Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Wood Collages

In November I finished two wood collages using only fabrics I dyed or painted.

They were included in my application to be juried into Central Arts Gallery, a co-op in Tucson. They are in the process of moving the gallery to a new location, so I will probably not hear from them until early next year.

While shopping two weeks ago in Tubac, AZ, I visited a new store, Sweet Stuff. It is filled with wonderful treasures, including lovely flowing garments. I asked the owner if she was interested in selling hand-dyed silk scarves. She now has a collection of my scarves for sell and next week we will be talking about me dyeing some dresses for her. The owner is Cheryl Todd, a former ballerina and psychotherapist. She is a lovely person and I am thrilled to work with a her.

Sweet Stuff is in a little plaza containing the gallery of an artist friend, Roberta Rogers. Her watercolors are beautiful. When I visited Cheryl last week, Roberta was painting outside in the plaza that is surrounded by their establishment which they share with another artist Peter Chope. The scene of Roberta painting in the sun shine was very picturesque. Next time when I visit their charming plaza, I will bring my camera.

Friday, December 25, 2009


My fiber artist friend, Barbara Schneider, has just started a daily blog. In 1997 and again in 2007, Barbara created daily visual journals. Just click on Barbara's name to view her new blog.

She has inspired me to challenge myself to blog daily. I am hoping that putting this in writing and out to the universe will help me fulfill this commitment. The only exceptions will be when I am out of town. because I do not own a laptop computer. I beginning this week to give this project a beneficial initiation.

This week I am working on creating a small wall hanging as a class project. It depicts a picture I took of Antelope canyon . This is the same picture I used as inspiration for a post card I created last fall. Below are pictures of my photo and the quilt top of this project. All of the fabric, except the white organza, was painted using Seta Color paints. Tomorrow, I will quilt it. I think the floor should be quilted with ovals that will be free motioned. This is something I will need to practice a little before proceeding. The rest of the quilting can be done very slowly using my walking foot. I have perfected sewing very slowly with my Pfaff, which is almost 30 years old. Sewing slowly with this machine has become a meditation.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Art Cloth Network Meeting

On Wednesday, I returned from the Art Cloth Network meeting, which was held in Houston this year. The Art Cloth Network is dedicated to exploring and promoting ART CLOTH. In addition to a business meeting, we also have gallery where members show their recent work. Pictures of our meeting can be seen at the Art Cloth Network Blog. Since Art Cloth Network had a juried exhibit at Archway Gallery in Houston, we attended a Meet the Artist Reception there on Tuesday. The exhibit is titled Quake. Be sure to double click on each image to view the whole piece.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

September Highlights II

I am happy to report that I had two unexpected sales in September. At one of my salon/critique group meetings early in September, I brought one of my fabric collages that I just finished stitching for critique. I was planning on mounting it on wood, but I did not have time to do so before our meeting. To my surprise and delight, Barbara Amyx told me she wanted to buy it when it was finished. However, she told me not to hammer any nails into the wood. I delivered this piece to her at our next meeting. All of the fabrics in this collage are ones that I have dyed and/or painted. I have also started work on some more. I will post pictures when they are finished.

Most of the wood collages I make have nails hammered into them. Below is a picture of the one that was awarded the Judge's Purchase Award in 2008 at Tubac Center of the Arts.

Barbara and two other painters rent a house in Tucson and use it as a studio. In September, they invited a group of artist, collectors, and students for a light lunch and networking. I wore one of the silk scarves I had dyed. One of the attendees went home with it wrapped around her neck!

September Studio Highlights or What the Heck I 've Been Up To

September was a productive month.  On September 10 and 17, I taught an Introduction to Art Cloth course in Tucson. One of my new favorite techniques that I adapted from Make your Mark: Explore your Creatviity and Discover Your Inner Artist, a book by Margaret Peot is applying paint using a brayers wrapped with  paint using a brayer with rubber bands wrapped about it on two pieces of commercial fabric. On the first fabric pictured below, I then stamped over the brayered layer with carved erasers using citrine Lumiere. On the second one, I sponged printed with the same paint. Let me know what you think of the results.

In September, I spent many hours working on the Sonoita Elementary School project. I drove out to the school three times (one hour and ten minutes each way) to get some help with sewing jeans strips together for mounting the twenty second graders' quilt blocks.

One day, a mother and I spent five hours pinning and sewing. I finished this wall hanging last week. Since there is no place in my home to hang it to photograph, I laid it on my bed and stood on a ladder to snap a photo. Once it is hung at the school, I will be able to get a better shots of it.

My DH was so impressed with the finish product that he wants to keep it. I told him that was not possible. However, it certainly the best compliment he could have given me.

I also finished the top for another quilt square for the desert beauties collection: the lantana. Some of the lantanas have flowers that are all the same color and others have multiple colors. I decided to depict the one that has different colored flowers. Below is a picture of two plants in my garden, followed by my quilt square.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glacier Walking

One of the highlights of our trip was a walk on Columbia Icefield's Athabasca Glacier which is located between Banff and Jasper in Alberta, Canada.

Here are two pictures of the glacier as you slowly approach it. Click on the second photo. Those small dots are people and the rectangles are the special vehicles for traveling on the glacier. They are called all-terrain Ice Explorers.

Here is a close-up of an all-terrain Ice Explorer

This is the road we traveled on in the all-terrain Ice Explorer. Be sure to click on this photo also. The road was very steep!!!!

We spent about 20 minutes walking on the glacier. This is a photo of looking up at the glacier from its base.

A close-up.


Even Closer!

And finally, a close-up of the melt water!

