Thursday, May 31, 2007


And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high"

These George Gershwin lyrics certainly evoke a mood and are like a painting with words. Somehow these words conjure up memories of my childhood - endless days and nights spent outdoors, butterflies and fields filled with wildflowers.

That said, summer is not my favorite season. Sweating, gnats and misquitos tend to make me crabby and my husband has learned to steer clear of me if the thermometer goes over the 85 mark. I don't consider humidity my friend. I much prefer the autumn with its rich organic smells, bonfires and promise of good snuggling-getting-cozy weather. Give me a pot of hot steaming soup over an ice cream cone any day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Abstract Study Journal Pages

These small tidy 8.5 x 11" abstracts are becoming an addiction. I am allowing the fabric to talk to me and let the colors and designs lead my hand. This is my true art - when I try to shut off thinking and just do.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Abstraction and Addiction

I believe that everyone has innate artistic talent and creativity. Often a manageable opportunity to realize success will spur further explorations of these leanings. A local quilt shop has asked if I would be interested in developing and presenting an art quilt class. We envision this workshop to be for beginners - perhaps for first time art quilters - but more for those who haven't really sewn or quilted before. We hope to draw people who are attracted to contemporary art and beautiful fabric, but never really believed they had the ability to create a lovely piece to hang on their wall by using a sewing machine.

If we were able to touch one person enough for them to become one of us I would consider these to be successful classes. I ask you - is it a sin to lead someone down the path of obsessive, compulsive pursual of a obsession?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Next One

As a rule I don't sketch out ideas for new art quilts. I usually just go for it and run into all kinds of design complications as I go along mixed up with some choice words. But last night I was messing around with pencil and paper and came up with this idea. I think it will be the basis for a new quilt. I see her in all kinds of vibrant colors - funky folky arty....I think she will wear the style well.....I can't wait to start work on her.

Monday, May 21, 2007

This Old Farm

My husband has a degree in biochemistry (shudder) and works for that Big Blue company you all know by 3 letters. Layoffs are looming on the horizon (if he's part of the slaughter this go round it will like old times - this has happen to him at the BB company twice already).

The photos above are actual things you can find on our property. We live on old family farm land and we cherish these items from the past. My husband spent his youth milking cows and haying fields. He pretty much embodies that old descriptive phrase 'salt of the earth'.

How does paragraph 1 connect with paragraph 2? Steve just sent in his application to attend a Nuclear Medicine program at Manhattan college in the lower Village after deciding that health care might be a bit more secure than the high tech world of the BB company. It will be very interesting to watch this man manage subways, Greenwich Village and all the cultures, classes and ethnic diversity that is the City. I suspect the call of that wood shed to be filled will be ever present on his mind.

And by the way.....Steve also works with field stone.....he built our fireplace and various walls and foundations around this old pig barn that he has completely renovated and expanded....

Sunday, May 20, 2007


A funky folk arty 4x6 bird happened yesterday. It felt good to finally finish an art quilt something - even if this is small.....

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Love Not War

Every month an Ebay art group has a themed listing event and ALL work is offered at starting bids of $0.99. The Nibblefest Art Contest (Ebay search acronym NFAC) tends to become a bidding festival each month with some works rising into the hundreds of dollars (and some not!). Each month different artists participate depending on their muse so sometimes there are gems to be gotten and sometimes not.

This month's theme is The Groovy 60's. Of course my first visions conjured up psychedelic and tie dyed images but then I remembered that famous photo of an Army rifle with a daisy sticking out of the barrel. So the spirit moved me to texturize and acrylic paint a board, collage painted papers and words onto the surface and then portray two lone daisies trying to stay strong and connected, rising from the red and black midst of strive.

Pete Seeger lives in our Hudson Valley area and has stayed true to his activist roots. He is a well respected member of our community and honored for his ground breaking work in cleaning up the Hudson River. While there are many poignant anti-war songs the simple words and haunting melody of this song carry an emotional punch and message that is still relevant in today's world.

When will we ever learn?

