Sunday, May 30, 2010

Arts on the Alley

My daughter, Lisa and her friend Donna are visiting this weekend. They always like to do some kind of window shopping while here and we were lucky enough to have "Arts on the Alley", a festival held every year in downtown Seneca, to walk through yesterday.

I don't exactly how many years this festival has been presented, but every year it gets better. They have a B-B-Q challenge, music, as well as many vendors set up in the downtown, or Ram Cat Alley section of Seneca.

The following are photos I shot during the day, hope you enjoy.

Arts on the Alley

As always with these shows there is one artist that really stands out in my opinion. The one this year is Alan Boggs. Alan is gourd artist exceptional. The imagination and creativity that goes into these pieces of art is extraordinary. All of these pieces are made with parts of gourds.

Arts on the Alley

Pottery booth

Arts on the Alley

Our local guild, Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild, had a booth set up to sell raffle tickets for our Presentation Quilt that will given away in September at our guild show. The title of the quilt is "Eat Your Greens" and was made by Margaret Barre and Libby Carter.

Arts on the Alley

Circa 1930 my favorite place to eat on Ram Cat Alley. This view is to show the stained glass windows as well as the tin ceiling. Circa is only open for lunch but it is such a neat venue. As I understand it the building was once a department store. It now houses Circa as well as an antique mall.

The buildings integrity has been kept with any renovations through the years. The building has wonderful wooden floors and a tin ceiling. It is furnished with a mixture of chairs at each table. The serving dishes are a mixture of China, glassware and silver. During the Christmas Holidays the dishes are all Christmas theme China. Oh, I almost forgot, the food is good too.

Arts on the Alley

Roger Marcengill is a local blacksmith who with his wife Gail operates the M H Forge in Westminster.

Arts on the Alley

View down Ram Cat Alley.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today is my Birthday

Today is my birthday and I decided yesterday that I was going to give myself a present. I told my husband last night that I was doing no cooking today. He usually takes me out or cooks but I wanted him to have notice, just in case.

Besides no cooking, and the best part of my present was to spend the day in my studio. I have been struggling with a project that I have been working on, one that is due in July or early August. I am trying to reproduce the tree stump seen in this photograph.

Today is my Birthday

The photograph on the right was the first one I worked on but after I got to this point I was not happy with the fabric. I always hate to give up but I seem to be able to finally come to the conclusion when enough is enough.

I started over again this morning. I knew that I was going to before I entered the studio. I thought about it a lot last night, looked at the photos I always take of my progression and made the decision to start over.

My biggest decision other than the change of fabric was to work with the negative space. Sometimes I find it much easier to see the negative space. When the Batman icon was put out there years ago, it took me months to finally see the bat. Sooo, I decided that I was going to take the shapes of the shadows and try to sculpt the tree stump. I'm pretty happy so far, it has a long way to go but I feel good about the beginning.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Seeing Things Differently

When I teach a class, the most important thing I want my students to walk-a-way with is, "How to see, really SEE".

The definition for see is; to get knowledge or an awareness of, observe, to get a clear mental impression. I didn't really have that kind of awareness until I took my first drawing class when I was 42 years old. How much in my life did I look at and not see?

At a recent class I taught at John C. Campbell Folk School I had a student who really learned to see. She recently sent me an email that I wanted to share parts with you. I asked her permission and she agreed.

Kate Coventry is from NY State and has been quilting for a long time. She took my class "Fabricating Nature" because she wanted to break out of her traditional quilting box. After her class at Campbell, Kate and her husband Stan drown down to Florida for a little more vacation before heading back to NY. Here are a few of the comments she made.

"Since taking your class I looked at scenery with a much different eye and saw so many new things along the way and during our week in Florida. I remembered you telling us you took a photo of bark on a tree and as I was sitting having lunch one day in the Florida sunshine, I really noticed the bark on a palm tree and came up with an idea of turning some horizontal fabric I know I have vertically to get those rings on the tree".

"I don't think I can find the words to tell you how much I enjoyed taking your class. I learned so much from you and feel as if I have the confidence to do something I have always wanted to do. The class was by far the best one I have ever taken at John Campbell or any place else. I have taken many quilt classes through the years, both at JC and other places and have learned quite a bit about quilting but have never been so excited as I am since your class. I talked my husband's ear off during our trip about ideas I have. If I was quiet too long he asked what quilt I was imagining at the moment. My brain is overloaded with memories of your class, ideas of things to try, and thoughts of taking another class with you".

