Friday, April 29, 2011

Pickens County Art Museum Juried Show.

You are invited to the Thirty-Second Annual Juried South Carolina Artists Exhibition. April 30 till June 9, 2011. Juried by Frank Thompson of the Ashville Art Museum. Opening Reception Saturday April 30, 2011 5 to 8 PM.

My piece "Love" was juried into the show, I'll have photos Sunday. Come if you can.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sacred Thread Exhibit

"A New Beginning"

I found out yesterday via email that my quilt "A New Beginning" had been juried into the 2011 Sacred Thread's Exhibit in Hemdon, VA. The show opens June 22 and closes July 4, 20ll. An opening to meet the artist will be held June 25 from 2-5. To learn more about the exhibit go to

I first heard about the Sacred Threads Exhibit several years ago and found it to be a very inspirational exhibit. It is only held every two years. The quilt I chose to enter is one of my older pieces but one that I felt should be in this exhibit.

Several years ago a friend of mine, Claude Smith, died of cancer. He was a member of our Focus Art Group. Claude had already fought cancer once only to have a different type attack him years later. During his many hospitalization Claude filled his sketch book with designs that he wished to make some day.

That some day never came for Claude. After Claude's passing, I approached his wife Carol and asked if she would permit our Focus group to choose a design out of Claude's book. We each wanted to take his design and portray it in our own fashion. Carol agreed and we were able to have this exhibit in the Spartanburg SC Art Museum.

During my time working on this piece I felt Claude's presence in my studio. I can't remember a time before or since when every fabric I pulled from my stash worked. Every design I chose for the quilting worked. I found myself talking to Claude as if he were with me.

When I saw the entry ad for Sacred Thread I knew that I wanted to enter this piece in the exhibit. I'm so glad that Claude's design will be seen by so many people.

My good friend Judy Hayward also has a wonderful piece in this exhibit. "Imagine" You can see it on her blog

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Having a Wonderful Time in my Studio

Day Seven: I started working on this piece of my grandson, Connor seven days ago. I have been doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and working in my studio. Yes, I'm loving it.

When I see these two photos together I see some things I need to do, especially to the eyes.

I'm going to post a photo of what I accomplished at the end of each day.

Day one: I felt that I got off to a good start.

Day two: Got the rest of the face done today, with a little yet to do around the eyes. Started on the yellow part of the pineapple but hit such a wall that I decided to move on to something else.

Day three: You wouldn't believe it took me all day to do this would you?

Day Four: It's starting to go together.

Day five: Not an easy task to build a hand. I know it doesn't look like much here but the missing parts will be covered up. Again a whole day's work.

Day six: Had to search for fabric today to make Connor's shirt. For the background behind his head and for the table under the pineapple. I had a fabulous piece of navy blue fabric with lights and darks to make the folds and highlights hand dyed by Vicki Welsh. I found two pieces that I thought would work for the background and decided on this commercial green/gold. The table fabric is also a hand dyed piece.

Day Seven: Worked on the fruit of the pineapple today, added the bits and pieces to make the area around where the leaves stop and the fruit starts. Put everything together and it's almost done. I have a bit more to do around Connor's eyes and a little adjusting in getting everything to fit and the top will be finished.

This is the most intense I have worked on a piece in a long time. It usually takes me months to get this far. You might say I'm obsessed. I quit about 5:30 today so I could make dinner. After I went upstairs I called back to my husband and asked him to go in my studio and "if you can find it, please bring my camera up". When I got ready to download my photos this showed up. Funny husband!

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow?

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Work: Ohm

This is a piece that I've been working on since last July. I took a class with Pat Mint at Arrowmont in printing on fabric and learning photo manipulation. While playing with several photos from my files I decided that I wanted to blend them and make one photo.

I took this photo of my granddaughter, Aubrey

and this photograph of a hosta from my garden.

and after playing with them in Photo Shop Elements 8, I came up with this. During the process of manipulation I held a key down to long and all the color except black and white went out of the picture. I loved it. I finally figured out what I did and I can do it again.

With Pat's magic formula I printed four banner sections and then sewed them together to a size that equals about 30" x 40". Now I had to decide how I was going to make this into a quilt. My first idea was to print three photos of the Hosta using different filters for each print. I also wanted to use three photos of Aubrey using different filters in black and white.

I looked at this for several days and thought this is Okay, but I wanted more than Okay. So I played with a few more ideas.

I hadn't liked how the printed hostas looked so I took those away and added more photos of my granddaughter to the other side. Again this is Okay but not quite there yet.

