Archive for April, 2016

I work in a series by natural inclination.  After I’ve finished a piece, it makes sense to me to keep going with an idea as long as it still interests me. I see if there is a variation that I want to try, a different technique, or just push an idea a little further.

But after listening to a lecture by Kathleen Loomis at the recent SAQA Conference (Studio Art Quilt Associates) on this topic, I picked up on something new to me.

She posed the question: how many series to do you work on at once?

And — oops — I had thought I had to finish (exhaust) a series before starting something new.  It felt, well, disloyal to an idea to leave it hanging to pursue a new one.

Now, since I understand that it’s “OK” to work on more than one series, I’m doing just that.

Here are three pieces I just finished.

The first one, “The Right to Arm Bears” is the upteenth in a series I started in January of combining photos of objects in my environment to create imaginary landscapes — often humorous ones.

The second one is maybe the third in a series of “old wood,” inspired by our humble wood pile here on the farm. There are more to come of these for sure.

And the third one is the first of a series of using bits of plastic toys. There are so many at the flea market I visit every week.  Perhaps they were once loved, but are now discarded. I’m thinking of the series as “throw away nation.” And my thoughts also drift to the waste of human lives, not just tons of plastic, due to racism or wars. Hey — I do have a serious side, but don’t tell anyone!

The cooperative gallery of which I’m a member, Art Plus Gallery in West Reading, PA, has been experimenting.

We’ve increased the number of outside venues where we show members art from 3 to 7 and counting. Most of them are cafes or restaurants, and yes, we do occasionally get a sale.

But two of them are different. One is a realtors office, where people are buying homes, and presumably making changes in their decor at the same time.

The other is a design studio. The opening there is tonight, and I’m excited to see what happens.

We did have one sale at the realtors office so far.

martha at Weichert

Martha Ressler, from left: Re-configuring Drake’s Drilling,\; Western PA — Oh What a Relief; Eastward Ho.  Art Quilts. Weichert Realtors.

Milkweed at Saylor House

Martha Ressler, on left, Milkweed, Food Fit for a Monarch.  Art Quilt. Saylor House

I’ve been thinking about Amy Orr’s art. I had credit cards on my mind, as one more set arrived in the mail with “the chip” embedded. Woo-hoo!
But that means recycling the old one, and for me that means mailing it off to Amy Orr.
I’ve been sending her my old credit cards for years, and she makes beautiful art from them. Orr coverage

I wear my gold star burst pin I bought from her years ago, and always get compliments. No, I explain, I didn’t make it — Amy Orr did. Keep going, Amy.  I’ll stick to the cloth, papers, plastics and found objects, and you make beauty out of credit cards!

Artists Announced for My Corner of the World Exhibits

Juror Micaela Fitzsimmons, Manager of Collections and Exhibits at the Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford, Ontario, has selected the artists to be included in the My Corner of the World exhibit.

My Corner of the World invited the artist to examine a world, real or imagined, that represented what is important in life. It might be where the artist resides, works, or grew up. It might be a favorite place from any point in life or a special internal place. My Corner of the World looks at the big picture including, but not limited to a homeland, ancestry or culture.

SAQA developed this exhibition in collaboration with the Stratford Perth Museum, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, and with the Canadian Regions of SAQA. The all-SAQA exhibition will debut along with the parallel regional Canadian exhibition at the Museum in May 2016.

Congratulations to all the accepted artists!

All-SAQA My Corner of the World exhibit (artist, location, and title)

