Monday, May 31, 2010

View of Vernazza

Vernazza, Italy - This is another view for the source of my "Italian Apartments" courtesy of my daughter, Jessica, who asked the newlyweds where they had taken the picture of the apartments in Italy. 

I had a lightbulb moment Saturday.  I was working on my "Italian Apartments", now renamed "View of Vernazza", when I recalled a comment someone made on my piece by 'either name".  She said, "those are interesting colors you chose for this piece".  Well, it dawned on me that she had not seen my inspiration photo taken by my nephew Mike and his bride Carleen when they were on their honeymoon in Italy.  The buildings are actually pretty close to the colors I picked for them.  Please note the pink, terra cotta, dirty lime and orange in the photo above.  I'd love to go there, wouldn't you?   Ouuuuuu, the colors.....ahhhh...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Follow up to Retreat Weekend

I thought I would follow up on my thoughts of my Weekend Retreat at home.  I think it was very successful, I spent three and a half days in my sewing room/studio.  I worked on my Italian Apartments and am very close to finishing, completed a Field #2 (almost) and I removed my "Cranes" from their canvas.  Telling myself I was on retreat really helped me focus, the "Do Not Disturb" sign reminded me every time I walked out the door why I was in there in the first place. 
Having spent that much time in the studio made me less fearful of going in there, i.e. fear of failure.  Do you ever feel like you'd just rather just not deal with the frustration of trying to be successful in what you create?  I have two quotes on my sewing room wall from the book "Art and Fear":
"Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art.  And tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding."
"Art is like beginning a sentence before you know its ending.  The risks are obvious; you may never get to the end of the sentence at all--or having gotten there, you may not have said anything."
I just need to read these quotes once in awhile. 
This weekend we are going up north to the cottage so I have packed my Janome and the Apartments along with another unfinished temporarily abandoned project that I will take another look at and determine if I want to slash and re-connect.  If I do, I'll take pictures first.  Although my experience with the "Reject Reframed" was frustrating I was satisfied with the result and I did enjoy the process (some of the time) so I'm game for some more frustration. 
I need to find out what those Italian Apartments are called or what city they are near, I'm tired of calling that piece my "Italian Apartments". 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reject to Reframe

Good bye REJECT!
This is a rejected piece that I had jammed under my work table so no one else could see it.  I'm embarrassed to even show it now.   Two years ago it was originally dyed after applying potato dextrin resist.  Then I went at it with textile paints and markers, then did some machine quilting.  At that point I was totally disgusted with it and tossed it under the table.  I didn't throw it in the garbage because there were small bits of it I still liked. 

After reading about cutting up your rejects on the SAQA yahoo group I decided I was ready to give it a go.  I was unsure what to do because I had already quilted it so it was kind of thick to piece back together.  I solved that problem by not joining any of the quilted pieces to each other. 

This is my result.  It really looks better in person, you can't see the part I like the best, which is the light strips that go vertically.  They look like a topographical map from  the potato dextrin resist area.  

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend Retreat

In order to get some creative work done I decided to take Friday off from my real job and spend the weekend in my "studio" working.  I even brought home a "Do Not Disturb" sign from the office to hang on my door, (mostly for my own sake, to remind me I'm here to FOCUS).  Truman (my dog) can't read so it won't keep him away.  My husband is helping by shaking his finger at me when I'm having a snack or talking on the phone. 

I am imagining I am up in Door County at Bjorklunden at Jacqi's retreat and all that's on my agenda is sewing.  I started Thursday right after Oprah and spent all day and evening Friday here (did take a break to mow the lawn as it was a hay field after all the rain we've gotten).  Today - Saturday,  husband and I did a few rummage sales because it was Greenville town-wide rummage day.  But after about 45 minutes of that we weren't finding any bargains so we came back home and back to my retreat. 

I'm getting a lot done.  My Italian apartments (photo above) is now in three layers and I'll be quilting it tonight and tomorrow.  I started and finished a piece on Thursday night/Friday morning.  Tomorrow I want to take a reject balled up under my work table and cut it apart and make something beautiful out of it.  That's the goal and the plan, we'll see what the result is.  If its good I will post a before and after pic.  Cross your fingers.  Now.....back to work....

Monday, May 10, 2010

I have a Website!

As of last week my website is complete!  I am very excited to be able to now have a professional web presence.  With an upcoming solo exhibit coming this summer, it seemed like a good time to launch my site.  

Holly Knott is the web designer who built the site for me.  She came highly recommended by many Studio Art Quilt Association members and specializes in artists' websites.  I am extremely happy with the work she did.  Holly is very organized, gives honest advice and had my site up in three weeks. 

She helped me realize my vision of what I was looking for in a website.  Please check it and out and give me your honest feedback.  I'm always open to suggestions.  Thanks!