Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inspiration and Dreams

Small collaged board, detail
I often listen to music while I work. 
The beat of the music combines with words and fabrics.
 Art for me is like music: dance of color, texture, and meaning.
Second detail
 This series ranges in size from 12"x12"  to 4"x4". 
The text and images are hand-printed on scraps of linen.
Six inch square of confidence
Then I collage these to boards, using the techniques I learned from Alexandra Sheldon. It is like piecing a puzzle, and creates a smooth, inviting fabric mosaic.
I have been making Portable Art for almost two decades now.
It seems so important, to have art that fits in your hands, your budget, and your day.
Print on hand-dyed cotton with vintage lace thermofax screen
The smallest of these would sit happily beside anyone's computer. 
It lasts a lot longer than a Starbucks gift card.

Four-inch square Portable Art
The lace imagery comes from my vintage lace collection, 
transcribed to a thermofax screen. 
I'm hoping to post the screen, and more, for sale on my Etsy site soon.
A "dreamy" pair
This Saturday I'll have the work at Lowell Fiber Studio,
512 on the fifth floor of Western Avenue Studios, Lowell.
Yes. Of course.

 You may be a winner, just for the pleasure of looking at art an afternoon.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Collage and stitched cards

 Who doesn't like a card in the mail?

Valentine's Day: my favorite holiday.
It comes after the deluge of December, the recovery and clean up of January. 
A quieter time, when you have permission to hand out extra hugs.
Culling out books from our shelves, I found a paperback from college that was falling apart. So I spread the pages on my studio table and went to town with the tag-ends of various paints: pink, fushia, purple, and white.
When these dried, I cut out hearts and started to work. Some scraps of text worked their way back in. More and more materials came off the shelves to play.
Eventually transparencies of old photographs and machine stitching were involved.

And last scraps of hand-dyed and -printed fabric:

Every card is unique, ready to be mailed or framed.

You'll find my hand-made, one-of-a-kind Valentines at the Loading Dock Gallery.

Or visit me on February 2, from noon-5pm. I'll be in studio 512, Western Avenue Studios.

Pick up your "Gifts from the Heart" card as you enter the building, get it stamped from participating artists, and  you'll have a chance to win a gift certificate, good with any WASA artist.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Art Quilt Tutorial from Jamie Fingal

Jamie Fingal posted a tutorial on how she made a wee art quilt, on her blog, Twisted Sister.

Jamie Fingal's wee art quilt

I love her use of color, especially the unexpected polka-dots and measuring tapes.

Domestic charm such as this holds delight for me, different from but just as valid, I think, as wild contemporary installations.

I love to see the familiar recast, resized. I love the invitation to stop and rest in the visual. This quilt reminds me of the earnestness with which kids draw. I'm back in kindergarten, with that best of gifts: time and a box of crayons.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stitchers Welcome

You are invited to the far edge of fiber art.

"Hive" by Jodi Colella
Hive, now at the Danforth  Museum in Framingham, MA, takes its title from its construction as well as its form. It is a community project, stitched by many hands. Like a living organism, it grows over time.

You are invited to participate. No experience required, just a willingness to share time, to stitch, and to venture into the unknown. Jodi Colella will there to facilitate:

January 19, 10-12pm
January 24, 1-3 pm
January 31, 4-6 pm

Gifts fro the Heart - and a chance to win

Join us at Western Avenue February 2
Take a chance. For love and for art, visit Western Avenue Studios February 2. Pick up a Gifts from the Heart postcard as you enter. Then stroll the building and collect hearts from participating artists. Drop off your card as you leave. Your name will be entered to win a gift certificate, good towards a purchase from any of 250 artists in the building.

At Lowell Fiber Studio, Cathy Granese and I will have hand-painted valentines, cheery red purses for the holiday, plus scarves, quilts, and art for your walls.

Western Ave Studios is expanding, but Lowell Fiber Studio remains at studio 512. Take the new elevator to the fifth floor. Get off, turn right and keep going: across the bridge and down the hall. We're next to the bathrooms, so any artists can point the way!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Local shows - textiles, life

Our lives are woven of experiences. We follow threads of meaning. Sorrow rips a hole in our hearts. We knit our lives back together. Three local shows push boundaries of textile as media, engaging us through their use of the familiar materials in new ways.

Currently at the Fountain Street Fine Arts is the show Cotton. Juror Joanne Mattera selected works  using cotton not necessarily as a material but as a theme. The result is an inspiring conversation between found objects, photographs, painting and sculpture. Read more about the exhibit here.  The show runs through January 27.
"Cotton" - featuring "On the Line" by Catherine Weber

Opening this week at Conant Gallery in Groton is What's Left Behind, a solo exhibit by Margot Stage. Her work examines loss, change and beauty through the reassembly of abandoned objects. Opening reception this Friday, January 18, 6:30-8:30,

Body Coverings, at the Trustman Gallery, presents work by Ruby Chishti, Sally Eyring, and Mariann S. Verheyen, with work that investigates the body and its coverings as sculpture, dreamscape and social commentary.
Untitled by Ruby Chishti

The show runs February 4 through March 7. Join the artists for a reception, 5 to 7 pm, Thursday, Feb. 7 (snow date Feb. 12).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gelatin Plate Printing with Linda Germain

This weekend, with my studio mates from Lowell Fiber Studio, I took an all-day class in gelatin plate printing with Linda Germain in Haverhill, MA.

Label on a storage box

 Linda teaches by example, then lets you loose with a host of tools and toys, including gelatin plates old and new, stencils, found objects, and a variety of papers.

Tools, gelatin, plates and progress

How can you not be inspired when surrounded by drill presses, sewing machines, even a small in-progress airplane? The studio easily holds more treasures than the eye can take in. I wish I could learn how to use this. Or even just sit and draw it.

After Linda's initial demo, each of us sank into the process. 
We left with arm-loads of printed paper and fabric and minds full of ideas. 

promising results

 I spent the evening yesterday working back into less successful pieces, and experimenting with watercolor on gelatin plates - a wild variation on the theme.  

I recommend Linda Germain's classes wholeheartedly. Fnd current offerings here. 
Don't miss her generous library of videos.

Meanwhile, here's a piece that came out of my last class with Linda. 
Find it at the  Loading Dock Gallery, in the 50 under $50 show, through January 27.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Collage Cards

I was raised by a classical pianist. The way to start every day when I was a girl was finger exercises at the piano. Today, that urge, to review, to practice, to warm up, continues, most recently expressed as a series of collaged cards. 

Some might call it working in a series. I call the cards siblings.  An idea emerges, a combination works, and I lay out 5 to 10 cards (depending on how crowded my workspace has gotten) and set out to see how that idea can grow. Often my favorite of the series spurs a new idea. The process feels like a plant growing: leaves sprout, tendrils twine, and the sun pulls growth upwards.

This set was ordered by a friend. She's picking them up at Open Studios today in Lowell. I hope she loves them. You can also find them at Gift of Art, 50 Cross Street, Winchester, which has extended its hours through January.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January Show and Reception

My piece "Unfolded Time" will be on display this month, part of the Fountain Street Fine Art Gallery's anniversary show, "Cotton." The space is beautiful, and the works chosen span a range of contemporary work.
I'm honored to be included.  
Please join us for the reception on Saturday, January 12, 5-7pm.