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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Continuing Ispiration


I know I have shown this picture of Ebey's prairie, located on Whidbey Island in the State of Washington, before but I am surprised by how many times I have come back to it for inspiration.  Mostly I have greatly simplified the image as in this 8 x 8 inch piece titled Prairie III.


Most recently, I decided to really delve into more of the details of the photo. I knew perspective would be critical so the angles of the field lines would be crucial.  I might tweak these a bit if I did it over again but this newest work seems to have captured the feeling of spaciousness that I get from looking at the original photo.  This is now my fourth piece that has come from just this one picture, Prairie IV.


Here is a detail image.  I have found that I really love stitching the foreground grasses with their grace and illusion of movement from the breeze.  One lucky break was the blue sky fabric. I had only one small piece left of this and it had lighter areas that ran vertical to way I needed to lay the piece.  Normally I would have wanted the light are to run horizontally but somehow this vertical "stripe" matched up perfectly with the open view to the distant ocean.  I had not enough fabric to move it right or left and still fit into my 12 x 12 inch space.  Sometimes there is inspiration and sometimes there is sheer luck!




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Earthly Treasures show

The show that I and three other artist friends, Terry Grant, Mary Goodson and Chris Brown, have been working toward is finally here. Earthy Treasures was our chosen title since we each are inspired so closely by our Pacific Northwest environment.  Twigs Gallery is part of the Stitchin' Post quilt shop in charming Sisters, Oregon.  This is where the popular Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is held every year.  
The artists reception for our show is on July 22 and runs through August 25.  I know we have been all working steadily, since at least the first of the year, so it is a nice feeling of accomplishment to have everything hung and ready in the gallery.  Here are a couple of pieces that I produced for the show and the inspiration photo following. All but one of these are 12" by 12" in size.

Morning Light 
The photo for this was taken driving on Interstate 5 early one morning.  I just took a quick shot through the rainy car window. It is amazing what phone cameras can capture.
 


High Mountain Pass
 This picture was taken at a rest stop at the top of the Santiam Pass in the Fall.  A forest fire burned a very large part of this area a few years ago leaving many charred trees. Some of them are now being bleached by constant exposure to the sun and harsh winter weather.  It creates quite an amazing scene of contrasts especially when the vine maple turns fiery red and orange. Mt. Washington is on the horizon.


Here are two more pieces made for this show. I hope to see some friends there!

 Crackle

 
Prairie III

 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekend Wonders


I had the pleasure of traveling to the southern part of Oregon this last weekend to see two excellent art quilt shows.  Both involve artists that are members of Studio Art Quilt Associates.  The first show was in Medford at the Rogue Gallery.  It is a juried show put up by the members of the Oregon and Southern Washington region of SAQA.  The show is titled Blending Poetry and Cloth.  Each piece is the artist's response to a poem or inspirational quote.  Although the individual poems were not included on the wall tags there is a catalog that shows the title of the related poem.  There are 45 quilts in the show so there was a lot to enjoy.  Here are some views of the gallery and the quilts.






Although there are any wonderful quilts in the show, Mandy Miller's piece Georgia Does Midtown is one of my favorites.  It is pictured here on the far right.  It was inspired by the poem "Chicago" by Carl Sandberg.  It has such great depth and movement. 
Another very dynamic quilt is by Anne Daughtry A Painted Ship done after "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.I think you can see the texture and dimension Anne archived with her choice of fabrics.

I am pleased to say the my piece, Rolling In, was also chosen to be a part of the exhibit.  Mine was inspired by the poem "The Voice of the Rain" by Walt Whitman.


I was also very pleased and proud that the gallery chose this piece to show a portion of on their postcard and as THE image for their listing of the show on the their 2016 schedule of shows.  For as long as I have worked at my craft, it feels good to be finding my voice and earning some recognition.


The second show was the juried international SAQA show Concrete & Grassland at the Grant Pass Museum of Art.  Photography was limited at this venue so I just snuck a quickie of my quilt in the show, Rift Valley.  It was a satisfying way to spend the weekend with others of similar passion.



Monday, May 16, 2016

New/Old Work

Prairie II

The end of 2015 brought me to a new job - in retail work.  The months have flown by since I last posted, while I got "trained up" and went through the holidays.  However, my art work did not lie idle. In December and January I had the honor of being in the Small Pleasures Invitational at the Jacobs Gallery in Eugene, Oregon.  All works had to be no larger than 12" in any one direction.  Prairie II was one of my pieces.  It was inspired by a photograph I took at a place called Ebey's Prairie on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington.  Below is the original photograph.  I think you can see that I greatly simplified the scene.  The good thing about it is that I can come back to this photo again for future ideas.

