At the Art Reception

When I attend an Art Reception, I usually seek out the company of another artist, preferably to sit one on one in a quiet corner.

The patrons are OK too, but the conversations differ. I have thankfully out grown the extreme shyness of my youth. It is no longer impossible or painful to talk to new people about my artwork. (It surprises me that I am sometimes the most At-Ease and confident person in a room! Being older has it’s advantages.)

I enjoy talking with a new person about why I chose those particular fabrics, or that “this was a different piece entirely- before I cut it up and rearranged it.” I want to share that my most productive time of year is winter, and that most of my reference photos of people are taken at a family reunion, and that the current events of the day are working their way into my artwork. I might mention that right now I am doing a lot of spring time garden tending. This is still on topic, because gardening is excellent practice for using what you have, and working on a large scale.

Below are some examples of artwork influenced by events of the day. ‘Freedom’ refers to women being given equal opportunities, without fear.  In the piece ‘Shine a Light on it’, we are looking at the shadow cast by an object, in order to ascertain it’s true form. ‘Sniff Out Truth’ is about journalism. I admire the daily work required of reporters. ‘Connect the Dots’ is about the Russia investigation.

Freedom, 14 X 11, sold

Sniff Out Truth, 12 X 16, sold

Connect the Dots, 12 X 16, sold

Discovery 10.5 X 7.5, Sold

What do I talk about with my fellow artists? I ask questions about their latest artwork and where it is going. I want to know their optimal work schedule and what shows they are entering. How do they get momentum back? I encourage them to focus on the things in their own artwork that are really working. For example a friend who has embraced a new 3-D medium of recycled wood and tree stump/roots, needs to be told how super remarkable this work is. Keep Going!

I encourage my fellow artist to develop their voice, even if it is not standard. One young man creates large bright canvases. They have lots of connected stories that reference pop culture.  He asked two artists if he “should try to work small?” We both said NO, because how would the intricate stories fit on a small canvas?

I encourage another art friend to journal about what they want to say. “Write down your list of themes and adjectives.  Add to this, the color palette and unique qualities of your medium to advance the telling. Allow the medium to do the work. Listen to it and let it take the lead.”

Giving encouragement and tackful feedback is a way that I support the arts, by supporting the artist. If the Art Reception is for one or two brave artists, it is important to show up and see their work. The artist showing art feels a little exposed and vulnerable, and at the same time excited to share this visual expression of what they have to say.

Syncopated Dialogue, 40 X 22, $500

Built to Last, 16 X 12, sold

It would be nice for the world, if the political right and left, could just work together as successfully as the on- beat and off- beats of music. That is the idea of ‘Syncopated Dialogue’

reference photo for Built to Last

Background fabric used for ‘Discovery’ is perfect for advancing the idea of delight and examination.

The fabrics that I used in ‘Built to Last’ are an unexpected combination, but they really wanted to play together. This structure is a gravity fed aqueduct, so encorporating some rain drop fabric just made me smile.

Recipe for Tahini Asparagus: Cook 1c. quinoa in 2c. water and 1/2t. salt. When done (simmer about 18 min.) add 3 -4 T. tahini, stir, and set aside, covered. Wash 5 – 10 spears of asparagus, pat dry, and slice. Wash and slice 2 or more cups mushrooms and 2 -4 green onions, chopped. Saute vegetables in coconut oil or butter for a few minutes. Add water or broth to pan and cover for a few more minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on top of the quinoa.

How Small? How Big?

The size of a project makes a difference. You might have to get a riding lawn mower! Buy lots of trowels, so the kids can help with the weeding! Budget more than one quick weekend to paint the house! In the fabric art that I do, the two extremes of big and tiny seem the… Read more »

Powerful Habits

‘Ground Hog Day’ was a movie that dealt with the concept of repetition, waking up each day to the beginning of the same winter day, over and over. The main character began to notice this caught- in- a- loop dilema, and as a result made small changes in choices he made. So, I’ve been thinking… Read more »

Using again in a new way

Recycling is not just for plastic, cardboard, and newspaper. The concept of using something again, in a new way, can be applied to many parts of our life, from letter writing, to baby toys, to recipes, to artwork. Cousing Janet has taken the Facebook concept share photos and stories and redirected it to a letter format. These… Read more »

Harder than arranging the towels

My daughter likes to regularly scout for home decorating ideas on the internet. She got very excited after seeing several examples of artwork arranged in Salon style on the wall behind one’s TV screen. Salon style means lots of artwork hung close together top to bottom and side to side. The idea is to balance… Read more »

Seasons of Life

“To every time there is a season, a time to live, a time to die” —or something similar to this. And also the bit about under heaven. This sentiment makes it’s way into wedding vows and sympathy cards. A time to get hip replacement (modern miracle) A time to breast feed your newborn baby non-stop… Read more »

Pendulum Swinging

Politics also go through a seasonal cycle, but instead of the sweet and nurturing circle we experience within seasons of the year, political climates are right and left, pendulum swinging back and forth. The trapeze is up so very high! The political tribes have opposite view points on so many things – Are rules for the… Read more »

The weather promises to change

Can you guess which one of these images represents December and which one represents March?   Which image is April and which is October?     I have been creating small (10X14) abstract artwork for each month of the year. I use a combinatiion of hand painted and commercial fabrics. All applique and quilting is done… Read more »

A day in the life- mid August

      The mid-August brisk air (55 – 65 degrees) is perfect for removing the algae from around the edge of our small pond. This task is only done while wearing knee pads (making crawling easy) and in the early morning cool air before the yellow jacket wake up bell. Before this task I… Read more »

Just add purple and chartreuse

I’m starting a new series of work that will use (spiritual) purple and (rebirth) chartreuse as major players. At least that’s my current thinking. I will use a lot of a formerly used Wyoming color palette with these strong colors added. Here are some examples of older work using many of the same colors.  Taken together they… Read more »