What fun we had, even if it was a small class! More attention for everyone that way. So the past few times I’ve taught this workshop, I decided I really needed to come up with a couple simpler “test drive” blocks in the 6 inch size that aren’t so fiddly. I had Taro and Turtle blocks. Everyone loves the turtle, but it really is pretty challenging. So I thought I needed more options that were easier than the turtle. I tried a whole bunch of ideas, but not much fits into a block as small as 6 inches (most students like to try one small before committing to one of the larger class patterns from my Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul pattern, here) and still makes an interesting design while also being simple. I thought about what is Hawaiian and would also be Florida? I ended up with two new blocks:
The second block is adorable, not as fiddly as the turtle, but not exactly easy-peasy:
The students in both workshops (how lucky that I had the same workshop in both venues, which were–I did not realize this for a goodly while–HOURS apart) did such a great job with the blocks. I’m honestly not sure which of these photos were taken which day:
So as you might gather, it was a FUN class! The trip home was relatively uneventful compared to the trip down, although my suitcase got soaked in Boston where it was raining not snowing, and a few things inside were soaked. Luckily, the quilts in the suitcase were inside a ginormous Ziploc Bag (I swear you could fit the contents of a stuffed laundry basket in one they are so big) and protected! I’ve already ordered a hard-sided suitcase since the zipper pull also got trashed. Mo bettah!
This may be a record for me! Seventeen days since my last post. I don’t have any exciting reason. I got a really nasty sinus infection with the worst vertigo. Ended up in bed for a few days. Then, this past week, I had a hectic schedule. On Monday, Mr C and I helped to hang the SAQA Oregon Exploring Layers show at the AIR Gallery in Pioneer Place, downtown Portland. It will be there through May 17th. The Gallery is open Thursday – Sunday, noon to 6 pm. That is Walking with Scooter and Mr C hanging at the show.
On Tuesday, I got caught up with some SDA work. On Wednesday, I joined a large group of SAQA members for a docent tour at the Portland Art Museum of Italian Style, a comprehensive look at Italian fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present day. It was fantastic. I had lunch with friends and then took the street car back home.
On Wednesday night, I went to Trinity for the latest art short course. This month, we are screen printing. I could, of course, teach this class, but it is fun to be a participant. We used torn and cut paper to make our designs. First, I cut craft paper into rectangles in a pattern. by folding and cutting.
Then, I cut circles in freezer paper.
Her is my first print from the rectangles.
Then, I printed magenta circles.
We printed on paper. I am quite happy with this.
On Thursday, I got my neglected hair cut an colored. I felt so much better. Mr C and I took the street car downtown to a symphony concert. It was a one hour free concert for donors, educators and other community folks. It was at 6 pm and and then we stopped at one of the breweries for supper.
On Friday, I got lots of errands done. I found some steel rods to use for my 3-D construction and have started work. Hopefully, I can share some progress tomorrow. I also produced the Constant Contact newsetter for Columbia FiberArts Guild and got it sent Friday night. Whew!
On Saturday, I met a friend at 8:30 in the morning and we drove down to Silverton for our Oregon Critique group meeting. This was the beautiful view of the Silver Lake reservoir from Carol’s deck. So pretty and peaceful.
Our critic was an artist from Salem. I thought she was a bit too complimentary of our work. Didn’t really get much out of it. I did enjoy seeing the work the others have done.
Betty and I left, Silverton and then went to Pioneer Place to set up for the opening reception of the exhibit. Hung out there until 9 pm, when Mr C came and picked me up. Today, I have been trying to recover from the week and to get caught up on SDA work! Here is a shot from the show. It looks great.
