Thursday, June 29, 2017

Graffiti on Cloth

I was invited to make an art quilt with the theme Personal Iconography: Graffiti on Cloth.  This is the third year in a row that I have made a quilt for the group Dinner@Eight.  My plan was to use fiber items that I have saved or collected, or been gifted over the years.  I gathered them all and brought them to a retreat for fiber artists in April (Focus on Fiber in New Smyrna Beach, FL)
I worked on a couple of arrangements, and played with my 'ingredients' until I was satisfied with the composition.  Everything was pinned to the background fabric and batting.  Folded it all up, and brought it home. 

Then, I went to Chicago for the International Quilt Festival.  Then I went to Nebraska for the Studio Art Quilt Associates conference.  Then I came home and tried to get caught up on what I had missed while I was gone.  A reminder email came from one of the Dinner@Eight curators.  I replied that it would take a miracle for me to finish on time, and I apologized that I probably wouldn't make it this year.  Soon, it was June 20, and the Dinner@8 deadline was June 23.

I had my composition all laid out.  All I would have to do is to stitch all the pieces down, quilt the project, finish the edges and photograph it.  I had three whole days.  I decided I should give it a try.  So, I worked like a madwoman for 3 days, staying up late into the night, and rising early to work on my project. I got dibs on the kitchen counter before anyone else could take it over.  I bent my needle.  My fingers got sore.  BUT, I FINISHED and submitted it at 10:30pm, shortly before the midnight deadline.  It was quite stressful, and I never want to wait that late again.

Just today, I received notice that my work had been selected for this year's exhibit!!!  It will be shown at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall, and hopefully, at the Festival in Chicago next spring!

 One of my favorite 'ingredients' is my green bloomers which I used to wear in high school PE class.  Don't know why I saved them, but they certainly don't fit me anymore, and my precious mom embroidered my name into the waistband, so they are part of my personal iconography.  Also the long white nylon gloves (like stitching through concrete) that I wore to many Rainbow Girl events and a couple of Proms.  Other precious items are art gifts from other fiber artist friends.  There are pieces of some favorite clothing items, and a Girl Scout badge that never got sewn on to my sash (which I no longer have). So, I am happy to have used these various little pieces of my history and my friendships.  The quilt is not my usual style, but I love it.  There are many precious pieces with loads of symbolism in it.  NFS.  The title of the work is Precious Threads.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bill and Jean

Been spending quality time with my grandmothers' sisters, Jean and 'Bill" recently.  Doing their hair, fixing their faces and clothes.  Getting up close and personal.  Aunt Bill just celebrated her 96th birthday, and she is the last of the Shepherd sisters.  This is an 'in-progress' shot of a project using a photo of Jean and Bill in their younger days.  I'm working on reproducing their portrait in cheesecloth, in the style of artist Mary Pal, of Canada.

It's fussy work, because the cheesecloth wants to stick to you and everything else, but I'm getting the hang of it, and I know the results will be wonderful.  Right now, I have an enlargement of the photo under a sheet of Duralar, and when all the layers are complete, I'll peel the cheesecloth off and stitch it to a black fabric background.  This will be a precious keepsake when finished.  My siblings and cousins spent many happy hours with these ladies when we were growing up.  Cherished memories indeed. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Shirt Tales

Friday, June 9, 2017 was the reception for my solo exhibit of 47 portraits at Dunedin Fine Art Center - Dunedin, FL.  It was a beautiful full moon evening, with music and lots of admirers, and four fiber exhibits in one venue!  Behind the speakers were quilts from New Quilts From an Old Favorite - New York Beauty collection.

That's me on the left, talking about my Shirt Tales, and Sandy Snow, who had an award winning NYB quilt on display. I was very fortunate to have Michael Dunn take some wonderful photographs for me throughout the evening.

There was a nice crowd of folks attending who appreciate fiber art.  They asked good questions and laughed at my jokes.  Below is one of my favorite photos from the event.  It is no less than thrilling to see people enjoying your work, and each of my quilts has a story.  Patrons told me that they enjoyed knowing the stories that went along with the images.  This one is titled, Grandma Magic.

Also exciting for me was seeing my 'name in lights', or on the wall, anyway.  Truly felt like Cinderella most of the weekend!

I was pleased that the curator, Catherine Bergmann, had selected this piece of mine to show in the atrium of the Art Center.  The title is Driving Lessons.  All the work was beautifully displayed and lit.

Another of the exhibits is a regional SAQA show called Growth!  (Studio Art Quilt Associates)  I'm very proud of this collection of work by my colleagues in Florida.  Here are some scenes from that gallery:

All four exhibits will be shown until August 18 at DFAC.  I'll be teaching a fiber collage workshop there on Saturday, August 5.  Contact DFAC for information.
                          And there were a few outtakes.  This is not what it looks like.

                                     And I have no idea what I was thinking here:


                         Thank you Michael, for taking pictures.  It's not an easy job!