Saturday, March 30, 2013

Willing Spring

Tulips at the Getty Center Gardens

A Settlement

Look, it’s spring. And last year’s loose dust has turned into this soft willingness. The wind-flowers have come up trembling, slowly the brackens are up-lifting their curvaceous and pale bodies. The thrushes have come home, none less than filled with mystery, sorrow, happiness, music, ambition.

And I am walking out into all of this with nowhere to go and no task undertaken but to turn the pages of this beautiful world over and over, in the world of my mind.

* * *
Therefore, dark past,
I’m about to do it.
I’m about to forgive you

for everything.

-Mary Oliver, What Do We Know  

Thanks to Christine Valters Paintner for bringing to my attention this particular poem of Mary Oliver.  It is achingly beautiful.

Enjoy your spring holidays, everyone.  May spring come with all its new potential.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Stitching Striations

WIP © 2013 Linda A. Miller

Layers of brocades, cottons, silk ribbon, and yarn.
I continue to embroider on this quilt.  I have used some fine metallic thread in addition to pearl cotton and rayon floss.
It is nearing completion...then the full reveal.

WIP © 2013 Linda A. Miller

While you wait here is a small of  tour of where I work...
the wall I see when I stitch on the machine, caught in the light of the setting sun.

And a view of my inspiration wall....this of course shifts with time.

Linking this post to Off the Wall Friday.  What are you working on?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Vermeer and More...

The exquisite "Woman in Blue Reading a Letter" by Johannes Vermeer is on loan to the Getty until March 31, 2013.  It will return to its home in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for the grand reopening of the newly renovated museum on April 13.  This is the first showing of the painting in the western U.S. and the end of a world tour. 


Not wanting to miss it, I took myself up to the museum for a bit of an art adventure among the weekend crowds.  I was struck by how small the painting seemed (18" x 15") after seeing the large exhibition posters.  It drew me beautifully the blues and ochers accent the contemplative scene.  So many questions come to mind about the scene with the woman...who was she, who was the letter from?  It felt like an intimate experience.

The bonus of the day was seeing the spectacular azalea gardens still in bloom.  The grounds are always uplifting with the large open spaces among the travertine buildings of the Center overlooking the west side of Los Angeles.  A bit of a hazy day, but beautiful none the less.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Netting the Resources

As you well know, there is an abundance of online resource material in every nameable subject, including art.  Like many of you, I subscribe to e-newsletters.  Robert Genn's twice weekly Painters Keys is one such letter that I have often shared with you.

Recently recommended by friend Sherry Kleinman, is David Limrite's (artist, mentor and coach) All Access Creativity Pass.  Sherry has studied with him for many years and has always spoken very highly of her teacher.  I have been finding the newsletters about creative process interesting and helpful.  Limrite offers subscribers a list of suggestions to becoming a more productive artist.  Among the suggestions is to not fall in love with, or hate your piece too quickly...that advice is a gem for me!  How often I have gotten stuck in (a) not wanting to "ruin" the loved piece, or (b) finding the "hated" piece was not worth continuing with!  I have already applied these two suggestions and find is supports my productivity.

What newsletters do you follow?  Please share them with us!

SAQA members have a Yahoo Group for sharing thoughts and resources.  Carol Lyles Shaw recently posted these valuable video tutorials on mitered quilt bindings, and I am passing them along to you:  Barb Sackel Bindings part 1    Barb Sackel Bindings part 2

Very helpful!  Thanks to Carol and Barb.  Enjoy and have fun.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Awakening Energies


"Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire."
- John O"Donohue from For a New Beginning in  
To Bless the Space Between Us

Welcome Spring!  Ah, the scent of the freesias fill the air.  Buds are bursting open.  I am grateful for the promise of this day.

After days of paperwork, which included tax prep, I am returning to the cloth.  First it meant unpicking a row of french knots that were not working.  Now to continue on....

Work in progress

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fiber Forward

March 16th was World Wide Quilting Day (who knew?) what better way to celebrate it than by visiting a remarkable textile exhibit, Fiber Forward, at the temporary home of the Palos Verdes Art Center.  

Fiber Forward actually consists of three exhibits:   
Fierce Winds - Deborah Weir's lively textile interpretations of international winds.  

Confluence - a suberb mixed media collection on the theme of water by Deborah Weir, Inga Gorsvans-Buell, Cindy McConnell, Carol Nilsen, & Susan Willen.  

24 x 80 - Art cloth by the Art Cloth Network.

The work was exceptional and wonderfully curated by Deborah Weir and Inga Gorsvans-Buell.  Deborah generously offered to come by and give us a tour.  It was a fine way to learn more about the artists and background for the exhibits.  Thank you, Deborah!  For you dear readers, here is a Smilebox tour of the Fiber Forward exhibit.  Happy I was able to see these exhibits before they closed.

Friday, March 15, 2013

SAQA Auction 2013

Striations 4   -  12" square © 2013 Linda A. Miller
Striations 4   -  12" square © 2013 Linda A. Miller

"Striations 4" will be available for the online SAQA 2013 Benefit Auction that begins on Monday, September 9th at 2:00 PM EST and concludes on Sunday, September 29 at 2:00 PM EST.
SAQA's Benefit Auction is the largest income source after membership dues. For the 2012 auction, 394 artworks were donated and $67,450 was raised!  These funds are critical to supporting SAQA's exhibitions, catalogs and outreach programs. In addition to the online auction, collectors will again select a special group of pieces to be sold in the SAQA booth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, October 30 through November 3.

SAQA is one of the few selected organizations that I feel is worthwhile to support in this way.   I have gained much support, connection and education through my involvement with SAQA.  It is good to give back in this way.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rosy Beginnings

"Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities."
- William Bridges

Red Striations © 2013 Linda A. Miller

"Red Striations", 12" square, was sparked into being by a challenge from the President of  the Quilts on the Wall art group of which I am a member.  The challenge was to use at least 5 different reds.  You see here the continued exploration of the striations theme in reds.  The appliqued layers are couched with yarn.  Hand embroidery is added for final details.  Using one color can create a striking image.  It is always interesting to see what others came up with.

Also at the meeting, there were about 20 quilts submitted for the "Maps" challenge with a variety of amazing interpretations. I did not participate in the challenge this time.  However, just reflecting on the maps idea has influenced current work in progress. Funny how that happens.  You never know where inspiration may show itself.  It remains up to us as artists to be open to receiving that inspiration.

Linking this to Off the Wall Fridays.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mary's Words

"Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?"
- Mary Oliver, from "The Summer Day"

work in process...

American poet, Mary Oliver's poems keep finding me.  I am taken in by the imagery and feeling coming through her words.

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.” 

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Artist Inside

"Inside you there's an artist you don't know about...Say yes quickly, if you know, 
if you've known it from before the beginning of the universe."  
 - Rumi


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