Archive for the ‘Sedona’ Category

Monday Marketing

Artist’s date with hubby for a couple of days up in glorious Sedona. Taking pictures of texture in the land and rock, visiting our favorite galleries throughout the area, and enjoying being chilly for a change! Will report on new things when we return in time for Thanksgiving with our second family. In the meantime, pics of beautiful Sedona (all taken from Google Images for Sedona):

(Love the Serpinski Triangle in he lower right!)

Gallery Walks and Artists…Oh My!

When we were on our trip to Seattle, we didn’t have a lot of time (coming or going) to do our favorite activity – browse galleries and talk to artists. When we went to Sedona this past weekend, it was high on our list, and we were not disappointed. First up was the Native American artists at the lookout at the top of Oak Creek Canyon. These artists are all certified by the Native Americans for Community Action, and the work is wonderful. We enjoy seeing the contemporary designs in jewelry that have a rich heritage behind them.

Overlook Program: A significant development for NACA was the establishment of a partnership with the United States Forest Service, Coconino National Forest for a project called the Oak Creek Vista Overlook project. Beginning in 1988, the Overlook Project is an economic development program that allows Native Americans artisans to sell their arts, crafts and jewelry at the prime tourist location. This program has grown in popularity and reputation each year. To date this year, 280 vendors have registered to sell their crafts. For many of the vendor, money made through the Overlook is their major source of income.

We bought a plate by a Navaho artist that depicts a wolf, one of hubby’s protective animals. While I love all the jewelry, I really don’t wear much – but I do so enjoy looking. And it was a gorgeous day on the rim, with a light breeze and absolutely gorgeous views.

From Stock Photo, Scott Prokop

We strolled the Hyatt galleries in Sedona, especially our favorite, Visions Art Gallery. The glass chandeliers are always spectacular.

One of my favorite artists is Alexei Butirskiy. You feel like you are in his paintings.

I also like Eyvind Earle. This is Crimson Eucalyptus.

The Lou DeSerio Gallery has wonderful photographs by both father and son. You need to spend some time looking at their work, especially of amazing Sedona.

We also spent some time at a small art fair in West Sedona. Gabriel and Jennifer Ayala had some really great copper sculptures. The copper weavings are quite interesting, and all completed by hand.

All-a-Glow Jewelry has some great wire work.

This was also Open Studios weekend in Sedona. On Sunday morning we visited two fiber artists, Margaret Anderson and Mary Fisher. Margaret’s work is luminous. She uses silk and cotton as a surface for paint, rather than canvas. She’s been in Visions, Dairy Barn, and Linda Seward’s book on art quilts.

Wildfire, Margaret Anderson

I’m saving the best for last…Mary Fisher’s studio. Check her amazing studio on tomorrow’s blog.

Keeping Organized

It’s Sunday, and I am taking a break from machine quilting this particular commission…..which is coming to an end….on about one-third of it. I have the three long table runners almost set for the binding….and I’m thinking I’m not hand-stitching these down – they’re going to get a “stitch in the ditch” approach to attach the binding. I still will have four smaller table runners – another sixteen sating stitch appliques, which I am finally getting to look pretty good – only took me 22 so far to get to this point!

More than an hour wrestling the long pieces around the machine makes my shoulders ache, so it is definitely break time for now – plus we are going to see the Japanese drummers tonight at Centennial Hall, and I have to finish a quiz for my class tomorrow.

Which brings me to my list….I had trouble sleeping on Thursday night – too many things running through my mind. When that happens, I know it’s time to make a list and clear the clutter from my head. Now I already have lists – marketing, goals, sewing projects. But this one is different…..