So, now we are all caught up. I hope I can get back to my regular blogging schedule again.
|Caterina Rossato, made from postcards (via)|
|Megan Coyle (via)|
|Eileen Downes, Stinson Beach Series No.3 (via)|
|Katherine J, Homage to Tom (via)|
|Martha Marshall, Collage 041, handmade papers (via)|
|Jennifer Tucker, Bush Landscape (via)|
|Erin Case (via)|
|Misteldin, made from scanning objects (via)|
|Sue McKee (via)|
So here's a little story, pretty amazing in its small-world coincidences, but probably also illustrative of how Facebook has tightened up the degrees of separation between us all.
Last Thursday morning I opened up Facebook and saw, first thing, that a FB friend, who lives in another city, had reposted a post from a Quilt Shop, in yet another city, showcasing the work of one of their customers, "Carol". What surprised and confused me, was that, at first I thought I was looking at photos of my own work, especially this one.
On closer inspection I could see that it was not mine, but a very close copy. Here is my original work, posted on my blog in 2009.
"Beautiful...I especially love the bird and sun. . . .These make me happy. :)"
"She is one talented lady...beautiful."
So, as this type of thing comes up more and more often, and is discussed in the art quilting community, there are all kinds of justifications made for copying, just as there are condemnations, and I understand those justifications—that it is a learning exercise, that it is for private use, that there are really "no new ideas" and on and on, but to me it is simple. If you do not have permission, don't do it. Do your own work. Discover the joy of creating something uniquely yours. It will mean so much more to you. Honestly, it will. If you simply cannot find that in yourself, find a published pattern, made for the purpose of being copied. (And then give credit to the original designer any time you show it anywhere!)
And, while I'm on the subject, see that "Fire" piece above? That photo has been pinned to Pinterest many, many times. At least twice a month I get an email from someone asking if I have a pattern for it, or if they can copy it. I do not offer a pattern. This was an original work. I really don't want to allow copies. I doubt that the lovely woman who bought it wants to see copies floating around the internet either. I am thrilled that you like it that well and hope you can be satisfied to just enjoy it on Pinterest.
|A bit of a surprise from me was the inclusion of mom and dad in the portrait...|
|Spruce Street © Natalya Aikens|
|yes, a stitched work! - and it plays with the idea of people always needing to see the back of stitched work...|
A short while ago I shared with you a first peek at my new quilt, Insalata:
When I made the tomato quilts that were the featured project in my workshop DVD for Quilting Arts, From Photo to Threadwork, including fabric collage and machine quilting (see here for the DVD or here for download), I knew I had one more tomato quilt in me.
I grew up in a town called San Anselmo, California, and mom lived there until she moved to Maine in 2008. She and two friends would go out for lunch once a month, and often went to a restaurant called Insalata. So she took me there, too, when I visited. I LOVED the Chicken Fattoush salad, inspired by Lebanese and eastern Mediterranean cuisine! I also loved the artwork. The restaurant is in a building that, when I was a kid, was the Crocker National Bank. If you were alive in the 60s you remember those banks with the really high (like 2-story) ceilings! What to do to decorate the place? She painted the ceiling a dark brown, used something warm colored on the walls (don’t remember what) and had some over-sized paintings made including some of persimmons that were each larger than a beachball. The canvas wasn’t stretched, but hung from gromments/hooks on the wall; these pieces were easily 4-5 feet tall and over 12 feet wide.
Each of the tomatoes is about the diameter of a beach ball! So now I think I’ve finished with tomatoes. For the time being. Hope you enjoy! And if you like this one, please be sure to visit the slideshow on the SAQA website of the entire Food for Thought exhibit, here.
|Calling the Four Directions © Sabrina Zarco|
|Spirit of El Corazon © Sabrina Zarco|
|Prelude, Thrown Notes (2013) Graphite, charcoal, chalk, wax; 56cm x 76cm|
|Echo (2013) Charcoal, chalk, wax; 56cm x 76cm|
|"Once in the dear old days ..."; published in 1910 (via)|
|so happy to have played with vintage hand dyed linen in the flower garden|
|tree printed in a book transforms into tree in portrait|
|I do so love birches!|
|some stitched rocks on the chimney|
|more azaleas from vintage hankie|
To jump around in time and take things out of sequence, the day after I returned from Florida I got together with my older son’s girlfriend, Ashley, to work on an assignment for her college art class (I LOVE getting to share in my son’s and her assignments and learn stuff). I lent Ashley some art supplies to save her the expense since I had plenty. I hadn’t used my gouache much, so when that assignment came up, she asked if I would like to do it with her. YES!
