Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Buy local. Buy art.

I am printing and sewing up a storm. This print is now a pocket on a vintage apron. Maybe I can work up an idea for Threadless, the site that creates t-shirts from art by real people. They just posted the RISD collection. Proceeds from the sales go to a RISD Scholarship fund. What a great idea.

Meanwhile I am now the proud possessor of eight (8!) bottles of Champagne, in anticipation of the punch we'll serve at the Winter Lights Opening Reception December 5. We set up this past Monday. Jewelers loaned cases. Green walls were stenciled with snowflakes. I clambered up and down hanging holiday lights. The place looks like a fairyland now, full of sparkling jewelry, glass, ceramics and more. My Altered Aprons will be there: They are all vintage, many hand-made. I print on them and applique, even add a button or some embroidery:One sold while we were still hanging the show, so now I'm busy making new ones, to restock.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Loading Dock Gallery for the Holidays

Buy local. Support an artist. You meet the person who made your gift; you shake the hand that shaped it. Ditch the mall, and come to an open studio sale.

I'm proud to join the artists of the Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell for their annual Winter Lights, a showcase of affordable, handmade art and craft. I'll be featuring my keybags:
Plus I'll have wee journals re-covered with my new bird series, printed on recycled fabric and wallpaper scraps.

Currently these prints are available as full-size, matted originals, but I have some lovely darlings that just begged for a smaller venue:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Commission Complete

On Tuesday last week, in addition to voting and then standing outside the polling station all afternoon selling treats to benefit my daughter's Latin club, I joined my colleagues in Lowell to hang our completed quilt, Healing Pieces, at the Greater Lowell Visiting Nurses Association.

This quilt began with an idea: Honor one hundred years of nursing in the community by reaching out to the community. After obtaining a grant from the Lowell Cultural Council, the VNA came to Maxine Farkas, arts organizer extraordinaire, asking for textile artists interested in making a quilt. She passed the request on to Lowell Fiber Studio.

During my family's encounters with cancer, dementia, and old age, organizations like the VNA helped my family. So I volunteered to head the project.We worked from interviews with actual patients, drawing our images from their words. The wisteria (not lilac, though I keep calling it that) -- which twines up fences in even the poorest neighborhoods, became our main symbol. Its roots suggested both history and connection. Its blossoms reminded us of growth and love. We collected images, made idea boards, and discussed composition.Because patients compared the VNA's help to both the stars at night as well as the sun rising, we set the wisteria against a progression from night through dawn to afternoon. We settled on major elements - horizon, wisteria, houses. We dyed sky and ground fabrics. Then we divided the quilt into 5 panels, with 2 artists on a panel, and went to work. It felt like walking into the void.

So here it is, 6 months later. by Adrien Bisson

Sharon Sawyer and Gwen Stith took the photos of houses and mills of Lowell. Everyone unstintingly donated fabric, lace, expertise and time. Kudos to all: Cathy Granese, Ann Lee and Sonja Lee-Austin, Margot Stage, Sharon Sawyer, Gwen Stith, Laura Gawlinski, Susan Webber, and Merill Commeau. A remarkable piece.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I've been tagged, and, just as at summer camp years ago, I'm not *quite* sure what I'm supposed to do next. Something about a list? About me? Here goes:

1. I'm not a "dog person," but I have learned that a dog is the most reliable and happiest exercise program you can get for your money.

2. I have never met a carbohydrate I didn't like.

3. When I was growing up, I wanted to illustrate children's books, but was told not to think of that: "The children's book market is dying out."

4. I am one of the oldest members of the Etsy team Boston Handmade. Thank you.

5. I didn't have the nerve to apply to art school until I was 32.

6. I hate to cook. But I like baking bread. See #2.

7. When I am printing, I feel like I'm having so much fun I'll be arrested.

Is that enough?Am I supposed to tag someone else now?