I received a fascinating new book in the mail! Martha Sielman has hit it out of the ball park again with this next book in the Portfolio series. Many of the artists I am familiar with and many I became acquainted with in this volume. Twenty-one specific artists are given feature status, endowing the viewer with a perspective of their work in six-page spreads. Other artists’ works are sprinkled throughout, amply adding to this comprehensive look at current work featuring people and portraits in the textile art world . Each of the featured artists’ work is accompanied by a rich narrative of what makes them who they are and how they arrive at their finished works.
Enjoy Bodil Gardener’s work with her playful, exaggerated characters. So much fun!
Collette Berends uses a very painterly effect in her work.
I adore the quirkiness and simplified forms of Yoshiko Kurihara. I especially like Morning Breeze.
Mary Pal’s amazing works using simple cheesecloth on black backgrounds portrays details not thought possible by this writer!
Viola Burley Leak uses highly expressive images. Her works are colorful with lots of movement. The use of black gives weight to her use of brilliant colors.
The cartoons of Pam RuBert entertain, as always. She is probably the most humorous textile artist I know.
Kathy Nida is provocative, daring the viewer to be offended by her raw depictions of women in various social situations.
Jenny Bowkers, depicting her middle east travels has work included in this volume. Olga Norris with her faceless figures, and Lora Rocke, Joan Sowada, and Maria Elkins, all with the most breathtaking realism, are in the Portfolio. The painted work of Inge Mardal and Steen Hougs is here.
Sielman has gifted us with another stunning compilation of art in textiles. Purchase here.
Last week, inspired to play…I got out some watercolor ATC cards and began to re-create some of my doodles from the past year with ink and then to color them with gouache watercolors. I had sketches of apples falling into a bucket or a basket, bird families on an outing and even some on a “picnic”. My mood and aim is playful, whimsical, something I don’t usually engage in in my fiber work. I think I will reserve that for my watercolor sketches.
Graced by the cover art of Barbara Barrick McKie, Art Quilt Portfolio: TheNatural World titles this latest work by Martha Sielman and delights us with 192 pages of eye candy. Included are 19 featured artists with “photos of their quilts as well as essays about their creative process and signature techniques”. These artists each receive 4-6 pages dedicated to their work and processes. Featured artists are: Katherine K. Allen, Melanie Kane Brewer, Betty Busby, Paula Chung, Nancy G. Cook, Sally Dillon, Ginny Eckley, Patricia Gould, Annie Helmericks-Louder, Ruth B. McDowell, Barbara Barrick McKie, Annemieke Mein, Karen Illman Miller, Dottie Moore, Dominie Nash, Elaine Quehl, Ginny Smith, Judith Trager, and Cassandra Williams. Special gallery sections spotlight images of work from other talented members of the art quilt community. A collection of work around the theme of “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, a poem by Wallace Stevens of the same name, is featured. I found the work inspired by this poem to be interesting commentary on the theme as some of the pieces did not feature black birds or any birds at all!
One of the featured artists is Katherine K. Allen from Florida. I was able to see her “Eventide” in person in January as that particular work was accepted into Form Not Function 2012. Her process is very unique and aims to capture the essence of the natural world as she uses collected live grasses, and leaves, etc. as stencils. Dominie Nash is another artist I admire and I have particularly enjoyed her abstract still life work. This book includes her recent series based on leaves.
I do love the depth of exploration that Martha does of each artists’ working process and thoughts. I wish some of the other works could have been featured in a larger format, but evidently this book was not aimed at full size presentation.
I don’t know how others go about it, but whenever I get a new book or magazine, I go through all the pictures first. Later, I will start to read the articles and biographies. This one is no different as I am now starting to carefully read and take notes from each artist.
Purchase Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural Worldhere at the SAQA website.
I should blog today…well, I guess I am…sorta. I haven’t written here since early November. Life just gets so busy during the holidays. I’m still cooking and preparing food for a get together at our house tonight…and cleaning. I’m not going to share much except that, the last day of the year is always a bit poignant for me. I look forward to the opening of a new year, but I grieve a bit about the passing of an old year. It’s my age. I just had a birthday. Actually, I’d love to be 40 again.
But! I do sincerely wish all the readers of my blog a very Blessed new year! Now to get ready for its arrival….
This is for Sharon, who wanted to see what I was starting on. Since I can’t post a #%$%^ photo on FB anymore, I am posting it here and will link to it on FB.
This is my base “canvas”. It is a collage created of papers and cloth. My thinking on this is to use textures and patterns because over this will be gesso and paint and other layers before the piece is finished.
