August 30, 2014

My New Craft Table

Free table and vinyl fence pieces

Done and ready to test out

Test sample for my "Shadows" exhibit piece.

This morning I decided I wanted to paint outside. I set out to build my craft table from some free items I have accumulated. A table base from a neighbor's garage sale, and the leftovers from our vinyl fence. I slid the fence sections together on the table and set out to try it out. It works great.

I enjoyed the birds singing, the fresh air, and getting my latest project completed.

How about you? Done some small projects that help to streamline your creativity?

Posted: Trish

August 24, 2014

The Studio is Finished!

My beautiful and roomy studio is finally ready.  After lots of hard work its done and I LOVE it! 
Posted by Gail

August 8, 2014

Featured Artist – Sharon Reese

Meet Sharon Reese... a wonderful artist who uses a variety of techniques in her work.

Follow Your Passion

It was a natural progression for me to go from being a graphic designer and calligrapher into the wonderful world of art in my retirement. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, so quilting and fiber arts was the perfect medium for me.

My vision and inspiration continually evolves from the wonderful beauty in nature.

I don't really have a 'favorite' technique, as I enjoy using and trying them all. I always strive to work intuitively, but sometimes I think long and hard about a future design. Even though I enjoy sketching, it is not my only design process.



Flowerfall
Receiving a 1st Place award last year, with my quilt Flowerfall, out of 89 pieces of art gave me an amazing and tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

See more of Sharon’s quilts here.

August 6, 2014

West Virginia Wanderings

These are photos from Tamarack, an Arts Center in West Virginia.  Many fine artists sell their work here, and sometimes they are demonstrating.

All the work was very high quality, it must be juried in. Wooden bowls, cutting boards, all kinds of wooden tools, ceramics, metalwork, quilts and fiber art, paintings, drawings, glass, all kinds of things.  I was not so sure when my sister wanted to drive 3 hours to the southern end of the state to go here for one day, but it was well worth the long trip.





We came back another way and made a big circle in the middle of West Virginia.  So we got to see a lot of the mountains and much of the state in that one day.  Beautiful tree covered hills, well, they call them mountains here.  Not too high compared to our western mountains.
Posted: Phyllis Binkley   

August 1, 2014

Featured Artist – Eileen Wintemute

Introducing one of our newest members, Eileen Wintemute, an artist of many talents.

Black and White Desert

What draws you to working in fiber art?
I have made things with fabric since I was a wee child. My first projects were clothes for troll dolls. They were in the Fred Flintstone style, very primitive, and finished all raw edge. I was way ahead of the raw edge finished movement! I have been working with fabric for so long now it is just part of who I am.


I made clothes in high school and college, but stopped when clothes became so inexpensive it didn’t make sense to sew them any more. I took up quilting to continue to have a use for fabric I wanted to buy. At the same time I was painting and drawing as a hobby. Somewhere along the line these two activities merged and my art is now mostly made with fibers.

Inspiration
I am inspired by the works of Patt Blair and Grace Errea. I usually make art to create a permanent record of a place or memory. 


I like to create representational art with fiber. This can be a landscape or still-life image. I love nature and beautiful things I have seen in a natural setting inspire me. I also like the dark and light contrast of buildings in cityscapes, and have made several art quilts of buildings.

Techniques and Process
I prefer to use fabric collage or paint an image on fabric. I am definitely not a fabric piecer. I love my HQ Sweet Sixteen Sit-down machine for quilting and can’t do without it. 


To make an art quilt I make a small scale drawing of my image and then enlarge it to full size on paper. That full size sheet becomes my “pattern” for the quilt.

I do not have a formal art education, but instead have taken several adult education classes. My formal education was in Chemical Engineering. That is what I did for a living, art is what I do for me. 


I teach classes in beading, embellishing, and making cityscapes with recycled men’s ties.

See more of Eileen’s quilts on her website.

July 25, 2014

Featured Artist – David Charity

Introducing David Charity.
He tells a story with every piece.


I am an artist who continues to evolve my art to portray strong emotions. My early works were mostly a visual experience and the topics varied widely depending on a theme being presented in a special exhibit.

While I continue to grow as an artist I have narrowed my focus. I now prefer to touch the emotions of my viewers, either by invoking a smile or causing my audience to ponder a serious subject.




Bit Map
I draw my inspiration for my humorous pieces from my life and my pets. I accomplish this by cartooning. In my childhood I liked to sketch cartoons and dreamed one day of being an artist. My cartoons allow me the freedom of not worrying about whether I’m using the correct color because I’m partially color blind. I create very brightly colored work in this genre. I also have a serious side and think of myself as a compassionate person. 

 

Hunger
I draw inspiration for my serious work from the injustices or hardships endured by humanity. The serious side of my work is currently created in black and white with a small amount of color. I find the black and white images to be very powerful and striking in presenting topics of great importance to me.

