Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

lessons learned…

Saturday, September 17th, 2016
sunset on Norwegian sea

sunset on Norwegian sea

In my last post I eluded to being away from the computer for awhile…We made a trek to Norway to cruise the coast and see the fjords, which has been a long time dream of hubs. Originally we were to go in May but had to postpone the trip to fall¬†so we¬†chose these particular dates to get the best of the autumnal colors, but alas we were about a week early, and saw maybe 2-3 orange shrubs in over 5000 miles of sailing.

We also saw lots of clouds, fog and rain. In 12 days at sea, there were two half days of glorious sunshine, and surprisingly one of those was at the very far north of the planet in Kirkenes. The fjords though were fabulous! It was astonishing to me how so many people made their homes on this hardscrabble land.

We cruised on a Hurtigruten cargo ship. They sail daily out of Bergen and in addition to cargo, there is a car deck, 200+/-passenger cabins. three restaurants, a bar/lounge and laundry & excursions. I can heartily recommend this line for the same cruise as the luxe ships for half the price.

how would you like your salmon today, m'am?

how would you like your salmon today, m’am?

While the cabin was built for munchkins the food was out of this world. The first night in¬†conversation with my ‘personal server’ about my food allergies I jokingly said¬†I love salmon so much I could eat it everyday. Well, careful what you ask for! I ate smoked salmon, gravlax and poached salmon with fingerling potatoes twice a day for most of 12 days. Actually I began to skip lunch and just eat a handful of trail mix I had brought with me, to avoid the fish!¬†I had to laugh on the return flight from Oslo on wonderful Norwegian Air when¬†I was served poached salmon and fingerling potatoes! I did eat however way more than I should have of fabulous desserts and yet still managed to lose weight on this trip by skipping¬†lunch.

best desserts i have ever eaten...and not super sweet!

best desserts i have ever eaten…

I learned so much on this trip. I love it how sometimes it takes relocation for the message to get through, and while it took several incidents to come across; it finally came through loud and clear. An aggressive chap from Down Under peppering me with unwanted attention and sexual innuendos, a stumble on a levitating floor mat, a nasty head cold and finally my trick knee making an appearance all appeared as clues in my telegram from the Universe.

When I could no longer walk without assistance, we changed our plans to go from Bergen to Oslo by train, stayed two extra days in beautiful Bergen and flew home from there. I spent the final two days of the trip, hotel bound in a huge spacious room with natural light, hand-stitching. I also tweaked a lot of photos with apps which is endlessly entertaining. It was pure bliss for me while hubs traipsed through six museums in the two days, which would have bored me out of my gourd. Everyone was happy!

kaleidoscope app of kleenex from head cold!

kaleidoscope app of kleenex from head cold!

So what did I learn? I learned that after four cruising trips (Mexico, Lake Powell, the Seine in France and this one) that I really HATE sitting and staring out the window at life at 9 knots per hour!

I learned that as much as I love world travel, I am retiring my passport. I may go to Canada but that is it. There is nothing worse than having the body fail in a foreign country. Never say never, but with us both having health & aging issues, I am just not up for the long haul game anymore. Ironically in having this discussion with peers, many are hanging up the passport! It is a sad decision and yet to reinforce it I made a list. I have been to 46 of the 50 states and 17 countries; four of those more than once! How blessed am I.

I was reminded how often I am embarrassed to be an American abroad. To be away from all the election noise for two weeks, to hear no mention of either idiot running for office for two entire weeks was absolute bliss. To visit a country inhabited by adults and not childish pettiness, self-absorption, celebrity worship, media manipulation is so completely refreshing. Sure most people here are good but that is certainly not the image we project abroad. It is just embarrassing.

I got my final lesson on the trip home. In the airport in Bergen there was another woman in a wheelchair. We discovered we lived 10 miles apart and were headed home on the same flight out of Oslo. It turned out we “knew’ each other from past lives in fiber¬†and¬†knew many of the same people. She had been visiting a friend in Norway who she had visited¬†several times before. However this time she sustained 3rd degree burns over much of her body in a propane fire at a farmhouse. She was returning home after a month in the burn unit in Bergen. Her strength and courage made such a profound impact on me. And made all of my physical challenges seem quite minimal.

