Iridescent Cloud or Crystalline Entity

IMG_8875Once a year, Denver’s Office of Arts and Venues offers a scooter tour of Public Art.  So today, I scooted around with about 50 other people to see and hear about the art.  Here’s one of the hidden gems I discovered today.  Recently installed at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, this sculpture was made by Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, two artists from Seattle Washington.

It was beautiful, with the sun reflecting off all the prisms.

But it got me thinking.

As a BIG Star Trek fan, I remembered see the Crystalline Entity — a beautiful structure, similar to this, that destroyed everything it came in contact with.

It reminded me that art can evoke many responses — not all under the artist’s control or intention.  It’s a very powerful medium for expression but can have very different reactions from the viewers.  So is this a thing of beauty or something dangerous.  Something to think about.

 

Posted in Public Art | 3 Comments

Hoffman Fabrics

 

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In a previous post, I mentioned a new series I’m working on and I have just completed my 6th piece in the “Conversations” series.  I’m thinking of entering 3 of these into the next Quilt National so now, I can’t post any photos because of the restrictions on entering this show.  So I decided to start a new series based on decades instead of years and have committed to making 8 pieces in this series — one for every decade of my life.  No, I am not in my 80’s but by the time I finish it, I will have hit 70!

I decided to make all the pieces in this next series with Hoffman Bali Handprint Batiks.  In my opinion, these are the best batiks on the market.  I knew my local quilt store would not carry all the specific colors I would need so I emailed the company to see if there was a way I could work with them and was amazed at their response!  They loved my fiber art and they sent me their fabric samples so I could choose the exact fabrics I needed.

Truthfully, it was a little overwhelming!  It was not an easy task to choose only 64 fabrics from their 360 samples!  Now I know how hard it must be for fabric stores to stock their shelves!  I wanted all of them but didn’t have the budget.

They also sent me some Bali Pops to use for the small letters I am putting on my pieces.  I can’t wait to get started.  I am a happy supporter of Hoffman Fabrics!

 

 

Posted in Art Quilt, Fiber Art, Fiber Artist, Inspiration, New Works | 2 Comments

Artist Highlight — Ken Elliott

Chromatic Forest_BLXP, 6/12/15, 5:46 PM, 16C, 5872x7845 (116+67), 100%, Better Push 6,  1/25 s, R49.3, G25.1, B41.2

Chromatic Forest_BLXP, 6/12/15, 5:46 PM, 16C, 5872×7845 (116+67), 100%, Better Push 6, 1/25 s, R49.3, G25.1, B41.2

I have been blessed with meeting a few artists that have generously shared their expertise with me and taught me what I needed to know to make a living as an artist.  Ken Elliott is one of these artists and this week I thought I would introduce you to his wonderful work.

Ken works in many mediums but primarily in pastels and oil.  His work is mostly landscapes but what attracts me to his art is that they are not realistic.  Ken is all about color and composition and his paintings are totally intriguing in every aspect.

He has offered a two day painting class, taught at his studio in Castle Rock, and I’ll be taking it at the end of the month, along with my other “To Expand” artists.  It will be interesting to see how we all “expand” out of our horizons from learning from this pro.

Posted in Artist Highlight | 5 Comments

Distraction or Thinking Differently

IMG_8839Being creative means that you are open to new ideas, new ways of thinking about things, and sometimes, being able to incorporate new methods/techniques into your own work.  We have lots to learn from other artists and today, I had the opportunity to learn how to “nuno felt” — or, as my instructor prefers to name it “laminated felt”.

I had taken a felting class several years ago and have been fooling around with machine felting but I realized that I was buying a lot of nuno felted scarves, made by other artists, and just wanted to make one myself.  So how to pick someone to learn from?  Pick someone who made something you loved!

I bought a scarf from Deb Tewell at the Estes Park Wool Market and found out she was teaching a class in August.  But I couldn’t make that date so she invited me to come to her home studio for a day and make a scarf with her.  What an opportunity!!!  I grabbed it and was I happy I did.

IMG_8840These photos don’t do this scarf justice but I know when I wear it, everyone will say “Love your scarf!  Did you make it?” and for the first time I can say “yes”!

I don’t know how learning this will translate into my work but I know it will.  I’m already thinking about combining my needle felting with wet felting.  Who knows where this will lead.

Learning new things always activates my creative side.  Sometimes, taking a class is a distraction from my current work but I think it’s especially useful when we run into those periods where we can’t make anything.  Your know.  Those black holes!  We all have them and luckily, I haven’t fallen into one recently but I’m probably due!

If you have the time, I highly recommend Deb’s class.  She will be teaching in Fort Collins on August 16th.  For more information, you can email Deb at her web site, www.thefeltingsource.com with the “contact us” button.

Also, check out The Felter’s Rendezvous Retreat.  This sounds fantastic!  www.thefeltingsource.com/felters-rendezvous-2016/

 

Posted in Being an Artist, Felting & Stitching, Fiber Art, Fiber Artist, Fiber Techniques, Inspiration, textiles | 6 Comments

Finding Your Voice

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03Everyone in the art world constantly talks about “finding your voice”.  Today, because of something going on (I’m hoping its just allergies!) I lost my real voice.  Luckily, I can talk by typing but it made me think about how much my voice is a part of who I am.

We recognize our family and friends by the sound of their voices.  But, they are all saying the same words, more or less.  And using the same language.  So what is it that makes all of our voices so unique to the ear that we can be instantly identifiable?  In sound, it’s probably tone, pitch, cadence, accent, volume, and numerous other attributes that make me sound like me and not my sister (although many people have said we sound alike!)

How do we think about this as artists?

We all use the same basic materials (thread, fabric, yarns, etc) but each of us combines them in a different way using a different color scheme, composition, and technique.  What makes up our artistic voice is that these combinations are fairly unique — not replicated or copied from other “famous” artists which would cause some confusion about who really made that piece.

I teach my techniques to people all over the world and so there are many “Stupendous Stitching” artworks being made by thousands of different people but I know that even though they are using my techniques, their individual voices shine through and I can tell the different between a piece I made and an accomplished student makes.

Can you guess which one is mine and which one was made by my student?

 

Posted in Art Quilt, Being an Artist, Fiber Art, Fiber Artist | 5 Comments