It was a beautiful summer Friday evening which made me fear we would not have a decent turnout for the Ode To Water opening reception. So I was most delighted to arrive to crowds already milling about before the official start time. It's not a huge venue so the 60 plus people who attended really filled it up. I'm very pleased with where my lovelies are hung, where they get not only light from above but lots of light streaming in through the glass doors at the entrance to the left. The quilting texture of both quilts really stood out and I think perhaps drew people over for a better look. The comments I received showed an understanding of the time and work behind the execution, and a real interest in how it was achieved. There were artists I hadn't met before exhibiting too, and it was fun to chat with them about their work. For instance, that picture to the left of my pieces at first glance looks to be black and white photography but is actually done with graphite pencil by Doug Fluckiger. His three pieces were very large but he said he tends to work quickly so the size is not a big deal to him. You can see more of his work on his website, dougfluckiger.com.
|Dividing Up The Spoils|
I've been toying since the first of the year with the idea of taking some time off from my art quilting, at least in terms of meeting exhibit deadlines. This is the last exhibit I committed to earlier, and I am going to try to make it my last of the year. That way, I have nearly half the year to myself. Perhaps this happens to you, wanting to work on something only to realize you really can't spend the time right now, there's something with a deadline that must be done first. Well, no more pushing things aside because of an exhibit deadline to meet. Nope, I've been thinking all along what my quirky illustrator Mattias Adolfsson says in the drawing above, except for me it's not that the rest of the summer is mine, it's that the rest of the year is mine.
|Seed geranium with a coral tinge|
And what do I plan to do with this time? Well, I sat down with a spiral notebook and started writing it down - 5 pages worth! I need more than the rest of the year for everything on my mind, but I can get an awfully good start. For one thing, I can spend more time on my back deck reading or doing handwork now that the weather is nice. I have 2 hand applique projects and a partially hand quilted wall hanging I haven't touched for years but that are tugging at me to enjoy the finishing of while also enjoying the flowers I've tucked into the deck planters.
|Snapdragons in pink...|
|...and in yellow with a green tinge|
There are other quilting ufo's to work on too - that baby quilt still needs quilting, the lap quilt needs its borders quilted, a stack n whack top perfect for the chest in my living room is calling to be layered and quilted and enjoyed. Any number of things could be pulled off the design wall and played with or pulled from a stack on the floor. Might any of these end up in an exhibit? Probably. But that will not be foremost on my mind.
|Dianthus smelling of spice|
There's also the bookbinding and altered book projects awaiting. Plus some things that fall in the mixed media category. No end to what catches my attention and intrigues me.
And when I want to be out of the studio, away from textiles altogether, there's always sketching: the buildings on my list to add to the architecture sketchbook, the urban sketching at the park, the sketchbook skool coursework to finish, the play with watercolor and other wet media added to my sketching. Just getting out - into the woods, out along the lake - with or without sketchbook.
|Marigolds to add a dash of brightness and chase away the ants|
I need to clean out my garage, rearrange, set up my dye station better, be able to make paper out there. Make paper out there and finish the dye runs from last year. I even have a couple of boxes from the move nearly six years ago that need to be unpacked (mostly things for the china cabinet). Shampoo the rugs inside. The list goes on.
|A recently acquired & scanned slide of my oldest brother holding me|
My biggest project though, which even if I did nothing else but work on it would keep me occupied into next year I suspect, is organizing and scanning family history ephemera, and perhaps doing some genealogical research as well. I'd already started on this a few years ago, in short spurts, enough to realize the scanning of photographs, letters and documents will take longer than I thought, and that the narrative I want to write to go with it will certainly add to that. And now I've recently gotten my hands on all the family slides I'd given to my brother to keep safe years ago - dozens and dozens to be scanned. But it is the sort of thing I really enjoy doing, and with no children of my own to hand this off to and family members, interested nieces and nephews, far flung, I realized I could digitally preserve what I have and put it up on the internet for easy access for them. Must get cracking on it though!