Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"All Creatures Great & Small" Exhibit

I've had my head down since Friday, getting a couple of padfolios ready for POAC's next exhibit at the Power House in Sandpoint. Artwork was due today, and somehow, the deadline snuck up on me (i.e. - I had way too much fun in August and am still in vacation mode). I don't normally put creatures in my quilts, but I did have a couple of photos I'd taken this year that I thought would work well as padfolio covers. This exhibit theme, "All creatures great and small," is the first to come along that I thought my padfolios might be acceptable for. I didn't want to miss the chance to get them out there to see how they would sell.

I'm very pleased with how the "Summer Frog" turned out. It uses several shots I took of a little frog hanging out amongst my daylilies. Using my Corel Paint Shop Pro program, I did some cut and paste and collaging, but other than that, no real manipulation of images. (Click on any image for a larger view.)

I printed on a Kona pdf cotton instead of the muslin I'd used in the past - a little more heft and hopefully, durability. I am just stunned at the clarity and color matching I get with my Epson WorkForce 1100 inkjet printer and its pigment inks. I very nearly didn't add any stitch because of that, but didn't I say I needed to start adding more stitch to my work? I only needed to stitch a few lines to see I wasn't going to "ruin" it but in fact enhance it. Leaves are quilted with an Oliver Twist variegated hand-dyed cotton while the satin stitching is a King Tut variegated.

I always spend an inordinate amount of time choosing coordinating fabric for the inside and thread for quilting and edge finish. This batik won out over an equally good green that was perhaps a little too "quilt fabric traditional" for the outside. I'd still like to get away from the velcro closures, but I didn't leave myself enough time to experiment.

I really like working with the placement of images so that they show up on the flap.

The moose was a bit more problematic. I went back to the drawing board after printing off the single big moose shown at the top. When I folded the fabric as it would be with the padfolio closed, I wasn't sure that I liked turning it over to see a big moose butt on the back! So I mocked up another version sizing the moose down and flipping one image so that it would wrap around onto the flap. Mmm, now I had a cover with two moose butts on the back. The arrangement you see above came to me as I was drifting off to sleep Saturday night. Didn't feel I had the time for more computer designing, but I wasn't happy with what I already had. I like this better.

But alas, no moose poking a head around the flap.

And it left me with background space to fill. I tried a feature of my software program that removes a selected object and replaces it with your choice of a section of the photo. So I just removed the moose and filled in with what was above his back. Very cool, giving me an almost granite look. This print is not as sharp as the frog one, mainly because the original photo was not sharp - hey, it's a moose in a snow storm! Again, I was a bit concerned about how to quilt it, until I remembered my recent desire to get back to straight parallel lines. Echoing around the offset rectangles containing the moose gave a nice geometric effect. Or a meandering moose in a maze?

Again, a lot of digging through the stash transpired to find appropriate lining fabric. I found several but this was my favorite - reading a bit dark here. Same goes for the thread. The quilting is a King Tut variegated while the edge satin stitching is an Oliver Twist. Not sure I like the brown around the outside and almost wish I'd stuck with the dark grey ready to go on the machine.

Opening reception for "All Creatures Great and Small" is this Friday, September 23, 5:30 - 7:p.m. at the Power House. Below is the press release for the exhibit. Would love to see you there!

“All Creatures Great and Small” Exhibit opens September 23

The opening reception for the Pend Oreille Arts Council’s provocative new art exhibit will be Friday, September 23rd, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the POAC Gallery, in the Power House, 120 Lake Street in Sandpoint. Entitled All Creatures Great and Small, the exhibit features exceptional new works from more than 30 of POAC’s member artists.

“The theme of this exhibit is meant to get the creative juices flowing because it allows our exhibiting artists so much flexibility,” Connie Taylor, one of the co-coordinators of All Creatures, says with a grin. “The only restriction we placed on the artwork was that it not contain humans as a primary subject. Creatures can be imaginary, abstract, Fido, just about anything. There are some amazing, maybe even startling, creations here.”

The diversity in this exhibit is amazing. The artists’ interpretations of “creature” will astound you and give you many opportunities to contemplate your own definition of the word. This exhibit is a great opportunity for you to enjoy a wonderful trip into some interesting perspectives, ideas, and beauty.

The opening reception will include some special guests, courtesy of the Panhandle Animal Shelter. The reception is free and the public is encouraged to attend. All Creatures Great and Small will remain on display through December 2, 2011.

The Pend Oreille Arts Council exists to facilitate and present the finest quality experiences in the arts for the people of the Sandpoint area and beyond. POAC hosts performing arts events and visual arts events throughout the year. For more information, contact POAC at 263-6139, e-mail at, become a ‘Fan’ on Facebook, or visit the website at

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