Monday, July 30, 2007


4 intense collage workshop days later.....the first picture is of my semi-finished project that is a combination of the papers I made using various papers and lutrador. I dyed, stamped, discharged, batiked and painted the papers under the direction of Hollie Heller who does these great etheral, layered paper collages. Of course there is nothing etheral about my work - even if I try and long for that effect it just ain't happening! I described my project as semi-finished because I think I'll cut it up and then sew it up into a quilt. There are some design problems with this piece but re-engineering it might just take care of those issues....we shall see....
A while back I wrote about Steve (my husband) facing another round of layoffs at IBM. was the day and it proved to be his time. We are working on keeping a positive perspective and all the stars are lining up (right now) for him to enter into a nuclear medicine program in Sept. Already having a degree in bio-chemistry enables him to enter this 15 month program without having to take pre-requisite credits. Hooray! For sure the health care field should provide a higher level of security than the high tech field he has been involved with for the past years. Fortunately it is quite impossible to source out medical testing to overseas labor in China. Please wish Steve well...he is a good man.....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Follow the Sun

I do art everyday – either by actually creating something or by mentally envisioning, thinking about and planning the next possible project. I wonder if degrees of passion are what separate dabblers/hobbyists from – well…..others like me. I can’t imagine ignoring my passion. It is all consuming and requires constant attention (and not always my best friend – is a great friend so demanding?). I recently had a few opportunities to be among people interested in art quilting but realized, very quickly, that the dedication I bring to my craft is way out of proportion to theirs. It was quite the eye opener! Yes, Denise….yet another personal trait (quirk) that is important for you to be aware of and monitor appropriately when in the company of others….sigh….sometimes I just feel weird (but wouldn’t change it for the world)…..

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

4x6 Textile Art

I received this little treasure in the mail yesterday from Deb Lacativa.
A small art quilt is so much more fun than bills, don’t you think? I’m not sure the photo does the piece justice. It’s made of hand dyed cloth that Deb then sprinkle with iridescent paint. Looks luscious in person. Thank you Deb!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Nature of Things

We live in an area that’s pretty rural and filled with all kinds of wildlife. We have seen bald eagles in our driveway, bobcats, and way too many deer. There is a bear that roams around the area looking for ways to fulfill the 20,000 calories it needs before bedding down for the winter. By the way, wouldn’t it be great – just for awhile – to be able to eat everything with total disregard for caloric or nourishment content? Death by Chocolate here I come.

Anyway, we have a nice sized pond in our backyard that hosts various snakes, turtles, frogs (those bullfrogs do sound like large rubber bands being pulled) and the occasional heron. This year we were also fortunate enough to have a male and female Canadian goose with their 2 offspring. Oh, they were so cute and I would always look for the family early in the morning and the evening. My husband and I enjoyed giving each other daily reports on the little ones' progress.

Then one night the retched coyotes were howling up a storm very close to our house (if you have ever heard this noise you know it is one that will send goosebumps up your spine). The next morning the goose family was gone and I have not seen them since. I'm sure the coyotes got the goslings that were unable to fly, I do not know if the parents were also victims. This has really made me sad and I can’t get the picture of the parents watching their babies being mutilated by these sniveling, lowlife predators. All of nature isn’t beautiful.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Night Lupines

I finished this today. It's acrylic painted fabric, enhanced with thread (lots & lots 'o stitches) and bordered with some of my hand dyed fabric. I am donating it to SAQA for their 12x12 auction. I am very fond of this piece and I hope others feel the same.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Good Morning!

I worked a bit more on my art quilt/painting early this morning. I think I’ve fine tuned the painting portion enough to suggest the weeds motif I was seeking. Now it’s ready for threadpainting. I think I’ll deepen the background with darker threads and try to work in hints of vines (how that’s going to be achieved remains to be seen). I envision the weed stalks to remain lightly colored with leaf swirls and – perhaps – some red berry highlights. Chances are I’m not going to be able to work on this for days and days –sigh – since my schedule is ridiculously overcrowded with prior obligations – sigh.
The small bottom piece I stitched together while watching Robert Altman’s movie ‘Prairie Home Companion’ the other night. I enjoyed both the movie (is that Meryl & Lily really singing????) and the quiet stitching time, although I was disappointed the movie never followed through on the tease to have the performers sing a rendition of Amazing Grace.
Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cotton so fine is feels like silk

Ok...these aren't ironed so the presentation isn't as prepared as it could be...but.....I wanted to share a wonderful gift that was given to me by a dollmaker/folk artist from Maine,

I am now the proud owner of a box full of these shirting cottons of such a fine weave and thread count that they feel like the smoothest silk. I am really seeing an abstract done with these with a great degree of textural quilting. I think these fabrics will help to create a piece that will appear both modern and traditional - my favorite combination!

