Friday, August 31, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/31

Sunrise at Minot Beach, Scituate, Massachusetts 
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

One thing that sold us on our new home is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. We are far enough and high enough up to be safe from rising waters and storms, but close enough to walk or bike to the beach. No surprise, ventures to the beach provide me with a fount of ideas. Sometimes it is the palette of a sunrise, other times lines in the sand, and the view is always tempting to interpret.

Lines created in the sand
during an ebbing tide

Yesterday I began work on my September MAP (monthly art project). My premise is to use something from my studio collection of tools and supplies I haven't picked up in more than a year. I interpret this quite liberally. This month I selected a piece of hand dyed, sun printed fabric I made more than 10, could be 15 years ago. Ugly is too gentle a word for it, that is until I turned it to the backside as I was pressing it. Now that side had possibilities. I decided to use it for a whole cloth quilt that has percolating ever since I spied the pattern of lines created by the ebbing tide at Minot Beach in Scituate, Massachusetts.

September's MAP in progress

 I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 24, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/24

I make art quilts. Why the modifier "art" and why not just say quilt? One reason is because of how far some art quilts have grown from most people's definition of a quilt. SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) defines an art quilt as  "a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure." A key word in this definition is "references". Note also, there is nothing in the definition which refers to fabric. 

This is my entry,
Sunrise Over Little Lake Butte des Morts - #2


My personal work hasn't strayed far from quilts of yesterday year, but I am a huge admirer of the work of others who have, including those who are making sculptural art quilts. I am a Juried Artist Member of SAQA, regularly renew my membership, and volunteer for the organization because I believe in its mission, "to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications." If you believe the art quilt deserves promotion and/or if you just can't get enough of seeing art quilts, I recommend you check out SAQA's annual benefit auction. There are 443 art quilts, all 12" x 12", up for auction starting on September 14th. 

 I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 17, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/17

Cohasset Sunrise
60" x 84"



Tips, Thoughts, and Techniques:

Transitioning is the current theme of my life. Summer is dwindling. The days are often blisteringly hot, while the leaves are showing signs of fall preparation. We are setting up our home for a 8 day visit with our granddaughters and daughter-in-law. When they leave we will have a few days to clear out our home in preparation for a renovation. This includes my studio. I will be on a six to eight week leave of absence from my machines. Hence the push to finish piecing Cohasset Sunrise.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 10, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/10


Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I am an adequate cook. I can follow a recipe, although I am far more likely to make a modification or two or more to suit my personal preferences. What I have never quite gotten the hang of is making a meal. It is the timing a meal requires that eludes me. Fortunately, my husband enjoys cooking and he is comfortable with timing. However, I am the one who is the most fascinated of the two of us when it comes to watching shows about cooking.

Cohasset Sunrise
Only two more blocks to go...

This week I started watching Chef's Table, a series of shows available through Netflix. I began questioning why this grabbed me more than most. The answer, I believe, is because each episode  can be distilled into the featured chef discovering his/her passion, pursuing it through a roller coaster of successes and failures, and ending during a period of contentment. True they are all lauded for what they have achieved. However, it is clear it isn't success that motivates them, but instead it is riding the wave of the ah ha moment. Isn't that what making art is all about from the artist's perspective, the drive to explore and tweak, never satisfied, always searching, and with a clear focus? The lesson I find myself learning (actually one I must be refreshed on repeatedly) is not to worry what others think of your art. None of the chefs featured would be where they are today if they listened the opinions of others more than they listened to their own inner voice.

A series of cats - same pose,
different materials, patterns and sizes

So, I continue to work on Cohasset Sunrise. This is a piece made in a manner that I never grow tired of. Each new iteration of work made in the Shifting Value series engages me and teaches me. I finish eager to try again.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 3, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/03

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Decisions, decisions, decisions. In four weeks we will begin a significant renovation of our home. In preparation there are many decisions to be made. There are the basics of which walls to remove and which to add. Then there are the non-functional aesthetic decisions involving color and texture. Last week I shared how I had been brought up short by choosing a paint color for the living area. That decision has been made.

