Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Artist Profiles

The artists that have juried into Beneath the Surface (a special exhibit for
Festival in Long Beach, co-curated by myself & Jamie Fingal) will be
featured each day on the Dinner at Eight Artists blog.  I am sure you will
recognize many of the names on the list.  It is quite fun and interesting to
read about the creative process of each artist and what they enjoy making in
the world of fiber art.

We began on April 19th with Wen Redmond, then onto, Jane LaFazio, Terry
Waldron, Paula Chung, Gerrie Congdon, Yvonne Porcella, Susie Monday, Desiree
Habicht and today, April 27th is Virginia Spiegel.
Coming up in the next week are - Terry Grant, Joanell Connolly, Rachel
Parris, Ann Turley, Sherry Kleinman, Cynthia St. Charles, and Linda Teddlie

Many more to come.  I hope you will become a follower of the blog or
subscribe in Google Reader.  http://dinnerateightartists.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 23, 2010

Agony and self-doubt: working through it

Here's a question:  why do some pieces almost fall together on their own, and others cause the artist (me!) pain and suffering?  Why?
I have been asking myself this question quite a bit for the past several weeks.  I have a plan, a basic idea for the piece I am working on, and yet, around every curve, I'm filled with self-doubt.  I don't get it.

I am trying to respect this process for what it is because, if past experiences with this ritual (if one can call it that...) are any indicator, it  frequently results in a successful piece.  It seems like I err on either end of the spectrum:  some are so easy it is ridiculous, whilst others almost cause me physical pain.  Anxiety.  What is this all about?

I'm interested in this, particularly since we are doing online interviews of the artists who will be featured in the upcoming "Beneath the Surface" exhibition.  Most, if not all, of these artists have stated that they rarely have this problem.  Trust me:  I am NEVER at a loss for things to work on.   This is about getting stuck in the throes of a particular piece.  I would like to hear from others who have faced down this demon.  I do not think it is a rare occurrence but it isn't frequently discussed.  It reminds me of early parenthood:  no one wants to admit that there are moments when we ask ourselves, "My goodness, what have I gotten myself into?"  This is, in no way, a reflection of whether or not we love what we are doing (in either case!) but simply a "moment".  Well, I'm having "a moment".  I know I'll persevere through it, but I'm suffering.

Here  details of the cause of my "pain":

I  know part of the problem I'm having is that it is not a happy subject.  It is about what remains after a disaster, and in this case the piece is about the earthquake in Haiti.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about this subject on a visual and emotional level.  Visually, there is something interesting about the strata in the aftermath of something like an earthquake or tornado.  I know that seems very unemotional and clinical, and it is.  I'm trying to respond to the subject on both levels. 
I have an old trauma-tape that replays in my head whenever I view images of a horrific disaster, as I was way-too-close to an F-5 tornado at a young age.  It left quite an impression on me.  The visual aftermath: the rubble, and mixed in with it are everyday bits of color and household items, usually in crazy places/angles  that look wildly out-of-place in the midst of the chaos.  The other piece of this puzzle is the ongoing trauma for those affected by the event.  After the news cameras go home, people must continue to wade through what remains.  We now call it post-traumatic stress, but back in 1966 there was no name for it.  I saw people who were haunted for many years beyond the event.  Those are the things I'm grappling with right now.  I guess I'll go back to my work table and tackle it once more.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random photos

I found this little zip-bag in LA.
It seems perfect for me!

my co-pilot

amazing late afternoon clouds
(yes, I was driving on the freeway when I snapped this.  Sorry)

Garden color

Petunias & rose mallow

I've been working long, fun hours in my home studio as well as @ Kathy York's house in Austin.
We have 2 collaborations in-progress and we are looking at our upcoming submission deadline for World of Beauty.  I think I'll be doing a few more trips to Austin between now and that deadline....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jodie Davis offers a tour of the Alliance for American Quilts website on YouTube

QNN tv, is also a board member of the Alliance for American Quilts.
She produced a very nice video primer on how to use the AAQ website.  Take a look:

Don't forget the "New From Old" contest!

