Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mixing Media in Boston and NYC

    One day last week in NYC, Joe and I enjoyed the Chelsea Gallery area. The week before, at the MFA in Boston, I had seen fabric with stitching in the Blue and White show and hand sewing on paintings near the cafeteria area. How nice that my two loves, painting and stitching are showing up on museum walls, thanks to PostModernism when the art world opened up to appreciate many media!

     SEW again we saw the mix in NYC galleries.

     The Benny Andrews retrospective was my favorite show of huge paintings. collaged with clothing, fabric, wood and paint. A catalog is coming out, but most museums and galleries allowed photos.
      Our last gallery stop had stitched and painted fabric as well.

      I can't show everything we encountered. I did find very amusing the large paintings someone made of glimpses through his neighbors' windows. I am not sure they approved. Here is a painted tree memorial that I appreciated. Paint on photos were delightful as well.

      Of course there is always art on the street. Twice we saw young ladies dressed as baby dolls, posing, walking on the streets, riding the subways. They said they were just "hanging out."  The stuffed donuts were on the walls at Donut Planet. Four-year-old David wanted to know how donuts got into outer space. Please click on these photos I took in NYC to enlarge!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reveal Day at Material Mavens: Canyon

      Today was Reveal Day at Material Mavens, the international art quilt group. Our topic was "canyon." I am sort of embarrassed by my effort. I should have looked at a photo of The Lighthouse in Palo Duro Canyon, but I am always in a hurry. I have learned my lesson: be patient, think, make many sketches, don't run with your first idea. You can visit the site to see more than a dozen interpretations of "canyon" in a 12" x 12" quilt. Yes, I hope I have learned. Below is my presentation at the MM site:

       Palo Duro Canyon drove my work this time. The canyon is thirty minutes outside of Amarillo, Texas where I was born. Only Grand Canyon is larger. Georgia O’Keefe painted images inspired by it; and my friends who are marrying June 1 developed a romance on the ranches in the area.

       The Grand Canyon has an Eagle structure and Palo Duro has a rock formation called The Lighthouse. My lighthouse looks more like a bottle, unfortunately (champagne for the upcoming wedding?). I made two futile efforts. My first “Canyon” is tamer. I used fabric paints and Sharpie’s Rub a Dub pen. I always felt it needed crows or blackbirds that O’Keefe put in her painting of Palo Duro. My second “Canyon” has stronger colors and shapes are simplified. It needs some yellow beaded flowers. I layered mostly batik fabrics, and stitched all over.

       I had the best time stitching trying to learn something. It often takes more than two tries to learn new techniques. I just have to keep trying. I can begin another for a wedding card.  I have now learned I must slow down, observe better, make many sketches, and THINK. I always wanted a theme to work on and maybe canyon or home could be a start.

       I like the idea of a lighthouse, my home as a light, an assist in navigating life. The warm colors of the Panhandle, yellow (in Spanish, Amarillo), orange and red are in a marbleized fabric on the back of the 2nd quilt. This makes me think of old books...tales of the Apaches and Comanches who once roamed here and the sad histories shared by all people. CLICK to enlarge the images.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Journal quilting and stitching on the road

      Returning from a trip there is always a period of adjustment. Not only does one have to return to exercise (ho ho) and work routines, but this time to get out spring and summer clothes, check the yard, and rejoin real life with busy work  galore. Thus, this tardy blog.

      On the way to see grandchildren, I finished a white and blue sashiko that Ellen gave us to work on in our winter workshop for the Quilters' Connection. I will put it with the other sashiko pieces I have blogged on before, pieces to turn into pillows and coasters. Sashiko is by far my favorite road trip craft. It is so portable. Joe puts a book cd in the car;  I have scissors on a cord around my neck with a small sewing kit in the console; and we are ready-to-roll.  See other sashiko projects by typing that word in the white search area in the top left corner of this post near the Blogger icon. Hit return.
      I have just finished some journal quilts to complete with hand stitching, the next time we hit the road. The first is a bed to refer to that awful flu (notwithstanding the shots) which exhausted and grounded us for a month, it seemed. Also, I created that memory while also thinking of the doll beds that Joe is making for Hannah and Erika. This is a two-in-one journal quilt, almost. But it needs more quilting and truly refers to us.

     The second journal quilt is about the busy week of Easter and Passover, and the memory of how I obtained a huge pot of the best matzo ball soup for my big crew. I traded teen Lloyd his portrait (scroll down to see the painting at my April 19 blog) for his big silver pot of incomparable soup. The matzo balls are painterly eggs and the paint brushes allude to the exchange. It really needs some embroidery tidying up.

      The third unrelated quilt is older but it was an experiment in weaving fabrics too close for contrast. I kept adding puff paint and beads and even framed it to try to save it. I just tossed it in for history. Click to enlarge photos.