Monday, January 15, 2018

Nike's Advice II

 (Above:  Detail of Nike's Advice II.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

One of the last pieces finished in 2017 was Nike's Advice I.  I blogged about it HERE.  I had a total blast stitching it and started basting down Nike's Advice II right away.  There will be more! Free-motion stitching around all the little marks and paint dribbles is so much fun, and I have plenty of painted material.  When initially painted in public, I had 130 feet!

(Above:  Nike's Advice II.  A whole cloth art quilt of assorted paints and oil pastels on canvas with self-guided, free-motion machine embroidery.  64" x 54".  Hand-plied buttonhole stitched binding.)

During the two days of Artista Vista 2016, I painted with the public.  Barry Wheeler and John Allen created a great video of the project.  Then, I rolled it all up until I decide to quilt some of the sections.  I'm really pleased how this second piece turned out.

 (Above:  Nike's Advice II, detail.)

Looking at this section, I am reminded that I used a couple carved wooden printing blocks from India.  These made the blue designs.  I also used a 4" rolling brayer to smear the yellow paint in interesting ways.  I'm already at work on the next piece!

 (Above:  Nike's Advice II, detail.)

Friday, January 12, 2018

More Mended Words and Good News

(Above:  My pieces selected by curators Susan J. Torntore and Kathleen Kok for Photographs and Memories, an invitational group exhibition at the Pacific Northwest Quilts & Fiber Arts Museum in La Conner, Washington.  Most of the pieces are from my Decision Portrait Series.  From top, left to bottom, right:  Behind in the Mortgage, College Student, Illegal Immigrant, My Bluegrass Roots I, Self Portrait, Gift of Life, Fighting Illiteracy, Organic Farmers, My Bluegrass Roots III, and Soul Mates.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

When a museum curator contacts me, I'm immediately excited!  I'm especially excited now that these works are hanging in an invitational group exhibition at the Pacific Northwest Quilts & Fiber Arts Museum in La Conner, Washington.  Curators Susan J. Torntore and Kathleen Kok made the selections.  I shipped the work.  Sometimes I ship work and never hear a single word about the exhibition, but this time was different.  The opening reception was two evenings ago.  Amazingly, I got a Facebook comment yesterday morning telling me how great the work looked!  Definitely exciting!

Above:  Mended Words IX: Henry VI.  Ripped and stitched antique engraving collaged with Shakespeare quotations.)

This week I've finished a couple more pieces in my new Mended Words Series.  I'm really enjoying everything about them ... from ripping the image, stitching it back together, researching for an appropriate quote, and especially selecting the individual letters to apply the words to the page.

(Above:  Mended Words X: The Tiff.)

This particular scene just begged to be ripped.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning's quotation was equally perfect.

(Above:  Mended Words XI: Madonna.)

I thought about using words more specifically from the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary but none were more touching than this better known phrase.

(Above:  Mended Words XII: Cleopatra.)

When I first started this series, I looked for only the black-and-white engravings but I found several that had some color.  The color is not original.  Once upon a time, Mouse House (the custom picture framing business I own with my husband) paid a budding artist to hand color some of our antique engravings.  This was nothing new. We'd had other, more competent people doing this in even earlier years.  This last person's attempts weren't particularly good.  She didn't want to "make a mistake" and thus rarely finished any of the engravings.  She had only applied burgundy to Cleopatra.  So ... I finished by adding more colors, ripping the piece, stitching it back together again, and adding words from Shakespeare's play.

(Above:  Mended Words XIII: Juliet and the Nurse.)

This engraving was half colored too.  It had only burgundy and very little yellow.  I had fun finishing the color and transforming the print.  I've been working on several other things too.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some photographs this weekend!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Lunette XXIX, a commission

(Above:  Lunette XXIX, a commissioned piece. Framed: 22" x 28". Polyester stretch velvets on recycled black synthetic packaging felt with free-motion machine stitching and melting techniques.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Last week I started a blog post saying, "The New Year has certainly started out well!"  It has! In addition to installing my solo show at Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, Alabama, I had a commission to work on!  Lunette XXIX is the result.  Every time I receive a commission like this, I take loads of in progress photos and create a PDF for the client.  This blog post includes some of the pictures.

The client wanted a work that was similar to an earlier Lunette.  I printed a photo of that piece to use as a guide.  Then, I cut the foundation pieces.

Here's the second layer of polyester stretch velvets.

This photo shows all the pieces in place.

Here's the work under my sewing machine and ...

having holes melted through the layers using one of my three soldering irons.  I also created a video of the last phase, melting the work with an industrial heat gun.  The video is HERE.

