Monday, August 29, 2011

Exhibiting Textiles

I attended the SAQA SoCal meeting this weekend, held at the Front Porch Gallery. This was a rare treat that coincided with a family visit. It is always inspiring to hear and see what other artists are up to.  
Julie Weaverling, the Front Porch director, spoke on the subject of hanging textiles from a gallery's perspective.  This is always an meaty subject with quilts in particular.  As many of you know, each venue can have different specifications for art work.  "Ready for hanging" could mean only having an attached hanging sleeve, if the venue provides their own hanging system.  For others this could mean sleeve with slat, or dowel, or even prepared with wire.  It can get confusing, so asking each site at the onset for clear requirements is essential.  Julie gave us some ideas what galleries like to have for efficient installation.  If in a frame, D-rings screwed to the back of frame and picture wire are the best choice.  Some artists mount their pieces on a hard surface, such as acrylic or stretched canvas, though these are not common choices for quilters.  According to Julie, great options for the majority that use sleeves are thin acrylic or wood slats, with holes drilled on each side to accommodate a nail.  The thinness of the slat (relative to the size of the piece) will allow the quilt to hang flush to the wall, a key point.  She also mentioned the importance of careful preparation of presentation and shipping of the work.  It all reflects on the artwork.  
Thanks, Julie.  It was a valuable learning experience.  Thanks to our reps, Mary Tabar and Sandi Hankins for organizing this event.  And I got to see "Sharing Stories" once again before it closes this Sunday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Earlier in the week I read Robert Genn's letter on gratefulness, and had it in the back of my mind to use as subject for a post.  More sweet reminders began to come back at me from the world about being thankful.  Today Rose Hughes wrote a blog post about her friend Val Kamikubo's Thankfulness Installation.  What a beautiful simple creation!  See what fine flags others have been adding to The Prayer Flag project recently.  And of course, all the heartfelt contributions to the Bhavana Project that I have seen over the years.  All of these connections seem to me to be evidence that many are choosing to find creative ways to celebrate being human, instead of negating it.  It can be so liberating to simply feel the richness of the moment and quietly acknowledge that.  To be able to breathe, have food to eat, friends and family to love...what more is needed?    That is something the world can use more of right now.

Robert Genn writes: "In all the cults and orthodoxies, and in the absence of them, simple gratefulness need not be overlooked. For some, the mere gift of a new day may be enough." 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fluid Inspiration

Stepping back to revisit the flags again.  In 2007 Karin Amour created her wonderful flag for the Bhavana Project's second set.  Her image was inspired by watching amazing whales while vacationing in Hawaii.  The quote on the flag reads:  "Freedom - the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint".  

Karin Amour - Flags 2007

Karin and Bill Amour show off the flags in Arizona, 2008

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Around the Country

Remember the Sketchbook Project?  Well, the books have returned to the Brooklyn Art Library from the tour around the country.  Check out the blog for highlights from the tour.  How amazing to see the numbers of people that showed up at the various venues to look through  and appreciate all those sketchbooks!  You can join the 2012 version here.  And if you are in NY,  there is a homecoming celebration for 2011 Sketchbook Project, this Saturday, August 20,  4pm - 8pm at the Brooklyn Art Library.  

For those of you who are feeling the heat this summer...check out this unique idea for baking cookies.  Thanks, Bee!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Taking a Break

Last week I had the opportunity to get away to the mountains with my sister for a few days.  It was a rare opportunity to do something together, just us sisters. How refreshing to smell the clear pine air again!  Hiking the trails above Big Bear Lake brought a sense of quiet and connection...along with the wonderful physical exertion of exercise.  So good to leave the city behind.

The feeling did not last long once I got issues pulled me in to distraction again.  How easy to get sucked in.  I was reminded that even so I can take a moment to pay attention to my breath...coming back to ground.  

One of my favorite teachers, Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist nun and author, writes about just we can relate to our life as it is now in the moment.  She writes "Make a commitment to pausing throughout the day, and do that whenever you can.  Allow time for your perception to shift.  Allow time to experience the natural energy of life as it is manifesting right now.  This can bring dramatic changes in your personal life, and if you are worried about the state of the world, this is a way that you can use every moment to help shift the global climate of aggression toward peace."    -Excerpt from "Taking the Leap"

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Contentment, 2011
This quilt came together effortlessly, inspired by contemplating contentment.  The center section's sun image was printed (with yeses) on my ink jet, then cut and appliqued to background before getting threadpainted. The white ends were pieced on adding more thread painting and fabric paint. Orange strips were pieced to center section, and more applique details fused on.  Machine quilting added the final touches.

"Being aggressive you can accomplish some things, but with gentleness, you can accomplish all things."    - Tulku Ugyen

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dream Rocket Update

A note arrived yesterday from Jennifer Marsh, Director and Founder of the Dream Rocket project, letting me know what upcoming shows my DR artwork will travel to.  As a you may remember, the Dream Rocket's intention is to promote understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and craft through educational experiences.  Over the years, I have happily participated in a number of wonderful community art ventures through the IFC (International Fiber Collaborative), including the Gas Station Project and Tree Project.  This current one, launched in 2009, is truly remarkable in its scope.  About 8,000 artworks will be created by individuals from all over the world, and then connected to wrap the 365’ Saturn V Moon Rocket at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama in 2014.  To promote the project, submitted artwork will travel to various venues until 2014.  Check it out...consider joining in and inviting your friends.  Share your dream!

Monday, August 1, 2011

IQF 2011

The International Quilt Festival came to Long Beach last week and I headed down on Saturday.  Always so much to take in and do...preferring to really SEE something I go to exhibits that draw me vs. trying to see it all in one day.  I divided my time between SAQA booth volunteer hours, visiting with friends, exhibits and brief visit to vendor areas.  The exhibits I found most intriguing and exciting were SAQA's Sightlines  (very impressive to see in person.), Dinner at Eight Artists The Space Between and Quilts on the Wall Bridges.  One of the wonderful quilts in Bridges was by my friend Sally Wright with Rainy Day San Franciso- October 2010.  So much work of high caliber in all that I saw.  Sorry, no photos allowed for most exhibits... but here are a few shots of work that caught my attention from other exhibits.  Disclaimer, the photos really do not do them justice.  These from Text on Textiles-

Lisa O'Neill,  Wilde Ideas - Strings Attached

Deb Cashatt & Kris Sazaki, Fault Line
 And this one from West Coast Wonders by my friend Sherry Kleinman (who happened to have a photo of the work printed in the local paper) -

Sherry Davis Kleinman, Malibu Beach
Inspiration...excitement..exaustion.  Now back to the studio.....


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