Monday, August 22, 2016

Our "Fibers Unlimited" Art Exhibit 2016!

Our opening reception yesterday at Foxdale Village was a huge success. Foxdale outdid itself with the food preparations - photo below! And we were delighted with how many people came to the opening! Lots of questions were asked - particularly "how did you DO that?" and "what did you use to make that?" It was a great party.

Here are the photos of the exhibit following the hanging last Thursday. I'll do my best to identify the artist for each piece. The members of our group are: Tina Aumiller (fine embroidery as well as quilting); Irmgard Lee (color artist extraordinaire); Janet Lindsay (batik & quilt artist); Polly Miller (applique genius); MaryLou Pepe (award-winning quilt artist); Nancy Silverman (creativity specialist); and myself.

By Polly Miller

By Irmgard Lee

Large quilt: Polly Miller; ? (top); Pat Dolan (bottom); Pat Dolan (far right)

Left to Right: Irmgard Lee; Irmgard Lee; Pat Dolan; Pat Dolan

By Pat Dolan

Close-up of Tina Aumiller's embroideries

The embroideries on the left are by Tina Aumiller as is the top one on the long wall, the bottom piece by Pat Dolan; the piece on the right: MaryLou Pepe

Quilt by Tina Aumiller

L to R: Nancy Silverman, Pat Dolan (top); ? (bottom); Irmgard Lee

Left to Right: Pat Dolan & Janet Lindsay

By Pat Dolan

I think this one is by Nancy Silverman, but I'm not sure...

By Janet Lindsay

Challenge Quilts: (L>R) Polly Miller; Janet Lindsay; Pat Dolan; Nancy Silverman (top); MaryLou Pepe (below)

Looking down the hallway...

Both art-quilts are by MaryLou Pepe

Pat Dolan

L > R: Irmgard Lee; Nancy Silverman; Pat Dolan (top); Nancy Silverman (below)

Left: Standing piece by Nancy Silverman; Art quilt by MaryLou Pepe

L > R: MaryLou Pepe (one of two First Night quilts); Applique quilt by Polly Miller; MaryLou Pepe (2nd First Night quilt)

Art quilt by Janet Lindsay; painting by Pat Dolan

Art quilt by Irmgard Lee; Book and Standing piece: Nancy Silverman

Irmgard Lee

Janet Lindsay

Far L: Irmgard Lee; Janet Lindsay; Pat Dolan

Large quilt by Polly Miller; Nancy Silverman (top); Pat Dolan below and on right

Close-up: Janet Lindsay; small embroidery by Tina Aumiller; Pat Dolan

Delightfully arranged platters supplied by the Foxdale Village kitchen staff. Thank you!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Upcoming Art Exhibit!!!

Our local newspaper, the Centre Daily Times (in Centre County, Pennsylvania) today published an article about our Fiber Unlimited's upcoming art exhibit at Foxdale Village in State College, PA. Unfortunately, the link will not post here.

It's a fairly good article, although it fails to mention the names of all seven of our members. So here we all are:

Polly Miller; Tina Aumiller; MaryLou Pepe; Pat Dolan; Irmgard Lee; Nancy Silverman; and Janet Lindsay.

So this week we all are busy with our preparations - hanging will be on Thursday and an open house sponsored by Foxdale Village is next Sunday, August 21 from 3:30-5:00pm. See here for details.

Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The Crazy Person I've Always Been...

Some days when I wake up, I just KNOW it will be a good day! Today is one of those days. Strange thing about these kind of days, however... I always get involved in WAY too many projects and never complete a single one of them in all that enthusiasm and good feelings.

I suppose most creative types bump into this aspect of themselves on a regular basis. This summer has been one week after another of me bumping into my craziness and getting too interested in doing too many things. One mark in my favor is that I chose to take the summer off from volunteering at Centre Peace, Inc. I love the group of women with whom I volunteer and I totally enjoy the tasks I'm given. Centre Peace, Inc. Our group is given the task of cleaning donated household items and pricing them for resale in our store. It's a fun job and we see all sorts of things from items that remind us of our grandparent's homes to things we have no clue of how to identify them, let alone price them. You know, those new-fangled things on the market that have little or no discernible purpose!

