21 October 2007

An abstract and tagged...

I live out in the woods, but close to a major city. The woods mean abundant shade, which means lots of ferns. Their forms are so ancient-looking, aren't they? I abstracted this photo and made a small quilt. Besides being hardy and beautiful, the ferns have also proven to be deer-proof, something that nearly nothing else has accomplished in my garden, aka the salad bar. I should give up on the dream of riotous color and plant more ferns...

My friend Natalya has tagged me to reveal 7 random facts about myself. Oh boy.

1. The last time I went to a salon for a haircut was over 10 years ago, but I have a dog that has to go to the groomer every five weeks.

2. I think ice cream is an acceptable breakfast food.

3. When I lived in Peru a famous artist composed a poem to me in Aymara, the language of the Incas.

4. I sing really loudly in the car when I'm driving by myself, usually off-key.

5. I don't hold grudges.

6. I have colored-grapheme synesthesia and I can't imagine living without it.

7. Visual chaos makes me anxious.

I'm tagging Liz Berg, Terry Grant, Lynne Croswell, Tricia McKellar, Pam RuBert, Karen Stiehl Osborn and Gerrie Congdon.

15 October 2007

New Work with a new product

Although I'm working toward a big deadline for a secret project I can't talk about yet, I did make two new pieces last week that I can show.
Pescado Verde, 2007

These pieces were made using a new product that's being released at Quilt Market at the end of the month. As soon as I can talk about it I will, and everyone's going to want some of it!
Mariposa, 2007

Lots of secrets, how intriguing...

09 October 2007

Make It U Workshops in Houston

I'll be at Quilt Festival in Houston at the end of the month vending and teaching. The Country Quilter/Flourish! will have a booth in the Make It University section of the show where Pokey Bolton of Quilting Arts/Cloth Paper Scissors and all the other cool kids are. Join me for a Make It U workshop in Stampmaking for Textile Artists on Friday and one for Making Your Own Embellishments on Saturday. My friend Julie will be teaching Three-Dimensional Needle Felting on Thursday. If you're coming to Houston, please stop by booth 1162 and say hi! I'm looking forward to meeting some virtual friends IRL and to putting faces with familiar names.

Roar - get involved

Last weekend my daughter Sam and our dog Pixie participated in a dog walk-a-thon for ROAR, the local animal welfare organization. The teams of dogs and their people walked two miles and raised over $20,000. Think Globally, Act Locally and you can make a difference. Many communities have organizations like this one and they can all use our support.

Besides, you never know when you'll meet new friends!

06 October 2007

Playing in new media

Today I took a "mental health day" and attended an encaustics workshop at Silvermine Art Center. The workshop was taught by a knowledgable, generous artist named Nash Hyon. She introduced us to the techniques and processes, showed us all the basics and got us started on an exploration of encaustics or "hot wax painting". The Ancient Greeks used this technique for portraits and murals and, more recently, artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Delaunay have used it. Due to a few very pressing deadlines I won't be able to explore this medium further until after the new year, but taking the class today got me thinking about my current medium of fiber in a deeper way.

Encaustics is all about layering. You start with a (usually) blank surface and patiently, slowly build layer after layer of wax medium, adding collaged items and colored pigment if you choose. Incising lines, scraping away layers, adding still more layers until you declare yourself satisfied with the result. Now I'll try to translate some of that patient layering to my fiber art where I've been trying to work more complexly in layers of imagery, color and texture.

I enjoyed the process of encaustic, but it's a skill like any other that takes practice to master. Today I was mostly experimenting with how the different materials I was collaging would react with the wax. I'm definitely looking forward to exploring further and seeing how best to incorporate this technique into my "vocabulary".

I've also recently taken up tap dancing again. Another medium, another opportunity for creative inspiration. Choreography follows a lot of the same principles of design that visual art does -- repetition, rhythm, variety and balance among others. Besides, it's good exercise for both body and brain. And I can combine art quilting and tap dancing if I "shuffle off to Buffalo" every time I head to the ironing board and "shuffle hop step" when I head back to my machine!