Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer is Winding Down...

August is almost over and so is the family art show at River's Mist Gallery. It was a nice show and lots of people came to see it, but not too many sales. I sold two small pieces, my mom sold one, my sister sold one (to my mom!), and my son sold 6. It would have been nice if everyone would have sold something, but I guess it just isn't too be! The show will be up until Tuesday next week (August 30) so you have a couple of days to see it if you are in the area.

My next show (postcard image above):

The Artist's Shop

N. Higgins Avenue

Missoula, MT


Opening Reception: First Friday, September 2, from 5pm-8pm.

I've got some brand new work for this show so please come and see it!

Once I get this show hung I will be working on a piece for the Trout Unlimited Banquet auction fundraiser later in September. I have been sketching out some ideas and thinking about this for some time now. I'm leaning towards a representation of a stream with shadowy fish swimming through it. I would include either cutouts or sheers for the construction. Another idea I had would incorporate the swooping line of a fly rod with a fly on the end. I love the gentle looping back and forth of the line and the graceful arch that allows the fly to drop gently on the surface of the water. This might also include the rings of water moving outward from the point where the fly lands---quilted in of course. As soon as I get this next show off and running I'll get to work on this piece and decide exactly what I'm going to do. Still thinking....!

I have two pieces in the Pacific West Quilt Show this weekend and just sent one quilt to the SAQA Sense of Adventure exhibition which will premier at International Quilt Festival in Houston. I'm waiting to hear from a couple of shows that I sent entries to and I'm going to be submitting a couple more entries in the next week or two. Keeping my work out there is a challenge---an expensive one. It would be helpful if I would win an award or two and get some funds to help with the entry fees and shipping costs for all these shows. I'm honored to be accepted to them, but it all adds up. The sales I have made in the last few months have all been small pieces. I'm grateful that, unlike many artists, I'm selling work on a regular basis, but the small pieces just don't get me too far!

Some images of newer work....

The first is called "Tulip Skies", and the second image is one that I believe I published on this blog in October of 2008 when I was initially working on this piece! I had met with irreconcilable difficulties and wasn't able to move forward with it at that time. When I pulled it out a few months ago I was able to work through the design issues and finish the piece for my August family show! It has received lots of positive comments and is a very bold and dramatic piece.

This next one is called "Tapestry Strutting". I used a small section of pin weaving that I had made over a year ago to create the body of the pheasant. I challenged my family members to all create a pheasant piece of some sort. Four of us participated and it was a beautiful display. The sculptural effect of the quilting over the pin weaving was very successful.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Triggering New Ideas for Art

When I am trying to determine what is going to be my next project I have several ways of triggering ideas. Most often I go to my fabric stash and look for that certain fabric that will inspire an entire piece. Once I even built a quilt around a fabric and then eliminated that fabric because it didn't work well in the final design! Choosing the fabrics from my stash to go with the inspiration fabric is one of my favorite parts of the whole process!

Another way to figure out what to do next is to look in my sketchbooks and see what ideas I have had that I've probably forgotten. Everytime I look through my books I see the value of making little sketches or notes about ideas that pop into your head at odd times. The recording of those thoughts is a great jumping off point and many of my pieces have started there.

A third way I trigger ideas is by looking at my design wall where I often pin up unusual items I have acquired---a piece of beaded trim, some dyed gauze, a hank of nubby hand-dyed yarn, or a new strand of particularly stunning beads. The reason I put them there was so they would be in the forefront and not forgotten when I am looking for ideas. Sometimes unusual combinations arise because of what happens to be pinned up next to what. The trick for this technique is not to cover up so much of your design wall that you can't work on it!

Recently I created a couple of quilts that started with rubber stamps that had an inspiring images on them. Both of these pieces turned out very interesting and seem to be well received. The simple black printing on simple/solid fabrics can then be quilted and embellished to create a interesting piece. Here is one of my new ones that will be in my family's show opening on Friday:

Violet Shadows - $250.00

In a previous post I showed you some detail images of two pieces I was working on. One was inspired by the simple idea to quilt with white thread on black fabric, and the other was inspired by the round copper beads that are dangling at the bottom. Neither of these are masterpieces, but interesting I think. They are both going to be in the show opening on Friday.

Nautilus - $220.00

Zen Copper - $90.00

One more way I get inspiration for a design is from a technique I'm playing around with. The quilt below is one that arose from a fabric weaving technique my mom showed me using those wonderful ombre fabrics that fade from one color to another or from light to dark.

You never know where your next quilt idea will come from. Keep a sketchbook for those ideas that come when you aren't ready for them yet. Keep some key items out where you can see them to help trigger that next design idea. Run your fingers through your stash once in a while to see what gorgeous fabric you had forgotten you bought knowing it would be just perfect for building a showpiece around! Then get in your studio/sewing room and design that fiber art!!

Frog Pond - (Sold)

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 ...