Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Portals Challenge

This week I met a fellow artist and friend Chris Kirsch at a local coffee shop to deliver my "Portals" art quilt.  Chris and I have been friends for many years.  We each have a passion for fiber art; love, love, love our grandchildren;  and share the belief that both the Art and the Children are Gifts in our lives.  

We belong to the Milwaukee Art Quilters Group (MArQ) and were discussing the upcoming exhibit of the group challenge - PORTALS -  at the Ben Franklin store in Oconomowoc, WI.  for the month of November.  Each year the group challenges it's members to stretch their creativity muscles with a specific theme, size, or design element to be incorporated into an art quilt.  This years challenge had size restrictions and vertical orientation, otherwise the portal itself was open to interpretation.  Being the mandala enthusiast that I am, my portal had to have a circular form to it.  Pictured here is the finished piece with its description.  ENJOY! 

Portals:  Past, Present, Future
 When we think about the evolution of this artist's sewing passion, we can see that her hands have always been busy with all types of fabrics and applications.  The embroidery projects as a young girl are represented in the recycled embroidered tablecloth that was too precious to discard.  The upholstery  fabric spiral represents the home decor projects that surrounded her family raising years and the piecing techniques that every quilter knows.  The future of this artist's passion is represented by the hand painted ultrasuede center.  The shiny metallic threads that hold this piece together and draw the viewers eye inward represents the Light of the MUSE that has been a constant thread throughout all of the different stages and is the core of this Portal.

Until next time ~

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Sources of inspiration come as a blessing at times, surprisingly, from out of nowhere. Inspiration could arrive with a beautiful hand dyed fabric or in viewing the artwork of the children which is found hanging in the local grade school.  I  never really know for sure when an idea for a new creation might appear.

"LoveLight Nolan" was inspired by the name of our first born grandchild.  This little angel baby stirred such a love that only another grandmother could know.  I wanted to create something really special for him to remember his Kasia.

Fabric gifted from fiber artist Cindi Huss was deemed special enough to meet the creative needs of this new art piece.  The hand dyed fabric hung on the design wall for months waiting for inspiration to arrive with just the right design to bring it to life.  One day, while taking an open art studio class, I wandered through the hallways of the elementary school where the class was being held, and was instantly inspired by the kaleidoscope designs of the children's names.  The idea struck me like a lightening bolt that it would be fun to attempt to re-create this idea using fabric instead of paper.  That's the day that the"What's in a Name?" or  "Hidden Messages" LoveLights were conceived.  I immediately started playing with paper stencils to form the name mandala in the center of the dyed fabric kaleidoscope.

Playing with Cindi's fabric and auditioning others to compliment it, I came up with what I thought would be a good choice.  When I took the leap of faith to layer, stitch, and  finally cut into the layers of fabric, I had no idea what the final design might look like.  As the piece evolved, you can only imagine the awe that I felt when it finally emerged and revealed itself to me.

Here is the finished inspired piece that I feel is worthy of the name Nolan.  Can you find his name in the design?  Not everyone will be able to see it, but that's what makes this Art so intriguing, in my opinion. 

Enjoy ~

Until next time, Be Well!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sacred Space

To find the creative mode, I need to surround myself with special music that quiets the ego, photos of family and dear ones (my angels), books that inspire, and knickknack treasures that center me.  The colorful ART collection that hangs in view and the new pieces waiting for attention on the design wall all help me to cross the threshold into the state of creativity where time does not exist.  I simply love my sacred studio space.

I didn't always have such a beautiful spot to play in, but it was always a dream and a wish.  Through the years, the workspace evolved from a corner in the basement, to a counter top in the laundry room.  When our daughter went off to college, the corner in her bedroom became my "sewing niche" on the main floor of the house. That arrangement worked fine until, like most hobbyists, my collections of fabrics and supplies expanded to overflowing the room.  There was a file-box here and a cutting table there with a pile of reference books thrown in the middle.  It was difficult to stay organized.  Gratefully, about that time we decided to relocate our home. My dream studio became a reality in a beautiful room of my own with a view of nature and furniture to house all of the fabrics, supplies, and notions.  It is an answer to a prayer, my little piece of heaven and the place where I find my bliss.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Studio Chaos

It's that time of year, when the seasons change, the wardrobe gets switched around, the summer travel has subsided, exhibit deadlines have been met, and the Studio calls for a little re-organizing.   I am always surprised by the little piles of stash here and there that are unearthed during one of these cleansing days.  I tend to be most creative when I can freely try things out and discard to the counter or floor the fabrics that just don't seem right at the time.  This translates into a freedom frenzy of creativity that must be followed by an hour or two of "re-grouping" before the chaos becomes too overwhelming.

Today I was surprised by the little pile of new work projects that was buried under auditioned fabrics from the last commission piece that has now been finished.  The discovery gives me new fuel for the creative juices to start flowing again. A new season with a fresh start!   Curiosity has me wondering where these little projects will end up, what they will look like, and whose wall will become 'home'.  Time will tell.  For now, I'm back to the task at hand until I can clearly see the floor and worktable again.