Friday, November 20, 2009

Rust, Found Objects and Things That go Bump in the Night

Okay, well maybe not things that go bump in the night, but you gotta admit - it was catchy! I'm in this wonderful little group with others who love and adore fiber like myself. We share ideas, techniques and have the most amazing "Show and Tells". Carol Sloan - a wonderful mixed media artist created this wonderful book in a box. Her imagination to create such an interesting piece just blew me away. I could have poured over it for hours. The box is created with found objects, handmade papers, personal objects that Carol found or had in her collection - all very meaningful. The twig on the left is a real twig. The teeth on the right are from crab claws Carol ate and yes boiled and cleaned to make suitable to use as an attached object.
The little figurine at the bottom was in her collection - real bark on the top and all kinds of wonderful beads. Notice the sides with the "old fashioned" tape measure, haven't seen one of those in years.
On the top are rocks shaped like a heart. Carol is always on the look-out for rocks in the shape of hearts.

The front of the book
Really pretty doilies, words and cheesecloth
Carol makes little bags out of sheer fabric to hold small rocks, buttons and other memorabilia.

And words lots and lots of words.
Patsy showed us her amazing stitching and trapunto work. Patsy dyes all her own fabrics and creates her own designs. She also has a line of DVDs on machine quilting that will make a believer out of anyone, they are in a word - fabulous!
Patsy uses a product called Liquid Stitch. I'm interested to try this; it sounds like a time saver and also very effective and easy to use. She has used it on the piece below and stitched the edge with her "EKG" stitch.

And I promised you rust and you shall have rust. This is a scarf my friend Nancy made. It's China silk with rust. I think there's really some interesting patterning.
Nancy's philosophy is anything "white" should not remain white. She is a colorist and really good at it. Batting, fabric, "unknowns" from the thrift store - nothing is exempt once it reaches her hands.
So in case you're wondering what created this wonderful shape, here it is found at a Thrift store.
So Nancy gave this to me and now it's my turn to use it, can hardly wait to see what I get. I'm also starting with some silk.
And then onto the lesson for the day - "Anyone can draw or doodle". I've always said I can't draw my way out of a paper bag, but Carol proved us wrong. It just takes some practice. She brought along all her supplies to share, watercolors, erasers, pencils, it was great fun, very addictive and freeing.

A fun day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When Subways Were Safe to Ride

A while back I made this piece based on a drawing of my father in law - John Simmons. The story behind the drawing was the inspiration for this quilt and here's how it goes. Years ago, back in the 40s my newly married father in law worked in New York City - down at the docks on the late shift. He traveled to and from work on the subway, late at night with not too many people around. (Now if you've ever been to NY and traveled the subways, you know it can be a bit crazy, scary and sometimes not too safe). On this particular evening (around 2am) he nodded off while riding home. As he was sleeping a young man sitting across the way, sketched his picture. Upon awakening, the young man handed him his small piece of art. I guess he was very touched as he kept it for many years. At some point in time, my mother in law gave it to me and oh happy day - knew I would do something artistic with it. I love family stories, they make great subject matter.
The background is a lightweight canvas that's been microwave dyed for a soft mottled affect.
I enlarged the image and transferred it to fabric using a transparency. I also used stamps both conventional and non to create more interest.
An old document from my family was photocopied and then transferred to background.
Ink was dripped on the document to "age" it a bit and a skyline of NY City transferred to the bottom using a transparency.
This is a copy of the original picture which was quite small; I did enlarge it for the quilt. The small one was made into a screen to use as a label on the back.
A screen was also made of the story behind the picture. Most people look at the piece and don't get the significance of the title so I thought to put the story on the back of the piece.
and the back - stretched over "museum wrap" canvas stretchers, covered with muslin and a wire hanging.
I really love using pictures and other family items in my art - a great way of preserving memories and wonderful stories that might get lost over time. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Works by LINT Opening

The opening for LINTs New Works show at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, NC was exciting and very festive. It's always exciting to see your work or that of your friends in a gallery setting with great light, perfect walls and people to "ooohhh and ahhh", not always the case in everyday life, but on Saturday at the Grovewood Gallery, this was the way it was.

Here's a tour of some of the wonderful pieces you'll see if you make it to the show and I hope you do - Jen Swearingtons "Come Home".
Jude Stueckers "Honeybee"
Norma Bradley's "Celebration"
Sondra Dorn's "Ferns in Forest"
Kathy Spencers very colorful piece with a great story.
Susan Lee's "Silent and Sunless and Deep"
Bernie Rowell's "Building Bridges"

Vicki Essigs woven piece - untitled and that's a real Cicada wing she's incorporated into the weaving.
Peggy DeBells piece, very unique and a must see in person
Janice Maddox's "Tyger, Tyger"

There are more pieces to see at the show, so many wonderful and unique surface design techniques as well as interesting machine work. The show will hang until December 31 - hope you can stop by.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Works by LINT

The Grovewood Gallery located behind the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC is hosting an exhibit of New Works by LINT.  The grounds are beautiful and the walk up to the gallery is worth the trip alone.
The buildings in this small complex, including a museum and artist's studios have an old world charm, covered with ivy and surrounded by art in every form.
There are giant sculptures along the way.
An amazing and very musical wind forest created by artist Lyman Whitaker;
the wind chimes are wonderful to listen to.
Along with animals you are "not allowed to feed".
And funny faces to spook you from behind the trees.
And then this beautiful wooden door that invites you to enter
an exhibit by LINT. LINT stands for Ladies in New Textiles; the group consists of 13 fiber artists who meet monthly to share their work, plan exhibits, brainstorm and generally show support for each other.

And now, a sneak preview of what you'll see. Sondra Dorns beautiful "Forest with Vines".
And this wonderful piece by Susan Webb Lee.
And Norma Bradley who does amazing things with sheers.
and my piece "Morning's Glory"
Hope you can stop by - if not for the opening then sometime until Dec 31. The gallery is part of the Grovewood shop which houses beautiful art items for sale and next door is a wonderful little restaurant, a good place to bring holiday company.