P. S. Some of the photos I took and some DH took.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Canadian Rockies

In August we spent about 8 days in the Canadian Rockies. Unfortunately, I came home with a terrible cold, so I took it easy for over a week.

I am back to my routine of working in the studio, teaching, and walking 12 miles/week.

Our trip to the Canada was beautiful. We spent two nights in Waterton Lakes National Park on the border of the US. In 1932, this park along with Glacier National Park in the US were combined to form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a celebration of the friendship between Canada and the United States. Below are pictures of Waterton lake and the town. The lake is feed by glaciers which make the water such beautiful colors.

This is the view from the town. The wind comes flying into the valley causing whitecaps on the lake.

This waterfall feeds into Waterton lake.

In the town of Watertown, we saw many deer, which just roam around the streets, sitting on people's lawns and eating their flowers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Antelope Canyon Postcard

Last week I mailed my postcard entry for the upcoming postcard exhibit, Wish You Were Here. This exhibit will be held at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson, AZ from September 10 - November 16, 2009. Tohono Chul Park is a "49-acre desert preserve featuring nature trails, demonstration gardens, art and cultural events, and more."

Last year, Ali and I visited Antelope canyon on the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona. It is a slot canyon - one that you can only walk through. We spent five hours on a photographic tour with our guide, Carol Bigthumb. It was truly a magical experience. The inspiration for my entry was one of the over 200 photos I took in the canyon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hibernation is Over

Yes, I finally feel like my hibernation is over. Actually I was not sleeping. I have been trying to organize my life. Last week, I finished reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer. It contains 64 principles for achieving your dreams. You know how we all write the goals and file them away. The authors suggest that you write an affirmation for each goal on an index card. You are then supposed to read them at least twice a day so that you keep focused on those goals. They have all kinds of wonderful suggestions for achieving your goals.

As a result, I have been busy putting together classes for this fall and winter. Saturday, I started teaching a fabric collage class at the quilt store in Green Valley. I am happy to be teaching one of the seven classes I proposed for the summer. I know here in Green Valley everything slows down in the summer because the snow birds leave; however, three classes were offered in Tucson. I was hoping things would be better there. I guess things are slow even in Tucson.

Several week ago, we were inundated with hoards of beautiful yellow butterflies. They come every year, but not in the numbers we saw this year. Most of them stayed over a week. Here are some photos I took of them on our Mexican bird of paradise plant. All the very light yellow spots are butterflies. Click on the picture to see them better.

There are still some here now. Usually, you seen them in pairs and they seem fly after each other in a three-dimensional spiral. So last year after doing some design exercises, I created thermofax screens of dancing butterflies!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cactus and Roses

I love the thought of Cactus and Roses. Below is a picture of our front yard with a luscious rose bush growing close to a small saguaro cactus - you know the ones that Arizona is famous for. Below are some more pictures of the many flowering plants (saguaro and cereus) around my neighborhood. I took these pictures while recuperation from my artist in residence, followed by a long hibernation.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Artist in Residence at Sonoita Elementary School

On April 20, I started my artist in residence at Sonoita Elementary School in Elgin, AZ. This small town is approximately, 30 miles from Tombstone and is surrounded by ranches, vineyards, and wineries. As you can tell from Elgin's welcoming sign showing girls stomping grapes, its wine business is flourishing.

I am teaching grades 2 - 5. I spent one hour each day for two weeks with each class. Each grade used a variety of resource materials to create historical, fabric wall hangings about Ranching Through the Ages. Approximate time frames for each of the major ranching periods in the history of Arizona were assigned to different grades:

  • Grade 2: Current (1975 - 2009)
  • Grade 3: 1901 - 1974
  • Grade 4: 1857 - 1900
  • Grade 5: 1691 - 1821

Before I began teaching, I spent many hours preparing. This included buying supplies, cutting 30 yards of fabric and over 5 yards of 90" wide batting. Early one morning (around 3:00 AM) about three weeks ago, an idea came to me to mount the children's compositions (12" X 18") on jean material. I asked the school and friends here in Green Valley to collect old jeans. Consequently, I have also be spending time cutting them into long strips that will be sewn together.

During the first week we concentrated on drawing our compositions and making pattern pieces for fabric appliqués. At the beginning of the second week, students painted their background fabric and fabric for their appliqués. Then fusible webbing was used to appliqué their pieces to their background fabric. Of course, adults did all of the ironing. Below are two drawings created by a second and a third grader, respectively.

We decided that the second grade would make a whole scene designed by them. Students were divided into groups to design the sun, the clouds and birds, mountains, animals, jeeps (ranch equipment), etc. After two students put a river into their designs, we added a river that flowed from one end of the scene to the other. The horse see in the above drawing was one of the animals appliquéd. I helped them with their patterns and then they cut out all the pieces except the mountain, hills, and river. When we ironed all their appliquéd pieces to the backgrounds, even their teacher was blown away. The twenty 12" x 18" wall pieces were pinned to a sheet to view the semi-finished project. Be sure to click on the photo to see a bigger image of the project.

Last Thursday, the school had an art night to display the art work the students have done over the year. I have included some photos of the Ranching Through the Ages wall hangings created by grades 3 -5 below. Over the summer, I will finish cutting the jeans apart and mounting all the pieces on them. Several staff and parents have volunteered to help with the sewing.

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

I had a wonderful two weeks at the school. The students were enthusiastic and did some incredible work. I also learned a great deal from them; some of which will help me be more prolific with my work. I feel blessed to been able to participate in such a rewarding experience. The staff at the school was very helpful. And I cannot sing enough praises for the four teachers (Mr. Smith, Mrs. Coleman, Mrs. Vanden Berge, and Mrs. Cartter) I worked with.