…hair appointment; eCompanion for lesson plans; call on email for a new student; call a gallery for a follow-up; drummers concert; blogs for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (before we leave for a few days up north with friends); schedule blogs for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (while away); lesson plans for Monday’s class; clean out email; list for packing and trip; finish first table runner so stitch down binding; thread order called in; one of the banks for their screw-up; take care of questions on the new lease for next year; pay COBRA insurance; clean the bathroom; review goals to see how on track I am; newsletter addresses; Art From the Heart updates; schedule holiday gift baskets on Etsy; call cousin; work on affiliate ad for blog; revise artist statement; clean the patio; drop some FQs off at the LQS in preparation for a guild presentation; confirm shipping address for an order; order some black zentangles for a birthday present; hem hubby’s pants; cut fabric strips for at least three new fabric bowls to take with me on our trip; and create a quiz for Monday’s class.

This is everything that was swimming around in my head, and now it’s down on paper and i don’t have to worry about remembering any of it. It’s on paper…and I am keeping track of the paper – I have been known to lose a master list. How far am I? (I get to use the “strike-out feature for the first time….).

…hair appointment; eCompanion for lesson plans; call on email for a new student; call a gallery for a follow-up; drummers concert; blogs for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (before we leave for a few days up north with friends); schedule blogs for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (while away); lesson plans for Monday’s class; clean out email; list for packing and trip; finish first table runner so I can stitch down binding; thread order called in; one of the banks for their screw-up; take care of questions on the new lease for next year; pay COBRA insurance; clean the bathroom; review goals to see how on track I am; newsletter addresses; Art From the Heart updates; schedule holiday gift baskets on Etsy; call cousin; work on affiliate ad for blog; revise artist statement; clean the patio; drop some FQs off at the LQS in preparation for a guild presentation; confirm shipping address for an order; order some black zentangles for a birthday present; hem hubby’s pants; cut fabric strips for at least three new fabric bowls to take with me on our trip; and create a quiz for Monday’s class.

There are a couple more things that will get crossed off by the end of today. Usually once a month I need to do what I call this “master list” so I can clear my head. My day-to-day lists usually only have about 5 critical things on them. But I will say I have slept better these last two nights.

Wha? Where? Huh?

So the week has been so busy – and so amazing – that I’m almost stunned as to what to do next……I’ve been sewing up a storm on a commission that I would like to finish by Thanksgiving, making lists, and not seeming to check anything off of them. I’m as busy as during the school year, but what’s SO wonderful is that it is all of my own making, and ALL things I want to do.

Jury duty on Tuesday, and I need to be sure I have plenty with me, as I will be the day without a computer (no iPad yet….). I can probably spend time doing lesson plans for my first class a week from now, and then I will just need to spend time doing the presentations at home on the computer. I don’t have any hand sewing yet – saving that for a trip to Sedona in mid-October. I can only do so much listing…. Got a couple of thank-you notes to write, so that’s for Tuesday.

While I’m at jury duty, hubby will do the alum, and then we’ll start marbling for several large projects over the next month. I’m going to post the holiday basket this week and start marketing those. Speaking of the baskets, we did a lot of marbling of silk flowers and leaves last week – some of the look superb!

The two items on the lower right are experiments: one is  clay ornament – curious to see if it marbles (and it does…), and the other is a small piece of wood – could do some interesting things with that…..Both were successful, and the leaves look spectacular.

These will all be part of the gift baskets going up on Etsy and soon to be available here. The next two months will be crazy – which is good, because for the last two years we haven’t taken advantage of the main holiday season. Not so this year!

So get busy and make art!!

P.S. I LOVE my new Mac!!

Work-in-Progress Wednesday – DONE!

And so here it is, my “Sedona 1: Hiking.” I am definitely going to do a series of the things I like about Sedona – and there are many! The new owner is a hiker and is constantly out on the trails all around Arizona. Sedona is special because of its gorgeous red rocks. From 360 Adventures comes this iconic image:

Sedona is one of the really special places, not just for scenery, but for those who believe in vortexes and all things New Age. I do have a piece of fabric that I’m going to call “Vortex.” It’s on the list at about number 4.