One of the things that was bother me was the fact that everything was symmetrical. So I decided I was going to take away one of the side panels. After looking at this for a while an idea hit me. I should make the side panel all black using one piece of fabric and cut her portrait out in three places. After a bit of math, not my strong point, I figured out where each portrait should be placed and cut out the black, adding white fabric behind. It is similar to reverse applique only done by fusing.

During the process of making this piece I decided that I wanted to diminish the effects of the hosta, so I used acrylic paint to dull it some what.

Now I'm to the part I hate, quilting. I had decided that I would following the lines of Aubrey's face and hands. I started machine quilting and had about a third of the face finished. I put it away again and when I got it out I decided that I was going to work on the black panel. I had an idea but I wanted to try it out first.

Since I had lots of these little pieces made I decided to make one as a wall hanging for Aubrey and practice the quilting at the same time. I really liked the effect I got from the design. I used YLI Variations color:Thunder, I really like this thread because the color changes often and you don't end up with blobs of color. I like the straight/wavy line so much in the black panel that I decided to take out all the quilting on her face and carry the line motif across the quilt.

Well, that's it. Comments would be appreciated.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

HiFiber Meeting for April

HiFiber met last Thursday for it's monthly meeting. Bonnie Ouellette did a demo on how to dye shibori fabric. I'm going to post on that meeting next month so I will have some photos of the results of our experiments.

I didn't talk about the demo Marge Edie did for our group last month because we had some missing members and Marge was going to give them a demo before this months meeting. Several of the members brought their finished pieces this month.

Marge gave each of us an envelope that contained several copies of the same photo as well as one copy that had been cut into 20, 2" pieces.

We were to choose 10 pieces that we didn't like and eliminate them. We then chose 5 and on until we had one left that we really liked. This piece was for us to reproduce into a 2" fiber piece.

Bonnie Ouellette's piece placed on the photo from where her 2" square was cut. Bonnie works with beads, can you tell.

Beatrix chose to paint her 2" square. I have a feeling that is the way I'm going with mine. I have lots of things happening in my 2" sq and I don't think I want to try and cut something that small.

Marge's demo photo.

Dianna brought her finished pieces, yes pieces, she tried two different ideas for her sq. unfortunately my photos of her pieces didn't turn out. Sorry

Next month I hope to have some samples of the Shibori technique taught by Bonnie.

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Photos from Campbell Class

Kayren, did an amazing job on these portraits of her son. She sent me the second photograph first and she really wanted to do this one. However, there was a lot of background that made it hard for me to see where his face ended and the background began. The background could be dropped out but that was more than work than I was doing on everyone's photos.

She sent me several more and I was able to get a good pattern for her out of one of them. After she finished her first portrait she asked if we could work on the one she really loved. She dropped out the background and the fabric she wanted to use was too small for the technique I was teaching.

However, I told her I would help her with another method. We blew up the photo to 20 x 20 and printed it poster size to get the right proportions. I then showed her how to make her pattern pieces and look at the results.

This isn't done because she wants to add his upper body and hand which was holding a dandelion.

Kate is one of my return students from Campbell. She attended my "Fabricating Nature workshop" a couple of years ago. It's always so good to see my students return for a different workshop.

Kate made a wonderful portrait of her grandson and has plans to make portraits of the other three as well.

Stephanie chose to start her class by making a portrait of her brother's son. It turned out great.

Along with Kayren, Stephanie was pretty skilled in PhotoShop and was able to produce the pattern for her husbands photo. He has a lot of hair, both black and white (including his beard). Stephanie chose a kit I brought that worked really well for this portrait.

Stephanie plans to do some thread painting on Tom's beard and hair to make it more realistic.

I'm so proud of what was accomplished this week in my class. These women did a wonderful job.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Work from Students at J C Campbell

I spent this last weekend teaching "Fabricating Faces" at John C. Campbell Folk School. I love teaching there. The place is beautiful the atmosphere is laid back and the students are great.

This is a group photo on Sunday morning. You can see some of the finished portraits behind our heads.

You might notice on Linda B's portrait of her father that he looks younger in one of the photos than the other. When Linda finished she felt that her portrait looked like a younger version of her Father. I suggested that she put the line under his eyes and the smile lines beside his mouth and voila,instant age.

Adri H. wanted to do a portrait of her dog Juma. When she talked about her dog you could hear the love in her voice. I had recommended Vicki Welsh, fabric dyer, to my students as a place to purchase hand-dyed gradient fabrics. Vicki has worked with me to develop skin tones for my classes. Adri didn't tell Vicki that she was buying them for my class so she was sent Vicki's regular fabrics. What a luckly mistake. The fabrics were perfect for an animal portrait.