Thank you so much, Dixie.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Artistic Voice Matching Inner Voice

Today on QuiltArt Kim Ritter, , wondered how well our artistic voices match our inner voices. This is something I’ve talked about on this blog from time to time and often pondered. As I was driving into work today I thought about all the different types of art I’m drawn to. All kinds of different genres and different mediums appeal to me and will certainly get my attention but art that is a bit more on the edgy or funky side is what seems to really excite me. I believe myself to be a bit aside the norm and wonder if this is why art that is non-traditional calls me.

Then I started thinking about why I like working on smaller pieces. What is it about a small ‘canvas’ that is an answer to an inner voice? I kept thinking of the control factor. I wonder if the fact that I want to take risks but only to a certain degree is the appeal of a smaller format. I also know that this is how I tend to conduct my life. I want and will try to take risks but only within confined boundaries. Perhaps I might try to expand my environments – both on a personal and artistic level. One never knows, the exploration might prove beneficial.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Another World

There are all kinds of escapes in this world. In order to deal with life some people work too many hours, drink too much alcohol, exercise obsessively, compulsively clean (for sure I'm not one of those) and so on and so on. It seems for many our worlds, both in the larger global community and smaller family senses, can be places that create confusion and strife. One of my coping mechanisms is to sew (are you surprised?). The quiet task of handstitching allows my mind to quiet itself and helps me to feel more centered and calm. As addictions go this is probably one of the least harmful ones.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Passion Continues

This piece of cloth has been dye painted, discharged, dyed again, painted and probably a thing or two that I forgot I did. I'm seeing a floral motif emerging with vines and leaves. I also have a silk screen prepared with an impression of window panes....."looking out on the garden" is my working title right now....of course all of this is subject to change since the best plan when it comes to organic abstracts is to allow them to morph and evolve naturally....and keep the human control factor at bay as much as possible.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Abstract Painting and Textile Art

YES! I am loving this combination of abstract painting and hand dyed cloth in an art quilt. I hope it isn't just a passing fancy.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Cragsmoor, New York

I live in the valley right below the Shawangunk Ridge here in NY. To get here you go due north up the Hudson from Manhattan for about 70 miles then hang a left when you get in the New Paltz area. The top photo was taken one late autumn day on top of the Ridge up in Cragsmoor. Cragsmoor is this wonderful old hamlet (no store but they do have a quaint library) that wears its reputation of being an old artist's community well. There are these gorgeous old mansions in various states of repair and disrepair. Anyhow, this archway is on the land of an old stone church. The portal is looking out over the valley between the Ridge and the Catskill Mountains (see them in the distance?). Now the Catskills are famous for all those great Hudson River painters that go by the name of Cole, Church, Durant, etc....there was also a painter by the name of David Johnson. We are fortunate enough to own a 'nature study' by him of this cow. My husband believes his grandfather purchased it at an estate auction ages ago. This is the same grandfather who operated the still so he could bribe the local road crew (and probably an official or two). The photo doesn't capture the iridescence in this painting at all. It is amazing in person. Even more amazing is the fact that I found it safely tucked away in an old desk in our basement.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Give Them What They Want

I finished this yesterday and listed it for sale in Etsy. What is it about this word - and other popular internet site names - that bugs me? Amazon, Ebay, My Space, even the word blog....they all sound like venues for gum smacking, never read a book individuals who are more interested in the doings of Paris Hilton then whether genocide is occurring any where in the world (no doubt they would think genocide is a new drug of some sort). Is this part of the dumbing of America? Don't get me wrong, I love the internet and still find it amazing how small the world has become as a result of its capabilities but it bothers me that so much of it is pop culture. I guess it is the our century's version of an old fashioned book store. There are the romance novels and then there are the Edith Wharton treasures tucked away in the back corners.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Just about a perfect day

This is the first piece I created using cloth that I dyed. Not every fabric used in this quilt is hand dyed but most are. Yesterday was a rainy, wash out here in NY so I did a bit of housecleaning, worked on organizing my work space (hooray!) and pieced this together. Even had some nice quality time left to spend with the husband person.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Painted & Dyed

I think I'm getting there....not quite sure where there is but it's a fantabulous explorative journey. I'm sure some of you already know this but I didn't and I stumbled on this technique in one of those oh-what-the-heck-let-me-try-it-moments.....painting the fabric first and then dyeing it creates great texture and saturated coloring. I'm having great fun.

Our Country

We celebrate our independence on Wed. and while our country has questionable leaders, some misplaced values and is toooo much the land of plenty; it still affords tremendous opportunities for those willing and able to partake.

Pray for peace.