Friday, July 31, 2009

"Edges" special exhibition in Long Beach

Jamie Fingal and I pose alongside the sign for Edges.
We co-curated this exhibition
Jamie poses next to her lovely quilt

Here I stand next to my quilt,
"Edge of Information:  A Cityscape of Paper and Cloth"

As much as I want to post more close-up shots of the Edges quilts I decided to resist.   Suffice it to say that this special exhibition was superb!  Jamie and I heard numerous positive comments about how good the quilts looked.  The 36"x48" uniform size added to the beauty of the exhibition.
I'm very excited to see it hanging again in Houston!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gelatin plate recipe

Because I demonstrated gelatin plate monoprinting in Quilting Arts Open Studios and Make-It-University at the Long Beach Quilt festival I have received numerous requests for the recipe.
Although I have made gelatin plates with other recipes, I prefer the ratio of gelatin to water that Rayna Gillman recommends:

this recipe will make one 8x8 plate.  Feel free to expand the recipe by using the same ratios:
4 Tablespoons of unflavored gelatin (Knox envelopes are approximately 1 Tablespoon/pkg)
1 cup cold water
1 cup near-boiling to boiling water

Mix gelatin into the cold water first and stir until dissolved.  I do this directly in the pan.  It will create a very thick, pasty-looking mixture.  
Add the hot water and stir until it is clear and the bubbles have disappeared.
Chill until firm.
Peel it out of the pan onto your work surface and have fun!

If you enjoy this type of printing, I recommend Rayna Gillman's wonderful book.  She is an excellent teacher as well as author.  Follow this link:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Make-It-University workshop!

Here is a selection of finished postcards that my students made in today's workshop.
Each student experimented with gelatin plate monoprinting on cloth and fabric,
made rubbings with Pentel Fabric Fun dye sticks, wrote on cloth and paper with markers,
and fused it all together onto a card which will be mailed from the show.
(the awesome-looking retro couple in many of the cards are my very own
parents, circa 1945).

Here I am, teaching a "mark-making" workshop at the Long Beach Quilt Festival
in the Make-It-University area of the Quilting Arts booth

Some of the interesting stuff on the students' work tables

The workshop participants are holding up their finished, hand-printed
postcards!  They are simply amazing!

Today was my first experience of teaching a workshop in the Quilting Arts "Make-It-University" setting at the Long Beach Quilt Festival.  It was a blast from start to finish.  My students were a lot of fun to work with and I am hoping they will share some of their future endeavors with me.  If any of you are reading this:  you were awesome and I truly enjoyed meeting each of you!  Please, please stay in touch and keep playing and having fun.
If you need the Imperfection Pledge I will be happy to read it to you again...


Friday, July 24, 2009

My 2008 Journal Quilt

"Fire:  Urban Inferno/Urban Comfort"

It was fun to see my Journal Project quilt again in Long Beach.  It is a bit like running into an old friend!  I shipped it to Houston almost a year ago for that quilt festival and it has been "on the road" ever since.  The photograph is of my oldest daughter, Lauren:  she was roasting a marshmellow in the fire bowl on our patio.  The background cloth was created by using deconstructed screen-printing technique, then pieced together.

"Organized Chaos" and feelin groovy

Melanie Testa models her groovy MIU apron,
painted in our hotel room

Dancing and painting make life worth living!
(too bad I'm still in my pj's here, but who dresses up and paints?!)

Mells paints on my bed.  We used a rotary cutting board positioned under an old drop-sheet brought from home

Look at our hotel room?  Isn't it GREAT??

Jamie had a great idea for the MIU workshop instructors and Open Studio artists:  event-customized aprons!
Since the Surviving the Runway theme is a play on 60's culture, we dyed and painted aprons to flow with this event.
Prior to the show we had a blast selecting "flair" to embellish aprons for the Quilting Arts events.  Although we began working on them in Jamie's studio, we spent the better part of Thursday prior to the show opening in our hotel room painting.  Later, after dinner, we returned to our room, put our painting clothes on again, and went back to work!
The aprons are many base colors, and have a ton of hand-painting, decals, "flair" buttons, and more.  
Be sure to come by the Quilting Arts' Make-It-University area if you are at the Long Beach show and check out all the chicks in their groovy aprons.  
Have A Nice Day ;-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Long Beach Quilt Festival-Wednesday evening

A portion of the "Edges" exhibition,
curated/juried by Jamie Fingal and myself

another view of "Edges"

Dinner with friends!  (L to R:  Iris Karp, Yvonne Porcella, & Jamie Fingal)

