27 Jan

Stepping Away

Paper Houndstooth


I’ve been plugging away at this security envelope apron for about two weeks now. It was awesome in my head, but as I’m progressing, it’s got so many mistakes in it and as I try to fix one it seems only to exacerbate another. It’s not as clean and flat as I’d like it either.

My biggest issue is that I know proficiency requires repetition and practice, yet I don’t really have the time for that. I wanted to create this for an exhibit in March and I feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I’d feel differently if this was going well and I was proud of the work, but I’m not. The worst part is that it is taking time away from other work that I know I can do, and do well, and that I need to do.

This morning was the decision point. I worked for a few hours and got more and more frustrated. So, I’m setting this aside and moving on to something else. I may or may not return to the weaving in time to participate in the exhibit. It’s disappointing, but I think realistic.

26 Jan


Woo hoo, I submitted a quilt to a show with a week to spare before the deadline! The show is for the SAQA DC/MD/Wv and VA/NMC regions and is titled Tarnish. It will be at the Vis Arts gallery in Maryland at the same time as SAQA’s “Capitolizing on Fiber” conference in DC this spring. Here’s a peek:



It’s in the vein of my Army Wife series, though not specifically about military spouses. It also has a bit of the flag that I deconstructed at the capitol.

Now for the waiting part. I’m also waiting for the results on my Fantastic Fibers and Form Not Function entries (I decided to pass on Quilt Visions).

19 Jan

Life Drawing

I haven’t posted anything from Life Drawing group in a while. I still attend almost weekly, and I still really enjoy it. Here’s my longer drawing from two weeks ago:

1/10/14 Figure drawing

Half the session is quick warm up drawings, and half the session is one or two longer poses so we can work things out a bit better.

Next month, McGuffey will be having an exhibit of drawings from anyone who participates regularly in any of the three drawing sessions available! It doesn’t matter if the artists are members or not. I’m excited about the show because I think that MAC is awesome for having not just one, but THREE drawing sessions, so that anyone can work it into their schedule, and that the sessions are open to everyone at all ranges of ability.

So, I tore all my most “finished” drawings from my sketchpads to see what I had to contribute. Here’s about a year of longer poses on my kitchen floor:

Some of the better ones

It’s going to be a good show!

16 Jan

Two Finishes!

I dawdled through November and December thinking that I had all the time in the world to everything that I wanted to do. Then January came and suddenly the time between now and March seems like a blip! I’ve got lots of things in progress, and finally some that I can cross off my list.

This is Not a Pot Holder

Last year, I had the pleasure of seeing one of the SAQA Trunk Shows at a local DC/MD/WV regional meeting. It was inspiring and educational to see so many members’ textile work up close and in the cloth. The variety was wonderful. The end of this month is the due date for submissions to the 2014 Trunk Show and I decided that I needed to participate. I have a hard time working so small (all pieces must be 7″ x 10″), and we often lament that people see such small works as “nice potholders,” (I admit myself to seeing small work not as quilts but as textile art that happens to have some layers). Anyway, I got my snark on and riffed off Magritte’s “Treachery of Images.


I’ve also been invited to participate in an upcoming art and ecology project at McGuffey Art Center utilizing recycled/upcycled materials.

Plastic bag wings

Using plastic bags, I made yarn (more properly, “plarn”) and knit up a wing/cape thing for someone in the participating dance troupe to wear.

Plastic bag wings

I’m thinking that I’d also like to make a fish trap to display since plastic’s effect on waterways is a big theme of the show. Hopefully I’ll have time to make one.

First though, I’m off to work on a submission for our regional show in conjunction with the upcoming SAQA conference. It feels good to be done with these projects though, and to be pleased with how they turned out.

11 Jan

Entering Shows

Being the beginning of the year, and being that I’d like to enter some work into shows, I’ve made a list and it’s stressing me out until I wrap my head around it all.

Looking at several shows in which to enter art I’ve already made; based on size, date, and availability restrictions, here are my choices:

Fantastic Fibers — $12 per entry, no prizes, no catalog, but the work doesn’t have to be “quilty,” so I could enter The Other Woman, Be Strong, and Unravelling, which don’t fit the definition of a quilt and so far have only been seen in my Army Wife solo show.

Quilt Visions — Prizes, catalog, prestige, but the museum membership that allows one to enter adds up to $70. I could enter Zeitgeist and Suck it Up, which I love but together are not a “cohesive” entry.

Form Not Function — prizes, catalog, $30 entry for 3 pieces, widest date range and no size restrictions! Suck it Up, Absence II, Home Fires, Torn From the Roots, and Medallion for an Army Family are all contenders.

I have to pay to send any accepted work to and from all the shows, so I’m taking that as equal on all accounts. I’m thinking Form Not Function is a yes, sadly Quilt Visions is a no, and Fantastic Fibers is a maybe just because it gives some aprons a chance that they don’t get elsewhere.

If I don’t forget, I think I’ll enter Hale’aina into PAQA-South’s Art Quilt Whimsy show.