A Treasure

My daughter and I love to scout antique, thrift and junque stores....and we've been known to stop by a yard sale to two (especially if the 'come on' display items are made of wood and not brightly colored plastic). The other day while in an antique shop I spied this little beauty. Now, I have many of the large wooden spools and a few of the smaller spools (some even with their thread) BUT have never seen the complete package in tact like this. Of course I knew I had to have it and at $28 I felt as if I'd struck the mother lode. mother, like daughter....there was another one (with different colored thread) that now resides in my daughter's house.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I am the wanna be tryer of all techniques. Show me some special way to stitch something together, a new way to alter a surface or create unique embellishments and my mind begins the race of trying to figure out how to do it, how to change it to make it say 'me' and not say 'you copied so and so'. I'm always searching for the next idea, next design that will cause me to say 'YES! This makes you an real live artist! You have arrived!
Are we ever sastisfied with our skills? our product? Is my dissatisfaction due to the fact that my work is only in its infancy when compared to some others? Or is it because part of our passion encourages us to strive for more, to try and push envelopes & bust down barriers?
Perhaps a carefully thought out acceptance and knowledge of our best skills and, then, honing in on those is the greatest gift we can give our artistic natures. Perhaps my eye for color and abstract design is where my efforts should be placed and explored. Perhaps the distraction of trying this and that is the noise that can keep us from artistic fulfillment.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Organic Primordial Soup

Interesting outcome.......acrylic painted thick interfacing, embellished with hand carved stampings, burnished with pigments & foil and burned edges (ended up using a candle instead of the propane torch that just about set me on fire).....all assembled on a painted board....I might enter this into the juried art quilt show the Ithaca gallery is having....but - HA - is it an art quilt?

Altered States

I drew impressions of a tree, a fossil and vines on carvable eraser-like blocks. My obliging husband patiently cut out the designs with carving tools. Then I went to town with acrylic paints and metallics on thick interfacing. I am taking a one day workshop with Rayna Gillman on Wed. and I think these are coming along for the ride....I'm hoping this class might be the perfect vehicle for more inspiration....because where do I go from here?

Friday, May 11, 2007


Sometimes I feel of a certain age….grey streaks my hair (well, when I don’t make timely visits to the hairdresser), I often feel the need for an afternoon siesta and this body manifests aches and pains (not to mention pounds) that seem to have taken up residence and aren’t just stopping by for a visit.

The odd – and encouraging - thing is, my mind still sparks at the thought of a tender kiss, a gentle touch, a special look. And once the mind is engaged the body seems to react accordingly – albeit without the vigor present when I was 21 but with a mature, grateful knowledge of the tremendous importance of physical and emotional contact.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Almost Finished - Finally

Work on these abstract gates is going to close down soon. Some pieces seem to flow effortlessly (well almost) along - that's when it seems another hand is guiding mine and all is good in the world. Then there are the pieces that fight you every step of the way (kinda feels like I'm back in the twilight zone of raising a teenaged daughter). Guess which scenario I had with this piece? Hint - on more than one occassion I considered seeing if I had any talent with manifesting magic spells.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Vive la Difference

Found objects, shapes, paint, beads, wires and fabric all find homes with me. I think grommets are especially useful items. I look at many of the works by other art quilters and wonder why mine always seem to turn out so funky, so busy, so fill of stuff. Other artists produce sophisticated works that make me marvel at their designs - their urbane-ness (is that a word?).
As I travel this creative road I'm trying to accept and embrace my visions. To produce them as they appear in my mind's eye. Perhaps, more than all the training in the world, this is one of the most freeing and hardest to achieve qualities an artist can have.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Music, Thread & A Quilt Show

The art quilt above was inspired by Gee's Bend quilts. It features large, design element hand quilting using wonderfully texturized natural thread.
Sat. evening my husband & I plunked down a bit of money & went to Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock to enjoy a show boasting some premier musicians – not to mention Levon himself who still sings despite being a throat cancer survivor. Levon’s studio is attached to his house in a beautiful barn – lots of wood and Catskill bluestone throughout. It was a once in a lifetime experience. He is a true American icon.

The next day these old bones (cause they were certainly feeling their age) dragged themselves to the Northern Star Quilting Guild’s annual show. I saw many inspirational pieces there. Major eye candy.
Of course another attraction was the vendors. Oh yes, I do like the vendors. And I especially love the vendors with out of the ordinary things. I bought lovely chunky, cotton thread and some great funky, Japanese fabric that just looked a bit on the edgy side to me so, of course, I had to have it. Some things are just meant to be brought home, don't you think?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More Fabric Painting

My husband and I spent a wonderful 10 days in Nova Scotia a few years ago. It was a magical time and cemented our commitment to each other. The lupines in Nova Scotia grow wild - there are fields and fields of them. The other night I painted a homage our trip on fabric. I plan to add embroidered touches - perhaps some beads. Ahhhh, life is good if you let it be......