Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bowl Workshop

Fiber Bowls by Linda A. Miller

Tomorrow I will be teaching a fiber bowl workshop for members of the Embroidery Guild of America in Long Beach.  It will be interesting to see how hand embroiderers approach the task (machines are being provided, however).  I use heavy machine stitching on my bowls for texture and to keep the bits of thread, lint, or yarn together, then adding some hand embroidery (a new element in recent bowls).  I am looking forward to sharing the process with the EGA group, and seeing what develops! Stay tuned to find out more.

Fiber Bowl by Linda A. Miller
This happy bowl recently sold, but there are more on Etsy..

Interested in making thread bowls?  Check out my tutorial link here.

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.  Visit the site to see more artists at work!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Day at the Museum

Taking a break from garden activities (more on that to follow), I met my friend Terry at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena for a lovely day out.  No special exhibits going on currently, so we enjoyed their permanent collection and lunch in the garden.  The museum has several Rembrandt paintings, including one self portrait, which I had forgotten about not having visited that gallery for a while.  Looking into the eyes of his subjects are mesmerizing.  Such depth and soul residing within.

And some images from my favorite Rodin sculptures in the gardens.

Rodin at Norton Simon

Rodin at Norton Simon

Rodin at Norton Simon

Rodin at Norton Simon

I have been applying my creative energy to my garden recently.  Noticing how stressed everything was getting from our ongoing drought and water restrictions, I decided it was time to begin to remedy the situation by rebuilding soil, transitioning beds and more.  Very satisfying work, despite sore muscles!  The example below is one bed in transition.  I took out a failing old rose, along with other plants, then mulched and composted the soil.

Before the process began...

Ready to mulch...

This bed will now be a mixture of flowers and edibles. (Wondering about the cages around some of the plants? These are protection for the young plants from the local gardener squirrels who are burying acorns from a neighboring oak tree in my beds and pots!)

A refreshed bed.

A new beginning!  Watching how things progress over the next few months...

Friday, September 2, 2016

SAQA Selection

For your viewing pleasure, here are 6 of the 400+ quilts up for bid at the online SAQA Benefit Auction beginning September 16th.  Like what you see?  Interested in more?  For details on bidding process see more here.

Heather Dubreuil SAQA Auction

Uta Lenk SAQA Auction

Catherine McDonald SAQA Auction

Annette McFarlane SAQA Auction

Karen Rips SAQA Auction

Norma Schlager SAQA Auction

Friday, August 26, 2016

In Progress

Taking a break from the brushwork pieces.  I have been working on something new, which came about after my recent studio clear-out.  Cleaning out gave me a clear picture of materials and supplies that are here.  For the background in this work, I pieced together strips of blues, which were mostly leftover from other quilt projects.  Smaller strips were appliqued on.

work in progress Linda A. Miller

I cut up an old art quilt ("Comfort Zone") that I was no longer happy with, in order to use the threadwork rectangles (made in much the same way as my thread bowls with yarn, thread, and bits of fabric sandwiched between sheets of water soluble stabilizer and stitched).

Comfort Zone Linda A. Miller

These rectangles were paired with a prayer flag weaving made several years ago.  The weaving consists of strips of decayed prayer flag from my yard and woven together with other fabric strips, embellished and embroidered.  (A side note that you may be unaware of... traditionally it is suggested old prayer flags not be thrown out but burned instead.)  All of these elements were appliqued to the background.  Yes, it is prayer flag imagery...

work in progress Linda A. Miller
Work in progress - detail

Embroidering is underway.  Still in progress, so stay tuned...

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.   Drop by to see other artists' sites.

Speaking of prayer flags, currently I am sharing weekly posts on my Bhavana Project site, revisiting our 2009 - 2013 Peace series.  Visit The Bhavana Project to learn more about this ongoing community prayer flag project.  New participants are always welcome!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Soon... 2016 SAQA Auction

Sonata 6 by Linda A. Miller
Sonata 6 by Linda A. Miller

This year's SAQA Online Benefit Auction begins next month, September 16 through October 9, 2016.  About 430 12" x 12" art quilts will be available to bid on, including my piece, "Sonata 6".  This is a great opportunity to add to your collection while supporting SAQA’s exhibitions, publications, and education outreach programs.  I will post a selection of my quilt picks in a future post.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Recollecting and Releasing

Since my house burned down
I now own a better view
of the rising moon 
 ~ Masahide 1657 - 1723 

Emptying out.  But let me backtrack a bit .... Gradually working my way through Jane Dunnewold's Creative Strength Training workbook, I arrived at the "Power of Limitations" section, which is about freeing ourselves and artwork through self imposed limits.  I don't know about you, but too many options can stifle the forward momentum of my creative drive.  I have applied the idea to limit parameters before, as in my Sonata series which uses minimal color palette and simple imagery.

