Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Introducing…”Sonoran Dreams”

I am, not as so focused on completing stuff on my weeks’ lists, since I realized I can’t be a slave to getting everything done and yet not get to the important stuff – art and writing.  What I realized is that I have to revise my “self-care” list to include a minimum of two hours on art-making each day – that’s what is truly important for me this year. Art during the day, writing at night – or some combination thereof….

This piece at the left is the companion to the bigger piece – my ever-present “pot quilt,” started some 15 years ago. I really like how this piece came out. Simple yet elegant, just like southwestern pottery. This is “Sonoran Dreams 2.” I also have a lot of the “pot” fabric left, as well as come of the original fabrics when I started this, so I see a small series coming along this year.

The pot quilt started initially because of the marbled fabric. As soon as it was out of the marbling tray, I knew I would make some southwestern pots. I started some (what has now become) improvisational piecing – just making it up as I went along. I had two panels done and together, and the pot in the above piece appliqued. I really liked how it looked all these years later. I was on to something at the time and didn’t realize it. Finishing it just fell together – all my sewing/quilting skills had really improved, and it was easy to pull it all together. In progress –

This is the very beginning from 15 years ago, just beginning the piecing, and at the time absolutely no idea how to quilt it beyond stippling.

It’s missing the bottom row, as originally it was going to have several more panels. I’ve moved away from wall hangings that just “hang” from a rod and have moved to mounting them on canvas. I saw no need to make this larger, and the extra pot would become its own piece.

The other side – oh, how I would do the lizard differently (and I will in some other wall hangings), but I do love the “rawness” of this one.

First I started with some straight-line quilting to make the triangles “pop.” I really like that effect, so I decided to do the top and bottom borders that way.

The pot with only outline quilting.

From here I did the gridlines in two places, as it reminded me of the stucco you see throughout the Southwest.

Originally I was going to quilt the lines in the pots but decided that would detract from the overall design, so I outlined the pots and stippled the background. A shiny rust thread used in the stucco, and invisible smoke thread in the stippling – I just wanted texture there.

Now there was the other side…couldn’t think exactly what I wanted to do for the longest time. Using invisible thread again, I outlined the lizard to make him stand out – did it twice (next time I’ll try a double needle – should be much smoother).

I outlined the pot and did the stippling in the background again. That just left edges – did a triangle motif in the medium brown and then attached some agates for emphasis. I LOVE my stash from the Tucson Gem Show – every year I would go with some specific types of stones in mind – mostly earth and water tones for future wall hangings.

You can see the agates on the right side, and there are bear fetishes across the top green strip.

Starting the grid lines on the companion piece.

And….ta-da…..”Sonoran Dreams”

Photography by Melanie Bishop

 

The Art Making Begins…..

I finally decided yesterday I had to make a major list/inventory of all the “wannabees” or “in progress” art pieces. What follows is what was available in one drawer and the top of the storage table. The left has four amazing pieces of Kona cotton for a volcano series, plus the dotted brown piece is another half-yard unpolished satin for another river rock piece. Below is the current purple piece, plus some black poly-linen for art pieces and below that is a piece of silk done att he bottom of the marbling tray – it’s now a very large digital piece, but this one still exists for me to do something with it….

Now for the list once I had evverythingout and listed:

Mardi Gras lap quilt, silk FQ Botabical, small strata, orange cotton strip, cotton left-over pieces, black-purple poly-linen, greenish denim, clam shell black, blue ultrasuede, purple silk, green silk, 3 black linens, black chevron, brown silk, volcano (4), 3 FQ left-overs, 8 x 10 leftover, circular left-over, yellow linen, large black poly-silk wave pattern, purple-yellow silk, applique pillow top, Guilin (in progress), Wetlands 2 (in progress), wouthwestern pot hanging (in progress), iceberg hanging (in progress).

Then it was thinking about “balance” in the various shows coming up, so I decided the place to begin is with another large wall-hanging – Mardi Gras. In progress pictures…this is of the first step, arranging strips light and dark – from four sets of purple strips I bought two years ago at Keepsake Quilting, just for this.

