I Hope They Didn’t Get Your Mind*

July 15, 2017

Kitten! It’s really hard for me to type when your head is on the keyboard!

IMG_6153 small

Apparently I didn’t pay enough attention to her yesterday, because she is very very close to me. Honestly, a little TOO close if you ask me. I have very demanding animals. Simba just wandered in here looking for girlchild, but she’s not here right now. He did his soft demand bark, which usually means he needs to go out…but no…what he wants is for me to locate girlchild and bring her back to him.

So today is a big day for my art…two pieces opened today in Threads of Resistance at the New England Quilt Museum. Both of mine are behind the beige curtain…

IMG_6151 small

Here are Work in Progress and Absolutely Nothing hanging with My Body, My Rules by Sue Bleiweiss.

IMG_6152 small

The show is traveling through the end of 2018…you should check it out.

The next cool thing is my Nida Powers opening tonight and artist talk tomorrow, all a little nerve-wracking for the introvert in me, but I will survive.

Meanwhile, the garage…here’s the before picture. You can’t tell from here, but the pile of crap in the middle is as big as a large SUV. Chaos reigned here…

IMG_5861 small

We’re still not done (you can’t see the driveway here), but the pile in the middle is gone…most of what’s there is school stuff that needs review or delivery to school, a bed that will be sold or junked, and some art I’m trying to decide how to store.

IMG_6137 small

We took over 10 bags to the thrift shop yesterday, the haz waste appointment is set up for next weekend, and the e-waste that’s on the right side is going today. Then CraigsList for the rest (or a junk pickup if we have to). I could screenprint in here again if I wanted to. I could probably get a car in here if I needed to (not right this second, but when I get done). Boychild has been an incredible help. It’s a real relief to have this done.

Now I need to do a similar task in my bedroom.

Girlchild just pets dogs. She’s not home for long, so we’re OK with that.

IMG_6138 small

She did go to Ikea with me yesterday to find fabric for my new classroom bulletin boards. I needed one piece of fabric for each unit…so I picked the cheapest stuff…

IMG_6140 small

Except for one I really really liked. Should be fun…very graphic stuff.

IMG_6141 small

We did dinner and ice cream out (I never get ice cream)…and then came home and I cut stuff out for three hours…Simba was overjoyed!

IMG_6143 small

Not really. Eventually Kitten came and sat with me (she really needs attention some days)…

IMG_6146 small

At close to 12:30, I had this much left to cut out. That’s another hour at least, so I quit.

IMG_6148 small

Too bad. I really wanted it all done yesterday. Didn’t happen. It might today.

IMG_6149 small

I need to shower, do the e-waste…debate another opening that is in the middle of the day (ugh), make sure I make it to my own opening…but otherwise, I might have time to sit and cut some stuff out. And then sort it. So when I do get back from the mountains, I’ll have fabric and stuff ready to go. Crap. That probably means I need to clean the studio too. Aack. Sigh. OK. List done.

This has been the last two weeks…I clean the garage and I make art and I try to fit all the other crap in around it. It’s not ideal, but I am getting shit done, and that’s always my goal in the summer.

*Milky Chance, Stolen Dance

Advertisements

Reviewing IQF Houston 2013

November 3, 2013

Yes, I took pictures. I’m never very logical about it. Sometimes I take pictures because the piece speaks to me…sometimes it’s because I want to complain about it. I try to stay away from the latter, but there are a couple in here. I don’t take a whole lot of traditional quilt photos, mostly because I find them boring. I suspect there are traditional quilters who walk right past the art quilts in the same way. So this is Kathy’s highly selective (I take fewer photos when I’m tired!) reconstruction of maybe 1/32nd of the International Quilt Festival at Houston, 2013, remembering that she had already seen West Coast Wonders and the Dinner @8 exhibit in Long Beach, and somehow she missed the placemats completely…I SAW them…I just didn’t have the mental energy to photograph any of them. My bad. But since most of you don’t come here for my quilt-show reporting, I’m not going to worry too much about my lame-ass reporting style.

Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry (sweetie, it’s too many names…I get why you’re keeping all of them, I really do, but please…maybe just calling yourself Caryl would be good) has created a series of thirty 30-inch-square pieces that celebrate her thirty years of quiltmaking, referencing her past work, themes, etc., and using her fabric collections to complete them.