Now the work is being stitched onto a piece of acid-free mat board ...


... before being fit into its frame.  The artwork has since been double-boxed and is on its way north to the client who viewed the photos I sent and LOVE THE WORK! 

(Above:  Lunette XXIX, detail.)

Now ... this is truly a great way to start a new year!  I am linking this blog post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts!

Monday, January 08, 2018

Great Quotations

(Above:  Great Quotations: Courtship. Quotation from Dorothy Parker.  Antique or pre-1945 image and letters clipped mostly from vintage magazines and ephemera on a page from Charles Richardson's English Language Dictionary, 1846.  Click on any image to enlarge and read!)

Once upon a time, I bought a two volume dictionary at auction.  I paid six dollars plus 10% buyer's premium.  Both books are in terrible condition.  They date from 1846.  I thought I would cut selected words from them and tag more keys for my installation, The Wall of Keys.  Keys have been an obsession for a long, long time ... but somehow or the other, the way the dictionary words were grouped and written phonetically didn't really appeal after I brought the volumes home.  So they sat around for a couple YEARS.  This was ridiculous.  Part of my New Year's resolution is to USE more of my collected found objects.  Thus, the new "Great Quotations Series" came about. 

(Above:  Great Quotations: Artistocracy. Quotation from Tennessee Williams.)

This New Year's plan also meant cutting up a stack of old engravings and photogravures that have been on shelves and boxes for longer than I've had the dictionary set!  None of these engravings had much, if any, value.  Few people are decorating with antiques nowadays.  It was great fun to cut them all up and pair a few with a page from the dictionary.

(Above:  Great Quotations: Sorrow.  Quotation by Lady Gaga.)

Each dictionary page was first fused to fabric using a framing product called Fusion 4000 inside my dry mount press.  In exactly five minutes, the paper adheres to the fabric under the 28 pounds of pressure per square inch and by the totally controlled 180 degree temperature.  I love this stuff!

(Above:  Great Quotations: Love.  Quotation by John Lennon.)

First, I collaged the image to each page using matte medium.  Once dry, I did a little free-motion stitching.  Not until all eighteen of these pieces were stitched did I start looking for an appropriate quotation.  To be honest, I didn't think I'd be able to do anything with a few of these!  Who would have ever believed that the scorpion and camel would find a useable phrase?

(Above:  Great Quotations: All's Well That Ends Well. Quotation by William Shakespeare.)

One by one, I found a great quotation and collaged each one onto the paper.  Each work is signed.  My signature is really small because I didn't want my name to compete with the printed page.  I used a fine tipped Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pen.  This pen is what I use for French matting.  Sometimes I wrote the name of the person quoted using the Rapidograph too.  Sometimes I cut letters from the dictionary and spelled the name out.

(Above:  Great Quotations: Spine. Quotation by Ayse Aslihan Koksoy.)

Frequently, I altered the heading for the page ... changing the SPI on the page for "spine" to actually say "spine" on one side but "wings" on the other.

(Above:  Great Quotations: Justice. Quotation by Mahatma Gandhi.)

Sometimes the quotation included the word on the dictionary page, but sometimes the quotation just worked with the image or concept behind the word.

(Above:  Great Quotations: Camel. Quotation by Jacqueline Kennedy.)

I have lots and lots more cut images and literally hundreds more dictionary pages.  It's been fun to create "something" from these old, neglected, and semi-forgotten things.  I hope to do more.  After all, it's not every day one can put John Wayne, Coco Chanel, Mark Twain, Lady Gaga, William Shakespeare, Jacqueline Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Theodore Roosevelt, John Lennon and Mahatma Gandhi together!

(Above:  Great Quotations: Scorpion. Quotation by DeShanne Stokes.)

Each page measures 11" x 8 1/2" and is "top mounted" on mat board.  That means that all the edges show!  A 20" x 16" outer mat surrounds each one.  I've priced them all at $75 each.  Seems fair for so much fun!

(Above:  Great Quotations: Ophelia.  Quotation from William Shakespeare.)

Scroll down to see the rest!

(Above:  Great Quotations: Work. Quotation by Theodore Roosevelt.)

(Above:  Great Quotations: Wild. Quotation by John Wayne.)

(Above:  Great Quotations: Fly. Idiomatic expression from a Biblical adage.)

(Above:  Great Quotations: Pretty is as Pretty Does.  Idiomatic expression just about every mother has said to her daughters.)

(Above:  Great Quotations: Classic.  Quotation by Mark Twain.)