I had 25 blocks with dark on the outside, and 25 blocks with light on the outside.

This is the center block with the purple dark as the border – I felt it emphasized the purple and decreased the brightness of the grays.

Almost the whole layout completed – blocks and rows are numbered and ready for the bext step of sewing them into a finished top, then deciding borders – I already have a quilting design in mind – lots of concentris overlapping circles to offset all the straight lines, and in gold thread for Mardi Gras.

Lots to do betweennow and end of March!

PS – there are four items on the “need to do” list by fall – not for shows….

Getting Back to Art….

…but first, my dad would have been 90 today. I get my artistic bent from him – he was an amazing sketch artist. Sometimes the pain is just brutal with missing him. He was 48 when he died of a massive heart attack at his office – two hours after I saw him unexpectedly at lunch. The ONLY time in my teaching career I had the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, so I flew out to Ohio that Tuesday and had extra hours with him.  To this day Thanksgiving is a tough holiday – but this year hubby came home from the hospital on Thanksgiving, so that will be another milestone.

Now, about that art….this is Moonlit Winds – part of my series with black poly-line and satin. I just love the textures the threads create. I start with a color and then just let the piece talk to me. I have several more like this that I want to get finished by February. There are shows coming up that will take a lot of our smaller work, and I want to have a variety.

One of my “Leftover” Series – Sunset – sold at the Milton ArtFest in November. Looking forward to also doing more of those. This was fun to do and got me started on some new ideas. The second in this series – From Above – received really good crtiquesat the Essex Art League critique meeting, especially from a woman who is a specialist in Hudson River School of painting – she saw many good basic art techniques within the piece and said it was just about perfect.

Also, I tried to just get started sewing something, so went for beginning my winter lap quilt….definitely bright, but it helps with the fact that it’s dark by 4:30….

It is a start! And…I got everything done on this week’s list – first full week of the year!

Art Did Happen…Just Not Recently…..

The last art-related thing I did before hubby’s surgery on November 13 was do the yearly ArtFest at the Milton Artists’ Guild and Gallery. I could only do Saturday, and a friend helped me out, but we had a great time – and we sold both fabric and framed art – two pieces, including the large one I was working on on Instagram in October…and I learned how to use Square – which has come a long way since I first saw it used in 2012 at the StashFest in La Conner, Washington – new technology then, real easy now.

We did do some simple day trips this summer, and did take 3 days on the Cape before surgery. Vermont is gorgeous in the summer, and the Cape was beautiful off season, especially since we were right on the beach. Now it’s time to be thinking about all the shows coming up this year, and all the logistics involved in organizing which pieces go where….

Schenectady, NY on the Mohawk River at sunset

East side of Lake Champlain, North Hero

Overlook Park in South Burlington, looking west

Queechee, Vermont

SOLD! “A River Runs Through It” – hand-marbled, machine stitched

Sacandaga Lake, visiting my cousin whom I hadn’t seen in 45 years

Saranac Lake on a summer’s eve

Waitsfield, and the Mad River

Burlington lake front, from the Champlain ferry

 

Welcome to 365 New Days!

Sedonar….I don’t remember, and I tried a Google image search to no avail….

What a productive couple of days getting ready for the new year – and what an interesting past year it has been with medical issues. We are in the recovery state of both stroke and cardiac rehab, and more on that as I continue organizing
myself. The photo is part of a clean-out of iPhoto and part of our developing new photographs for the Milton Artists’ Guild.

For the last couple of days I have been doing a brain dump of all the flotsam left from nearly 3 months of not doing anything. All my plans for NANOWRIMO went by the wayside after the first day sitting in ICU – all my plans for writing while Hubby was napping came to basically nothing – especially after the unexpected stroke and the speech therapy.

I still am trying to reach 1000 blog posts – thought I would do it this year, but nope. Now I need to build everything up again….and I’ve been away from Scrivener (my writing purchase for all my good intentions) long enough I have to relearn it.

