Friday, February 20, 2015

Fun at the Art Group

Still seeking feedback on Adrift
My art group met earlier this week, minus Donna unfortunately (check out her Facebook page to see what she's been up to creatively). The day job has Mondays tied up for a bit so we were tasked with taking lots of pictures for her. I hauled out Adrift again along with some tree limb patterns from previous quilts I'd dug out of storage. Nothing is exactly right, and it's about time I bite the bullet and start sketching something specific for that space in the upper left. I did get one good observational suggestion from Meg's daughter (quite an artist in her own right and joining us because of the school holiday) about where to start the branch (lower along the side than I'd been thinking). The consensus though was I'll know better what to put in that corner once I work up the grasses and reeds along the lower right edge.

My 2007 Journal Quilts

Meg had mentioned an interest in pairing inspirational quotations with some of her art quilts which reminded me of the year's worth of journal quilts I did using quotations from a calendar as a prompt. This was back in 2007 and each month also was a challenge to try a new technique. I'd forgotten that I'd done so much thread sketching and thread painting that year, and had to think hard on some of them as to how I'd proceeded. Because of my penchant for record keeping, each quilt has info about technique and process printed on the backing like a huge label. So I could read off the quotation from the back as the girls viewed the front and scan for answers to their questions rather than try to dredge it up from my faulty memory.

Meg's latest birds and some feathers

Meg continues to work on her "quirkies" - essentially stand alone appliques that go directly on the wall rather than on a background fabric. Currently she is playing with feathers for a commission and continuing to develop bird images, having figured out a single body shape that can become different poses depending on where the wings, tail, beak and eyes are placed. Some of these may end up in the branches of a large quirkie tree she's working on. See this blog post for a peak at her process.

Most of the birds have wire legs/feet. I'm particularly partial to this one with beads strung on the wire legs.

Robin wowed us with her collections of metal tins, canisters, and other odds and ends found at garage sales and building supply resale stores. 

She was looking for ideas of how to arrange them somewhat collage style within that copper square. So many of the same principles one applies to fiberart, we decided, to be applied here, even though we don't have the slightest notion of the mechanics of doing it! But Robin has a good eye and loves working with unconventional materials in a trial and error way.

She's got a great eye for working with fabric as well. We'd seen this small wall quilt at the last meeting and answered some of her questions about the netting she wanted to put over the top to trap some tiny snippets here and there. 

Now it is all stitched and a really stunning little art quilt.

So proud and grateful to have these ladies as friends and artist support.


Sherrie Spangler said...

Sounds like a good meeting. Do you have FOOD?

The Idaho Beauty said...

No food - part of the rules we set up early on. Focus to be on asking & answering questions about our work, sharing of techniques, tools & products, and philosophical discussions on the nature of good art etc. No exchanges or challenges either - we don't want distractions from our main work. We also try to limit the meeting to 2 hours although sometimes the gabbing towards the end runs us over. ;-) These guidelines have made sure the monthly meetings never become a chore for whoever is hosting or tie up too much time for those who might have other obligations that day as well as keep us focused on the reason we started the group. With being such a small group it works well & we can be flexible. And we still have a lot of fun!

We do occasionally do lunch if there's an exhibit we want to see together in place of the regular meeting. And last year we piled into Robin's car to spend the day touring artists' studios. Like I said, fun & flexible!

The Inside Stori said...

Sounds like a very productive and creative day.....glad you have found some like minded buddies to share your love of fiber!!

Chris said...

What a great diverse group. I would love to find a group like that to join. You will just have to move to central Pa.

Lucia Sasaki said...

Hi Sheila, thanks so much for sharing your meeting, your friends, yours and theirs artwork.
I was very impressed with the sun and cactus quilt and the birds (so cute!)
This year some of the members of the storytelling group is a little far away, but I am going to try harder for it doesn't simply disappear.
Thanks again!

Michele Matucheski said...

I so miss those days of the Art Quilt Group -- such inspiration to see what everyone is working on. So many good ideas, and directions to go in!