Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Color Runs Through It

Our show A Color Runs Through It opened last Friday evening with a nicely attended reception. The other four artists in the show with me are Georgia French, Diane English, Deb Sorem and Paulette Landers.  Each of us worked mainly with a specific color.  Georgia picked yellow, Diane picked purple, Deb had green and Paulette chose red.  My color was blue.  We also could use the color directly across the color wheel from our chosen color, plus black and white.  For me, that meant orange.  The image above is the third piece I made in the series and I called it Canyonlands.

Since I was supposed to be working mainly with blue, I thought Canyonlands leaned a little too far toward the orange shades.  So, I made this next piece called Moonrise.  Orange takes more of a back seat in this piece even though the moon itself is the focal point of the piece.  From a distance it does read blue.

My last piece in this series is Winter Solstice.  I love working with snow scenes.  It always makes me feel calm in the way that the world becomes hushed and quiet when a layer of fresh snow absorbs all sounds.  I like to experience the feel of the cold in the scene while working all snug and warm in my studio.

Here are some detail shots of the three quilts pictures above.

In my next post I will post pictures of the 5 smaller pieces I made at the gallery's request.  I am also going back to the gallery to take some pictures of the whole show.  I was so busy chatting at the opening, I forgot to take any pictures that evening!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Coming Back to Earth

Well, moving sure took it's toll on my blogging.  I see I haven't posted since May which was about the time our house went on the market.  It has been a whirlwind ever since.  Believe it or not, things are actually looking calmer as the end of December approaches.

I have been working in the studio in spite of all the moving uproar, working hard!  I am part of a show at the Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene for the month of January with a group of five art quilters.  We each chose a main color to work with in all our pieces.  From that we were allowed to use the color across the color wheel from our chosen color and any neutral colors.  The kicker?  We each needed to provide five main quilts, plus five other pieces, which could be old work.  However, in my crazy head, I decided that even the additional five pieces needed to be new work. 

I chose the color Blue. That has meant working with Orange as well.  The piece pictured above is called Altitude.  It is a pretty obvious use of blue and orange.  A second piece, below, is a more subtle rendition of that color combination.  I called this one Fallow Fields. The five main pieces each measure 24" wide by 30" high.
Here is a small detail of the larger piece.  I had not yet finished the hand stitched rain lines when this was taken but I think you can see where I'm going. 
Next post will show more pieces.  I am currently working on #8.  
 Boy, it feels good to be "back"!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Paint the Town

Paint the Town

 Our High Fiber Diet group show, Simply Red, is at its third venue, The LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus in Corvallis, Oregon.  We had a wonderful opening reception on Monday evening.  There was a rousing orchestral concert going on in one of the performance halls so we heard snippets in the background as people came and went through the doors.  It is a beautiful venue and there was a nice turn out for the event.  Here are some photos of the other work in the show.  I got a little bit of pleasure out of having my piece, Paint the Town, used on the artist name tags that evening.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Exploring Layers

Exploring Layers is the latest regional SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) show that will be touring various venues in the Sate of Oregon for the next year and a half.  This is my piece that was juried into the show.  I called it Rift Valley.  I have been wanting to make a piece for many years called Olduvai Gorge and was collecting fabric printed with any type of bones.  When it came time to really put the pieces together, it seemed too site specific and too "boney".  I envisioned something more expansive and more universally understood.  I was inspired by looking a picture in my dentist's office to make something that looked more like a landscape without being too realistic.  I have been moving toward greater abstraction in my work in the last year or so and really enjoying it.  As this came together it seemed like the perfect balance between realism and suggestion.  I am happy with the change of perspective between the center and the two outer edges.  Hopefully, it brings the viewer in closer to study the details.  And, yes, there are a few bones deep beneath the earth.

This show is debuting at the Chehalem Cultural Center, February 21 - March 28.  The artist's reception is March 7 from 5 - 8PM.  The address is 415 Sheridan St, Newberg, OR and their hours are Tues - Sat, 9AM to 6PM.

