HEIDI ZIELINSKI

HEIDI ZIELINSKI - Fiber Artist

Creating art out of fiber and stitch is my passion. In no other pursuit have I ever found the rewards and joy that I find in using textiles, thread, paint, beads, yarns, and whatever else inspires me to make an object of beauty to share with others.

My work is based in the quilting tradition of three layers stitched together, but the artistry of it goes far beyond the basic piecing of geometric shapes to create a bedcovering. You will see reflections of nature in my work as I live in a valley in the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana surrounded by mountains, rivers, streams and my own garden. Color and texture inspire my work and they are my palette.

I write about what I am doing with my art and where I hope to go. I create, I write, I teach, I share and I think about my art and tell you about it all on the pages of my blog.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gallery Talk

On Friday I had my "gallery talk" where I shared some info about my history, the way I work, and the inspiration for my work. There were about 15 people there and most, but not all, were people I knew who work in fiber (quilters or art quilters). I think it lasted about 45 minutes and towards the end of the time I started to feel like I was just babbling on and they were probably getting bored! Based on what they told me afterwards, that wasn't the case, and I think most of them really enjoyed what I shared with them. I tried to be organized with notes, visual aids, and some additional fiber art that wasn't in the show (mostly older pieces to show them what I did before I started the heavily quilted and beaded art work that I do now). I felt the talk was a worthwhile opportunity for me, and I learned a lot from it. An added bonus was that there was a play going on at the theater next door and several people stopped in to look at my work before the show and during intermission.

I have sold three small works since taking my pieces to the gallery. I am happy with that, but do wish that one of the larger pieces would sell. There are some interested parties but they haven't made a commitment, and might never do so! If the interested parties want me to bring pieces to their homes so they can see how they look I will be glad to do that after my gallery show is over and I would share the commission with the gallery since she has done a wonderful job promoting me and my work. It is wonderful to have a gallery that is supportive of your work and wants to continue a relationship with you. I hope to continue having a few pieces of my work at the gallery on a permanent basis, and in a year or so I will have another show. I just hope my run of creativity and productivity can continue so I can have enough new work to show!

I have had very good feedback from my gallery exhibition and the owner has said that pretty much everyone who has seen it has enjoyed it. The comments are very positive and many viewers seem to spend a good deal of time looking at the pieces and discovering their details. It is fun to be there and be able to answer questions or just talk about my work with interested people. I am really looking forward to our quilt show in July (July 9-10) when I will able to sit with my work as the Featured Quilt Artist. For two days I will be able to share my work and see how people react to it and tell them about it. What fun that is! I love answering questions and explaining things about my work. It is very satisfying to find out that people really want to know about it.

Right now I am in a holding pattern on creating new pieces, and trying to catch up on some things I need to get done around the house and yard. I also need to straighten up my workroom since after the whirlwind of getting pieces ready for this show and then preparing the lecture I have left it quite a mess. I need to try to organize my room a little better and get rid of lots of clutter. Some of these magazines have just GOT to GO!! I am quite a saver and just find it hard to part with any quilting or cooking magazines and yet they are in such disorder that I'd have a hard time finding anything in them anyway. I have some older ones that I never look at so I'm going to toss those and make room for the ones I do use like Quilting Arts and Machine Quilting Unlimited.

Blogger has changed something with how pictures are downloaded here and I have been having some trouble trying to get it to work.  I'll definitely will keep working on it so I can get something posted here for you to look at!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gallery Openings and Talk

On First Friday in May my fiber art show at River's Mist Gallery in Stevensville, Montana opened to a nice crowd and some enthusiastic admirers. I sold one small piece before she even had the work hung up, and then sold another small piece at the reception. Another small piece was sold sometime this week and I'm looking forward to more pieces flying out the door in the next couple of weeks. The gallery owner did a beautiful job displaying my work. I was sharing the gallery space with the Stevensville Art and Sculpture Society's (SASS) spring showcase and was pleased that my work seemed to fit well in the space I had and the SASS show was nicely done with a wonderful variety of interesting artwork.

I really love gallery openings when my work is being shown because I usually have such a difficult time making small talk at social occasions, but talking about my work is much easier. I love talking to anyone about what I  do, how I do it, why I do it, etc. etc. It is fun to share my work and inspiration with people who are actually interested (or least they appear interested!). I will have the opportunity to do this in a more formal way when I do my gallery talk on Friday, May 21 at the gallery. The free lecture is at 7:00pm and anyone is welcome to attend. I am nervous, but somewhat excited. Hopefully I can keep an audience interested for a full 45 minutes!

Next Thursday I have to attend a private reception at the Dana Gallery in Missoula, Montana for their Celebration of Missoula Artists showcase which includes numerous artists from Missoula and the Bitterroot. I have one piece in this juried show and am quite anxious to see how well it works with all of the other forms of art displayed in this show. And it will be interesting to see if there is any other fiber art. This show will be on display through the first week of June. There is an open public reception on First Friday in June (June 4).

In July I will be the Featured Quilt Artist at the Sapphire Quilters 2010 Quilt Show. I will have my own space to hang whatever pieces I want and then be able to sit there with them and answer questions and share my work with people for the two days of the show. I look forward to this opportunity and hope that I will exposing a lot of people interested in quilts to a whole new perspective on them. Many people are not aware of "art quilts" although they are becoming a more prevalent quilt form throughout the country and the world. Most quilt shows have art quilt categories and there are many galleries across the country that are doing fiber art shows on a yearly basis. I have submitted entries for a number of these shows in the last two years and not been able to break into those venues, but I will continue to try and hope that I can choose the right pieces for the right show and get accepted.

Somewhat off the usual quilt art topic, today we went to the awards ceremony for the Montana Jr. Duck Stamp Contest. My son got a 3rd place award in the K-3 category for a swan he drew with colored pencil and crayon. He was one of the youngest award winners and we were very proud of him. He got to pick out some prizes and acquired some fun art supplies to hopefully encourage his continued interest in art.
The young girl who won Best of Show for the State had her piece sent to DC for the national competition and was one of the top 10 finalists. Her Canada Goose painting was very impressive. There were something like 26,000 entries across the country so getting in the top 10 is a great honor and tribute to her talent and hard work.

Sorry about no pictures again. Need to get on my laptop and get some out pics of recent work out here for you, and I will try to do that soon. Please come back again!!