Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Published in Australia’s Quilters Companion!

Monday, January 9th, 2017

It’s been rather the international year for me, since my Milkweed No. 2 art quilt, in “a matter of time” exhibit curated by Australian Brenda Gael Smith (no relation alas!) has also been published in Quilters Companion, an Aussie magazine!

Cover of Quilters Companion; first line item on the red banner at the bottom is A Matter of Time.

Opening pages of the article.

and here’s “my” page, with my new friend and fellow exhibitor Mirjam Aigner.   I have to say I love the internet…how else would I have found this call for entry, sent my quilt off to the other side of the world to tour, and made new friends without having met them in person?

My Milkweed No. 2, on the left, and Mirjam Aigner’s multi-layered work on the right.

You’ll have to track down a copy of the magazine to see the other quilts.  I do miss the days when international postage wasn’t insane!  I used to subscribe to an Aussie and a New Zealand quilt magazine, but the  price became prohibitive.  But for an issue in which I’m published, yep, I’ll take that!

2016–a Baker’s Dozen of my best photos

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

I’ve been part of a photography class with Ricky Tims (in 2015) and a critique challenge this past (and coming) year.  For our final assignment this year, we are to pick our favorite image of 2016.  Here are my top 12 + 1 for a Baker’s Dozen.  For lack of a better way, I’m posting them in chronological order. You can click/right click on all photos for a larger view.

Clearly, I am biased about some of these, so tell me–which do you think is The Best of the bunch? Doesn’t matter why–just the one you like the best!  I need to submit one on January 1, so pipe up!

Photo 1:  For the past eleven years, the calendar year begins in the middle of wrestling season, so for both quality of photography and affection/nostalgia, I’ll start with photos of Eli’s last Maine wrestling season.

Here’s another very typical shot:

Photo 2:  Eli, in red, goes in for the pin (and win). I have very, very few photos with Eli’s face, but this one shows the intensity of the sport.

This next image is probably the most technically complex I did all year.  I had three layers at one point, but the boys’ position in the frame didn’t make a logical sequence, so two worked better.  I printed this fairly large and framed it as an 18th birthday present for Eli, and it is in his room with his ***many*** ribbons, plaques and trophies from his sports achievements.

Photo 3: Transparent overlay with Eli in a take-down. I was sitting on the edge of the mat and was maybe 6 feet away from them. Luckily, they didn’t crash into me!

Photo 4:  In March the entire family went to hear the Taiko Drummers that came to perform at Strom Auditorium thanks to the Bay Chamber Concert group. I make a tripod of my arms and the rail in front of my seat and was delighted so many of my images turned out well despite the dark.

Photo 5: I love that the drum and legs are crisp, the face is clear, and the arms and drumsticks are total blur, telling the story of the physicality of the performance.

Photo 6:  I don’t know why I like this picture of water boiling in my electric kettle so much, but I just do!

Photo 7: a vintage effect for a summertime photo of a barn near me that has now fallen down (even before the snow).

Photo 8: A “panned” image of a sunflower from the Camden Inn garden by the footbridge over the river, just a stone’s throw off of Main Street.

Photo 9: I had missed seeing Paul Noel Stookey when he was here before, so I made sure I didn’t this time, even if I had to go alone. I loved it! I was also pleased that my “tripod on the railing” worked again to get a good shot. The theme was “past prime” which I interpreted that someone might *think* he is past his prime, but really isn’t!

Photo 10: October is always glorious in Maine, and this year was one of the best. I’m not usually in to “artsy” images or affected techniques, but I rather like the painterly effects you can get with some panning. Panning is when you move the camera on purpose while the shutter is open to create a deliberate blur.

Photo 11: I must have taken 200 photos on a not-too-long walk in my neighborhood. One of my favorite spots is across the main road on Blueberry Lane. This is a close-up of the sumac leaves in full glory.  I always like the simplicity of photos like this that celebrate the beauty of the ordinary.

Photo 12: Another “lots of edits” photo, but one that makes me laugh. This kinda describes my entire year. Sometimes I think I ought to make this into a poster and sell it!

And the “Baker’s Dozen” image, from just this past week or thereabouts:

Baker’s Dozen: I took several versions of this, made one black and white, but I like the soft winter colors and the gentle curves of our driveway.

 

Inspired by the National Parks

Friday, December 30th, 2016

2016 was a very good year for me, including being published in books and magazines.  It was also a very hectic year and I have neglected my blog and sharing my news, so I’m going to get caught up this week and next, at least on the published works.   One of the delights of the year was FINALLY being able to share a small quilt I made some time ago for an exhibit and book to celebrate the centennial of the founding of the US National Parks, website here.

