Saturday, March 24, 2007

Atlantic Center for the Arts

The quilts of Gees Bend

These were the most influential artworks that I saw while away. I do believe the work of these ARTISTS is already filtering through my work in that I am being even MORE "sloppy" so to speak, with execution. Not a deliberate coursening but rather I feel I have been given permission to become more painterly by virtue of rougher edges, less precise compositions, and less selfconsciousness intellectualizing my ideas. I have been reading the catalogue for this particular exhibition ( The Architecture of the Quilt) and noticing more and more the amazing...almost miraculous...designing that appeared to just come naturally to many mant of the quilters. They had a passion to make every quilt personal and different while all along using very familiar patterns such as "rooftop" or"log cabin". Only their roofs and logs came from direct observation of their own surroundings and were exquisitely sensitive to the material they used....old dungarees, dress bottoms and scrap corduroy! Here's one I started yesterday....not gees bendy in style but I'm happy with the larger stitching and more impromptu fabric collaging.

The entire week was an amazing experience. Just working all the time, then playing over wine, then more hand work in the evenings with Rosemary Claus Gray and Claire Fenton. So many ideas bandied about! I confess I had great plans to work on NEW printing fabrics and an abstract sort of thing I started at home and posted earlier to the blog. I DID work on the abstract a bit, but no printing, no stamping, not dyeing. I was just not interested in doing that! So I started on a new quilt that reflected the friends and get togethers we were having at the time. All in red as I had brought only a small amount of red fabrics...all mixed specialty type material. Velours, Embossed velvet etc.

Friday, March 9, 2007


They are talking about judging on the artquilt list and once again I am baffled by the whole thing. Having come from 20 years in the so called FINE art market, It amazed me when the first artquilt I exhibited in a show came back with judge's comments. Thelma has gently pointed out on the list, that if you are in the real art world, your work gets shown in a gallery and comes back if not sold. period.

Now I know quilt shows have judges that have criteria that are "marked" for each individual. But in my opinion, if they have an ART category, that sort of thing should be discontinued. It doesn't apply! Now I HAVE been in fine art shows that have prizes. So you get a prize. STILL the participants do not expect ( or even welcome) comments about their non-winning work. I am cranky today and this issue reminds me of some of the irrelevant comments that have been made about my fabric work....even work that has won an award! Every time I lecture, I tell every one that I don't care about the knots in the back of my work any more than I cared if my staples were evenly placed on a stretcher frame for a painting. However the judges of art quilts DO care! Well they shouldn't.

On a lighter note I am packing finally for my artists rendezvous at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. I have not worked properly for two months now and look forward to a lively creative environment to get my batteries charged. I'm taking all my irregular quiltlets to see If I can make something of them:

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Off to Atlantic Center for the Arts

A week from today I start wending my way to Florida for a glorious week at the ACA. This will be the fourth time I've been, but the first when I will not be doing any teaching. About forty fiber artists will be there including several I have met through the quiltart list. And of Course Mary McBride who has become a real friend and who no doubt will be over at my place for wine and laughs .Picture here..... the last time I was there ....she had made about 30 hilarious hats out of paper for an upcoming event and we are modeling them. We are in the "annex" a really nice workroom off campus so to speak from The Atlantic Center. It's associated with Harris House a satellite gallery and studio space. They have a fab etching press there that I want to use . Rosemary Claus-Gray and Claire Fent and I are conspiring to work, play and drink together while we are there too.

Picture of the rooms at the Center itself, which by the way is in a beautiful peaceful setting, in a natural Florida hammock environment. All the studios, common rooms, dining room, library etc are connected by boardwalks to do as little damage as possible to the reserve. The rooms are spartan and efficient ...sort of a Meis Vander Roe feeling: Hmmm the pictures seem to want to go where I DON"T want them...but you get the gist.

As for MOI....I am pulling out ALL the stops and renting an artist's cottage..more pics in and out....absolutely beautiful little self-contained spaces...very private with all the amenities. Am renting a car too. DH thinks I'm extravagant...and he's right. But I'm like the L'Oreal commercial "I'M WORTH IT!" Also picture of studio we used for my workshop. But there are dirty studios for wet work, painting studios, computer labs, theatres...everything! Did I mention the dining room? With an on site chef? and delicious gourmet meals three times a day?

I think there are still a few spots available.......tempted? Here's Mary's email just in case:

Friday, March 2, 2007

Running away

Not really....but looking forward to going to the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida in less than two weeks. I have done so little work so far this year. Spent a lot of time "experimenting"...surface design mostly, only to discover it isn't really what I want to do. I had succumbed to the dreaded comparing-my-work-to-others syndrome and became dissatisfied with what I do. But it's out of my system and I'm ready to move back to MY thing. There is still lots to learn and explore and much improvement needed so I will still feel challenged. I kind of need that in order to get excited about what I'm doing. Anyway here's what I spent all of February doing:
Hmmm I hope that link works...I'm such a dud sometimes with cyberstuff.