28 September 2007

A Sneak Peek!

Here a couple quick shots of Breaking Traditions, the art quilt exhibit hanging at the American Sewing Expo this weekend, Sep 28-30 here in Novi, MI. (If you click on the photos, they enlarge quite a bit and you can see the quilts better.) I have many more shots of the groupings of the quilts but I don't want to post those until the show is over. But these two shots give a sense of how big the exhibit got (it covers about 60 feet!!!) so be on the lookout for the online gallery (which I plan to finish and have up on my website by the end of October) and more shots of the exhibit after the show closes.

Check back soon for more expo photos!!! :) (Please consider subscribing to the blog if you'd like to be sure you catch all the reports about expo, it will cover several posts as I will have shots from other exhibits as well. All you have to do is enter your email address and click "Get Email Updates". Its in the right hand column at the very top.)

24 September 2007

Page 46!

Its here! Its here! The article I wrote, "Embellishments As Inspiration", is out in the new Quilting Arts magazine (October/November 2007). Its on pages 46-49 and describes how I use embellishments to design an art quilt.

Its such a thrill to see it in person!!! I'm in really good company with all the other extremely talented artists in this issue. There are lots of really cool articles featuring various forms of embellishments. Among them are Susan Else's article about her three-dimensional quilted figures and Angie Hughes Book Wraps. And I really enjoyed the second installment of Sarah Ann Smith's article about different forms of edges for quilts. There's lots more to see too, its a really interesting issue!! Many thanks to Pokey for this opportunity!

At the end of my article, it mentions a challenge that I issued to five of my art quilt friends to make a small art quilt based on a packet of materials. They were all given the same items: a porcupine quill, a clay face, a string of bells, a playing card, and a key. The could alter these items if they wanted and add other things if they desired.

Below is Leann's quilt, Fortune.

Deb Kolar, Jill Hamilton-Krawczyk, Joan Potter Thomas and Mary Dyer also made pieces. Click here to view them on Quilting Arts' website.

I hope you enjoy the article as much as I enjoyed writing it! :)

Dooley's happy dance

Ah yes, my westhighland terrier has been neglected in terms of attention as of late. I've been working on several projects and while he is a supportive little friend, he sulks when things are all over his floor and I don't give him proper cuddles.

The good news is that I've finished the last of the projects I need for the American Sewing Expo. I've been working on them for so long that it feels like I'm super productive but the truth is that they are just all coming to a close at the same time.

Forgive the less then perfect photography for this post. I'm tired, the camera is tired (I photographed 47 quilts this past weekend for the online gallery of Breaking Traditions), the dog is tired...everyone is just tired.

Below is a picture of Fragile II, which is the quilt I did for Breaking Traditions. Its the second in a series. Yes, I said "series." I want to do a couple more along this line. I really like using the cheesecloth for different texture. Its a 15 x 15 square.

And here is the doll that I completed for the Looking Glass Dolls exhibit, "Exploring Art Dolls." I enjoy doing assemblage style dolls. I sculpt the faces from paperclay but the rest of it is pure chaos. And I love it. I have quite the collection of odds and ends and my friends add to it. You can see the porcelain hand Leann gave me and the transistor her husband Mark gave me. This doll is called "Inside/Out."

When I showed mom the doll when it was done, she said to me "Is this going in a display with real dolls?" I've gotten her used to a lot of other odd styles, apparently we still have some more work to do in the doll department. :)

All of this, including the Peace jacket from the last post, will be properly photographed once my brain recovers from all the chaos of expo and added to my website.

So I think I will go join Dooley in his happy dance. Or maybe I'll just drag him up on the sofa with me and watch some TV. :)

23 September 2007

Peace, Love & Understanding

So when someone asks you to make something for a wearable art exhibit and you've never done anything of the sort, what do you say? "No" would the logical answer, but I was lacking that when I answered in the affirmative.

So I spent months stewing over it. I contemplated sewing something from scratch, then came to my senses and decided that I would just alter the heck out of something. A couple of trips to the resale shop and one black jacket later (purchased for the price of a mere $4), I was still no closer then when the idea had been originally proposed.