The reason I took the summer off is to prepare for our Fibers Unlimited art exhibit at Foxdale Village, a lovely, Quaker-established, retirement community in State College, PA. Since I volunteered a few years ago to initiate this venture, I'm now in charge of seeing to the completion of this task! Thankfully, most of the prep and advertising work is now done. We hang the exhibit on August 18th, have a grand opening on Sunday, August 21st, and take the exhibit down on October 11th. So only the grunt work of hanging and removing is yet to come - plus the celebration party hosted by Foxdale Village.

Back to craziness. Besides spearheading the above art show, I also am supposed to be doing more in my acrylic bird portrait series for our local frame shop, The State College Framing Company and Gallery. All nine of the bird portraits I submitted last spring were sold, and John McQueary II requests more. I've begun painting two of the 7 I have drawn up on canvas... and they are going to the Foxdale exhibit! So I clearly need to do some painting and SOON!

Then, to make matters more interesting, I decided to take Melody Johnson's on-line free Focus on Fusing class when she mentioned on her blog she is offering such a class... That involves buying more fabric, of which I have more than enough - but precious few solids live in my closet. I have enough batiks to make 17 quilts, but I have next to no solids, let alone finely woven solids, which she requires for her fusing methods. So I've been shopping on-line and in the stores to build up my little supply. I only intend to make small pieces, but one needs a LOT of different colors, doesn't one??? And bolts of Wonder Under... Hmmmmm. And time, energy, space, and storage containers!

And there are six old bananas on the kitchen counter-top awaiting my hands to mash, stir, and bake into wonderful loaves of banana bread...

And Frank is out grocery shopping, so that will require some putting away of goods. Not to mention the load of laundry in the dryer that will soon need folding, or the fabric I bought yesterday that needs to be fused, then cut into leaf shapes, etc.

So, in all my craziness, I really had to sit down and think about it all. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I find a zillion things so interesting that I must work on them TODAY? Why is it I see the dirty laundry and decide today is the day? Why do I remember I wanted to put up some photographs with my art quilts at the Foxdale show and TODAY is the day I want to get the photography taken, edited, printed, and mounted on display board? Oh, and I took a few photos last night of the humming birds - I want to put them up on Facebook...

So what did I do to think about it all? I sat down right here and wrote about it. Just why I did that, I probably couldn't tell you, but here I am. Then again, maybe I do know why. When I write, I have to slow down my thoughts and concentrate on what it is that I want to say with the words that are being written. What has been learned by this exercise? That if I accept my crazy self and celebrate her, I will enjoy myself. If I judge myself and believe that I ought to be doing something else for whatever reason,I will be unhappy, dissatisfied, and depressed...

The bananas are waiting, as are the clothes in the dryer. Frank came home, we put away the groceries and had a nice lunch. Now it's time to finish up what I started - with this blog, anyway! I may as well find a few photos to add to this post to make it more interesting to anyone finding it on computer land.

I hope you have as much fun today as I am having, all scattered and crazy and fun!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

I love the 4th of July! I enjoy the fireworks, the picnics, the parades, the family time.

But more important than all of that, is the true meaning of Independence. It has layers and layers of meanings, mostly depending upon one's own experiences and history. For me, July 4th has always be a fun day full of good food, family/friends, and celebrations. I have had to drag some folks along to enjoy the fireworks, but we always have a good time while we are there. Alas, they don't appreciate that the aftermath of driving home through lots of traffic is really worth all the time and energy it takes!!!

But independence means so much more, especially as I age and being independent is getting more difficult to maintain. The truth is, none of us are really independent. We all need one another, we rely on others each and every day of our lives for the things we take most for granted - water, food, clothing, home. We rely on the service industries, the utility companies, the educational system, the traffic lights, and so much more. We are NOT independent of one another at all.

For me personally, this year planting my flowers required some help from the younger generation, not just from my spouse, who has always had more physical strength than I to dig holes for rose bushes, etc. This year, kneeling was bad enough, but the getting up and getting down is so difficult that I did not want to plant the seeds myself... This may be the last year I try to do that, sad to admit. My body is no longer strong enough to do simple, routine tasks that once went unnoticed by me.