 
Prairie I was also part of the Small Pleasures show.   Although this is a marshy scene it is actually a place in what we call Central Oregon, an environment that is considered high plateau desert.  Yes, that's right, Oregon has a vast area that is considered a desert ecosystem.  Although the landscape can be very stark, it has a beauty that can grab my heart.  I have always loved great wide open spaces with an unobstructed view of the sky.

Prairie I
I tried my hand at being a little more abstract in Shangri-La. Moving more toward the abstract has been a struggle for me.  I get caught up in the details too easily.  Often I start with a fairly abstract design as I build my background but then the stitching detail takes me back down the path of life-like representation.  In Prairie I, however, I think it is the detail stitching that makes the piece really shine.  In Shangri-La I was able to hold back a little better. So, the battle of personal style continues.



 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Precious Land


It has been a long summer of sewing deadlines but it is all good.  I have stayed true to my commitment to produce more work and, hopefully, better work this year.  I still have several deadlines between now and the end of the year but I am looking forward to when I can assess how things went. 
This is one of the latest pieces I finished.  Precious Land along with Rift Valley were my entries into the SAQA Call to Artists for their next show, Concrete and Grasslands.  I won't know until November if either was accepted.  I will keep my fingers crossed but I feel very good about this latest piece. Here is a detail of the larger piece.  This was made with hand-dyed and commercial cottons with a large amount of free-motion stitching.  It has one long vertical seam in it so I can almost say it is pieced.  However, the majority of the quilt is raw edge applique.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Summer Goes Fast

This has been the summer of quilting frenzy.  I made it a goal this year to enter more shows than I have ever done previously.  So far, I have kept to that goal very well with the unfortunate exception of the entry I thought I submitted only to discover AFTER the deadline that I apparently never hit the Submit button at the end of the form.  Oh well.  Live and learn. It is a mistake I probably won't make again.

For many of the shows I have been able to use previously made pieces.  The last few years of producing an abundance of work has paid off.  At the SAQA conference this Spring, one speaker talked about how you have to spend time "doing the work" and have a body of works available before you can start entering shows and applying for grants.  I have finally made it to that level, however, many shows still require new work.

The piece pictured above is one of those new pieces.  Titled, Rolling In, it is another of my attempts to depict landscapes more in the abstract.  This was my accepted entry for the statewide SAQA show, Blending Poetry and Cloth.  It is inspired by a Walt Whitman poem called The Voice of the Rain. 
  

 When I first finished it, two people asked what the big rock was in the upper corner.  Now, if one person had said that, I probably would have blown it off.  When the second person said it, I knew I had not succeeded in making the focus of the piece entirely clear to the viewer.  I added couched lines of a heavy metallic blue thread.  I think it succeeds now and has the added benefit of pushing the background further to the back.  Here is another detail shot of the stitching.


The next piece that I made did not turn out as well as I envisioned but it was accepted into the High Fiber Diet show, Making Our Mark.  We were required to incorporate a specific "chop" design somewhere in our piece.  I included mine as part of the stitching of the bark in one of the trees.  This is not my favorite piece I have ever made but that happens sometimes.  As stated in the book Art and Fear, the more art you make the less failures you will have so I will push on.  This piece is called Fresh Fall.  You can see the "mark" in the lower left corner of the detail image.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Landscape Inspirations


There are times when I hit inspiration overload.  This past weekend our family group spent three days in the part of Oregon that is environmentally known as high desert.  Although the elevations are in the neighborhood of 3,000+ feet above sea level, the landscape can be very arid.   We camped around a man-made lake formed by damming three separate rivers - the Deschutes, the Metolius and Crooked rivers.  It seemed everywhere we went over those three days, the geology and the views of sky and land were breathtaking in any aspect.  Some of these elements will make their way into future art quilts but some will just resonate in my soul for a long time to come.  What a glorious place we live in if we just go out and look around.











Saturday, May 30, 2015

13th Around Oregon Annual


The opening reception at The Arts Center in Corvallis was well attended this evening. The lovely, summer-like evening was probably a contributing factor.  There was a wonderful selection of pieces chosen by the juror Johanna Seasonwein.  The show includes painting, photography, basketry, mixed-media, 3D, furniture and one textile piece, my Rift Valley.  Johanna's desire to include a wide range of media resulted in a beautiful, interesting show.


Here is my piece hanging in the stage area.  Watch those appetizers, please!


The Arts Center is a lovely old Gothic Revival style church and is a beautiful venue for showing art.  What I like about this place is that they never crowd the art.  Each piece gets a chance to really shine on its own.  Below is one of the winners of the four Juror's Awards.  It is Silver Salmon by Analee Fuentes.  


Here's The Art Center from the outside.  Pretty cool building!