Ever have those times when you wake up in the morning and something starts talking to you? I woke up yesterday morning very dissatisfied with how the mounting technique for some mixed media work was coming along. I have gone to great lengths to order everything to do it in this particular method, even ordering acid free coreboard which then needed the edges painted because I couldn’t find it in black. But I awoke with a nagging dissatisfaction about it all. I got up, looked at the work again, and said, oh, it’s ok…but then later the nagging unhappiness came back. So because they measure 14″ square and of course, no canvases are made that size, I found my self shopping for a new idea, then shopping online and ordering more stuff and spending more money. But at least I have peace now…these composition pieces are going to look much better, I think. And they deserve to.
The time until I hang the exhibit is going fast. Today I feel I made much progress. I worked on Black and White Compositions #2, #3, and #4. These are compositions on canvas, made with cut pieces of cloth but they will not be stitched. I don’t know if anyone realizes this or not (surely I’m not the only one!)…our type of work is much more time consuming than the average painter. For me, there is the creation of the cloth, then the composition, and lastly, the layering and stitching part. It is slow work. In the interest of time, I am creating a few like this that will fill in my exhibit in a different color palette.
I also finished the handwork on the back of “Fading Glory” during tv time!
Tomorrow I will get up and do more of the same. More mixed media Compositions are in the works too. Can’t wait to get started on them.
I went to Evansville yesterday to play with a friend and do some much needed errands, i.e. shopping. I call it The Haul. It was time to stock up on some much needed items as well as a few new things to experiment with. There are times I only buy what I need and there are times I buy products that I have been reading about and seeing on the internet and I am curious about.
Here is part of what I came home with:
There is yarn. I sold a potato chip scarf, so now I feel the need to make 3 more! 2 black Pitt artist pens to replace my failing other ones…love these pens for writing on just about every surface and medium. Oil pastels…I am adding a few new colors to my small collection because I do enjoy smudging these rich colors on some of my work. Matte medium and black acrylic paint…everyone needs those. Lumiere in my favorite color…Halo Pink Gold (yes, Scarlet, Blick had bottles of this…you just missed it). I was alerted that the Daler-Rowney acrylic inks were on sale 50% off at Blick…I found them at 40% off, which was still good, so I purchased 3 bottles to try. Don’t really have a clue yet about them, but I will look up some info online to help me get started. And the last new thing I decided to try was the water soluble oil pastels, which certainly seems like a conundrum to me because everyone knows that oil and water don’t mix! But the article I read showed these in such rich colors on a project that I was immediately smitten. Not shown here are the yards of batting (I do have an exhibit coming up) and yards of cotton flannel (I use this for batting for small pieces) and photo mats. Those are the mundane and uninteresting necessities.
I also purchased some beeswax (probably impulsive) and some tins to melt it in because……Scarlet and I played with wax….
Here is my first attempt at collage with wax….I tried all sorts of things on here…marks with transfer papers and carbon paper…sequin waste stencil. It’s not a perfect specimen, and I may even do more to it, but I like the colors and the black lines and I got a bit acquainted with how wax works…all fun! I also learned some things I would do differently.
I went to the SAQA website today to post a plea on my Visioning page and while I’m there I am currently deleting 478 emails in my inbox. Do you know how long that takes doing 20 at a time? It’s taking a while. So I decided while I’m doing that I will post a blog post here and ask for YOUR help too!
I have my first solo show in October this year. I have a series of small (5″ x 7″-ish) works I will be mounting on deep 12″ x 12″ canvases. I will be painting the canvases before I mount the fiber work. I personally did not wish to paint the canvases a solid, flat color, but rather wanted to do swipes of color that had movement, feeling that this was more in line with the fiber work. But now my question is: what are others going to like? I really want to sell at this show and am now wondering which method will make the work more sell-able. Here is how the canvas looks at this point. Sort of wispy, worn, like the side of an old barn. But is this what people will want? Eeek! I really need help with this. And I know people can only give me their opinion and in the end, I still have to make the choice. But I still want to hear from you. And I will ponder any suggestions anyone has to make too.
I just took a right brain/left brain quiz here and in 15 out of 20 questions, my right brain was dominant….which makes me VERY right brain dominant. The right brain is the creative, intuitive part. Which might explain why I can’t stay organized at all…
In an earlier post I showed a picture of my start on the Visual Journal page. This is a workshop I have been following online from Strathmore. Here is the final look of my page. We learned to use some art materials that I have never used before. It was interesting and I thank Pam Carriker very much for teaching it.