Thursday, November 21, 2013

Some Radical Thoughts

I have begun to post excerpts from my journal for the Radical Elements exhibition on my website blog.  I chose einsteinium as my element.  Can you guess what I sculpted out of cheesecloth?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Adventure Begins!

At the airport (which seems to be where I do much of my blogging) on my way to Milwaukee to attend the 40th Anniversary Gala of the International Crane Foundation. I am excited beyond words. I have checked my large package which is the 4' x 2' artwork I am donating at the auction. My host will meet me at the Pfister Hotel and we will walk over to Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin to display the work for tonight's bidding.

So many highlights over the next few days! The absolute highlight of this adventure will be tonight - when I will meet Jane Goodall - my hero - in person. The piece to the right, "Upon Reflection," will be auctioned off to raise funds for the organization, so it will be exciting to be there to watch the bidding live!

And then on Sunday, I will be in Baraboo, taking photographs for my upcoming piece for the "Earth Stories" exhibition - pictures of cranes, pictures of the founder George Archibald, and pictures of the marshy environment. I have the layout planned in my mind, and now just need the photos so I can work from them to create the cheesecloth sculptures. I had to wait till now for the photos so October will see me in the studio every day - the deadline for the piece is November 1.

I have had cranes on the brain for quite awhile now, and I took advantage of becoming what they call a "craniac" by designing a small thank you piece for my hosts. I call it "Wildness and Wet" based on a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, highlighting the necessity to preserve the environment for these magnificent birds.

Time to make my way to the gate. Next stop, Milwaukee. Hope I can post some photos of the gala tonight. Or very soon.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blogging News

Regular subscribers will note a sleek new appearance to this blog.  It matches my updated website which took me only two years to finally redesign.

In time, I will move all my blogging activities over to the new website,, but I will retain this blog for now as I figure out all the bells and whistles of the new one.

I understand that the busy, image-jammed online aesthetic is very outdated so am trying to keep my finger on the pulse and simplify. Any viewer comments greatly appreciated!

I have been working on a journal to accompany my submission to the Radical Elements exhibition. It is so named because we were to create works, based on one of the elements in the Periodic Table of Elements, that are suggestive of quilts yet not using actual fabric or thread.  (!)  My element was Einsteinium and in my research of this element, I discovered it is radioactive (though we aren't allowed to incorporate actual radioactive elements for obvious reasons!) and was discovered as a component of the debris of the first hydrogen bomb explosion in 1952. It is named after the great thinker but he was a peace-loving man who would want no association with the threat of world destruction that this particular element might be associated with, so I used that as my theme for the piece. The selected artists are not permitted to post full pictures of their final work, but this is a sneak peek of the cheesecloth sculpted portion.  The full piece is 36 x 22."

I am also working on my submission to the Earth Stories exhibition, though the images are not due until the end of October.  But it is six feet square (!) so that adds all kinds of challenges. Thankfully, I am able to use my regular medium of fabric and thread, so I am happily working out much simpler challenges than Einsteinium presented: like how to make lutradur stick to packing foam!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Equus at last

This month marks the end of my participation in a wonderful online challenge group, Viewpoints 9. It is with a heavy heart that I leave as the artists who are members are such talented and lovely folks. But I just reached a point where something had to be shifted off my lengthy task list to make room for the host of other things that require my time and attention.

The final challenge posed to the group was to make something from nature but to alter the colours entirely. I found a photo of a beautiful draft horse by Mararet Bednar online.

I had a field day playing with Neocolor water-soluble wax pastels on with an overlay of cheesecloth (of course) and did the stitching in variegated threads.

On the right is a detail shot so you can see the texture of the cheesecloth.

This week I am putting the finishing touches on a piece for the Radical Elements exhibition.  I was assigned Einsteinium from the Periodic Table of Elements.  Can you guess what approach I'm taking?  Next week I'll post some sneak peeks of parts of the piece, though the entire piece can't be revealed till the exhibition opens in Washington DC in 2014.

Here is the finished piece:
Equus - 24 x 18 inches

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Loving London

Today is our last full day in London. It has been a whirlwind. Yesterday we hit the Tate Modern, took a boat to Tate Britain, then to Saatchi Gallery and Victoria & Albert. Returned, exhausted, and sipped cider in the local pub. Just about to hit the road for a day that will include the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery and Liberty's ... and many stops in between.

But I know you are curious about the art I've been looking at, so, without commentary, here is a "Wordless Wednesday" post a day early. Enjoy!

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Location:London, UK

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In Jolly Olde!

Never a dull moment! I'm at the Birmingham Quilt Festival and having the time of my life. Meeting and catching up with all sorts of people - have had lovely chats (don't I sound a little more British already?) with Alicia Merrett, Sandra Meech, Lisa Walton and of course my travelling companion, Linda Beach. I taught cheesecloth sculpting the first two days, cheesecloth portraits today, and will teach Paintstiks on Saturday, followed by a lecture on Sunday afternoon. The students have been utterly delightful and from all parts - France, Ireland, Israel, and England, of course. On Sunday, I'll be off on the London leg of the journey.

But tomorrow ... my day off ... I will be able to view the quilts in the show and shop some of the vendor booths.

On my way back to the hotel last night, after class, I did a sneak preview of the show. Naturally, I wanted a peek at the SAQA exhibit "Metaphors on Ageing" as I have two pieces in it. I was delighted at how wonderful it looked, and pleased to have my pieces placed right at the entrances on both sides of the exhibition area. Eye candy follows, below.

Tomorrow I will report on the Charity Supper I'm attending tonight, where the keynote speaker is Mary Fisher. Do check back! (Is it just me or did you detect a slight British accent in that last bit?)

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