Getting myself organized –
brain dump
organize categories
put loose ends into various categories
keep adding to master list as more loose ends come up
get new notebook
create goals for 2018
write categories and then list what goes in each one
set January goals
add dates for the year throughout the notebook
…and just like that (well, after 3 days) I am organized.

NOW THE ONE THING I have to be careful of – don’t obsess over all the lists…I kept last year’s notebook organized and worked with it for up to 8 months off and on. That was major for me. The notebook comes with me every time I am out, I take notes on the back pages of each week, and I do love crossing things off…not so much moving them to the next week. I had to carry over photos for a good friend for 9 months – she finally got them for Christmas – so it’s not on this year’s list at all!

GOALS FOR 2018
local poblicity on tv and other media
increase monthly art income
create at least four new large art pieces\take a major trip
complete cardiac rehab for both of us
teach classes and workshops
continue political activism
Join SEABA
find and go to the dentist
find a good photographer for fabric photos
launch photo line
additional sources of inc0me
join and write for Medium – done!
new moon checks each moth
5 pounds a month

These all see very do-able, based on what we know is ahead of us for the year.

Now getting to the January goals:
arrange Art LEague speakers for February
Join SEABA
Join Medium
Start Cameron poetry project
5 pounds
decide about joining or not NVAA
Shutterstock additions
new inventory for Milton Artists’ Guild
AARP tax appointment for February
Self-care (daily meditation,yoga, walking, flossing – I know, seems picky, but it helps me be accountable to myself – I have to give myself some self-love this year.)
cleaning
Shelby baby quilt
solve Verizon cloud
speech therapy outpatient set up for hubby
doctor appointments
3 days a week for 4 weeks cardiac rehab
Update BCA
finish lap quilt top
join Green Flower for one month
MTD newsletter

all thank yous

Seems like a lot, but I have already crossed off two – THREE –  things, and the first week of Jan 1 – 7 definitely seems do-able. A lot of what I do is add things as they occur to me, and then I move them to when it seems feasible to complete them. I have my categories that I can check each month and make sure I am working on getting through those.

Next time, my word of the year – AGAPE.

How are you getting organized for the new year?

Ramblings

Sitting in the Atrium at the UVM medical center, with a good friend, after several hours of waiting in pro-op. Scary times. When he did his aneurysm surgery I sat by myself – that was a mistake, so not this time. But for the last week every time we would do something together I would wonder if it was the last time we would do this. Just can’t go there. Now I am on automatic pilot until surgery is finished around 7 PM eastern, then it’s into ICU for up to two days. Nothing is going to be easy about this. A day at a time – lots of writing time if I can stay focused.

The art fest was good – not as many sales as I wanted, but more than any shows in the past. Sold the newest piece I just made, A River Runs Through It, and one of my Leftover series. Lots of small pieces of fabrics, and a lot of ideas for what to do next year – or the next nearest show we participate in. Need to get a couple of larger pieces made for all the traveling this coming year.

Spent a morning with Betsy Fram after her presentation with the Essex Art League – what an amazing home and view- and studio. She gave me some good ideas of working with existing pieces of fabric. Ned to find us a good photographer so we can get more mileage out of some of our pieces. See Elizabeth Fram’s website and work –

Those are teeny tiny stitches by hand – I am in awe – and she knows so much about art!

Update four days later – so four-plus days in ICU, serious kidney problems, a-fib again, this time having trouble getting heart rate to stabilize – low or too high blood pressures and the kidneys are not happy. It has become an interesting balancing act. He went to a regular room today – I stayed put – way too tired, scratchy throat, and I don’t want to infect him. So I slept, cleaned up, straightened, watched some TV, and drank some wine. I can head back tomorrow in much better shape.

…and I wrote today!