(Above:  Great Quotations: Exotic. Quotation by Erin Van Vuren.)

(Above:  Great Quotations: Fashion.  Quotation by Coco Chanel.)

(Above:  Great Quotations: Scotland. Quotations by Robert Burns.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Anonymous Ancestors at Eastern Shore Art Center

 (Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, my solo show at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, Alabama.)

The New Year has certainly started out well!  My husband Steve and I loaded the cargo van, drove to Alabama, and installed my solo show, Anonymous Ancestors, at the Eastern Shore Art Center.  This is the first time I've mounted this exhibition without having physically been in the space prior to "the big day".  Amazingly, I wasn't nervous a bit!  Communication with the excellent staff was perfect.  I had a floor plan. Most importantly, I knew I had more than enough work to fill the space!

Eastern Shore Arts Center was open from 10 - 4.  The last time we installed, it took six hours.  Steve kept an eye on the clock while we worked.  We work wonderfully together and finished with a half hour to spare!

This is how the space looked after we hauled in all the boxes, furniture, carpets, and hand tools.

The last thing we did was to snap photos and count the number of works we hung.  This time, only 160 pieces went on the wall.  Approximate 70 came back home!  Yes!  I now have about 230 individually framed "anonymous ancestors".  Each time I mount this show, the room dictates how many will be used.  The ceiling is lower here than in previous shows.  Thus, the vignettes of images did not extend as far up the wall ... and therefore fewer pictures were used.

 Another difference between this installation and earlier shows is the fact that I had one, large space instead of two smaller areas in which to work. There's a fabulous openness to the layout and it looks much more like the nostalgic, Victorian interior that my initial idea envisioned.

The wooden floor also enhances the feel of the show.  Plus, one wall opens to the permanent collection. That area is used as a board room and includes a massive, center table.  If I lived closer, I would have asked to spread a table cloth and set out china and crystal for times when not in use for meetings.  It truly looked like a dining room just off my "parlor".

Here's Steve and Adrienne Clow, my contact and the center's marketing and exhibits manager. I can hardly wait to return for the workshop I'm teaching at the end of the month.  Scroll down for a few more shots of the show!

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Photographs and Memories Invitational at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum

 (Above:  My Bluegrass Roots III.)

I'm very proud and excited to announce that the curators at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum in La Conner, WA selected so many of my pieces for their upcoming Photographs and Memories Invitational.  The work has been packed up and shipped.

 (Above:  My Bluegrass Roots I.)

I wish I could see the exhibition in person, especially since I've been to this great museum (Feb. 2011).  It is a fabulous venue!
(Above:  Soul Mates from the Decision Portrait Series.)

The initial correspondence asked about my Decision Portrait Series.  It was exciting to know that somewhere across the country there were people looking at my blog dedicated to this series ... looking, reading, considering each one for their exhibit, and finally making a selection.

 (Above:  Behind in the Mortgage from the Decision Portrait Series.)

The blog reads like a book.  Each of the 108 portraits has its own entry and story.  Each one is special.  I'm particularly happy that these pieces are off a shelf in my storage area and headed to an exhibition wall.

 (Above:  Organic Farmers from the Decision Portrait Series.)

I'm also fond of remembering how I joined Facebook (something I was resistant to do!) in order to find more participants for the series. Joining Facebook, this blog, and corresponding on various on-line fiber arts groups brought me several of the participants.  The Internet is truly amazing ... especially when years later it is what brought me this new opportunity! 

(Above:  College Student from the Decision Portrait Series.)

 I don't really know how or why these particular pieces were selected.  I'm simply honored to be in an invitational museum show!  Unexpectedly, this is happening while another phase of my art is going forward. Today my husband Steve and I have packed our cargo van. We are headed to the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, Alabama to install my solo show Anonymous Ancestors on January 2nd.  I can't wait to transform the gallery space!  So excited!

 (Above:  Gift of Life from the Decision Portrait Series.)

I'm also excited by another opportunity.  I've been invited to create a piece focusing on one of the Suffragists for an invitational exhibition in 2019 through 2010 or thereabout (and possibly a catalog and hopefully even a book!)  After research, I selected Lucy Stone.  I have a great idea in mind and will start blogging about it as soon as this project commences.
 (Above:  Illegal Immigrant from the Decision Portrait Series.)

So ... scroll down for the rest of the pieces headed to La Conner, Washington for the upcoming invitational exhibit!

 (Above:  Fighting Illiteracy from the Decision Portrait Series.)

(Above:  Self Portrait from the Decision Portrait Series.)