2010 AAQ Quilt Contest: Deadline May 31, 2010

Calling all quiltmakers! The Alliance for American Quilts invites you to enter "New from Old", a contest for all ages that celebrates the past in the frame of the present. The Grand Prize this year is a Handi Quilter HQ Sixteen Quilting Machine for Sit-Down Use! There are many other incredible prizes to entice you and the best incentive is helping the AAQ. All contest entries are a donation to the annual AAQ eBay auction. Visit the "New from Old" contest page for complete information and a downloadable entry form.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quiltart @ 15

Quiltart (for all you non-quilters) is an online community of art quilters from all around the world.  The community boasts over 3,000 members, many well-known artists, many beginning quilt makers, almost all with strong opinions they enjoy sharing!  It is a wonderful, lively group, and my first experience with an online community.  Over the 13 years I have been a member I have been enriched in many ways by this group:  I have made many friends, been offered opportunities to show my work, and learned countless things because of Quiltart.  To commemorate the 15th anniversary we are making 15-inch square quilts.
Here is a detail of my quilt:
"The Surface Reflects The Journey" (detail)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Upcoming Show in San Antonio

I'm honored to be invited to be a part of this show, which opens in May at the San Antonio Visual Artists Gallery in the River Center Mall, San Antonio TX.  Please join us at the opening reception!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Little blocks

I have been making a bunch, and I mean a BUNCH, of small (2-inch) blocks for an upcoming collaborative piece.  I have several colors, but I'm sharing the yellow ones:
yellow-on-yellow (on yellow): dyed cloth, yellow printing, yellow thread
block backs

my blocks are stamped with a bee

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rose explosion

The garden bursts with blooms, roses amongst them.

A pot of petunias, geraniums, and alyssum

Bizzi's silhouette as she looks out for the pool polaris.
She thinks it is a sea monster.

Monday, April 5, 2010

more lamination & foiling

Here is another lamination on sheer in progress.

The paper has been attached with heavy gel medium by thermofax screen printing,
dried, heat-set with an iron, and now has been soaked in water for about 10 minutes.
I'm in the process of removing the excess paper by first rolling off as much as possible with my gloved hands, then using a plastic pot-scrubber to get the last of it off.  As you can see this is very messy.
I recommend doing it outdoors if at all possible.
I have a plastic receptacle for my discarded wet paper, which I throw into the compost pile.

Mostly cleaned, I will wash it in the machine to get all the little stray pieces of wet paper.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

collaged paper lamination on sheer, followed by metal leaf lamination

I've been struggling to find a way to interpret a particular element for a quilt I'm working on.  After taking several different paths to achieve what I want, it suddenly dawned on me that laminating a collage of papers onto a sheer might be exactly what I need for this piece.
I sliced pages from several design magazines 
and positioned them under sheer fabric

For the first step I used matte medium
and a wallpaper brush

Cloth was pinned to my work surface.
I swiped the brush repeatedly across the surface of the sheer with matte medium.
Eventually I was pouring matte medium directly onto the surface and pushing it around with the brush

Pins were removed and the piece was allowed to dry thoroughly.
After drying, I heat-set it between two sheets of teflon.
The entire piece was immersed in a bucket of water to soak for a few minutes.
Then I rubbed off the excess paper (outside, because it is messy!)

After drying, I screened heavy gel medium through a thermofax screen
on the opposite side from the paper lamination & allowed it to dry for a few minutes.
Then, I positioned sheets of black metal leaf over the screened medium.
After waiting a few minutes, I heat-set the leaf.
Using a paintbrush I gently removed excess leaf from the surface.
Very messy!

Here is what I have:  I don't think I'm finished

I may brush even more of the leaf from the surface.
I'll wait until tomorrow to push this forward because I need to think about it a bit....
Also, I need to look at this piece next to my other sections of pieced cloth and see how they look together.  I will do this with fresh eyes in the morning.

garden bliss and upside-down tomatoes

things look very cheerful in my garden

I planted several pots of "Creme Brulee" petunias

The rose mallow is about to fully open

and this year we are attempting something new:
growing tomatoes in upside-down hanging planters!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A good April Fools joke....

Seen today on Google Classic's homepage.....

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I'm from Topeka so I can make fun of this......