We’ve been home enough days that sleep is returning to normal and enjoying an intensive in dog cuddling. So as soon as I shake the rest of this cold which is holding my ‘sea legs’ hostage I will be back in the studio. I’ve postponed an October trip to next year and also plan to change another. Before we left I had booked us to go in a 3 week CRUISE¬†next year to Australia-NZ! For now just packing up the car &¬†dog and heading up the coast seems a lot more feasible.

Meanwhile I continue to post collages of trip photos on my Instagram feed.

coming up on #15…

Friday, August 19th, 2016
memorabilia photo collage

memorabilia photo collage

After an incredibly short month, a quick trip, a class, and a whole lotta hand-stitching I finished the new #12 not to be confused with the former #12. My reward for same was that I strained my dominant rotator cuff from all the hand-stitching. So I have spent most of this week recovering and finally today was able to get back into the gym, and into the studio.

Now back to where I was before I interrupted the series. Number 15 is about hubs. It’s interesting the stuff that is saved for us by our parents and that we then choose to save for ourselves. A couple years ago we found treasure in the attic, i.e. a box of his scouting paraphernalia: his Boy Scout shirt front which had been super glued to a stiff piece of cardboard, intention unknown; his Eagle Scout shirt respondent in patches and decoration, his Eagle Scout sash with 24 badges, plus all the paperwork for the accomplishment, the menu from the celebratory dinner, the letter from the then president of the BSA, a newspaper clipping about it in Swedish, another in English and a journal article. Most of this is going into this piece, or rather on to this piece as well as his Army photo, a couple great teenage photos¬†and fire department imagery. The shirt will be sewn on last.

Undoubtedly there are some who would criticize my use of these materials, as if I am destroying them. I met with some of the same resistance when I decided to dismantle and paint my wedding dress. I figure those who are overly sentimental have never truly cleaned out their attic or even begun to think about where all this ‘treasure’ will go when they are no longer here. I am simply upcycling, making art out of treasured cloth, which to me is far more exciting that having it sit in a musty box in the attic, to then someday be given to charity so some kid can wear it for Halloween.

I am pretty stoked to be on #15 (out of 25). It feels as though I have reached the peak of the mountain and am on the downhill slide. It feels good, and yet still so enjoyable.

out and about…

Saturday, July 30th, 2016
detail of stitching on  canvas

detail of stitching on canvas

Another month has zipped by…do we see a pattern here? I continue on my series which I am so loving. I worry a bit about what I will do when I finish it next year but then I chase that thought away. I will deal with that when I get there. In the meantime I am having such a great time.

I am currently doing some handwork on #12 which was an afterthought piece. And I have gathered the memorabilia and collectibles to begin #15 which is about meeting Mr. Right. I have some great things to work with including his Eagle Scout sash and uniform, which is another sacred garment to dismantle!

Last week I took a four day jaunt up to Portland to see good friends¬†and to take an art class at OCAC. Synchronistically both Franki¬†and I have been craving some hand-stitching so Radical Embroidery seemed to be just the ticket. It was a great class taught by Victoria May, and chock full of inspiration from the work of other hand-stitchers and our classmates. By the fourth day my stitching became very radical and I was enamored with stitching again. While I plan to complete my class samples eventually, I went straight to work on #12 when I got home. Details to follow…

Napa county salt pond,...looks like a Diekenborn

Napa county salt pond

In the meantime my work was selected for a future issue of Art Quilting Studio magazine so I need to prepare the text for that. And also had work chosen for the Boundaries exhibit at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. I went to the opening reception last night and was very intrigued by a photography exhibit on sexual abuse in one of the smaller¬†galleries within the center. It was crowded and I could not get close enough to read the statements, so when I went back today to give my spiel for the docents’ talk I went through the photography exhibit.