Summer and Fall of “Enlightenment”

Thoughts on NANOWRIMO – yes, it’s November…..been thinking about this for most of October and trying to decide what – and how – I will approach things. November 1 – I don’t have a lot of luck working through the month each day, as witnessed by the last two years of not accomplishing anything – or not even trying.  So I think for this year I want to concentrate on writing my 1637 words each day – on rewrites, character studies, essays, blog posts – just getting back in the habit of writing regularly. I know two years ago I stopped on Book 2 because I had no idea where a lot of the plot was going, what the various story lines were….and then there is so much crap happening right now in the world that sometimes it seemed pointless…but my characters need some resolution, and I still have stories to tell.

So – things to write about –
* the books I have been reading since summer began

*conversations with God and the Joshua books
*science books
*where I seem to be evolving as a result of the changes in this country
*coping with changes in my life with illness with hubby
*writing concerning my art – especially blog posts – need to get regular again, as it does bring in more business, and a big show coming up
*newsletter for MTD
*pictures from this summer
*my own racism

It’s been a long while for writing a blog post, but not for doing art – a brief time off after the last baby quilt was done, and then back to a new baby quilt in September, and now three new pieces finished this week – feels good to be working again. The funny thing about the blog posts – for the last two years I have been 200 blog posts away from a 1000 posts – this year only 82. Should have been a snap, right? Well…..no. That just seems to be an impossible goal. Gonna be workin’ it this month….

We have so many shows coming up, starting with two small pieces tomorrow, two pieces for a January-April show, January/February for one of the community libraries, the US attorney’s office in Burlington, and a bunch more. While helping hubby recuperate in December  from open heart surgery there will be a lot of time on the machine. I have some large pieces that need to be finished, and a major inventory to do of what goes to what show, without much repetition. Also, big art fest show in less than two weeks, and stuff to prepare for that – two patterns to write and put together, inventory for Square (and to figure that out), and the packing for the show.

There’s a l0t of good stuff going on art-wise. After all these years, we have finally found a decent way to package the fabrics – good for pictures, easy for people to see the various pieces, and we have some consistent sizes. Also, by mounting the finished pieces on canvas, we now have people thinking more about the fiber as wall art – a big jump in perception.

The three pieces from this past week – you can see in the upper portion what hasn’t been stitched. It is amazing just how much depth you get with the addition of batting and stitching. This is part of our “Leftover” series – paint left in the bottom of the tray when we clean it up. Once I add thread to it (and I used double batting for this one) it makes the piece come alive.

All the while doing this I was very aware of not having a focal point – I’ve been concentrating on that as I’m out taking pictures. It seemed like there was a consistent white stretch running from upper right to lower left – I saw it as a river, and as I used a light blue thread it started taking on some dimension, but ultimately I didn’t think the river was dark enough, and I wasn’t happy with other colors of blue that I had – so I used some of the India ink I’ve been suing for suminagashi and used a simple wash throughout the river – just the dimension I wanted.

This part for sizing/mounting canvas just didn’t seem to work. I assumed the canvas I had was an 11 x 14, and the piece was bigger than that. Hubby didn’t want to lose the lower left because of the effect, so we went and bought a 12 x 16. Turns out when we got home, that was already what I had…so it was back out for a 16 x 20. Great batik for the canvas covering, and between the binding and the extra border around the canvas, it looks like two mats for the frame. Happy with it!

Introducing: “A River Runs Through It.” $125.00 plus postage. 16 x 20 inches.

We have these wonderful polyester black linen pieces that marbne wonderfully, and I finished two of those – simple, easy to complete – not a great deal of stitching – just enough to emphasize what I want for a theme. Now they are part of a definite series – the “Moonlight” series Simple, easy to complete, and elegant.

Moonlit Garden, just starting the stitching. Finished size 8 x 10 inches.

Finished piece Moonlit Garden, $65.00 plus postage.

Finished Piece – Moonlit Winds, 8 x 8 inches. $65.00 plus postage.

Now to go through a lot of my works in progress – like the Iceberg piece – to get a couple of big pieces started/completed for show next year.

 

 

Spring Open Studios in Vermont

This year for Spring Open Studios we traveled ourselves to see what was in the neighborhood, including immediately down the street where I lived when we were dating. Precision Studio and Theresa Somerset made me seriously hyperventilate – she is amazing, the studio is to dye for!