After a long, hot (no a/c inside the exhibition-area of the convention center during installation) day of hanging the "Edges" exhibition, I enjoyed a wonderful, laughter-filled evening with Iris Karp, Yvonne Porcella, and roommate Jamie at the hotel restaurant.  It was a true pleasure to catch up with these remarkable women and hear the latest about their families.  I purchased a copy of Yvonne's small "zine".  It is the same size as my favorite moleskine journal, approximately a "half-page" cover-area. 
The photos of our Edges gallery-area show the quilts before the lighting was properly adjusted.
Many thanks go to Vicki Mangum, of Quilts, Inc., for her cheerful assistance during the hanging process.  She went the extra mile to assure that the lighting was adequate in some tricky spots!  
In addition, I want to thank the artists who submitted the wonderful quilts for "Edges" (all of you).  It was a difficult process of selection, as there were so many great pieces.  To those of you who are part of this exhibition:  Congratulations!  To the rest whose quilts were released:  thank you so much for allowing Jamie and I to consider your quilts.  As I have personally gotten MANY more thin versus thick envelopes, I want to say this:  there are many reasons why a quilt is not selected.  Sometimes it is that the quilt simply doesn't "play well" with the others selected to be in the exhibit.  It could be that the photos lack the necessary quality to allow the juror to see the quilt in the best light.  Often, I don't get any feedback when a piece is declined from a show.  I try to be philosophical about it, asking myself if there is anything I would/could change about this piece to improve it.  Sometimes, I am able to see where a piece can be improved, or I know that my photography did not show my quilt in the best way possible.  I have worked hard to avoid
feeling "rejected", or that my work has no value.  It was harder in the beginning to avoid taking it personally.  Now, I realize that it simply comes with the territory.  My oldest daughters, both art school graduates, shared something that their professors said, "If you can't wallpaper a small room with your "rejection" letters you simply aren't trying hard enough"!
I think this is a wonderful way to look at it:  nothing ventured, nothing gained.

May all your letters be "fat", or at the very least, an opportunity for personal insight.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Arriving in Long Beach

Here is the "Edges" description in the program

This image of Kathy York's "Edges" quilt
is featured in the Long Beach festival program!
Congratulations, Kathy!!

Installation of the "Edges" exhibition (Jamie Fingal on the ladder)

This morning rolled around early for Jamie and I:  neither of us slept well last night.  I think we were both keyed up about our preparation for the Make-It-University workshops and Open Studios, not to mention that I had to make 3 large sheets of gelatin for monoprinting last night!
I cut the gelatin sheets into 5-inch squares this morning, sandwiched them between sheets of waxed paper, and stacked them into milk cartons (Jamie's idea-genius!) for transporting to the workshop.  We placed them in an igloo cooler.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they are still useable on Friday for my workshop.
I have so much stuff for use in the workshops/open studios it is insane.  Let's hope I have what I actually need.  I toted a large suitcase out here that I have nicknamed "the beast".  Dealing with it reminds me why I normally travel with one carry-on bag!
More photos will follow throughout the show.....

Shapes I Love

Mesquite cross-cut logs and river rock

Mesquite close-up

These shapes appear frequently in my work, especially in my free-motion quilting.
I stumbled upon these photos from a couple of years ago, and enjoy them so much I decided to post them.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prepping for Long Beach

What fun I am having!  I arrived in California last Friday and spent the weekend with my aunt and uncle in Lakewood.  Sunday evening I drove back to Orange to stay with my dear friend, Jamie.

Today was spent at her studio:  Jamie was photographed and interviewed by a photography student from the Brooks Institute while she worked.  I painted and stamped a bunch of fabric in preparation for use during Open Studios at the Long Beach festival.  

After dinner we plan to return to the studio and continue work on the "Make-It-University" 60's-style aprons we plan to wear when we teach.  Since this year marks the 40th anniversary of the peace-sign, I believe it is safe to say that this may crop up here and there at the Quilting Arts booth!  More later......

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our Dog Has a Tough Life

Bizzi, our miniature Schnauzer,
poses on her lambskin rug
This "lucky dog" has two families.  We have good friends who are former Schnauzer-owners.  They lost their dog to old age two years ago, and offered to care for Bizzi when we travel.  The arrangement has worked so well for all of us:  we have a wonderful 2nd family for her when we travel, and they have a "part-time" dog!  She has a pretty good dog's life!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Eden's Room" opens @ Fiber Artspace

Laurel's beautiful embroidered garments adorn one wall,
while one of her "Tree of Life" configurations is on another
Each of the 4 gallery partners created 6 8x8s for Contemporary Art Month
and these are mine
Here are the 8x8s in our small gallery hallway

The wonderful "Eden's Room" opened on 7/2 to a very positive response.  Laurel Gibson has created an enchanting environment inside Fiber Artspace.  Anyone in the San Antonio-area should really stop by the gallery to take in this show, which will hang through the end of August.
Take a look at our website for additional information about the show

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tijuana Taxi as sculpture

"Grill art" 

In the tiny town of Round Top you can find this old vehicle in front of a local shop.  The owner proudly displays this old taxi for the enjoyment of all who pass by.  I love skeletons, skulls in particular, so I had to take loads of photos!