I was so moved. Here is another woman, another artist, speaking her truth, telling her-story which is by no means pretty. This was my first experience since going public with my own story, to read and observe another’s. Stephanie Hamilton-Oravetz¬†was there so I spoke to her and told her how meaningful her work was. Actually the photography was done by another, but she was the model, acting out her childhood¬†emotions for the sexual abuse she suffered. It was such profound & moving work. She and I agreed that so much healing came to us from telling our stories. And it reminded me again how every single one of us has a story. Yet¬†very few have the courage to speak it. To do so is extremely liberating. So I keep on…telling stories while I¬†observe my own¬†transformation¬†from visual artist to storyteller. It may just be what I’ve needed to be doing all along.

this and that…v.12

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016
morning walk: rotted wood, roses, yarrow, red cabbage, potholes

morning walk: rotted wood, roses, yarrow, red cabbage, potholes

I have been preoccupied with life for the past month. I continue to work on #12 in the collaborative series, with 13, 14 and 15 fermenting in my cranium.

And we continue to work on dog training.¬†Mops is coming along so well, aside from the times when she chews up something important. I work diligently to stay¬†one step ahead of her. Most recently she chewed the straps off the face mask I wear to breathe when I sleep! Not very helpful…but we love her anyway!

Mopsy, in witness protection program

Mopsy, in witness protection program

We regretfully postponed a big trip but in doing so got to add more on to it, so in the end it will be a better vacation. We would have been away now so this opens up my studio time. Abundant free time however often makes self-discipline much more difficult!

morning walk: Mops, pond scum, bbq grate, goose poop, weeping willow reflection

morning walk: Mops, pond scum, bbq grate, goose poop, weeping willow reflection

One thing I have been doing a lot of is taking photos of interesting textures, patterns, colors, etc on my morning walks. I then collage on an app and post to my Instagram feed. Many have told me they love my morning walk photos. For me it trains my eye to see the art in everyday living.

Of course medical science would say that to stop and photograph while walking is not exactly stellar cardio. We all have our priorities! ART is mine.blog.walk3

stories of migration…

Thursday, April 21st, 2016
GWU Museum & Textile Museum, April 15-Sept 4, 2016

Stories of Migration at GWU Museum & Textile Museum

A week ago today my daughter & I were winging our way to Washington DC for a long weekend & the opening of Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora at the George Washington University Museum & Textile Museum. 

I am honored to have my work Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City chosen for this prestigious venue and exhibit, which runs until September 2016.

Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City

Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City

Most¬†of the artists whose work was juried into this exhibit ‘migrated’ to our nation’s capitol for the opening. There were many¬†festivities including a videotaping of artists talking about our work, an opening reception for artists, their guest and members of the museum; an artists’ talk during the public opening, a private lunch with the director of the museum, a walk-through with the museum’s curator and a group¬†photo.

In addition¬†we¬†took in¬†three highly-rated vegan establishments for yummy fare, had dinner with good friends of mine also ‘in town’ for the weekend, visited with¬†my¬†long-time¬†peers, artists from all over the country; explored¬†DC by¬†Metro, walked a lot, slept little and tried to get into the Renwick for the new WONDER exhibit, for which we were unsuccessful & and had martinis at the Hay Adams Hotel bar called Off the Record!¬†Then we turned around early Sunday morn and flew home.

IMG_2529

We were dazzled by spring in DC…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always I took many¬†aerial photos along the way. I am¬†particularly inspired by salt ponds, around Salt Lake City and on San Francisco Bay. People always say to me, there’s a ‘quilt’ in that; although a photo often¬†serves its purpose by just being. So many ideas, so little time!

various salt retention ponds

Back to Diaspora…if you plan to be in the Washington DC area before September 4, 2016, go see this exhibit. You will not be disappointed. There are two floors of¬†exquisite work, many¬†pieces 3-D as well as video presentations and many¬†personal family stories of migration. It is a fascinating & interesting¬†exhibit of which I am so proud to have my work included.

