Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fiberart For A Cause

I have been invited, along with 99 other artists to help Virginia Spiegel raise money for the American Cancer Society. The goal for this fundraiser is to raise $10,000 in one day!  Virginia's brilliant idea is to match 100 patrons with 100 randomly assigned pieces of art, for $100.


We've all been affected by this terrible disease, and I feel privileged to take part in this worthy cause.
In the next few months I'll be posting progress on the artwork I'm producing. Feb. 4th is the big day. For more details, click here, and thank you for your support.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Final Exhibit Pictures and Churchill

There were many artists whose work I like and neglected to photograph at World of Threads Festival, but these two I'm happy to say I did remember. Trina Perry Carlson's work "Cocoon" included calfskin baby shoes, madrona branch, cotton and plastic. Her work is about reclaiming the lost and discarded.  This was very piognant to me, and I thought it interesting that she mounted it on the reverse side of the canvas.  Another artist in the show did this also.


Melanie Siegel's large piece "Winter" was outstanding. It's made of ribbons and threads very condensed, but hanging loosely. When I looked up close, I saw many decorative ribbons I have collected in the past for various projects, and here they all are making up this shimmering piece of art.


Before we arrived in Toronto, we spent some time in Churchill, on the Hudson Bay, looking for polar bears.  There's no road to Churchill, you can fly in or take the train, which is what we opted to do. It's a two night trip, which I was a little leery of, but we ended up in a large sleeper car and we loved it.


The scenery was spectacular, different than anything I've ever seen. This was the view out our train window.


The Tundra Buggies hold about 40 people, but there were only 20 of us, so we all had window seats, plus we had a "patio" on the back, for those that wanted to freeze while taking the perfect picture.  Ted and I immediately made friends with the couple that brought the Bailey's on board to add to our morning hot chocolate.


We saw lots of mothers with two cubs. They stay with her until they are about two.  These babies were about 10 months old.


I'm not sure how many bears we saw, some people said 24,  but we went out two separate days and I'm sure some of them were repeats.  The full grown male bears can weigh up to 1500 pounds, and they are fast.


We saw one female leap out of the tundra and race away from a male who was getting a little to close.  This time of year the bears are in a "walking hibernation", waiting for the ice to form on Hudson Bay so they can hunt seals.


Churchill has around 800 residents year round, which swells quite a bit during polar bear season, and in the summer during Beluga whale season.  This time of year the town is on high alert for bears coming into town, and they have a jail, were the bears are kept for 30 days before being helicoptered out if they wander in. Bears are rarely killed, they use flash bang ammo to scare them away.


The environment in Churchill is permafrost, and it is really beautiful. The green in the picture two above is lichen, which grows most everywhere here.


The landscape is stark


With howling winds,


and lots of shallow estuaries. The tour group we went with, and I assume other tours, did their best to educate us about the bears.  We had researchers from various organizations talk to us while out on the tours, and they were collecting data to try and keep track of the population. One of our drivers was a former zoologist from the San Francisco zoo.  I will leave you with this live polar bear cam, which can be really interesting or incredibly boring.







Friday, November 7, 2014

World of Threads Festival 2014

I've just returned from Oakville, Canada, where I was able to attend the World of Threads Festival opening.  This venue is different from anything I've ever exhibited in before, in that some of the work is shown in a few gallery rooms and the rest is in hallways. Another difference is that the curators chose several pieces by each artist to exhibit together, which made it a very cohesive show.



A few blogs have talked about this show already, including Judy Martin's Nov. 2nd posting and Pat Pauly's current post.  One of Judy Martin's pieces  



"Not To Know, But To Go On" , was featured in one of the galleries.  If you have read Judy's blog, you know about this work, which is about marking time. It's really stunning.


Jim Arendt is an artist I've been following for a while, and it was so nice to see his work in person.


This piece is called "Meghann", and is made of denim, rivets, and zipper. Isn't that amazing!


This work by Karen Goetzinger is "A State of Transparency", and it was hanging in an alcove, where


we were able to walk all around it.  She used the Korean Pojogi method of stitching this, and it was very ethereal, moving slightly in the breeze.


Ana Diosdado's piece "Communication Breakdown" caught my eye as it's the kind of three dimensional work I want to be doing.


It seemed to float down, and make beautiful patterns on the wall.


"Skin Deep 1"



"Skin Deep 2"


"Skin Deep 3"

These three pieces are by artist Pat Loucks, and are made using plant and earth pigments. Like a lot of the artwork, this was suspended from the ceiling and allowed to float in front of us. 

As I said earlier, this exhibit was different than anything I've been in, and it was exciting to see the artwork displayed in such an interesting way, and to see so much  dimensional work in the show.








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.


http://www.worldofthreadsfestival.com/exhibitions_menu.htm

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. http://www.worldofthreadsfestival.com.  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.