Thursday, June 15, 2017

ArtWalk Opening Receptions


42 Locations in downtown Sandpoint!

Over 125 Artists!

Receptions start Friday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Pickup a brochure at participating locations and at the POAC Gallery, 302 N. First Avenue

After party at Evans Brothers Coffee starts at 8 p.m.

Pickup an ArtWork passport at any participating downtown venue, get it stamped at 10 locations before September 7 then bring it to the POAC Gallery to win prizes including tickets to the 2017 Performing Arts Series!

Click here for more info:

I'll be at Columbia Bank, 414 Church Street, on the third floor. Hope to see you there! But if you can't make the receptions, ArtWalk runs through September 7th.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Deadline Met!

Leaf Cluster variations in the order I hope they get hung
I just finished transferring my several pots of flowering plants into their planters on the deck because . . . drum roll please . . . I delivered my four pieces of art to my ArtWalk venue for hanging yesterday and am free to putter without guilt. Based on info on the application form, I was thinking I'd have Monday to fiddle with pictures and paperwork and anything little thing that might still need doing, but midweek I got the e-mail from my "handler" that it would be Monday, not Tuesday, that work must be dropped off. I know, just one day's difference, but I'd already proven that at each step of the way, each week I'd left my intended work to the last minute. Ok, time to move the game plan up a day and indeed, it was late Sunday before I could put my feet up because all was ready to go.

Here's how I got there. When last I wrote I was all excited about adding beads to the last quilt, but a little concerned about the extra time it would take. And it did take longer than I'd hoped, even though it looks like so little. But I found myself truly enjoying the process, scattering the red beads this way and that in a manner I realized was a lot like the chicken scratch quilting stitch that has become so popular. I have to give a shout-out to my teacher and now friend, Mary Stori, who taught me everything I know about adding beads to quilts and who I think is still the best source of information on that subject. Any of you who have tried taking photos of shiny things will understand how hard it is to get the camera to focus and to catch those glints of sparkle, but I hope you get the idea and trust me that in person it glints nicely. Couple that with the camera getting confused about the true color of the fabric (it says blue, the fabric says greenish blue) and the red that sits on it (either too dull and dark or too bright) and well, this is as close as I could get.

Once the beads were on, it was time to measure, mark, cut and sew up the corners on the last 3 quilts so that they could fit over the stretched canvas with the excess pulled around to the back and stapled into place. (See this post for a bit of a tutorial of the method.) I'd already done that with Leaf Cluster II quite awhile ago so once I treated them with a UV protectant spray, all four pieces were ready to mount in the floater frames and hanging wires attached. Just that part took over 2 hours and I couldn't help thinking it was taking longer to get some of these pieces framed up than it took to make them! But when I flip them over and see the results, it is totally worth it. I ink label info on the back of the quilts before putting them over the canvas, then ink it again on the back of the canvas. A business card also gets taped to the back of each, meeting the exhibit requirements for labeling.

Now to take pictures and yes, the fight with the camera, lighting, accurate colors continued. The quality of the pics didn't have to be perfect for the paperwork (just an insurance requirement), but these are going to be gone til September (maybe one or two forever if they sell) so I tried to get some fairly decent shots before they were gone. Most have been tweaked to get the colors closer to right, but seriously, I can't figure out why each of these presented problems. Anyway, pictures taken, I printed out the contract and inventory sheet and a group photo, filled everything out and was done. I feel a bit like I have my life back!

Leaf Cluster II ©2017 Sheila Mahanke Barnes

Leaf Cluster II detail

This is the one I finished to submit with my application, cropping and adding a frame in Paintshop Pro. Does Leaf Cluster II not look like you remember? Could be that while I was working on the others, and its now wrapped onto canvas self leaned against the wall where I could see it, I kept turning it this way and that, wondering if a different orientation would look better. When I studied all four versions together to decide how to orient the last two, I decided this one needed flipping. Any of these, I think, would work in any orientation which is only slightly weird.

Leaf Cluster III ©2017 Sheila Mahanke Barnes

Leaf Cluster III detail

My not lazy art by virtue of that pebble quilting. I wanted Leaf Cluster III to look like a leaf resting on the ground, perhaps on a gravel trail or a cement sidewalk.

Leaf Cluster IV ©2017 Sheila Mahanke Barnes

Leaf Cluster IV detail

Still finding Leaf Cluster IV a disappointment. The quilting hardly shows, not even a shadow of it, and belatedly I'm remembering a different way I'd thought I might quilt it. I really want to redo it in a slightly darker thread and a different style because I do like how the leaves printed and how they are arranged. Ask me again after seeing it on display for 3 months; I may have a totally different take on it by the time it returns and decide it is just fine. By then I may have used that quilting idea on another variation. Lord knows, I still have unquilted squares and even unprinted squares to work on.

Leaf Cluster V ©2017 Sheila Mahanke Barnes

Leaf Cluster V detail

Alas, next to the others, even the addition of bright beads failed to lighten Leaf Cluster V as much as I would like. It's very much a night scene, really is still quite dark even in person. Think leaf floating on water in the moonlight. Again, I am anxious to see how it looks in the gallery. It may be just fine out of my studio. If nothing else, the beads and the sliver thread really do catch the light.

As always, you may click on any photo for a larger version if you would like to inspect details. Opening receptions are not until a week from Friday (June 16th). More on that as the date nears. 

Thursday, June 01, 2017


Another month begins, another spread in my pocket calendar colored in. I went over those swirls about 4 times with different colors of pencil before ending up with something that looked like it went with the rest of the design. These are the same swirls that showed up in the first spread, and they definitely wanted to be green in that one. I didn't want to use green here but just brown didn't look right either. I finally managed to get an orange tint to them that was different from the other brown combinations.

I bought some plants for my deck "garden" two weeks ago and they are still waiting for me to put them in their pots. I'm have a hard time getting motivated to gather what I need and dig around in those pots to make room for the larger than usual flowers - I rarely get the ones so far along that they come in gallon pots like these. In the back of my mind is the frustration of last year when the deer came and ate all the blooms off my carefully nurtured geraniums and some kind of yellow flower that had taken forever to get to that point. This time I bought blue bachelor buttons and pretty pink columbine (quite a different color combination from my calendar spread), hoping the deer won't be as tempted by them but knowing I should figure out some kind of barrier just in case. Even though it is June, I'm just not ready to deal with it. But the warming weather says I must.