Snowy Owl by Sarah Ann Smith, ©2015/2016

Part of the exhibit debuted at International Quilt Festival in late 2015, but the book was not released until Spring 2016, so we were asked not to share photos online.   For once, since my contribution was for Acadia National Park, I was not alphabetically challenged (with a name like Sarah Smith, I’m at the end no matter whether lists are done by first or last name).

Inspired by the National Parks, by Donna M. DeSoto. You can visit the exhibit website here and purchase the book here.

There were to be three categories of quilts:  Landscape, Flora and Fauna.  The landscape quilt is a long vertical or horizontal.  The Flora and Fauna quilts are squares.  When displayed together, the three works create a square.  Subject to availability, those participating got to choose which  theme and the subject, as long as someone else hadn’t already chosen.  For example, blueberries are very Maine, but they are also part of the scenery in other northern tier states and were already gone.  To be blunt, this could have been a disaster.  Instead, the work exceeds all expectations and forms the most wonderful whole.  I so wish I could see the entire exhibit **in person.**

In the book, Donna has contributions from one of the US Park Rangers working at each of the national parks, writing about the park, along with tidbits of information about each place.

Inspired by the National Parks, Table of Contents

The next photo shows the opening for Acadia National Park, here in Maine:

Acadia National Park, opening pages with statement from a park ranger and the landscape quilt, by Cyndi Zacheis Souder.

And the flora and fauna quilts for Acadia, including my snowy owl.  They wisely edged the photo with a fine line of black so it wouldn’t “moosh” into the page!

Water Lily by Audrey Wing Lipps and Snowy Owl by me

A couple years ago, there was an “irruption” of Snowy Owls, meaning they migrated a lot further south than usual, and were relatively easy to spot here in Maine.   I added the Snowy Owl to my birder’s “life list” that winter.  I went to Clarry Hill in Union, where two or three owls had been spotted.  I walked along the path through the blueberry barrens on the bare hilltop, but nothing.  As I was about to turn around, I spotted one at a great distance (beyond the no trespassing signs), so I was happy, but no good photos.  Then I returned to the car.  As I approached the car park, I turned and saw an owl in a tree growing next to a stone wall…camera OUT!   Snap! Snap!  Snap!  Thank heavens for auto-focus.

This was about 4 pm, as the sun was beginning to set. There was an owl in the tree on the ridgeline!  The owl had followed me down the path and was checking me out!

The owl few even closer, so I got some better images. I still get goosebumps looking at this photo! To hear the rustle of an owl’s wings and landing….wow!  Hopefully, one of these days Sony will make an even longer focal length zoom for my a6000 mirrorless camera…I am saving already because it WILL be expensive, but worth it!  I am inspired by Jeannie Sumjall Ajero’s nature photos she shares on Facebook.

When it came time to make my quilt, I couldn’t decide which view.  So I messed around in Photoshop, and thought, well why not BOTH?

A composite photo image that was my guideline. I obviously adjusted the branches and the placement of the stone wall/tree in the final work.

The subtle winter palette is challenging in terms of finding fabric, so I dyed some cotton sateen.  Despite being stingy with the dye, my first attempt there was too much color, so I tried again and got just the pale tones I needed.

I created the bird on white cloth, used stabilizer, and did the very heavy stitching on the bird first, then appliquéd her (probably a female because there is a lot of barring, the brown bits) to the smaller close-up image.   I then composed the background quilt and appliqués the smaller one to the larger one.   I’ll enjoy having her fly home eventually.  Until then, if you get a chance to see this exhibit, DO!   And no matter what, the book is a delightful volume.   The **Library of Congress** has included the book in a display this year…how amazingly cool is that?  Kudos to Donna and all the artists.  Exceptionally well done!

You can order the book on Amazon here.  What a great thing to do on a long winter’s day!

 

Teaching at Quilt Festival Houston–sign up soon

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

Online signups for classes at International Quilt Festival in Houston end on October 7th !!!!! I’d love to see you in one of my classes.  Here’s my very busy line up!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.39.58 PM

I’m thrilled to be so busy and hope to meet many of you.  Here’s a blogpost about The Nest, a new and totally fun half-day (or full day if a guild wants a full day) class, it’s a blast and the extensive kit/materials provided make it easy to prep.  I’m also teaching my intermediate/advanced Tame Fussy, Fiddly Threads for Machine Quilting class for those of you who want to learn more about the “cranky” threads–that really aren’t cranky if you just learn how to use them!

Houston has revamped the catalog a little bit. There are now (yeah!) pictures in the catalog (not just online) and there are weblinks so you can go to my website for the FULL supply list and handouts.   To shorten the process, if any of the above look good to you, you can go to my class listings page here for info about my classes.  Each description has a hotlink to the pdf Supply list.  If I have blogged about a class, that also is in the description.  You can also find all my supply lists in one place on my Resources page.  If you click on “Resources,” Look at the jump links at the top.  Click on Class Supply Lists and it will jump you down the page (instead of having to scroll down).