Her dyeing areas and assorted tools:

Pieces of eggs she has decorated – basically no egg is safe!

Mixed media work – this has so many amazing techniques incorporated into it.

Completed Eggs:Theresa’s photography set-up:

More mixed media work – part of a Vermont Arts Council challenge:

More mixed media – the puzzle piece was part of a state-wide challenge.

Who knew you could find an amazing sculpture garden in the heart of Winooski, Vermont? I could have sat there forever! Gorgeous property surrounded on two sides by tall cedars for privacy.

My favorite piece!

Also a visit to in Jericho – GREAT location, wonderful grounds! I loved this shelf for all the shapes and glazes.

Last stop for the weekend was John Churchman and his farm, where the sheep were being fleeced as we watched. She managed 20 sheep in three hours, with lots of skins to feel. It’s a great working farm, but John is also known for his photography and his children’s books about Sweet Pea. Fun fun time!

“Experimenting with Textiles”

I am currently (like right now) watching a video from the fellows who bring you textileartist.org. I’ve subscribed for several years, and they are introducing a series of videos on finding your voice with your textiles. So far, 11 minutes into the video, I can see the various paths I have taken and why I had problems with them.

First, early on in working with stitching on marbled fabrics, I felt intimidated by mo own machine quilting skills, and I felt like I needed to do a huge amount of practice on smaller pieces before I came to the bigger works I wanted to do. A cyber friend kindly said to me – do the work you want and the skills will follow….and so they did. I started weaving strips of marbled fabric after I machine-quilted them, and I didn’t look back.

Second, I’ve always experimented with lots of techniques – marbling happened to be the latest one (embroidery, knitting, crocheting, painting), but the marbling hooked and and hubby. Now I have a body of work that utilizes marbled fabric and new means of quilting and embellishing. I picked up bead work only in the sense it could add to the overall design.

Lots of ups and downs in learning and trying to determine a niche for ourselves, as well as work within limitations of what we could afford.  I finally decided that what other marblers do is fine – so is our work in its own unique way. I didn’t want to marble paper – I wanted fabric – first limitation, and we made it work. We perfected our style on white fabric – very unforgiving – a second limitation.

How can I push the boundaries of the basics? Hubby and I laugh about what I have him end of trying to marble – “pushing” to do ribbon, silk flowers, canvas…all because I don’t want to waste paint in the marbling tray. Lots of additional projects opened up, mostly with embellishing what we were already creating. Any new techniques were pursued in how they could expand our marbled fiber art.

Making marbled art is expensive –  a pound of carrageenan is about $50.00 now. So because of our extremely limited financial capabilities we had to work within a very tight budget – and we succeeded. Looking at a display of our work several months ago, both of us marveled at what we were able to create with so little resources.

Embracing what we can do on our limited budget led me to learn how to manipulate my 1008 Bernina workhorse sewing machine to do what I wanted it to do. Yes, I miss “needle down” and variable speed….but my skill with this basic machine has led me to teach very successful machine quilting classes to folks who think they can’t machine quilt unless they have a long-arm or other fancy sit-down machine.

In terms of skill level, I am completely self-taught, with only one marbling class from a master (Galen Berry). Everything else has been trial and error….no color theory of design, so I started with putting everything with black fabric. Hubby has the color sense, and I slowly came around to improving mine. Now I can put marbled fabrics with a range of other colors and designs. I attended a workshop with Tony Conner, water colorist extraordinaire, who talked us through a painting he created. It was like a design class with a master, listening to him talk through his decisions. I kept referring to pieces I was working on to see that I was naturally doing some of the design elements. I was trusting my “eye” and myself.

You owe it to yourself to watch the first of these videos – maybe you are new to the idea of limitations. We had natural limitations through finances imposed on us, and it led to who we are as artists now. Check out our web page to see our range of work. Find textileartist.org on Facebook and get your free video.

