Monday, July 02, 2012

Sand, Sea, and Narrative Threads' reception

(Above: Sea V. 17" x 17". Painted canvas pieces stitched onto a square of turquoise painted canvas. Click on image to enlarge.)

The past few days have been busy ... and HOT! The outside air temperature gauge on my car wavered between 109 and 111 degrees last Friday afternoon while I drove to Cary, NC for the opening reception of Narratives Threads. This exhibit was produced by PAQA-South (Professional Art Quilter's Alliance-South) in association with Sharon Elizabeth Wood, a creative writing coach. Writers and poets were paired for collaborative works of art ... a textile art quilt response to words. I joined PAQA-South in order to participate in this show. I was paired with Stephanie Levin and created a piece illustrating her poem "The Teachings". (For a blog post of the work in progress, click HERE.) Since I've never been an active member of a quilt guild ... much less an art quilt group, I was excited to attend and meet fellow fiber enthusiasts.

(Above: Visitors looking at The Teachings, my art quilt based on Stephanie Levin's poem by the same name. Click on image to enlarge.)

The reception was held at the Page-Walker Gallery and attended by approximately 450 people! It was fun trying to find the art quilters, the poets/writers, and to watch people look at the work on display on both levels of the building.

(Above: A lady carefully reading Stephanie's poem on my art quilt. Below: A general view of the downstairs exhibition space. Click on either image to enlarge.)

It was fun meeting people, sharing stories of the collaborative process, and enjoying the very good food at the reception. It was also wonderful to see happy poets and artists posing with their creations ... below is Nanette Struckinski Zeller with poet Anne Barnhill.

From Cary, NC I drove north, spent the night near the Virginia border, and woke to 80 degree temperatures at 7:30 AM despite an evening full of storms. By the time I arrived in Fredericksburg, it was 97 in the shade and the Fredericksburg Center for Creative Arts had no power. Fearlessly (an drenched in sweat), I took down my solo show and drove back to South Carolina. Sunday, however, was a wonderful day ... in my studio from early morning until past 9:30 at night. Storms hit the area bringing hail and lower temperatures. I managed to finish quite a few pieces for my upcoming August show at Frame of Mind, an alternative art space inside a fashionable eyeglass shop on Columbia's Main Street.

Six of the finished works are called Sea I - VI. These are all made from a piece of primed canvas I painted in Key West, cut into water-like pieces, and stitched to 17" x 17" squares of canvas painted bright turquoise. Each one has recycled felt behind the square of canvas and has a zigzag stitched edge. The piece was then stitched to acid free mat board which was glued to a strainer with a hanging wire. (There are four more at the end of this blog post ... just scroll down!)

(Above: Sea III. 17" x 17". Click on image to enlarge.)

The upcoming show is called Sun and Sand. It is a reflection of my art residency at The Studios of Key West this past March. The colors in southern Florida are unparallelled with vibrancy. This is due to the sun's rays bouncing off the white sandy shallows along the coast. Thus, my work is about the texture of the sand and the brilliant colors of the water.

(Above: Sand IV. 14" x 14". Strips of silk with dense seeding stitches on recycled painter's drop cloth. Click on image to enlarge.)

I thought I was finished with my "sand" pieces ... but I found strips of silk densely stitched with seeding stitches. These had been trimmed from the edges of a grave rubbing quilt. I just couldn't throw away that much hand embroidery. (Click here to see the quilt I trimmed!) I decided to use them with another square of a recycled painter's drop cloth to make another "sand" inspired work. I'm really pleased with it. It reminds me of the ripples left in the sand as the tides ebb.

(Above: Sand III. 14" x 14". Decorative and handmade paper, shell bead, scrap of embellished wool and paper fibers on quilted square of recycled painter's drop cloth. Click on image to enlarge.)

While playing around with the strips of silk, I dragged out some decorative and handmade paper. I thought I'd combine them but that just didn't work. Yet, the "stuff" I dragged out really did look pretty good on the painter's drop cloth. This piece just came together in about an hour or less. I'm pleased with it too! Now ... the rest of this post shows the other four "sea" pieces. I'm already working on smaller ones ... a little different!

(Above: Sea VI. 17" x 17". Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Sea II. 17" x 17". Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Sea I. 17" x 17". Stitching-wise, this is the worst in the group ... but I was still figuring out exactly how I wanted to create these pieces, what tension to use, which threads worked, and exactly how to best approach painted canvas as a "material" for machine embroidery!)

(Above: Sea IV. 17" x 17". Click on image to enlarge.)


Julie said...

I particularly like Sand III and the movement in the sea pieces works well. The painted canvas has some wonderful marks and colours.

I hope you're surviving the heat. It is the opposite here with far from summery temperatures. We had a massive (for us) storm here last week which was particularly scary.

redcatdance said...

I'm finding a lasting influence in my work from my Key West residency in February as well. I think it's not going to let me go for a while yet. Glad to read about this happening to you too!

Your work is so wonderful. I hope to see it in person one day.


Anonymous said...

Looking at your Sea series I kept wondering what it was that fascinated me - and then I realised... if you replaced the background with a very dark grey or black, it would be like a stained glass panel (which I'm often drawn to), but the startling turquoise blue makes the whole thing sing - wonderfully inspiring. Makes you see that bolts of inspiration come from many sources.

Nanette S. Zeller said...

Such a pleasure to meet you on Friday night. Goodness, you had quite a journey to get there. That's a lovely picture you took of me and Anne. I'm glad to have met you.

Els said...

Great you are so succesful with your shows !
I love the sand pieces most !!!
though I also like the colourful sea pieces ;-)

Wanda said...

Sand III and especially Sand IV are, so far, at the moment, my favorites.