I have chosen textiles to express myself. I use mostly fabric, but embellish my art with many other things such as paint, beads, metal, plastic and found objects. My favorite fabrics are Batiks. I enjoy adding texture and feel in my pieces through the use of thread and quilting.


See more of David’s quilts on his website From Edge 2 Edge

July 11, 2014

Featured Artist – Patricia Charity

Our next artist we would like to introduce is Patricia Charity. Her fabulous use of color and texture is highlighted in these featured pieces. 

Art quilt with envelope, letter, pen, maps
It's the Journey

For this piece, "It's The Journey", I am inspired by history and the romance of travel during a time when getting to a destination was only the end of the journey. The excitement of seeing new places along the way, saving bits and pieces to remember the trip, assembling the journal for a personal history was all a part of the experience. 
I wanted this quilt to speak to the adventure of travel. Arriving at point B is not the event we remember, it is the journey. The cool morning air with new scents, the change of light at a new latitude, the beauty of an unfamiliar landscape as it glides past the window of the train, car or plane. 
Colors: Browns, blues, reds Techniques: Collage, piecing, free motion quilting, color work Materials: Cotton, silk, wool felt, Stewart Gill paints, Inktense pencils 

Exposure to quilting: 
I grew up around quilts. My grandmother and aunts quilted as well as their ancestors. I lived on my grandmother’s farm for three years during high school but was not interested in learning how to quilt as a teenager. That was an “old lady” activity. I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. 


First quilting experience:  
I had a workout friend in San Diego that wanted to take a quilting class but did not want to go alone. I signed up and tagged along to keep her company. From the beginning, I was a rebel with color usage. I started quilting in the mid 1980’s when everything was calico. I showed up with dress weight cottons in orange, hot pink, purple, olive and tan. Everyone was horrified but Arlene Stamper put on a brave face and encouraged me. I was fortunate that my first quilting teachers were Sharyn Craig and Arlene Stamper. These teachers stressed technical skills and color values, which have helped me in the creation of my current art quilts.

Fiber Art: 
I love working with fabric and fiber. Not only is there a tactile quality to it, but also a three dimensional aspect that is hard to get with paint. Getting the secondary design through the quilting process allows me to make subtle changes and focus the viewer’s eye on a key area. 


Inspiration: 
I currently draw inspiration from abstract paintings. I have a Pinterest page for this type of art. I study the composition possibilities of these paintings and the color choices. I have a color bias to my work but I am always looking for combinations of color or value studies that I can use for inspiration. I have also been inspired by the artists I am fortunate enough to take classes from Melody Johnson, Katie Pasquini-Masopust and Jane LaFazio to name a few. I still go to their websites and check the latest projects and to see their recommendations on new products.

Favorite Technique: 
I am working with two techniques at this time. One is a collage technique where I layer fabric and fibers on a substrate fabric and keep adjusting and designing until I am happy with the layout. The other technique is to paint directly on unprimed artist canvas with a variety of paint and inks. I am looking forward to expanding my skills with mono printing, stamping and stenciling. In both cases I usually only have a rough sketch or line drawing as my jumping off point. I do a small color sketch to check the value placement and composition.  

Abstract fiber art quilt showing depth 
 

Sketchbook: 
I always have a sketchbook handy. I have a Moleskine that I keep in my purse. This is my go-to if I am looking for inspiration or if I want to jot down an idea. Sometimes I draw and other times I write a series of words that inspire me for jumping off points for new work.


Tools: 
The only tools I think I could not live without are my sewing machine and paints. I studied art in high school and had some classes in collage. My first love has always been drawing and painting. I am fortunate that I am able to bring these skills to my fiber art. 

See more of Patricia’s quilts on her website From Edge 2 Edge

July 10, 2014

North Dakota Fiber Art

Forest

Arial View at Sunsest

 I was surprised to find some really nice fiber art in North Dakota.  Check out these 2 artists:  Vickie Kessler and Donna Kjonaas.  Here is a sample of the great exhibition I saw of their work at a fine arts center in Bismarck today.  What a treat!

Posted: Phyllis

Note: These are collaborative pieces by the artists.

July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!






Posted by Eileen Wintemute

July 3, 2014

Featured Artist – Phyllis Binkley

Our first featured artist is Phyllis Binkley. Her special piece shown here "A John Muir Moment at 9300 feet" is a self portrait.


A John Muir Moment at 9300 feet


Hiking in the “high country” of Yosemite National Park is a passion that not only gives me inspiration for my fiber art pieces, but also feeds my soul and renews my spirit. As John Muir said: “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul.”

The sky, water, and figure are hand dyed and painted with fabric pigments. Free motion thread painting was done on a domestic sewing machine. The rocks and tree trunk are needle felted into 100% wool. Wool batting is under cotton fabrics on the surface. A variety of yarns are used for the grasses.

What draws you to working in fiber art?
I think it must be the tactile experience ...the feel of all the wonderful fabrics, yarns, and threads. I also enjoy the 3-D possibilities that painting does not offer.

