Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dog Days

Here we are again, 80 degrees and rising in the studio! While I often have much to do in the summer, it is awfully hard to work in this heat. One of these years I have to get air conditioning installed in the studio.

It's been a busy spring. After it's premier at the Fuller Craft Museum the SAQA MA/RI exhibit "Art as Quilt" opened at Highfield Hall, a mansion and museum/gallery in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod. As curator of the show, I got to bring the work down to Falmouth, help hang it and recently take it down to bring it all home. 

This was such a successful exhibit for the SAQA artists in MA, RI and CT. Six pieces sold while at Highfield Hall, so there are six very happy artists. The opening in Falmouth was on May 1 and the place was just packed.

Our second show, "Currents" was juried in May as well and my piece, Reunion, was accepted into that exhibit which opens at the Brush Art Gallery & Studios in Lowell, MA on August 7.

right: the crowd at the opening of "Art as Quilt" and Sue Polansky and Carol Vinick in front of their work

Co-Curator, Sue Bleiweiss has been working on the exhibit catalog which will be available soon through Amazon. Twenty-five pieces by fifteen artists were juried in. I am enjoying the process of curating shows and am looking forward to planning more in the future. It really is exciting to see so many amazing works of art come together in a show. 

On the homefront, I have set goals for entering calls for 2016. My first attempt was a rejection but as I mentioned Reunion was accepted into "Currents" this summer. I have two all SAQA big shows in my sights as well as a couple of others. They are all coming due from September through the end of November. I also have targeted a couple which come up in the first months of 2017.

The first call to come up is called "Layered Voices" and the deadline is September 30. I am working on a piece with butterflies and thistle. The butterflies are the Alpine Apollo butterfly, which is the rarest butterfly on earth and a partial lacewing, white butterfly with black and red spots. Organza is providing me the lacy wings. 

The shot to the right approximates the look I am trying to achieve with the background, which is a landscape of an Alpine grassland valley. My drawing is almost finished, the fabric sandwich is ready so I should be sewing this one soon.

Lady Feather has begun as well. I like working more than one piece at a time. I started with the background, which is a fantastic piece of blue and white from Carol Eaton. So fantastic that I didn't want to waste any. So I drew on tissue an outline of where the background would go, cut it out and fused it to plain muslin. 

Below is the fabric background stitched with a "windy" texture. My next move is to flesh out Lady Feather herself onto a piece of muslin and then to work her nest of a "bad hair day". 

I have been making her feather necklace bit by bit. The feathers are made in relief, sewn, turned, hand pieced together and then stitched.

Above they are sewn and ready for quilting.

And then the ribs of the feather are created with quilting.

You will be seeing more of this one as I continue working it. Apollo will remain undercover for a bit as I am making it specifically for a call for entry. I may decide to give you a shot or two of the background stitching as it comes together. But the butterflies will remain a secret surprise.

My last bit of news is that I am published! I have an article in "Art Quilting Studio's" June 2016 issue. Queen Bee Says No to GMOs, Mariposa and Empress of the Pines are featured in an article I wrote called "Nature's Portraits: Tapping into Imagination." I must say I am over the moon excited. I was just in a JoAnn's shopping the other day and I looked through the magazine section and found the issue I'm in. 

Well that catches me up for a bit. I am busy, busy, busy. I have taken on so many projects at once and they all have to be done by fall and winter so I may not be writing much. So tomorrow is another day with the heat, a fan and a sewing machine.