The assignment was to take a black and white photo of yourself–a head shot (or color and then remove the color) with good contrast. Size: about 8×10 or a little larger. You were then to trace/copy the shapes in various values onto bristol board (a card-stock weight paper with a shiny finish) and use black, white and one other color to create a monochromatic self-portrait. Ashley did the assignment as given (good decision–see above), but I decided to muck around a bit (see lower down).
At first, I thought I’d do the portrait as a “grisaille” or toned underpainting, then go over it with a single color. But once I got it done, since I don’t really know what would happen with the gouache–likely it would either lift the grays underneath or just cover them up–I left it grayscale.
I finished a bit earlier than Ashley, so decided I’d do a second, much faster, and be more loose in my application of utterly non-realistic colors. You could scare a child into blindness or nightmares with this!
Next post: More Hawaiian applique in Florida!
|Harlaxton, 56 x 77 cm, edition of 100 (via)|
|Harlaxton Through the Gate, 715 x 534 mm (via)|
|oil on canvas, 42"x 72" (via)|
|Harlaxton (Blue), screenprint (via)|
It started as a weekly challenge to myself to participate in the Junk Mail Art Collective on Facebook and has now grown to include over 45 six-by-six inch collages created from junk snail mail.
I’m currently on a roll with the same coffee cup motif I have used from the beginning, but going for a very clean look. The challenge is to make it interesting at the same time. See all the collages here.
Since we’re talking about coffee craziness – - do you use a Keurig or similar single-serve coffee maker? I need LOTS of the cup boxes for a big mixed-media project. Above is a sampling of what I’ve already received, but I need about 60 more. I’m happy to reimburse your postage or send a small thank-you gift. E-mail me (Virginia(at)VirginiaSpiegel.com) for all the details and my snail mail. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
Ray and I have been trying out different walking trails. Between rain showers, it is such a great time of year to walk. The smell of the earth and the green and the flowers, washed clean, is divine. Warm sunshine, chilly shade, mud, moss and birdsong. Sunday we explored the trails around the Jenkins Estate, which is quite close to where we live.
It is a beautiful 68 acre estate on a hillside, out in the countryside. The main house, above, was built as a summer home in 1912 and it is a woodsy, Craftsman beauty. That deep shady porch was made for summer teas and wedding parties. Makes you want a floaty pastel dress, big hat and parasol. Eventually it was purchased by our local Parks and Recreation district and it is used as an events venue for weddings, quilt shows and all sorts of gatherings. The guild I used to belong to once had our quilt show in the wonderfully rustic old stables just down from the house. It was great—probably the best quilt show venue I've ever seen. The quilts were hung in the stalls. It has become a favorite place of mine. The grounds have gardens, woods, a farmhouse, a playground, a gazebo and several miles of walking trails. The Rhododendron garden is especially spectacular this time of year. Though we have attended a number of events here, we had never walked the trails until yesterday.
I am lucky to live here.
Back home, I spent some good hours in the studio, starting a new piece for our Making Our Mark show. I got this far.
Then I opened this photo in my drawing app and played with ideas for stitching this, using a heavy white thread.
I don't think this is quite what I want, but how cool to be able to try ideas out before I actually stitch.
