Friday, June 30, 2017

Exploring Texture & Pattern

I have neglected my blog lately because I have been busy with several things—deadlines for shows, a quilt retreat, company, travel, and an embroidery class. The class is what I want to talk about today.   

I follow and receive their newsletter. Check that out here. It is a great resource. If you have never checked it out, you definitely should. They have such wonderful fiber art articles. Anyway, they recently offered a class called Exploring Texture & Pattern taught by Sue Stone. This class is NOT a “how-to” class. Each student works on a project (challenge) totally their own. So far, I have worked on projects (called a Creative Challenges) for the first three classes. There is a private Facebook group for the class where students share their questions, concerns, and pictures of their projects. It is really fun to see how each student interprets the challenges.

For the challenges, we are not to work for perfection; these are samples only. We are to explore and see what works and what doesn't. We are to experiment with each of the concepts presented in the classes.

Right now, we are concentrating on the simple running stitch. For the Class 1 challenge, we were to explore the potential of the running stitch. To vary the look of each of the four squares on the cloth, we could change the threads we used and change the spacing. We were limited to using ONLY a horizontal running stitch. Here is my sample.  
For Class 2, we still used the running stitch. This time the challenge was to vary the look of each of the four squares on the cloth by mixing the threads in the needle. We were still to limit our stitches to horizontal running stitches. In the first square we were to use different tones of threads, in the second we were to use threads in complementary colors, in the third we were to use threads that are texturally different, and in the fourth we were to use threads that are texturally and totally different. Here is my sample.  
I am currently working on Class 3 and the Creative Challenge that goes with it. I’ll report on that when I finish my sample(s). I am enjoying this class VERY much. I like the structure, design limitations, and challenges of the class. It is really stretching my thinking about the simple stitches I use in my work. If you think you might be interested in the class, check it out here. You can find out about the class and what is covered in it (and start saving up your money). Registration closed as of June 23 for this run of the class, but I'd think it would be offered again.   

Monday, June 19, 2017

Form, Not Function 2017

Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie is a MUST SEE exhibit held at the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana. That is what I said in a blog post about last year's show. I'm doubling down on that statement this year because I have a quilt in the show!!! My piece, Scorched Earth, was chosen. Here are some pics--in progress and finished. (The finished photo--the last of the four--has terrible lighting. I apologize. The right side looks really dark; it isn't. The piece was hanging on my design wall, and I took a quick pic. Come on out to the show to see it in person.) 
I can't even tell you how excited (and humbled) I am to be in this exhibit. This year's show will be held July 21-September 16, 2017.

"Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie" explores the world of contemporary art quilts. This annual, juried exhibit draws works of art by artists across the United States and celebrates innovation and creative thought in the increasingly popular medium of art quilts." Again, that was the description of the show from the Carnegie's website last year (I shared this with you on this blog last year.) I have been informed that this year, 284 quilts were submitted for consideration and work from 26 artists was juried in. 

The Carnegie has now updated their website with information about this upcoming exhibit. There is a list of artists included along with dates for specific activities concerning the exhibit. If you'd like more information about this exhibit and to see the list of included artists, click here. Please make an effort to see this exhibit and let me know what you think.

I have to tell you a funny. When I got an email that "said" my piece was chosen for the show, I couldn't believe it. I sent an email to the curator of the museum just to make sure. He reassured me by saying, "Yes, it was accepted, Beth. "Scorched Earth" was unanimously voted in by all three jurors." I whooped out loud!!! I did another big whoop today when I saw the list of accepted artists. I have been following the work of many of these artists for several years. To be included with them is quite an honor for me. A couple of days ago I took my piece down to the Carnegie. I took the acceptance letter with me "just in case"--like I might have to prove my work actually belonged in the show. LOL! Thankfully, I didn't have to show it to anyone. My name was right there--listed as an artist for the exhibit. (I wish you could see my BIG smile.)

A great time to see the exhibit would be to come to the opening reception on Friday, July 21, from 6-8 Eastern time. Music will be provided by the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Quartet and there are usually light refreshments. I don't know how many of the artists will be there, but it is a chance to meet and talk to some of them. I'm planning on attending.