PS – no more pima cotton fabric, special order didn’t work because it was too light, so we “over-marbled”…and it’s good to go…..making due with a limitation……

Deconstructing and Redesigning

Photograph by Stephen DeVol, Sedona, AZ

For over 13 years this piece has been known privately as “Ode to the Fire Goddess Pele” as a result of my time in Hawaii. It’s official title is Gaia 2: Beginnings. Our biggest problem has been that it was meant to hang on it’s own, but we were unable to figure out a simple – and not intrusive – hanging system. So for the last year, since we have been showing our work in Vermont, we’ve talked about mounting the piece – somehow. Here’s the story of the creation of the original piece.

That led to me deciding to completely redo the piece – ev.er.y.thing. It took two weeks of night time by the television to get all the machine quilting pulled out. In the 13 years since this was finished my machine quilting skills are SO much better. I will say that my original tension was so bad that in many places all I had to do was pull a thread and I had many many inches come right out.

My new plan is to requilt it, change the edging, mount it on a large piece of black fabric, quilt the black fabric, and then add a sleeve. I need to have all this accomplished by May, as I plan to enter it into the “Abstraction” show in Saranac Lake this summer.

Right now I have 12 strips still with serged edges. I found a FABULOUS piece of red and gold fabric in my stash, and (hoping I have enough) I will put the binding on over the serged edges. It looks really good so far.

A close-up of the original weaving with the serged edges.

A close-up of the back with all the hand-stitching to hold all the pieces tight and together (oy, did that take a while….)

Before and after – original stitching, and after the frog stitch….

More before and after….

The beginning of new free motion quilting….

A look at the new binding and how it will work with the weavings.

This piece will also have a new name: Revolution. More on that as I get further along in the quilt.

#WatchPaintDry

The past couple of weeks have seen my activism rise. Phone calls, emails, petitions, talking to other folks to learn about their views, searching out reliable news outlets – and I’m walking in the Women’s March in Montpelier, VT. just three months out of knee surgery – this is too important for me to miss.

But back to art. I am a strong believer in the power of art. On January 8, 2011, there was a mass shooting in the Safeway parking lot in Tucson. Six people died, including a 9-year-old girl, and 13 were wounded, including my Congresswoman, Gabby Giffords. The following week was very difficult; being a teacher means you are a “first responder” at times – Monday morning after the shooting, Wednesday when President Obama came to town for a memorial, and Friday when the Westboro Baptist Church threatened to boycott funerals. Try explaining to teenagers whose brains emotionally are not fully developed that responding to the hate of Westboro Baptist Church was not a healthy response. No time to process my own feelings, just to be there for kids who weren’t sure what was happening – and especially since so many of them had already seen violence up close and personal in an urban city.

With that background, I had to create something, so I made a small piece of quiltart that spoke to my feelings. The piece made itself…from the choice of background (chicken-wire for fencing) to the words printed on cotton. The local newspaper did a brief story, and in Arizona (as in many places now) the trolls came out and said “If only I’d been around to give Hitler a quilt, everything would have been better.” Others reacted to my premise: that words have power; a woman from Australia said the words weren’t the cause, the man was mentally ill. Yes, no question the shooter was mentally ill, and no help from a broken system (thank you Ronald Reagan)….but words can push a person over the edge, even in the best of times.

My original post is here. I just reread it – raw writing for me. Here is the piece – 8.5 x 11 inches.

Binding looks like bullet holes, as does the stitching around the holes. People objected to the words, felt they were inflammatory for someone who was mentally ill. This was after Sarah Palin had a page on her website with a gun sight right over Arizona and Giffords’ district. I believed then that words caused this man to lash out, that words triggered his mental illness to another step.

We see just how far we have come 5 years and 11 days later. We don’t even talk about mental illness, nothing happens at the state or federal level, the body count keeps growing, and we are entering dark days. Hard to believe we are only now recognizing the words of the past months as hate speech, as power, as darkness.

I will keep speaking out through my art. Predominantly I am working with environmental statements concerning climate change. My Wetlands piece is the first attempt to look at a vanishing resource. there are so many issues and problems ahead for us. As artists we must be active.