The coppers, browns, and reddish-oranges are very strong in this piece – no matter what I do with the light, I still seem to get hints of mauves, and there isn’t any of that in here.  The piece is about 15 by 23 inches. At least I know I will be able to visit this piece on occasion!

Next up….”Spark” for the 3 Creative Studios challenge; a piece for Tikkun Olam due in September; an idea for Art Quilts Elements due end of September; and then there’s four good pieces for the next Sedona pieces….I am SO glad I’m retired!

Work in Progress Wednesday….The Commission, Part 2

Two weeks ago I showed the start of a commission here, and I am almost to the end of it. Lots of interesting decisions to make along the way – I am really enjoying the decisions in the design process, especially as they relate to using marbled fabrics. My biggest problem is trying to photograph the colors so they are true.

The quilting of the marbled fabric went really well – I emphasized the white area with bubbles, as though it were a stream working its way through the rocks. Went through two different colors of threads before I decided which one I liked. That’s different for me…in the past I would just let it go.

The first border is a very soft corduroy, and I left it a little “puffed,” rather than pulled straight. I liked that it played off the roundness of the pebbles. I love the batik for the outer border, and I also used it for the backing. I realized again why I’m not fond of mitered corners (but that’s what this piece needed), as I took two of them out several times. I still need to trim the outer border by an inch so that it seems better balanced, but I decided to quilt the outside first. Again, a struggle with what I wanted to use for thread, as well as how I quilted it. I wasn’t happy with following the pattern of the batik, as it looked too crooked. So I opted to play off the idea of the frame, and I’m quite pleased. What faces me tomorrow is making sure the piece is completely square, which I need to worry about, as it is a commission. Thank heavens I know about the diagonal to check for a square.

I’m going to use the Alzheimer Quilt hanging system – the little triangles in the corners, as I think this will help the quilt lay flat on the wall. I also plan a label for the back with all the information about the quilt, including care. I found a “certificate” on line to use for the new owner of the artwork with all the official details.

Here’s the large shot, still untrimmed:

I am really loving this piece, which is actually more true brown and copper than in the picture. Still thinking about some seed beads……see what happens next week…..

The Start of a Commission…..

This past April I was asked to do a commission for a friend of a friend, based on three things: 1) she loves our marbled fabrics; 2) she wants a fiber piece for a small area in her bathroom; and 3) she would like it to draw on the colors from the new granite counter tops. So for 6 weeks I’ve been mulling over possible designs, knowing that the final one would be based on what happened with the marbling session.

We marbled yesterday, and I worked with the colors I thought would go with the granite – gray, black, brown, russet, copper. I tried a couple of different patterns, and what follows are the pieces I came up with. Warming – they’re pretty blah in the pictures….

Marbled patterns

Marbled patterns

I chose the stone pattern to begin, for two reasons. One, I like quilting that pattern, and two, I figured this would give me some ideas. Well… sure did. I started snapping pictures as I was quilting. I used a Rainbow thread from Superior (of course) in a rust shade to bring out the rusts in the painting on the opposite wall of the bathroom. It was just what it needed.

Quilted marbling pattern

The texture is incredible and no longer flat. The piece also now has a title, “Hiking,” as its future owner hikes the mountains and canyons of Arizona – and especially Sedona – often.

This is so totally different from what I had originally been thinking. I know that this will act as the center medallion of the piece, so I went looking for coordinating fabrics – in my newly organized studio, so selecting was a breeze.

Lots more ideas, as the white area is probably going to become a small bubbly stream, and I pretty much know what’s happening with the borders, but that’s for another post.


Photoshop Friday – continued

I seem to be on a role with Photoshop and some of the ideas I want to try. Been playing around today with some more ideas, and I added a quote to the leaf. The original was taken at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix – it’s an amazingly HUGE leaf, with white veins and crinkly edges – really gorgeous to see. I hvae been taken with it, and after the success with yesterday’s, I decided to try “cutting” sections of the leaf and putting them on their own layers, then playing around with the layers. I am quite taken with the finished product.

