Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Strata Art Quilts Class

"A Slice of Clear Water"

Timeless Quilts - 
2412 River Rd., Missoula, Montana  
Phone:  406-542-6566

August 16, 2014
9:30am - 3:30pm
Cost:  $45.00 

I will be teaching my Strata Art Quilt class at Timeless Quilts in Missoula, Montana on August 16.  The class will be from 9:30am-3:30pm and the cost is $45.00.  The shop has a description of the class and a supply list and I will be taking in a couple of sample wallhangings in the next week or so.  I think they will be advertising the class after June 1 so you will be able to sign up then. 

This style of quilt was featured in my article in the October 2013 issue of The Quilt Life magazine.  The one-day class involves designing and completing the top, but there will examples and discussion about quilting and embellishing the finished piece as well.  I will also be working up an embellishing class hopefully to offer in Fall 2014. 

Let me know if you have any questions or need information about the class.  You can e-mail me at heidi@heidizielinski.com. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Color Inspiraton of Spring: Lazuli Bunting

There are so many color combos in nature that inspire my art.  Here is an example from my yard this morning.  A beautiful Lazuli Bunting that hopped around eating seeds from dandelions and perching on the various bird feeders we have.  One of my favorite birds!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Quilt "Rack" for Studio Tour

My husband and I worked together to create a display rack for some of my quilts that I will use during the Artists Along The Bitterroot Studio Tour which is coming up June 6-8.  I wanted some way to display a number of pieces without using up hanging space or stacking them on a table.  I drew out a design that I thought would work and my husband agreed to put it together for me.  I will also have wall panels in my space for displaying a number of my pieces, but I have so many that I thought it would be good to try this option for displaying some of them.

Two things I asked my husband to do before he did the final design of the rack, was to make sure it could come apart for storage---I suggested using wingnuts for this purpose.  Also I wanted to be able to have at least 12 art pieces on it.  I gave him a general width and height for the front and back of the stand.  I'm not a draftsman and I don't do woodworking, so my sketch was just a rough outline of what I wanted with a few measurements that I thought were important. 

So this is what my husband made for me.  I don't have all my long dowel rods yet so the ones I show here are just whatever I could find in my studio, and some of them are longer than they will end up being.  I wanted to be able to grab the rod on the side to lift up the quilt, but not have them so long that they get in the way of people moving through my "studio".  I wanted to see what it would look like with all the pieces on it so I filled it up with quilts.  It actually holds 15 wallhangings and I think it is pretty functional and attractive.  It will work great for my "studio" space (which isn't in my studio since I'm sharing with another artist in her alpaca barn along with two other artists).

The footprint of the rack is 39"deep by 28"w (not including the dowel rods)  and the front is 30"h, back is 52"h.  I think it displays my work rather nicely in a fairly compact way.  I like that they are hanging and just far enough apart so you can pick them up and look at them without any beads catching on the next one. 

A big thank you to my husband for making my design work!  I couldn't have done it myself, but working together we came up with a good thing!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Studio Tour

2014 Artists Along The Bitterroot Studio Tour
June 6-8, 2014
10:30am - 6:00pm
Visit our website for a map
and information about the artists

Catalogs are available at many businesses in the Bitterroot and Missoula. 

There is no fee for the tour and you can go to as many studios as you like.  There are many excellent artists in the valley and this is a great opportunity to meet some of them.  Artists will have art for sale and will be happy to talk with you about what they do and how they do it.  

I will be sharing "studio" space with three other artists at Shelley Peters' alpaca barn on Bass Ln.  Denise Pfau and Merle Ann Loman will also be at this location.  Please visit us!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Approaching A New Gallery: Trying to Move Up In The World

Approaching a new gallery is always somewhat daunting, especially when you are at the stage of development with your artistic endeavors that I am.  I have been showing in local/regional galleries for about 5 years now and doing ok with that, but I am interested in getting my work into some higher end markets and more sophisticated venues.  In order to sell anything in local markets I have developed pricing that I can live with that is somewhat commensurate with what the market here will bear.  That isn't much!  I do pretty well with tourist traffic through one of my galleries as they are willing to pay the prices, but locals not so much.

As I make the brave step of proposing my work to higher end venues/galleries, I feel like I am shooting myself in the foot by telling them what my current price points are for my work.  Most of these venues are going to want higher priced artwork than what my work is currently at---and so do I!  That's why I'm approaching them!  So how do I give an answer to that question in an honest way without having them shut down any interest they might have in my work? 

I currently am working through this situation with a gallery and waiting to hear if I have "under-priced" myself right out of the running.  The fact that they even inquired as to my price point after I sent them images of my work seems to imply that they liked the work, so that was promising and encouraging.  Then I had to debate about what to tell them about my prices and I went with the honest answer with a caveat that I'm seeking to find a better market and get those prices up more where I think they should be.

In order to survive and pay bills and buy supplies I need to be able to sell either my art or my knowledge about my art in the form of magazine articles or teaching.  When I price my work I have to consider the market I have available to me, but I have also started pricing my work a little higher because of having some success with sales and exposure of my work---and the fact that I think my work is getting better all the time.  That means my local sales have slowed, but I'm hoping that it will prepare me for getting into one of the higher end venues that I'm looking for.  Thinking long term here which can be painful in the short run!

Catch 22 right?  How to survive while you develop a following and some recognition for what you do so you can move on to bigger and better things.  I'm thinking I need to lean towards the teaching and writing for the income and start getting my prices up so I can approach the venues I aspire to with my head held high.  I'm not ashamed of my prices, but I sure would like to get what I think my work is worth.  

One of my galleries is going to be closing at the end of June, but I think that creates the perfect opportunity for me to seek out the type of venue I'd really like to have for my work.  I get a great positive response to my work in all the venues I show in, but the sales don't necessarily follow because the clientele is not spending that kind of money in those venues.   I would say I do better than lots of the artists trying to sell at the same price level, but not good enough for me. 

So I'm moving ahead and looking forward to finding a new opportunity for showing and selling my work someplace that will showcase it to its best advantage and be able to garner the level of sales that I think it deserves.  Wish me luck!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Simplify, Simplify

I have just finished beading and putting a label and sleeve on my 2014 Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) on-line auction donation.  The pieces have to be 12"x12".  Mine is made from hand-dyed fabrics and there is beading around all the edges.   It is called "Simplify, Simplify".

Go to the SAQA Auction page to see all the beautiful entries and find out how to bid on them when the auction starts on September 15, 2014.  It is a reverse auction so they start at $750 and go down each day until they get to $75.


I actually made this piece for a hand-dyed challenge proposed by Visions Art Museum but decided that it might be too simple for that exhibition, so I made another piece that I sent to them.  I didn't want to bead on the surface of this piece because anything I seemed to try out on it just took away from the simple beauty of the rich hand-dyed fabrics and free motion stitching.  I stuck to beading around the edges to kind of frame the piece and left it at that. 

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 ...