Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Art Quilter" Aspiring to "Author"

This year I have submitted two articles to magazines and had success with them.  I hope to continue writing and submitting and would like to have something published in Quilting Arts and Machine Quilting Unlimited magazines.  The most difficult part of the process is deciding on a topic that would be of interest to those particular magazines.  Sometimes I feel like a novice at what I do which causes me to think, "who am I to tell anyone the way do to things???".  The two articles that are being published are both of interest to people who are new to art quilting and the magazines were interested in that aspect of them.

So, now I am struggling to figure out what I know that someone else would want to read about.  What do I know enough about to teach someone else in a 3-5 page magazine article?

My work is somewhat varied but I believe I have a style that makes my body of work cohesive.  I know that people who know my work can usually identify it in a quilt show or gallery.  I use heavy quilting using many different threads, quite often beading, and have a unique way with color.  Many of my pieces are collage style using raw edge applique, but I also do pieces that incorporate leaves, trees, sometimes landscapes, and other nature related imagery and themes.  In preparing for the show I have next month I have been doing a lot of "wholecloth" pieces using fabric that I created by dyeing or painting fabric in various methods.  Some are quilting only, others have embellishments on them like beads and suede.  All during the process I have been thinking about what I could teach someone about what I do.  I'm still thinking...

I think my goal with writing about my work is to inspire and motivate other artists to create art.  I love getting feedback from people when they see my work and wish they could do the same thing, or something similar. They feel energized and excited about creating something and I feel honored that what I do makes them feel that way.  If I can write an article and include some images of my work that spurs someone on to fulfill their desire to create art and maybe "be like me", I'm happy.  I absolutely love what I do and can't get enough of it so I love sharing that with others.  Ever since I was a kid I've always wanted everyone to be happy so doing something that helps people feel that way is, as Martha says, "a good thing!"

Once I get my show off the ground in September I will be returning to my laptop to try to write more articles. Watch for my first one to appear in The Quilt Life magazine in their October issue.  It is about Strata Art Quilts which are what I call long narrow quilts composed of varied width strips of fabric.  It's a great style of art quilt for beginners or for those, like me, who like to take a break from challenging projects to do something fun and beautiful that doesn't take a whole lot of time.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Montana Bricolage Artists Present....

My art group, the Montana Bricolage Artists (MBA), will be showing our new group show entitled "Reflections" at Montana Art and Framing in Missoula, Montana for the month of August.  The opening reception will be the evening of Friday, August 2 from 5-9pm.  The gallery is located at 709 Ronan Street and you can find directions on their website at

The parameters of the show were that they pieces need to be two parts on a black background.  I believe there are some deviations from this, but we are not big on rules anyways!  The theme of "Reflections" has been interpreted and protrayed in many different guises for this show and that will make it very interesting. This group of highly skilled artists has again created a show worth viewing.

Below is the piece that I created for the show which is 45" x 45".  The two half circles were quilted separately and then mounted onto a quilted black background piece so the entire piece is rather hefty.  The title is "What I See, What You See".  When I was first thinking of ideas for this show I kept picturing a person looking at their reflection in the mirror and thinking about how they might see something different from what is actually there (maybe better, maybe worse depending on their frame of mind), and even different than other people might see it.  Since I am not very skilled at creating realistic imagery, I chose to portray this concept using one of my favorite motifs--a tree.

I love the stark beauty of the left side in all black and white with some beading highlighting it.  The other side is much more flamboyant---not how I would ever view myself, but maybe how I would like to be viewed at times. We all have an image we wish we could portray or wish we were, and then there is the reality of what you are and then how others perceive you.  What is reality, what is contrived, what is at the heart, what is on the surface...  A reflection can be so much more than just a mirror image of something.  You can reflect about something, you can reflect a distorted image like when water ripples a lake, you can reflect light, you can use a mathematical reflection formula, you can reflect on the past.

So, if you are in the area come and see our new show!

Our previous show, "The 'Trunk' Show" which was long narrow "trees" suspended from the ceiling, is currently at the Paris Gibson Square Museum in Great Falls Montana.  It will travel to Helena and be shown for three months at the Holter Museum and we have just recently had an inquiry about sending it to Provo, Utah to be shown in their library in a new 3000 sq. ft. gallery space they have there.

I also would like to mention that I will be having a solo exhibition at River's Mist Gallery in Stevensville, Montana in September with a reception on First Friday, September 6 from 6-9pm.  This will be mostly new work, but also highlighting some of my recently published work.

I will be sending three pieces to the Pacific West Quilt Show in Tacoma, Washington in September and then two other pieces to the LaConner Quilt Festivaal in LaConner, Washington in October.  Also look for my first published technique article in The Quilt Life Magazine in their October issue.  The article is "Strata Art Quilts" and is a great technique for those wanting to get into art quilting as well as those like me who just need the occasional break from challenging fiber projects to have some fun.  Lots of pictures in this article and they did a great job with it.  American Quilter Magazine will be publishing another article of mine probably in 2014 but I don't know quite when yet.

All exciting stuff and it makes for a busy summer for me!

As always, you can see some of my work for sale at The Artist's Shop in Missoula, Montana, River's Mist Gallery in Stevensville, Montana, and Art City in Hamilton, Montana.


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 ...