This will be the color of our accent wall
in the open living area.


We met with our contractor, yesterday. He asked us to select the carpets from a different  firm than he first recommended. So, off we went to pick out the carpets for the two bedrooms. I try to avoid rethinking decisions. However, there are times when revisiting a decision is a wise course of action. The original plan was for a green carpet in the guest room, but three months of living in our home and obsessing over the home's given palette, I started to think blue made more sense. What I wasn't expecting was to select a midnight blue.

What you can't see is the sparkle which
gives this series of carpets its name,
Starry Night. There are slim slivers of silver
interspersed in the deep blue pile.

What does this all have to do with my fiber art? Nothing and everything. Making art is all about decisions. Everything is a choice, this fabric or that? How should I construct it? Should there be a focal point? What should recede versus come forward? Will there be a light source? Should I use an all over quilting motif, vary it, and what should I use where? What is working? What isn't? The trick is to make the decisions, let each one inform the next, and have the confidence to make changes, even very radical changes to achieve the final artwork. I work both intuitively and with a flexible plan. The end result is rarely, as in almost never, what I thought it would be when I started out. That is both the excitement and terror. 

When I wasn't prepping for the renovation I made the next three blocks
for Cohasset Sunrise. This is one of those times where experience gives
me the confidence to move forward. 


I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, July 27, 2018

Week in Review 2017 - 07/27



I made row 5 for Cohasset Sunrise this week.
What I love about making work in my Shifting Value series is the naturally occurring
contrasting values with the more subtle blending. It creates a wonderful dappled light.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I've been pondering color recently. OK, I've been obsessively pondering color. Why? Because we are just over a month from renovating our new home and this requires color decisions. Every time I look up at the main ceiling of our home, I smile. It never, ever would have occurred to me to paint it  purple, especially above rich, creamy walls, but that is what the original owners of the home opted for. They had a great sense of whimsy when it came decorating choices. Often their choices can feel like a big mishmash of ideas. My goal is to reduce the chaos, tone things down a bit, but not loose the fun, unexpected factor that drew me to the home in the first place.

An individual row can feel chaotic,
but when the rows are laid out one
on top of each other, there is a cohesiveness.

Renovations are constrained by budgets. This helps with the decision of what to let go and what to keep. For example, the granite counter top and tiles they chose for the kitchen wouldn't even make my top ten list. Since it is an open floor plan, the kitchen is very much on view. It will stay as is. However, I can repaint the walls, and maybe even the built in cabinet. I'm determined not to play it safe and paint everything cream. What to do instead has proven to be far more difficult than I thought it would be. We have a poster board painted with the two most likely contenders for the accent wall. I keep flipping it to one side, a subtle pale blue/purple and back to the other side, the same rich purple of the ceiling. I place the board in one spot, then in another. What works here, doesn't work there and vice versa. These are the two colors from our master suite, so I can see how they work together. Still no decision.

This is the view standing by my Bernina.
Note how the individual pieces are laid
out in units by value. Lola is making sure
they all stay in position. Look up and you
can see the purple ceiling. 
What surprises me, is that I can select a palette for my artwork with only a few shuffles and substitutions. If I get part way through the work, run out of a crucial fabric, I only have to turn to my stash and I find something new to add to the mix. This is precisely what I have been doing with Cohasset Sunrise. So, why is it so difficult to choose paint for our home?

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, July 20, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 07/20




Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

4 out of the 7 rows are pieced 

It is easy to loose focus on how fortunate I am to be able to do something that brings me great joy and serenity. Why am I drawn to creating variations of water, sky, and sun? Perhaps for the same reason as I work with fabric and thread. Both give me time to catch my breath, relax and just be. There is no hurry to get done. My work will get completed and the sun will rise and then set. I am reassured by repetition and have learned to appreciate the variations on a theme.

All 4 sun quadrants are pieced!

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays