Thursday, February 28, 2013

Embracing the Pen

"Creativity is an act of faith, and we must be faithful to that faith, willing to share it to help others, and to be helped in return."   - Julia Cameron, excerpt from The Artist's Way

The first geranium bloom of the year...feels like spring in the air, and I am grateful!

As previously mentioned, I brought daily writing back into my routine.  This inspired the return of morning pages, which some of you may be familiar with from The Artist's Way practices, consisting of writing 3 pages of stream of consciousness.   A form of meditation in action, with just penning whatever comes to mind, no attachment.  It helps to bring some clarity.  I had let the writing practice go, so I am glad to have this simple tool back as part of my creative and contemplative life.  May some of my creative stuckness shift!  Have you experienced The Artist's Way?  Do you even know about it?  I would love to hear your responses.

With a week's break in the Art Marketing class, I am using the time to catch up on lessons, which means more time online with fine tuning data.  (Check out my website changes...I have continued to tweak things.)  Thus my hand embroidery stitching is blissful therapy away from electronics.  Another sneak peek of  work in progress.

work in progress

Friday, February 22, 2013

Head Above Water

Week 6 of the Art Marketing Bootcamp, and let me tell you there have been days that it seems a challenge to keep up with the flow of  information coming my way.  I have to remember to prioritize, and to realize that I cannot do it all right away.  Simplify is a key element in what I am learning.  And what a valuable set of tools I am gaining to draw on...all to make it easier to share my art with you!  I can highly recommend this course.

Journaling has been one recent addition to my daily practice from the course that is proving beneficial.  I used to write on a daily basis, and had temporarily forgotten how the seeds of ideas can grow from those outpourings.  I find that feeds the rest of the creative work, and is often more effective for me than a sketchbook.  My artwork evolves out of the process of doing the work itself, rather than coming from sketches.  By putting pen to paper, writing builds a hand - eye connection that can never come from using the keyboard.

Do you have a journal writing practice?

My stitchery kit prize has arrived from Margaret Blank's anniversary celebrations.  This will be a fun small project.  Thank you, Margaret!

I leave you with a sneak peek at another work in progress...

Things are moving slowly along with several with a deadline if I am to enter it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

 There is no remedy for love but to love more.

May your day be wonderful!

Seth Godin's blog post on being open, generous and connected is a superb reminder for today.

I was pleased to discover that I won one of the drawings in honor of the 10th Anniversary of  Margaret Blank's blog.   Drop by and see how my friend is celebrating it.  Watching the mail for the needlework kit!  Thank you, Margaret.

And I leave you with a sneak peek at some WIP...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Visions Brainstorms

It was a crisp day in San Diego on Saturday the 9th, just perfect for a visit to Visions Art Museum to see  Visions Biennial 2012 "Brainstorms".  This is the first year that the exhibit is being held at Quilt Vision's own gallery in the Liberty Station area.  It had been previously shown at the Oceanside Museum.  This year's fine exhibit is very innovative with more pieces pushing beyond the boundaries the quilt description.  Lisa Kijak's "Stars Motel, Chicago" was a striking and compelling image in her continuing series of neon art signage.  Deborah Franzini's "Vortex" was shimmering and serene.  Brooke Atherton's "Quilt Archelogy" was an intriguing exploration of  materials and shapes.  Gail Barr created balance with her minimal use of color and shape.  Here is a great tour by Kathy Nida, one of the artists, enjoy!  Do visit if you are in the area.  The exhibit runs through February 17, 2013.

We also visited the Women's  Museum of California with the exhibit "Capturing the Wonder of Women" curated by Li Huai.  Kathy Nida, Linda Anderson and Kathleen McCabe have quilts included.  This show runs until February 24.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Striations 4 - Off the Wall Friday

Striations 4 (detail) - 12" square © 2013 Linda A Miller
Several of you have asked about the process in making this quilt, which continues my exploration of landscape.  I appliqued and pieced the multicolored bottom striations.  You may recognize some of the sections which are recycled trimmings from completed quilts.  Can you guess which ones?

Yarn has been machine couched to emphasize the stripes.  The larger top hand dye section (purple to turquoise) was backed with felt, washed for shrinkage and texture, then added to the piece.  The blood red sun is fused applique.  Hand embroidery was added for final detailing.

Interested in seeing more from other artists?
I am linking up to: Off the Wall Friday
Come on over and explore with us!

Striations 4 - 12" square © 2013 Linda A Miller

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Plugged In or Not?

I am grateful for the wonder of technology and information that we have at our fingertips.  However I have concerns, including the loss of privacy and you may have read in a number of my blog posts.   So on that subject, here is another thought provoking On Being interview, this time with Sherry Turkle, director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.  The question becomes how can we use these these devices and maintain some vital alive connections with those in our daily lives?  Both children and adults are affected when their loved ones were tuned into devices.  So how do we maintain balance?  I take time to unplug for some balance.  How do you deal with this issue in your own life?

Along the same vein, I have been absorbed in reading Nicholas Carr's "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains".  An in depth look at the question: While we enjoy all the internet has to offer, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?  I certainly see changes in my own levels of distraction with spending more time online.  What is your experience?   I am eager to finish the book and what I have read so far is fascinating...hope you will check it out.

Alone Together © 2012 Sherry Davis Kleinman

My friend and fellow fiber artist, Sherry Kleinman, has come up with a creative exploration of the technology question.  She has begun a series of quilts called "Alone Together", depicting groups of people in various stages of connection/disconnection.  Sherry uses technology and hand skills to create these compelling images, becoming an interesting counterpoint.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Yesterday I spent some time at LACMA with the extensive exhibit "Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy".   I was fascinated to be reminded of Caravaggio's dramatic lighting, and how he used it to pull in the viewer.  More impressive seeing the actual paintings in person than in print, of course.  It was an interesting comparison viewing the other 20 artists included in the exhibit who followed in his style.  I always appreciate seeing Georges de La Tour's work, especially the evocative "The Magdalene with the Smoking Flame", from LACMA's permanent collection.  This exhibit closes this week, 2/10/13.

As I was going through the galleries I could not help but notice that more than half of the patrons were plugged in with the exhibition's audio guided tour.  Even here, viewing classic art, we are connected to the electronic world.   On the one hand, it is fabulous to gain a background of art history.  However, if that is the only way one sees the art, it seems to me that something gets lost.  I feel viewing art is a sensory experience...try standing in front of a painting and let it wash over you.  See it with all your senses, and not just your mind.  Have you tried that way of viewing?  Would love to hear about your experience.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Birthday

Happy 3rd Birthday TAFA!  Take a look at this video created by TAFA founder Rachel Biel displaying the amazing fiber work by Textile and Fiber Arts List members.  482 members, 44 countries... Thank you, Rachel!


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