Sunday, February 26, 2017

An Infusion of Energy

Rebecca and her snow dyes

My art group met last week, and after several months of spotty attendance, we had a full house including all but one of our newest members. After several years of unsuccessfully beating the bushes to swell our small ranks, last fall we were suddenly presented with four like-minded textile artists eager to join our group. Each brings her own voice and enthusiasm, and all but one attended the February meeting, some meeting original members for the first time. It made for a lively and exciting meeting. I took my snow-dyes and discovered I wasn't the only one who had been playing in the snow. New member Rebecca (who comes to us via Cody, WY where she also belonged to an art group) also had snow-dyes to show off, hers looking quite different from mine. Of course, we compared notes.

Rebecca's Challenge Quilt

Rebecca is still in touch with her Wyoming group and is taking part in their yearly challenge, this year's theme of child abuse requiring much thought and presenting more of a challenge than many in her group initially cared to take on. Rebecca wanted to focus on more than just the abuse, and came up with this design expressing how a small thing can make a big difference and provide hope. Of course, we wanted to know how she added the text, and it was by composing it on the computer and printing it directly onto the fabric.

Rebecca's Mini-Me
She also shared this guild challenge where all were given a shape like a gingerbread man which they were to use as the starting point for a self portrait. Not content to stay within that stiff form, she cut off the arms and reattached them reaching up, and added the colorful umbrella on top.

Vickie's Ode to Janis Jopline

Another new member, Vickie, sells a lot of her work through the local artist co-op. You can see some of her work and learn more about her on the Art Works site here. I suppose you would say she works rather organically, not tied to working with traditional fabrics but preferring to mix textures and types. This is her "Ode to Janis", using old jeans (leaving the edges fraying) and silks, and adding some embroidery touches. She's a great proponent of the big stitch and she uses it well.

I believe Vickie calls this "Home"

Here's another that shows off her big stitches and also love of adding beads and found objects like the key. She also often incorporates branches or distressed metal rods through loops to combine the function of hanging apparatus with another visual detail of the piece.

Vickie's WIP

This is a piece in progress that I wanted to share because Vickie often adds gold leaf motifs to her quilts. Actual gold leaf applied over dried matte medium as opposed to the foil most of us are familiar with. She feels the foil is too bright and harsh for her style whereas the gold leaf gives just the right amount of bling she is looking for. In fact, this rendition of a 1920's bicycle done in gold leaf is still a bit too in your face for Vickie. She plans to go over the entire piece lightly with white paint, just hitting the high points and giving it a rustic look.

Terrie's play with crayons on dyed (or maybe painted) fabric

Yet another new member, Terrie, runs a quilting business adjacent to her home - Moose Country Quilts. She has written several books, published numerous patterns, teaches workshops, sells fabric and sundries and does longarm quilting. It's a wonder she has time for us! She also works with kids in the classroom so some of her experimentation relates to what would work well in those sessions. Here she colored her design with crayons, often with multiple layers of colors to get just the right shade, then ironed it between absorbant paper to remove the wax. You'd never know this was done by the lowly crayon. Also, she brought along her sketchbook where, inspired by my Inktober drawing a day project, she has been doodling and sketching as close to daily as she can manage. Some of them are tryouts for continuous line quilting, others for applique designs, some just for fun. In fact, the design she colored with crayons is one developed in the sketchbook. She is such a talent.

Terrie's rain quilt - top of quilt is to the left

Since joining last year, Terrie keeps showing us progress on this "rain" piece that started as an experiment with paint. She saw a paned window looking out into the world and has been steadily working to enhance that vision. She has written with pen all kinds of rain-related sayings in waving lines like rain falling and done some hand quilting in the same manner. Her most recent addition she wanted to show was adding ribbon to create the sashing of the panes in the window, something she had not been able to make show up just with quilting. She is well on her way to finishing this.

Meg's latest "kids" fused to Peltex and near ready to be cut out

So what has the old guard been up to? Well, Meg is still creating her "quirkies" - stand-alone images that create stories as she starts grouping them on the wall. Her "Unforgettable Tree" from the Fiber Show last spring remains up, and she's been adding and subtracting to it as the seasons change (follow this link to see the June version). These kids are getting ready to have a snowball fight in front of said tree! Meg has also change her web presence again, ditching her blog site for a platform on Tumblr. Check out what the tree looks like now on her new site, Meg Marchiando Art.

Adele's computer drawings

Her daughter, Adele, was able to join us since it was a school holiday. Only a sophomore in High School, she has many talents including drawing. She and her mother have been doing a drawing a day and posting them to Instagram for over 200 days now. Adele does all her work in a graphics program, using a graphic pad and stylus to draw. She demoed it as well as showing some of her latest drawings. She makes it look so easy!

Robin's booty from her Japan trip including "Year of the Rooster" fabric painting

And last but not least, Robin had photos of her January 12 day Textile-themed tour to Japan to share, with lots of explanations. Not only did she attend the Tokyo International Quilt Festival but she also got to observe a master indigo dyer and learn how to do one kind of shibori tying. Here are some of the treasures she brought home with her, including a quick impromptu painting on fabric done for her by one of the artists they visited.

I think we all left totally fired up and looking forward to the next meeting!  


Fran├žoise said...

Wonderful group!

The Inside Stori said...

It sure sounds like the new members have tons of talent and experience to share, as do the original members. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Lucia Sasaki said...

Dear Sheila, thanks so much for sharing the last meeting of your art group, it was so inspiring!
So talented ladies! Each of one with her own style and story.
Loved the last, when I saw the roost I thought to myself immediately: Sumi-e!! At least I guess the principle is the same, even if it was painted on fabric.
Thanks again!

Marybeth said...

So now you get the benefit of Rebecca's amazing talent. We hope she will come "home to Cody" to visit once in awhile. Maybe she'll bring several of you ladies over to Cody for the Yellowstone Quilt Fest during Sept 7,8 and 9th this year.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Lucia has it right. I continue to be amazed that we all work in such different ways with essentially the same materials and have developed recognizable voices. Yes Francoise, it truly is wonderful right now!

Also, Lucia, you are right about the rooster resembling sumi-e and you should know!

Marybeth, how delightful to hear from one of Rebecca's friends from Wyoming! She is definitely a treasure and so talented. I was immediately impressed with her work and knew we had to get her into the local arts council (POAC) so she could get her beautiful work into the public eye (mission accomplished). Beyond that, she and I hit it off right away, sharing similar viewpoints and quilting backgrounds. All I can say is your loss is our gain! :-) And perhaps a roadtrip to Cody will be in order. . .