Saturday, July 19, 2014

Studio Tour in Fernville

Here you see why I call this Fernville. Tomorrow - Sunday, July 20th - my little cabin in the woods will be open to visitors for our Artist at Work Studio Tour. The ferns have overtaken my chair while I worked to prepare for one of my favorite events of the year. And we'll have two more open studios in September.

If you come, you'll see my current fabric collage work. The tiny piece you see above with the the purple French knots is one of several that inspired the larger collage in the background. Come to see what happened next!

And I'll be demonstrating how I make the collages from start to finish.
Pick up a Studio Tour brochure at any Saranac Lake gallery or find it online. Or set your GPS to 140 Breezy Acres Lane, Saranac Lake and make your way up the dirt road to the little blue and green cabin in Fernville - NICHE Studio.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy Information Overload

On Friday I drove to Essex Junction, VT with Pat Pauly to view the Vermont Quilt Festival. The image above represents my experience there: loads of color, spectacular techniques, fresh ideas, and a lot happening all at once! (Apologies to the artist who made this masterpiece. We were about to leave and I forgot to photograph her tag. Love it!)

It was fun to go there with Pat. She pointed out many pieces, techniques, and artists I couldn't quite put into context because of my inexperience in this little universe of quilts. And when we left, she asked me how I would view the event if (or, more likely, when) I come again. A great question! I answered then and have thought about it since then. I would
  • Buzz through the entries quickly then go back and spend more time on a few favorites (usually in the contemporary abstract category).
  • Spend more time in the special exhibits area and attend more of the talks there. Loads to learn from the experts there.
  • Make a better shopping list before I go! Now that I know I can buy almost anything related to fiber art there, I'll know what to expect. I did pretty well though - found several things I want for the workshop I'm taking at QBL in a few weeks, including silks at this very inviting booth.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Red Lines on the Brown Dot

The Brown Dot is getting its embellishments on the shore of Keuka Lake. I think if we were not traveling so much this year, I would never have started and continued all this hand stitching. And it is so much fun!

Lots of small fabrics collages were completed on this trip too. They will be either matted or framed under UV glass, most for the Made in the Adirondacks festival in Blue Mountain Lake on July 19th.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Big Brown Dot

Taking one of my little business card size fabric collages and making a larger piece with the same design. What happens next?!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Showing Off

Showing Off

That's the name I chose for this new piece - "Showing Off." I realize now that maybe you think I'M showing off! Not really. It's this male Red-winged Blackbird who is showing off his red wing patches on his territory. In fact, using a new technique is often a lot of pleasure and a little fear, especially when it gets hung on a public wall immediately. It's headed to the Birds of a Feather Exhibit at the the Paul Smith's College VIC today.

Detail Showing Off
Detail : Showing Off
Since attending my first meeting of Studio Art Quilt Associates in early May, I am more resolved than ever to work hard at this relatively new art career of mine. My choice to work with fabric and images puts me into a category that is not exactly on everyone's radar. I (and my SAQA colleagues) see it as making fine art with a wonderfully rich and flexible medium. Others may view it as just messing around with quilts that didn't quite work out. Some of local exhibitions I have entered have prize categories that consist of Painting, Sculpture, and Photography. Not even a Mixed Media category. I am entirely left out of consideration.

Still, I have received recognition, including a recent Honorable Mention in one of the more prestigious juried art shows in our region for a fiber collage piece. And that has happened before. But I think it's time to expand the geographic area where I show my work. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to do that these days. And there are many generous artists who are willing to help.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Bird, A Book, A Show

 I'm thinking about birds a lot. It's the season for that. On our recent trip, my husband took some bird photos that I love. This one - a Red-winged Blackbird - really grabbed me.

Then there's the annual Bird Art exhibit that is part of the Great Adirondack Birding Festival at the Paul Smith's College VIC the first weekend in June.

Mix those things up with Jean Wells' book - Journey to Inspired Art Quilting - that I have been exploring, and I have something to push me along with a new piece.

Stay tuned for how the bird fits in.

I also have to tell all my Adirondack buddies that we now have a greatly expanded selection of beautiful fabrics right here in Saranac Lake, at Beth Gallagher's Piece by Piece Studio. Go see for yourself!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Have You Seen an Art-O-Matic?

This girl is admiring the little piece of art she got from the refurbished old cigarette machine purchased a few years ago by two forward-thinking artists in our town - Todd Smith and Matt Burnett. in this photo, it was placed on the sidewalk for one of our summer art walks, and the crowd was literally lined up down the street to put in their $1 tokens to get a piece of art created by our local artists. Artists were asked to create little works of art of a size to fit into a little box the size of a pack of cigarettes. Great fun for all, and a nice PR machine for all of us in the Saranac Lake arts community. In some places it is called an "Art-O-Matic". We named ours the "Smokin' Art Machine". Very Cool.

This summer, Matt is going to set up the Art Machine at the Wild Center - the natural history museum of the Adirondacks. Another Very Cool part of the Adirondacks. The pluses of having the Art Machine there include having the machine indoors all summer with someone trained to maintain it (i.e. knowing when it needs a gentle nudge to get the tokens down the chute and when it needs a vigorous kick).

So, the reason for me to even bring this up is that Matt invited local artists to make more little pieces for the machine. I didn't have too much time, and I decided to try something I kept thinking about but have never done - making some fabric collage and cutting the collage into little pieces to fit into the Art Machine boxes as I was preparing for our long trip in April and early May. Here was my process:
Add caption

I fused fabric scraps to a canvas backing.

Then I stitched over the fabric pieces.

 Once stitched, I flipped the collage and marked the sizes I needed. Then I cut them apart with my rotary cutter. When I turned them over, I was delighted with the little rectangles. Each one was a little work of art! I packed them up for our trip, along with my embroidery supplies and decorated each piece as we covered the miles. Can I part with them now?!