Here are a couple of detail shots.  See the bones?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

7 x 10 Inches

My little 7" x 10" quilt is done.  It is a submission to SAQA's traveling trunk show.  It is for sale but if it doesn't sell at the end of the 3-year run, I might be getting it back.  I like it so it would be fine if that happens. I am calling the piece The Space In Between.  I wish I could photograph it better but the polyester wants to reflect light and that washes out the color a bit.

It's a little different technique for me.  It was printed using heat-set disperse dye on polyester.  The first layer of dye was simply a black splatter.  Over that I layered a section of olive green and a section of golden yellow.  I've had the piece of fabric for about 3 years and never quite knew what to do with it, mainly because it was only about 8.5" by 11".  SAQA asked that these little pieces measure 7" by 10", so there you go.  I embellished it by hand sewing a selection of rayon cords, a vintage metallic braid and glass beads.  It is machine quilted with rayon and a Japanese metallic silk thread.

My statement about the piece:  As humans we occupy only a small percentage of the Earth's surface.  However, our impact on the Earth is significant.  We are a very busy species.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's show season!

It seems like fiber and textile art is expanding its appeal to more venues all the time. I have recently been accepted to three shows.  My At Ocean's Edge piece will be in The Mayor's Art Show at the Jacobs Gallery here in Eugene.  It opens this evening and runs through October 5.

I also have this piece, Just Read Between the Lines, Dear, in a show, opening this evening as well, at The Arts Center in Corvallis, OR.  The title of the show is (Sur)Face Forward.  This show is entirely fiber and textile related.  I decided to attend their opening rather than the one in Eugene because of the focus of the show.  I do believe that supporting fiber shows encourages galleries to continue to call for more of the same.  (Sur)Face Forward runs through September 28.  
I submitted this one because I could tell from the Call to Artists that they were looking for pieces that were outside the box.  You'll notice the edges are left unfinished.  It was part of my Coming Unraveled series I did a few years ago.

The final acceptance was for the 2013 Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival in La Conner, WA.  The Green Flash was accepted as a finalist in their competition.  I won't know until after October 3 if I am a prize winner or not.  It so, the quilt will be on display at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum from October 10 to November 24.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed but am not expecting anything big.  Previous prize winners have included artists like Carol Bryer-Fallert's Best of Show at Houston.  Stiff competition!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two Pears in an Auction

Got my SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) auction piece finished and in the mail today.  It must arrive in Santa Fe by June 1 so I paid 5 cents extra to get it there a day sooner.  (Funny how postage rates work sometimes, isn't it?)  This piece is similar to one I made for my Small Pleasures series a couple of years ago.  Reason being, I had started this at the time and decided the angle of the table curve was too steep.  Everything looked like it was sliding off the table.  I was going for an Impressionist look but not one that made me seasick.  In order to correct the angle of the table, I would have to un-fuse the top of the vase, several of the leaves and the large flower on the right side.  It all seemed like too much work at the time so I set it aside and started over.

The unfinished piece sat around in my studio for quite a while.  When the call went out for donations to the SAQA auction , I decided now was the time to rescue the poor thing.  I changed the angle of the table curve so it isn't so dramatic.  I finished the stitching of all the raw-edge applique elements.  The background is pieced and machine quilted.  On the "wallpaper" I used stripes of decorative stitches.  I have all these fancy options on my machine so I feel compelled to occasionally use them on something.  The auction starts on the SAQA web site in September.  I'll post links when it happens.

Here is a close-up of some of the stitching.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life Gets Busy

Often, try as I might, life chores and expectations get in the way of making art.  Every other artist I know struggles with this same thing.  In order to produce art, one has to move from all those left-brained activities over to calmness of the right brain.  It can't just be turned off and on.  I am currently working on a new piece, but it is coming along slowly, due to all those life chores.  I will post some pictures of it in progress but until then I decided it might be nice to post pictures of old work once in a while.  I have many pieces that were produced long before I started this blog. 

