Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seeing in the City

I was in New York City yesterday and took a quick walk between appointments. As is my habit lately, I took along my camera. There are a few pictures I like, but unfortunately, I'm not impressed with many of them. I just couldn't "see" as well in that environment. Do you think this is from lack of practice or because I might be more intuitively drawn to flora and fauna than to steel girders and sidewalks? Maybe I didn't give myself enough time since I was limited to time between appointments? I'm fascinated by work influenced by urban settings (the works of Jeanne Williamson and Elizabeth Barton to name just two). I'm thinking that if I get better at gathering / capturing inspiration from a multitude of sources my work will be richer for it. Thoughts?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Surprises

I love spring. This year, I've been remembering to bring my camera along when I go out, even around my yard. I think I'm getting better at seeing things and taking pictures. The colors are so amazingly saturated. I love the fuzziness of some of the leaves and buds. I'm having fun discovering surprises, like the leaves in the wetlands and an unknown flower in my shade garden. I hope I can internalize some of what I see to make my art better. Here's a selection of pictures from the last few days.

Saucer magnolia:

Grape hyacinth amid the emerging poppy leaves (I think the squirrels planted these):

Budding pussy willows (I had no clue they were so colorful before they turned soft and fluffy!):

Cool patterned leaves amid the skunk cabbage (who knew?):

The mystery flower in my shade garden. Any idea what this is?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Quilt -- Complete with Holes

Every year I plant a zinnia garden from seed -- a "rainbow garden" as my youngest calls it. And every year, no matter what I do, by the end of the summer, the slugs have ravaged the leaves. They're pesky little buggers. So, I made a zinnia as my quilt for the "Neverending" exhibit, complete with holes straight through the quilt. You might notice that the flower is made with fabric I posted about here. I added little sponges of white paint to the background fabric as well. The holes in the leaves are those dark spots you see; they go straight through the quilt. I contemplated lots of different ways to make the holes; ultimately, I simply cut them out and edged them with acrylic paint so they wouldn't fray.

Neverending Appetite for My Zinnias:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta 2009

I'm so excited! Yesterday's mail included the news that my piece, Listening at Lasdon, has been juried into the quilt show for the 2009 Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta. This year's event is the seventh for the biennal show which includes exhibits on beadwork, dollmaking, embroidery, mixed media, quilting, weaving / spinning, wool manipulations (rugs), and much more. I'm honored to be included. If you're in Albuquerque May 21st - 23rd, I encourage you to stop by the Manual Lujan Building at Expo New Mexico. It looks to be a terrific festival.

The piece I'm sending is a thread drawing based on a photograph of my girls when they were younger, sitting together and enjoying an outdoor concert. It's 26" h x 30" w.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thanksgiving in April

I submitted a quilt for Quilting Art's "Fresh Picked" 2010 calendar contest. Not surprisingly, it was not selected; they had over 300 submissions! I still love the piece though and wanted to show it to you here. It's based on our annual tradition of serving at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. The hungry start lining up for the meal first thing in the morning although the meal's not served until the early afternoon. Volunteers hand out fruit to those in line so the wait's not so bad. That's the moment I've commemorated here.

Now that I've made this quilt, I think I've got the start of a series based on hands. Here are some of the others:

Revelation (Sold):


Together II:

Friday, April 3, 2009


In the most recent issue of Quilting Arts Magazine, ten fabulous entries in the "Rock On" challenge were published. Of course, I had hoped my entry would be chosen, but it was not. I had decided not to reveal it here, on the small chance it would be selected. But now that it's "in the clear", I'd like to share it with you.

"Show us with fabric and stitch what your favorite musicians and/or lyrics have meant to you" was charge of the challenge. Well, one of my all-time favorite songs is "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel. I heard it a lot as my husband and I were dating and nothing seemed more romantic to me than the song's phrase, "In your eyes, I am complete". For my challenge piece, I sponge painted a piece of muslin to look a bit like stone. Then I quilted over a drawing I had made of an angel -- to look like the angel Gabriel, but holding a name sign "Peter" for a fun twist on the musician's name -- and a pair of eyes. Since my angel also looked rather like a Roman statue, I stamped "I am complete" in Latin along the side: Ego sum universa. I only tore away some of the paper drawing to add contrast to the piece; I went over it all with gel medium to make sure it didn't tear.

What do you think?

On a side note, our children are off from school for spring break, so there won't be any posts next week. We'll be playin'!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Collage Mania 09

I've just sent off my picture for Virigina Spiegel's final Collage Mania. Virginia has been tireless in her efforts to raise money for the American Cancer Society. For Collage Mania, all collages must contain some fiber and be finished to a size of 10" x 8" (either vertical or horizontal orientation). Pieces are then sold on May 5th at the Gold Donor Day level of $80 and at the Regular Donor level of $40 on May 6th and 7th. This is the final year for Collage Mania, but there's still time to participate! You have until the end of the day to submit a photograph of your work to Karen@KarenStiehlOsborn. Click here for all the details. And, if you can't create, perhaps you can buy a great piece of art and donate dollars to a great cause at the same time.