Sunday, October 19, 2014

On the Road

Ted and I are hitting the road in a few days for a two pronged vacation. First we are traveling to Churchill, Canada to see the polar bear migration.  Churchill is a small town of around 800 people on the Hudson Bay, about a thousand miles north of Winnipeg.There is a narrow window each year when the polar bears migrate through this town and we are traveling with friends to catch the action.  We are loaded onto tundra buggies (seen in the background) and driven into the wilderness to see them in their natural habitat.

We've been planning this trip for a year, and when I found out I was accepted into the World of Threads Festival, the vacation expanded to include the opening. Leading up to the festival we are spending a few days in Toronto, soaking up some art, food and craft beer.

In my previous post I included one of the pieces I entered into QN, and here is the second.  It's called The Journey, and is related to infertility. It's 60 x 38 inches.

and here is a close up.

Coming from southern California, I'm a little thin skinned, so I probably over packed for 30 degree weather.  I know that's no big deal to those of you in the rest of the world, but I've got my long underwear, ski pants, boots, scarfs and wool hats.  I'll be the one in the photos where you only see my eyes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

World of Threads and Quilt National Work

This is the last of the pieces I will be exhibiting in World of Threads next month.  It's called "Losing His Mind",  and it's the second in a series of Alzheimer's pieces.  It's 58 inches long by 43 inches wide. It is similar to my past work, with the white fabric dyed black, then soy wax marked and discharged.  The background is organza, shrunk with wool batting, and the hand stitching of broken rows become more pronounced towards the top, signifying to me the missed connections that take place when struggling with this disease.

Here's a close up.  I had to decide if I wanted this to be entered into World of Threads or QN, and I went with World of Threads, mainly because I think the work is a little edgier, and I'd never submitted to it before.

This piece below, "Smile" was entered into QN.  It is 25 inches long, and 37 inches wide, made in the same fashion as the piece above.

And the close up

This weekend, I traveled down to San Diego to attend the opening of Visions.  I always run into someone I know here, and this time was no exception.  Lisa Kijak has a wonderful piece in the exhibit in her continuing series on neon signs, and Marianne Burr was there with her piece "Eleven 3 Eleven", which won the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Recognition Award.
Speaking of Del, here we are, cooling off and catching up from the show.

My favorite piece from the show was by Shin-hee Chin, titled Ryu, Gwan-Sun

The stitching is incredible, and I think it's done by hand

It's one of those pieces you can't stop staring at.

Of course I had to check out the gift shop, and found some Twelve by Twelve books for sale

If you get a chance, try to check out the exhibit, if you can't they have a catalog available.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

More Detail

Deborah asked for more details about the "Letting Go" piece that's in the World of Threads Festival next month.

This is the piece again.  It is large for me,  60" tall, by 36" wide.

 In the detail, you can see the background is a dark teal blue, which is hand dyed organza stitched to wool and shrunk using hot water. On top is what started out as one piece of white cotton sateen, dyed black, then marked with soy wax before being bleached.  I cut this up and stitched it all down to the organza layer, and added lots and lots of french knots.  These knots get denser as you move to the top of the piece, which represent myelination, the breakdown of myelin on nerves, which is characteristic of Alzheimer's.

On another note,  I didn't get into QN this time around :( , but that means I can show you my entries, which I will do in a couple of days.  I hope every one who got in is able to go to the opening weekend, it's such a wonderful celebration.  I'm taking a Carol Soderlund class at the Crow Barn the following week, so I am hoping to see the show that weekend, and look forward to meeting all the artists there.

Friday, October 3, 2014

New Work

The World of Threads Festival opens November 1st, and I am fortunate enough to have four pieces in the show.  This piece below is one of my entries.  It's called "Letting Go", and it's about my dad's short struggle with the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease.

I guess we were fortunate that my dad's other medical issues meant he didn't have to suffer from this disease for very long, but it gave my family a small glimpse into what his future would have been.

This piece above is a new one I'm working on. I've been trying to make my lines more fluid, and I keep trying to say what I want as simply as possible.  There has been some discussion today on the SAQA site about artist's getting stale, making the same old thing, stuck in a rut.  Sometimes I wonder if that's me, but the thing is, I really love what I'm doing, and I don't feel I'm done with my message yet. What's my message?  That the human body in all it's conditions, ages, and even deteriorations, is a marvelous thing.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Craft and Folk Art Museum

While we were at CAFAM for the opening of the Textile Society display, there was another opening going on upstairs. To my mind, a far more interesting exhibit

Clare Graham: The Answer is Yes was the name of this exhibit and you can read a wonderful review here in the L.A.Times.

The images above are from the internet, because I think you need to see the scope of this man's studio.  He is a collector of stuff, what one review called "trash treasures", which include scrabble tiles, bottle caps, pop tops (where do you even find those these days), tin cans, dominoes and puzzle pieces to name a few. When he has several hundred thousand of what he collects, he makes it into wonderful art.

These are puzzle pieces

And a room full of furniture made from pop tops

The back of a pop top chair


But my favorites were his cabinets. Large, maybe 7 feet high curio cabinets he made, each one with a different theme, including one titled "Molars" that was filled with teeth in jars and containers, and had teeth imbedded in the outside..  I didn't take any pictures of these, it was just to crowded, but I pulled one off the internet to give you an idea

I believe this is paint by number paintings cut up and reassembled.
If you get a chance, this is really fun exhibit to see. It's up until January 4th.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Last night Ted and I drove into L.A. to attend the opening reception of  "New Directions: A Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Textiles", put on by the Textile Society of America at CAFAM.  We were able to hear a few of the artists talk about their work, which I always love, because it seems to give the work more depth.  If you click on the TSA link above, you can look at the catalog,  but I have a few badly taken photos of my own favorites.

 At first look, this is an interesting image with lots of beautiful lines and shapes.  If you read the artist's statement below, you realize it's much more.

The theme of the show is to "Explore Themes of Change and Innovation" and I think this is an excellent example of that.

My second favorite is this beautiful work by Ana Lisa Hedstrom, who's name is well known in the world of shibori.

I dragged this image off the internet since I couldn't get  a good picture at the opening.  This is made of wool felt, dyed with natural dyes and hand stitched together.

My only disappointment was that at the end of the artists talks, the jurors were asked to say a few words, and they all said no, with one of them saying the work speaks for itself.  That may be true, but wouldn't it be interesting to know, how the work ties together in their minds.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

World of Threads Festival

I have long admired World of Threads, run by Dawne Rudman and Gareth Bates, for their fabulous interviews with all kinds of fiber artists.  Most of the artists are unknown to me, and it's interesting to learn about their creative processes.

They also put on a festival every year, and this year I had 4 pieces accepted. Here's the link to the Festival.  I'm planning to attend the opening, and am looking forward to meeting the other artists, which is always my favorite part of any show. I'm spending a week in Toronto before the show opens, and I'm looking forward to exploring all the artwork Toronto has to offer.

Gut Feeling, above, is on of the pieces I'll have in the show.