So, here's an oldie but, IMHO, a goodie.  This was sold several years ago and I still miss it.  It was one of my favorites.  It was made for an international challenge where we were each supposed to use a piece of money as our inspiration.  I chose the Canadian "Loonie".  I did not go for absolute realism.  I had a great stash of black and white fabrics that I thought would produce a whimsical looking bird.  After all, the loon has pretty dandy looking plumage.

This close up view shows how I pleated the houndstooth print before placing it on the back of the bird.  It was a fun piece to do.  It raveled to Japan and New Zealand, as well as several place here in the US.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

This is Emily, my husband's grand niece.  This portrait was essentially finished at the end of the year, however, I found myself coming back to it over and over.  There seem to always be endless lines and shadows to come back in and tweak just a little bit more.  I finally told myself, "Enough! It's finished."   It will never be perfect and that's not the goal, anyway.  I need to frame it up and give it to her.

The next challenge was getting a good copy of the drawing.  I guess I knew this but I found out for sure, pencil does not photocopy well. I tried scanning it. That was worse.  I was finally able to take a fairly decent photo by trying multiple settings on my camera.  It was still a little dark so I resorted to Photoshop.  This is probably as good as it can be other than being the original.  I have done so little in the way of drawing that I'm struggling with giving away a successful one.  Still, Emily will love to have it so away it will go.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Into Every Studio, A Baby Quilt ...

It has been a long time since I pieced a traditionally patterned quilt.  My new grand nephew, Declan, arrived this month and his mother has decorated his nursery with a Beatrix Potter theme.  Knowing this fabric was available, I made a wall hanging for his room.  It was fun to play with color and pattern in a way that is different for me.  I tried to use colors that would play down the pink in the themed print and keep things a little more boyish.  I really liked the addition of the taupe print.  

I found a panel with the same print on it that was almost the right size for the back.  I tried to eliminate the pink edge but it didn't quite work out.  Still it worked out great for a little surprise when it is turned around.
 Now to get it in the mail.  Happy Birth-day, Declan!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Threads of Spring Color

Spring.  Easter. A time of hope and renewal.  This season always feels a little bit like New Year's to me.  Everything is starting to look new and green and fresh.  Even the air smells like blossoms.  It becomes hard to chose between working in the garden or the studio on so many days.

Today I dyed the eggs for tomorrow's breakfast and dinner.  I used that little wax crayon in the PAS box and drew lines around each egg before I put them in the dye.  Then I remembered an idea I had put on my Pinterest board from the Martha Stewart web site.  The eggs were charming with just the white wax lines but MS always gives me even greater inspiration.  The idea was to wrap the eggs with thread.  Well, there's NO shortage of that in my house!  It really took the eggs from charming to stunning.

I even got fancier with two of the eggs,  I had a yellow and a pink that didn't come out so good, so I drew the wax lines over the color, rather than just the white egg, and put them into another color of dye.  You can see them better in this close-up.  The two-toned effect is pretty fun.  It will be hard to start cracking these open to eat.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Weather Outside is Frightful

We woke up to a light layer of snow on the ground this morning, with more pouring down.  The sky is dark, dark, and many of the neighbors have their outdoor Christmas lights turned on.  They glow so nicely in the morning gloom.  It made me want to stay in rather than head to the pool for my morning exercise, but out I went.

The weather also made me think about this quilt I finished some weeks (months?) back.  I guess I was anticipating the winter weather even then.  I call it Winter's Promise and it is larger than many of my recent pieces, about 40" by 52".  I'm guessing a little because it is currently not in my possession. It has been traveling to a couple of different show venues.  Too bad.  Today it should be hanging on my wall to match the scene outside. At the very bottom of the quilt there is the reminder that under the soil, Spring warmth and life are just waiting their turn to re-appear.