I welcome comments.

 

Monday Marketing – First of the Year!

“Partly Sunny, Chance of Storms”

I have a list………….

Don’t we all? I start one every year – but this year seems to be somehow different. I have a small composition book (like we used to use in elementary school, back in the day, and I got myself organized very differently. I have a page for yearly goals, then a page for monthly goals. I have separate pages for each of the weeks of the month. Right now the notebook is set up though March.

I can at a glance see what I’ve accomplished, and I have a way of listing items ahead in the month they’re due, and I can backtrack to begin working on them. This helps me see the bigger picture much better…..and I love crossing things off my lists.

I think the thing that is also different is that I am feeling so much better than probably the last five years. The weight is slowly rearranging itself, clothes are fitting, the knee doesn’t hurt, I’m getting stuff accomplished (more than I thought), and I feel calm, centered, and productive. A great way to start the New Year!

We are concentrating on our Etsy shop,(small listing on the right side of the blog…) in preparation for moving to the market on Artizan Made.

Lots of new pictures, revising items, getting ready to do a “retirement sale” of older items that have been around the country one or two times. We’ve lived in places where we could have better photography set-ups, but we are making do. Lots of great suggestions and tips from Rachel Biel of The Fiber and Textile List – she is amazing when it comes to set-up, marketing, and all-round general encouragement.

I am looking for a royalty-free piece of music for our second marbling video, finishing up pieces that have languished for years, taking apart a major piece from 2003 and modernizing it with my new skills, keeping up with blogging (I WILL hit 1000 blog posts this year…….) and constantly looking for new venues and ideas.

Here’s to 2017! What are you doing to start your year out right?

Lessons Learned…Goals Identified

Unexpected colors – from my coloring book experiments

A load of lessons this year – big, small, in-between – physical, emotional, business, art, political. It’s always interesting to me to reflect on what I’ve learned in times of turmoil.

  1. I will stand up against hate.
  2. Knee surgery is a pain, literally, but necessary. Physical therapy is necessary. I am blessed with a great doctor, fabulous physical therapist, and a hospital that helps with financial assistance.
  3. Losing weight over 60 (…over 40…) is tough, but thanks to The Gabriel Method I might just be able to do it this year. No chocolate in over two weeks, n0 hunger pangs, no snacking – all because of visualization.
  4. Vermont pushes too many pills – finally found an integrative health doctor, rather than getting a prescription for anything that ails me without even looking at symptoms.
  5. Survived major surgery with hubby on his aneurysm repair last winter. Great doctor, learned a huge amount – he’s good to go.
  6. Walking still is my best form of exercise. So glad I can do more walking, much more comfortably, with the new knee.
  7. I like myself a lot more. Been years in the making, learning to deal with what I can’t change in the past.
  8. Still madly in love with hubby of 40 years. We always find something new to talk about.
  9. My mother was a full-blown narcissist, and I lived in fear of her most of my life. I have forgiven her and have moved on. She appears every now and then in dreams, and I find I can tell her off when she shows up – something I couldn’t do in real life. I’m moving on.
  10. I need to plan for art business this year. We had a great year last year, and my goal for this year is to sell a lot more art and make some good money.
  11. Newsletter each month for the marbling, more teaching opportunities, retirement sale of older works.
  12. Continue taking online classes for the pure enjoyment/learning something new. Work on color sense.
  13. I wrote a teaching manual – all 35,000 words – essentially in five months. It’s a template for teacher manuals, as it works with standards and ways of integrating new curriculum ideas for teachers. Thinking about a mathematics manual for algebra.
  14. I WILL publish my political novel this year. I am planning a Kickstarter campaign – or something similar. I have to do it in the light of current politics, and I need to get back to book 2.
  15. Made a lot of art last year. I want to make even more art this year, including a couple of large pieces. I’m keeping track of the process of taking my Pele piece apart and modernizing it with my new skills in free motion quilting.
  16. Three years ago I realized I only had 200 more b;og posts to do to hit 1000. Then I seemed to take long breaks from blogging. I’m still trying to hit 1000 – 920 and counting…I should be able to get 80 posts done this year……(PS – 921…)
  17. Politically it’s been a very difficult year for me. As a history/political science major I see trends before they are trends. I’ve been worried the last two years. It is time this year to write, speak out, demonstrate, listen, reach out.
  18. Be kind and listen, regardless of your own opinion. All of us need kindness and understanding.
  19. I will be out in nature more, travel more, worry less about finances.
  20. I will stand up against hate.