Linda Anderson (California, USA) – Timeless Beauty
Bonnie Askowitz (Florida, USA) – The Sun Sets over Blackwater Sound
Peggy Blei-Hracho (Pennsylvania, USA) – Home: noun, A Place Where Something Flourishes
Peggy Brown (Indiana, USA) – Shades of Italy III-Day Lily
Bonnie Bucknam (Washington, USA) – Willow Wood
Erika Carter (Washington, USA) – Cradle
Maya Chaimovich (Israel) – Hidden Line
Vicki Conley (New Mexico, USA) – Conflagration, Desolation, Rejuvenation, Jubilation #2
Millie Cumming (Ontario, Canada) – Grand Artefacts
Millie Cumming (Ontario, Canada) – Summer Idyll, Waterlily Bay
Jennifer Day (New Mexico, USA) – New Mexico Schoolhouse
Dianne Firth (Australia) – Rolling Hills
Bodil Gardner (Denmark) – My childhood country
Bethany Garner (Ontario, Canada) – Turning Point
Mita Giacomini (Ontario, Canada) – August
Georgia Heller (Arizona, USA) – Life on the Trail:Brown’s Ranch
Bella Kaplan (Israel) – The Eagle Falls
Kathleen Kastles (Hawaii, USA) – Texting at the Food Court
Jill Kerttula (Virginia, USA) – 3rd and Main
Ellie Kreneck (Texas, USA) – West Toward Home – Bright Spirit
Jenny Lyon (California, USA) – Prairie Afternoon
Kate Madeloso (Nova Scotia, Canada) – A Vanishing Culture
Bobbe Shapiro Nolan (Texas, USA) – Oil Patch #1: Clutch Manifold
Claire Passmore (Wiltshire, UK) – Forced Removal
The Pixeladies (California, USA) – Fault Line
Joan Reive (Ontario, Canada) – Lake Vistas #2
Martha Ressler (Pennsylvania, USA) – Evening in Steel Valley
Judith Roderick (New Mexico, USA) – My Tree of Life Quilt
Molly Samuels (South Carolina, USA) – Blue Heron
Barbara Schneider (Illinois, USA) – Line Dance, Tree Ring Patterns, var. 13
Karen Schulz (Maryland, USA) – SPP 12
Alison Schwabe (Uruguay) – Purnululu #7
Sara Sharp (Texas, USA) – Birding on Quiet Hill
Maria Shell (Alaska, USA) – Root Glacier
Gail Sims (California, USA) – The High-Line, New York City
Carolyn Skei (Texas, USA) – Alcove
Virginia Spiegel (Illinois, USA) – Boundary Waters 60 (Rock Time)
Gwyned Trefethen (Wisconsin, USA) – Deconstructed Sunrise #3
Maggie Vanderweit (Ontario, Canada) – Snowfall in Sunlight
K. Velis Turan (New York, USA) – Broadway El
Laura Wasilowski (Illinois, USA) – Blue Chair in the Library with a Candlestick

evening in steel valley21x26.5small

I just got home from the 27th Studio Art Quilt Associates Conference in Philadelphia, and am walking on air. SAQA has gone from 1 exhibition per year in 2005 to 11 or 12 per year now. And an increasing number at in museums, like the ground breaking joint exhibition Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora opening April 16 at the Textile Museum in Washington DC.

I gave a Pecha Kucha talk (by definition short: 20 slides for 20 seconds each.) Kept me or anyone else from going on too long.  They were exciting and informative. Mine was called “27 Quilts in 30 Days,” my adventure in speed quilting last January. There were 24 talks in all.

We traveled to nearby Wayne, PA to see Art Quilt Elements 2016, at Wayne Art Center.  I’ll include some pictures from that too.

A few highlights were: Kathleen Loomis’ talk, “Why Working in a Series Works,” Carolyn Mazloomi, “When Being a Good Artist is Not Enough,” Maria Shell, “Walk, Talk, and Write Like an Artist,” David Kohane, “Can I Use That? Copyright from a Legal Perspective.”

We bid farewell to our talented, personable outgoing President, Kris Sazaki, and welcomed Lisa Ellis for the start of her term.

Mostly I was having too much fun, or thinking too much to take many photos. Sorry folks, you’ll have to join SAQA to understand the camaraderie, joy and inspiration I get from this great group.


I am pleased to be in a small group show at Some Things Looming Gallery, opening April 16, 2016, from 1-4 PM.

The artists are Lisa Jean Allswede, Marie Bergstedt, Kachina Martin and Martha Ressler