Adri, started another photo of Juma and almost had it finished. Some how I missed getting a photo of that piece.


Look at this beauty. Baby (children) photos are hard to resist and they do make such cute portraits. Carol K. made this portrait of her granddaughter. Carol also ordered this fabric from Vicki and didn't mention that she was taking my class. Luckily there was enough even dying on this to get this portrait. The fabric worked great in the sweater area.

Carol didn't cut the teeth out with the spaces when she put them on the fabric. The space in her teeth is so much a part of her portrait that I suggested she try to cut little bitty pieces of fabric to add to the teeth. Poor Carol spent nearly as much time cutting and placing those little spaces as she did on the whole portrait. However, she agrees that it was time well spent.

I was really happy to see that Carol chose Rosewood color for her fabric. I love it when people go a little outside the norm.

Ashley also chose her beloved dog Sally as her subject for this class. She wanted to start with Sally and then move on to making portraits of her two boys. Ashley is some what of a new beginner to quilting and was a bit intimidated. In reality this class has little to do with quilting other than they are both made of fabric. However, Ashley did a wonderful job and gained confidence. That is what I'm proudest of.

Ashely had purchased fabrics with the help of a sales woman in her local quilt store. The calico type fabrics made for a cute but not very realistic portrait. This is not to say that I haven't seen portraits made out of calico that look very real. Look up Marilyn Belford her portraits are wonderful and she often uses calico type fabrics. Ashley decided to purchase a kit from me and made a second portrait which she liked better. A job well done.

More from J C Campbell Folk School later.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

J C Campbell and the Beautiful World Outside my Window

I'm off to J. C. Campbell Folk School tomorrow to teach "Fabricating Faces". I love that place and will be posting about the class after I return.

How beautiful is this? We have lots of native dogwood trees around our log house on Lake Keowee. Early this week I was sitting out in my swing overlooking the beauty that surrounds me. I just couldn't let it go unrecorded.

This viburnum has more blooms this year than ever before. I love it against the blue sky.

Look at this color. I always walk around in the Spring trying to capture this green. Usually I'm not successful but this year I think I have it.

I bought a pot of hardy orchids about ten years ago when we lived in Greenville, SC. They didn't do well, never bloomed so when we moved to the lake I brought a little bunch with me. Now I have an area about three feet covered in these beautiful flowers.

Get out this week and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Great Day Teaching

Isn't she a cutie? I just had to start off with this portrait made by Gayle Johnson of the Foothills Piecemaker Guild in Greenville, SC. I had a wonderful experience yesterday teaching eleven woman how to make portraits.

The class was held at Marietta's Quilt Shop in Simpsonville, SC. The space was great and Dee did a wonderful job helping me get ready. Thanks Marietta and Dee.

This portrait of her husband was made by Beth Andrews. It's nice to have a repeat student in your classes. Beth took my Fabricating Nature class at QSC a few years ago.

Becky Smith was the hostess for the workshop and she was also a student. She went out for lunch and had to return a projector so didn't have as much time to work on her daughter's portrait as everyone else.

Dagmar Theodore did a wonderful job on this portrait of her Dad.

This is the workshop space at Marietta's Shop. I'm not sure but I think we may have been one of the first workshop for this new space.

Hard at work

Becki Kauffman's little girl in brown almost finished.

Lynn Parker is a quilt teacher and decided she wanted to make a self-portrait. She told me that if she blotched this project it won't matter if it was her. I don't think she blotched it at all. Looks good Lynn.

This cute little guy was made by Karen Whitworth.

Brenda Wall chose her Dad as her subject. What a good job she did. When Brenda was finished she decided she didn't like the way her father mouth looked. We had a look at it and I made a little suggestion, which she followed and this is the results.

I got a shock when Mary Rieck sent me two photos of horses. I've made a dog but not a horse. I wrote Mary back and said I'm willing if you are. What a great portrait this turned out to be. Mary still needs to put his eye with the hi-light in his eye.

I saved Susan Perham for last. She was my technical support, although she didn't come with that in mind. She helped me when my printer wouldn't work. She also went after ink when the same, said printer, ran out.

Susan is another return student, and it is always a pleasure to have her in my class. Look at her son's portrait and you will see the joy he shows. That comes from his Mother.

I also had Susan's Mother Christine Serig in my class. She worked on a portrait of Susan when she was a little girl. For some reason I didn't get a photo of Christine's project. She didn't get her's finished but there is no doubt she will be able to finish on her own.

I had a wonderful day, I hope they did.