Even the staircase is artful! Stories of Migration_Logo

staircase, Textile Museum

staircase, Textile Museum

field trip

Monday, January 25th, 2016
Torn Earth, detail

Torn Earth, detail

Today hubs and I took a field trip to see Earth Stories at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. The stars aligned with a dry forecast, moderate¬†weekend traffic as opposed to heavier weekday traffic and best of all no Super Bowl festivities! We¬†returned through San Francisco¬†on a gorgeous clear,¬†sunny winter’s day. It was well worth the trip and a fun date!

All the work juried into this exhibit dealt with an environmental issue. My work Torn Earth celebrates the work of Architecture for Humanity, a non-profit firm dedicated to building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. The organization’s projects focus on post-disaster development, design and reconstruction of seismic resistant housing.

Torn Earth

 

 

 

I had perused the exhibit catalog but there is nothing like seeing the work up close and personal. It was really intriguing to see how each artist dealt with their own particular cause. I was really¬†pleased that my work was installed correctly and that the journal of my work was holding up well despite lots of travel and handling. Several¬†of the journals were falling apart;¬†some¬†were detailed and interesting¬†while others¬†left me wondering about the artist’s process.

Light Towers by Mirjam Pet-Jacobs

Light Towers by Mirjam Pet-Jacobs

 

 

The pieces I most wanted to see did not disappoint, like Dutch artist, Mirjam Pet-Jacobs’¬†Light Towers¬†about energy saving lightbulbs. The piece was silk organza with lights wired within the layers. The¬†engineering feat alone was impressive, and made an impact;¬†yet it had to be flexible enough to pack and ship abroad.

Another that had caught my eye was Alternative vs. Fossil Fuels by Cynthia St. Charles. Her extensively screen-printed background was stunning and engaging using different texts, in varied fonts but in similar color paint.

Alternative vs. Fossil Fuels by Cynthia St. Charles

Alternative vs. Fossil Fuels by Cynthia St. Charles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Nida’s¬†Wise Choice¬†was a piece was one that could be examined¬†for hours. There was so much intricate detail. Just beautiful and intriguing work!

Wise Choice by Kathy Nida

Wise Choice by Kathy Nida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both Kathy York’s Crowded House

Crowded House by Kathy York

Crowded House by Kathy York

 

and Paula Kovarik’s Stream of Consequences were chock full of surprise. Kathy decided to count the stuff in her house which took her six months. She then wrote all the 56344 items on the work.¬†After the exhibit will she¬†have 56345?

Crowded House, detail

Crowded House by Kathy York, detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One could’ve breezed by Paula’s and think, oh, pretty work, until stepping closer to examine the stitching which was remarkable. The story lie in the details!

Stream of Consequences by Paula Kovarik

Stream of Consequences by Paula Kovarik

Stream of Consequences by Paula Kovarik, detail

Stream of Consequences by Paula Kovarik, detail

 

 

Hope is The Thing With Feathers by Mary Pal, detail

Hope is The Thing With Feathers by Mary Pal, detail

Mary Pal’s cheesecloth image of Dr. George Archibald in Hope is the Thing With Feathers was really gorgeous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Valya’s He Knew That She Knew That I Know was stunning on a bright red wall. The detail was as interesting¬†as the entire piece.

He Knew That She Knew That I Know, by Valya

He Knew That She Knew That I Know, by Valya

He Knew That She Knew That I Know by Valya, detail

He Knew That She Knew That I Know by Valya, detail

Tender Gardens by Marion Coleman

Tender Gardens by Marion Coleman

 

I also loved Marion Coleman’s Tender Gardens about community gardens in San Francisco’s Tenderloin where there are no grocery stores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Leni Levenson Wiener’s It’s A Shell of a Problem about the endangered turtle and tortoise species worldwide

It's A Shell of A Problem by Leni Leveson Weiner

It’s A Shell of A Problem by Leni Levenson Weiner

Lynn Krawczyk’s Latte Landfill ¬†was¬†about 40% of stuff¬†in the landfill being paper products and coffee cups.