Nov 2 13 001 small

So. Here’s what I think. First of all, the more power to her. She has a strong body of work that is well-liked by many, the exhibit already has 8 venues it’s traveling to, and she definitely has the technical ability to be showcased like this. I liked being able to look closely at her insane stitching…

Nov 2 13 002 small

(Electric Ellipses #2)

Especially in the more cellular-looking pieces and the two beach sand pieces.

Nov 2 13 004 small

(Casting a Long Shadow #2)

That said…why redo ideas from the last 30 years? I don’t get it? I know it might be hard to put a retrospective together if a lot of your work has sold, and I do get what you’re saying about the exhibit being pulled together by all of them being the same size, but…eh. Make New Work. Put some old work in the show. I don’t understand. It was popular, though, so apparently I am in the minority. I want to see new work, though. You have a new life…how will that change your art?

Bodil Gardner had at least 4 pieces in Houston…with two in the SAQA: People and Portraits exhibit with mine. I’ve always liked her work…it’s quirky and graphic and slightly off, but Martha Sielman mentioned something in the People and Portraits Walk and Talk that I’d never really thought about…her work is inordinately cheery. There’s never a sad moment. It’s just nice and joyful and chaotic and happy (unlike my own work).

Nov 2 13 006 small

This is Santa Lucia and that is one BIG and happy spiral-eared dog. Maybe I need to channel some Bodil. Maybe she’d let me come stay with her for a while. One of the pieces in the People and Portraits exhibit had a large central female figure, like her pieces (and mine) often do, and there was a coffee cup balanced on her shoulder, like I often do. Sielman said that Gardner says it refers to how women often share a cup of coffee (or tea) together as part of their socializing, and that if she were doing men, she would probably do a beer stein instead.

Another featured artist in People and Portraits is Sonia Bardella, whose faces have a particular quality to them.

Nov 2 13 008 small

This is Venice’s Carnival, which takes place near where she lives.

Nov 2 13 010 small

The best part is the detail she puts into the clothing in contrast to the skillfully painted faces.

Dianne Firth made four elements pieces for an exhibit, with Wind currently showing with the traveling Quilt National exhibit. This is Fire

Nov 2 13 013 small

Which, like Wind, is much more stunning and vibrant in person…and was based on the volcanic eruptions in Iceland in 2010.

Betty Busby curated an exhibit of quilts called A Walk in the Wild, a SAQA exhibit of artists from New Mexico. Below is Busby’s piece, Desert Fox.

Nov 2 13 014 small

All the pieces were similar sizes…this is Where Earth and Sky Meet by Susan Szajer.

Nov 2 13 016 small

Her work deserved a detail shot…there are even tiny beads in there…

Nov 2 13 017 small

This one…Eight Ravens by Judith Roderick…was one of my favorite quilts in the show.

Nov 2 13 020 small

Her silk-painting technique adds a lot of interest and depth to her pieces, which have that graphic quality that I love, coming out of the printmaking world.

Nov 2 13 021 small

And the subject matter of the ravens is also a favorite. This piece glowed in person.

There were two dinosaur pieces by Shannon Conley that I liked…S Is for #4 is below…

Nov 2 13 022 small

Coelophysus bauri is the dino depicted in both quilts, apparently was thought to be a cannibal until recently. In the quilt above, Conley shows him in his Triassic-era habitat, with S Is for #3 below showing him in modern-day New Mexico.

Nov 2 13 023 small

Conley is a scientist who put real teeth on that first quilt…hopefully not valuable fossils (naw, they’re polymer clay). Here’s a link to her posts about these quilts.

Kathy York is one of my favorite brightly colored artists…you’ll notice I photographed lots of bright-colored quilts (a dream? hope? wish?). I posted York’s video of populating this quilt, Park Place, a while ago…

Nov 2 13 025 small

You can see it here on her blog post where she writes about making this quilt…

Nov 2 13 026 small

This is Stella in Yellow by Joanell Connolly.

Nov 2 13 028 small

Stella is the dog in the raincoat, rescued from the animal shelter. I love the contrast and the pattern, with the pitiful-looking dog off to the side.

Both Stella and this one were part of a pet exhibit, It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, bringing awareness to saving animal lives. This is One Cat, Two Cat by Laura Bisagna.