There are other activites put on by the Carnegie during the run of the exhibit. One of those occurs on August 15, from 12:00-1:00 (Eastern time) there is a Lunch and Learn with "Sunshine" Joe Mallard. I have met Joe and can't recommend this Lunch & Learn enough. The postcard describes the event this way--"Come meet this local treasure and learn about his life and work as a quilter, fiber artist, and teacher." You must register for this event, but I believe it is free. You can register by calling 812-944-7336. I've also been in contact with SAQA IN (Studio Art Quilt Associates of Indiana). They will be having a meeting at the Carnegie followed by a tour of the exhibit. I'll be there for that meeting (tentatively scheduled for 1:00 pm (Eastern time) on August 29). Anyone interested in finding out about SAQA (or just to see what it is all about) is welcome. There is also a "Mix & Mingle" on the last day of the exhibit, September 16 from 1-3.

I sure hope to see you at one of these events!!!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Catch Up

I've been to Memphis for a week, Arkansas for several days, and at a retreat for four days. I HAVE been busy, but I (personally) don't have much to show for it. I DO, however, have pictures from the retreat.


 I worked on some 365 Challenge blocks. These will finish at 3 inches. (I also worked on a "top secret" project that I can't show right now. I WILL show it to you later. It is adorable!)
These are my friends.
They got LOTS done!
I'm working on my hexagon projects in my spare time (and while traveling). Hopefully, I'll have something to show before too long.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Making of a "Protest" Quilt

I have never made a "controversial" piece of art. I probably never would have; but with things as they are today, I felt compelled to do SOMETHING--ANYTHING. I needed SOME way to express my frustration/disdain/disappointment. Because I'm worried about how things are going in our country and how out of control things are, I needed a way to have SOME kind of control over SOMETHING. 

I'm surprised at the disquiet I feel about this quilt. It isn't the quilt itself; it is my fear of the reactions of my friends who have VERY different political views than I do. I do hope it makes EVERYONE (friends and foes) think.

Women have been making quilts of protest and political quilts for a long time. There seems to be a BIG divide in the quilting community about whether these "protest/political" quilts should be displayed at quilt shows and whether they should even be made. (Fiber art is my only artistic outlet, so I really have no choice of medium.) Check out this really good article from the Chicago Tribune on quilts and quilters expressing themselves through their art.

First, let me say that, to me, the flag represents freedom, justice, and pride (as it does to many other Americans). I realize and am thankful for the sacrifices made on behalf of the US by the veterans of all our wars. I mean no disrespect to them or to the flag. I DID, however, feel that the flag was the best way for me express my (I'm not sure what to call it.) "dismay."

I've heard it said that art should provoke conversation/thought/discussion. I hope that is what my latest quilt will do. I think you can zoom in on these pictures to see what the quilt actually says. I quilted Trump's words (in orange) in the red stripes. I quilted quotes by Presidents in the white stripes. The quilt is called Compare and Contrast. I have included the quotes I used at the bottom of this post in case you are interested.
Close up of quilt.

My quilt was not one chosen for the Threads of Resistance exhibit. Once I saw what quilts made it into the show, I realized my quilt was probably really tame compared to many that were chosen. See one of the quilts here--"Poisonous Words" I had intentionally made the quilting subtle (rather than "in your face") so the viewer would see it as just a patriotic flag. Upon closer inspection, the words would come into view. I like that "surprise" aspect in art--that "hidden-message" effect. I'm glad I made it and hope I can find a place to display it.  The quotes quilted into the flag are shown below.

Trump quotes--
Red stripe 1-Grab them by the pussy. Such a nasty woman
Red stripe 2-They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.
Red stripe 3-He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.
Red stripe 4-The FAKE NEWS media is not my enemy; it is the enemy of the American People.
Red stripe 5-The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.
Red stripe 6-I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big time, but I wasn't interested in taking all of his calls. He's not smart enough to be president.
Red stripe 7-Look, in the meantime, I guess I can't be doing so badly because I'm president and you're not.

Presidential quotes--
White stripe 1-Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.  Kennedy
White stripe 2-The American Dream is something no wall will every contain.  Obama
White stripe 3-There is nothing wrong in American that can't be fixed with what is right in America.  Clinton
White stripe 4-Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.  Kennedy
White stripe 5-I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. Lincoln
White stripe 6-Absolute freedom of the press to discuss public questions is a foundation stone of American liberty.  Hoover