Latte Landfill by Lynn Krawczyk

Latte Landfill by Lynn Krawczyk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Noriko Endo’s Woodland, another intricate and stunning piece from her woods series

Woodland by Noriko Endo

Woodland by Noriko Endo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exhibit is up until February 28. You might want to go see it!

Earth Stories at San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Earth Stories 

 

 

Earth Stories at San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Earth Stories

 

 

how long did that take you?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
collage images of DM10

collage images of DM10

There are two very predictable comments made to any person who works with cloth and thread: My grandmother was a quilter and how long did that take you to make that?

Today as I finished stitching #10 in the collaborative series Defining Moments I was reminded of the latter. I was reminded when the stitching of the windows took me 90 minutes while the entire building, sky and sun took nearly 3 hours.

A friend and I had a long conversation about this during her stint in Open Studios last year. She said folks would look at her work, then the price and immediately ask ‘how long did that take you?’

We know that in this society people affix value to something based on its hourly rate. To them it is a dollar per hour equation whereas for most of us who work in cloth it is often a per square foot price. She and I laughed about how we could divide the price we are asking for our work by a number below the minimum wage and use that number as our hours the piece actually took us to make. So when asked this redundant question, we could answer something like 900 hours!

pre- and post-stitch windows

pre- and post-stitch windows

While rethinking an answer to this most common¬†question I am reminded though of¬†all the actual hours that go into a large piece of my work. There are the hours spent in research which for this series has been many; hours spent in the design of the ‘cartoon,’ the hours considering¬†the best materials to use, the hours spent creating the exact fabric to convey my design, let alone if I have to go shopping for same. Then there are hours of thinking about it while out walking, REM hours and sleepless nights problem solving,¬†and never forget the hours of procrastination when I¬†really should be working on it, but would rather play Mahjong on the computer. And then there is the actual construction sewing and stitching!

Someone once said the best answer to how long did it take you to make that¬†is to state my age at that moment; for it took my entire lifetime up till now to conceive and create this work. Actually I think that idea goes over most people’s head so I prefer to just say, oh about 900 hours!

on old dawgs and new rugs…

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Millie Last week we bade farewell to our aged pooch. Millie came to live with us 13 years ago when it was estimated she was about a year old, maybe two. She was a rescue which I believe affected her personality to being one of the sweetest and most grateful creatures ever.

We started with her sleeping in a crate at night but then she became too big to fit so her accommodations became more casual. Her behavior 95% of the time was on point yet that remaining portion she was whack-a-doodle! In her last 2 years she would frequently tear through the bathroom garbage, claw at the toilet roll unwinding several feet at a time, and nest at the foot of the stairs, shredding whatever rug was there. Then she would go back to being normal for some months and we would forget that her whack-a-doodle days might be approaching.  We went through two area rugs in the family room and last winter I just decided to keep the floor bare there and replace the rug when she was no more. After all she was an old dawg!

So imagine my surprise when about a month ago, in the night, she took to destroying the last vestige of area rugs…an exquisite red bamboo area rug in the living room. The first evidence showed up as a bald spot. Apparently she pulled the tuft and ingested it in the night.  I was annoyed and perplexed but the damage had been done so I left the rug in place to discourage her further pillaging the upholstery. A couple nights later she woke me when she actually tore strips from the base of the rug. How could I scold her? She could barely walk!old dawg mischief

Fast forward ten days and now I am spending hours online looking at area rugs to replace the two most recent victims of Millie. I have spent considerable hours looking at rugs and at this point I am thinking…wha? we will likely rescue another pooch in due time. Is anything pooch proof really?!

And then suddenly I realize how my ideals and standards have changed. I used to believe that one day I would have nice things, things not destroyed by kids or animals. And now I believe that it is the kids and animals that are the nice things which fulfill us and make for a wonderful life. The rest is just decoration.

