Sunday, May 5, 2013

SAQA Conference in Santa Fe, Part I

I took full advantage of the hotel's offer, (The Lodge in Santa Fe), to let SAQA members stay a full week at $79 a night. My daughter, Andrea, who just happened to have some time off for good behavior, accompanied me to Santa Fe. We flew in on Tuesday, April 23rd and flew out on Tuesday, April 30th. Dragging two heavy suitcases full of everything from hiking gear to evening wear we set off on a week of adventure.

We flew into Albuquerque, so we had an hour's drive in our rental car up to Santa Fe. Once settled in our room, I gave a call to my neighbors from Connecticut, Rita Hannafin and Catherine Whall Smith. After chatting with friends in the Lounge at the hotel we went out for dinner at Taberna, a lovely and delicious Spanish restaurant in town serving wonderful tapas. These two pics are in the restaurant. Between Andie and I on the far wall was an interesting piece of fiber art of sardines. Santa Fe has so much to offer in just about every corner.

A full day before the convention started, we had planned on going to Taos, but the skies looked a bit cloudy and cool and Taos is even farther north, so we rearranged. We took off south back to the Albuquerque area to Petroglyph National Monument. 

After checking out the visitor center, we suited up for a walk. Sneakers, sun block, hat for me, water and cameras. Ready to go. I stopped short at the sign at the beginning of the trail warning of rattlesnakes on the trail. Turns out the trail was loose sand with a few markers here and there. Was worse than walking on the beach. Basically the path hugged close to the canyon full of volcanic rocks which look like they had tumbled randomly down the hills. We saw tons of petroglyphs but it was like hide and seek finding them. Thankfully we did not see a rattlesnake; a few lizards and hummingbirds and some unknown tracks but no snakes. I now have lots of petroglyph pictures and they may find their way into my artwork.

Thursday the 25th was the opening of Expanding Horizons. Registration began at 1pm. Andie and I decided to check out some shopping in Santa Fe earlier in the day. First stop, Jackalope This has to be the craziest mix of imports I have ever seen, spanning several buildings and spilling out into courtyards between. Their collection of gemstone beads was incredible and I spent a bundle on some great future embellishments.

Above are some printing blocks from Bali or India. They need a bit of touching up but have a lot of life left in them. Going to have some fun in the studio playing with them and some dyed fabric. Boy it took some time to pick these out of hundreds of options. After Jackalope, we went to three bead shops mentioned in an email by Julie Filatoff, SAQA member from the Santa Fe area. Thank you Julie! We both bought beads and I got some beautiful yarn to embellish my mermaids quilt.

Rosary Beads
Andrea Theriault
April 25, 2013

And while I was checking in and going to the 'Speed Dating' event, my daughter was busy making a rosary in the hotel room. Her boyfriends childhood rosary had broken, so she decided to make him a new one. By the time we left on the 30th, she had returned to 'Beadweaver' and 'Beading Heart of Santa Fe' for more supplies and completed several very different and very beautiful rosaries.

I must have been one of the last to register for the convention. Shopping is my second favorite pass-time, especially when it is for my first favorite pass-time, my art. At registration I was informed that the vendors were only selling until 7pm. So naturally, I had to get in there to shop. Some of my purchases are to the right: beautiful hand dyed fabric from Africa, femo buttons, hand dyed and over-dyed fat quarters and not shown are a lovely silk scarf which was done with resist and some gorgeous desert colored dyes and three books from the SAQA table. They also had a trunk show on display from Australia/New Zealand. Beautiful work!

The 'Speed Dating' event was so much fun, similar to the one I attended in Denver. Met  so many new colleagues and friends and walked away with handfuls of cards to search websites & blogs. I was so wired I did not want to stop and go to bed. Sat and talked to friends Catherine Whall Smith, Rita Hannafin, Carol Larson and Gay Ann Young.

Friday started early with breakfast at 8 am. I am not a morning person, so this was a bit rough. A full day of events unfolded for me with my first workshop. My friend Margaret Blank was also attending this workshop with Carol Ann Waugh. Coming from a marketing background Carol outlined 'How to make a living in 5 years.' I was unaware, having been to Carol's studio in Denver, that she has been making her art for only five years.