Looking at accumulating versus using you have is included in this section on limitations.  Jane has these rules for her studio:
1- Something comes in, something goes out.
2- Use what is here. 
I like this, and will come up with my own wording in time. These rules are not intended to be rigid.  We can bring our own flexibility to this.  For me it is OK to buy something specific needed for a project.

Now, I am pretty consistent with cycling things out.  I had made the commitment several years ago to use what I already had for my work.  However the closet in my studio was packed, requiring items to be shifted around in order to access to something else, and it was becoming annoying.  So, arriving at the exercise in CST to clean out was timely.

The first area to be addressed was old (art school) artwork.  It had been thinned out over the years, and it was time for more serious thinning.  Finding not only my own drawings, prints and photos, but also friends' artwork (we printmakers traded with each other) has brought back memories from 40 years ago, here and in England.  I have cleared out much of my student work, saving the pieces that still feel relevant and work on their own.  (I admit I did photograph some of  the work before letting it go!)  Amazing how many old mat boards went into the recycling bin.

From artwork I moved to closets. And from the studio I have moved on to other closets in the house. Bags have been donated, and more will be getting bags of stuff.  I clearly realized that I no longer wanted to carry all this stuff along.  It feels freeing to lighten up.  Great to put things back into circulation for others to use. 

Sharing some of the art I found with you.  Enjoy the journey back in time.

 Drawing 1973 by Linda A. Miller
Self Portrait, pencil 1973

 Drawing 1974 by Linda A. Miller
Self Portrait, pencil and newsprint 1974

These prints were studies for larger pieces that came later.

 torso study1 1978 by Linda A. Miller
Torso Study 1, etching 1978

 torso study2 1978 by Linda A. Miller
 Torso Study 2, etching  1978

 torso study3 1978 by Linda A. Miller
Torso Study 3, etching  1978

This process has been releasing.  I am also filled with gratitude for the journey so far, with all the lessons learned, experiences felt and wonderful friends made along the way.  As a side note, one friend's print sparked my curiosity which eventually led to seeking and contacting them.  Old friends found!

Thanks to Jane Dunnewold for the reminder of Masahide's haiku at the top of this post.

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.  Stop by for a visit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Play and Review

The following are exercises begun in Jane Dunnewold's Creative Strength Training workshop last week that I have continued to play with.  This Eastern negative-positive space design technique was originally introduced as an expanded square exercise in the book Notan:  The Dark-Light Principle of Design by Dorr Bothwell and Marlys Mayfield.  My first two examples stay within  the rules by not cutting off corners and keeping square shape.  The last ones break the rules ... encouraging the rebel artist (Jane's description).  Very fun! Creates strong visual patterns.  Could be potential quilts in there, don't you think?  Cut some black squares to play with this cut-and-paste technique for yourself.






Asked to bring a one of our completed pieces to the CST workshop, we each sat with our work, reviewing dispassionately the strengths and weaknesses.  What would be done differently next time?  I realized what was needed was more texture, and have revised the last two Sonata pieces by adding very subtle embroidery to the color blocks.  Happy with the effects.  (Hope you can see the details, difficult to photograph.)  We also had an excellent group critique session with Jane, which I found extremely valuable.  I am sure others would agree.

Sonata in Green by Linda A. Miller
Sonata in Green by Linda A. Miller

Sonata in Green (detail)

Sonata in Blue  by Linda A. Miller
Sonata in Blue  by Linda A. Miller

Sonata in Blue  by Linda A. Miller
Sonata in Blue (detail)

Sonata in Blue  by Linda A. Miller
Sonata in Blue (block detail)

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays, where you can see the work of wonderful artists.


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