Zeitgeist is already accepted into Art Quilt Elements. Two aprons are on view at NIH, and I’m taking a selection of The Army Wife works to a spouses luncheon at Ft Eustis, and it looks like the whole show will go to North Carolina summer of 2015. So, I don’t need to worry about this stuff, just make sure that the right work is available at the right time. Oh, and have some Army Wife cards printed for sales and self-promotion.

Then there’s the work I need to make. I have three pieces, no four, in the works that I can’t share because they could be Quilt National entries. One piece was intended for SAQA’s regional exhibit Tarnish, but is too big, so now I’m working on another Tarnish piece. I’d like to knit a present for a February birthday (or two) so I should get cracking on those. I’ve agreed to do some test work too, which has a deadline and I’ve been invited to make pieces for an Art and Ecology show at McGuffey and a paper show also at McGuffey. I have ideas, but have not actually started. I wish my processes were quicker, and now that I’ve written this all out, it doesn’t seem quite as bad as I had anticipated, but then there’s the rest of life that happens too.

I’ve got some photos to post, but I need to step away from the computer, Hopefully the next post will be more colorful!

06 Jan

New Year

I went back to my New Year’s post of last year to see what I set out for 2013, and then wrote a bit about where each goal stands now.

• On my birthday [December 15th, 2012] I started making a daily self portrait, hoping to engender at least some self reflection, create a bridge between how I see myself in my head and how I look in the mirror, and give me an excuse to practice drawing and other media.
How’d that turn out? I lasted about three months and then got bored. It appears that the annual daily project is not for me.

• At the beginning of the new Mayan cycle (the day after the end of the world in American interpretation) I decided to start my own record of time. Each day, as early as I can get to it, I write what I hope to accomplish. Throughout the day, I list what I actually do.
This one, I actually AM still doing. As expected, it focuses my goals for each day. I don’t log the actual time spent on each task, so there’s no judgement about how much time I spend reading Facebook and how much time knitting — just a record that’s what I did on that day. I plan to keep up with this as I do find it helpful.

• I will definitely continue attending the life drawing sessions. In addition to that, I’m applying to become an Associate member at the Art Center.
Yup, this was a good plan too. I’m still loving the drawing sessions and attend nearly weekly. I was accepted into McGuffey Art Center and have had work in several shows there. The best thing about my relationship with McGuffey is that I was able to have the gallery show I’d been dreaming of in September.

• Three of my The Army Wife aprons are still traveling with SAQA’s Beyond Comfort exhibitThe Other Woman has been included in the textile show Down to Sleep in the spring.
2013 was good for exhibits. Besides Beyond Comfort and Down to Sleep, there was my solo show at McGuffey, and pieces in their summer and holiday shows. Zeitgeist went to quilt shows in New Hampshire and California. Two aprons are currently hanging in a display case at the National Institutes for Health. And Twelve by Twelve traveled some more. I currently have nine pieces in McGuffey’s New Members show and Zeitgeist has been accepted into Art Quilt Elements in PA. I’m looking forward to more exhibit opportunities and projects in 2014. Yay!

• I’ve found (or maybe they found me) a lovely group of local textile artists called Fiber Transformed who I hope to spend more time with in 2013 sharing critiques and mutual support.
I’m still meeting monthly with these lovely ladies and have formed nice friendships.

I’ve also been invited to join 8 That Create, an evolving group of fiber artists who also encourage and support each other and show together. 
This has also been a nice opportunity to network with other artists. Right now it’s pretty low key, and that feels about right for me.

I post about once a month on the Sketchbook Challenge blog as a way to share my enthusiasm for drawing and keeping sketchbooks and to keep me on task actually using them!
Unfortunately, this project didn’t pan out for me. Instead of inspiring me to use my sketchbook more, I realized that it was kind of a chore and distracted me from the fiber art I really wanted to do. No fault of the group, it just wasn’t the path for me. As close as I can come to art journaling or sketchbook keeping is my working sketchbook with mostly written notes, and the weekly life drawing sessions. That seems to be enough, so I’m OK with the decision to drop out of The Sketchbook Challenge.

So, 2013 was a good year. OK, every year is a good year, and it’s nice that 2013 was no different. I’m happy with my decision to take the path towards being a studio artist. It won’t bring me fame or fortune, but it feels right. It probably sounds lame or un-aspirational, but right now, my plan for 2014 is to stay the course. I’ll keep on keeping’ on. Here’s to another year of making art and quilts (often the same thing), keeping on track with lists, and continuing the friendships and connections I’ve already established. )And plenty of social media, knitting, and general slacking too, I’m sure.)


03 Jan

Another Exhibit!

I want to post all that good New Year stuff about what I did in the last year and what I hope to do in this new one, and I will. But first, I’ve got more artwork out in the world!

Zeitgeist and a selection of Rooted quilts and Impressions of Germany quilts are part of the McGuffey Art Center New Members Show. Now through February 3rd at McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, VA. If you’re anywhere nearby, please do come take a look.

MAC new members1


MAC new members2