My problem was lack of theme. I've been preparing to start a new series of art quilts called "The Soapbox" that explore political/social commentary. I have a lot of sketches and tried to apply some to the black jacket I had bought but they didn't translate well. And I hesitated to do something real "in your face" as the venue where it will be displayed is more family friendly. (I believe you should make the art you want to and be as blunt as you feel you need to but I also believe there are some places that are more appropriate to display certain kinds of art then others.) So I took an idea that had been brewing and that I thought would be well received and went to town on this jacket.

Here is what it looked like before I started:

And here is what it looks like now:

And lots of detail shots:

This was a fun one to make. I used shiva paintsticks and did some chunky stitching. I'm really liking the grafitti style and plan to explore that more in some art quilts. I call the jacket "Grafitti Wisdom."

I told my mom that I never thought I would have cause to make artwork like this. My hope is that I won't need to for much longer. After all, we all need a little PEACE, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING.

20 September 2007

Balancing Act's Opening Reception

The opening reception was just wonderful! The wonderful people at Lawrence Street Gallery had hors devours and a musician playing a keyboard. There was wine on hand, wonderful ambiance and an amazing display of artwork. The photo above is what greets people as they enter the gallery, with Virginia Spiegel's work front and center introducing the exhibit inside.

Below is the view of the gallery when you first walk in. As you can see, many people were taking their time admiring the work on hand. And who can blame them! The quilts are even more amazing in person. The details and textures demand that you stand and study each piece.

Here is another view of the quilts hanging on the long wall when you first walk in.

The next few photos show the various groupings of quilts. The wonderful artists at Lawrence Street did an outstanding job placing the work. (Thanks Deb and Laura!!!)

Below is a shot of Joan Potter Thomas with her artwork, "The Edge of Spring" series.

And here is Karen Olson with her artwork, "Tablets."

It was a wonderful evening and I was very excited to meet and visit with the artists in the exhibit. Many ventured very long distances to be with us! Thanks Ann and Cheryl! :)

The exhibit is gorgeous and I can't thank everyone enough for all the hard work they have put into it. Special thanks to all the artists for creating such wonderful artwork and sharing it for the exhibit. And a gigantic thank you to the folks at Lawrence Street gallery, especially Deb Hyde and Laura Host, for the opportunity!

02 September 2007

Virginia Spiegel is at it again!

For those of you who don't know about the Fiberart for a Cause project, you really need to.

Virginia Spiegel began the project in 2005 as a small fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It took off in a big way, with people donating fiber postcards from all over the world. These postcards were sold for a $30 donation to the ACS. To date, the project has raised $130,000.

Virginia has brought the postcard project to a close but has decided to implement other activities to help keep the fundraising rolling. She writes an awesome newsletter called Art, Nature, Creativity, Life. It includes her musings about life, a haiku and gorgeous photography.

She is compiling what she considers the best issues (personally I love them all, I don't know how she chose!) into an e-book. The e-book will be released in October and will be available for a minimum donation of $25 to the American Cancer Society. As a subscriber to her newsletter, I strongly recommend picking up the e-book when it comes out. Not only is it sure to be extremely inspirational, it will also benefit a most worthy cause!!

THANKS VIRGINIA for all the hard work you put into raising money for the American Cancer Society!

Technically, it is but...

Some time ago I remember a discussion on one of the email lists I belong to about a vending machine called Artomat. Its a cool concept: artist make little pieces of art, pack them up in boxes and then they get put into a vending machine where people can plop in $5 and walk away with a piece of hand made art. Neat idea...so when I was out today and saw one in a shop in Northville, I thought, "what the heck? let's support these artists." There was one that was labeled finger puppets and I love those quirky little things so I chose that one. This is what I got...

Its the tip of a knit glove that has been cut off and then a button was glued (quite messily) onto it. The artist is Karen Emi Nakashima of Los Angeles, CA. Hmmmmm.....now let me say that I am a big fan of outsider art and I love assemblage so I'm often the one staring with awed fascination at something other people think is just plain weird. Do I think this is worth $5? Ummmm...not so much.

