Saturday, June 30, 2007

First Attempts

Interesting stuff painting, dyeing and discharging fabric is.....I'm a bit fond of the top piece....another obsession in the making.....

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Lately (well....really....for at least the past 3 years) I have been wondering about this artful journey I am on and what it is saying. I am struggling with trying to find and answer my inner voice, my thumbprint. I may want to create polished works that scream of mastery with all the latest techniques but I am continually drawn to earthy, funky styles that are filled with home spun elements - chunky hand embroidery & other hand work, beading, textures, abstract designs etc. Perhaps one of the most important factors for me to keep in mind is that if I want to create unique art that expresses my inner self I need to listen to what my *self* is telling me and follow that voice. I have also made a decision to begin taking some drawing and art 101 courses - not art quilting courses. I know how to sew, what I would like to explore is elements of good design and composition.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Into the Jungle

I've still been working on display samples to bring to the quilt shop where I'm going to conduct a class or two for beginner art quilters & sewers. The focus will be on how to let the fabric do the talking and using your sense of color to create an abstract quilt. I finished this up last night and believe I will bring it to the shop for class advertisement. Nothing about this is going to win any awards but I still like it anyway.

Tomorrow evening is our second art quilt group meeting. I would describe the first meeting as successful and we were thrilled with the fact that 2 men joined us! I came home and tried to interest my husband person but the hint just kind of flew right up over his head and out the window....guess working with fabric isn't his passion......

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Purple Trees

I finished this today and I'm happy with how lush it looks. In fact, I'm so happy with it I decided to post it on Ebay. The focal quilted piece is attached to a painter's canvas that has been wrapped in a gorgeous purple fabric. The trees were done with my own hand carved stamps and acrylic paints. This piece has summer written all over it!

Friday, June 22, 2007


Anyone know what these are?

When I was in college in the 70's I stitched fabric together, added embellishments and stuck them on walls. I had no idea what I was doing was creating art quilts. We kind of thought I just had a bit too much fun the night before and wasn't thinking quite right. While the urge to do these never left me I didn't try my hand at an art quilt again until the early 90's. This piece is the first one I produced at that time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Make Lemonade Out of Lemons

Right now my husband and I are suppose to be franticly getting the car packed to go to Maine for some R & R. Instead he is on a plane headed for Oklahoma and I will be getting ready for work in a few minutes. Some unfortunate circumstances have caused us to postpone our trip until August (breathe deep, Denise, and remember everything is as it should be). This unexpected time alone will afford me the opportunity to work on the blocks for this piece some more. The altered cathedral window embellishments are from another piece I did a couple of years ago. I borrowed them (!) after a 'yes' moment this morning. I think something of this sort will work very well in this growing piece.....kind of like dripping jewels....or some of the funkiest flowers I've ever seen...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Instead of Paint Now My Clothes Have Dye on Them

I have been busy dyeing fabric and trying my hand at all kinds of altering techniques. As soon as that 300w BBA Photoflood bulb comes in I'll either be in screen printing heaven or hell - depending on my success! The background fabric on the piece above is discharged crushed velvet, the purple piece I dyed and the larger vertical piece is dyed silk from a skirt I purchased at a ridiculous small price during a store closeout sale. I never wanted to wear the skirt but I knew the material was fabulous.

I plan on making more of these small blocks using different hand dyes, then complexing the blocks with embroidery and other embellishments, and then stitching them together. If my vision is successfully executed I may enter this piece as a submission for a juried show in Sept....we'll see.....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Rest and Relaxation

Yesterday my husband had the brilliant idea (what a guy) of taking an old iron sewing machine stand, putting a piece of Catskill bluestone on top of it and then using it as a table on the small side porch we are renovating. We (well HE) will be laying bluestone over the current concrete floor and the wicker chair will be painted the same great mustard color as the rocker. Doesn’t this little scene look inviting? I could sit out here for hours doing hand work while listening to the birds…too bad I have to work a day job in order to help pay the mortgage. At least I have the opportunity to dream of relaxing in our paradise!

