Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New magazine from Laura Kemshall

I had signed up for Laura Kemshall's newsletter/blog a few months ago and have enjoyed her short and friendly postings. Somehow, she has found the time to do a quarterly online magazine called "Through Our Hands". Lovely name for the magazine as well.

It's a beautiful magazine, filled with articles about other fiber artists and good images of their work and exhibits. I recommend it for all of us who love painted quilts, textiles, needlework, learning, drooling - and distraction!

It is amazing to me that she was able to pull this together while doing studio work, video's, art festivals, and LiFE. Laura is a dynamo, just like her mother, Linda Kemshall.

Please check out Through Our Hands - a free magazine with gorgeous art. I can't believe it will be free forever, but this is a great way to get familiar with it and see if you'd be willing to pay for a subscription. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Need encouragement?

In the April 23, 2014 issue of the Wall Street Journal, artist and writer Peter Plagens reviewed an exhibit titled "Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt". The exhibit is presented by the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas.

The two artists had a close friendship and were mutually supportive. They wrote letters to each other, and in one letter from LeWitt to Hesse in 1965 he addressed the feelings that all artists have of questioning themselves, their art and comparing their art to others. One section that Plagens addresses, could be made into a poster to put on any artist's walls about the necessity of just doing the work.

Plagen's quotes from LeWitt's letter:

"Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumgling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning...Stop it and just DO!"

If we could keep this paragraph in front of us all the time, perhaps it would help to keep those demons away. Eva Hesse only lived to be 34, and died of a brain tumor, after 10 years of creating art. This is another good reminder of why it is important to work hard - we're younger today than we will be tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Regional SAQA exhibit at VisArts in Rockville, MD

The 2014 SAQA conference was held in Old Town Alexandria and was as energizing as the past 5 conferences. One of the breakout sessions was offered by Leslie Riley, who is a coach helping artists to grow their business. She had a lot of good tips. She talked about taking risks, and putting yourself out there. Leslie quoted Joseph Campbell "A door will appear where there was no door". A great attitude to have when we are facing challenges.

One of her admonitions was to "Take Action!" Leslie recommended that we take small steps consistently, working toward a goal, managing our time, staying focused, and being organized. These are all habits I aspire to gain!

Leslie was asked if she would organize a regional exhibit with other SAQA members, and although she felt she was very busy, she wanted to follow her own advice and step up for new challenges. She agreed to do it, and also made a quilt for the exhibit although she hadn't made one for almost 10 years. There is a great sense of accomplishment when the result is as concrete as an exhibit that shows great art, and is well attended.

After the conference in VA ended, I was able to visit the exhibit "Tarnish" in Rockville, MD at the Vis Arts Gallery. It's a lovely, open and well lit gallery on the second floor of the building.

The theme was "Tarnish", and as usual, a simple concept leaves a lot of possibilities for interpretation. The juror was Deidre Adams and I think she picked a very strong show with wonderful diversity in style, technique and subject matter. Deidre has a blog and has additional photo's and comments that may interest you. I've admired Deidre's work for a long time, and one of her works was included in the exhibit.

This is a detail from Deidre's artwork - just a teaser! If you'd like to see more, head on over to her blog or website to enjoy the color and textural quality of her work.

These are images showing a couple of walls. I don't think I could identify all of the artists, but there is a list of them on the VisArts site.

Seeing this exhibit, and the impressive quality of it made me think 2 things - I should help organize a regional visit, and I wish I lived in Maryland again so I could spend time with the talented artists there. Both Leslie and Deidre inspired me to take risks, jump in and get moving on my short and long term goals.