Archive for September, 2012

At a weekend workshop called “Charting your Artistic Genealogy” developed and led by Leisa Rich, I had an “A-ha” moment when Leisa suggested I should blog about my 10,000 steps a day. <head slap!>

My blog is entitled Fabrics, found objects, and 10,000 steps a day. But  . . . I never talk about the actual process of managing to reach 10,000 steps a day!!

I aim to rectify that oversight, starting now.

I got out of the workshop at 2 PM, and checked my pedometer.  Only 2000 steps logged so far that day — despair!! On a normal week day, I walk for 30-40 minutes before even sitting down at my desk.  That gives me about 3500 steps “in the bank” to start with.

Then I walk 20-30 minutes at lunch, which gives me another 2500 or so. By jumping up from my desk at every opportunity, I can get 2000 in at work. As the work day comes to a close, I’m pleased to see I am at about 7000. So with a walk home (1900) and a walk to the studio in the evening and back (800 each way), and I’m over my 10,000.

But yesterday afternoon, I had a decision to make. To get 8000 steps more seemed overwhelming. All I wanted to do was get into my studio and work. But I decided to go for it anyway.  

I walked to the Shop ‘n Save (a nice little trick that gives me about 1500 steps total). I buy one or two things that I can carry home in my re-usable tote bag. Yesterday I added several extra blocks, so that I stood at nearly 5000 when I returned home.  Then I walked the “long way” to the studio and back. As I watched the Steelers and Raiders game after dinner, sewing away at a pile of hand work, I stood at 8000. Not quite there! Should I give up? Run in place (yuck I don’t like doing that.  Boring!)

I realized I forgot something at the studio, so I walked down and back, and Voila! I made it. When I went to bed the pedometer said 10312, and I got the little fist pumping icon that I like to see.

But what did I see and feel? Sunday the sky was the thing.  Dramatic clouds with sun-lit highlights, separated by patches of blue. I heard a weed whacker on Kent Way, and the whine of a circular saw on Carnegie Street where Keith is endlessly remodeling the home of his dreams. A determined old gentleman shoveled good rich soil from his pick-up to his garden on Natrona Way. I didn’t get specific art inspiration, but took some pictures of interesting textures.  These I will print on cloth and use in my compositions. And found objects? I snagged a prize Doritos bag (with the really strong red and orange colors), some kind of neat heavy metal washer thing, and a grinding disk.

I was happy!


Posted: September 14, 2012 in Art Quilts, Events, Paintings in cloth


ImageImageI just got into a show called “Scapes.” What an evocative title.  Cityscapes, landscapes, seascapes, escapes, mindscapes, bodyscapes . .  but for me it was a no brainer. As I pound the pavement day after day, 10,000 steps worth, I catch a glimpse of an interesting railing, an awning, a roofline, an abstract shape, or interesting textures. I got two pieces in the show, Walkabout and Pink Wall. The opening is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 15 at Panza gallery, Millvale, 5-8 PM.


Trinity Gallery opens today after their annual summer vacation.  Dan and Tina Gaser, the kind and meticulous owners, are ready for a new season. This year they insisted all artists they represent must bring NEW work for hanging in the back room, so I brought three new pieces. They are at 4747 Hatfield Street. Here is one piece I have there now, Crossing the Tracks.


Eastward Ho!

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Art Quilts

I have been working on this piece for a couple of months now. It is a companion to “Western Pennsylvania, Oh What a Relief.” Both are inspired by a colored relief map of PA I found on line. It is the normal altitude overlaid with geologic formations. Anyway, here it is.

More and more I think jurors are becoming the “drive by” variety. Get in, judge a show, and get back on the road before you speak to an actual artist. My opinion is that a juror should embrace the opportunity to interact with the artists, accept an invitation to speak if asked, and generally share their opinions on a show they have judged. Nothing bad will happen. People may disagree with you. That’s not a problem, but a chance for an exchange of views.

There is an instance in art history where the cultural exchange between a juror and artists changed the course of art history. Painters in the Pittsburgh area had been heading to the Laurel Highlands to paint the beautiful landscape for years. The last thing they thought of painting was dirty, smoky Pittsburgh and its factories. That is, until Fritz Thaulow arrived to jury (what became known as) the third Carnegie International in 1898. He had been used to painting industrial scenes in his native France, and painted a scene on the Monongahela River while in Pittsburgh. That sparked painters to start viewing the smog and smoke and sparks through artistic eyes, and let to the formation of the “Pittsburgh School.”

I was grateful to the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh who recently invited Juror David M. Bowers to speak at Fein Gallery. He had juried a show called Archived. I went to hear him speak, and this is a picture of me with him.