Forgot to mention.....we had tons of Steve's relatives from Denver and NC over yesterday (how could I have forgotten that chaos?). Many of the adults were interested in my art quilts and complimentary but the bigger thrill was listening the kids! They were fascinated and asked me all kinds of questions. What a joy this was...also made me remember that most people, young and old, do not know anything about art quilts or textile arts....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hills and Valleys

I love to look at pieces done by artists that work with cloth, dyes, screen printing, painting, etc. I see such beauty and emotion in their pieces. They call to me and I am fascinated with the layers, depth and textures they are able to much so that I am struggling to teach myself some of these techniques and working to carve out a small niche for myself in this world of altered cloth. But last night I realized something as I finished work on this small piece. What I did with this piece is as much surface design and cloth complexing as the most incredibly rendered print & dye techniques. The tools we in the world of textiles use to convey our messages are varied and each of us has our own unique expression.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Architectural Beauty?

My husband keeps saying he has one more house in him before others describe us as 'elderly'. For over 20 yrs now as he was renovating and building additions on our house he has collected info about dome homes. These homes make the best use of square footage and are certainly different enough to appeal to our unusual tastes. The problem is these structures are not my favorite and, while their resale value is very high their appeal is to a limited audience. But should every decision be made on what is practical? What will bring the most financial reward? The thought of my husband being very elderly and saying 'I wish I had built that one last house' makes me sad. I think I should support him in this dream.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Evolving Work in Progress

Last night I took some silk and rusted it. It's very organic looking and belongs in this piece although I'm not quite sure how. I'm still lovin' the textures and raku fired pottery look of the pieces of painted thick stabilizer. Oh! Have to run....just remembered I have some copper you think if I fire alter that it might just need to be added to this piece?????

Saturday, June 9, 2007


I did this painting last night. I was trying to achieve an ethereal landscape where the farm is buried within it's depths. Some things just don't turn out, even with the best laid plans. It is important for me to remember to keep things in perspective and stop expecting perfection. It also might not be a bad idea to take an art class or two....ha, ha, ha.......

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Sometimes a whim turns out to hold a very, very promising future. The other day while shopping on an online art store I bought a yard of Lutrador on a lark. Never saw it before, never heard of it before but the description of what it is (rice paper like fabric) intriqued me. When it came in the mail I told one look at it and KNEW it was the medium I've been needing to paint to incorporate into my art quilts. I painted these small pieces in a very short time and am thrilled with the potential. Oh, I am a happy woman!

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Yesterday I began work on a piece that will reflect identities. The Dress on the left is that of a young girl, the middle one is that of an uptight, career minded woman and the Dress on the right represents a mature, earthy woman who's not afraid to be a bit wild. I'm not sure where this is going from here but, no doubt, it will provide hours, days and weeks of thoughts and obsession.....ha, ha, ha....

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Open up Your Garden Gates

I think anyone that's looked at this blog in the last few weeks will take one look at this picture and say 'Oh No! Not that piece again!' BUT it's finally finished and I have to display it for the masses (ha, ha) that follow my work. Besides, up until yesterday I wasn't even sure if I liked the piece or not (kept telling myself I did but until I added the border vines I wasn't happy with it).

Geez, sometimes certain pieces seem to suck you dry. They fight you every step of the way and constantly do battle with every creative bone in your body. You live them, breathe them and sleep with them. Then someone steps into the room, looks at the finished product, gets a huge smile on their face and says "wow".

What a wonderful passion!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Being Truthful in Tags

I was tagged by a wonderful artist from England (see the Dancing Girl Art link on the right). Ummmmm, thanks Fran - I think. Here are a few wishes and facts about myself.

- I always keep the house neat and clean.
- I am especially patient while standing in a line where the clerk failed first grade math.
- I am still the same size I was in high school.
- My therapist asked me if I would help her work out some issues.
- I am a brunette with naturally occuring blond and red highlights.
- Besides keeping a tidy house I am also a pro at construction and cabinet making and am now trying my hand at furniture building.
- My childhood was perfect, as a teenager I never thought about rebellion and adult life has been a smooth, clean sail.

Ok.....if you believe those you don't need to read the items below....

- I found true love at the age of 46.
- The spicier the food, the better.
- American roots music can transport me to another time and place.
- I have had psychic thoughts and dreams throughout my life but I choose to call these happenings my ‘highly developed intuitive sense’.
- Contrary to #3 & #4 I would not consider myself a New Age type of person.
- I have gone fossil hunting in PA, upstate NY & the Bay of Fundy.
- I do not know 7 bloggers I am comfortable ‘tagging’ so I will only tag a few.