So there’s a reason why I haven’t been blogging much–I’ve been too busy! First I had another kerfuffle with the person who made the apparently derivative copies of my A Sense of Place art quilts (blogpost a couple of posts below this one in early March). She sicked an attorney on ME (!!!) for saying that she appeared to have clearly copied my work! She made all sorts of demands, only one of which I agreed to: I removed the letter she wrote to me from my original post. I had to spend two full days, right before the trip to Florida, dealing with this nonsense because they wanted a reply within 8 days–days when I would be away teaching! Sheesh! Anyway, I refused all requests other than the one above, such as I refused to retract my assertions that her works were derivative, refused to request the removal of the discussion of copyright from both of the closed art quilt groups on which I mentioned it (without EVER mentioning her by name or identifying her site!), refused to retract my requests to Etsy and Pinterest to remove her apparently derivative works. I wrote the attorney a LONG letter, starting with images of my works, a photocopy of a widely distributed book in which one was published (500 Art Quilts), and basically said “can you see what the problem is? Can this end now?” So…no reply to date from either of them so hopefully she will go away and learn her lesson. And I can get on with FUN STUFF! Like Florida.
The trip began with a flight delay leaving Maine (after getting to the airport at 5:20 am): the previous day there had been yet another snowstorm that messed up travel up and down the Eastern seaboard. There was no problem, however, because I had a four HOUR layover in Boston which, thanks to delays on United, turned into a six hour layover. Luckily, I was easily re-booked onto a later connecting flight and only got in about 90 minutes late, and didn’t have to teach or lecture until the following evening. AND my luggage showed up!
This was one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen…yes, that is a ROLLS ROYCE Pick-up truck. One has to ask WHY? The guy wandering buy seems as confused as I was!
I’m also taking an online photography course with Ricky Tims, so I was on the lookout for “texture” photos, and loved these palm fronds:
The first day I had a light supper with the guild board at QuiltStitches in Boca Raton (FB link here) owned by Johanna Felderbaum. It’s a great shop–stop in if you are in the area! She has a great range of fabrics. Waving hullo! That evening I gave my “How did she do that?” lecture, followed by Hawaiian Applique the next day. Then on Thursday, I flew from there (well, Fort Lauderdale airport) to Orlando where I was booked with the Ladies of the Lakes Guild in Lakeland, near Orlando. More on that in a few days!
|Gathered and steamed organza and metallic organza, dipped into porcelain|
|Paper clay "chimneys" with texturing|
|Paper clay, with metallic organza snippets (left) and without|
|Organza with various colours of metallic organza (very fragile)|
|Organza with metallic stitching and clear glass beads (magic!)|
|At the entrance|
The Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA)’s newest touring exhibit of art quilts debuts this month at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, just in time for the annual AQS Quilt Show in Paducah. I’m thrilled to be among the 34 artists in this exhibit, and equally thrilled with the exhibit catalog (which just happens to be available for sale here on the SAQA website–thank you to Deidre Adams for doing such a great job on it.) More information about the exhibit is here on the SAQA website.
When visiting my mother we would often go to a restaurant called Insalata, housed in a building that had been a bank when I was a child. The chef/owner met the challenge of the enormous ceilings by commissioning oversized artwork of fruits and vegetables scaled to fit the soaring walls. I loved the persimmons, especially, and remembered it as I made another quilt in my tomatoes series. As I worked on these salad ingredients, I recalled the flavors of our food and the company of my mother and her friends as we lunched there.
My first tomato quilts became the basis of my Quilting Arts/Interweave video workshop which teaches my collage process. As Helen Gregory, VP of content for F+W said, the title may be the longest ever: Art Quilt Design from Photo to Threadwork, with Fabric Collage and Machine Quilting (link here, also available as a download here). But as she also said, there is just so much in it! Here’s one of the early tomato quilts:
Insalata is made of Artist dyed and painted fabrics, commercial batiks, poly-wool blend batting, textile paint, Mistyfuse, crisp interfacing, Superior Threads 40-wt poly and 60-wt poly thread, raffia. Techniques include dyeing and painting fabric. Fused collage. Intensely machine quilted.
The exhibit will travel to Great Britain (England and Ireland) next year, and additional venues thereafter. Sure hope I get to see it in the cloth somewhere!