Thursday, May 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, 
but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou

Remembering -  Prayer Flag by Linda A Miller
In a week already filled with much loss, two bright luminaries have also gone.  Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014), poet and writer, whose eloquent expression has touched us all.  Her spirit will live on through her words.

Robert Genn (1936 - 2014), the Canadian painter whose generous regular twice weekly online letter has brought much inspiration to many.  I often shared his words with you.  I have heard that his daughter will continue to write new letters and share Genn's words, as she has done over the past year during her father's illness.  More on this link.

I am grateful for all that they have inspired.  Rest in peace.  May their families and friends find solace in the support of each other and the knowledge of lives well lived.

We live our short spans in the vortex of a miracle, and while we may not be the center of that vortex, 
it is magic to be anywhere in there.
-Robert Genn

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

At the Norton Simon

There is a beautiful exhibit now on at the Norton Simon Museum "In the Land of Snow: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas" which includes a significant silk appliqued thangka (flat field painting) or hanging.  This thangka, over 20 feet in length, is a part of the Norton Simon collection and is rarely shown.  In fact, this is only the second time that this extraordinary painting has been on view at the Museum.  The exhibit runs through August 25, 2014.

To learn more in person, thangka artist, Leslie Rinchen Wongmo, will be giving a guided talk at the Museum on June 6th.  For reservation details follow the link.

Medicine Buddha, (detail) 2000 
By Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo 
Silk, gold, & horsehair
approx. 30" x 20" plus brocade frame

Good news, I will be teaching a prayer flag workshop at Leslie's Threads of Awakening Transformative Arts Studio in Oxnard on July 26, 2014.  You can find more details here.  I will share more about this soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Yes to the Auction!

Yes!   © 2014 Linda A. Miller
Yes!   -  12" x 12"
© 2014 Linda A. Miller

Yes! has been donated to the 2014 SAQA Benefit Auction that begins online September 15th.  Supporting the exhibition program, the auction is the largest fundraiser and SAQA's biggest income source after membership dues.  In 2013, 421 artworks were donated by members and over $65,000 was raised.

You can read more about my working process with Yes! here.  Stay tuned in coming months as I share selected auction quilts by other SAQA membersYou can see quilts available so far here.  By the way, Members, there is still time to donate a quilt by the June 1st deadline!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Exploration and Celebration

We live stitch by stitch, when we’re lucky. If you fixate on the big picture, 
the whole shebang, the overview, you miss the stitching.
-Anne Lamott from "Stitches"

As you may know, I participate in the nearby Shambhala Center, attending meditation sittings, Shambhala art and other programs.  The Center offers a monthly Creativity Lab to explore a variety of creative processes as contemplative practice.  Last week we played with writing techniques, including found poetry which takes content from other sources (we used newspaper articles) to build a new poem.  We also wrote from photographs... simply choose a photo and write.  These processes can be self revealing and I certainly found them so.  Both helped me see clearer what was going on in the present.  I will try more in future...

cactus flowers

cactus flowers
Second day, and another flower!

Now I digress... This unseasonably hot triple digit week started with celebrating Mother's Day down south and continues with ongoing Birthday festivities with family and friends over delicious meals.  So fun when the day can spread out!  I am filled with gratitude for it all, especially family and friends.  Thank you, dear Reader, for your interest in following along on the journey!

Mom enjoying our Mother's Day Picnic in San Diego

Thankfully the heat and wind have abated.  My folks were near several of the San Diego fires, but luckily not in direct danger.  My heart goes out to all affected by the fires, which are fortunately getting under control.  And this is May... fire season is year round now.

In closing, I share some views from Saturday's visit to my favorite local community Arlington Garden.



Enjoy your week!

Friday, May 9, 2014


As the breath of light awakens color,
May the dawn anoint your eyes with wonder.

- John O'Donohue, excerpt from "For Beauty" in To Bless the Space Between Us

Serenity by Linda A. Miller
Serenity   -  41" x 23"
© 2014 Linda A. Miller

After many months of residing on the design wall, I have completed "Serenity".  This quilt is part of a continuing series exploring layers of earth formations that over time reflect changes in the landscape.  Begun for a size specific challenge, it shrank in process and would no longer fit the entry specs (adding to the borders did not work).  Employing my shrinking technique, I thought I had left enough extra allowance... not so, when I discovered larger pieces shrink more!   

The technique is: 100% wool felt is the batting. The top is quilted to the felt, then machine washed and dryer dried, often several times, producing an interesting shrunken surface texture. 

On this quilt I used strips of recycled vintage brocades (yes, they held up to washing/drying) and cottons.  After drying, more undulating strips were appliqued on.  Yarn was couched along edges and across additional areas.  

The appliqued sun is made of discharged silk purchased at an art sale several years ago. 

Serenity (detail) by Linda A. Miller
Serenity (detail) by Linda A. Miller

Hand embroidery adds the final touches.  It particularly complements the "tapestry feel" of this quilt, don't you think?

Serenity (detail) by Linda A. Miller
Embroidery and couching details

With all the hand work used, I prefer to fuse the backing on at the end to cover stops and starts of embroidery.  I will often add some machine stitching once the back is on, though not with this quilt.  This quilt fulfills my continuing quest to use only the materials I have on hand in my studio.  I am sure it will find some new exhibit venue in future.

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Heating Up

Shining Jewel © 2014 Linda A. Miller
Shining Jewel © 2014 Linda A. Miller

In a week of hot weather, it is fitting that "Shining Jewel" is completed.   This hand dyed 10" x 7" piece began with shrinking for texture.  Follow the link to learn more if this technique is new to you.  The hand painted sun was cut out and appliqued on.  Oil sticks add highlights throughout.  Metallic yarn was hand couched, along a multitude of french knots and other hand embroidered additions to add more textural interest.  

I have moved on to a larger piece to continue the ever satisfying hand work... to be revealed later.

The brushwork quilts that I showed to you last week are now available on my galleribba gallery:
Embark © 2014 Linda A. Miller
Embark © 2014 Linda A. Miller

And, another garden shot of cactus in bloom:  

cactus bloom

Off to tend to my worms ( I am excited to have this worm compost bin!)....  But before I go, linking to Off the Wall Fridays.

Have a lovely weekend!


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