A thistle leaf

When we were in Sedona over spring break, we took a Pink Jeep tour through the backcountry red rocks. We forded a stream, and stopped in the middle to take pictures of what the homestead probably looked like fifty years ago. I absolutely love the photos from the trip. Here’s the original, with a slight light correction for the tree trunks on the right.

This next is with a Smart Blur filter that lends a bit of water color to the picture.

Smart Blur filter

This last is with about five different adjustments, one on top of the other. I ended up cropping to just the right side of the photo because I fell in love with what was happening with the trees and the bank. I could definitely play around more with this image.

Brightness, curves, hue, and a few others

I’ve commented before as I have been learning Photoshop that one of the things I really enjoy is the ability to just “turn off” layers with what you thinnk are mistakes. To me it really frees up the creativity. But then every now and again you combine a coupe of layers and end up with something totally unexpected. An absolutely amazing program…

Work-In-Progress Wednesday – Moi!

This shot from Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona is now my screen saver. Every time I look at this I feel my blood pressure go down. This is just amazing country, with rock the best red-orange you can find. One thing about this summer is recognizing “me” as a work in progress. I am learning to stop and smell the roses – and look at the red rock – a lot more often. I’m realizing I have nothing to prove to anyone, I’m happy that I’m a teacher and have a great job – and believe me, it took a while to get to that point! The start of school is approaching, and while I am looking forward to it – I love all the planning leading up to the kids arriving – it does mean an abrupt end to a summer of art and marketing. My goal is going to be to maintain the momentum started last April. I have lots of things coming up art-wise to prepare for, and I do work well with deadlines – all those years of student theater got me to work under pressure very well.

I started out last week wanting to do some sewing to keep me occupied so I wouldn’t want to snack. Took the doctor very seriously after the scare this summer about losing weight – just finished trying on some “old” tops in the closet…you know the ones – for when we “lose” weight and they will fit again….and I have several new ones for the start of school. Yay me! I went through my stash, starting with two dyed fabrics I did. They’re the ones on the lower left and middle right. I pulled lots of batiks and the pile kept getting warmer and warmer – hey, it’s summer in the desert!

So I sewed half-square triangles for a day. Sunday hubby and I started playing around with a potential pattern. The more triangles I put up on the wall, the hotter the piece got – and it gave itself a name – “Desert Heat.” Coincidentally it was 108 that day. Here’s a shot of the design center.
I have done some more, but no pics yet. I also have out my “bamboo” strips to continue working on a marbled piece that will be three-dimensional.

As I was looking for fabrics, I happened across a “finished” piece of marbled fabric I call “Sunrise.” I love the fabric, but when I was done, it didn’t do a thing for me on the wall. So I want some ideas – I am more than willing to take the cloth framing off and the quilting out to improve it. The piece just has me stumped. It’s not a great pic – I’ll try and do better. Any and all ideas welcome!!

Our art group will have its first meeting next Monday – I am excited about that. And my friend Suzan hopefully is coming down from Sedona so we can play before and after the meeting – nice way to ease into the start of school.

Stay tuned to the blog – Darya from Summer Tomato is working on a post for us on food and creativity. More to come…

Work-in-Progress Wednesday – NUMBER 300!!

Yup, post 300! Over two years on the blog, as a record, first of all, of my Photoshop classes, and now as the creative journey. It’s really interesting looking back at some of the early work! I’ll have to track down a couple of links….At 500 posts I think I’ll do a BIG giveaway!

So I finally got to “unzip” pics of the finished quilt – well, almost – still have a top and bottom binding to put on. But I presented it and we took lots of photos of it on the bed. So here goes…

Needless to say, I am please and somewhat proud. I designed it from scratch, did massive amounts of free-motion quilting, and got it together so it looks really good on the bed! Now on to some new sewing adventures….

