Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Good News, Everyone!

"Energy" has a new home
Well, you have to be a Futurama fan to get that reference, but if you are, you understand that the news is more good for me than it is for everyone. Still - I hope you will be as excited as I am. ArtWalk wrapped up back on September 12th with the sale of two more quilts! I'd started seeing my nurse practitioner on a weekly basis for allergy shots, and she quickly made the connection between me, her patient, and me, the artist she'd seen over at Monarch Mountain Coffee. Her practice is expanding, she's redecorating her offices and buying a few new pieces of art to support the local art community. And she wanted to include me in her purchases. I had this sneaking suspicion that she'd want "Tears of Mayo" which I had not offered for sale, and she admitted that she did. Frankly, I couldn't think of a better person for it to go to or a better place for it to be, so we agreed on a price. She surprised me by buying "Energy" as well.

But wait - there's more good news! The manager of the coffee shop had mentioned she might like my work to stay up after ArtWalk, depending on whether any other appropriate artists were lobbying for the space. She confirmed last week that I could continue showing there and was delighted to hear that I could switch out some of the ArtWalk pieces with fall-themed art. I was so glad my work table was still cleaned off so I had a space to set out various pieces for consideration and fill out gallery cards and other paperwork.

And I indeed have many pieces with fall colors or themes, many pieces with leaves, pieces I've shown in various exhibits around town but which probably haven't been seen by most who frequent Monarch Mountain Coffee. It's good to get the older work out of the closet, assessed with a less critical eye than when it was first finished. Down came the newest work from the long wall in the back, up went quilts with trees and leaves. Impossible to get a decent picture so here are links to the individual quilts: Fracture, Falling Leaves, Wisconsin Memories, Far From the Midwest Prairie.

Different work also went up along the wall up front: Azalea Mosaic V: Slippery Slope and Jockeying in the Queue.

"Idaho Maple" took the place of the two Upward Ticks. This guy was sitting in the same spot the day I hung the original exhibit - I think this is his daily spot - and was very gracious about nudging over a bit to give me room to work.

I decided to leave the Upward Ticks there, just move them to a different spot. This idea of moving existing artwork around was the manager's suggestion and a good one. Because of the layout, and the way regular customers often sit at the same table each visit, just moving something to a new location could bring it a new audience. Plus I think these two look quite different over the quasi-fireplace thing with a wall of a different color and different lighting. Note the coffee shop has been decorated for Halloween.

Northwoods Autumn Splendor - Sheila Mahanke Barnes ©2001

While I was digging through my stock of quilts, I ran across this one made in 2001 while living in Wisconsin, briefly considered it for the coffee shop, then decided against it. But I do have this good-size wall in my office where nothing was hanging at the moment. I haven't had "Northwoods Autumn Splendor" out in ages so up it went at home.

My friend Judi brought that leaf fabric back from a quilt show she had vended at and presented it to me - you all must know why. Not at all her style but definitely mine! At the time, I was working with these pyramid blocks of diamonds in another project while always considering how I could work our hand-dyed fabrics into traditional quilt designs. Beyond the piecing, a technical challenge I worked on was how to get parts of the border leaves to extend past the seamline into the body of the quilt. The abstract image of trees in full color is reinforced by the individual leaves fussycut from the border fabric and scattered across the center of the top (they are fused in place). I wasn't terribly comfortable with free-motion quilting yet at this stage - otherwise I might have quilted in a few leaves as well. It's just such a rich quilt colorwise, just like the northwoods of Wisconsin come fall. Leftovers of the leaf fabric went into "Wisconsin Memories" and the last bit of it into Autumn Confetti. Good to the last drop!


Just a reminder to hop on over to Hilary's blog to read her Around the World Blog Hop post here. Also, you might enjoy reading my friend Sherrie's post on the subject and checking out her links. I wanted her to be one of my tagee's but someone beat me to it. And yes, she was getting ready to tag me as well!


Sherrie Spangler said...

Congratulations on your sales and getting to keep your work up longer! very exciting news.

The Inside Stori said...

Well that's certainly great news.....congrats. It does an artist's heart good doesn't it?

Michele Matucheski said...

Congratulations, Sheila! You've done some nice work through the years. A lot of these pieces are from before I met you. I really like the gallery photo of the Idaho maple with the old man in front of it. All these art quilts make my fingers itch to create something --- Quilt Camp is coming in a week and a half!

Connie Rose said...

Congrats!! You deserve it all! I'm really glad for you. And the quilts are fabulous!

Living to work - working to live said...

Yay - you are most definitely an artist. I need a local venue like that to get my stuff out there. Really should extract my digit and get it sorted! But you should feel really proud. H xx