Art in 2016 – Part 6 in Review – More Small Works

There were a lot of other small items completed – some UFO’s and some brand new. The small piece at the left (24 0nches square) was an OLD top from many years ago – part of a pattern kit for customers using marbled fabrics. The quilt top had some serious rolls of fabric where the iron (and the user…) had pressed wrong. So I to0k out all the stitches, fixed it, made the sandwich, and then requilted it with my practiced free motion skills. A lot of new patterns from Lori Kennedy’s The Inbox Jaunt – she has amazing tutorials.

Then there were pieces where I looked through pieces of marbled fabric we had saved and waited for one to speak to me. A lot of them did in the course of the year. “Sonoran Desert” was one of those. this was done on white denim, and it was a pattern I’ve not quilted before – but it spoke to me of the saguaros of the Sonoran Desert.

Didn’t like this binding – too sloppy to control, so did a regular fabric binding. It hung in our library show and now has a new home with a woman who lived in Tucson for a number of years. Added a few semi-precious pieces of turquoise, agates and lava.

A friend keeps us supplied with all sorts of remnants of cottons, polys and silks. We used a couple to see if they would marble – and they did – spectacularly. One of them went immediately to our son in Seattle – he loved the dark colors – said they were “sexy.” The one he received was “Sliver of Moonlight.” First pic is of the plain marbled fabric, second is seeing the stitching. Unfortunely no final pic of it mounted.

This one is same fabric – black poly-silk, and is called “Whispers in the Moonlight.”

The finished piece is mounted on a canvas frame covered in black linen, and it “floats” about the frame.

There are more pieces, but I need to move on to new projects…..more on an upcoming sale we are having – next blog post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

hitting 1000 b logposts……

Art in 2016 – Part 4 Review – Classes and Shows…and a Book!

This was a big year for showing our work – many more options and acceptances than most of our time in Arizona. We taught a beginning marbling class at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, NY, and in the process of chatting, we became part of their arts curriculum grant project. I’m really looking forward to this activity; I miss the days of working with The Kennedy Center to bring integrated arts into the classrooms in the Chittenden East School District in Vermont.A lot of great memories from the conferences, and then great memories from arts work within the district (need to do a blog post and reflect on the work we did….)

A couple of pictures from our Saranac Lake class, followed by an individual machine quilting class I did for a fellow artist who wanted to expand her techniques. Mary Hill is a mixed media artist, with vibrant work.

We spent Vermont Open Studios sharing space with Mary over Memorial Day Weekend. LOTSSof great discussions on marketing!!

It was a challenge to plan for what could take Mary’s already wonderful art to the next level.

Mary Hill’s “experimenting as a result of our machine quilting class:

Plus, since May I have been working on an interactive teaching manual for the ebook Interactive Edge of the Sea. This takes all I have worked on in curriculum in 40 years of teaching and brings it together for teachers, with a modern update on using all forms of new assessment and social media within the classroom. My hope is that this manual becomes a template for other disciplines, as there are a lot of useful interactive teaching techniques – and everything is correlated to current educational standards. A labor of love with my second mom, Betty Hupp. Here’s the cover:

A snippet of the lesson plan section….

We are just about done with final edits, and after the first of the year it heads off to coding. I have a lot of links to check to be sure they all work!

Bunches of shows…..here are pictures of our small pieces at Sweet Grass Gallery in Williston, VT for the month of November.

There’s still more…..stay tuned!

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