Monday, September 1, 2014

SYNERGY: An Artistic Process

Oaxacan Doorway - small try-out
 LOTS of art work was made in my little cabin studio this summer! Many fabric collage pieces for the gallery, a large piece for submission to a juried quilt show, and many small pieces (4" by 4") like the one above as my friend Catharine and I worked on our own interpretations of our photos that we shared for several months. Catharine worked in watercolor; I made little fabric collages.

We finally choose four of the photographs and the resulting small experiments and larger (11" by 14") finished pieces for our exhibit as the September featured artists at our NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery. We decided at the very beginning of our work together that it would be a synergistic process and it truly was that. Now it is time to get everything on the wall for our opening on Friday, September 5th. We will include some of our sketchbook pages and other planning work as we made our decisions. The exhibit is called "Synergy: An Artistic Process." Below is a page from my book with the beginning of the little collage shown above, the original photo, and a sketch.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Designing with Valerie

I'm at Quilting by the Lake, an annual conference in Syracuse, NY that includes quilting, surface design, collage, and other topics. It's a great place to study with some terrific teachers and to work with some wonderful people. My workshop this week is a design class with Valerie Goodwin, who specializes in art quilt maps.

Since I never had a design class and I love Valerie's work, this is perfect. Above is one result from a series of exercises in design principles, using fabric collage, paint, sheer layers, and the design elements. All seven below, in stages of construction.

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.