Here is a detail of the piece.  All the layers of the background are various fabrics showing, or suggesting, snow flakes.  It was fun to dig through my collection of winter themed fabrics to make this.  Now it's time to dig through my collection of blankets!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Dress

Boy, once the wedding was over I thought life would slow down.  NOT!  So, long after the fact, here are pictures of the finished dress.  Like almost every other woman I know, I wish I was my younger, slimmer self, but all in all, I was pleased with how it came out.  I sewed on it right up to the night before the wedding.  Apparently starting 7 weeks early wasn't quite enough.  Or, perhaps it's that old adage that a job always expands to fill the time allotted.  
This has to be one of the most complicated garments I have ever made.  It required a lot of hand-basting of the lace and silk chiffon layers to each other before any construction seam could be attempted.  After that it was pretty straight forward.  It wasn't as hard as a tailored jacket but the bustier was tricky.  I kept allowing too much ease for the boning.  I had to remove the boning pockets twice, take in the seams, replace the pockets and the boning and check the fit.  I still could have made it tighter but adding a waist stay ribbon made it close enough.  I think the bustier alone took me about 3 1/2 weeks working on it off and on.
The wedding day turned out perfectly.  Even better than the dress.  We're taking it as a good omen for the rest of our days together.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wedding Dress - Sneak Peek

So blogging takes a BIG back seat these days.  Mr. Bill and I are 9 days away from our wedding.  (Deep breath!)  I have been making my wedding dress and I haven't made a garment in, probably, 7 years, and never anything NEAR as difficult as a wedding dress.  Here is the fabric, a sea foam silk chiffon, covered by a modern lace with tiny, clear paillettes scattered across the weave.  Lovely, but oh so very fussy to work on.  There has been a lot of hand basting involved, but first I started with an organic white muslin that became the dress underlining once the final fitting was determined.

I changed the original pattern a bit.  I ruched the lace layer of the center panel of the bustier.  I didn't want to add that volume all the way around, though.  On the remaining 8 sections, I ruched the silk under layer.  Since the wedding is taking place on the Oregon coast, I am taking my inspiration from the ocean.

This shows the center panel of the bustier with two side panels already attached.  The unfinished piece is the silk, gathered by hand on each edge of the section.  At this point I took my steam iron and just flattened the gathers in a irregular pattern.  I just thought about the random way waves wash up on a beach.  Then I layered the lace piece over the top and hand basted the two layers together.  After neatening up the cut edges to match the original pattern, I attached the section to the main body.  Eight of the nine seams has spiral steel boning, inserted into cotton pockets, along the length of the seam. The ninth seam, the center back, has a separating zipper hidden under a row of fabric covered buttons.  The whole garment is lined with white Bemberg rayon. 

Here's the finished bustier, with a lace bolero over the top.  I finished the edges of the bolero with the selvedge from the lace yardage.  It had a wide piece of plain netting  without the grid pattern woven into it.  I will add the same raw edge to the 3/4 length sleeve hem.  The skirt is almost finished.  I just need to tackle the yards and yards of hemline.  I think I'm avoiding it at the moment.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More Singer Hill Cafe

This is my second piece that was in the recent show.  It is titled Riding Down the Avalanche.  It was made as part of a divorce series that I did about 4 years ago.  This one is all strips of torn silks and a few sheer polyester fabrics.  Here's a detail shot.

The show has been taken down but I hope to be in a show again at this venue.  It is quite an interesting place.  It is in the historic part of Oregon City so, besides being an historic building itself, there are many more in the surrounding blocks.  

Besides being a cafe and gallery, its other claim to fame is the living walls created by the owner.  They are truly fascinating, especially if one is at all interested in gardening.  The variety and size of the plants is beyond the normal display of succulents that most folks use when planting on a vertical surface.  Here are some examples of the living art work, both outside and inside.

If you are in the area, stop in for a great cup of coffee, bakery treat or lunch.  It's especially nice in the summertime when they roll up the old saddlery doors, literally, and the outside becomes part of the inside.