Independence equates freedom to most of us. The freedom to be who we are, without shame or derision. The freedom to say and do what we wish, provided it's legal to do so, of course. Yet there are so many people who do NOT have that freedom in our country. The impoverished, the homeless, the "people of color" (or African Americans or whatever we are deeming the polite way to differentiate them when they are not different than anyone else), the indigenous peoples, the mentally ill, the physically ill, the disabled, the list is endless.

We talk about "diversity" as a good thing, yet we all have experienced it as a negative. And the more "diverse" one is, the more difficult life is for that individual or group. Why is that so, in this land of freedom?

Just my musings for the day... even as I celebrate freedom. I hope you enjoy my photo collage created with the help of Picassa and lots of fireworks photos collected over the years. May each of you enjoy your independence today and every day.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Featured in INSPIRATIONAL Digital Magazine!

I am honored to have been among numerous excellent fiber artists who have been featured on John Hopper's Textile Blog during the past 8 years. John wanted to celebrate those 8 years of textile blogging and link them to his Inspirational digital magazine. In this quote, John writes about this linking:
After some thought, I came up with the idea of using the next issue of Inspirational as a portfolio of all the contemporary artists that I have featured over the eight years of The Textile Blog, featuring work that they are producing now, and getting them to say a little something about where their perspective as an artist is currently. In a way it is perhaps a fitting celebration of what The Textile Blog has become, a vehicle in which to feature and highlight the work of contemporary creativity.

So, I have contacted all of the artists that have been featured on The Textile Blog, from way back in 2009, to a month or so ago in 2016. Bit of a daunting task, contacting and recontacting fifty artists from all corners of the planet, but I have done it and I am heartened by the enthusiasm and generous support from all those corners of the planet, aren't creative individuals the best!

Below is the beginning of my contribution to this effort. It was an honor to be featured several years ago on his blog, and another honor to be included in this follow-up survey of what the featured artists are presently doing and why they are doing it. Four of my current pieces are included along with my written reply to his question, to be found on pages 50-53 of the magazine.

Forty five fiber artists have thus far responded to his request, including: Deb Lacativa, Cathy Kleeman, Carol Taylor, Gerrie Congdon, Ellin Larimer, Wen Redmond, Dominie Nash, Diane Savon, Rayna Gillman, and Karen Stiehl Osborn, to name a few.

I hope you find this magazine insightful and, of course, "inspirational!" You will find it available here.

Friday, May 06, 2016

More "Old" Artwork - This Time: PASTELS!

Looking over the old pastel paintings, I'm surprised that they all are portraits. I rarely do portraits, yet pastel is a perfect medium for doing them.

Pastels are all concentrated color/pigment and one can work rather quickly with them or slowly, if that is preferred. The latest pastel artists are now doing watercolor and/or acrylic underpaintings prior to adding the pastel to complete the piece. Other artists are now using pastels in their mixed media work. Maybe it's time for me to play with pastels a bit!

The one below is a portrait of our son during those rebellious years... He grew up but remains a bit of a rebel. I guess he inherited that from my side of the family. Dad and I have both been considered rebels!

For anyone living in central Pennsylvania, our local Pastel Society is having a show at The State College Framing Company and Gallery for the next 6 weeks. Tne gala opening is tonight beginning at 5:30 in the Hill's Plaza on South Atherton Street. No, I'm not a current member, but I was when we first moved here! It's a great group!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Drawings from the Distant Past

I've always loved to draw - from some of my earliest memories, art was important play. In high school, we learned to draw with pen (old fashioned metal, interchangeable points into a wooden handle) and India Ink. We also learned good, old-fashioned lettering in those classes.

Below are a few examples of ink drawings completed and sold in up-state Pennsylvania, where we once lived. There are a few pencil drawings, one colored pencil study, and several ink drawings with a touch of watercolor added.

Sorry that the images are not as clean, crisp and clear as I would have preferred. Evidently the slide to digital process is less than ideal at this time or where I had the images made...