Friday, May 31, 2013

Artist of the Month!

I have been busy the past couple of weeks, preparing to have thirteen of my pieces hung for a month-long show at a community social service agency.  Prompted by one of their staff who also has a strong interest in the arts, they installed a hanging system in the waiting room, and invite community artists to show their work.  This month, it's me!

It was a fascinating experience preparing for this.  First, I had  to choose which ones to show.  I don't have a huge body of work- but I did want to showcase my best.  I chose several of my best pieces from the Interpret This! challenge, both of my quilts inspired by the wind turbines.  I wanted to show Green- but at twelve inches square, it didn't have much presence.  So I created a matte quilt, and sewed it to that.  You can see it directly to my left in the picture above.

I also wanted to show two other small quilts, Chaos and Tetes au Dessous.  I ended up painting two stretched canvases black, and sewing them on.  I couldn't believe the difference it made- but of course, I didn't have enough presence of mind to take pictures of them when I was done!

I also had some larger pieces- I couldn't leave these out!

One other artist who has been shown here had a fiber piece in her collection- but this will be the first show that's exclusively fiber.  It will be interesting to see what the response is.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival, Spring 2013

I became aware of the Blogger's Quilt Festival through Nina-Marie's blog this week, and have decided to enter my latest quilt, Autumn Glory in the Art Quilt category. I've blogged about creating this quilt before- so if you seen and read all this before, bear with me!

I've lived in the desert southwest my entire life- a landscape that is more known for wide open spaces and lots of browns. I had the opportunity to take a trip to northwestern Michigan with my son and his fiancee last fall, and I found myself enthralled with a lush, green landscape very different from what I'm used to.  We hiked through woods that enveloped me with verdant greens (and the very beginning of fall colors), where the view above me was entwined branches with only bits of blue sky peeking through.  I loved it, and took hundreds of pictures.  So far, I've made three quilts inspired by this trip, and more are in my head.  A Walk in the Woods: Autumn Glory is the third in this series.

I do not want to create a realistic quilt of the woods I experienced, but rather give a sense of the tall, upright trees juxtaposed with the beautiful autumn colors.  This is actually two quilts: I constructed the pieced portion with hand dyed and commercial fabrics, then quilted and embroidered it using both hand and machine embroidery.  Then I constructed the wholecloth "matte", using a commercial cotton that I stenciled with Shiva paintstiks to depict the leaves.  I created the stencils myself, using actual leaves that I collected on the trip.  This "matte" was heavily quilted, then the pieced quilt stitched to it.

I feel like I am finally starting to find my voice with this quilt.  I love improvisational piecing, and prefer to use my own hand dyed fabric as much as possible.  I also like the 'calm' lots of negative space in a quilt provides.  I hope the viewer can get the same sense of peace amidst the grandeur of the trees that I experienced in those woods.

I've been absent

with good cause, dealing with needs of my family and child.  I haven't done anything worth blogging about, and haven't had the emotional energy anyway.  Hopefully we have turned a corner on that one--