Sunday, November 29, 2009

Alliance for American Quilts

I was interviewed a while back by Karen Musgrave, for the Alliance for American Quilts, after the exhibit "President Obama: A Celebration in Art Quilts". My "Lift Every Voice and Sing" quilt is the subject of the interview.

The Alliance is saving quilters stories, so our history can be recorded.
My interview is only one of many, many interviews from a wide variety of people. Take a look at the Alliance for American Quilts, and if you'd like to be interviewed, contact them. We all have stories to tell.

Friday, November 27, 2009

trees and eyes

These "eyes" are from a tree in the neighborhood. I'm imagining them printed on fabric in all different sizes - they are so obviously tree knots, but seem so expressive. A possible future piece when I return to my studio.
Happy Thanksgiving to anyone reading this! I'm thankful for YOU.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Half a bike

The clouds were pouring over the mountains, and there was half a bike showing from the shed. The perspective was flattened due to the light. I like that it almost seems like it's a stage set. Made on the Dingle peninsula, Ireland.


Aren't those great shadows? I loved the shadows all lined up, looking scraggly. The photo was made in Howth, Ireland.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

leaf shapes

When I'm thinking of shapes to use in my work, I often end up thinking of the shapes of leaves. Sometimes I walk around my yard, other times I look thru my photo's to remind myself of the wonderful diversity in leaf and flower shapes. These are photo's of leaves that I took in the small yard in the apartment complex we're renting in Dublin. Between the colors and shapes, there are
so many options. My favorite leaf is the gingko - but I haven't seen one in Dublin. I'm looking forward to going home and seeing the gingko tree that we planted this summer. I keep some pressed gingko leaves in my studio - they're like a touchstone for me.

If anyone knows what the name of the plant in the first photo with the big white spray of flowers, please let me know! It's very striking - and may not grow in my yard at home, but I'd love to know what it is! Thanks in advance for any help.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fear and Ferris Wheels

Next to the Belfast City Hall is a huge Ferris Wheel, and on Halloween, they had it lit up with fluorescent colors. It looked fabulous! After taking a few photo's with the almost full moon showing through the spokes, I asked my husband if he thought we should go on it. He was happy to do it so we walked around the block and bought the tickets.
It wasn't until we were in the slightly swinging cab that I told him I was terrified of ferris wheels. After 26 years of marriage, he knew I didn't like heights, but he didn't know how scared I was to go up in a Ferris Wheel. As we started going up, I had to fight the feelings of vomiting or know. I kept talking - about looking out instead of down, noting the landmarks and how pretty the city looked and how much higher we were than the City Hall building - which is pretty high! As we came back to the platform, I felt I could breathe again and was ready to get off and feel very proud of myself for facing my fear. Then...the wheel kept turning. The second time was almost as bad and I started worrying about them letting us off. I still felt sick to my stomach, and was only able to control my feelings by reminding myself that I did it once, and could do it the second time.
They ended up having us go around four times! Yes, it was a little easier by the fourth time. I can't say that I enjoyed it at all, but I did feel that I had done something that was very hard for me. There aren't many times when I have the option of doing something new, that is very difficult. Just a fact of age and experience. But I thought of how long it had been since I had done something that was a challenge for me. Doing something that fills you with anxiety and/or fear is a good thing to do on occasion. Challenging myself not to become complacent in my life, my art, or relationships is a way to be sure that I will spend each day knowing I am alive, growing and gaining new perspectives. It's just a Ferris Wheel to some people, but to me, it was an electric jolt!

The Knitting and Stitching Show was held at the RDS last weekend. I went on Thursday, and it was packed!There were loads of vendors, with the majority being related to embroidery. There were gallery type set ups with art quilters, and the most creative embroiderers. They had some of the Prize Winners from the Festival of Quilts Show in Birmingham, England.
I'm posting a few photo's of the art quilts: First is Pearl Essence, by Laura Kemshall. The award was for the Quilters Guild Challenge. It's a lovely portrait using hand dyes, discharged and painted fabric, with very elaborate machine stitching. Laura has captured this woman so well, and it is a very dramatic portrait.
The second photo is Pearls Are Not Always White, by Sheena Norquay. It is beige, and subtle pastels. The photo doesn't do it justice due to the lighting in the RDS, but you get the idea of the delicacy of the colors.
The next photo is the Prize winner for the Art Quilts category: Mother Earth, by Helen Godden of Australia. It looks like it was hand dyed/painted and discharge, with the composition planned in advance, and then thread was used to draw the details. A very striking image, that just glows off the wall!