HEIDI ZIELINSKI

HEIDI ZIELINSKI - Fiber/Quilt 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 and originality of it goes far beyond the basic piecing of geometric shapes to create a bedcovering. You will see many reflections of nature in my work as I live in Montana surrounded by mountains, rivers, streams and my own garden. Color and texture inspire my work and they are my palette.

Please feel free to comment on what you see here so I can know what you would like me to post. I am always willing to share what I do, how I do it, and what inspires me. I hope you enjoy my work.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dealing With Change




A recent sermon at our church was about change and how difficult it is for people to deal with, but how it is inevitable in our lives.  Many times we do not welcome it, even though there may be good that comes from it.  I have very recently had a major change in my life and it is a difficult thing to accept.  Life is easier when things just go along everyday and nothing interrupts your routine.  But when something happens that is unexpected or disruptive or just changes the way you feel about where you are in life, then we find it most distressing and uncomfortable.  At first we might try to deny it, then we may grieve about what the change has brought or we have lost through the change, and then we finally accept it and learn how to go on.

When I create my art I usually feel very comfortable, free, and happy about how things come together.  Just being able to touch and see the woven texture and color of the cloth is good.  I enjoy the process and where it takes me.  I've been given a talent that I never knew I had most of my life and it has changed my life.  Change can be good.  This change was good for me. 

I now have a real passion and love for something I can do, and some success in pursuing it.  I have been rewarded many times over with having my work in juried shows, solo exhibitions, winning awards, having people purchase my work, and having many people just enjoying and sharing with me how much they like my work.  I heard Jay Leno in an interview recently talking about how great it is for him that he gets to hear applause every day---how can that not be great?  He was very appreciative of that and he realizes that not every person gets that kind of appraisal every day like he does.  I know as an artist how much that support and encouragement means and how, even though most artists can't NOT create, it helps spur us on to keep creating and sharing our work. 

If you have a friend or family member who is an artist and they show their work or share it with you, give them encouragement.  Pursuing art is a inward, solitary activity mostly, but sharing and showing it is exposing yourself and your feelings and talent in a vulnerable way.  I have appreciated individuals who come to every one of my shows or visit wherever my work is displayed because it feels very supportive and it motivates me to create.  When your friend or relative shows you the new work for an upcoming show, you have already seen it and therefore don't need to attend the opening reception or even visit the venue to look at the work, right?  Wrong.  If you are a friend and want to support and encourage that person in what they are doing you will go and see how great their work looks displayed in a careful, considered way at whatever venue it might be that honored her by agreeing to show her art.  It is the enjoyment that people get from my work that makes me most happy and when they share their feelings about my art I am thrilled that they took the time to go see it and to let me know that they liked it.  I am honored that people make the effort to go see my work when it is displayed. 

Someday I would like someone to write a review of one of my shows and describe what they saw, felt, liked, didn't like, and why.  I would try to learn from it all and hope that others would too.  It is hard to take the bad with the good sometimes so being reviewed is kind of scary.  Change is that way.  Sometimes change looks like it is going to be a bad thing and we are never going to be able to accept it or live with it.  But we do.  We move on, we learn how to adjust and adapt, we look back and remember fondly what we have lost, but we also look forward to what we can do and where we can go inspite of or because of the change. 

Change is scary.  Change makes us nervous, tense, and unsure of what lies ahead.  Sometimes it makes us very sad.  We want to know, will we be able to cope, will we ever be the same, will we be able to go on...  Yes, we can cope and we can go on, although it is true, we may never be just the same because of change.  I know I can accept it, embrace it, have fond memories of it, and use it to make myself and my art more, better, braver, and stronger.  The sadness will subside over time, the courage and perseverance that takes over will influence my work.  The change will influence my work.  Sorrow will be replaced by beauty and great respect for a life worth living.   I think you need to embrace change and use it to stimulate your work, your life, and your relationships.  Change is inevitable, not always welcome, and usually not easy to deal with.  Most people do not like change.  But, I'm going to do my best to honor what I have lost, share the beauty of my art and the talent that was passed down to me, inspire others, and be happy. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Studio Tour A Success!

This past weekend I participated in the Artists Along The Bitterroot Studio Tour for the first time.  I shared studio space with a talented nature photographer, an artistic woman who makes hats, shawls, etc. from her own alpaca's wool, and a creative woman who turns gourds into beautiful sculptural pieces of art.  Their work is impeccable and I was honored to share space with them on the tour.  You can see information about all of the artists---and there are many in the valley!---at our website which is lovely:

www.artistsalongthebitterroot.com

The tour started rather slowly on Friday but I did have some sales and was happy with that.  I was able to recover what I had spent to be a member of AAB and prepare for the tour.  On Saturday we had much better traffic and I did very well with sales.  Sunday was slow again with very few sales for any of us.

I was able to borrow some display panels with lights from my father who used to use them to take his watercolor bird paintings to shows.  They worked great for hanging my art quilts and the lights were definitely a valuable part of the setup as they show off the quilting and detail of my work.  I also had a display rack that I showed in a previous blog post which holds 15 quilts in a small space. 

This was one of the pieces I sold to a very lovely woman named Collette with what I believe was a French accent.  This is a piece I love and she assured me she did too!  It is called "Joy In The Morning". 


  
The tour was extremely enjoyable for me as there were many, many visitors who were highly complimentary about my work.  Many people had never seen art quilts or at least nothing like my work, and they seemed to love everything I had on display---which was a lot!  I am rather prolific and I figured I would get as much displayed as I could so there was a lot to choose from.  I debated about whether or not I should include the small ornaments I make and even the slightly larger mini quilts.  Sometimes it seems people will buy those even though they like the larger work because they are more inexpensive (cheap!).  I did end up showing both and often someone would buy more than one so the sales did add up quickly.   Also, luckily there were a number of patrons who liked my mid-size pieces which is what I make most and have the most of, and I sold four of those. 

Here's another piece that I sold and will miss because I really like it on my own wall and have enjoyed it.   It is called "Autumn Royalty".   It was sold to another artist who does work that I greatly admire so I was thrilled that she and her husband both love the piece. 


I am now getting things back in order so I can prepare for my next adventure which is a featured artist exhibit at The Purple Pomegranate gallery in Whitefish, Montana.  This is a beautiful town that gets a lot of tourist/summer traffic so they expect to get quite a crowd at the opening which is July 3.  I plan to be there for the opening and I'm looking forward to seeing how my work does in this new venue.  If it does well I may be able to continue showing some of my work at the gallery.