Friday, December 15, 2017

Chandler Center for the Arts Gallery ~ Exhibition Opening ~ 2017

Attending the opening of Art Quilts XXII in Chandler, Arizona on November 17, 2017 was so much fun. I am honored to be in a group show with so many accomplished artists. I enjoyed meeting some of them.   The opening evening provided time to interact and to learn how and why the artists created what they did for the exhibition. The curator of the show, Sandra Branjord, was candid about her process of selecting the art.  From her, I learned that the detail shots are equally important as the overall shots of a piece when submitting an entry. 

While the process of doing the work is the first and foremost motivator, feedback about a finished piece is an added bonus.  Watching attendees view and comment was a highlight of the evening for me. 

If you are in Phoenix over the holidays, it is well worth a trip to visit “As Near to the Edge as I Can Go” at the Chandler Center for the Arts Gallery, Chandler, AZ from November 17, 2017 – January 5, 2018.

Photos taken at the opening event:
On Dahlias by Conley
Dahlias Detail

Heliophobia by Lastles

Viewer of Sargasso Sea


Attitude Adjustment Miller
Opening Eve

Monday, November 13, 2017

ART QUILT XXII: As Near to the Edge as I Can Go

The Chandler Center for the Arts Vision Gallery hosts an annual (22 years now) art quilt exhibition.  This year my piece, Wide Sargasso Sea, is featured on the exhibition post card.  Indeed this is a great honor as the art is among 22 other multi-media textile pieces that are juried into to the prestigious show.

Vision Gallery - Postcard 2017

The textile piece was inspired by a book called The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. The Sargasso Sea is known for it’s aqua blue waters and golden Sargasso kelp. The color palette was chosen to reflect those vivid colors of the region. Each panel was created to mimic the tidal movements of the sea and to mimic the currents of the ocean. The panels are interconnected through the basic design element of line which was emphasized by applying paint and hand stitch.
When I composed this piece I was drawn to experimenting with the nature of dying and over dying fabric.  I used the circle as a repetitive motif throughout and within the corresponding panels.  I also experimented with paint to highlight patterns created by the dyed resist.  Hand stitch was added to echo the painted imprints. In the largest panel, different size and type threads were used to convey the fluidity of water.

Techniques: Hand dying of textiles, fabric painted, machine constructed and hand stitched texture.

Monday, August 28, 2017

End of Summer ... Deadline Challeges

While the summer heat in Las Vegas remains in three digits, knowledge of summer's end comes with cool mornings and balmy evenings.  These pre and post day temperature fluctuations are a true shift in the season.  Soon it will be time to return to the garden which is in need of trimming, cleaning and new plantings.  I love adding color and working in the dirt.  There is something eternal about digging in the garden that feeds the soul.

While talking with a respected art friend, she asked me what I receive by entering my work into national fiber arts shows.  Initially, I spoke to the desire to share the work within a larger scope, and by doing so gauging my progress.  In our discussion, this wise friend, pointed out what she had observed about my process.  I was reminded that deadlines increase my productivity.  This insight was something I had never considered.  Indeed, I realized focus and intent increase the closer I come to a deadline.   Deadlines are self chosen parameters which challenge me to push forward to work within a time constraint.  There are days when the creative muse escapes me, yet those are the days when getting into the studio is the most important.  Having deadlines keeps me focused and provides discipline, a kick in the pants, when needed most. So while it is fun to create when the iron is hot, it is equally important to do the work, consistently and in gratitude.

So, onto what is current.  To keep track of important dates I list entry challenges on a calendar.  My selection of where and what to enter is based on current work and how it fits the call for artist entry or a theme that speaks to personal interest. The past two years, I have been honored with selection into an annual gallery show in Chandler, Arizona.  This year's theme is “As Near to the Edge as I Can Go”, Art Quilts XXII.  Interests in hand dyes, paint, and creating my mark through hand stitch have dominated the pieces being constructed currently.  I love experimenting with materials.  That has always been a constant in my fiber work. Using dye and paint and a variety of threads encourages me to push these materials past their traditional applications.

The two pieces I have entered into Chandler's Art Quilt XXII show for consideration are Sargasso Sea (36 wide by 52 high) and Spiral Dance (24 wide by 36 long).  Both incorporate the use of hand dyed fabrics (cotton, silk and canvas) and are finished using the technique of directed hand stitch.  Both compositions are abstracts inspired by color palettes created in the hand dyed, wax resist fabrics.  The making of each was time intense.  The process used to create is layered based, cumulative, one step leads to an other step. I love developing in stages while utilizing marking methods unique to the hand of the artist.   Equally, I love the the results.  My hope is that my passion and spirit shine through each piece.

