Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bitterroot Quilter's Guild Show, etc...

Finally summer has arrived here in Montana. We had a very wet spring and there is still lots of snow in the mountains. Now it is melting off and causing streams and rivers to run very swift and high. My husband and son are backpacking this weekend near one of these swollen streams so I'm hoping they are staying safe and dry. I have been busy helping with the Bitterroot Quilters' Guild Quilt Show in Hamilton. I helped hang the postcard challenge yesterday and then counted viewer's choice ballots today. Tomorrow I will help man the Silent Auction area. I donated three pieces to the auction and hope that whoever gets them will enjoy them. It is one way that those who can't usually afford my pieces can get them for a reasonable price---not that my prices aren't "reasonable"!!

I stopped by the Art City Gallery to see how my solo show was doing and saw that one more piece has sold so I was very happy about that. The gentleman manning the gallery this afternoon said that a woman who was just in was admiring one particular piece and hoping her husband might buy it for her for her birthday or something. Those comments rarely come to fruition, but at least there are people interested in the work and enjoying it. I hope to sell at least a couple more pieces before the show ends July 31.

I heard today that the Missoulian newspaper hopes to do a story in the July First Friday arts and entertainment section about our Trunk Show at Montana Art and Framing. That will be great publicity for us and maybe we'll get a good crowd at the First Friday reception that month. I was really hoping that the newspaper would discover the show and write up something about it. I hope they get some good photos. Can't wait to see the story!

Two of my pieces were just accepted to the Pacific West Quilt Show in Tacoma, Washington which is 8/26-28. I also had a piece just accepted to the Northern National Quilt Competition in Wisconsin which is a fine art show--my first. I guess this area of Wisconsin has lots of cottages where people from Chicago and Milwaukee go to vacation. This is the 24th show so it is well established and hopefully well attended. They have some cash prizes, but I would like to sell my piece and I haven't really heard how well they sell from this show. It gets to be very costly entering all these shows, so winning or selling something and getting a cash award is very helpful.

As soon as the quilt show is over tomorrow I'll be getting started on a new piece. I have some fabrics up on the design wall but I'm not feeling very excited about them so might move to something else. I have a lovely piece of hand-dyed fabric with a manipulated digital image that I transferred onto it using TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) and it is very interesting. I have already chosen some fabrics and been pondering how to proceed with this piece. There is a great deal of detail in the photo image and I'm thinking that threadwork might distract from the wonderful image so I might end up doing some simplistic stitching in that area with monofilament or at least a thread that really blends with the background. Haven't figured out anything as far as the design yet, but I'm thinking that as soon as the quilt show is done my head will be freed up for some more creative thinking!

Speaking of the quilt show, it is a wonderful one. There are extremely talented and skilled quilters in the Bitterroot Valley of all types from traditional to innovative to art quilters. Our featured quilter is Jeanne Doyle who is 86 and does beautiful traditional and innovative pieces with great skill and wonderful color sense. I probably enjoyed her exhibit more than any other featured quilter I have ever seen. Wonderful work. There are also many other great quilts in the show and voting was a real challenge---for me and many others. It is a privilege to be a part of this guild.

I just looked out to the south west and the sky is blue, purple, pink and slightly orange with streaks of clouds. Then out the other window is my garden bursting with huge orange poppies in full bloom. I love living where we do and being able to enjoy the Rocky Mountains out my front window and the beautiful Montana skies and landscapes out every other window in my house. I don't get out into the woods as much as I should these days but I think I will try to go more in the next few months. It is inspirational to walk among wildflowers, Ponderosa Pine trees, and huckleberry bushes and enjoy the sounds of birds in the trees. Getting some exercise would be a good thing too! Having a passion that is basically sedentary doesn't do much for the figure. And I have a 30th reunion coming up soon so I guess I better get started now!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trying To Move On....

After opening two shows this month and with all the cloudy, rainy weather we've been having, I'm having a difficult time getting myself back into the swing of creating. I have two more shows coming up in August and September so I need to create some new works for those. I did just complete a challenge quilt for the Pacific West Quilt Show in Tacoma and tonight I finished my postcard challenge piece for our local Bitterroot Quilt Guild's show next weekend. Now I'm ready to start a new piece. But here I sit on the computer not in my studio!

I sold two small pieces at the opening reception of my show at Art City in Hamilton. Here are pics of the two pieces. They were both small but lovely little works and I will miss them, as I do many of my quilts when they go!

Nature's Palette I:

In The Pines - Detail of Thread-painted branches/needles:

In The Pines - The pine branches on the bottom and right are threadpainted over a stamped image and the one on the left (in the detail above) were created free-hand.

In April the Art City Gallery had a "Recycled Art Show" and in the spirit of recycling our project for the Tarts class was to use plastic shopping bags to create a sort of "fabric". You layer 3-5 layers of plastic bags and fuse them together with your iron between two applique pressing sheets. Then they can be cut up and used however you like and there were quite a number of unique uses. I just used mine as fabric and then chose complimentary fabrics and found items to create three fiber art pieces. The embellishments and most of the fabric are all things that were given to me or found or from past projects.

Refuse II: Rescue

Refuse I: Transformation

Refuse III: Gathering

If I don't get back in my studio to create some new pieces, these may be in one of my next two shows!

Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...