How did you get started in Fiber Art? and why did you choose this medium?
As a kid I loved to sew, then in college my Mom and I learned to knit and crochet together. After 25 years, my mom encouraged me to get to the IQF in Houston to see the Art Quilts. She knew I would be hooked into using fabrics, yarns, and thread work again. It was life-changing after I went to the Houston International Quilt show in 1995-2000.

Who or what inspires you?
Nature is my greatest inspiration. I am continually in Awe of God's beautiful creation. Whether it be in a sunset, mountains, or close-ups of nature like flowers or very small creatures.

What inspires you to make art?
I have always loved to make things, some useful, others just to look at, and enjoy their beauty.

What is your favorite technique?
Painting and enhancing with stitches is right up there with Needle Felting and working with yarns as well as threads.

Favorite tool:
My Bernina 440 ...at the moment.

How much do you plan your pieces?
I am usually inspired by my own photos, and use one or more of them to plan a piece. I plan, maybe about half way, then I let it take on a life of its own and make changes along the way. Sometimes I get a sky and distance planned, then change the middle and foreground a lot....depending on what it calls for.

Do you do any teaching?
I still do a little teaching, but I do not travel far from home or stay all night to do workshops anymore. I have a Thread Painting workshop at Redlands Sewing Center on Oct. 17, 2014.

Do you have a formal art education?
I have a MS in Art from Illinois State Univ. and lots of post graduate hours in Art and Educational Administration. And I have taken quilt workshops for the last 12 years from some nationally known teachers.

I had a wonderful 10 years of teaching art quilting workshops and lecturing to guilds in So. California and a few other states after retiring from 30 years in the art classroom. That helped to fill the gap, but now I am trying to find even more time for my own work, more traveling, and just doing a wee bit of teaching. I love teaching ladies who want to learn more and get in touch with their creative abilities.

See more of Phyllis' work on her blog.

July 1, 2014

Interesting Website - Great Information


Liberty Station VAM
I attended the Visions Critique group on Friday (last Friday of every month at 10 am) in San Diego. This group meets at the Visions Art Museum on Point Loma each month. This is an awesome group and if you have a chance to attend, I highly recommend it.

The first part of the meeting is held for art that you are struggling with or just have a question on to see if you are getting your meaning across to the viewer. I always get great feedback on my work from the other artists. If there is time the last part of the meeting is for general sharing of pieces you have completed or are working on.

The current show at the Visions gallery is incredible. If you are in the area or even partially close, I suggest you make the time to see it. The four exhibits are up until July 20th.

A textile website (http://www.textileartist.org/) was mentioned during the meeting and it is worth checking out. Lots of great information and inspiration from our fellow artists across the pond.

Thanks for the heads up from Gillian for this great find.


Posted: Trish

June 14, 2014

Another Quiltathon!

I've recently returned from my annual family quilting tradition in Nebraska – this was our 17th Quiltathon year!  Every year, most of the sisters (4 of 5) and our mother come together to quilt.  It's a different project every year wherein we each make our own, and the varied results are amazing.  
This year we choose Cosmic Spirals by Barbara Olson; and after three days of agonizing over the color choices (sister Sharon has a virtual fabric shop in her stash) and sewing, the results were fabulous!  Linda, Trish and I took the class at Road of California ten years ago, and I enjoyed making another spiral.  
This year the sisters gave a Quiltathon Truck Show at Mom's new residential home (Dad passed away in December and she has transitioned into a new season of her life), and shared the joy of our tradition with her new neighbors.  Needless to say, she was very proud of both the quilts and her girls.  The best part of this tradition is the bonding of family along with the stitching of cloth!
Posted: Gail

June 4, 2014

Eileen Wintemute to Speak at Surface Art Association Meeting on June 14th

Eileen Wintemute will provide a trunk show and teach a "Tie-Scape" workshop on June 14th at the Surface Art Association meeting in Burbank, California. This is a description of the lecture:

"My Journey As an Art QuilterSo Far

We all start somewhere. During her talk Eileen Wintemute will describe how she transitioned from traditional quilter to art quilter to artist. She will give a trunk show of work showing her progression along this pathway and describe how her background in watercolor painting has influenced her work. She will also talk about what inspires her as an artist and provide tips for making art quilts. "

The workshop will involve creating a simple cityscape using a couple of re-purposed men's ties. 

Meetings of the Surface Art Association are held on the campus of Woodbury University. 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, CA 91504. Meetings begin at 10:00 am. Sign-in begins at 9:30 am.

Posted: Eileen

May 22, 2014

A NEW Studio!

Construction has begun on my new quilt room.  We're adding a second floor above the front entry room in the house and its going to be AWESOME! 

Lots of work and elbow grease to come, but will be much lighter and roomier than my current area.  I'm hoping the new space will bring new energy and creativity!

Posted by Gail

May 10, 2014

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at my nearly complete quilt for the 2014 Textures Challenge. This year the theme is circles. Can you guess what this is?
Posted: Linda