Sargasso Sea - Colors of the Water and the Kelp found in the region

Details of wax resist dye fabric, paint and hand stitch

Spiral Dance Detail - Central hand dyed piece, hand stitch

Enjoy the art, enjoy the day,

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Visiting and Photographing Oysterville, Washington

More traveling in the month of July, brought me to the picturesque hamlet of Oysterville, WA.  I spent two weeks there, one of which I dog sat a large one year old Chessy Bay puppy, Hazel.  Full of energy, I found that several walks a day were in order to keep us both entertained.  Being out at different times of day, I was able to capture the subtle differences of light through the perspective of an iphone camera.  Taking photos calms the mind, requires one to be in the moment, and focus on specific details. The scenery of the Willapa Bay area changes according to the time of day as well as the weather patterns.  During my visit, I took long walks along the bay side streets of Oysterville and enjoyed bike riding miles of extended flat beach on the sea side coastline.

Here are a few of my favorite photos.  By the way, Hazel was a stellar sitter, which allowed me time to capture the subjects I was photographing (most of the time). 

Oysterville Cannery
Willapa Bay Grasses at Sunset

Willapa Bay
Willapa Bay High Tide
Oysterville Graveyard Cross
Willapa Bay Mid-day
Oysterville Graveyard Fence

Window on Red
Window on White
Cannery at Sunset
Oysterville School House
Reflection thru a Window
Weathered Wood Detail
License Plate, Somewhat Weathered ;-)
Day Sky
Sunrise on Willapa Bay
Sunrise in the Mist, Oysterville, WA
White Rose at Dawn

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June Travels

June has been a busy month.  I traveled to Northern California to visit with friends and attend a SAQA regional meeting.  The meeting was held at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, California, where the SAQA exhibition, Wild Fabrications was on display.  Meeting the  members of the Northern CA, Nevada region was a treat. The Pixel Ladies shared some of their thoughts and processes with the group.  Deb and Kris are a collaborative team that works with computers and cloth to create their visions.  Theirs is an labor of love.

SAQA - Wild Fabrication Exhibition
Pixel Ladies - Detail
After time in Sonoma county, I was able to spend six wonderful days at a friend's cabin in Arnold, CA.  The cabin sits at the 4,000 foot elevation.  The day I arrived it was snowing.  Once the storm passed through the area the remaining days were a wonderful 80 degrees.  
Building in Ukiah, California

Sonora Pass, HWY 108

While in the Serria Nevada Mountains, I was able to begin hand stitching a new piece.  Below is a sneak peak at a section of the work.   This piece was created as an abstract with little to no plan, a method called improvisational art making.  I started with hand dyed fabrics and then added commercial fabrics of similar pallets.  The entire piece has been machine stitched in the ditch to a foundation of wool batting. 

Sneak Peak Detail
Happy travels ...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Eco Print, Rust Print, Wool and Silk Panel

This piece has been in process for a long while ... over a year now.  It is time to bring it out in the light and post it.  Wool felt was used to eco print.  Guava, oak, eucalyptus, and creosote leaves form the prints on fiber.  The reds are from the dollar eucalyptus leaves. The green is from the creosote leaves.  And the purplish gray tones are from the oaks leaves. The bundle was steamed for a 1.5 hour.  When rolling the bundle freezer paper was place on the wrong side of the print and rolled with the wool.  The barrier kept leaf prints from bleeding into each other.
Eco One -Side One
Eco One - Side Two
Silk was used for rust imprints and eco prints.  These bundles were tied and immersed in a bath containing onion skins.  Some of the rusted elements were sew onto the silk prior to immersion into the boiling water.  A turkey roster was used for steaming and boiling.

The piece called Eco One is two sided.  The first side is strictly eco printed with some hand stitching.  If you look closely you can see the lines resulting from the string used to tie the wrap of the bundle. This shows best in the detail pictures. The second side is created with dyed and rusted panels of silk.  Hope you enjoy the images.

The panel measures 16 wide by 49 long inches.

The details show a closer look at  the rusted and the eco print results.
Detail - Rusted, Eco Printed
Detail - Eco print and stitch
Detail - Eco print back ground, attached rusted metal
Detail - Eco Print on Wool

Friday, May 19, 2017

Dawn to Dusk Panels - Journal Entry #1

Three Panels - 45 by 65 inches
The Inspiration Story:

The newest textile is about the light seen at dusk and at dawn of the day. The inspiration for the creation was SAQA’s announced call for entry, Dusk to Dawn. The panels came together quickly and easily, as if they were made to go together. The combination of the hand dyed whole cloth panels remind me of the light at the beginning of the day and the tonal hues seen at the end of a day. As a photographer, I am aware of the transforming effect of light at different times of day.  Dawn and dusk are magical times of the day. Each panel was made at different times employing two different processes of textile dying.