So I looked up their website when I got home and there is a section where you can click on the artist's name and see what kind of art they have put into the vending machines. I would recommend to anyone who thinks they might try out one of these machines to browse through the names so you can get an idea of what they really hold.

I'm not so impressed with the finger puppet I got. I didn't expect to get a picasso for pete's sake but I guess I expected a little more effort then just chopping up a glove and gluing buttons down. Some of the artists have used this small format to generate really unique ideas. (Seriously, take a look through the artists section on the artomat webpage, there's some neat stuff there.) I pretty much feel like I wasted my money but there's not much I can do about it now. Just thought I would pass it along as an FYI to anyone else out there who encounters one of these machines...

A happy skull junkie

Hello, my name is Lynn and I collect skulls. Its an addiction (one that was in place long before it was fashionable) and, happily, I'm not alone. And to demonstrate this claim, go check out the Skull a Day blog. My personal favorite is #77, the sheet skull.

In an effort to avoid having to do anything of substance today, I went to a bead expo. I was extremely pleased to find these new additions for my skull collection.

I should point out that I only collect pleasant/happy looking skulls. The mean biker skulls with flames shooting out of the eye sockets or snakes oozing out of their mouths aren't really my thing. I think the skull collecting came about as a result of my fascination with the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos. Give this girl a dancing skeleton dressed in bright colors and she is happy as a clam.

I'm especially tickled with the strand of skull beads above. I'm not sure what stone they are made out of but the stripes and shallow carving make them pretty subtle. And I love the fact that I got two sizes on one strand.

So what do I do with these guys? Some of the smaller bead ones have made it into artwork but I find that I really like collecting the big ones. Which would probably rock in some box art but for the moment I just want to admire them. I have a spot in my studio that has turned into a skull shrine. My friend Leann feeds my obsession, since she shares it, and makes me skull books and hand carved skull stamps. In fact, my little obsession has become so well known among my friends that people bring me back little skulls they find on their travels. I'm always on the lookout so if you know where I can find some unsual skulls, let me know! :)

01 September 2007

You're Invited!!!

I'm happy to report that "Balancing Act", the regional SAQA show that I am co-curating, is finally hung and ready for viewing! The photo above is the cover page of the catalog I created of the show's work and it features the Best In Show piece from Jacque Davis, "Life on Mars." (The catalog will be available for sale shortly on SAQA's website. If you are attending the opening reception on September 7, catalogs will also be availble for purchase then.)

There is an opening reception at the Lawrence Street Gallery on Friday September 7 from 6pm-9pm. And everyone is invited! You can visit their website for their address and directions to where they are located.

The following artists are featured in the show:

Mary Andrews - Grand Blanc, MI
Jacque Davis - Freeburg, IL
Roslyn DeBoer - Orland Park, IL
Deborah Fell - Urbana, IL
Cheryl Dineen Ferrin - Mattawan, MI
Clarian Ferrono - Chicago, IL
Joan Hershey - Bloomington, IN
Anne Hiemstra - Farmington Hills, MI
Jean M. Judd - Cushing, WI
Peg Keeney - Harbor Springs, MI
Debi Kibbee - Ypsilanti, MI
Nancy E. Kimpel - Oconomowoc, WI
Lynn Krawczyk - Plymouth, MI
Ann Loveless - Frankfort, MI
Susan Sanborn North - Troy, MI
Karen Kiley Olson - Ortonville, MI
BJ Parady - Hamilton, IL
Christine Predd - LaPorte, IN
Casey Puetz - Waukesha, WI
Virginia Spiegel - Byron, IL
Joan Potter Thomas - Northville, MI

The following works were awarded honors:

Best in Show - "Life on Mars" by Jacque Davis
First Place Representational - "Trillium" by Ann Loveless
First Place Abstract - "Fault Line II" by Nancy E. Kimpel
Juror's Choice - "Correspondence #9" by Virginia Spiegel
Juror's Choice - "S.O.S." by Christine Predd

The show is a very diverse mix of styles and subject matter. Its really quite amazing! If you are able to come by and see it, you won't be disappointed!