Nov 2 13 030 small

Bisagna had been feeding a stray gray cat, and every day it would come out and eat, then go behind the house, and seemingly come out and eat again…until she realized there were two gray cats.

This piece was deceptively simple-looking until you studied it up close. This is Winter by Laurie Weiner.

Nov 2 13 033 small

The piece is whole-cloth, hand-dyed, and trapunto, but the quilting is what drew me to it…

Nov 2 13 034 small

Intense pattern and texture makes up this piece. I saw a lot of this close, patterned quilting and I’m always attracted to it, which is amusing, because I so don’t quilt like that…but it’s true that type of quilting would not lend itself to the images I create…so I am happy to admire it in other people’s work (and call them insane behind their backs…while they say the same about me and my 2000-piece quilts).

The sky drew me to this piece…In the Bleak Midwinter by Ruth Powers.

Nov 2 13 035 small

Being a Southern Californian, we rarely see winter landscapes such as these.

I always like to show Tanya Brown what pieces hers are hanging with…so there’s Under the Gingko Tree

Nov 2 13 037 small

featuring her painted whole-cloth work and crazy tiny stitching…

Nov 2 13 038 small

As well as her boy actually standing still…a minor miracle in itself.

This one drew me to it with all the crazy detail…It’s a Crazy Life by Gail Thomas.

Nov 2 13 039 small

Gail’s own beautiful, long white hair was used to quilt this piece as she recovered from health issues…

Her painting on the fabric is very colorful and detailed.

Nov 2 13 041 small

This piece drew my eye because of parts of it…overall, I wasn’t sure I liked it, but I liked the faces. This is You Are Here by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Nov 2 13 043 small

The people are from digital photos manipulated in Photoshop and printed on fabric.

Nov 2 13 045 small

It’s an interesting use of a traditional pattern with modern tones to it…I’m not sure I like the whole thing (the silver lamé really bugs me), but I liked those parts.

This quilt had lots of funky details in it…and I kinda like how it’s just all globbed together…

Nov 2 13 046 small

And the use of pattern in the fabrics is really interesting too…

Nov 2 13 047 small

This is Japanese Calendar by Fumi Kido. The Japanese do often have a certain feel to their quilts…

Nov 2 13 049 small

I’m not sure what that’s about…because they often use American patterns, and it STILL feels Japanese to me. This one has a different appeal to me, though…very stylized but with those details.

I do hail from an applique background…and this one was beautifully done. This is Four Loons and Friends by Patricia Sellinger.

Nov 2 13 050 small

The symmetry and design in this quilt are stunning…and she embellished the birds with beads as well.

Nov 2 13 051 small

This is an original design.

I liked this one because of the flame-like blobs wandering across the design. This is May Your Burdens Be Light by Kazuko Covington. This is an original design using New York Beauty blocks, made after the tsunami that destroyed her hometown.

Nov 2 13 053 small

Those blobs now look like tsunami waves…

This one won best of show…Chihuly’s Gondola by Melissa Sobotka. That’s $10,000, people. It’s a beautiful quilt, but it is from a photograph of Chihuly’s installation in Texas from a few years back.

Nov 2 13 055 small

So tell me this…is there a difference in the art applied between Sobotka’s copy of another artist’s work (is this a Sobotka or a Chihuly?) and the Jane Sassaman (original design) below? I think yes…but I wasn’t a juror in this show (and probably never will be invited to be one either). I think Chihuly deserves a healthy percentage of the prize.

This is Jane Sassaman’s Illinois Album, also an award winner, but in my eyes, a much more deserving one.

Nov 2 13 064 small

You decide.

Another Bodil Gardner happy piece, this is I Arise from Dreams

Nov 2 13 065 small

Sheila Frampton-Cooper had two of her graphic, colorful pieces in the show…this is Lair of the Amethyst Deva

Nov 2 13 068 small

I see legs…Sheila’s another tight, detailed quilter, which suits her big, bold, abstract work.

Nearby was another somewhat controversial piece…yes, it’s abstract; yes, it’s colorful, even pretty…Roses in the Window by Carol Morrissey. On the surface, an original design from a photograph she took…but how did she get all those circles? Is it the same place my mom gets her circles? Where is her hand in this quilt?

