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:
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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?!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Synergy Pieces 3 & 4

I've been traveling for the past two weeks. Loads of inspiration and images to work with. But as Ron drives (how nice is that?!) I've been stitching. Cathy and I continue with our small art pieces based on photos that we take turns sharing. This lovely fall photo from Cathy was tweeked a bit by me to increase the color saturation, which sent me right to the polka dot fabric in my stash. I fused the tree trunks on then couched some old rayon floss for the branches. More small colorful pieces of fabric were fused on for the colorful leaves. Fun!

The photo below is one of mine that I have been playing around with for awhile. I love those contrasting colors in that sweet Japanese mortar.
And this is what I am doing with it - embroidering those lines in the bowl.