411 Main Street
Willimantic, CT 06226
860-456-2178