Also in progress – pics of the Sedona trip. Here’s a couple of Oak Creek – notice that wonderful tree and bark – and yes, the rocks really are that red!

Visual Delights!! (continued)

There were so many amazing visual sights in Sedona! The Lou deSerio Gallery has amazing Southwest art, including photography workshops – and a 15-year-old son who has been doing photography (award-winning) since he was three. He trained with Ansel Adams, and his black and white are spectacular. These images are from his site.

There were some amazing “leather” sculptures in one of the galleries. The artist is Pat Fetters, and I wasn’t able to find any info on her on line. She molds the leather to glass or plexiglas vases – the texture and colors were fabulous. You had to see these to really appreciate how wonderful they were.

Then there was the Golden Lotus Gallery – oh, my…..Nick Honshin is the artist – in what he calls Asian Fusion. His paintings are a combination of Asian influence – you could meditate to his paintings and never want to return. As his website states: “His art is inspired and flows from the sacred meditational space of the transcendental archetypal symbols of Christianity, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhism as well as the shamanistic practices of the world’s perennial philosophies. This fusion of the traditional with the modern highlights the natural harmony of the beliefs, symbols, & practices of East & West. The work reflects the transformation of Perennial Philosophies and symbols into Modern Mythic images of the transcendent moment.”

You simply HAVE to visit his site.

Those of you familiar with sumi-e – a Japanese water-art of brush strokes – will love the work he has done – snakes done in ONE brush stroke. Absolutely amazing!!! Unfortunately, the links aren’t working – but check out his site.

Loads of eye candy – Enjoy!!

Visual Delights!!!

Sedona is truly one of the magical places on earth. We spent three days there, and we explored a lot of areas we hadn’t seen before, including walking along Oak Creek. One of our friends, Steve DeVol, is president of Keep Sedona Beautiful, and he put together the following slide show which demonstrates this amazing beauty.

This is just a sample of the beauty – watch the slide show for MUCH more!

One of the things we love to do is prowl galleries, looking for spectacular art. Well, we certainly were not disappointed! Christoper Owen Nelson – WOW! Etched and painted plexiglass. We were stunned with his work – we just stared and stared – and had heart palpitations!

Not content with his work, we headed to another gallery – Visions at the Hyatt Shops. So many beautiful things!! Ulla Darni makes some incredible glass chandeliers – called the newest Tiffany.

Some amazing kaleidoscopes outside the gallery – the “table” moves – and the table is full of plants – a truly unique inside pattern!
Here’s glass, paintings, ceramics.

Another artist we loved – Eyvind Earle. Seurat meets Japanese lacquer – really gorgeous, you need to see them up close.

More tomorrow – just too many beautiful things to see!


The Art of Nature

There are times when we really need to stop and smell the roses. We need to slow down and look, listen, and absorb. I had that chance for a few days in June, when we tried to escape to northern Arizona to enjoy cool weather and beautiful scenery. Oak Creek Canyon has always been our route of choice when we have time to come down to Sedona from Flagstaff. We checked on line and found a resort that was truly beautiful – Junipine Resort – along the creek, our own condo, a fireplace, and a view that was absolutely spectacular.

Once I walked out on the balcony I knew I would sketch, listen to music (brought the CD player) and absorb the incredible scenery. This was the basic view from our condo.

That night, I was sitting out, letting the cooler air settle around me and listening to the wind. I realized that the light behind me wasn’t light from Sedona, but a rising moon. So picture this view, with the moon coming up from behind, and the light slowly creeping down the face of the cliff, lighting all these wonderful crevases and making the trees look like a silent sentinal army. It was spectacular. It was a moment of pure art in nature.

The next morning I was up early enough to watch the sunrise creep down the same cliff and create a totally different kind of light. Absolutely magical. We already have our reservations for next May.

Recent Posts