Speaking of Art…

Lots of textile and quilt artists enter the art quilt shows.  Me, not so much.  I joined the Arts Council in the next state and town 1 hour away from me, in order to participate professionally with other artists and to promote textiles as art.  Last fall there were 8 members who were asked to participate in a Textile exhibit.  It was an awesome exhibit and everyone’s work was so different from the others. (Of course, I could be partial, being a big fan of textile art and surface design.)  But I did hear it got rave reviews and probably introduced textiles as art in an area that supports a lot of painters.

I came across Joanne Mattera Art Blog today and found it very interesting.  She has two posts called Marketing Mondays: How Dealers Are Considering Artists Now.  There is a part 1 and part 2. She has been interviewing art dealers to ascertain how they are viewing the art market at this time in our economy.  I found it very interesting and hope that it might be for someone else!


About Food…And Right Brain Thoughts

Warning!  If you don’t want to read about food, skip this post!

I am home today!  I don’t think I have been home on a Saturday for the last two months!  So today I am making our “weekend meal”.  Yesterday my husband brought home some fresh picked turnips from the farm, dirt and all.  I cooked a small pan of those and mashed them with butter, salt and pepper, and sugar.  Yumm.  I am also fixing “Deviled Baked Steak”…how appropriate for the season! (I just thought of that while I write. :=)  Round steak dredged in a seasoned flour blend, then browned in oil.  Topped with sliced onions and a tomato-brown sugar mixture, this steak dish bakes for 2 hours into melt-in-your-mouth wonderfood. I will be serving it with mashed potatoes.

Picture 091

I am also trying out a new bread pudding recipe called Caramel Bread Pudding. The caramel sauce prepares in the bottom of the dish while the bread pudding is baking on top. (I’m so domestic today! :=) Actually, I’m probably avoiding cleaning the garage, a task I really need to get around to!)

Picture 088

Since I haven’t been home on Saturdays for so long…we have been just grabbing whatever is in the house to eat on Saturday nights and Sundays (that gets boring), so this will be a treat.

So…what have I been up to this week?  One of my goals was to get my Etsy shop loaded up with my ArtFul Cloth bags since I am having a showcase on Tuesday, October 27th.  I needed to have at least 10 of them listed just to be ready.  Since I have recently gone through a hard drive crash with SOME of the bag pictures on the desktop, I had to do the photography and editing all over again. :=(  This is my first showcase and I have no clue how it will all go, but I am ready.

Picture 079

I have had a textile piece on the wall for a long time that I felt inspired to work on yesterday.  By that I mean, I had some ideas on how to proceed!  So I spent some time with it.  Why is it, when the urge and inspiration hit (and it’s been awhile since I’ve had time or the frame of mind for it), the phone rings.  I could have not answered it, but felt I needed to.  But the whole time I’m finding myself irritated and wanting to get off the phone, which I finally did.  I didn’t want to “lose the moment” or the time.  These times are precious when they come and with the weekend coming and the prospect of my husband being home, I wanted that hour and I wanted it uninterrupted and my mind free to create.  I’m beginning to see that in the left brain world that we live in, no one (except artists, of course) understands the right brain world. The society we live in is not extremely willing to give it place, to give it time or attention.  We are a left brain society for the most part and give honor to the left brain achievers with regularity.

I believe to be successful, an artist needs time to think, really think, to dream, to ponder, to meditate, to notice, to scrutinize.  Coming from the work oriented background that I do, I find it difficult to even give myself that time.  It seems “wasteful” somehow.  When I was growing up, I remember being accused of “daydreaming”, but now I know what that is…it is the right brain wanting to create something.

I read about all these artists creating in their journals every day and it seems totally unreachable to me.  I do spend time online every day “enriching my mind” mostly with news articles and some artists’ articles as well as picking up email and taking care of business.  Perhaps I spend too much time there? I’m a one woman show…with marketing and office work and all promotion on my shoulders as well as creating new work and trying to earn an income to pay for my business expenses. The time may yet come when I will let some things go…I don’t know yet.  All I know right now is that I have an art fair coming up in December that I would like to have some new work for, but I have no ideas.  I think I must be taking a breather after being so busy for the last two months. Perhaps my brain needs a rest…zzzzzzzzzz.

This ‘N That

I have been running around a lot for the last two months solid, so it is nice to finally be at home without having somewhere to be this weekend.  I have been catching up on some cleaning and doing some cooking, for a change of pace, as well as anxiously looking forward to creating some of my own work again.

