Archive for May, 2015

I made my first visit to Quilt National, the “Academy Awards” for Studio Quilt Artists.

Quilt National was started by Nancy Crow and others because art quilts were not being accepted into traditional quilting shows. It premiered in 1979.

First Art Quilts rocked the world of traditional quilts, then artists continues to innovate and expand the definition of “a quilt.”

Quilt National’s definition is more conservative that SAQA’s (Studio Art Quilt Associates).

Here are both of them:

Quilt National: It must be predominantly fabric or fabric-like material and must be composed of at least two full and distinct layers — a face layer and a backing layer — that are held together by hand- or machine-made functional quilting stitches or other elements that pierce all layers and are distributed throughout the surface of the work.

SAQA defines an art quilt as “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.”

While staying within the narrower QN definition, some of the innovation was toward more 3 dimensional work. For example Diane Nύñez cleverly used fabric strips, altered and quilted, strung on aluminum tubing like abacus beads. It isn’t on her website yet, but there is a similar one. http://dianenunez.com/portfolio/?cat=quilts

Ever innovative, Betty Busby formed her quilt into the shape of a Chinese ginger jar for a full sculpture.

Betty’s isn’t on her website yet either,  but here are some other of her vessels http://www.bbusbyarts.com/faces.html.  While you’re there, check out her whole website.  It, and she, are bursting with life, color and energy.

Both piecing and applique continue to be popular. I don’t know if there is MORE hand stitching this year, but what there was really popped out for me. Helen Geglio’s “Femoral Fracture: A Fall” was a piece she stitched by hand as she sat with her mom for hours after a fall and hip fracture.

Here is a detail I took (sorry Helen if this isn’t legal, but I couldn’t help myself . . .)

Helen Geglio detail crop

Another piece that blew me away was Diedre Adams’ “disruption.” Here is her list of materials: Commercial cottons, acrylic paint, paper from various sources: dictionaries, text books, maps, sheet music,novels, and other found materials.  Machine stitched, hand painted, layered papers peeled and torn.

I have been using papers too, and was so happy to meet and speak to Diedre. This piece is somewhat similar, and on her website. http://deidreadams.com/tracings-series/

And this was a detail I took of “disruption,” again with my apologies, Diedre. Diedre Adams detail

As a political statement, I thought Kristin La Flamme’s “‘Murica” was very powerful. She says, “Part of my Security Blanket series, this flag expresses America’s obsession with guns as a (false) sense of safety and comfort.”

And, thank you Kristin — the picture IS on her website.

http://kristinlaflamme.com/index.php/nggallery/image/69?page_id=4429

Judy Kirpich’s “Conflict No. 6/ Mugging” was inspired by a personal tragedy. Darn, I can’t find a website for her. The quilt is big (77 x 60”), and black, white and grey with red bars about two thirds of the way down, referencing how her daughter was cut in a mugging. She pieces everything — which I have never learned to do well!

Finally I want to mention Patricia Kennedy-Zafred’s “Tagged.” It has personal meaning for me as my best childhood friend is Japanese-American, and her family experienced this black mark on American history first hand.

Here is the image, on her website. http://pattykz.com/home.html

A number of pieces are a little smaller this year.  I guess collectors’ wall spaces are filling up with this wonderful art.  I was glad to see a more manageable scale represented, as I find it hard to work really big.

Here is Quilt National’s website: http://dairybarn.org/quilt-national/.  The show is a biennial, so the next one will be in 2017. This time I am going to submit!

I recently attended the annual conference for SAQA, Studio Art Quilts Associates, which was held in Portland, OR, this year. The more events and conferences I attend, the more crucial SAQA is becoming for my professional and artistic development.

I’ll just mention some of the highlights for me this year.

The very best of the excellent keynote addresses for me was Maria Shell, The Art of the Word — Getting Grants and Other Art Opportunities by Crafting a Well-Written Proposal. From the far corner of Alaska where she lives, she has been able to gain fellowships, shows, grants, and generally widespread exposure for her work.  Moving to the country can no longer be any kind of an excuse for me. I need to apply some of her heartfelt advice.

Of the workshops and break-out sessions I attended, I was most influenced by “Master Social Media and Rule the World (or Market Your Work)”, led by Carolyn Higgins. I have a long way to go in making good use of Social Media (including keeping up this blog), but she reinvigorated my quest to do so.

The post conference workshop I chose was Fabulous Ways with Fusible Web, led by Sue Bleiweiss. I use fusing a lot in my work, and consider myself pretty proficient.  I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. And indeed I learned quite a bit.

Meeting a couple of my mentors in SAQA helped too.  Katie Pasquini Masopust was the teacher for an on-line course I took this winter called Color, Composition and Design. Even though she didn’t immediately put my name to me face I introduced myself, she did afterwards, and had kind words to say about my work.

Also Sharon M. W. Bass is the mentor for SAQA artists who seek to join the elite, professional level of SAQA membership, Juried Artist Members. (JAM). I determined to try for this.

Finally, I had so much fun in the Creative Collaborative Collage ice breaker session led by Lyric Kinard. I want to try to lead a session like this sometime. And I cannot forget the “Maker Space” session Friday evening. I got to dip into needle felting, use of stenciling with Shiva Paint Sticks, making small landscape collages, use of Jacquard dyes and more.  I think I was the last one out of the room — I was having so much fun playing.

Custom made hats at Pinkham Millinery. This was a stop on a walking tour of downtown Portland.

Custom made hats at Pinkham Millinery. This was a stop on a walking tour of downtown Portland.

Me on the left with my art partner for the evening. I am holding my "portrait" of her, and she is holding hers of me. What fun!

Me on the left with my art partner for the evening. I am holding my “portrait” of her, and she is holding hers of me. What fun!

Comaraderie gone wild with (I hope) temporary tattoos.

The Northern California contingent with camaraderie gone wild with (I hope) temporary tattoos.

Rivets 2 by Sidnee Snell, in Exploring Layers, a show of Studio Art Quilts by are members of SAQA

Rivets 2 by Sidnee Snell, in Exploring Layers, a show of Studio Art Quilts by are members of SAQA

Ribbons at Button Emporium, on walking tour of downtown Portland.

Ribbons at Button Emporium, on walking tour of downtown Portland.

My practice piece -- stenciling with Shiva Sticks (oil colors for use on fabric).  Betty Busby gave this mini workshop. http://www.bbusbyarts.com/

My practice piece — stenciling with Shiva Sticks (oil colors for use on fabric). Betty Busby gave this mini workshop. http://www.bbusbyarts.com/

Martha Ressler,Spilled Red, Studio Art Quilt

Martha Ressler,Spilled Red, Studio Art Quilt

I noticed this tree last fall as I walked in our country neighborhood. The morning sunlight lit up the tree and the perfect ground halo of fallen red leaves. I decided to remove the house, extraneous items, and desaturate the entire scene in order to highlight that glorious tree.
There are fabrics and papers throughout. I’ve embroidered some bits of color in the black, white and grey to tie everything together.

I’ve been having fun making hair barrettes made of fibers and found objects, using needle felting and stitching. Any feedback? Comments? Check them out on my Etsy site:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/AuntyMarty

 

 

Hot Hair Barrettes, 2 x 3 inches, with hair clasp on the back.

Hot Hair Barrettes, 2 x 3 inches, with hair clasp on the back.

10b green frog 10c purple with silver key 10d tourqoise with pink bead front 10e beige with wire 10f beige with blue butterfly