20 Apr

Stitchy Ladies

This series needs a better name. They started out as Sassy Housewives, but also have been called Kitchen Superheroes and there’s Jilted Lovers too. I guess Sassy Housewives still fits, but it sounds a little like an adult video title. Anyway, I have completed six ladies and now I need to take a pause until I create more inspirational drawings. I could pay a model to pose for me, but I’m not ready to add that to my list of art “investments” yet. I’ve yet to get out from under all the framing I did for the run of figure drawing exhibits, and I’m investing in long arm quilting as professional development for my Modern Military Quilts project (I need to get back to this, but it won’t really happen until we move). I also need to get off my butt and update my website so that these ladies, along with lots of other (not so) new work can have their own gallery.

In the mean time, here are my six new studio friends:

Jilted Lover 1 web

Jilted Lover 1,  16″ x 20″  $350

 

Jilted Lover 2 web

Jilted Lover 2, 14″ x 18″  SOLD

 

Kitchen Superhero 1 web

Kitchen Superhero 1, 11″ x 14″  $300

 

Kitchen Superhero 2 web_Bubbles

Kitchen Superhero 2 (Bubbles), 12″ x 16″  $325

 

 

Clean Sweep web

Clean Sweep, 20″ x 20″  $350

 

Nice Jug web

Nice Jug, 11″ x 14″  $300

 

13 Sep

Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop: My Day

It’s my day over at The Sketchbook Challenge to share something about Houses and Hideaways. I like this theme because, if you click on the Galleries tab above, you’ll see lots of houses in the Villages and Rooted Series. I’ll share a few of my favorites here, but be sure to pop over to the Sketchbook Challenge blog to see how I make these little homes.

Since my solo show, The Army Wife, is on view this month, here’s a detail of one of the aprons, Torn From the Roots, which has a row of collaged houses:

Torn detail

 

I also love Pink House

PinkHouse2sm

 

…which led to the simpler Heart House, below. I really liked stitching directly onto the raw canvas, and plan to do more like this in the future.

Heart House sm

 

More is often more though, like in this detail of Rooted IX, which I donated to SAQA for this year’s annual benefit auction. By the way, the reverse auction for this piece (and many others) starts September 23, but the fundraiser has already started with many other wonderful work from other SAQA members!

Rooted9 detail

At the end of 2010 I made a mosaic of the year’s house quilts and other artwork. That was a big house year:

HOuse Mosaic 2010

 

It’s been a while since I’ve made a house piece, so now that I just painted up a bunch of little house bits, I’m looking forward to making some new house art soon.

 

27 Jan

Hale’aina

I finished another one! This one started as one idea about four years ago, got abandoned, and then came back to life last year in this form:

Haleainasm

Hale’aina (ha-lay aye-nah) is hawaiian. Hale means house and aina means “of the land.” In the old days, the hale’aina was the house where the women ate. Today, it usually refers to a restaurant. But as most hawaiian language also contains a “secret” meaning, it could be interpreted as “the house that nourishes.” Hale’aina also happens to be the name of the street we live on.

Women, home, nourishment, where we live — how could I not do something inspired by this? I already had the houses (appliqued to a duvet cover — more comforts of home) with collaged floral roots, so I decided to just take it further. I added food themed fabrics, and once I found one with a spam musubi the whole thing shifted into whimsical and allowed me to add other things like a pizza button, a pumpkin bead, two flounder, and a cocktail olive. It’s a house chock full of food, love, hope, fun, and dreams.

On the technical, or construction side, this is all about the contrast between the plain corduroy areas and the richly embellished house and roots area. I had fun laying it on. Every time I thought I could stop, I found another place to add something. This one is very rewarding up close, and I dare anyone not to be tempted to touch it.

The quilt is 25″x37.” Hale’aina is the working title. I’m going to ask a hawaiian speaking acquaintance if it calls for something more poetic. It’s obviously not a hawaiian quilt, so maybe I’m pushing the boundaries already, but that’s at least where the inspiration came from.

26 Jan

Roots to Grow, Wings to Fly

I think it’s done.

Rooots to growsm

“Roots to Grow, Wings to Fly” 2009 by Kristin La Flamme 22″x40″

I actually finished the stitching in November or December, but it’s taken me this long to get stretcher bars to mount it on and get a feel for the finished piece. I hung it on the wall to let it sink in, and it’s still there — which I take as a good sign since the last thing I hung up I took down the next day.

This one’s been a long time in the making. I first heard the saying “Wenn die Kinder klein sind, gib ihnen Wurzeln, wenn Sie gross sind, gib ihnen Flügel” when my daughter entered German kindergarten. It resonated with me. I later remembered it when I started adding roots to houses in my work. It translates to “When the children are young, give them roots; when they are older give them wings.” Somehow in my brain it tied in with my dream of a home with roots. The house may not exactly represent the children, but for them to have those roots, I think they need to have a home. And, what grown child hasn’t taken some piece of home with them when they’ve flown the coop?

The dishtowel that is the ground for this is one I’ve had for many years, having first bought it at a flea market thinking I’d use it in my kitchen. I later decided it would make a perfect fabric to sew or embroider on. It speaks to the homeyness of what I’m trying to communicate. (I don’t know who ET is, but I’m comfortable with them adding “history” to my art.) Added to that is random fabric, old lace from an ancestor, and a little bit of knitting. Holding it all together and blending the pieces, is quite a bit of stitch, which I seem to be incorporating more and more into my work. You may notice that the dishtowel is hand quilted onto the background fabric. I first sewed it by machine, but the voice was wrong. The piece didn’t speak to me, it YELLED that it needed to be done by hand. I think it’s important to listen to one’s media.

27 Jul

Canvas is fabric too

As I was making “Fairytale Forest” it seemed less like a quilt and more like a painting that happened to be of fabric, yarn, and beads. It called out to be mounted on stretcher bars like a painting. I’ve also been seeing lots of small quilts mounted on gallery wrapped canvas of late. I’ve done it as well, to give postcard sized work more of the presence it deserves. That got me to thinking about using the canvas as less of an afterthought, and more of an integral part of the artwork (again, like a painting). “Cloud House” was my first foray, with the canvas more like a mat, but the fabric collage really worked for me. After making “Pink House,” I considered writing an article about stitching fabric collages directly onto stretched canvas (even though it’s now mounted on another canvas). pink-housesm   I gathered up a variety of canvases and have tried more collages — experimenting with primed canvas, unprimed linen, and plain bars (I even found round canvas, but have yet to make anything with it). canvases As I was working on the latest piece I realized that I wasn’t ready to let go of this. Obviously I don’t have the market on fabric collages on stretched canvas — and I do think everyone with the inclination should try something like this. But try it with birds, mushrooms, abstracts, figures, flowers, trees, and yes, houses. I’m afraid that if I write an article (and it’s published) with only houses as samples, it will limit how others see the technique. I’m enjoying the houses too much to branch out into other imagery, so I’ve decided for now to share what I’ve been working on, but not to write any sort of how-to.  rooted-canvases2 Enjoy and stitch amongst yourselves.