I plan to document the making of the piece from piecing to finish.  The idea started in a small group discussion with friends, other creative souls, that meet periodically.  Not knowing how I wanted to stitch, I engaged the assistance of these friends.  They are my go to girls when I am stuck.  We were discussing ways to quilt the panel piece and one of them recommended documenting the progression of the work.  By blogging I will record the details of the making. This a good discipline for me and a way to journal the layers through time by documenting my processes.

Construction Notes:

The piece is 65 inches wide by 45 inches long.  It is constructed using three hand dyed cotton fabrics.  The center panel was folded, clipped with surgical clamps, and then ice dyed.  The outer panels were dyed using soy wax as a resist with letters added with a thermofax screen and textile paint.

After the panels were sewn together, the first level of basting, 505 spray and fix, was applied to the fabric.  An iron set at high stabilized the panels to the wool batting.  Then the panels were machine basted with a home Juki sewing machine. Stitch length was set at 6 and sewn at six inch intervals.  One good tip Cory, a professional long arm quilter and friend, recommended was to stitch in the ditch between the panels.  This added stitch will keep the line between the panels straight as quilting is added. The panels are securely attached to the batting and ready for the next layer, hand stitching.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sargasso Sea ~ 1st Place at Desert Quilters of Nevada Show

Desert Quilters of Nevada hosted their annual quilt show at the Henderson Convention Center this past weekend. With over 230 entries, the show represents works from their 450 membership. 

Sargasso Sea, my most recent textile art piece, received a first place in it's category, Non-Representational Art Quilt. During judging there was some discussion about the legality of the piece. Did it fit the definition of a quilt, having three layers with stitch through all three?  Recently, I have been putting a layer of organza silk which is somewhat see through of the backside of my fiber art.  This allows the viewer to see the backside of the stitching. In quilting circles this is considered a false back, one that has not been stitched through.  Ultimately, more discussion is needed to define what is an art quilt.  What I know is that it is not a traditional quilt.  Therefore I question the norm of judging it as such.  I hope someday in the near future Art Quilts will be judged as art with a focus on design rather than traditional quilt techniques alone.

Sargasso Sea was inspired by the distinctive color elements found in the Sargasso Sea, the yellow Sargasso kelp and the aqua blue sea. The two panels together measure 36 by 52 inches.  Each panel consists of hand dyed of cotton, linen and silk. Paint and hand stitch emphasized currents found in the sea. The two panels together measure 36 inches wide by 52 inches long.

I love the process of creating and working with fiber, dyes, paint, and stitch. In the beginning of a piece, I usually have a conceptual idea which morphs as the work progresses.  While the work is in process it hangs on a predominant wall in our family room.  Daily viewing helps me determine where more stitch is needed. I love painting and absolutely enjoy hand stitching and using simple stitches to create movement, add texture, and apply more color.    The totality of the process feeds my soul.

Below are more pictures showing the paint and stitch details.  Enjoy !!!

Sargasso Sea - 2017
Selection of Blocks

Stitch detail #1

Stitch detail #2

Stitch detail #3

Stitch detail #4

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Two Shows in Vegas ~ Light Play at CSN and Quilt Las Vegas in Henderson

This weekend two very different yet equally enjoyable happens opened this weekend in Las Vegas.  Light Play by Robot Army and Quilt Las Vegas by the Desert Quilters of Nevada.

Light Play by Robot Army, created by Sarah Petkus and Mark Koch,  exhibition opened at College of Southern Nevada on Cheyenne Campus.  The remarkable and brilliant pairing of technology and art can be seen at the CSN Art Gallery from March 31 to April 29, 2017.  Check it out on youtube.  The collaborative pair of creative souls, Sarah and Mark, are worth keeping an eye on.  Looking forward to what comes next!

Graphic by Sarah
Graphic by Sarah

Light Play

Desert Quilter's of Nevada annual Quilt Show, "Urban Lights" held at the Henderson Convention Center represented some of the best work by quilters in the Southern Nevada area. I enjoyed seeing the traditional quilts, the modern quilts, the figurative sculptures  and the art quilts.

Sargasso Sea (Left) in Art Quilt Gallery
Main Hall Quilts