Carol touched on so many necessities of a business geared around the arts. In her personal pie chart she admitted to only making 10% of her income from sales of her work. Workshops and sales of publications figured heavily in her income. Websites are essential to getting yourself out where you can be found. She also touched on the need for a database to keep track of your art, a resume that touts your every accomplishment, and simply making time for marketing in your day to day schedule. I consider my chat with her one of the weeks most important personal accomplishments. This woman has it together and is willing to help those who need assistance.

My second workshop of the morning was with Patty Hawkins. At 76 years of age, Patty has been making art for decades and had many 'pearls' of wisdom about being an artist. She stated that an artist needs to applaud those willing to promote your work and be open to listening to suggestions. One of her pearls resonated with me, as she suggested staying in the zone as you are creating and letting your work speak to you. Her work was expansive and gorgeous. Of course I recognized many of her pieces from my Quilt National and Visions books. Her workshop was a pleasure and I'm glad I took it.

Lunch was provided on Friday as we all rolled into the banquet room for iced tea and our selections for food. I chose chicken terriyaki which was yummy. 

We listened to several SAQA members tell why they volunteered for SAQA and what they got out of it. We were encouraged to write what we thought our special talents and resources are. Ultimately we were led to understand how volunteering is a win/win because not only are we helping a great organization, we feel wonderful for doing it and learn much in the process as we get to know many new colleagues.

My third workshop with Melody Randol started after lunch. Melody's workshop was about color theory. Having many art classes behind me as I have come to my quilting through a degree in art, I was familiar with some of what she was saying. However I picked up so much more as she was gearing her theories to fabrics. She talked about using the color wheel to design, limiting color, and the use of black, white and neutrals to 'pop' the colors in your quilting. She used photos of her own work as example and brought many of her pieces for us to look through. As I got home, I have been looking at my own color choices and how I can utilize her theories to punch up my own work. Thank you Melody for your many insights!

Right after my third workshop I lucked into a ride to the Capitol Building to see the SAQA show, New Mexico: Unfolding. I hitched a ride with Julie Filatoff, who had a piece in the show. It was a wonderful show, full of color, inventiveness, and definitely representative of the state. I'm glad I got to see it and I now have the catalog book for this show.

I really loved the pieces made by Judith Roderick. She hand paints silk and then quilts and embellishes with buttons. A girl after my own heart, as you must know by now, I love buttons! This piece is called 'Tree of Life' and is full of the birds that Judith says show up at her feeder in Placitas. Judith had another piece hanging called 'Peaceable Kingdom' which was also splendid.

As day turned into night on Friday, we all went to the Santa Fe Spotlight event. Members had donated 6" x 8" works to be sold by silent auction for the benefit of SAQA. I had donated a piece I called 'Catch A Dragon's Tail.' Here I am with my favorite piece by member Phyllis Cullen from HI called 'Aloha Spirit.' Members walked around four tables set up with artwork on small easels, each with a clipboard in front of it for members to monetarily bid increments of $5 beginning at $25. You can see the table to my right with other pieces on it. As each of the four tables came near their staggered close, there was a frenzy by some to procure the piece they wanted. I hovered a bit over Phyllis's piece knowing that I wanted to buy it. I was indeed successful and I am thrilled to have this piece now in my studio.

Here I am with my new friend, Phyllis Cullen. She is a rep from Hawaii and you can read about her story on the SAQA website Phyllis does beautiful portraits and you can also view her work in Martha Sielman's new book, 'People & Portraits.'

And yes, my own piece sold as well. Here I am with Michele Lea who not only bought my piece here tonight but had bought my first donated piece to the SAQA Auction in 2011. I'm seeing the beginning of a collection here. Michele picked up several beautiful pieces here and told me she has a special spot for all her mini quilts. Check the link out to find out more about Michele.

The night ended with SAQA making $5,200 on the event and many happy people walking away with some incredible art. Some pieces went for way, way over the $100 mark. I hope SAQA decides to do this again. It was a festive night, punctuated by singing and much merriment.

Well I have been very chatty in my remembrances of my week in New Mexico. I need to go to bed. So I am going to pick up with my recollections of Santa Fe in my next post. I'll be posting about Saturday through Monday's activities as well as my general thoughts on the week and all I learned from it.

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