Nov 2 13 070 small

Does what equipment we use to create a piece make it more art or less art? You’ll notice I have no pictures of quilts with digitized photos where the artist has printed it out full size and just stitched over it. I need to see the artist’s hand in the work…I need to see what they’ve changed or made their own. Feel free to BE a photographer (there was a great photography show at IQF), but if you’re going to put it on fabric, make sure there is a purpose to that. Why fabric? Why not just print a photograph on paper and frame it and be done with it? It’s something to think about…

Another Kathy York…this is You Are What You Eat

Nov 2 13 071 small

Speaking of having your hand in your artwork, York made the batik flowers herself.

This piece…I still need this one explained. The graphic nature explains why I like it, but there is some weird stuff going on in this quilt. This is Alice’s Kitchen (obviously Alice in Wonderland) by Miki Murakami…I love that this is so NOT typically Japanese.

Nov 2 13 073 small

All she says is that this is how she imagined a kitchen in Alice’s story, even though there wasn’t one. I think I want to talk to this woman.

Sue Bleiweiss makes wonderfully graphic and deceptively simple pieces. This is Tutti Frutti City.

Nov 2 13 075 small

This one intrigued me…it was just plain weird, yet cool. This is The Birders by Suzanne Marshall, an original design inspired by a 1565 manuscript…ahhh…there’s why it’s weird.

Nov 2 13 077 small

I’ve taken pictures of her work before…liking the weird medieval qualities to her work…

Nov 2 13 079 small

Just look at that unhappy face.

This one caught my eye because I couldn’t (at first) figure out what it was…I thought maybe it was leaky tubes of paint. Silly me…it’s just Oregon Buoys by Jane Haworth.

Nov 2 13 080 small

I like my idea better…but I guess it caught my eye. Chaos and color.

Another Frampton-Cooper piece, this is Venus in the Garden, named by her sister, who saw Venus Flytraps (I see an angry parrot…that wouldn’t be a nice name though).

Nov 2 13 082 small

This one had a stunning use of color…this is Antelope Canyon by Kimberly Lacy.

Nov 2 13 084 small

And another winner, Tuning Fork #11 by Heather Pregger.

Nov 2 13 086 small

It’s a very graphic piece…she does lots of pieces like this, though. I wonder about that. I guess it’s a different challenge to work abstractly with the same shapes than to do what I do. (It would drive me bonkers though!)

OK, so there were all these cow quilts…something to do with a book. I liked this one because?

Nov 2 13 088 small

Come on. Guess. OK. It’s a cow skelly. How can you not love a cow skelly? Actually, I was walking past this part of the exhibit when someone pointed to the earrings on the cow and said, “Honestly, some of these quilts you cannot use as a QUILT!” Oh my. No ma’am, you can’t (she wasn’t old…younger by far than I am). So. There you have it. It’s a MooSkellyNotQuilt. Actually, it’s Dia de los MOOertos by Patricia Ward.

This one…it’s cute. It’s tiny. It’s beautifully made. It’s a prize winner. This is Masanobu Miyama’s Wind, a picture of the artist’s dog.

Nov 2 13 090 small

The statement talks about an original microfused applique technique. I do not know what this is, although micro means small and those pieces are freakin’ small (I should know).

This one caught my eye because of the fabrics…in the US, we are so into our cotton and occasionally a silk or two…this piece, The Berlin Bear by Marjan van der Heijden, was made completely with leftovers…

Nov 2 13 092 small

That were stitched together sort of haphazardly, but in a beautiful way…

Nov 2 13 093 small

Truly amazing use of fabric.

This Japanese landscape is so Japanese because of the taupe, but the imagery is so American…I wonder what the Japanese countryside actually looks like and why this appeals to them. This piece is A Place to Long For, by Aiko Yokoyama.

Nov 2 13 095 small

The fabric and design is beautiful…I just wonder why it’s so appealing.

So that’s my take on IQF 2013…there were probably quilts I didn’t photograph just because I was tired or in a mood (I was in a mood a lot), so don’t take it badly if yours isn’t here…mine is just one set of slightly jaded, tired, and miserable eyes among 60,000 viewers. I do know that I will miss IQF coming to Long Beach, California, because it was cheap and easy to get to, and I don’t think I’ll be going to Houston again for a good, long while, but I did enjoy some of the quilts quite a bit. I’ll talk more about the experience in general at another time. I do provide artist’s links when I can easily find them and confirm that they belong to the artist. If your work is here and you have a link you’d like me to use, please let me know.