Sunday, February 26, 2012

Drenched in Orange

I'm posting a couple of images of "Circus" Roses, just because they are beautiful.

When the buds are closed, they look like they are yellow with orange and red tips. As they open, the orange deepens and there are hints of different colors from orange to rust all over the petals. The single rose photo represents the color best. My last quilt was titled "Circus Time". Maybe I was channeling the color from my favorite roses.

 I've been thinking they are the perfect antidote to cold and grey skies - hope they lift your spirits too!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Selling off my fabric stash

I've finally decided to commit to only using my hand dyed fabrics. Since learning to dye using shibori techniques, I have fallen in love with the process, and the finished fabric. After 15 years of being a quilter, I've decided to clear out the commercial fabrics, because they are a huge distraction.

I'm selling them in Medium size Priority Mail boxes on Ebay. They are all wonderful, but I can only love so many! I'm skyforeveryoung on Ebay - don't ask me how I came up with that one - I think I must have been on a mind altering substance at the time :-)

Here's my Ebay page if you're interested:

Friday, February 24, 2012

The answer is within you

Robert Genn is a successful Canadian painter who is also an excellent writer. He sends "Twice Weekly" letters about art, and many of them have given me brain food to chew on. The letter that came today was about taking a second look at your work to figure out how to either move it along, or relegate it to the circular, plastic bag. The paragraph below struck me as a possible mantra for an artist.

"What could be?" might well be the artist's credo, but a different type of thinking is required than when you are painting. It's speculation mode, and you need to think outside the box--even if you don't end up going there. The human imagination is far richer than we know. Understand this, and you will need fewer books and teachers. The answer is within you. Self-anointed genius awaits all canvases. "

The reason it speaks to me is because for a long time I thought that I needed to keep building my knowledge base, and took workshops, bought books, hung out on list serves...but produced little work.
And yet, I am always happiest when I'm in the studio. So why look outside - or for validation from a teacher or juror? The process is the best teacher, and the results are only ours. It is always a real boost to sell a piece of work, or be accepted into a competitive show - but that can't be the reason to do the work, can it? The growth that comes from the process is far more rewarding. The answer is within you.

Looking for validation from others can be self-defeating. The answers are inside each of us. We have to learn to trust our inner voices, and commit to growth, rather than self criticism. As Robert Genn writes, turning a painting to the wall (or an art quilt) for awhile and looking at it with fresh eyes is a good way to grow that piece. And it is that growth that is so satisfying. When you know the answer came from within, it's a joy to get to know something about yourself, and to feel your work is successful in the way you want it to be successful. No one else can do it for you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mary Pal's blog

My artist friend and SAQA buddy has started a blog. Mary Pal is a wonderful artist who uses cheesecloth to make portraits, mostly of elderly people. Each one is thoughtful, respectful, and shows the person behind the image.  Mary explores the world of the elderly - which will be all of us, someday.

Take a look at her work, and enjoy her voice on her blog:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Can I take it off the wall now?

I've been struggling with this piece for a week - I think I'm finally finished adding circles. But I had already basted the piece about 6 months ago, and since working more in this series, had learned to look at it a little differently.
In process - basted with white thread. It's about 36" square. The lighter circles are white organza. Just trying out the placement and sizes.

I've photographed it numerous times, and then look at the photo's either in my camera, or on the computer screen. My studio printer isn't printing right now, and I don't have time to fix it. Decided I liked the additional circles, so the paints came out and the white organza was painted to look more like the other circles.

I like that better. But how about if I make some of the additional circles solid, instead of transparent?

 And add more to the darker side of the piece? I almost finished adding - just have to figure out how to attach those circles with the basting already done. to quilt it! I spent an hour looking at books to get ideas for the kind of lines I want to use. There's an app for the IPad called Skitch, that I'm trying out by drawing potential quilt lines over the photograph.

Do you have a way to think about the quilting design? I tend to start quilting and let the hum of the machine guide me - but I'm trying to be more thoughtful about those lines. It's hard to make round shapes, so going around those circles would be a challenge. And straight, radiating lines would be on the bias of the fabric. Back to the studio to mull it all over!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Artist as Quiltmaker XV Acceptance

Circus Time c. 2012  36" H x 31.5" W
Detail of Circus Time

I received an email with an acceptance for the Artist As Quiltmaker XV exhibit!  The exhibit was juried by Jean Druesedow, Director of the Kent State University Museum. The Firelands Association for the Visual Arts in Oberlin, Ohio will be the venue. The opening reception is May 13, which is also Mother's Day in the U.S. The closing date is July 29, 2012. It's a wonderful opportunity to have a work hang for almost three full months as part of this exhibit.

This work was started in Lisa Call's "Working In A Series" online workshop, and I am gratified that it started me on the road to this series. The work is coming along, and leading me in a new direction and I'm pleased with the results. I'm finding that it is more enjoyable to work in a series, because it helps me close doors to ALL the possibilities that my mind comes up with, and stay focused. 
Staying focused is a big challenge for me, as is procrastination. I think it may be part of an artist's personality!