Here are some more blogposts about the classes I’m offering in Houston:

Decorative Stitch Applique here and here

Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag here

Can’t wait to see you in Houston!

 

A virtual visit to C3: Color, Cloth, Collage

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Well, I promised I would blog about the Artist’s Reception and take pictures.  So I remembered to take a picture of the food table (so boring it isn’t here), and as I was packing up I realized I hadn’t taken a single photo as I was busy talking with people, being the gracious hostess and…..I forgot.  But I CAN share the one photo we did get (thank you Terri Tooley!) plus the others I took not-during-the-reception.  And just for Patricia W, at long last a detail photo of the peony (OK, I was gonna share it anyway, but Patricia has asked and I’m happy to share now)!   Thank you so much to everyone who came on Thursday, has been, has visited virtually here and on Facebook, and will get here later this month.  For all the Library photos, if you click on them you can see them larger.

Click on the image to view larger!

Click on the image to view larger! I’m standing in the doorway to the Picker Room and got it all!

When I finally realized I had forgotten to take pictures, friend and fellow wrestling mom Terri Tooley was still there.  She stepped in to take a photo…Paul said, “this isn’t going to be shared is it?” to which I replied, of course it is!  So here is a RARE photo of Paul, and he’s even smiling!

Husband and wife, flanking their sons (in cloth). Both quilts were of the boys at age 16. Joshua is on the left, Eli on the right.

Husband and wife, flanking their sons (in cloth). Both quilts were of the boys at age 16. Joshua is on the left, Eli on the right.

This is the Rogue's Gallery, also known as the Family wall (and seen above). From left to right you've got Pigwidgeon (of the dog walks photos on Facebook), my hands, Joshua, Eli, me, a family "scrapbook" quilt called the Two of Us which was in the book and exhibit Inspired by the Beatles, the blue orcas quilt, an older painted silk sunset, and the "yoga" quilt.

This is the Rogue’s Gallery, also known as the Family wall (and seen above). From left to right you’ve got Pigwidgeon (of the dog walkies photos on Facebook), my hands, Joshua, Eli, me, a family “scrapbook” quilt called the Two of Us which was in the book and exhibit Inspired by the Beatles, the blue orcas quilt, an older painted silk sunset, and the “yoga” quilt. Unofficially, I am also calling this the Dinner@8 wall, since the five large pieces were all made for juried invitational exhibits put on by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal.  You can learn more about those exhibits and this year’s here.  My best work over the past six to seven years has consistently been for this exhibit, and I’m honored to be a part of it again this year.

The far wall has two small pieces and my newest, the Peony. The center is challenging to hang, since there is a TV behind the quilt that is used a couple times a month, but it is THE most eye-catching spot.

The far wall has two small pieces and my newest, the Peony. The center is challenging to hang, since there is a TV behind the quilt that is used a couple times a month, but it is THE most eye-catching spot.

Detail, Peony. I think I need to take more and better detail shots!

Detail, Peony. I think I need to take more and better detail shots!  I believe I used 12 pinks, a white, and a couple variegated greens in this quilt.

The left wall as you enter is the second most visible spot after over-the-piano/in-front-of-the-tv. I knew I wanted my labyrinth, Descended From the Stars, to anchor that wall. This side of the room is really about my life, and my life in Maine.

The left wall as you enter is the second most visible spot after over-the-piano/in-front-of-the-tv. I knew I wanted my labyrinth, Descended From the Stars, to anchor that wall. This side of the room is really about my life, and my life in Maine and nature.

Between the entrance and the mini kitchen area, is a cabinet with a bit of wall.

Between the entrance and the mini kitchen area, is a cabinet with a bit of wall.

In the case, I put a few of the many books and magazines in which I have been published inside the case, along with my book ThreadWork Unraveled, my DVD workshop, patterns, some class samples and smaller pieces.

In the case, I put a few of the many books and magazines in which I have been published inside the case, along with my book ThreadWork Unraveled, my DVD workshop, patterns, some class samples and smaller pieces.

So there we are!

Thanks to all who could come in person, and to all who are visiting virtually.   I’m so delighted, relieved it looks good, and pleased.  Thank you to the Camden Public Library and Ken Gross, who is in charge of the exhibits among many other duties, for this opportunity. Thanks go to Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison of Dinner@8 Artists for the opportunity to create works for their fabulous juried exhibits.

And last but decidedly not least and so very important, MANY thanks to the companies whose products I use and who have supported me over the years including  MistyFuse, Janome America and Superior Threads.  I couldn’t do what I do without quality materials and machines!   I appreciate your support and encouragement more than you can know.