This folks is what I love about teaching.
Hope you enjoy some of the sights I saw on my recent trip to Harbor Island.


Seeing Things Differently

When I saw this knot on a tree and focused on it with my camera I felt I could see a face inside the knot. I'm presently working on a piece where I am inserting a face in a hole within a tree. I think I might be seeing things.

I loved the shape of this leaf. I shot several frames at different angles but this is my favorite.

Seeing Things Differently

These designs were made in the sand by wave action. Every where I looked there was a different design. These intrigued me, I could have taken a thousand photographs and not had one that looked alike.

Seeing Things Differently

When I take a walk my eye seems to be drawn to vignettes rather than to the whole. Of course, I look at the ocean, sky, beach,trees, etc. but my eye often wonders to a little pine cone almost covered with sand or a hole with grains of sand made into tiny balls by a crab.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bird Rookery

My husband and I are visiting good friends who have a wonderful home on Harbor Island, SC. In their subdivision, Harbor Island, there are three bird rookeries. We went out today and I took the following photographs. ENJOY!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On Vacation at the beach

The cacti are in bloom on Harbor Island in SC. We went on a little walk yesterday to visit a small field near the beach where they were in bloom. This one was giving away some of it's pollen.

A small fence with a beautiful patina lined the walkway to the beach.

The photos that follow need no explanation. It's pretty obvious I am stuck on texture.

On Vacation at the beach

Monday, May 10, 2010

In Full Bloom 2010 IQA

"Peacockiness" is one of thirty-seven quilts chosen to be in the "In Full Bloom 2010": Floral Quilts in Memory of Helen Pearce O'Bryant exhibit to be shown at International Quilt Festival. These quilts will be shown during International Quilt Market in Houston, TX, Oct. 30-Nov.1. 2020. It will then hang during Quilt Festival, Nov. 4-7, 2010.

This is a traveling exhibit and will hang at the IQA Quilt Festival, Cincinnati, OH. April 8-10, 2011 and on to IQA Quilt Festival, Long Beach, CA, July 29-31, 2011.

This quilt was designed and constructed by myself with Diana Pickens doing the amazing quilting. I'm excited to have this quilt chosen for this exhibit.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Studio

Sometime I have to just stop and clean my studio. That happened to me recently when I was trying to get some work done and just couldn't seem to concentrate. I couldn't find things I was looking for, I had piles on top of piles. The light bulb finally went off and I realized I was just going to have to stop and clean.

I love my studio after I've gone through everything and found a place where everything belongs. Besides the fact that I can find everything, my mind clears up and I start getting inspiration.

When I had my solo exhibit in November 2009, I named it "Wall Art". The owner of the gallery made the sign out of a laminated wood. He always gives the sign to the artist after the show is over. I decided to hang them on my design wall. I enjoy walking into my studio and seeing the white sign on my black wall.

I would like to say that my studio looks like this today but I've been working again. What can I say. The before and after photos follow.

My Studio

Obviously this is the after shots.

My Studio


My Studio

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Week Teaching at J. C. Campbell Folk School

I left last Sunday for a week of teaching "Fabricating Nature" at J. C. Campbell Folk School. I always look forward to these weeks. I don't often have a week to teach a class. I get to teach my students so much more during a weeks time.

This week we had only three students. Normally my class if full and I find myself spread pretty thin. However, with only three students I was able to give each much more individual attention. We spent a lot of time talking and getting acquainted. I don't mean by that, that we sat and talk, but we worked and talked.

I felt a real kinship with each of the students that I don't always have the time to nurture.

It is always my goal to have my students go away from this class with two major skill. The first and foremost is look at fabric in a different light. I mean by this that I want them to see the possibilities of nature in a piece of fabric. Usually when a quilter looks at fabric it is to get the correct value and color for a pattern. As a landscape artist we are looking at what might make a great tree trunk, rock wall, etc.

Secondly, I want my students to have the courage to tackle a project on their own and be able to look at a photograph and say "I can do that."

Below is the work of my students from this past weeks class. I hope you enjoy their progression on the journey I shared with them last week.