But in between the cooking and cleaning, under the pretext of  “I need to use up this dye”, I have been creating some cloth.  It is time to clean up the patio workspace and using up the dye is a way of rewarding myself for it. This is two fat quarters in coordinating shibori patterns.

Picture 038
And another coordinated set of fat quarters…

Picture 041

This one I poured several colors on.  The pattern was made by clamping it with small spring clamps that are two inches long.  I was totally surprised and delighted with how the patterning came out on it.  It was a paint rag and I think it has some metallic paint on it too. I will be making more of this pattern.

Picture 037

Picture 045

Dye Painting Class

Here are some pictures from the class from a couple of weeks ago.

Picture 015

Avery, our only male in the class, painting with a syringe on a monoprinted piece, I believe.

Picture 010

A better look at where he was going with this one.  I love the colors.

Picture 001

Sandra, doing some layering on a monoprint.

Picture 009

Jennifer’s piece has some rubbings and stamping on it.

Picture 007

Avery did a rubbing over a piece of construction fence, then came back in with another color.

Picture 011

A rubbing from a paint grid and I’m not sure what else, but I like the colors.

Picture 003

I’m really mad at myself for not getting more pictures!  There were so many pieces of awesome cloth everyone was working on.

Quilt National

Quilt National

I was privileged to visit the Quilt National exhibit in St. Charles, MO this week.  It held some surprises.  Sometimes it’s hard to see what judges are looking for.   Best of Show was a surprise.  I loved its abstract-ness in the book, but at the Foundry Center I was viewing it too close so I could not fully appreciate the piece at all.  The book is invaluable because it gives insight into what the judges were looking for.  This sparked conversation as to how to define the term “ambitious” when viewing  the work that was presented.  I also find it interesting to read the statement from the Quilt National website, which is as follows:

“Quilt National was intended to demonstrate the transformations taking place in the world of quilting. Its purpose was then, and still is, to carry the definition of quilting far beyond its traditional parameters and to promote quiltmaking as what it always has been — an art form.”

I notice some artists with repeating and similar work have been selected over and over again,  which surprises me, especially in light of the word “transformations” in the above statement.  When a fairly young art novice such as me can easily recognize the maker of a piece just by seeing the piece, I know the judges can too. There were a lot of new artists in this show which I think is a good thing, if they meet the criteria of the purpose of the show.  I congratulate the few who were juried in out of the over 1000 entries.  That is indeed a privilege when there are so many to choose from.  And I do not envy the judges their task at all!

The Wit and Wisdom of Wendell Castle

Wendell Castle

Wendell Castle is a furniture artist from upstate New York with a career spanning 5 decades. I learned about him by following a “tweet” to this blog…http://emilyevanseerdmans.blogspot.com/2009/08/wendell-castles-10-rules-of-thumb.html

I found his Rules of Thumb to be quite informative and entertaining…

Here are 10 of his “Adopted Rules of Thumb”…

1. If you are in love with an idea, you are no judge of its beauty or value.

2. It is difficult to see the whole picture when you are inside the frame.

3. After learning the tricks of the trade, don’t think you know the trade.

4. We hear and apprehend what we already know.

5. The dog that stays on the porch will find no bones.

6. Never state a problem to yourself in the same terms it was brought to you.

7. If it’s offbeat or surprising, it’s probably useful.

8. If you don’t expect the unexpected, you will not find it.

9. Don’t get too serious.

10. If you hit the bullseye everytime, the target is too near.


Today is October 1.  I spent the day doing extra laundry.  You know what “extra” laundry is, don’t you?  It’s the stuff you don’t do every week…the extra stuff…sheets I cover my table with at shows and the thin blanket I use to cover the floor of the van when I’m loading things.  Then I cleaned both of the ceiling fans that get so much use in the summer, and dusted all the wood chairs in the kitchen.  I washed all of the used shower curtains that I use to wrap up dye painted cloth for batching.  I will need them for a painting class next week, so washed all of them and hung on clothesline.  I changed and washed bed  sheets and am defrosting the freezer, a job that is badly needed.  Is anyone tired yet?  I also ran the vacuum.  The morning was cool and wintery looking so I made a small pot of creamy potato soup. I feel like I got a lot of needed things done today. With the number of shows I have been working, I have not paid attention to doing anything extra on the homefront.

Yesterday I screened some cloth and tomorrow I will immerse myself in some immersion dyeing…I need some yardage of chartreuse, eggplant, forest green, and perhaps some citrus yellow. Saturday I go to Evansville to teach a jacket class.

Note: I actually did write this on October 1…it just didn’t get posted til this morning!