Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Channeling Rayna

Today was my turn to facilitate the monthly meeting/workshop for the Beecassos, my local art quilt group and we did gelatin monoprinting, inspired by Rayna Gillman and her book Create Your Own Hand-printed Cloth (it's one of the best books I've purchased, and you can get your very own signed copy from her site, so go over there and get one!) We had sooo much FUN!
Why gelatin, you might ask? Well, you know how much fun it is to eat...it's even MORE fun to play with it! Pure JOY. I could spend days printing this way...

slime green...wonder who did that one? :-)
We used all kinds of things to create patterns and texture. I gathered lots of different leaves from my yard...long leaf pine, maple, oak, strawberry, dandelion, ferns, and I even realized after years of battling this noxious weed mess that I can't get rid of - don't know what it is, that it actually has perfect leaves for printing! I did stop short of using the poison ivy I found (reminder to self, go spray that!). We also used pool noodles, thread spools, straw, netting, bubble wrap, a potato masher, a spatula, foam stamps...lots of stuff. Did I mention how much FUN we had??
Rayna, wish you could have been with us in person!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Autism and Art

I just received this in the mail today:

I trust I will be forgiven for any copyright violations by scanning this postcard...you see, Zac is my nephew. From a very early age, even when he was still mostly non-verbal his artistic gift was evident. For a long time he would only draw on a white board, but with patient guidance from his teacher he moved to paper in the form of spiral bound blank pages. The first time my sister-in-law showed me his drawings I was blown away. He understood perspective and scale without ever having been taught it at an age where stick figures would have been the expected norm for any child. In particular I remember a series of drawings, each of the same scene, but as you turned the page in his book each scene would be as if you had walked further and further into the drawing. It was amazing.

I am glad he has been able to continue developing his artistic abilities. I think they far outweigh any autistic limitations. How cool that his work was chosen for the postcard for World Autism Awareness Day!

I am so proud of him.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

PAQA South

I'm exhausted and energized, all at the same time!

Friday was the opening reception for ArtQuilts:transitions and day one of the PAQA South Spring Conference, held at the Durham Arts Council in Durham, NC. The day began with a visit to the Somerhill Gallery which has, among other fine things, an exquisite offering of art glass. From there we went to the Golden Belt art studios, which is part of a green renovation of old textile mill buildings that have been converted into live/work spaces. Way cool...makes me want to move to Durham! These are some of the studio spaces...

After lunch we all headed over to the DAC for the first workshop by Doug Kenyon on copyright law. This has been a hot topic on the QuiltArt list for some time now and in the wider art community as well. In addition to practicing intellectual property law Doug also teaches at NC State University School of Design.

Next was Elizabeth A. Taylor, CPA on record keeping, business management tips, and IRS compliance information for artists. Elizabeth has 30 years of experience in this and presented a lot of good information. Then is was time for the opening of the exhibit!

This was a big weekend in Durham for art...Friday night was Third Friday and Saturday and Sunday were the days for Art Walk, a city wide art event. Attendance at the DAC was tremendous...close to 300 on Friday night alone! Our own Deborah Langsam was interviewed for a TV appearance...

I was honored to have my piece hanging beside Nancy Cook's three pieces from her Seed Play series...they are amazing! It was great to spend time with the artists who were there and also to see in person some pieces that I had seen previously on the web. This is one of the best art quilt exhibits I've seen and these photos are just a snippet of what's there. If you are anywhere within a reasonable, or even unreasonable, travel distance, it will be worth your while to go! Good crowd, press coverage, beautiful gallery space...it was a terrific event. The day finished with dinner at Taverna Nikos....YUM!!

Here are Karen Lee Carter, Lyric Kinard, and Janine LeBlanc strolling through the plaza on the way to dinner. There were lots of people out and about, and even though I felt completely 'touristy' I couldn't help but snap this photo...the Brightleaf Square plaza space was full of great energy...an inviting space to hang out and enjoy the evening! Durham is definitely a city worth spending time in.

Saturday morning started with a casual show and tell time. There is such a diversity of inspiring work in this group! Everything from painterly realistic to interpretive to abstract...and one of the most unusual recycled materials used in a great piece by Ann Flaherty (hop over to her site and ask her about it!)

There were two more presentations, the first by juror Susan Brandeis on 'Tools for Creativity'...I was busy taking notes and sketching out ideas for an upcoming project, as things she said sparked new ideas. The second talk was by Janine LeBlanc on 'Digitizing Imagery' where I realized I have many things that need to be corrected in the way I store and upload my images! A timely lecture too, as my camera flash has died and it is time to start looking for a replacement.

All in all a tremendously fun weekend!

As I neared home I couldn't help but notice this unusual cloud formation...like a giant eye in the sky watching over my safe return. Inspiration for a new quilt? I think so!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter

Some people dye eggs... thanks to a lesson from my friend Vickie, I dyed wool first!
I'll get around to the eggs tomorrow...

Friday, April 3, 2009


Last night was the opening reception for Dimensions, the national juried art exhibit at Associated Artists in Winston-Salem. From over 400 pieces submitted, 85 were selected by juror Jennifer Coolidge (Executive Director, Museum of Florida Art) and will be shown through May 22. She did an amazing job...it is probably my most favorite exhibit at AAWS so far and the turn out at the reception reflected that opinion. It was elbow to elbow...I'm guessing in the neighborhood of 275-300 people attended. Among the artists in this exhibit are fellow Cosmic Cow member Jude Lobe with 'Mandolin and Friend', acrylic on linen; Jennifer Toft with 'Gardening Progenitor', mixed media; Ralph Henzler with 'Siphon', silver gelatin print; Stephanie Quattrini with 'Lake Hayes, Arrowtown', textile; Pat Spainhour with 'Enfold', pastel (and you should see her encaustics!); and oh yeah, my 'She Stands by the River and Weeps No More' (seen a couple of posts prior to this one). Plus too many other talented artists to name here...so if you are anywhere nearby, it is a must-see show!

Kudos go out to show chair Lee Reynolds and the volunteers who assisted her, to Pat Spainhour for her awesome work in designing the show, to the staff of AAWS for all of their hard work, and to the sponsors who made this exhibit possible: Hawthorne Gallery, Bronson Chiropractic, John W. Byrd Investments, Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects, Downtown Thai, Mooney's Mediterranean Cafe, and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem.
before the crowd
here comes the crowd
my piece seen through the crowd