That said‚Ķthe search continues…

Artists Culture

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
cover, Artists Culture, July 2015

cover, Artists Culture, July 2015

Some time ago one of my fellow¬†artists at the Arts Guild of Sonoma, an “ad man” in a previous life, mentioned ‘casting a wider net’ in our business marketing. As an example he sent a link to¬†Artist Culture¬†an ezine with over 400,000 circulation. ¬†I looked at the current month’s issue and decided to send in¬†an artist submission. I gathered¬†some images and answered a dozen questions and sent it off.

All throughout the questionnaire were suggestions that the submitting artist be thorough in their answers, as readers want to know more…where, when, why, how etc.  So I was very thorough in my responses, so much so that dinner that night was quite late. I seem to often do my best work when I would otherwise be whipping up some gourmet delight.

I had an immediate response that my work and I were accepted and that we would be in the June issue. ¬†June came &¬†went and no article so I checked out July and there it was! ¬†I ordered a hard copy which¬†arrived today.¬†¬†It’s¬†a Blurb publication, which¬†is well done, with accurate¬†color and clarity on the images.

The ads are a bit humorous though; an alternative for Viagra and Cialis, a steak company and a come-hither gal for a chatline that is also available in Spanish. And I love the cover because until emoji became the norm I pretty much hated the smiley face! Now I am often looking for the perfect emoji to sign texts but never choose Mr. Smiley. I think it a rather odd cover for an ezine about art and yet it makes me happy so go figure!

The other artists featured in the July edition are a woodworker, a painter and a photographer. I am overall pleased to add this hardcover/ezine to my collection. Artist Culture is produced by Steve Bryan, a commercial photographer at Cygnus Studios. He continues to look for other artists to feature in future editions, especially wood and ice sculptors, photographers and glass blowers. You can find out more by emailing the ezine. 

 

quick trip to Cincinnati…

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

cincy.art.zombieLast weekend I made a quick trip to Cincinnati for an art opening. My work Currents #13 was juried into Art Comes Alive 2015 sponsored by Art Design Consultants of Cincinnati.

Currents 13, detail

Currents 13, detail

There was one direct flight from the Bay Area to Cincinnati so I jumped on it, flew all night and arrived none the worse for wear!  I stayed at a really fun hotel recommended by a local friend. the 21cMuseum Hotel was possibly the best hotel I have ever stayed in.

They have an entire 2nd floor in-house gallery, hallway and lobby art with both permanent and changing art exhibitions. They have an award winning restaurant and a great staff. And because I often read hotel directories, while looking for room service menus, I also found they have a great sense of humor. Thus the ICE zombie apocalypse instructions!

cincy.art.hotelartcincy.art.hallway.artcincy.art.hotelart.2Ironically I took more art photos at the hotel than I did at the opening. The yellow penguin snapped in the elevator moved curiously around the hotel.

The reception desk contained molded human hands thrust upright under glass. And the hallway to the lobby restrooms had a Keith Haring vibe to it with motion cameras changing the pattern as folks walked on it! The jungle scene was painted on all four lobby walls with other art by Abano Alfonso installed on top. It was fascinating!

01-Dunham_No.-16.3264.6_SRED-1

work of Natalie Dunham. image courtesy of ADC

The art at Art Comes Alive was stunning¬†as well. Mostly I just took in the scene with my eyeballs absorbing every minute. That said, two of my favorite works, both award winners were: ¬†Natalie Dunham, painted & chopped sticks, which looked a lot like yardsticks, and then fastened with bolt and rod to torque the angle. This¬†piece was was stunning and she won both People’s Choice award (got my vote!) and a contract.

work of Amy Genser . image courtesy of ADC

work of Amy Genser . image courtesy of ADC

 

 

Amy Genser’s work also was captivating. At first I thought it might be fabric but upon closer inspection proved to be paper, rolled in sushi-like parts and constructed on painted board.

It was such an honor to have my work exhibited with this spectacular fine art, let alone designing the sole textile juried into this competition.

 

 

And on the return trip my window seat ensured I captured lots of aerial shots of our beautiful country…literally art is everywhere!

salt ponds on approach

salt ponds on approach

Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains

Colorado River

Colorado River